19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

1 Kings 19:9, 11-13 /Ps 859, 10. 11-12

Rom9:1-5

Mt 14:22-33

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            When the Lord told the prophet Elijah to go to the mountain because he would pass by, the prophet expected a miraculous event. But the mighty God did not appear in a mighty wind or a great ball of fire not even on an earthquake. Instead Elijah felt the presence of God in a gentle breeze. The message is simply this - God is not found only in big things and great events but in the day-to-day ordinary moments of life and in the silence of our hearts. That is why the Church continuously invites us to spend moments of silence, moments of prayer.

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          The Gospel episode would bring us a second lesson and that is the lesson of faith.

When Peter stopped trusting in Jesus and paid attention to the wind and the waves, he started to sink. And this applies to us, too.  When we concentrate more on our problems and forget to lift them up to God, we too sink in frustration and despair. The secret of overcoming our difficulties is to trust in the Lord at all times.

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            Being a follower of Christ does not mean that you will be exempted from the storms of life.

            If we find ourselves in danger of being swallowed by the storms of life, maybe it is because we have turned away from him or we have focused so much on the difficulties of the situation and like the disciples, troubled believing that will keep his words.

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          Ito ay isang pagpapa-alala sa ating lahat,lalo na ngayong maraming pagsubok ang ating nararanasan. The Lord continues to invite us : Come, it is I….do not be afraid. If we accept the invitation, we are assured that we will experience what Peter did experience. We will experience the hands of Jesus reaching out to us in Love.

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         Prayer is keeping the eyes of our heart focused on Christ, so that his grace can bring us safely through life's storms. As long as our prayer life is strong, waves of temptation, discouragement, and sin can surge and billow all around us, but Christ will keep us safe.

         In this mass let us pray that we may always be convinced that God is always near us both in good and bad times.

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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
 
Reflection: This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. This celebration highlights for us the Lord's glory as the Son of God and our Savior. The Transfiguration, for the disciples, is an invitation to faith. The days that followed this event in Mt. Tabor was devastating, the passion, crucifixion, and death of Jesus, for the disciples. With that, the Lord showed them a glimpse to what lies beyond, He showed them the glory that is to come. They might have not understood it well, but still the message is clear, death is not the end of everything. God has the power to overthrow the consequence of sin, because love conquers all. 
On the other hand, this feast also invites us to follow Jesus, to transfigure or to configure ourselves to Him. The event that happened on the mountain changed Peter, James, and John forever. May this feast also be for us a source of transformation and renewal in a world that shuns anything that has to do with God and His will.

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

 

WE WANT SUCCESS WITHOUT STRUGGLE; WE WANT FULFILLMENT WITHOUT HARD WORK.

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            The transfiguration of Jesus depicts a glimpse of Christ’s glory, of his resurrection, but it had to be achieved with the greatest of pain.

            Strictly speaking, it was unnecessary for Jesus to go through the gory of suffering. He could have redeemed mankind without shedding a single drop of blood. It is mystery. But the mystery has a message: YOU CANNOT ACHIEVE GLORY WITHOUT THE CROSS, YOU CANNOT GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

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            Thus a Christian without the cross is a contradiction in terms – much like a Casian fish that cannot swim. .

            Like the apostles, we have to go down the mountain and face the hard reality of life. We cannot live forever on top of the mountain and build a tent of security but we are to get out of our comfortable zones. And this is the message of the feast of the transfiguration.

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Certainly, we have all known moments of extreme happiness, moments we would love to cling to. But the stark reality is that we have to work out our salvation in the ups and downs of daily living.

Life contains joys and sorrows, pain and struggle, defeat as well as triumph. We have jobs, we have to go to work. Young people have schools to attend. Daily we rub shoulders with friends and strangers, and sometimes we stumble into each other in irritating ways.

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No, Peter, we cannot build three tents and rest on the mountain top. Happy moments, we enjoy and remember but we should move forward and walk the valleys between the mountains, with moments of pains that at times painfully interrupt the joys.

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18th Sunday A

Multiplication of Loaves

 

            In today’s Gospel, we see that the disciples were so concerned about the hungry crowd that they asked Jesus to dismiss them so that they could go and buy for themselves something to eat. But Jesus tells them: "You give them something to eat. You take care of that yourselves." The disciples should provide food for the crowd.

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            Jesus does not solve the problem of hunger by himself. He uses what people already possess: 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish! We see this more clearly in the gospel of John where Andrew says to the Lord: "There is a boy here who has 5 barley loaves and 2 fish" (John 6:9).

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            The story of the miraculous feeding of the 5 thousand, like most stories in the gospels, speaks to us today, because many of us can identify ourselves very readily with the disciples. Like the disciples we find that our care and compassion are often very limited to prayer and good wishes.

Like the disciples, we wish people well but have no intention of taking POSITIVE ACTION to help the situation. We always find some fine excuse to get rid of a brother or a sister in need.

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            We say that it is not our task… it is the task of the government, the church or some other concerned institutions. Again, like the disciples, what prevents us from taking POSITIVE ACTION is that we feel that we have so little to give, and any contribution is not really going to make a difference at all.

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            But the message of the Lord is clear: We must contribute something in order that the miracle may take place. In the gospel he tells us that the LITTLE WE ARE ABLE TO DO IS MULTIPLIED by God’s grace in such a way that it becomes more than sufficient for the need.

            ALL THAT JESUS NEEDS FROM US IS OUR GENEROSITY (to share the limited talents, time and resources that we have).

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            Why didn’t Jesus just go on and produce bread from air to feed the crowd? Because he wants to teach us and the disciples that as long as everyone acts on his own selfishness, taking only into account his own welfare, we suffer all kinds of hunger – hunger for food, hunger for love, hunger for peace!

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            God is able and willing to satisfy all hungers. But God is waiting for men and women who are able to give up generously their lunch pack – their 5 loaves and 2 fish…. Which God needs to make the miracle possible.

            Think of this: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU GAVE HELP TO SOMEONE IN NEED AND ALLOWED GOD’S MIRACLE TO HAPPEN AGAIN? 

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