MIYERKULES sa ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Re-blogged from Bagong Umaga

Agosto 09, 2017 – MIYERKULES sa ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Sabi ni Santa Teresita del Niño Jesus: “Ang puso ng isang ina ang pinakamagandang obra maestra ng Diyos.” At makikita natin ang isang halimbawa nito sa ebanghelyo ngayon.

Naglakas-loob ang inang taga-Canaan na lumapit kay Jesus. Hindi nila siya kalahi at hindi siya sumasampalataya kay Yahweh. Nabalitaan niya na gumagawa ng milagro si Jesus, at alam niya na hindi siya maaring lumapit dito lalo na’t babae siya. Kahit alam niyang walang katiyakan kung siya’y pakikinggan o pagbibigyan sa kanyang kahilingan, lumapit siya nang buong pagpapakumbaba.

Hindi niya ininda ang paghamak sa kanyang pagkatao, basta maidulog lang niya ang anak niyang may sakit. Hindi niya kailangan ang buong tinapay, kahit na karampot na mumo lang, sapat na, gumaling lang ang kanyang anak.

Mga kapatid, anumang suliranin ang pinagdadaanan natin ngayon buong pakumbaba at tiwala tayong lumapit sa Panginoon, at iluhog sa Kanya ang ating mga pangangailangan tulad ng babaeng Cananea.

At sa araw na ito, alalahanin natin ang lahat ng mga ina. Pasalamatan natin ang ating mga ina, kahit hindi Mother’s Day, at idalangin natin na makamtan nila ang biyayang kailangan nila ngayon.

Panginoon, kalingain Mo po ang lahat ng mga ina na may mabigat na suliraning pinagdadaanan sa mga sandaling ito. Patatagin Mo po ang kanilang pananampalataya at pag-asa… Igawad mo po sa kanila ang taimtim na hangarin ng kanilang puso kung ito ang tunay na makabubuti sa kanila at sa kanilang pamilya. Amen.

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LUNES sa Ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Re-blogged from Bagong Umaga

Agosto 07, 2017 – LUNES sa Ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Isang walong-taong-gulang na bata ang namamalimos sa jeep isang araw. Niyaya ko siyang sumama sa akin para pakainin. Sumama naman siya at nagpunta kami sa supermarket para makapili siya kung ano ang gusto niya.

Nang tanungin ko kung ano ang napili niya, hindi siya humingi ng hotdog o spaghetti na karaniwang gusto ng mga batang kaedad niya. Itinuro niya ang tinapay na may keso, isang dosena ang laman ng isang balot, at isang boteng tubig.

Niyakag ko siyang umupo para kumain pero humingi siya ng pahintulot na iuuwi na lang niya.

“Bakit? Hindi ka ba nagugutom?” tanong ko.

Nahihiya siyang tumugon: “Ma’am gutom na rin po ako. Pero, pwede po bang iuwi ko na lang ito para pati si Nanay at si Tatay makakain din?”

Napakaraming katulad nila sa ating mga lansangan na madalas, isang beses lang kumakain sa isang araw. Kahit saan ka lumingon, makikita mo sila, kapatid.

Pwede ka bang magpakain kahit ng isa sa kanila sa araw na ito? Sundan natin ang pagmamalasakit ng Panginoon sa mga taong nagugutom, gaya ng ginawa niya sa ebanghelyo ngayon. Siguro kapos ka din at sinisikap lang na makatawid sa araw na ito. Pero laging merong mas higit na nangangailan sa atin. Magtiwala tayo sa patnubay at kalinga ng Diyos na hindi kailanman malalampasan sa pagkabukas-palad.

Panginoon, buksan mo po ang aming puso at mga kamay upang tulad mo, mapakain din namin ang mga nagugutom sa pagkain, pagkalinga at pag-aaruga. Amen.

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Kapistahan ng Pagbabagong-Anyo ng Panginoon

Re-blogged from Bagong Umaga

Agosto 06, 2017 – Kapistahan ng Pagbabagong Anyo ng Panginoon

Kapatid, may dinadala ka bang mabigat na problema? Karamdaman? Sama ng loob? Pagdurusa? Malapit ka na bang sumuko o umayaw sa buhay?

Huwag kang bibitaw! Pakinggan mong muli ang ebanghelyo natin sa araw na ito – ang Kapistahan ng Pagbabagong-Anyo ng Panginoon. Bago pa mangyari… alam na ng Panginoon na hirap at sakit ang daranasin niya sa Jerusalem. Kaya’t isinama niya si Pedro, Jaime at Juan sa bundok. Nakita nila ang kanyang kaluwalhatian – at narinig nila ang tinig ng Ama.

Ano ang ibig ipahiwatig ni Jesus sa kanila at sa atin din na mga disipulo niya sa panahon ngayon? Wala sa paghihirap at kamatayan ang huling halakhak. Maaring ito lang ang nakikita natin ngayon dahil sa hirap na ating binabata. Pero huwag nating kalimutan ang luwalhati na nakalaan para sa atin kasama ng Panginoon.

At upang malampasan natin nang matiwasay ang lahat ng hilahil sa lupa, ituon natin ang ating mga mata kay Jesus at sundin natin ang sinabi ng Ama: “Ito ang aking Anak. Ang minamahal. Pakinggan ninyo siya.”

Panginoon, huwag mo pong itulot na mawala ka sa aming pananaw sa araw-araw. Amen.

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MARTES sa Ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Re-blogged from Bagong Umaga

Agosto 08, 2017 – MARTES sa Ika-18 Linggo ng Taon

Naaalala mo pa ba nang una kang magbisikleta? O magmaneho ng jeep o kotse? Kinakabahan, natatakot, natataranta – yan ang nangingibabaw na pakiramdam. Kahit anong simula, maging ito’y unang araw sa high school, sa trabaho o sa buhay pamilya – nababalot ng misteryo at puno ng agam-agam at mga tanong.

Gaya ng mga disipulo sa ebanghelyo natin ngayon, “sinasalpok din ng mga alon ang bangka natin sapagkat pasalungat sa hangin.” Kapit lang, kapatid! Huwag mangamba. Darating si Kristo. Lakasan mo ang loob mo!

Maghintay ka sa kanya at huwag mag-atubili kapag tinawag ka niya na lumakad sa dagat. Kumapit ka dahil kapag hawak niya ang kamay mo, anumang unos, kaya mong harapin – titigil ang hangin, titila ang ulan – dahil kasama mo siya.

Panginoong Jesus, natatakot po ako sa maraming bagay. Bulungan mo ako tuwina: “Huwag kang mangamba. Ako ito; huwag kang matakot.” Nang sa gayon maharap ko ang anumang sorpresang inihanda mo para sa akin sa araw na ito. Amen

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Stand up for life!

No to death penalty

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Hacksaw Ridge: A Love Story

This review was written for CBCP CINEMA. Check out full ratings here.

“While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it. With a world so set on tearing itself apart, it doesn’t seem such a bad thing to want to put a little bit of it back together.”

imageThese words sum up the true story of Private Desmond T. Doss, a conscientious objector (or conscientious cooperator, as he puts it) during World War II, brilliantly portrayed by Andrew Garfield (of The Amazing Spiderman fame) in Hacksaw Ridge.  Like all young men of his time, Desmond enlists to serve his country despite the protests of his father Tom (Hugo Weaving), an alcoholic and wife-beater who is a World War I veteran himself. An earlier experience has turned Desmond into a pacifist and now, training as an army medic, he refuses to carry a gun, not even in rifle training.

This doesn’t sit well with Sgt. Howell (Vince Vaughn), his commanding officer, his company and the army leaders. Ridiculed, bullied and beaten up as a coward he holds on to his principles even when this leads to imprisonment and court martial. His faith in God as a Seventh Day Adventist and the unwavering support of his beautiful wife Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) empowers this simple, ordinary man to do extraordinary things during the Battle of Okinawa. He was the first soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor without using a weapon.

Hacksaw Ridge is Mel Gibson’s comeback vehicle after a 10-year-hiatus proving that he still has the chops. With effortless mastery Gibson balances the elements of the film from the opening scene to the closing credits. We are shown the sweet innocence of love between Desmond and Dorothy, his religious upbringing, and the circumstances of his choices. Dark violence builds up until the viewer is shocked with the horrors of war through excellent cinematography, well-choreographed battle scenes and a fittingly moving musical score. The inspiring true story of Desmond Doss comes to life through outstanding characterization of the lead actors (Garfield, Weaving and Vaughn) and the rest of the cast, each fitting their role like a glove. Garfield essays the unlikely hero with such honesty, conviction and passion you can’t help but root for him even if you disagree with his principles. Hacksaw Ridge is a wonderful addition to World War films, but it is like no other. Why? Because it shows that the valor of man lies not in aggression and dominance but in faith, love and self-sacrifice without being preachy.

The opening scene sets the tone of the film as we see the conflagration of battle and hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Have you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom… those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…”

We see Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist, reading the Bible in many occasions and we know he has been praying because he lived by the tenets of his faith. He stood up for God’s command not to kill by refusing to bear arms. Pressured to abandon his convictions, he tells Dorothy: “I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.” And in his darkest moment on the battlefield, he talks to God: “I don’t understand… I can’t hear you…” He then hears the wounded soldiers’ call for help and one by one he courageously rescues them to safety, putting his life on the line. By doing so, he not only saves 75 of his companions but inspires the rest of the company to subdue the enemy. Doss’ heroism echo Jesus’ words: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

As our country and the rest of world grow weary of reports from more than a hundred ongoing conflicts, Hacksaw Ridge  jolts us by showing the brutal, gruesome, horrific and relentless violence of war. This is what war veterans suffered and what those in uniform go through. And while some may be reduced by war to act like animals, it also calls for the highest virtues of human beings exemplified by Desmond Doss. By being true to himself and relying on God, he saved lives, including the enemies. Hacksaw Ridge challenges us: Are we ready to stand up for our faith? Are we willing to suffer for it? Can we serve our fellow human beings? Unconditionally? In short, are we ready to truly love?

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A Ride to Dreamland and the Sto. Niño

photo-2Her full, scarlet lips pouted as she checked a message on her android. Her perfectly arched eyebrows knit, and the hoops on her ears dangled as she shook her head, artfully crowned in a messy blond bun. A fuchsia shirt, denim leggings and 6-inch platform shoes complete the look. She looks up and catches me staring at her. I know it was rude and felt embarrassed, but she dimpled a shy smile and gave me a respectful nod. I smiled back and thought: “That’s one of the things you get away with if you wear the veil!”

You’d think that would deter me from observing further, but I couldn’t help myself. It was as if my eyes were on full alert that day taking notice of so many details. There were only three of us as we waited for more passengers. The other one is a young man seated behind the driver, with earphones on, feet tapping and head bobbing up and down to the beat of the music on his mobile phone. That’s one happy fella!

A bespectacled man in a long-sleeved, pin-striped shirt came up sweating profusely and started sending messages on his smartphone as soon as he sat down. He’d glance at his wristwatch every so often, then continue composing and sending messages. Here’s a man who knows how to make the most of his time, you can almost see the thoughts zipping through his forehead.

Beside him is a gray-haired woman in an “I LOVE LONDON” T-shirt in Union Jack colors. She too was busy on her small phone which may be her first. She would compose a message, shake her head and clear it up, then start over, her tongue unconsciously slipping out of her lips as she pressed on the keys. She’d mumble an audible “tsk, tsk…” at each wrong key. Was she sending a thank you message to a grandchild who sent her the shirt and the phone? Or to a co-senior to prove her prowess on this new technologies?

A young man in a denim polo, all buttoned up to the chin, sat in front of me. He opened a leather messenger bag and held a pink portable mini-fan before him. Then he turned his head ever so slowly to the right, then to the left, careful not to disturb his well-gelled hair.

A muscled man in sleeveless black shirt and matching beanie squeezed his way beside the young man. His large callused hands had nicks and scratches, his torn jeans and sneakers stained with paint. Could he be an artist? a carpenter? a construction worker? The state of his backpack favors the latter.

Jumping last onto the vehicle in a checkered green skirt and white blouse was a teenager. She unraveled her neon green earphones with impatience, navigated to her playlist and unceremoniously buried her face on the bulging backpack on her lap.

As the jeepney picked up speed, the lady beside me gathered her rebonded tresses at the side. She was wearing moss green overalls with matching leather pumps and a lady’s bag. I think she could be another Makati executive, as the scent of Chanel wafted my way. Something was peeking behind her collar, though. Intricately tattooed on her nape was the figure of a heart and a man’s name – maybe her boyfriend’s?

To my left was a mother clutching a shopping list on one hand and a market bag in the other. Wearing a simple white T-shirt, long shorts, and clean but almost worn-out flipflops, she would nervously glance at her list, check her pockets for something, and sigh. A deep, long sigh!

As I looked at each of them, I wondered what each of their story is. What a world of meaning there is in the sigh of the woman beside me! Or in the student who buried her face on her backpack. And the tattooed nape of a respectable woman. I gazed on them one by one and wished I could listen to each of them share their life. I did what I know I could do. I offered a prayer.

As I did, all my co-passengers zoned off all together! It was as if someone hypnotized everyone to sleep. Was it the drone of the machine? The humid air as we sped through the Skyway? The sense of safety among strangers, with the makeshift door of the jeepney closed? The worry lines and nervous mannerisms disappeared. Even my ‘sweet-painted lady’ looked like an innocent girl. Bobbing Bob’s head is now swaying left and right, and Mr. Executive is momentarily out of control, his hands limp and his mouth agape.

Unbidden, the words of Psalm 131 slowly came to mind:

“Like a child at rest in its mother’s arms, so will I rest in you, my God.”

There is no doubt that each of us bears a cross, a trial, a problem. But each time we succumb to sleep, we let go of control. Isn’t it wonderful how God makes each day new after a night’s rest? When we sleep, we renew the act of embracing what is, knowing that we are enfolded in the loving arms of our Father/Mother God. Granted, we do this automatically, many times unconsciously. But like a child in its mother’s arms, we allow ourselves to rest.

photo-3As we celebrate the feast of the Sto. Niño, may we allow God to take control, not only when we are asleep, but each waking moment of our life. The Child Jesus reveals a God who assumes all our humanity in order to show us what it means to be truly human.

May we have the courage to consciously embrace all that we are, with all our beauty and weakness, our greatness and our pettiness, so that we can begin to discover all that He truly is.

Viva pit Señor!

 

 

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