Second Sunday of Lent (A) March 11, 2017Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Communications Ministry, Diocese of San Pablo, Jesus, Lent, Pastoral, SVD, SVD Philippine Southern Province.
Tags: Homilies, Ikalawang Linggo ng Kwaresma, Second Sunday of Lent
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Second Sunday of Lent (A)
Psalm: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
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?
- 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.
- 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) March 4, 2017Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Communications Ministry, Diocese of San Pablo, Jesus, Lent, SVD, SVD Philippine Southern Province.
Tags: First Sunday of Lent, Unang Linggo ng Kwaresma
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First Sunday of Lent (A)
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Psalm: Be merciful, o Lord, for we have sinned.
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) February 28, 2017Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Archdiocese of Cebu, Diocese of Cubao, Lent, SVD, SVD Philippine Central Province.
Tags: Christ the King House of Spirituality, Divine Word College of Calapan, Divine Word College of Legaspi City, Divine Word College of San Jose, St. Jude Catholic School of Manila
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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.
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 March 26, 2015Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Archdiocese of Cebu, Communications Ministry, Jesus, Lent.
Tags: Archbishop Jose Palma, Cebu, Fr. Carmelo Diola, Fr. Ramon Echica, Fr. Rolyn Vics CM, Fr. Vicente C. Florido, Judge Simeon P. Dumdum, Maria Elena Limocon, Msgr. Renato C. Beltran, Sr. Esterlita L. Lauros DST
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Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Siete Palabras 2015
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Siete Palabras 2015
MY PRECIOUSSSSSSS!!! February 23, 2010Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Lent.
Tags: Frodo Baggins, Gollum, The Lord of the Rings
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…
ST. JOSEPH IS IN THE PICTURE!!! March 19, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Lent, OMG!, Saints.
Tags: Divine Word Seminary of Tagaytay, St. Joseph
Happy Feast Day to St. Joseph!!!
A friend of mine shared in her blog as her special gift/treat to her dear readers a photo she took at the SVD Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines, on March 19, 2006 (take note of the date!) when the priests, seminarians and lay mission partners had a Lenten procession in their grounds…Look at the picture carefully. You may have to zoom in the photo so you can see the unmistakable hovering presence of St. Joseph..
ASH WEDNESDAY TRIVIA February 23, 2009Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Bible Animation, Lent.
Tags: Ash Wednesday, Trivia
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I noticed even as a young child that some of the largest crowds in the year will show up to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, even if it is not a holy day of obligation. Many Filipinos could not afford to let go of Ash Wednesday without a trip to church to be marked with an ashen cross on their foreheads. Even people who seldom come to Church for the rest of the year make a concerted effort to come for ashes (which is good!).
And how would you know if the person seated next to you in the jeepney is not a Catholic? He or she makes a point of telling you that you have something on your forehead, assuming you would want to wash it off. Hehe. But many Catholics wear that smudge faithfully all day. Happy Ash Wednesday!!!
1. The origin of the custom of using ashes in religious ritual can be found in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah, for example, calls for repentance this way: “O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes” (Jer 6:26). The prophet Isaiah, on the other hand, critiques the use of sackcloth and ashes as inadequate to please God (Is 58:5). (Perhaps) the best known example of repentance in the Old Testament is that of the King of Nineveh: “He rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes” (Jon 3:6).
2.In the New Testament, Jesus refers to the use of sackcloth and ashes as signs of repentance: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes” (Mt 11:21, Lk 10:13).
3.Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960. Before that time, ashes had been used as a sign of admission to the Order of Penitents.
4.As early as the sixth century, the Spanish Mozarabic rite calls for signing the forehead with ashes when admitting a gravely ill person to the Order of Penitents.
5. At the beginning of the 11th century, Abbot Aelfric notes that it was customary for all the faithful to take part in a ceremony on the Wednesday before Lent that included the imposition of ashes. Near the end of that century, Pope Urban II called for the general use of ashes on that day. Only later did this day come to be called Ash Wednesday.
6. At first, clerics and men had ashes sprinkled on their heads, while women had the sign of the cross made with ashes on their foreheads. Eventually, of course, the ritual used with women came to be used for men as well.
7. In the 12th century the rule developed that the ashes were to be created by burning palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. Many parishes today invite parishioners to bring such palms to church before Lent begins and have a ritual burning of the palms after Mass.
8. Originally, the marking of ashes is related with baptism. Those who had committed serious sins confessed their sins to the bishop or his representative and were assigned a penance that was to be carried out over a period of time. Penance this time was called “second baptism.” With the gradual disappearance of the Order of Penitents, the use of ashes became detached from its original context. The focus on personal penance and the Sacrament of Penance continued in Lent, but the connection to Baptism was no longer obvious to most people. This is reflected in the formula that came to be associated with the distribution of ashes: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”
9. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called for the renewal of Lent, recovering its ancient baptismal character. Since Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, it naturally is also the beginning to recover a baptismal focus. One hint of this is the second formula that is offered for the imposition of ashes: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.” Though it doesn’t explicitly mention Baptism, it recalls our baptismal promises to reject sin and profess our faith. It is a clear call to conversion, to that movement away from sin and toward Christ that we have to embrace over and over again through our lives.
10. There is a certain irony in the gospel reading for today, which tells us to wash our faces so that we do not appear to be doing penance on the day that we go around with “dirt” on our foreheads. This is just another way Jesus is telling us not to perform religious acts for public recognition. We don’t wear the ashes to proclaim our holiness but to acknowledge that we are a community of sinners in need of repentance and renewal.
When we receive ashes on our foreheads, we remember who we are.
We remember that we are creatures of the earth (“Remember that you are dust”).
We remember that we are mortal beings (“and to dust you will return”).
We remember that we are baptized.
We remember that we are people on a journey of conversion (“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”).
We remember that we are members of the body of Christ (and that smudge on our foreheads will proclaim that identity to others, too).
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE LENTEN SEASON February 15, 2007Posted by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD in Bible Animation, Jesus, Lent.
Tags: Passion of the Christ
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33But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Brothers and sisters, in few days, we will be entering the season of Lent. We are once again invited to reflect on The Man who faced death that we may be given life.
Have a good day!