Thursday, February 22, 2007


Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence: no meat, and only one full meal for a day. It is the start of the season of Lent.

Since today is a special day, there are two masses scheduled for the day. One at 6AM and another at 4,30PM, after the Mother of Perpetual Help novena. There were unusually large number of parishioners who attended both masses. They received the ashes on their foreheads while the prayer was said: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel".

I only took one glass of water this morning before going to the barangay for the scheduled confessions and mass of elementary pupils in Brgy. Lipit-Tomeeng Elementary School. I was with the parish catechists. The school prepared some merienda. But the catechists did not touch the pansit but partook a little of the puto.

At 1,30PM, we went to Brgy. Tokok Elementary School. Still, the merienda was partially partaken. The catechists were really fasting!

By evening, supper time, I felt so light. But very suprisingly, food was far from my mind! I celebrated masses for the children in the schools and for the people in the parish. The "food" that I had partaken was enough for me. It was the Body and the Blood of Jesus, my Lord and my God.

Somehow, I realised that in fasting, the self is emptied physically so that I may hunger for the Holy Bread and Wine partaken in the Eucharist.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Only God...

"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Mk 9, 23

The boy that was brought to the disciples of Jesus that they might cure him was probably a sight to behold. He was foaming at the mouth; he was gnashing his teeth and would become stiff and rigid! The disciples probably panicked when they saw him. They must have doubted that they even have the power to cure the boy who was in a terrible condition.

The father complained to Jesus, " I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." Jesus drove out the spirit and cured the child.

The disciples could not drive the evil spirit nor cure the child because they hesitated; they doubted. Would they have the power to drive the evil spirit out of the child? Would they have the power to cure the sick child?

The answer to both questions? They did not have the power to do so. For it is not their power that can drive the evil spirit nor cure the child, but through the power of Jesus! By themselves, they would have no power; for they are just but instruments of the power of God.

How many times we have faltered and hesitated when we were in seemingly impossible situation? We hesitated because we thought we could not overcome these difficulties. But the truth is: With Jesus by our side, everything is possible! It is his power that can drive out the evil among us; it is his power that can overcome the greatest difficulties we could face in our lives.
Jesus, I depend on you. Let me acknowledge your power over my life, and all the difficulties I am facing. I can not overcome them by myself, alone. But with you, everything is possible. Amen.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"Walang Hihingi! Walang Tatanggap!"

“I do not condemn you, but do not sin again” (Jn 8,11)

Jesus was confronted by a mob who wanted to stone a woman caught committing adultery. They were ready to give her the punishment due to her as provided by the law. Jesus looked at the crowd, and challenged each one of them to cast the first stone IF no one among them had committed any sin. When all had left, Jesus looked at the woman and told her: “I do not condemn you, but do not sin again.” The sin may have been committed, but there is hope for transformation and renewal.

The Bishops of the Philippines in 1997 said that the greatest bane in the development of the Philippines is politics as it is practiced in the Philippines. Politics had compromised our very life as a nation; our aspirations and dreams as a people!

We have been caught lying! We have been cheating! We have been buying votes and selling our right to choose rightly and responsibly! We have compromised our principles for money and power! We have been caught doing all these and we are now about to be condemned by our children, by those we are supposed to take care and nourish: by the generation coming after us!

But, we have heard the voice of the Lord for us: I do not condemn you, but sin no more!” It is not enough that we recognize how we have failed as a nation. We need to act! And act now!


In the exercise of our right to vote, let us not be swayed by the color of money. Elections are meant to select persons who we want to lend the power which rightly belongs to us. For power is from the people, by the people and for the people! When we elect people to certain offices, we are allowing them to borrow the power that belongs to us with the belief that they will responsibly use that power for the common good.

To lend is a far cry from selling! For when we lend something to somebody, that something rightly still belongs to us! When the borrower destroys it or does not take care of it, we can confront him and demand satisfaction for the destroyed property! But when we sell that property, how can we demand satisfaction when the property is lost or destroyed? We have sold it. It has already been bought. It does not belong to us anymore. A borrower is not a buyer nor a lender, a seller!


Let us give dignity to our vote! WALANG HIHINGI! means we can choose the right persons who have integrity and competence to lead us. It means we are freeing ourselves from persons who are incompetent and untrustworthy. WALANG TATANGGAP! frees us from the moneyed but corrupt individuals from leading us! It frees us from the burden of paying back a “debt of gratitude” which is in reality is nothing but a selling and buying of our right! In reality, we do not owe anyone, anything!

“I do not condemn you”, says our Lord. But truly, let us sin no more. Enough is enough!



Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Bishop's Visit

The red parish jeep had a special passenger going to Barangay Bigbiga for the BEC Day. The Auxiliary Bishop of the Lingayen-Dagupan was sitting infront; I was at the back with two altar boys. The mass was at 3:00 PM.

We left the Rectory early, around 2:00 PM. Two old women called on me in the morning for a sick call. I told them we would be passing by their barangay before going to Bigbiga. They would only have to wait for us at a designated place so that we would not get lost.

We saw them infront of the Barangay Waiting shed waiting for us. The two of them clambered in the back of the jeep. Suddenly, I was squeezed in between two old women, the Mass Kit, the two altar boys and the MiPro portable public sound system. I had to make my body smaller, if that were possible, but I did, actually.

She was around ninety years. She had a hard time breathing.

I asked the Bishop, "Monsignor, would you like to adminster the sacrament for her?"

"Yes", the good Bishop answered.

The members of the family of the sick woman were so grateful to the Bishop after the celebration of the sacrament. Inspite of the anxiety they felt, there was a sense of relief and joy with the visit of the Bishop.

"Ag mi nalingwanan iya, Monsignor!", they gratefully told the Bishop, expressing how they would never forget his visit, and how the sacrament of the anointing of the sick was administered by a bishop to their mother.

For them, their prayers were already answered.