Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Tongue

I tremble to think that I have to give an account of my tongue. There is life, but there is also death in the tongue. Sometimes we kill with the tongue: we commit real murders. And we are still to regard that as a small thing? (Diary, 119)

A parishioner came crying her heart out. Hers were painful tears brought about by the talks spread by her “sisters” in her group.

“I am just doing the work of God. I am just serving the Church”, she cried.

“Why are these lies being spread against me?”


Our ”white” lies, talks that are half-truths, conversations that are “for entertainment” may cause untold pain and suffering on the “victims”.

Truth is always motivated by justice. And justice without mercy is not liberating.

Friday, May 08, 2009

"What would Jesus want ME to do?"

There was a popular phrase in the the 1990’s and printed in some t-shirts. It is a question that seems to be very simple, and direct to the point. Even for some, probably capturing the whole essence of how one is going to live his Christianity. The phrase is in a question form which goes like this: “What would Jesus do?” Ano ang gagawain kaya ni Jesus? Implying that in a concrete situation, if we ask this question, we are actually doing the will of God in our life. It further implies that if we answer this question, and commit ourselves to acting upon the answer we have found, we can truly change and even transform the world as Jesus would want us to do.

“What would Jesus do?” or rather, since we are His disciples, and His apostles, and we are only His followers obeying His commands and living His Life and Words, a better question would be: “What would Jesus want ME to do?” It is a question that can be answered concretely; it manifests how we are in following Jesus, in becoming His true followers.

We all want to live comfortably, secure in our future. Walang problema. But would Jesus want me to tell a lie, so that I will continue to support a life of ease, comfort? Will Jesus want me to turn my back to a child begging for alms because I presume the child is being used by a syndicate and being exploited by them? Would Jesus want me to forgive a person who has hurt me and my family? What would Jesus want us to do with the many extra possessions we all have?

What would Jesus want met to do amidst the lying, the injustice and poverty caused by corruption in our government? What would Jesus want me to do when people who stand for truth are being jailed, and the thieves and liars, who steal money from the people are the ones out of jail, going where they please, and doing what they want? Will Jesus expect me to be angry? to be outrage? To be courageous and to make a stand for people who are crying for justice?

Truly answering and acting on the answer will not be without cost. Discipleship is costly. Apostleship is costly. Doing what Jesus wants me to do is costly. It can cost you your friends. It can cost you profits for you business. It can cost you your job. It can cost you your freedom, as Jun Lozada is now experiencing.

But it has its rewards which no money, and no power and no position can buy. IT can give us Jesus Christ, and with Him, serenity, peace. And eternal life.

I ask each one of you here present. Even for a week. I ask you while you are at home with your family, or at work. Or enjoying yourselves with your friends. Or just alone by yourself. When faced with a situation that would split your heart and your spirit, ask: What would Jesus want ME to do?
A homily given during the "Misa de Gracia" of the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Manaoag, Pangasinan on 7 May 2009.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Danny’s Miracle

Today, the Parish celebrated the Feast of the Divine Mercy. The activities were celebrated in the afternoon: confessions, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction, Mass and blessing of the Divine Mercy images and the procession.

I saw Sis. Lourdes hurrying towards me at the sacristy after the mass. She was clutching an image of the Divine Mercy. She was with Sis. Teresing of Brgy. Bigbiga. A woman and a man who I did not recognize were with them.

Sis. Lourdes was all smiles as she approached me.

Kumusta?” I asked her. I wanted to follow up our mass schedule in their barangay. But before I could do so, she was already saying something. Unceasingly. Sis. Lourdes was usually reserved and quiet.

Father, malagip yo ni Danny?” she asked me.

Of course, I remember Danny. I administered to him the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick last February (2009). Did Danny pass away already?

“Wen,” I told her, waiting for her to say that Danny had passed away.

She then pointed at the man who was standing beside her.

“Ni Danny datoy!” She said.

This is Danny?

I could not believe my eyes. Danny was smiling at me. The woman who was with her, probably her mother, was crying. “Naimbagen ni Danny!” she cried.

Then to remind me, Danny brought out the stampita I gave him when I last visited him two months ago. He had it laminated.

“Gapu ti Divine Mercy, Father!” he told me. It is because of the Divine Mercy!

God’s mercy is unfathomable, gushing forth and covering the whole world! We need only to ask for God’s Mercy. And in asking, put our complete trust in Him!

Danny asked for God’s Mercy! The Lord manifested to him His Mercy!

Awan ti imposible ti Divine Mercy,” Sis. Lourdes reminded me. True, there is nothing impossible with God’s Mercy!

I cried out, “Unbelievable!”

It is not “unbelievable” anymore! In putting his trust in God’s Mercy, Danny’s miracle is a living sign that with God, everything is possible! It is expected! It is believable!


Danny’s miracle!  With Sis. Lourdes (3rd from left) and Sis. Teresing (4th from left)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Diary of St. Faustina. Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 113

And again, I would like to say three words to the soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit from confession.

First word-complete sincerity and openness. Even the holiest and wisest confessor cannot forcibly pour into the soul what he desires if it is not sincere and open. An insincere, secretive soul risks great dangers in the spiritual life, and even the Lord Jesus Himself does not give Himself to such a soul on a higher level, because He knows it would derive no benefit from these special graces.

Second word-humility. A soul does not benefit as it should from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.

Third word-obedience. A disobedient soul will win no victory, even if the Lord Jesus himself, in person, were to hear its confession. The most experienced confessor will be of no help whatsoever to such a soul. The disobedient soul exposes itself to great misfortunes; it will make no progress toward perfection, nor will it succeed in the spiritual life. God lavishes His graces most generously upon the soul, but it must be an obedient soul. (Divine Mercy in My Soul, 113)

Sincerity. Openness. Humility. Obedience.
Virtues for those who strive for sanctity.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Panmutektekan: Third Sunday of Lent (B)

For the reflection on the Third Sunday of Lent (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Panmutektekan: Second Sunday of Lent (B)

For the reflection on the Second Sunday of Lent (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Children's Prayer

We have been going around the different Elementary Schools of the town to celebrate a Mass in which Grade Three pupils, after undergoing a long catechetical instruction from our parish catechists, will receive their first holy communion. A confession precedes the great event for these children.

The two links below are the prayers of the children before and after they received their first holy communion. It is led by a Grade Three pupil.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Panmutektekan: First Sunday of Lent (B)

For the reflection on the First Sunday of Lent (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Panmutektekan: Ash Wednesday (B)

For the reflection on the the celebration of Ash Wednesday (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What can go wrong can ...!

My right wrist is swollen. And it is causing me a slight discomfort. It had not been so however yesterday, and the day before yesterday.

I believe it is my "Ganglion Cyst".

I don't know how suddenly it was so painful to move my hand; much so, carry something. Three nights ago I was working on my computer for about an hour. I felt a little pain in my right wrist after I shut off the computer. I thought maybe it was how I handled the mouse.

When I woke up the next day, I could not move my right hand without pain and much difficulty. I celebrated the morning mass so much distracted by the discomfort that went along with every movement of my right hand: from holding the microphone, turning the page of the Sacramentary to raising the Sacred Host during the consecration!

And I had three Barangay Elementary Schools to go to for the First Confession and Communion of their Grade Three pupils! I still had to drive the Parish Jeep to the barangays which would be without difficulty IF my wrist would not cause me much pain and discomfort. But it did! Shifting the gears was Calvary!

Our first barangay was Ambalangan Dalin.

Halfway along the way, I asked my companions if they could smell something burning.

"Anggapo." Nothing, they said.

"Wala, Father!"Foji, our sacristan, said after a few seconds. "Ambanget!"


"Anto man?" I asked nobody in particular as I brought the jeep to a stop. It was just right beside the chapel in Colisao. Smoke was coming out of the hood of the jeep!

Fearing for the worst, Bro. Ricardo Solis, the Lay Eucharistic Minister who was going around with us, raised the hood while Foji and I peered.

I thought it was the radiator. I thought it ran out of water.

But, there it was! A rag was twisted right in the radiator's fan! That caused the smoke as the twisting and the turning of the fan caused the rag to be heated up, and the rubber of the crank to burn!

And much more: the fan belt got twisted too, and was removed from the pulley attached to the flywheel! There was no way we could put it back! Reason: there were no tools in the jeep.
Question: How it heaven did that rag get twisted with the radiator's fan? Answer: What could go wrong would go wrong! Just before we left for the barangay, Jefri, our convent boy, put water in the radiator. He wiped the spilled water with a rag, and ... left the rag under the hood that it would surely get twisted with the fan when the engine would be running!

We left the jeep, and hailed a tricycle which brought us to Ambalangan Dalin Elementary School. We were late by almost thirty minutes.

And my wrist was starting to get worse! By the time we were on our third school in the afternoon, it was getting very difficult to even give the Holy Communion to the children.

By Saturday, my hand was really swollen. Instead of driving the Parish motorcycle to my two barangay masses, Barangay Anonang sent a tricycle to fetch me. It brought me too to my next barangay to Angio.

Dr. Gregorio de Guzman gave some medicine to take when I showed him my swollen wrist just before the mass this morning.

Thank God, my wrist feels a lot better tonight. There is a slight discomfort, but it is tolerable. And I could type. So, I must be feeling better now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Panmutektekan: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

For the reflection on the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I received this short "Food for Thought" reflection. It made me smile. And hopeful.

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three strands of hair on her head.

Well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today?' So she did and
she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two strands of hair on her head.

'H-M-M,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today?' So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one strand of hair on her head.

'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail.' So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single strand of hair on her head.

'YEAH!' she exclaimed, 'I don't have to fix my hair today!'

Attitude is everything.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning
to dance in the rain!!!!!


The week before, I was asked by Sis. Teresing and Sis. Lourdes of Bigbiga if I could anoint somebody in their barangay during the regular mass schedule. I said, "Yes, of course!"

"Mas mayat no idiay balay ti masakit tayon nga agmisa," I asked in my crooked Ilocano, if it would be better if we could celebrate the mass in the sick's home. They readily and happily agreed to my suggestion.

And so we celebrated the barangay mass in his purok.

The altar was placed infront of his small hut where he could see it from the inside where he was lying. His neighbors were all there, including the little children who were roaming around. It was 4,30 in the afternoon when we began the mass. The sun was behind my back. A small cloth which served as a curtain to protect me from the sun was hung behind me.

It blocked the mountain breeze. It made me perspire, too.

I administered the Anointing of the Sick after the mass. His name is Danny. He is only thirty two. He is bedridden.

Something is wrong with his kidneys.

"Kumusta ka?", I asked Danny.

He was full of hope, without a sign of bitterness when he replied in his soft voice,"Mayat met, Father."

He mentioned that the Doctor advised him to have a dialysis.

"Nangina, Father,
" he explained why he was not getting the required dialysis. It was a medical procedure which the family could not afford.

"Nag-PREX i-suna," Sis. Teresing told me. He was a member of the early PREX classes.

After the anointing, I gave him a stampita of the Divine Mercy. He was so happy when he saw it. He kissed it as soon as I gave it to him.

"Kanayon nga ag-chaplet ni Danny, Father," Sis. Lourdes said. I was told that he was always praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. I asked them to join him in praying the Chaplet whenever they would have the chance to pass by his house.

"Wen, Father," they promised me.

And I did promise to myself that I would also include him in my prayer.

Danny has put his whole life in the mercy of God. He can not afford the only way that can ease his pain and suffering. He only has his trust in God's mercy; and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy as his "medicine". Because of this, he has a peaceful and a calm disposition born out of his faith and trust in God's mercy and compassion.

Panmutektekan: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

For the reflection on the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Eyes of Faith

" ... Immediately the people recognized him." Mk. 6, 54

At the height of Typhoon Cosme, as it battered the coastal towns of Pangasinan, a family huddled together, trembling with fear. The mother, however, besides embracing her children to her, was also clutching in her chest the image of the "Divine Mercy".

She was praying, "Jesus, I trust in You! Protect us. Defend us, Lord.!"

Her house was made of light materials. It could crumble anytime with the strength of Typhoon Cosme's winds.

It did not. It even served as a haven for her neighbors. Three families took shelter in her house, which should have been destroyed already. It withstood the howling winds and destructive force of Typhoon Cosme.

She was sharing this to us in our small group as we had our Bible Sharing, instead of the usual homily during a mass held in their small community of ten families. She recognized immediately God's presence and mercy at the height of the storm.

It was not a coincidence, she said, that it was her turn to receive the image of the Divine Mercy; that it was her home where the image of the Divine Mercy was when the typhoon struck.

Immediately she recognized the presence of God and His mercy in her life.

It is only with the eyes of faith can we recognize God amidst the destruction of a typhoon. It was only with the eyes of faith that one can immediately accept the mercy of God in the midst of pain, suffering and difficulties. It is only with the eyes of faith can we truly, in trust, offer everything to God!


"That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick ..." Mk. 1,32

That we suffer is a truth we can not deny. It is experienced by all from birth until death. Suffering, however, is not in the original intention of God when He created us. He had willed that we all enjoy eternal happiness with Him.

Suffering is a result of sin, man's rebellion against the goodness of God. Evil brings about suffering.

But we can fight evil, and avoid the pain and suffering caused by man's evil deeds. Still, even though we have fought evil, and stood up for what is right and good, suffering remains a part of our lives.

And when in these moments of suffering and pain, we can only open our hearts to our Lord who, though sinless, suffered the pain of the cross. Let our suffering become our crosses. For in the cross, we find salvation. In the cross, we find grace. In the cross, we find the glory of the Suffering Christ.

A cross is a suffering with Christ. A cross is a suffering in faith. A cross is a suffering in trust in God's mercy. A cross is a suffering leading us to sanctity, and eternal salvation.

May God in His mercy remove the pain and suffering we have today. But, let us also pray that when the pain persists and our suffering continues, may we have the grace and the strength to endure it, and with faith, carry the cross we have. In trust, we believe that God will not abandon us; He will give us the necessary strength and the grace to make our cross light, with Him carrying us.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Panmutektekan: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

For the reflection on the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), click on the above link. The reflection is in Pangasinan.

To see the other reflections and homily directory in Pangasinan, please visit this link.

The Shepherd

"They were like sheep without a shepherd." Mt. 6, 34

A shepherd does these among other things for his sheep. He feeds them. In doing so, he looks for the best place for his sheep to feed. The shepherd provides for all the things needed by his sheep.

The shepherd defends his sheep. He fights for them against the wild animals and thieves who want to harm his sheep.

The shepherd looks for his lost sheep. He goes after them when the sheep will wander from the flock.

The shepherd then provides for his sheep. He defends them. He looks for them.

So our God does these to us. He provides for everything we need. He defends us from the evil one. He looks for us when we are lost. We need only to trust in Jesus, our Shepherd. We listen to His voice. We follow His commands. We obey His will.

Friday, February 06, 2009


He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. .... They went out and preached ... (Mk. 6, 8.12)

It was a difficult command. The Lord told his disciples to preach but not to bring anything for their journey. Nothing.

But the apostles obeyed the Lord. They went and preached, with nothing in their purse, no sandals on their feet.

Obedience is best learned in moments of difficulties and crisis. In times of grief and sorrow. If we are still able to say, "Lord, let your will be done" in moments of pain and grief, then that is true obedience.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Wonderful God

"And he marveled because of their unbelief."Mk. 6,6

He offered his services to drive us for our regular barangay masses. He would ask the schedule of the masses, and was always there to drive us to the barangay using the ever-reliable red jeepney of the parish.

Curious why he was doing this, since he was not known to offer anything before, not even an hour of his time, I asked him, "Akin et mimila kan lanang ed sikami ey? "

"Ta walay kekerewen ko," he explained as he told me that he was asking a favor from God.

Then, I was not able to see him for a while after that conversation. When I saw him, I asked him why he was not going with us anymore.

He smiled, scratched his head. "Agamuran ko la, Father!" He has already received God's favor. And he has stopped waiting for the unexpected and the wonders coming from God.

What the Lord has given us is not yet the fullness of what God can and will give us. Our God is a wonderful God! Let us allow Him to bring wonders in our lives! Let us continue to open our hearts and soul to the limitless and most wonderful blessings the Lord can and will bring us.