SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR

Today is the beginning of the public life of Jesus. As you remember Christmas is over, the child is grown up, the child becomes a man and the man is baptized in the waters by John the Baptist, a sign of his oneness with all of humanity, that he is indeed the Messiah but he is true God and true man. We see John the Baptist testifying that Jesus indeed is the son of God and the son of man. He says, “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” He is telling his disciples that this is the sacrificial lamb. This is the Messiah who does not come with great armies. This is the Messiah who comes to us as a sacrificial lamb and as John says who offers his whole life that sins might be forgiven. For sin is a failure to care and a failure to love. It is not something that you just say “Well I broke the sixth commandment or the fifth, tenth commandment,” because when you sin you break a heart not only the heart of Jesus but the heart of the person that you have sinned against. And this is why it is such an important word. For when Jesus enters the waters, becomes one with us, walks with us through life feeling the things we feel, hoping the things we hope, every bit a human being. When he does this, he is coming so that he might take away all sin. And it is in the loving of Jesus that we are forgiven, because he never held it against us, he never went away and hid and waited for an apology. Remember that when we sin against each other, it’s not a breaking of a rule, a regulation, a law although it is that – It is the breaking of another person’s heart. And then we will realize that Jesus came only to love. He Himself has said, “I have not come to judge. I have come to teach you how to love”. 

FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - BAPTISM OF THE LORD




REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR

A story is told about an old grandfather who walked into a flower shop in order to buy a beautiful corsage. “I want to buy a beautiful corsage” he said, “not a big one, but just about the prettiest one you can make.” He smiled, “It’s for my granddaughter and she’s having her first date tomorrow.” The owner was so amused and interested. “How old is your granddaughter?” the owner asked the old man. “More than two weeks”, replied the excited grandfather. The owner was surprised, “Did you say a date…a corsage…two weeks old?” asked the owner. “Precisely yes!” said the old man. “And I want a corsage that’s exactly right. She’ll never have a more important date than she has tomorrow because it’s her first date with God. My little granddaughter is getting baptized tomorrow.” Well, my dear friends today we are celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. He is baptized not because he is a sinner but because He wants to be in solidarity with us especially in our journey towards the kingdom of God. That He is with us and is one of us. As we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s Baptism it reminds us of our own Baptism. That when we are baptized, there should be a change of heart and we become Christians. When we are baptized, we chose Christ above all people and things. We believe in the Holy Trinity and we have a vocation to be like Christ and to act like Christ.

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD





REFLECTION FROM THE DESK OF THE PASTOR

Today we are celebrating a big feast and our church’s calendar calls it Epiphany. Epiphany in Greek means, “manifestation.” A manifestation of Jesus Christ Himself to all people and manifestation of God to all the people through Jesus Christ. This feast is not a holy day of obligation. This is transferred to Sunday so that the people may benefit from this feast and at the same time a continuous reflection on the meaning of Christmas. In our gospel reading today, God uses a special and unusual rising star which twinkles across the sky, drawing the wise men from the east all the way to Jerusalem. They left their homes and material security behind and experienced hardships on the road as the star momentarily disappeared. Their only hope is that at the end of this arduous search they could look upon the star, the light of the world which is Jesus Christ Himself. Often the lights that lead us to Christ shine through our loving parents who introduce us to Jesus at an early age. For me, I met and encountered the Trinitarian God through my parents because they taught me on how to make the sign of the Cross. Others have stars like teachers who inspire them by their knowledge of Scriptures their love of the church and their heroic virtues. This shining people bring us towards the king of light, Jesus himself. We don’t bring gold, frankincense and myrrh to God. Rather, we bring our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to Him. Guided by the light of those around us, we ourselves become lights to others.