Sunday, November 25, 2007

with joy..

The cliche says that we have to give until it hurts!

But why not give until it has become a joy to do so?

Jesus looked around and saw rich people dropping their gifts in the Temple treasury, and he also saw a very poor widow dropping in two little copper coins. He said, "I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others. For the others offered their gifts from what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, gave all she had to live on." (Lk. 21,1-4)

it rained...

There was an overcast sky when I arrived (together with Bros. Tony, Joey, Ben and his wife, Sis. Lourdes) at the Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mangaldan, Pangasinan, the host for this year's Cristo Rey celebration. We parked at the school grounds. It was around quarter to two in the afternoon.

I noticed Tony and Joey brought their umbrellas. I brought mine, too.

The procession started on time. With the sun behind the clouds, it was the best time to have the procession, I said to myself. I heard the same observation from other devotees.

The drizzle came about 20 minutes into the procession. Some opened their umbrellas. Fr. Agoy Mejia opened his. I did, too.

The drizzle soon stopped.


The mass was celebrated. There were about two to three thousand who came to the celebration. The homilist commented that there was a drizzle as we were having the procession. He prayed that it would not rain! Although he said, "seguro!" (probably).

He had not gone halfway in his homily when the rains poured in! And the umbrellas were opened! The rains did not stop until the end of the mass. And yet, the people did not move away nor leave!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Strength from God!

Sister Naty, an old but still very active woman from Brgy. Anonang, had a happy look on her face. I saw her approaching. Her strides suddenly became livelier.

"Father, she is now eating! Father, she is getting stronger!"

"Who is...?

"Idiay na-sick call yo ngay, Father!" Her voice filled with excitement about her report to me: the old woman I gave the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was getting stronger!

"When she woke up after you gave the sacrament, she was looking for you, Father! Then she ate!"

O, the joys of the priesthood!

Cristo Rey!

Cristo Rey will be celebrated tomorrow, 25 November. The Vicariate (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary) celebration will in the Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mangaldan, Pangasinan. It is the host for this year's celebration. The three other vicariates of the Archdiocese will have their own Cristo Rey celebrations.

Yesterday, I celebrated an afternoon mass in the host parish. I presided over the 8th day of the novena in honor of Christ the King. The Apostles of the Divine Mercy were the main group who came for the novena. Each day of the nine days, a different group would come.

At the end of the mass, a parishioner came. With a concerned look, he said, "Father, I hope it would not rain on Sunday!"

On Sunday, the day of the celebration, a big procession is scheduled at two o'clock in the afternoon. And since it is expected that there would be a huge number of people coming from the different parishes of the Vicariate, the Holy Mass will be celebrated outside the Parish Church.

"When it rains ....?" he further said.

"Let's pray that it will not", I told him.

Tyhoon "Mina," which packs maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center, and gusts of up to 210 kilometers per hour, is expected to make a landfall tomorrow evening. Pangasinan may not be directly at the path of the super-typhoon but it may bring rains that may dampen the celebration.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"deadly" request

The Funeral Mass was scheduled at 9 AM. The deceased was a young man. He died suddenly from an accident.

I received a call from the parish office a few minutes before the mass.

A man was there with a special request.

"Father, is it possible that before you celebrate the funeral mass, you solemnize first the marriage of N., (the name of the deceased) with his fiancee?"

No answer.

Persistent request: "They intended to get married soon. But he died so suddenly. Is it possible, Father?"

Persistent answer: Silence.

I wonder how the dead can give a consent, answer clearly and truthfully, and finally make the vows of marriage "until death" (when he is already dead)?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Billboards and Heaven

Billboards proclaim so many concerns as well as create so many needs.

They compete for our attention. They attract our senses. They let us follow them.

Billboards adorn the skies now. They block the otherwise beautiful clouds that decorate the heavens. They hide the endless figures beautifying God's creation.

We have so many concerns and needs created by man for man. Many times, they block our view of God's glory and majesty. His generosity and kindness. Mercy and love. They are like the billboards. Instead of leading us to the Almighty, they lead us away, block us from God, and hide God from us!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Waiting for nobody!

It is a concrete structure found in main highways and roads, and in all the barangays of the town. The "Waiting Shed" is a familiar structure. Its main purpose is to provide a shelter for the people while waiting for a ride. The most common means of transportation in the barrios is the tricycle. Then, there is the popular jeepney. And lately, the kolig-lig.

Bolaoen is one of the thirty-four barangays of the town. Since it is a barangay, it cannot be without its own "Waiting Shed"! Of course!

But I wonder what the "Waiting Shed" in Bolaoen is for?

The main place where we have our monthly mass can only be reached by taking the "Hanging Bridge". The Bolaoen Bridge can only hold people; not tricycles, not jeepneys, not the kolig-lig.

Then, why is there a "Waiting Shed" in Barangay Bolaoen?

(Check out the Bolaoen link and you will understand why).