Monday, December 31, 2012

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Year C)

Lucas 2:16-21. Unsa may kahulogan sa pagpasidungog ni Maria, ang Inahan sa Dios, ning unang adlaw sa tuig? Pinaagi niini gitudloan kita sa Simbahan nga magpuyo isip mga sumusunod ni Cristo uban sa giya ug panalipod sa Mahal nga Birhen. Sa iyang kinabuhi, nasinati ni Maria ang mga kalipay ug kasakit. Dihay mga higayon nga naglibog siya ug naglisod sa pagsabot. Apan nabatasan ni Maria nga handumon ug pamalandongan ang tanang mahitabo sa iyang kinabuhi. Nag-ampo ug namalandong siya kanunay aron iyang masabtan ang kabubut-on sa Dios. Sama ni Maria, angay kita’ng mogahin og panahon sa pagpamalandong sa mga nagakahitabo sa atong kinabuhi aron ato usab nga masabtan ang plano ug kabubut-on sa Dios para kanato.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

7th Day in the Octave of Christmas (Year C)

Juan 1:1-18. Unsa may angay natong buhaton sa katapusang adlaw sa tuig? Kining maong adlaw maghatag kanato’g kahigayonan sa paghimo ning mga mahinungdanong butang. Una, magpasalamat kita sa Dios sa mga grasya nga atong nadawat gikan Kaniya sulod sa nilabay nga tuig. Ikaduha, mangayo kitag pasaylo sa Ginoo kon ugaling nakahimo kita'g dili angay sa atong pagkasumusunod ni Cristo. Ug ikatulo, mamalandong kita kon unsay angay natong himoon aron mahimong mas buotan nga anak sa Dios. Ang ebanghelyo nagtudlo nga ang tanang maayong buhat magsugod gayod kang Jesus, ang Pulong sa Dios. Busa, atong sugdan kining bag-ong tuig pinaagi sa pagpahiluna sa atong kinabuhi diha ni Cristo ug sa pagsugod og lakaw subay sa dalan nga Iyang giagian.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Feast of the Holy Family (Year C)

Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Col 3:12-21; Lk 2:41-52

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink.  She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hair turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Mom, how come all of grandma's hairs are white?”

(The story is from an unknown author)

The first Sunday after Christmas is the feast of the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. The Holy Family provides us with a beautiful model of an ideal Christian family. We see in the person of Joseph an ideal husband and father – one who is God-fearing, just and righteous, silent worker, good provider and protector; in Mary, we find an ideal wife and mother – one who is prayerful, simple, good listener, attentive and kind-hearted; and in Jesus, we have an ideal child – one who is obedient, respectful and gracious.

The readings give us at least three essential ingredients of a Christian or a holy family. First, for a family to be holy, members must put God at the centermost part of their lives. In the time of Jesus, religious practices, like the Feast of Passover, were people's ways of acknowledging their dependence on God. Regularly, the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, like other Jewish families, would go to the synagogue or to the temple to worship and honor God. They had come to believe that without God they could not survive and flourish as a people.

It is the supreme duty of parents to educate their children, especially in the knowledge of God. Parents are the first evangelizers, the first catechists to their children. They are to lead their children in praying and in participating actively every Sunday worship. Their kind words and actions would facilitate their children's understanding of how loving and gracious is our Father in heaven.

Second, for a family to be Christian, members must show respect and love for one another. Saint Paul says: “Wives be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord” (Col 3:18). Husbands are the head of the family, but they rule by serving. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul clearly states: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church” (5:25). Just as Christ offered his entire life for the good of the Church, husbands also must give themselves in service to their family.

The love and respect that married couples give to one another is crucial to the total maturation of children. Experience would tell us that children who grew up from loving families are most likely to become good citizens and to succeed in life. While those who are brought up in a troubled or dysfunctional families would  easily become problematic and destructive. 

Together, spouses have to bring up their children kindly. In giving discipline, parents must avoid inflicting physical and emotional harm to their children. In the gospel, Mary and Joseph express to the young Jesus their deep concern as parents in a very respectful manner: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety” (Lk 2:48). Often, polite words would be enough to make children understand parental love.

By obeying parents, children would please the Lord (Col 3:20). The first reading says that those who honor parents would be rewarded and cleansed from their sins (Sir 3:3-6). Kindness toward old people would remain in God’s memory (Sir 3:14).

And third, for a family to be holy, members must be willing to forgive one another’s fault. Saint Paul encourages families to maintain the virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. They are to bear with one another and forgive one another. If one has a grievance against another, he must emulate the Lord by extending unconditional forgiveness (Col 3:13).

Conflicts among members in a family are quite common nowadays. In this modern and excessively materialistic world, emotional bonds between married couples, between siblings and between cousins are greatly weakened. The nature of our jobs, businesses and even recreation have affected seriously the amount and quality of time we give to each other. If there is no strong emotional bond between members in a family, what would keep them meaningfully together?

The holy family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus would remind us that true joy and happiness is only possible when there is intimacy and affection between people. Let us not allow material things and our desire for wealth to take away our time for each other. Whenever there is conflict in our family, let us be first to extend a reconciling hand, regardless of who is the offender and the offended party. May we always remember that good relationships are much more important than money and any material possession.

A little boy greets his father as he returns from work with a question: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” The father is surprised and says, “Look, son, not even your mother knows. Don’t bother me now, I’m tired.” “But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?” the boy insists. The father finally gives up and replies, “Twenty dollars.” “Okay, Daddy,” the boy continues, “Could you loan me ten dollars?” The father yells at him, “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Now, go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!”
At night the father thinks over what he said and starts feeling guilty. Maybe his son needed to buy something. Finally, he goes to his son's room. “Are you asleep, son?” asks the father. “No, Daddy. Why?” replies the boy. “Here's the money you asked for earlier,” the father said. “Thanks, Daddy!” replies the boy and receives the money. The he reaches under his pillow and brings out some more money. “Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!” says the boy to his father, “Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?”
(The story is from an unknown author)

Friday, December 28, 2012

5th Day in the Octave of Christmas (Year C)

Lucas 2:22-35. Kinsa man ang tawo nga malinawon ug malipayon? Si Herodes nalisang sa iyang pagkahibalo nga adunay Batang Mesiyas nga matawo. Apan sa ebanghelyo karon si propeta Simeon nalipay kaayo nga nakakugos sa Batang Mesiyas didto sa templo. Tungod niini dili na niya igsapayan kon siya mamatay dihadiha dayon. Nganong managlahi man ang reaksyon ni Herodes ug ni propeta Simeon? Si Herodes tawo nga kalibotanon, naghunahuna sa kaugalingong kaayohan lamang, ug wala moila sa Dios. Ang tawo nga sama niini magpuyo gayod nga mahadlokon. Samtang si Simeon tawo nga matarong, nag-alagad sa Dios ug naglantaw sa kaluwasan sa tanang katawhan. Ang tawo nga ingon niini magpabiling lig-on ug masaligon bisan atubangan sa kamatayon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feast of the Holy Innocents (Year C)

Mateo 2:13-18. Kinsa man ang mga Herodes ning modernong panahon? Atong gihandum karon ang mga gagmay'ng bata nga sa walay kalooy gipamatay ni Hari Herodes. Atong masabtan sa ebanghelyo nga gibuhat kini ni Herodes tungod sa iyang kahadlok nga mapulihan sa iyang trono pinaagi sa batang matawo nga mahimong hari sa mga Hudeyo. Sa atong panahon karon, ang pagpamatay sa mga bata nagpadayon pinaagi sa aborsyon. Ang mga aborsyonista ug ang mga tawo nga nagsuporta sa aborsyon mao ang mga bag-ong Herodes. Wala silay kahadlok o pagtahod sa Ginoo nga maoy tag-iya sa tanang kinabuhi sa tawo. Ang gipamatay ni Herodes gamay ra kaayo nga itandi sa kadaghan sa mga bata karon nga gipangpatay sa matag adlaw pinaagi sa aborsyon.