A Scholar of the Law asked Jesus which commandment is the greatest. Jesus answered using two Old Testament texts: You shall love the Lord your God. (Dt. 6:5), You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19:18) Yes! The two greatest commandments are the Love of God and love of neighbor.
Recently, I was on a Pilgrimage to Italy and had the chance to visit San Giovanni Rotondo. That place in South Italy is famous because of St. Padre Pio, an Italian Capuchin friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic. Call it a coincidence or a blessing, but we arrived there on the evening of the 22nd of September.READ MORE
Jesus rebuked the disciples sent by the Pharisees tasked to entrap him in speech. Behind the attempt to discredit Jesus in front of the people are the deeply envious Pharisees, learned in matters of the law but with Jesus were not only nasty but also full of malice. Jesus does not hold back strong words against this kind of people, calling them out as hypocrites; they are deceitful and prideful. They are good with words and preaching, but their deeds are completely opposite. They don’t walk their talk.READ MORE
As a priest, I receive invitations to birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and many more. These invitations are opportunities to come together and celebrate something or someone's special occasion. Some celebrations are thanksgiving to God for the gift of life or other blessings. As I write the reflection for this coming Sunday, I remember that I have a Birthday invitation tonight from my former dentist (Dr. Pam, as we Filipino priests fondly call her). We all miss her care, but she retired two years ago. Every year, she invites all her priest friends on her birthday. A Birthday Celebration reminds me that every human life is worth living and that all life, for that matter, is a precious gift worth treasuring and celebrating.READ MORE
In ancient times, builders set the cornerstones (foundation or setting stone) as the principal stone, placed at the corner of the building, which serves as a guide for workers. All other stones refer to the cornerstone determining the orientation/position of the whole building. Often, it also serves as a reference for all other measurements. Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church He wants to build, and everything/everyone must start with Him as the foundation. Jesus Christ is the foundation and the most important part of building His Church. Everything starts from the Lord; He is the anchor and sets the direction and orientation of His Church. But also, Jesus is the stone rejected by the builder, who has become the cornerstone. So, consider it a privilege to share the experience of Jesus: rejected, persecuted, misjudged, or misunderstood many times. We take courage because although we may experience initial rejection like Jesus, we can also become the cornerstone. Jesus, the rejected one, is the Savior of the World.READ MORE
Growing up with three brothers, family chores were divided to make things easier and faster. My Mom runs the household like a well oiled machine. Sometimes, Mom would ask a brother to do a task before going to work. Usually, she would entrust it to the older brothers, but we were young, and at times, would not get any commitment from them, so she would then pass it on to me I would complain by saying if my older siblings would not do it, why would I? But before Mom leaves would remind us that she would tell Dad that nobody wanted to obey her. Seldom would Dad discipline us, only when we disrespect or disobey Mom or our elders. Afraid of being grounded, though I said no initially, I do it anyway for my elder brothers. Besides, our youngest is too young to do it.READ MORE