John means “God’s gift”

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The first time I realized that the name JOHN is an abbreviated expression that means “Gift of God,” I was really filled with amazement. For Zachariah and Elizabeth who was barren all their lives, the baby named John was indeed a great gift, a blessing from God.

We have to understand that during those times the idea of life eternal was not yet fully developed in the minds of the Jews people. Hence, vast number of the flocks, long life and fertility of the womb were considered as favors from God. Opposite to that would only mean curse from up above. Elizabeth and Zachariah must have carried the weight of the negative perception of their family, friends and neighbors of being cursed by God. The coming of John into their lives was indeed a great gift and favor from God…as if lifting the curse. John was indeed a gift from God for this elderly couple.

With that biblical context in mind, I am sure why angel Gabriel told Zachariah to name his child JOHN. The child was God’s answer to a prayer and favor they have been asking for many years. Although long overdue in the eyes of men, it was a perfect gift for the couple, and for the whole world, at the exact moment. God has answered their prayers NOW…and that is what matters the most. Hence the child and his name would be a constant reminder for Zachariah and Elizabeth, including the people that surround them, that God will always be generous, grants the necessary gifts and blessing as answers to their prayers.

Our gospel narrative today of John’s birth is a reminder to all of us also that God will always answer our prayers…ALWAYS!!!… in his own perfect time and in his own perfect manner. As a good and loving Father, he always gives us what is best for us. Not necessarily what we ask for. Not seeing it in this perspective has always been the source of our discouragement and heaviness of heart. The problem then lies in us, and not in the generous God.

There is a Christmas song written by Irving Berlin and popularized by Jose Marie Chan in the Philippines which goes “If you are weary and could not sleep, just count your blessings, instead of sheep…” let us not count what is not given to us. If it is not granted, it means it is not for us. Focus on the many wonderful gifts and blessing the Father has given us instead.

With this we can really say that the Father is a generous God, full of compassion, mercy and love. As John the Baptist was a reminder to Zachariah and Elizabeth of God’s generosity may he be a reminder for all of us that the Father has already given us his greatest gift – his Son Jesus Christ!

We prepare our hearts for Christmas by being grateful to God for all his gifts and blessings.

 

 

Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR 

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< 2020 >
October
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    October 1, 2020

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Leo Alaras

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    START OF THE NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED (Valencia) / OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (Baguio)

    POPE FRANCIS’ PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI

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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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4
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Joffrey Casusa (novice)
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2003-2020)
    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
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    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    BIRTHDAY
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6
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR

7
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    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2006-2020)
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
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    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Miranda de Santa Monica, AR

8
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Ms. Nestoria “Inday” Bad-an (Sister General of the Order)

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    3rd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO (Pangasinan)

    BIRTHDAY
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    John Leonard Cabling (RAY-Canlubang)
    Glorie Lynn Sorgon (RAY-Bacolod)

10
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    October 10, 2020

    ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA,
    Bishop and Patron of Studies

    PRIOR GENERAL LAUNCHES THE BOOK:
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    (Note: Title and cover are not yet finalized)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Raul Dael, DD [Bishop of Tandag]
    Sr. Ofelia Laspobres, AR

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    October 11, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN XIII

    PARISH FIESTA OF NSTRA. SNRA. BIRHEN DE LOS REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)
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    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

    BIRTHDAY
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12
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    October 12, 2020

    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
    Time: 9:00 A.M. / CARES, Baguio City
    Presider & Homilist: Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR (Provincial Councilor)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
    Valencia, Negros Oriental
    Time: 10:00 A.M. (cf. FB Live Streaming)
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Seiji Ishii (novice)
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
    Sr. Bernarditha Barnido, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Dionisia Mitas de Santa Maria Talangpaz

13
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    October 13, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

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    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2020)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Monica de Espiritu Santo, AR

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    WORLD FOOD DAY 2020

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    Sr. Ma. Linda Peña, AR
    Jhon Paul Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2020)
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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17
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    Sr. Gabriela Garcines, AR
    Sr. Jacinta Mandia Robin, AR

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    WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
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    25th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1995-2020) SARF- VALENCIA CHAPTER

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    Jonel Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

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    Sr. Arlyn Sarmiento, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Virginia Acha, AR

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    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI,
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    BIRTHDAY
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21
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    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

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23
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    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
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    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

24
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    ST. JOHN STONE, Priest & Martyr

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    25th ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
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    Fray Joel Dequilla

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    Sr. Rosalie Ubo, AR

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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Dominador Mercado Jr.
    Sr. Lorlie Decir, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1999-2020)
    Fray Joel Alve

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    BIRTHDAY
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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