(Deuteronomy 26: 4-10 Romans 10: 8-13 Luke 4: 1-13)
We begin the Season of Lent by wearing Ashes that indicate our public acknowledgement of our sinful human conditions that really need conversion by the graces of God. We naturally give in so easily to temptations that are triggered by excessive sensual desires that are detrimental to the health of our souls. Sensual cravings in themselves are not necessarily evil if they are used to know, worship, and love God and neighbor; they become evil only when we apply them solely for our inward and selfish gains, creating an impression that we are gods.
With the ashes, we embark on an earthly journey to keep our souls healthy by keeping and intensifying the various exercises designed to achieve that purpose. Fasting, Almsgiving, and Prayers are not designed only for our individual inward conversion and holiness; they are also meant for us to practice both corporal and spiritual acts of mercy by providing for the corporal and spiritual needs of our neighbors. This is what will make all of us who are serious or otherwise with the health of our souls come to understand the Life of Christ that is apt for our sanctification and salvation through the merciful eyes and heart of God. This last point can only be made tangible by those who practice and live the merciful love of God in the midst of sinners by a way of total conversion as we remove the very obstacles that impede us from living holy lives: Selfishness, Arrogance, and Disrespect to the Will of God. These three obstacles hinder our effort to acclaim that the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are God’s now and forever.
(Isaiah 6: 1-8 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11 Luke 5: 1-11)
Just as we are, the Lord loves us; he has chosen us as such to be the bearers of his great News of his Paschal Mystery, that is, of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. This is what we celebrate and live during each and every Holy Mass, as we also acknowledge the holiness of God in his creation, and his presence in the reception of the Holy Eucharist.
As we lift up our hearts to the Lord to declare his holy presence, we also realize how we stand in great need of his graces, as we confess that our salvation is from above. We go on to confess our unworthiness to be in God’s presence; yet, it is by our communion with the Lord with an ardent faith, despite our unworthiness, that our souls shall be healed. It is by this kind of empowerment, and not by our self-designed sacrosanctity, that we draw people to the light from the ghettoes of sinfulness. At all cost and by any possible workable means, we have to help people come to embrace the good news that it was for our sake and salvation that Christ suffered, died and rose again. Ignoring this fundamental fact of our faith so as to live as if there were no good news to help us amend our lives towards holiness will be a gross insult to God for what he has done for us in his ineffable and amazing love. Weak and sinful people like us who have been made strong because of our trust in the grace of God will be called and chosen, regardless of who and what we are, to give a lively testimony to the importance of our salvation so that many weak and sinful people may also believe, repent, and be made strong by the same grace.
(Jeremiah 1: 4-5, 17-19 1 Corinthians 12: 31—13: 13 Luke 4: 21-30)
A prophet is the one who is inspired to speak for God whatever God wills to be declared to the people. For that reason, a true prophet does not proclaim his own ideology but the core contents of the inspired message in a language and a milieu that will make the message meaningful and comprehensible. As Christians with the infusion of the Holy Spirit, we become prophets by default to declare the Good News of Salvation in a bid to help many people get out of darkness to the glorious light of Christ. We do this with tender merciful love, even if this will cost our protective comfort zones.
We must know that we are just ambassadors with specific message to announce the urgent need to repent, as we also practice the same message of repentance, bearing in mind that the One who has sent us out on this ambassadorial enterprise will be with us in all situations to succeed. This will happen if only we allow the same God’s Spirit to use us as instruments, notwithstanding our human weaknesses, for this same enterprise as we allow God’s will be done.
(Nehemiah 8: 2-6, 8-10 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 27 Luke 1: 1-4; 4: 14-21)
Our mandate to be fishers of people as children of light must be continued until the Lord comes again in his glory. With and by our unique charismata, we accomplish a common goal by helping each creature to be worthy of the promises of Christ, as we proclaim by word and action the tenets of the Good News that by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we have all been set free from the slavery of sin and death. We cannot anymore remain in the dungeons of sin and death as poor slaves rendering the redemptive act of Christ meaningless.
Freed from the slavery of sin and death, we have been given a new Spirit that makes us live in Christ so that we would be able to draw many who still live in darkness to the wonderful glorious light and life of Christ. We ought, therefore, to recognize and heighten our own responses to the vocations of imitating Christ as priests, prophets, and kings, without making ourselves holier than our others. Making ourselves holier than others blinds us to see beyond our myopic horizons to grasp the immensity of the ministry to which we have all been called to serve with merciful love in holiness the spiritual, emotional, psychological, sociological, and material needs of all God’s people who stand in need of God’s grace to come and see the Light and live the Life of Christ.
(Isaiah 62: 1-5 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 John 2: 1-11)
Christ is the Light of the world that brings hope of goodness to the thickest darkness of our lives. This glorious hope of goodness must always and everywhere be exhibited by those who have been endowed with gifts meant to help build the Body of Christ by putting together in concrete terms these gifts. This is particularly carried out when it comes to responding to Christ’s Great Commission to make present in the world the resplendent ineffable merciful love of God, as Christ shows us on the cross, through our effort to evangelize and instruct.
The critical purpose of this Great Commission is to remind us of God’s ever-presence among us so as to keep us from falling back to a life of darkness, since God has established a covenant with us in Jesus Christ as the Immanuel, the very Holy Communion or Marriage we have with God. The two Sacraments of Service, Marriage and Holy Orders, are designed for us to bring out the tangibility of God’s covenant, as Married Couples and the Ordained live out their respective vocations by serving the needs of others to make both corporal and spiritual hope of glory and goodness a reality. In their bid to serve others in the spirit of Christ’s sacrificial love and mercy to bring out the light of Christ in concrete terms, they too might someday enjoy the fruit of their sacrifices. In fact, the tangible reality of Christ’s merciful love is brewed in the matrix of marriage since marriage offers the couple the very tools to practice in tangible terms the true love of Christ, as they share in the sacrificial bleeding love of Christ on the Cross that is meant to bring to the world hope of glorious lasting joy and goodness.
Tuesday Mass & Adoration 4-6pm
Wednesday - Friday 7:45am
(Wednesday, 10 February 2016)
Lent (first Sunday)
(Sunday, 20 March 2016)
(Friday, 25 March 2016)
(Saturday, 26 March 2016)
(Sunday, 27 March 2016)