Carino, Al
181 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Articles

Why the Death Penalty Law should be Repealed

The Easter Message to the nation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo commuting the death sentence of convicts to life imprisonment without parole reopened the debate on whether to retain the death penalty law or not. In view of this, we are presenting below some arguments from various sources to show why it should be abolished.

Date posted: 2006-05-24

Healing power of forgiveness

What shall we do? Adopt the Christ mentality. What is it? Jesus' earlier answer to Peter's question: "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven." In other words, we should forgive as often as the one who offended us repents and asks for our forgiveness.

Date posted: 2005-09-09

The Cross Is Good News

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross to remind us that we are not only to face the scandal of the Cross but also to accept and embrace it.

Date posted: 2004-02-13

Are You Like Christ?

As believers in Jesus, are we ready to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him? We should. For doing so is our way of showing that we want to identify ourselves with Christ whose own life was characterized by the cross.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Faith, forgiveness and love

This story of the sinful woman is repeated over the centuries in the lives of people who have lived their Christian vocation. The more they listen (not just hear) to the Word of God and live what it teaches, the more they realize how short they have fallen to live up to his teachings and worse, even against them. Thus they are the first to acknowledge that they are sinners. But because they have faith in God, they run to him to seek forgiveness.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Revisiting Our Personal Values

What have we done when we are confronted by the concrete suffering of other people? Have we remained unmoved or have we involved ourselves in their suffering by lending a compassionate ear or extending a helping hand?

Date posted: 2004-02-12

We Are A Hopeful People

We can make ourselves and our community better by living the Risen Christ's value of truth which includes honesty in all our dealings with others; of justice which includes giving others their due and working hard for the upliftment of the poor among us; of peace which includes resolving conflicts through non-violent means; and love which includes respect and understanding for all and sharing with those who have none.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Baptism, Our "Yes" to God And Neighbor

To live as a baptized Christian is no joke. Being baptized not only means that we begin to share in the divine life of Jesus but it also means that we share in His mission.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

God Loves A Generous Giver

We have modern versions of the Scribes and Pharisees. Today, when some people give to charity, they call for a press conference so that the whole world would know of their generosity. Not so with the followers of Jesus. We are to give in secret and for no other reason but to be of help to a brother or sister, in need.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

The Primacy of Love

If we ask ourselves "How are we to live in the footsteps of Jesus?," the answer is simple: "Live the two greatest commandments." Everything else is commentary.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

First The Cross, Then The Glory

But He invites us to take up our own crosses - everything that goes with our following of Jesus which in itself is not easy as it requires a lot not only of discipline but also and specially of faith on our part.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Power Over Sickness And Death

The themes of salvation and faith are intertwined in the two inter-related miracles. Jairus believed that at Jesus' touch his daughter would be "made well" and the woman was convinced that touching the garments of Jesus would "make her well."

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Does God Care?

Whether it be our day-to-day personal life or our work for God (these two should not really be separated as our whole life should be at God's service), Jesus wants that He be the center of our lives. This is what faith in Him is all about.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Plant The Seed Then Be Patient

A big task indeed lies ahead of us. But work we must. At home, in school, at our workplace, in our community. And as we work, let us be patient. In His own time, God will bring our work, His work, to fruition.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Taking Responsibility for Our Acts

Blaming others does not take away the guilt from us! We may fool people but we cannot fool God.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

What Authority Is for The Christian

We profess that we are Christians. By definition, a Christian is one who accepts Jesus as Savior and obeys His teachings and examples. Are we and do we?

Date posted: 2004-02-12

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is about the birth of the long promised and awaited Savior of humankind.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

The Father's All-Embracing Love

If we live up to this commandment of love, then we, too, may be able to do a di Vicenzo and more. And the world will be better off for them.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Going Back to The Roots

Going back to the roots of God's law gives life to our love relationship with God and neighbor which in turn makes us enjoy the freedom of God's children.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Mary, God's And Our Mother

Cardinal Sin said that our salvation consisted of two kinds of emptiness - the empty womb and the empty tomb. With the empty womb came the long awaited Promised One and with the empty tomb came the resurrection of Christ - the culmination of His redemptive work.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

The Gift That Is Christmas

Today, as we thank God for the wonderful gift that is Christmas, let us pray for the grace to be able to live its message.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Recipe for Sainthood

To be saints -- that is our calling as redeemed children of God -- we must do ordinary things in an extraordinary way, that is, with one motive -- love for God. Why not try this simple yet proven recipe for sainthood?

Date posted: 2004-02-12

'Rend Your Hearts, Not Your Garments!'

With the imposition of ashes on our foreheads today, Ash Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Joseph - Spirit-led

Just like most of us, Joseph lived a hidden life, that is, he only played background, though very important, roles.

Date posted: 2004-02-12

Holy Family: Model Family

Amidst the confusions and dislocations brought about by the modern world, there is much that parents can learn from the Holy Family if they but allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. Then their children may grow up to be the persons they can be.

Date posted: 2003-12-28

A Manger for A Throne

A brief article which I came across some time ago helped me better understand why Jesus was born in a manger, why He chose a manger for a throne.

Date posted: 2003-12-25

God "Needs" Us To Keep His Promises

In the fulfillment of God's promise in Elizabeth and Mary, we can learn one very important lesson: Salvation does not come from human efforts and merits; it comes exclusively from God's grace.

Date posted: 2003-12-21

Conversion - A Change of Heart

As we prepare for the Lord's coming this Advent, there are many things we can learn from John: on the personal level for greater kindness and honesty, more consideration for others, being content with what we have; and on the social level for greater social awareness leading to action towards social justice and structural reforms.

Date posted: 2003-12-14

Taking A Good Look at Our Inner Selves

John invites us to repentance so that our rough edges -- our weaknesses and sinful inclinations -- will be made smooth. If we repent and change for the better, then God's grace will be able to work wonders in us.

Date posted: 2003-12-07

Advent: Expecting ... Preparing

How are we to prepare for the coming of the Lord? Though the external trimmings add color to the occasion, what really counts is the preparation that takes place in our hearts.

Date posted: 2003-11-30

Christ - A King as no other

The Feast of Christ the King allows us to reflect on two basic questions which have grave implications in our lives: Is Christ really king? If so, what kind of King is He?

Date posted: 2003-11-20

The "end-time" - A vision of hope

As the early Church was encouraged and given hope by Mark's account of the end-time, so must we. And because we do not know the "day or the hour", we must remain vigilant and persevere in our belief to the end.

Date posted: 2003-11-12

Where is God?

Where is God? Is He in the heavens above or in the depths below? In theworld to come or already in our midst? Where is He in the most personal and intimate way?

Date posted: 2003-11-07

After death, what?

To be saints we must be at the service of those in need propelled by an ever purer intention. Then after death, what? We will enjoy our "treasures in heaven," the fruits of our doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

Date posted: 2003-10-30

From darkness to light

To follow Jesus means to reflect in our own lives His passion and death. Since the roots of our blindness are found in our pride and egoism or selfishness, the only adequate way to expose these roots to the light of the truth is through the suffering and humiliation we go through.

Date posted: 2003-10-22

Formula for greatness

Once, a journalist saw Mother Teresa of Calcutta who was then engaged in picking up the dying from the streets and caring for them. He told her, "Not even for a million dollars would I do a job like that." "Neither would I," answered Mother Teresa.

Date posted: 2003-10-15

Wealth And Its Pursuit

The pursuit of wealth makes people hard and selfish. Because their only concern is themselves, they become unmindful of those with less in life. In fact, they look down on them. Wealth also makes people spiritually blind, depending for their needs entirely on themselves,

Date posted: 2003-10-08

'Till death do us part'

Some time ago, I came across an Indian parable titled The Creation of Woman which goes as follows (abridged): "In the beginning, when God came to the creation of woman, he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man. In his dilemma, he did as follows......"

Date posted: 2003-10-01

To each his own

The Spirit of God blows where it chooses. No individual or religious leader, civic or religious organization, has a monopoly of good. And the sooner we realize this and get out of our exclusivist shells, the sooner we can all work together to make this world a better place to live in.

Date posted: 2003-09-25

Vulnerability - the way of and to Jesus

Jesus does not ask His disciples to become like little children as He did on another occasion; He asks them to welcome them. Why? Where the disciples having a problem about welcoming littleness?

Date posted: 2003-09-15

God "needs" us for his Reign to break in

When the allied forces led by the United States pushed back the Iraqi army to its borders in the 100-hour 1990 Gulf War, the whole world cheered. But not Pope John Paul II. Why? Because for him, war does not make peace, it is "a defeat for the whole of humanity."

Date posted: 2003-09-03

Focussing on the essentials

Closer to home, we find ourselves doing what will impress others and thus make them think well of us rather than do what God wants and thus make Him be pleased with us.

Date posted: 2003-08-28

All or nothing

Let us pray that peoples and their governments will always be on the side of life (pro life) rather than on the side of death (pro choice) vis-a-vis the moral issues related to the "right to choose", because like the twelve apostles, we have made Peter's words also our own, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Date posted: 2003-08-19

Food and drink unto eternal life

Sometime ago, I came across this definition of faith: "Faith is not believing that God can but that God will."

Date posted: 2003-08-13

Eucharist -- Food for life's journey

The Eucharist and our life. The Eucharist is never separated from real life. In our day-to-day struggles, how many times have we said with Elijah, "Lord, I have had enough!"

Date posted: 2003-08-05

That we may have and give life

It is people who share what they have and of themselves who are happy. Even in this life, those who do so are blest with gratitude, love and true friends. On the other hand, those who seek only their own satisfaction, those who believe that money can buy everything including happiness, are not only unhappy but are also often lonely.

Date posted: 2003-07-29

The Boy Who Gave Away His Lunch

Indeed, no one is really so poor as to have nothing to give. And God can do wonders with the little we give spontaneously to others out of our concern and love for them. And if all of us do so in our own little ways, then we are really multiplying the bread of kindness in this uncaring world. Then no one will go to bed at night hungry.

Date posted: 2003-07-22

Need for rest and reflection

We all need to get away, to be by ourselves, to have our time of quiet. For in life, the danger from constant action is very real -- it prevents reflection and often pushes us towards wrong priorities.

Date posted: 2003-07-15

Call, response, mission

Obviously, to be Christ's apostle, to be His ambassador, much is required of us. But we are not to worry. For God who is never outdone in generosity will provide whatever we need so that we can live up to our noble calling.

Date posted: 2003-07-08

Rejected by his own

Pride was what led to the rejection of Jesus by the people of Nazareth. So that this will not befall us, let us learn not only to see but also to accept the good qualities of others instead of considering them as threats to our self-esteem.

Date posted: 2003-07-01

Different styles, same goal

It is ironic that while other saints have their own individual feast days, Sts. Peter and Paul - the two greatest apostles of the Church - have theirs on the same day. However, as we get to know the different backgrounds and personalities of these two men, we will realize that celebrating their feasts together makes sense.

Date posted: 2003-06-22

Eucharist -- a celebration of sinners

Christ wants us to find nourishment and strength in His Body and Blood, trusting that after we have partaken of Himself, we may become a little stronger than the weakling we thought we would always be.

Date posted: 2003-06-17

The perfect community

When we go out to others, it means that we are ready to give of ourselves to them rather than to grab what we can from them. In other words, our selfishness, greed and distrust must give way to love -- the love that the Three Persons in the Trinity have for each other; the love that Jesus has for us; the love that the Spirit wants to well in us.

Date posted: 2003-06-09

Witnessing in behalf of Jesus

Because of our failure as witnesses, the world may be dying from not having life in Jesus' name. To reverse this frightening development in our day, the Advocate challenges us to stand up and be counted -- as witnesses. This is the challenge posed by Pentecost on each one of us.

Date posted: 2003-06-07

Feast of Christian responsibility

Since His Spirit is now with us and in the world, we live not only with hope but also with strength. Thus we must stand confident that with Him we can live according to the teachings and deeds of Jesus and build His Kingdom on earth.

Date posted: 2003-05-25

Loving 'all the way'

Imitating the kind of love Jesus has for us will make us better persons. It will enable us to love even those whom we consider unlovable, e.g., those who look down on us or who destroy our reputation, etc. And who knows, our love and forgiveness for them may also lead them to the source of our own love, Jesus, and make them His friends, too.

Date posted: 2003-05-19

As branches, we must bear fruits

There is one test for the genuineness of our life of love: Does our life bear fruits of faith and love in others? Does it inspire others to seek Jesus because of the fruits we bear?

Date posted: 2003-05-12

Quiet, good shepherds overseas

Let us pray for each other so that we, in our own little ways, may be good shepherds to all with whom we come in contact.

Date posted: 2003-05-05

Witnessing to our Easter faith

Our task to proclaim the Risen Lord is all the more urgent because more and more people are putting their faith in everything else except God, i.e., in science and technology.

Date posted: 2003-05-01

Let Thomas be Thomas

Thomas was independent minded. He was not the type who just went along with the tide.

Date posted: 2003-04-21

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

If Jesus lived today, the international media, complete with pictures and video footages, would have treated the resurrection as Breaking News and and perhaps would have written it up with a screaming headline as follows: "Woman, two others find empty tomb!"

Date posted: 2003-04-14

The cock-crows in our lives

We have to accept that following Jesus means dying to our selves and living in Jesus. We have to learn that our betrayals and falls when fully acknowledged and repented are occasions of cleansing and renewal which will usher us into a new life, a life with Jesus.

Date posted: 2003-04-08

Free but not cheap

Without the Cross it is impossible to imagine what good can come out of pain. But with the Cross everything falls into place. In short, pain can only have meaning when it is united with the passion and death of Jesus which led to His resurrection.

Date posted: 2003-03-31

Naming the devils within us

Lent is a time for prayer. One very helpful way to do this is to read the Word of God, specially the gospels and spend time in silent reflection thus allowing Him to address us directly, to talk to us about His concerns. Then we will realize that His concerns are really those that are best for us -- scatter the darkness from our lives by helping us name our "devils" and allow ourselves to be reborn -- as Nicodemus did.

Date posted: 2003-03-23

Bartering with God

Definitely, we have to move from the observance of the "Thou shalt nots" of the 10 Commandments to the Commandment of Love. We are to show our love for the Father by our care for and service to others in need and not for personal gain. This is what to follow Jesus means. And this is what we should work on not only during this season of Lent but for the rest of our life.

Date posted: 2003-03-17

No Cross, No Crown

In short, though Jesus promised us eternal life, He never promised that life would be a rose garden. What He did promise us was the cross -- twenty four hours a day, seven days a week -- and that suffering was necessary before eternal glory can be ours.

Date posted: 2003-03-10

Overcoming the power of evil

At Lent we are given the opportunity and grace for a "forty days' retreat"; -- just like the 40 days of prayer and fasting of our Lord in the desert -- and come out of it ready to redirect our lives to the commitments we made at our baptism.

Date posted: 2003-03-03

Jesus, the Bridegroom in our midst

Christianity is thus not a new piece added to the old wineskin of Judaism. Rather, Christianity is a new wine in a new wineskin and its new and vivifying force - the love of the Groom - transforms the abiding teachings of Judaism.

Date posted: 2003-02-24

Sharing in God's work of forgiveness

No question about it, God has an impeccable track record of forgiving sins. And Jesus's concern is to involve us in this work. The Scribes declined. Hopefully, we will not.

Date posted: 2003-02-17

Jesus, like us in all things but sin

There is hope for the "modern lepers" among us -- prisoners, prostitutes, those with AIDS and infectious diseases, the lonely, the rejected, those who suffer injustice, the marginalized poor, in short, those of us ignored by society. We can live in hope because Jesus our Savior is not a stranger to suffering.

Date posted: 2003-02-10

What kind of a person is Jesus?

How about making use of Jesus' secret weapon -- prayer -- and allow it to transform us into what God wants us to be?

Date posted: 2003-02-03

Mary, one with her Son to the end

There will certainly be many obstacles and pains along the way. But Mary will always be at our side just as she was at Jesus'. And if we remain faithful to the end, then like her, we, too, will share the joys of Easter, and after this life, eternal happiness.

Date posted: 2003-01-27

Conversion - a change of heart

Suppose someone asks you the question, "Are you like Christ?," what will your reaction or answer be? You may be annoyed at being subjected to a question as personal as that. So you may answer back, "That is none of your business!" Or you may turn the question around and say, "Is anybody?" Finally, you may frankly but humbly answer, "I am afraid I am not but I would like to be."


Date posted: 2003-01-20

Are you what you can be?

God revealed His grand plan of salvation for each one us in and through His Son Jesus. Having accepted Jesus, have we become the person we can be by living up to His teachings and examples? Have we also become instrumental in bringing another person to meet and accept Jesus in faith?

Date posted: 2003-01-13

Relating personally with God as Father

Let it be our prayer that Jesus' placing of His Father at the center of His life may also be realized in us so that all that we think, say and do will be from and for God our Father.

Date posted: 2003-01-07

NOW is the only time we have

Tomorrow is still to come and is beyond our control while yesterday is gone forever. Now is the only time we have and under our control. Thus now is our time to accept Jesus as our Light and radiate Him to others.

Date posted: 2002-12-26

Raising a family in today's world

Social scientists tell us that the rise of juvenile delinquency is directly proportional to parental delinquency. Because parents are God's cooperators and representatives, failing in their parenting role is failing in their first and foremost obligation to God. Jesus was the kind of human person that He was largely because of the kind of family He grew up in. Thus amidst the many internal and external influences that bears upon the family today, there is still the Holy Family that we can look up to and with which to model our own families.

Date posted: 2002-12-23

The 'yes' that changed history

What has been our response to God's choice of us? Is it like Mary's - unhesitating and full? Then, like in Mary, God's Son will be born in us. Then, like Mary, we, can change the course of history -- of our lives as well as of those we touch - our families, friends, neighbors, etc., - and in the process, the whole of society itself.

Date posted: 2002-12-16

Putting people in boxes

We may be rich or poor, powerful or insignificant, well educated or unlettered, healthy or sickly, etc. Regardless, as Christians, we can "box" ourselves in the same way as John did: "to testify to the light" -- not only in words but also in deeds. And this we can be and do specially if we carry out Jesus' commandment of love in all that we do.

Date posted: 2002-12-09

When there are only winners

Does not our generosity in recognizing the goodness in others and the good they do help call out the best in them? Thus in mutually recognizing and appreciating these in each other, there are only winners.

Date posted: 2002-12-02

Productive watchfulness

With the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King last Sunday, we ended the liturgical year. Now, with the start of the Season of Advent -- the time of waiting for the Lord's coming - we begin a new liturgical year. Thus the whole liturgical year begins with the waiting for the coming of Jesus and ends with His proclamation as King of heaven and earth.

Date posted: 2002-11-25

Salvation through simple acts

We are thus judged not for the positions we hold in the community, our social status, academic records, wealth, heroic deeds, etc. Neither will we be judged by the number of prayers we say daily unless they lead us to greater love of God which in turn leads us to the service of the poor -- "the least brothers of mine." Rather, we will be judged for very simple acts.....

Date posted: 2002-11-17

Misuse God's gifts at your own risk!

If there is one lesson that the Parable of the Talents teaches us, it is this: We have to use our talents to make the world a better place to live in. How? By carrying out in our lives and proclaiming with our lips the values of God's Kingdom.

Date posted: 2002-11-11

The need for vigilance

Being vigilant means attending to the challenges of daily living -- its challenges, joys, heartaches, etc., -- with faith and hope. And to live in faith and hope, is to have that extra oil with us. It means that we are to persevere in living according to the teachings and examples of Jesus -- no matter what. Then when Jesus suddenly comes as Judge, we will be ready to face Him and thus enter into His feast, His Kingdom.

Date posted: 2002-11-04

Leaders As Servants

If we are not careful, our leadership can easily be turned from humble and selfless service to a tyrannical one. This happens when authority is turned into authoritarianism. We begin to view authority as something for our personal interest and glory. Then we begin to lord it over others. In short, we become little tyrants. This is the complete opposite of leadership in a Christian community where only service of others counts.

Date posted: 2002-10-28

Loving in the concrete

Concretely speaking, are not the best moments of our lives those spent in loving and caring for others? This happens when a mother spends sleepless nights to care for a sick child. This happens when from the little we have, we share food or money or both with someone really in need. This happens when we set aside our pride and ask for forgiveness or extend forgiveness, thus bringing back peace in our relationships. It is in these moments when we forget ourselves.

Date posted: 2002-10-21

Separation of Church and State

Now, since politics and economics are of primary importance to God, they should also be of primary importance to the people. But since the concerns of the people are also the concerns of the Church -- specially the concerns of the poorest among them for whom the Church has a preferential love -- then she must intervene in politics and economics as they directly affect the people.

Date posted: 2002-10-13

An invitation never to be refused

Weddings are happy occasions. More so in barrios where all the people join the feast regardless of age, gender, social status and religion. The feast is a celebration not only of the families of the bride and groom but of the entire barrio. It becomes a time for renewing friendships, showing generosity and thanksgiving for blessings received.

Date posted: 2002-10-07

The Risk of Loving

As Christians we cannot stand before God and say, "What's the matter? I have not done anything to You." Christianity is not a question of what we have not done but how much we have done and are doing in sharing the gifts we have received -- our talents, time and treasures -- with others, specially the less fortunate. In short, we should always be ready to take the risk of loving others even if in doing so we may be ridiculed for going against the tide.

Date posted: 2002-09-30

Deeds, Not Just Words

We may have said yes to God's call to conversion, but did not have the courage to change our sinful ways. Or we may have said no to God's invitation but later have a change of mind, accepted it and returned to Him. If we did, it is not because of ourselves but because of our cooperation with God's grace. For this, we can only thank God for His love and mercy for us.

Date posted: 2002-09-24

Good news for latecomers

The parable presents a consoling picture of divine goodness, generosity and love. Equality, as we understand it, may convey justice. But it is goodness, generosity and love as personified by Jesus Himself that enable us to go beyond justice and share with those who are marginal, unfortunate and abandoned members of society. And lest we forget, even these virtues are gifts from God. In fact, there is nothing that we are and have that has not come from God.

Date posted: 2002-09-16

Healing Power Of Forgiveness

Just imagine the peace of mind that we will all have if we live up to this Christ's mentality! We not only reconcile ourselves to God but also to our self, our neighbor and the larger community to which we belong. Then we can channel our efforts on more important matters. Then we can grow and be the person that Jesus wants us to be.

Date posted: 2002-09-10

Home: Nursery of Vocations

As true of other virtues, love is not learned; rather, it is caught. It is therefore imperative that every home be a nursery of love--between spouses, between parents and children, and among the children themselves.

Date posted: 2002-09-02

The cross - our task and glory

If our faith has brought us to the living God, if it has brought us to the person of Jesus, if it has made us see Jesus in our neighbor, if it has brought light to our personal life, then it is madness to give up what is demanded by our faith. Rather, it urges us to keep on taking up our cross daily to the end, as Jeremiah did.

Date posted: 2002-08-26

Who do you say I am?

Today, Jesus still asks each one of us, “Who do you say I am?” Our answer will determine the kind of Christian life we will have. If like Peter we put our faith in Jesus, then we, too, will be able to overcome our trials and tribulations, no matter in what form they appear.

Date posted: 2002-08-19

A Mother's Supplication

Parents ask themselves, "Where have we gone wrong?" If only they realize that there are no delinquent children unless there are delinquent parents! Then they may really begin to look deep into themselves and discover why and how they have failed their children, and do something about it!

Date posted: 2002-08-12

Peter - So Human, So Imitable

Of all the apostles, Peter manifests the most number of human traits and therefore the most imitable. For one, he was honest with his feelings. Thus after witnessing the miraculous catch of fish at daytime, he fell on his knees and told Jesus, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." He also had a lot of self-confidence. Thus when Jesus told the Twelve that one of them would betray Him, he said right away that it would never be him.

Date posted: 2002-08-05

From Compassion to Action

Let us ask for the grace to have the same kind of compassion that Jesus had. A compassion that give encouragement and support to others in their difficult moments. A compassion that builds better interpersonal relationships. A compassion that leads to action. In short, a compassion that gives joy and life.

Date posted: 2002-07-29

Possessing What Really Matters

May we have the wisdom of Solomon to know and desire the only thing that really matters - Jesus' Reign in our hearts - and once in our possession, to live its values throughout our lives.

Date posted: 2002-07-22

The Problem of Evil

The difference between the good and the bad does not consist in the fact that the good have no weaknesses at all or do not commit sins. Rather, the good recognize their shortcomings and sins and they work hard to slowly overcome them. For His part, God continually sends them the grace to succeed in their efforts.

Date posted: 2002-07-15

The Power of Words

Definitely, words have power and they can affect our lives. A word of appreciation can make our day bright and beautiful. An insulting word can ruin our day and even cause us sleepless nights. In short, words can make us or even cripple us for life. If human words are such, all the more is God's word.

Date posted: 2002-07-08

When Weary and Burdened

In inviting us to come to Him and find our rest in Him, Jesus is telling us that we have to acknowledge our dependence on His Father. Thus we have to learn to "let go" of our burdens, worries and anxieties and entrust them to God. For if we "let go," we will experience what Jesus had said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden light" and "I will give you rest."

Date posted: 2002-07-01

What Really Matters in Life

Let us pray that we be given the grace to be always available to help a brother or sister in need. Finally, let us pray that when we help others our motivation always springs from our desire to follow what Jesus had already done—to give even His life out of love for us. For to be worthy of Jesus, we must place no one and nothing above Him.

Date posted: 2002-06-24

Do Not Be Afraid

Jesus challenges us to stand by our beliefs even when it is disadvantageous and risky to do so. For example, we all say that we want to live in a community where justice and peace reign supreme. Yet when we witness a crime, say, drug pushing, are we willing to testify so that justice will be served? More often than not, the answer is no. And this because appearing in court may take much of our time or we fear that we will be the object of harassments or threats from the suspect or his family. If we all behave this way then we can bid goodbye to peace and order in our community. Then we can never become the light of the world that we are called to be.

Date posted: 2002-06-18

Wanted: Modern day shepherds

Jesus called the apostles and sent them on mission not because of their worth but because of the people's needs. If this was true in Jesus' time, it is also true in ours. Today, the needs of people are just as immense if not more, what with the much more complicated social, economic and political order that is in place. We just have to open our eyes and see how we can answer the needs of those with whom we are in contact to see what this "development" has brought about. No matter who and what we are, as Christians, we are called to be apostles, shepherds, to this new "needy". All we need is faith in Jesus and His compassionate heart.

Date posted: 2002-06-10

Mercy, Not Sacrifice

When we gather together in the table fellowship of the Lord - the Eucharist - let us also gather to acknowledge each other as brothers and sisters of the same Lord. And as we celebrate God's loving kindness to us, let us also pledge to celebrate our loving kindness with one another. When we act thus in our liturgies, then Jesus will not say of us, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For mercy and sacrifice will then have interfaced with each other.

Date posted: 2002-06-03

Eucharist, Bread of eternal life

When a person or an organization comes into existence, we say that it is born. And just as a baby needs nourishment, so does an organization. This is also true of the Christian community. What nourishes it is the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Love and Unity.

Date posted: 2002-05-27

Love as foundation of community

The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that there are Three Persons in one God. Three Persons in one God? Impossible! Why? Because our experience tells us that every person is one and a separate being. If there are three Persons in the Trinity then there must be three Gods! So how can God be one and three at the same time?

Date posted: 2002-05-20

Paralyzed with fear no longer

Do we stand up for our Christian beliefs and values in the midst of an unbelieving world? Does our lifestyle serve as a counter-sign to the world's worship of wealth, power and fame? Do we live with each other in love so that there will be greater understanding, harmony, justice and peace in our troubled and divided homes and communities?

Date posted: 2002-05-13

Ascension: Mission-sending

Definitely our mission today is vastly different from that of the apostles. Regardless, the goal remains the same: To make Christ known to people so that by accepting and believing in Him as their Lord and Savior, they, too, will attain salvation. These people can be anyone: members of our own family, a neighbor, a stranger, someone who never heard of Jesus -- regardless of race, gender and belief.

Date posted: 2002-05-06

Jesus' Spirit at work in us

In truth, the fact that we feel discouraged about our sinfulness is itself a grace. Why? Because it makes us realize that the more we depend on God and the less on ourselves, the more malleable we become in the Spirit's hands.

Date posted: 2002-04-29

Living a truly Christian life

What living the Christian life is really all about is living with Jesus in faith and not just having a positive balance in the Divine Bookkeepers' books. It is to make the Truth and the Life -- the Father Himself -- really ours by following Jesus who is the Way.

Date posted: 2002-04-22

Shepherds to one another

As Christians, our life is not to be lived in the confines of our locked rooms but is to be engaged in the real world -- to be shepherds for others -- by our words and examples -- so that through us, others may get to know Christ and thus follow Him.

Date posted: 2002-04-15

We are a pilgrim people

Lured by the attractions and pleasures of things material, we may be tempted to make our stay on earth permanent. Thus instead of just buying food and drink from a roadside store or staying overnight in a lodging house only to move on the next day, we buy both the store and the house and live there. We then focus our attention on the acquisition of wealth, power and fame. When this happens, we have lost sight of the very reason why we are on earth -- pilgrims on the march.

Date posted: 2002-04-08

The Thomases among us

Faith, like love, is constantly exposed to the temptations of doubt, indifference and complacency. For only that faith which is thought about, probed, questioned and therefore allowed to grow and mature could make the early Christians withstand the onslaught of persecution and the deadly pangs of lions in the Roman arena.

Date posted: 2002-04-02

Living in hope despite...

The message of Easter is this: Yes, we have suffered and continue to suffer. Yes, we have sinned and a long list of future sins still awaits us. But despite all these, we continue to hope, remain a hope-ful people. And this because with Jesus' resurrection we have become heirs of the fruits of His resurrection.

Date posted: 2002-03-25

The Other Passion of Jesus

The cross of Jesus stands at the centre of the Christian story as the sign of the lengths love will go to in its passion for others. If we ever wonder if we are really loved, we should look at the figure of the cross. It is difficult to maintain that we are unloved when we know that someone thought we were worth dying for. The cross is lifted up as a sign of our worth: somebody thought we were worth all that pain and suffering.

Date posted: 2002-03-18

Is Death The End to Everything?

Nothing in life is more certain than death. Yet, many people ask, "After death, what?" Why the question in the first place? Perhaps because death is the end of our plans and aspirations in life. Perhaps because of the thought of permanent separation from our loved ones. Perhaps because of the uncertainty about what lies beyond. Or perhaps because we just can not accept the incontrovertible signs of our mortality, namely, sickness, pain and deterioration -- physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Twice cured, still an outcast!

There is no better time to re-examine our lives and discover our many kinds of spiritual blindness for which we have to ask for healing than during this season of Lent. Remember, the blind man in the gospel story has no name. He can be anyone of us. For this to happen, may we be delivered from the neighbor's indifference, the Pharisees' prejudices and prejudgments, and the parents's fears, so that our eyes of faith will be opened, too.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Finding her Mr. Right

During Lent, it will do us good to give time in reading the Scriptures and reflecting on them. Realizing how far we still are from the Lord, we may then be inspired to desire the gift of life which Jesus is only too willing to give.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Transformed by 'listening to Him'

The Transfiguration-event shows us the value of 'withdrawing' now and then from our daily routine and 'going up to the mountain' to 'listen to Him,' that is, to pray.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

"Where are you?"

During Lent, our primary task is to discover where we are vis-a-vis our relationship with God and neighbor and then do something about it so that we may be able to answer without fear God's saving "Where are you?" question.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Be salt and light to the world!

Just as the moon only reflects the light of the sun, the good works we do should not only reflect but also point to the Source of all goodness - God Himself. Then seeing our good works, others may glorify the heavenly Father, too.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

A world turned upside-down

Ultimately, the Beatitudes show us the way to sanctity -- by being convinced that God is with us, feeling joy and freedom in that conviction, and trying our best to live up to God's will in every moment. If God's Kingdom has not yet become a reality here and now, is it not because we still hesitate to live by the Beatitudes?

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Being Light to Others

If Jesus came to us as the 'great light,' we are to be 'small lights' to others for the same task -- to disperse the darkness that continues to envelope the world. This is what our following of Jesus should be about.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Baptist's Witnessing to Jesus

We are all called to be other John the Baptists, that is, to point others to and witness to our faith in Jesus through our words and examples so that He will take center-stage in their lives too.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Role of the Baptized in Today's World

Thus these days, as Christians, that is, as members of the Church through baptism, we must involve ourselves in the struggle, for example, against oppressive regimes which trample on human rights, ecological imbalance which is the major cause of dehumanizing poverty, etc.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

A Star for Our Guide

We have our own star — our faith. It is our guide as we make our life–long journey to the Father. With it burning in our hearts, we live in hope. But when it is gone, we begin to question, to doubt. We thus ask, "Was this star -- this faith -- a mirage, a 'pie in the sky?'" This phase in our life may be call from God for deeper prayer and discernment. He may answer our prayers there and then or He may inspire us to ask the right persons.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Family in God's Plan

If only all families anchor their marriage in God as did the Holy Family, then many of the problems besetting families today may be prevented.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

St. Joseph in God's plan

Like Joseph, each one of us has a mission from God. As we continue our preparation for the birthday of Jesus during Advent, let us pray for light to discover God's mission for us. And upon its discovery, let us place our trust totally in God as we do our best to carry it out — as Mary and Joseph did.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

A blessing to others

As we continue our preparation for the birthday of our Savior during Advent, let us do more good to others so that we will acquire better credentials which we will then lovingly lay before the manger as our birthday gift to the Babe Jesus, the newly born Messiah.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Call for conversion

"Make straight his paths." Just like the flow of a river, we are often tempted to take the line of least resistance. Instead of living up to what is right — the straight path — we tend to sacrifice our convictions to please others, to be accepted by them, rather than to be pleasing in the Lord's sight.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Call to vigilance

Advent is a call to watchfulness and vigilance specially as regards the coming of Jesus into our hearts. Thus Jesus' admonition: "So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."


Date posted: 2001-12-31

The power of powerlessness

Power or authority becomes service. Our readiness to really serve others and in the process save ourselves is what makes us kings with Jesus... We can learn much about Jesus' kind of Kingship from the way some people behaved as Jesus was being crucified.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Beware of false prophets!

To be shielded from false prophets in our own day, it is imperative that we must know and hold on to what the Church presents for our belief and practice. Otherwise, we will become easy preys to false prophets.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Is there life after death?

If we want to have a glorious resurrection from the dead then we have to live according to the teachings and commands of Jesus, specially the commandment of love, namely, to be at the service of God and our fellow men, primarily those in need.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Today salvation has come to this house

In His dealing with sinners, He overlooks “the sins of men that they may repent.” The sequence is important; first, God overlooks sin; then, repentance follows.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

How are we to pray?

Though we are often like the Pharisee in our speech, good works and even in our prayer, it is not too late to change. With the tax collector as our model, we can begin by making his prayer our own: “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Then we will not only receive God's mercy; we will also end up justified before Him.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Persevering in prayer

Just as Jesus never hid the reality of the cross for Himself, neither did He hide it from us: 'Take up your cross and come, follow me.' Though we do not choose trials and sufferings nor Jesus desire them for us, our faith tells us that they are part of life — they are among the effects of our first parent's sin.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Saying 'Thank you!' always

Definitely, God wants us to thank Him always. Though the shortest, saying “Thank you, Lord!” is a wonderful kind of prayer. If we do so constantly, then Jesus will not say of us as He said of the nine, “Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Rather, He will say to us as He said to the Samaritan, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”


Date posted: 2001-12-31

God helps those who help themselves

A writer once said that amidst our various problems, we ask why God is not doing anything. In truth, he said, it is God who is asking us: “Why are YOU not doing anything at all?” In other words, God helps those who help themselves.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Sins of omission can be fatal

One way or another, we have to help those in need. Otherwise, we will be faulted with the sin of omission — as was the rich man — to our eternal damnation.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Thou shalt not be caught!

This makes us reflect on the accounting we have to give to God for our stewardship of His gifts. In this regard, would it not be wonderful if we make the eleventh commandment, “Thou shalt not be caught,” work for us? How? By never allowing ourselves to be caught doing a dishonest act and by putting God above everything else, including and specially above money.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Our image of God

When we forgive and are forgiven, a great healing takes place in us. We learn to be humble. We also develop a positive outlook not only about God but also about ourselves, others, and society. We then think and speak well of them and do them good. This transformation in ourselves is certainly cause for great rejoicing in heaven.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Commitment for Life

In our present use–and–dispose world, some people have asserted that life–long commitments are at its end. They cite as indicators the mounting cases of married couples, religious and priests turning their backs on their vows. Jesus completely disagrees.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Partying

Half of the world's population go to bed at night hungry. Yet if only rich countries share their surplus with poor countries and rich individuals with their poor neighbors, then poverty could be wiped out from the world! How right Gandhi was when he said, “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs but not enough for every man's greed.”


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Will only a few be saved?

Will only a few be saved? That is not the issue. For God loves all of us and wills us to be saved. The issue is to discipline ourselves so that we be able to respond faithfully and at every moment to God's call and thus, with His help, attain salvation.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Jesus as bearer of division

Being endowed with intellect and free will, each of us is capable of making choices. Jesus is now asking us to use these faculties to make our choice: For or against Him.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

An ever vigilant faith

It is not easy to stand up to the social pressure of doing what is “in.” It is not easy to be unaffected by the media barrage that promotes the Epicurean but unchristian message of “pleasure now” as the only thing that counts in life — the easy life, a life of giving in to the desires of our senses as epitomized by the ad, “Respect your thirst.” To be vigilant is to take our faith seriously and live it daily.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The man who gave everything to God

Our possessions are God's. Thus they are neither for our needs alone nor are they to be used with absolute freedom. Rather, their use has a social dimension: we are to share them with those in need. So in this regard, we are just God's stewards of His possessions.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Pray to God as to a Father

Perseverance in prayer. In prayers of petition, perseverance is most important. He tells us to continue knocking even when the door is bolted. Perhaps it is our heart's door that need to be opened since the problem may lie in us, i.e., our lack of faith. For with faith, we will discover that it is not really we but God who knocks at our door and He is just waiting to be let in so that He may fill us with Himself.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Making our work meaningful

Amidst our hectic preoccupations with making a living or succeeding in our chosen careers, let us not overlook one essential element: prayer, i.e., to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him — the source of the motivation that make our work not only meaningful but also pleasing before God and men.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

This person needs me now

A neighbor is not simply one who is dear to us like our parents, brothers or sisters, relatives and friends or one who lives next door. A neighbor is one in need — be this material, emotional or spiritual — regardless of age, sex, race, ideology or religion.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The missioning of the Seventy Two

And we can go beyond what the seventy two disciples were asked to do. How? By making every moment, every day of our lives, a practicum, that is, by living the 'Good News' of Jesus not only in words but and specially in deeds.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

No turning back

All of us who profess ourselves to be Christians have been called by Jesus to follow Him. Have we fully responded to this call? Or do we, like those called by Jesus, also have all kinds of excuses or conditions?

Date posted: 2001-12-31

John the Baptist's life-mission

Winding roads to be made straight. Are we swayed by the latest trends, not only in fashion but also in our moral behavior? Do we follow the line of least resistance instead of standing up to our principles?

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Give them some food yourselves

I have a priest-confrere who practically spent all his time attending not only to the spiritual but also the material needs of his people. He acted thus because he believed that when people spent most of their time making both ends meet, they have little time left for their spiritual needs.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Love as basis of justice and peace

We can learn from what another theologian has said: Justice is the minimum of love while love is the maximum of justice. Justice makes sure that what is due to another is given. But love goes beyond justice. In fact, it is the maximum of justice.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Prophets to the world

Now is the time of the Holy Spirit. He is at work in the world in and through us. Let us cooperate with Him by opening our minds and hearts to Him. Then we can speak out to others about the wonderful and mighty works God has done in and for us so that they, too, will accept Jesus as Lord of their hearts and thus be their salvation.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Church's time - our time

It is said that charity begins at home. In carrying out Jesus' mission, most of us do not have to go far. We can work right there where God has placed us — in the home and school, our workplaces, among our peers, in our community, our parish, etc. And we are not to fear. For Jesus is in us through His Spirit.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Renewal amidst change

The Christian community — family or parish — is a rich source of inspiration and strength. But it can also be a source of dissension and discouragement. This is specially true in our day and age when changes happen very fast.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Love and our political culture

Because our political culture is characterized by corruption, greed for money and power and the selling of our future for short–term gains — all by–products of self–interest or self-centeredness — it is clear that love has not yet permeated our political culture. The name of the game remains I, me, myself and mine/ours and not the greater good of the most number of people.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Shepherds in foreign lands

In recent years the government began to export millions of laborers and even domestic workers — to somewhat ease our massive unemployment problem. Not only that, as Catholics, Overseas Filipino Workers practice their faith among the people of their host countries. They go to Church on Sundays and they do good works like helping their fellow Filipinos in need. Seeing these, their hosts may not only be impressed but also influenced by the way they live out their faith.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Love heals and challenges

The task of caring for our brethren and the Church was not handed to Peter alone. Each one of us has a mission to fulfill among them and in the Church. And this we alone can do considering our unique capabilities and talents as well as our exposure to circumstances and experiences exclusively our own.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

A night of gift-giving

The evening of Jesus' first apparition to His disciples was characterized by gift–giving — on Jesus' part. The gifts were many and diverse. First, Jesus gave the disciples the life of the Spirit.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Living in hope despite...

For many of us, Easter answers the most fundamental questions asked since time immemorial: What is the meaning of life? Is life just a vain struggle for some joy and satisfaction that is terminated by death or are we born only to suffer? After suffering, what? After death, what? What is evil and sin? Can we triumph over them?


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Ministering with love till the end

We are asked to reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus — the three inseparable parts of the Paschal Mystery. As we do so, let us focus on God's love and mercy — which Jesus liberally dispensed even amidst His sufferings and which He continues to do in our time and for all time.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Case dismissed!

One author has written that we Christians are optimists by definition. As far as the past is concerned, we believe in a merciful God who forgives the penitent sinner. And as far as the future is concerned, we know that we will overcome misery and evil and build a better future because we have faith in Someone Who is stronger than we are, in Someone Who loves us always and is always ready to forgive us.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Two sons and a Homecoming

But like the younger son, let us pray for the grace “to come to our senses” and return to the Father who awaits us, ready with His forgiveness.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

What repentance is about

Ours is a religion which, while it affirms that we are all sinners, nonetheless affirms God's readiness to forgive us if we but repent. And this because He is a God of mercy and love.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Crisis of faith

Praying is like going up a mountain to be alone with God. As being on top of a mountain gives us a panoramic view of everything below and around it, so does prayer open wide vistas for us — God's — and lets us see ourselves and our concerns in that context. Then we see many other possibilities.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Temptation is about choices

But there are also people — you and I — who are serious in their following of Jesus. We want to discover what Jesus really wants of us and the choices we have to make to accomplish this. This makes Satan alert and active again. He wants to be there when we make our choices so that he can draw the most effective way from his bag of tricks to make us choose self over against God.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The good 'hypocrite'

Sincerity and truthfulness are the opposite of hypocrisy. In these virtues, the emphasis is on what lies “inside” of us.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Loving without measure

Sinful humanity has realized that love creates its own reality, that it becomes its own force for goodness, that a sincerely offered love can touch the innermost depths of a loveless person and set to flame once again the dying embers of love. This enables him, though at first with great hesitation, to return love for love. In effect, we really do not know what lies in a person's heart and the quantity and quality of love it can unleash. Thus Jesus' admonition not to judge others.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Beatitudes - Hope and Reality

.st to avoid pain — physical, emotional, psychological. When we do something that entails pain as sometime happens, we do so with the hope that it can make us happy. Ultimately, the attainment of happiness is our goal in whatever we do. In the gospel reading (Lk. 6:17,20-26), Jesus gives us His programme for happiness for all peoples — the Beatitudes.


Date posted: 2001-12-31

Peter's call to discipleship

It was this Peter whom Jesus made the fisher of men. And Jesus did so, not because of Peter's personal worth and his leadership qualities, though these were taken into consideration, but because of his openness to change for the better....

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Let Jesus be Jesus!

The best prophets among us are those who show with their lives — in thought, words and deeds — that Jesus' word is still alive and active today. They are those who let Jesus be Jesus, those who listen to His words and act accordingly.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Jesus' call to liberation

Freedom to the oppressed. We see all kinds of oppression around us. Workers underpaid but cannot stand up for their rights for fear of losing their jobs. Squatters not getting out of the slums because their income are even hardly enough to feed their families. People who are so hard up and thus forced to borrow from usurers. People who are discouraged and depressed, who believe that no one cares for them.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Jesus as Groom revealed at Cana

In the Old Testament, wine in abundance signified the richness and overflowing plenty that God promised His people when the day of messianic deliverance came. This was Jesus' intention in performing His first "sign"--that the time when Jesus would claim the people as His bride had come and He would be extremely generous in the gifts He would give. Then they would no longer be called "Forsaken" or "Desolate" but "Spouse."


Date posted: 2001-12-31

The Infant-King's First Missionaries

As Christians, we are to reflect Jesus, the Light of the Nations. Do we proclaim our faith in Him through our words and deeds? Today the Church is in great need for missionaries.

Date posted: 2001-12-31

Holy Family: Model family

Raising a family these days is no joke. There are just too many internal and external influences on the child which are beyond the control of parents.


Date posted: 2001-12-31