Monday, February 25, 2013

Seek Ye First

It is important to have the right motivations in all our undertakings.  This is even elemental for success in life.  No wonder Jesus had enunciated such principle: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33).

In every phase of life here comes the devil tempting us with wrong motivations of power, money, pride  or any other worldly advantage.  That’s his usual tactic since he wants to bring as many as possible to the eternal fires of Hell which is his permanent domain.  The salvific work of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Way, theTruth and the Life, only wants to reward us with eternal bliss in Heaven, as reward for our deeds and sacrifices for His Name.

We must therefore not be deceived by the false promises of the devil, the ancient tempter of man.  That is why when the apostle Thomas commented: “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one can come to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). 

We must follow the ways of Jesus Christ which are based on truth, justice and humility.  In fact St. Teresa of Avila was used to saying that – Humility is Truth.  Yes, before God we must humble ourselves since He alone is just and almighty and most truthful. Is there any reason for you to take pride in yourself  when all that you have comes as a gift from the Almighty, not from yourself?.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Unhappy people

A common mistake we do fall into is when we do our works and deeds just to be noticed or appreciated by others.  Then we feel unhappy and disgusted when nobody seems to notice us or appreciate our actions or deeds.  It should really have been the other way around.  We should feel good and happy in doing some good deeds for others whether we are noticed or not. Because the positive attitude should be the doing of a noble act, not whether we be noticed or appreciated.  Why?  Because there is a God who knows and observes all things, who is just in rewarding the good and punishing the evil doers.

That is precisely the advice of Jesus how we should merit life everlasting by our good deeds.  That is what He, the Lord Jesus, proposes in the whole chapter 6 of St. Matthew’s gospel, how to perform our good deeds and thereby merit eternal life.  If you do the opposite, you will just continue in life being an unhappy, frustrated person.

“Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration.  I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward.  But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your alms giving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you” (Mt. 6:1-4).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Brotherhood Among Bishops

It was on the occasion of the super-typhoon ‘Pablo’ which struck several north-eastern coastal towns of Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012.  I did not issue any public appeal for support during the Philippine Catholic Bishops Conference on Jan. 26-28, 2013.  I was greatly surprised that a good number of Filipino Catholic Bishops offered much help in cash or kind to alleviate the sufferings of our people who underwent difficulties due to lack of food and housing since the super-typhoon ‘Pablo’ of December 4 greatly affected the material needs of the people whose houses were destroyed and blown away, and their major crops and plants devastated.  I understand much of the information on the tragic happening had been disseminated through the media and news channels in radio, television and newspapers.

I just had the feeling that there must really be that attitude of brotherhood among our Catholic Bishops since many spontaneously offered their sympathy and help for our people and our Diocese of Mati, Davao Oriental even if we are situated quite far in the southeastern end of the Philippine Islands.  Surely this must be in accord with what the Holy Bible states in Mt. 12:46, quoting the words of Jesus: “He was still speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers appeared; they were standing outside and anxious to have a word with him.  But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’  And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother’.”

That’s the feeling we get when we honestly seek to do God’s will as shown and proclaimed by our Lord Jesus.  There comes that strong bond of love among us. Yes, we become one big family caring for one another.