Palm and Passion Sunday (A)

Palm and Passion Sunday

 

Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday (A)

Isaiah 50:4-7

Psalm: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Philippians 2:6-11

 

Matthew 26: 14-27,66

 

Welcome to the Palm and Passion Sunday!

 

Tandaan po ninyo, ang linggong ito ang isa sa mga may pinakamagandang second readings sa buong taon para sa akin. Ito ay galing sa book of St. Paul to the Philippians: at ang mensaheng ito ay produkto ng pagninilay ng first Christian communities. “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be used for his own advantage.” (Philippians 2:6). Sa simula pa lamang, si Hesus ay talagang banal. Ngunit hindi tumigil si St. Paul doon. Sabi pa niya: “Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. Thus, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to death, death on the cross!” (Philippians 2:7)

 

Ang Dios na banal ay naging tao, upang ang tao ay maging banal.

 

This is a special time of the year that we stop to remember and bring back the memories leading to our redemption and salvation. Yes, we remember Jesus’ dying and rising, but let us also remember our own dying and rising with him.

 

Let us ponder upon two questions for today:

 

  1. Do I have true sorrow for my sins?

 

Akin bang nararamdaman ang taus-pusong pagsisisi sa aking mga kasalanan? Ngunit hindi lamang iyan – ang pagsisisi ay hindi lamang iyong makaramdam ng kalungkutan, pananangis at pagtanggap ng parusa sa mga kasalanang nagawa ngunit ang pagbabagong-isip.

 

Ang tunay na pagsisisi ay yaong may kasamang paggawa ng  mabuti (Luke 3:8). Samakatuwid, kung ako’y magdarasal, hihingi ng tawad sa Dios, ako ay tunay na nagsisisi kung ang aral ni Hesus ay akin ng isinasabuhay. It is impossible to change if the person cannot and will not change. Change will come if you change. Imposible ang tunay na pagsisisi kung walang bungang pagbabago sa ugali.

 

  1. Am I willing to carry my own cross?

 

May story ako na naalala ko pa mula sa aking auntie na aking guro noong high school. Sabi niya, one day, a man complained to Christ dahil masyadong mabigat ang krus na kanyang dala. Then dinala siya ni Hesus sa isang lugar na puno ng krus. sabi ni Hesus, pili ka ng krus mo dyan.

 

So, ibinaba nya yong kanyang krus at nagsimula siyang umikot. He saw a very small cross, binuhat niya, then sabi niya: ang gaan naman. So ibinaba niya at naghanap ulit. May nakita siyang malaking krus, binuhat niya, ngunit sabi – sobrang bigat naman!

 

So, hanap siya ng hanap ng krus na babagay sa kanya. Naikot niya ang buong lugar ngunit wala siyang mahanap na krus na sakto lamang sa kanya.

 

Then, all of a sudden, in a corner, may nakita isang krus, hindi masyadong Malaki, hindi rin masyadong maliit. He carried it, not so heavy, not too light. Kaya sabi niya kay Hesus, “yes, Jesus, ito na ang napili kong krus!”

 

Jesus laughed at him. Sabi ni Hesus, that’s the same cross you complained about!

 

Brothers and sisters, while we ponder on the sufferings of Christ, let us also be mindful to accept our own sufferings, knowing that God never gives us trials beyond our capacity. (1 Corinthians 10:13). His grace is always enough for us.

 

Have a meaningful and prayerful holy week po.

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.

 

 

 

 

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Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)

Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)

Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)

Exodus 37:12-14

Psalm 130: With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption

Romans 8:8-11

John 11:1-45

 

 

Welcome to the fifth Sunday of Lent!

 

This Sunday completes the trilogy na nagsimula noong third Sunday. On the third Sunday of Advent, the desire for the living water; on the fourth Sunday, the desire to be healed of spiritual blindness; and this Sunday – the desire to share in the eternal life with the Risen Lord.

 

The Gospel for today is the Raising of Lazarus Back to Life. Dedbol na po si Lazarus noong dumating si Hesus. Ayaw nang pabuksan ni Marta ang kanyang libingan sapagkat for sure, maantsot na.Ngunit ng si Hesus ay sumigaw, “Lazarus, come out!” Lumabas nga si Lazarus. Siya ay buhay!

 

Today, may I invite you that we reflect on two things:

 

  1. Our hope of resurrection.

 

The Jews believed that the soul of a dead person remains with the body for three days. Then after three days, the soul departs from the body and will never return again. It is at this point that the corruption of the human body will set in.

 

Eh si Hesus dumating on the fourth day. Kaya, sabi ni Martha, “But Lord, by this time, there is a bad odor, for he has been there for four days.” (John 11:39) In short, Lord, hopeless  na yan eh, umalis na ang kaluluwa niyan eh, di mo na maibabalik yan. Wala na eh.

 

But Jesus made the impossible. Jesus said in a loud voice, “Lazarus come out. The dead man came out.” (John 11:44)

 

This is a challenge for us never to give up hope even in hopeless situations as indiviiduals, as a church or as a nation. God will always make a way.

 

The raising of Lazarus back to life is already a symbolic narrative of Jesus’ victory over death and an anticipation of his resurrection. Ang malaking milagro ito assures us that we shall also be raised into eternal life after our battle with sin and death in the world.

 

 

  1. Our hope of being renewed.

 

The cave or the tomb kung saan nakahimlay si Lazarus is a place of darkness. When called out by Christ, Lazarus gropes his way out of the dark.

 

Ang muling pagkabuhay is not only something that we shall benefit sa dako pa roon. We can live it out every day by being hopeful. Hope will make a world of difference to those who have it.

 

Sabi ng isang kaibigan sa akin: You smoke, you die; you do not smoke, you die. You pray you die, you do not pray – you die. It is still the same. Mamamatay ka pa rin. So ano itong he who believes in Christ, will never die. Fr, Yong lolo ko, laging nagsisimba – namatay pa rin.

 

I told him, the difference is: when you believe and you have hope in your heart, you will endeavor to renew yourself everyday through the grace of God. Hindi ka latak! Hindi ka hopeless. Despite your darkness and many unbecoming behaviors, you too will never give up on yourself because God’s grace is always reliable.

 

Brothers and sisters, in hope we are saved. (Romans 8:24). With hope, our present, even if it is difficult, can be lived and accepted because we know our goal (eternal life) – and that is great enough to justify our effort for our journey.

 

The Psalm 130 for today reminds us: “With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.

 

 

 

Second Sunday of Lent (A)

This is a Promise!

Second Sunday of Lent (A)

Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Matthew 17:1-9

 

Welcome to the second Sunday of Lent!

 

Recently I watched the movie Logan. The movie was in 2029 when the mutant population was already disbanded, and Wolverine was left to take good care of Charles Xavier or Professor X. Wolverine lived a hidden life, siya ay naging simpleng taxi driver na lamang. But everything changed when a young girl named Laura, a mutant, came into his life. This girl had his DNA, and she also possessed powers like Wolverine. He needs to help the girl cross the border. I will not mention spoilers, but in this movie, you will a transformed Wolverine, a wolverine with a heart. The greatest movie about Wolverine is not about the mutant, but about the man Logan.

 

Today’s readings center on transformations. In the first reading, Abram was called by God to leave his homeland. Nabago ang kanyang buhay ng sinunod niya ang Diyos. Abram became Abraham, the Father of Faith.

 

In the second reading, sabi ni St. Paul, “We are called to a holy life, not according to our works, but according to the grace bestowed in Christ.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

 

At ang ebanghelyo ay tungkol sa Transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus took Peter James and John into a high mountain and he was transfigured before them.

 

What are the reminders for us today?

 

  1. We have our vocation.

 

Andito tayo sa mundo hindi lamang para magkaroon ng career. Tayo ay may bokasyon. Tinawag tayo ng Dios upang maging bahagi sa Gawain ng paglikha. You are here for a reason, that reason is not only that you become a professional but that you contribute to the holiness of the world.

 

Masasabi mo bang ikaw ay may positibong naiambag sa kabutihan ng lipunan?

 

Father, sasabihin ninyo, mabait naman ako. Wala akong ginagawang masama. Ngunit hindi lamang mabait na walang ginawang masama, kundi ang kailangan natin ngayon ay yaong mabait na may ginagawang mabuti.

 

Sabi sa movie na Logan, “A soldier who will not fight is useless.” Ang sundalong hindi nakikipaglaban ay walang silbi. In the same way, “A Christian who doesn’t serve is useless.” Ang Kristyanong walang ginagawang masama at wala ring ginagawang  mabuti ay walang silbi.

 

I have a beautiful classmate at devcom. She is organizing an outreach program for the indigenous people of Pampanga. She is doing it this season of Lent.

What good will you do this season of Lent?

What sacrifices will you make for the benefit of others?

 

We have a vocation.

 

  1. We go down.

 

During the Transfiguration, sabi ni Peter, Lord, we shall build three tents: one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah. Sabi ba ni Jesus – go!

 

No, they went down the mountain. Because the living out of service is not in the mountain. Kailangang bumaba because the action is there in the lowland. They need to go back to reality. That is where the action is.

 

When we become knowledgeable, when we become leaders, when we achieve high status in the society – we go down. We serve.

 

As Christians, we cannot transform the world by mere prayers in our convents, in our chapels, in our churches. We go out, we move out, of our homes, of our comfort zones – to get in touch with the realities of the people in our families and communities.

 

We go down.

 

Brothers and sisters, in the second Sunday of lent, we are reminded that everybody has a vocation. What happened to Jesus in the mountain will also happen to us. But before that, like Jesus, we have to embrace first our realities, the realities of life, of suffering, of sacrifices, of joys, of pains. Then, if we share in the cross of Christ, we shall also share in his glory. That’s a promise!

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.

 

 

 

 

First Sunday of Lent (A)

Beware: Satan is the Father of Lies

Beware: Satan is the Father of Lies

First Sunday of Lent (A)

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

Psalm: Be merciful, o Lord, for we have sinned.

Romans 5:12-19

Matthew 4:1-11

 

Welcome to the first Sunday of Lent!

 

Tayo po ngayon ay nasa panahon na ng kwaresma. Opening salvo po natin ang Ash Wednesday (March 1) bilang pagpapahayag ng ating pagsisisi sa ating mga kasalanan at paghahanda sa ating mga sarili sa mga gagawin nating mga sakrispisyo. Ang kwaresma po ay 40 days before Easter. Sa taong ito, ang Easter Sunday ay April 16. Kung inyo pong bibilangin from March 1 to April 15, the day before Easter Sunday – mayroong 46 days! Mali yata ang sinasabi mong 40 days Father! Sumobra yata ng anim na araw Father! Hindi po yan sumobra bes, sapagkat hindi kabilang sa counting ang Sunday. This is because from the earliest days of the Church, Sunday is always a feast day, a day of celebration, kaya hindi siya kabilang sa counting. That makes it 40!

 

Today’s gospel reading points us to the three temptation of Christ in the desert. Pagnilayan po natin ang three temptations:

 

  • “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

 

What is wrong with being hungry? It is but human to feel hunger? At first glance, the command of the devil seemed very, very trivial. Parang maliit na bagay lang, gutom eh. But we must remember that the perfection of Jesus comes in following the will of the Father. Ang patibong talaga dito ay sundin mo ang gusto ng demonyo. Mag-ingat sa mga trivial matters, mag-iingat sa maliliit na kasalanan. Dyan nag-uumpisa ang big-time na kasamaan.

 

  • “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” (Matthew 4:6)

 

What is wrong with throwing himself down? The devil quoted the psalm of trust that told of God’s protection of his people. However, Jesus also knew that His trust was perfect, and that He didn’t need to do anything heroic to prove it. The moment an individual puts God to the test, that person gives evidence that he or she doesn’t actually trust God in the first place.

 

I remember one instance, nakapasok ako sa isang warehouse ng isang parokyano. At doon sa pinakabulwagan ng kanilang warehouse ay nakita ko ang imahe ng Santo Niňo. Ok n asana ako doon ngunit nagulat ako sapagkat katabi ng Baby Jesus ang palakang naka-nganga at pusa pang gumagalaw-galaw. Sabi ng parokyano: “Father, kung di ibibigay ng Dios ang aking hinihinling, ako ay mayroong reserba.”

 

Do you think if you have your full trust in the Lord, you still need lucky charms? God is enough!

 

 

 

  • “All these I shall give to you, if you shall prostrate yourself and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9)

 

This is like saying: “Sambahin mo ako kahit one second lang – at ibibigay ko say o ang lahat-lahat in an instant.” Of course, alam natin, ito ay kasinungalingan lamang.

 

These temptations are very much relatable. Often, Satan whispers to us that we can be immoral, we can behave badly, and gawin lahat ng gusto natin sapagkat wala naman makakaalam di ba – ikaw lang at si Satanas. Hmmm. Mag-ingat, sapagkat si Satanas ang hari ng kasinungalingan. Kung sasabihin niya sa iyong….

 

atin-atin lang ito ha,

this is just between us,

secret lang natin ito ha,

you and me (!!!)

 

wag kang umasa. Ta-traydorin ka lang niya – ginawa niya yan kay Eba. Gagawin din niya sa yo yan.

 

The three temptations of Christ are meant to remind us that Jesus wholeheartedly followed His Father’s will. If we want to also wholeheartedly follow His Father’s will, the devil will also do, everything in his power, to prevent us.

 

In reality, many times we give in. But the Lenten message is that have the grace to say no as reflected by the Lenten connection to our baptism. Dati mayroong tayong order of penitents. Sila ang mga nangumpisal sa kanilang kasalanan and they were assigned to do penance to be done for a long period of time. Then by Easter Vigil, the order of penitents are reconciled to the Christian community. It was for them second baptism.

 

Brothers and sisters, may we see this Lenten season as our journey towards our own renewal of baptismal vows, which we shall observe on Easter Vigil. May our Lenten observance make us even closer to Jesus, not only in thoughts, but also in actions.

 

 

This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD – Witness to the Word!

 

Christ the King House of Spirituality (Freinademetz Center)

The former Finnemann building inside the Christ the King Mission Seminary is now named Christ the King House of Spirituality (Freinademetz Center). It was blest and inaugurated last February 24, 2017. Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD, the outgoing Provincial Superior of the SVD Philippines Central Province, presided the blessing.

 

 

This new center is open for spiritual retreats and recollections, worship meetings and conferences, and many other religious activities. It is located inside the compound of Christ the King Mission Seminary, E. Rodriguez, Sr. Ave., Quezon City.

 

Photo and Text Credit: Fr. Ronald Rey Espartinez, SVD

Photo and Text Credit: Fr. Ronald Rey Espartinez, SVD

 

Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD

Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD

 

SVD Missionaries and Friends were present

SVD Missionaries and Friends were present

 

Facade of the Building

Facade of the Building

 

 

Rooms

Rooms

 

Multi-Purpose Room

Multi-Purpose Room

 

Chapel

Chapel

 

Session Rooms

Session Rooms

 

Comfort Room

Comfort Room

 

Terrace

Terrace

 

Ground Floor

Ground Floor

 

Session Room

Session Room

 

Session Room

Session Room

 

This building used to be the residence for the associate (young professionals), first year and second college seminarians of the Divine Word Missionaries. Today, the community of seminarians stays at the Buttenbruch Building of the Christ the King compound.

 

 

We thank the following SVD educational Institutions in the Central province for sponsoring the new house of spirituality:

 

 

1) St. Jude Catholic School of Manila,
2) Divine Word College of Legaspi City,
3) Divine Word College of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
4) Divine Word College of Calapan,
5) SVD Provincialate.

 

 

The renovation and refurbishment took 8 months to finish.

 

 

Live Streaming: Siete Palabras 2015 from Cebu

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Siete Palabras 2015

Listen at DYRF-Cebu via these links:
http://www.twitch.tv/rfcebu01
http://dyrf1215.weebly.com/
http://mixlr.com/dyrf-1215/

PASIUNANG PULONG Rev. Msgr. Renato C. Beltran Jr, PC Archdiocesan Chancellor Archdiocese of Cebu

PASIUNANG PULONG
Rev. Msgr. Renato C. Beltran Jr, PC
Archdiocesan Chancellor
Archdiocese of Cebu

UNANG PULONG: “Amahan, pasayloa sila kay wala sila masayod sa ilang gibuhat.” Fr. Ramon D. Echica Dean of Studies, Seminario Mayor de San Carlos

UNANG PULONG:
“Amahan, pasayloa sila kay wala sila masayod sa ilang gibuhat.”
Fr. Ramon D. Echica
Dean of Studies, Seminario Mayor de San Carlos

 

IKADUHANG PULONG: “Sultihan ko ikaw, karong adlawa, uban ka kanako sa paraiso.” Fr. Rolyn E. Vics, CM Parish Priest, San Roque Parish Subangdaku, Mandaue City

IKADUHANG PULONG:
“Sultihan ko ikaw, karong adlawa, uban ka kanako sa paraiso.”
Fr. Rolyn E. Vics, CM
Parish Priest, San Roque Parish
Subangdaku, Mandaue City

IKATULONG PULONG: “Babaye, ania ang imong anak; ania ang imong inahan.” Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL IEC 2016 Chairman Committee on Solidarity and Communion

IKATULONG PULONG:
“Babaye, ania ang imong anak; ania ang imong inahan.”
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL
IEC 2016 Chairman
Committee on Solidarity and Communion

IKA-UPAT NGA PULONG: “Dios ko, Dios ko, nganong gibiyaan mo ako?” Maria Elena C. Limocon General Manager Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative

IKA-UPAT NGA PULONG:
“Dios ko, Dios ko, nganong gibiyaan mo ako?”
Maria Elena C. Limocon
General Manager
Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative

IKALIMANG PULONG: “Giuhaw ako.” Judge Simeon P. Dumdum (Retired)

IKALIMANG PULONG:
“Giuhaw ako.”
Judge Simeon P. Dumdum
(Retired)

IKA-UNOM NGA PULONG: “Natapos na.” Sr. Esterlita L. Lauros, DST Superior General Daughters of St. Theresa

IKA-UNOM NGA PULONG:
“Natapos na.”
Sr. Esterlita L. Lauros, DST
Superior General
Daughters of St. Theresa

IKAPITO NGA PULONG: “Amahan sa imong mga kamot, itugyan ko ang akong espiritu.” Fr. Vicente C. Florido Jr. Founding Member Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Scholarship Fund, Inc

IKAPITO NGA PULONG:
“Amahan sa imong mga kamot, itugyan ko ang akong espiritu.”
Fr. Vicente C. Florido Jr.
Founding Member
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Scholarship Fund, Inc

PANAPOS NGA PULONG Msgr. Jose S. Palma, D.D. Archbishop of Cebu

PANAPOS NGA PULONG
Msgr. Jose S. Palma, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Siete Palabras 2015

Listen at DYRF-Cebu via these links:
http://www.twitch.tv/rfcebu01
http://dyrf1215.weebly.com/
http://mixlr.com/dyrf-1215/

 

 

MY PRECIOUSSSSSSS!!!

MY PRECIOUSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Who could forget the fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?  Once a happy Stoorish Hobbit, Smeagol (a.k.a. Gollum) demanded the ring from his relative Deagol as a birthday present and he strangled him to death when he refused to give it. He was then forced to live in the far, far misty Mountains.

During the centuries that he spent in the Misty Mountains, he developed a certain kind of split personality – the good Smeagol and the bad Gollum. The good Smeagol remembered acts of goodness like friendship, trust, compassion and love. On the other hand, the bad Gollum was a desperate monster who would kill to have his most “precious” possession, which is the ring.

Come to think of it: everyone of us has a Smeagol and Gollum within. While we always strive to be good and value things that are good, within us are also crippling deeds of betrayal, envy and gluttony. But we could not deny the fact that we are first Smeagols, I should say, creatures created in the image and likeness of God. But we sinned and the Gollum inside us came out.

However, even with the character of Gollum, with all his dark side, it is undeniable that he has a spark of goodness inside him. Mister Frodo saw that. That is why, he never gave up on him.  

I believe that no person is totally evil. I have never seen a person who did all wicked things throughout one’s life. One thing is sure, we are all sinners, but like Gollum, there is always a good side that cries out for liberation. And behold, God sees this spark of goodness in us…and He never gives us on us until we let this goodness shine through us.

Poor Gollum, when they were on the Mount of Doom to finally destroy the ring, he attacked Frodo and they had a big fight. He bit Frodo’s finger and his most precious possession was on his hands once again. He was too elated and too late for him to notice it, he lost his balance and fell into the fires of Mount Doom. Then, he made his last cry, “My Precioussssssss!”

 While mercy abounds for us, our choices in life will have a great bearing on what is at stake for us in the future. Whatever we do in life echoes in eternity. Gollum was already confronted with the two choices – redeeming his original Smeagol self or slavery with the ring of darkness. He chose the latter and he spent his eternity in the fires of Mount Doom.

 

Think about it…Your choices and decisions matter. God never gives up on you. Let your inner goodness shrine through!

 

p.s. ITO AY GALING SA AKING FRIENDSTER BLOG NOON…