“Increase our faith.” (Lk. 17:5)
The disciples asked Jesus to “increase our faith.” Although they have been with Jesus for some time now, they realize still their tendency to doubt, fear, not to forgive, and to sin. How many times have we succumbed to have more faith in our own efforts and resources rather than having FAITH in God. In truth, we are still men and women of little faith. Faith in God involves more than just professing and proclaiming it.
Faith in God involves a conscious and intentional relationship, with something and someone greater than us, who loves us no matter what. Faith, more than creed and beliefs is a personal relationship with God whom we trust.READ MORE
“'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime...” (Lk. 16: 25)
The parable disproves two wrong ideas: 1.) That the soul does not exist after death, thus, there is no life after death (no judgement after death), and 2.) The idea that worldly riches are reward to moral goodness, and on the other hand, material poverty in this world is a sign of punishment for our sins. There are many Lazarus in our neighborhood. Vat. II, Gaudium et Spes 27, “The Council lays stress on the respect of the human person: everyone should look at his neighbor (without any exception) as another selfE” God in His goodness has given us many gifts, thus, we have the responsibility to share with our less fortunate neighbors.READ MORE
“The master commended the dishonest servant for acting prudently.” Lk. 16:8 Jesus knows that the steward acted dishonestly but uses his behavior to teach them that like the steward, they must be astute and clever if they are to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Jesus wants us to be both smart and wise in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
If only, we as disciples can be as wise and astute in the affair of the soul, and put the same passion as the shrewd steward, in the proclamation of the kingdom, then we could be a living example of faith. And there will be no obstacle that we can not overcome in the ministry. Indeed, shrewdness can be transformed into wisdom, the Lord praises the steward’s prudence and not his dishonestly. Prudence dictates not only the proper use of the world’s goods, but also in proclamation and the use of the resources of the Kingdom.READ MORE
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us about the joy and happiness when a lost sheep and coin is found. There is great joy in heaven when somebody who is lost, is found and finds his/her way back home.
Please endure and persevere in looking – The Gospel tells us that a sheep and a coin is found because somebody did not give up. Lesson: keep looking, don’t quit on anything and on anyone. In life, it’s not just about wisdom and hard work, it also requires endurance and perseverance.
Don’t give up also on goodness, you can find it at anytime. Sometimes you can find it in the most unexpected time, place, and people. The Gospel tells us that the Lord does not give up on our goodness, so please don’t give up on our own and on other’s goodness. No one has the monopoly on goodness. Even when it seems uncommon, we must not stop believing in other’s and our own innate goodness.READ MORE
In Lk. 14, 25-33, the Lord tells us about the importance of detachment in discipleship. “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Are we to attach to God and detach ourselves and the world?
I remember when I left the confines of the seminary formation house and lived for 2 months with a Mangyan (Indigenous Community) family, in the southern mountains of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Crossing through rivers and hiking through mountains to reach the mission station, I realized, that my journey begins. The 2 months exposure with my host family was the most real lesson on worldly detachment, and attachment to God. In the far mountains, my only attachment was God, and the great nature He created.READ MORE