Thursday, December 17, 2020

Liber generationis (Mt. 1:1)


The birth of Jesus was introduced by Matthew with Family Tree of Jesus. From Jesus, drawn back to David to Abraham. There are three times fourteen generations. The most important thing is not the number or the order, but Matthew wants to make sure that Jesus is really God, really human. God's promises to Abraham and David were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

From the Family Tree that are mostly male names, there are female names, such as Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife), and Mary. Their background is not perfect. Tamar is a harlot. Ruth is a foreign woman, not a native Israeli. David seized Bathsheba from Uriah in a cruel way. Mary was pregnant before she married Joseph.

Jesus wants to be present in the midst of an imperfect human condition. God shows how much he loves humans. The Lord saw man's imperfection and used it to reveal His Son. Jesus was born and became a weak and fragile human being. As humans, we often have bad experiences. Let us not give up too quickly. Who knows, God uses that bad situation for a greater purpose.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Me minui (Jn. 3:30)


John the Baptist is a very noble man. In fact Jesus once said that he was the greatest of every man ever born on earth (Luke 7: 28)– in terms of introducing and preparing Jesus’ way and ministry in the world. I believe John is the right man to perform this job, for he is blunt, bold, has very strict self-discipline yet humble and submissive to the will of God.

Before Jesus started His ministry, John had already started his. Lots of people came to him not only to be baptized but also to ask for his wisdom. “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. Even the tax collectors and soldiers lowered themselves asking for John’s hints (Luke 3: 10-14). However, despite the honored position he had got, he did not forget his mission. “He must become greater; I must become less.”(John 3: 30).

As he heard about Jesus and what the great things He had done, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was The One they expected to come. He was not drunk by the fame he got and tried to maintain the high position he had in front of the public. He said he was not even worthy to carry Jesus’ sandals. (Mat 3: 11)

May we never seek our own honor in any ministries or religious responsibilities we do. Instead, we lift Jesus, our Savior, high on our mind and through our deeds. Jesus said, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” (John 7:18).

By Desire Litaay.

Qui venturus (Lk. 7:19)


In today’s Gospel, Luke the Evangelist invites us to realize that Jesus is really God and he was present in the world, in the history of human life. When answering the disciples of John the Baptist, who asked about the certainty of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus was bold. He indicated that he himself was the Messiah and he himself was God who was present in history.  In answering John’s disciples, Jesus took the proclamation of the prophet Isaiah about the signs of the presence of God in the midst of his people. “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”This is the polite way used by Jesus to show that he is God and he came to save his people.

As disciples of Jesus, we must rely on him who is the source of our strength and our life. The presence of Jesus within us is always strengthening and giving life. When we are weak, he reinforces us.  When we fall, he raises us up. And when we are sad, he gladdens us with his good news. Let us open ourselves to the presence of Jesus and let him guide us so that we can experience salvation from God in our lives.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Apertus oculus (Nu. 24:3)


We need the Spirit of God to inspire us and enlighten our minds. Thanks to this spiritual gift we can see and understand everything better. We are capable of recognizing the truth in all circumstances. Consequently, we can share our thoughts with others and help them with our prayers. 

Do you believe that you have already received the charism of the Lord? Accordingly, you are able to see, hear, and speak in the name of Jesus. Yes, you as a child of God can find the divine answers not only for yourself but also for your sisters and brothers in Christ. 

The Advent season is the proper time to open the eyes of your soul. You are to see the beauty of the universe and of human beings. For all of us are planted by the Lord beside the spiritual source. It depends on us how much we will get from there. 

Let's become preachers of good tidings in the world that forgets about the Lord. Let's pray to become like prophets with far-seeing eyes and ears which hear the word of God. Yes, we are very close to the Lord, Jesus Christ. He lives in us and we live in him. We receive the divine answers through the Scriptures while meditating on the words of God. 

The Son of God and his kingdom is close at hand. So let's trust in the words of the Holy Bible. Do not focus only on the words of people but rather on the powerful word of God. Thus, we will live in peace and share peace with the needy. In this way, we will make the right decisions easier and follow Christ. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Exsultavit spiritus (Lk. 1:47)


Dear Friends in Christ,

Rejoice!  Does that simple word fill you with wonder and happiness?  Those feelings summarize the readings of Sunday!  Something great is about to happen!  Whatever could be greater than God becoming man?!?

John the Baptist is filled with this wonder, knowing that he is preparing the way for someone greater:  “the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”  But how sad, yet true:  “there is one among you whom you do not recognize.”

Today, we can ask ourselves if we recognize Christ in the people we daily meet.

Isaiah, long before John the Baptist, recognized and rejoiced in the realization of what God would do at some point in history he exclaimed:  “I rejoice heartily in the Lord!”  prophesizing all that would happen when Emanuel comes.

As we are coming to the end of this beautiful Advent Season filled with gloom and suffering from the coronavirus, we need to take very seriously the words of St. Paul: “Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks… May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

My prayer for each of you!

By Sr. Mary Vivette, SND

Friday, December 11, 2020

Similis pueris (Mt. 11:16)


The word “repentance” maybe is the most ignored word. For example, we would often call on people close to us to repent and change their ways for the better. Most often than not this call is ignored and they would reason out that they have nothing to repent.

The Lord Jesus was really tired of seeing apathetic people, who were not moved by the cry of repentance He preached. They did not listen to John's cry, nor did the Lord Jesus' voice. So the Lord Jesus made a metaphor. They are like children who are cranky, refusing to be invited to play by their friends. This children's game inspired the Lord Jesus to judge how the attitude of the Jews who were not moved by John's preaching and the preaching that He brought. What the Lord Jesus said is an attractive metaphor for people who do not have a sense of feeling in their life situation. True faith relies on opening its ears, eyes, and heart to grasp God's voice and understand the situation and conditions of his life.

This season of Advent is a call to repentance for us to be more worthy of welcoming of our Savior. But only a few of us give it an ear, we chose to ignore it. Let's listen to this call. We can change our ways for the better.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Maior Ioanne (Mt. 11:11)


Presently, people pay attention only to themselves,  their physical appearance, supporting facilities, and any convenience in general as if it was the center of their lives. So is one’s assessment of another.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers an inverse invitation to our frequent tendency and thoughts as a human being. Jesus’ teaching tells us that the smallest one is the greatest. As Jesus said, “whoever humbles himself to the lowest position will become the greatest in the kingdom of God.” This was exemplified by Jesus that appearance, fame, and status, are not a measure of one’s great life. Jesus, though He is the king of the Universe, yet humbled himself to the lowest degree -being born as a human infant, even took on the image of a servant who was then obedient to die on the cross.

Jesus’ example of humility which is becoming the lowest of all, sets a role model for us in showing humility in our life. Just like John the Baptist became the greatest not because he had done anything great but because of the quality of humanity that he had shown. He acknowledged the greatness and the majesty of God manifested in Jesus. May we be moved to progressively resemble Jesus and John the Baptist, showing our humility in order to become great in the kingdom of God.

By Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Discite a me (Mt. 11:29)


The legalistic tradition with a lot of rules (law) that was instructed by the Jewish leaders especially the Pharisees had become a burden for the people of Israel. Trying to be perfect by following so many regulations would only lead to frustration and weariness. It is hopeless. Human beings have been struggling with sins since the fall of Adam.

Our reading today is preceded by the part in which Jesus explains about himself. He is the Son of God in the Trinity context. He said only God the Father knows him and vice versa. He wants to show that he is the only way to God the Father, and no one or nothing else. John 4:6 said “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is important because most people still didn’t understand that he was the incarnation of God on Earth. That means his authority exceeds anything in the world.

The Lord Jesus comes to free all mankind from the useless exhausting struggle to reach perfectness before God. He gives us rest. He doesn’t neglect the law, in fact, he comes to fulfill it (Mt. 5:17). By coming to him, we have the sanctification we long for. This is also a call for discipleship. We submit ourselves to him to learn through the Holy Spirit who works inside us. The goal is a life transformation to reach a Christlike life. As we come to him being a learner and apply his teachings in the world, he provides us with his love, strength, and guidance. He is gentle. He understands that we are weak and that we need him every second. Our yoke becomes bearable because he bears it and thus enables us to do it. He is God but he humbles himself so we are able to reach him and have peace in our soul. It certainly requires an intimate relationship with him. It is not some dead obedience, but willingness to give our hearts to him.

Be careful of legalism. Good work doesn’t save us as it promotes only ourselves and not God. It is Christ alone who saves us. Let no one steal his greatness. To him be the glory forever and ever!

By Desire Litaay.

Venite ad me (Mt. 11:28)


With his words "come to me!"  Jesus actually invites us to come to him, so that we can rest in him and find peace. Jesus doesn't just invite us once, but he is always inviting us to come to him. Every time we need to come to him, he is always ready for us. Jesus also invites us with these words, "come to me, "to tell us that he always has time for us. He will be attentive to those who call him anytime, anywhere.

The love that Jesus gives us is the model of universal love. This is clearly seen in the words “all of you.”He loves all of us without exception, even his enemies. With great hospitality, Jesus receives us all and gives us rest after we work to spread the Good News, do good deeds, deliver the message of salvation in the midst of challenges and suffering. Do not worry and do not be afraid because the unconditional love of Jesus will call us, and in his readiness, he will support us to live as true children of God and his disciples. So, brothers and sisters, from Jesus, we learn the way of true discipleship, and in him, we will find peaceful rest.

By Father Risco Batbual, SVD

Fiat (Lk. 1:38)


Have you been given responsibility in your life? If you have, what do you feel and think before accepting it? Are you afraid and do you reject it? When we are given a task, often these feelings appear. We are afraid that we may fail in doing it. Indeed, every responsibility contains a risk. But, those who believe in God’s providence will carry it without fear. Those who trust in God will see everything that happens in this world happens because of God’s will.

Mary, mother of Jesus is an example for us to say our “Yes” to God’s will. In seeing God’s will she said “Yes” to the responsibility. In the history of Mary’s life, she was the chosen one of God to bear Jesus in her womb. She was surprised when the angel of God came to her and announced the coming of God to the world through her. Mary did not believe it because she was an unmarried woman. It was not easy for Mary to accept it. But she realized that it was God’s will. She opened her heart to accept this message and said,” let it happen to me as you have said.” Mary shows us the power of humility in her “Yes” to the coming of Jesus and being ready to accept the heavy responsibility. Mary believed that if what she was doing was from God, thus, God would be with her.

God invites us to be like Mary to offer ourselves to Him and trust fully in Him since those who believe in God will get eternal life. Besides, God is eternal love and He is working in us always to spread His love. We are the people who God chooses to become His love ambassadors. This means that every time we love others, we fulfill our responsibility as God’s people. Let us ask God to open our hearts and minds to understand His will as He manifests it to us.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Operarii pauci (Mt. 9:37)


God keeps on calling. Every moment, every time, God calls everyone to be His workers. God calls and needs workers to help His work of salvation as is told in the gospel today. Are we called and sent by Jesus? I do believe that when we’re baptized as Catholics, we’ve been carrying out the mission of Jesus. However, our mission is not only for Catholics but for everyone who wants to accept the Gospel of Christ!

The vocation and mission of Jesus are not only aimed at people living in monasteries or imposed only on priests, sisters, brothers, and seminarians, in short, those who are called to religious life. Not only them, but it applies to everyone! The call of Jesus is universal, applies to all people, regardless of their particular social status.   

We as disciples of Jesus are called and sent into the world to save it. In the midst of situations that deify worldly things and overshadowed by lots of conflicts let alone the coronavirus pandemic nowadays, God continues to call and send people who truly want to work for the world. In fact, Jesus’ words are still relevant for us “The harvest is many, but the laborers are few.” God needs people who are willing to work to save the world, save others, work for the people, not only for our own self. When God calls and sends us, God will accompany us every step of the mission. We should realize that our current vocation, whatever our status of life is, whatever positions we have, we are called and sent to be partners with God who saves the world, save others. See that he never sends us wrongly! We have received our salvation freely, so we are also obliged to share it freely. We will get grace when we really want to serve God and others.

By Frt. Sandre Loreng, SVD.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Clamantes (Mt. 9:27)


The gospel today tells us about Jesus who heals two blind men. The two blind men know with whom they meet although they were blind. They were able to see Jesus through the eyes of faith. They asked Jesus to restore their sight. The prayer of these two blind men was very short and simple, “have mercy on us, O Son of David.” The prayer expresses the depth of their faith. They know who they are dealing with.

In front of Jesus, the blind men do not ask for anything, they do not speak many words. They humbly placed themselves as people to be pitied. In our prayers, we often make supplications to God because we feel we deserve it because of our goodness or merits. Sometimes we are proud of our abilities somehow we are nothing before God. We only need to surrender. Let us surrender ourselves to God in our prayer.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Miserere nostri (Mt. 9:27).


As human beings, we are strong and weak at the same time. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes sad, and depressed. Therefore, the crucial thing is to understand ourselves and take care of our thoughts and emotions. What is my strength and what is my weakness? When I need to give thanks to the Lord and when I should ask for help.

It was the thing about two blind men who followed Jesus (see Mt. 9:27-31). They knew exactly what is their disease. On their own, they were unable to recover. Consequently, they were following Jesus and even shouting: "Take pity on us!" 

Their voice can become ours while we pray privately and as a community of believers. We also can ask him for healing. Because all of us are in need of the healing power of Jesus. There are issues and problems which we cover intentionally and unintentionally. 

We are to invite Jesus to our inner house and let him touch us with his grace. Even if we do not have a deep personal relationship with Jesus, we can improve it during the Advent season. Since the very important part in the process of healing is to trust in Jesus. 

We want to ask Jesus to return our sight and also our inner strength, peace, and happiness. Friendship with Jesus is an intimate matter. So we are not obliged to share it with all our brothers and sisters. However, Jesus gives us freedom and never forces us to follow his ordinances. It is our own choice to fulfill his suggestions.

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

In mundum universum (Mk. 16:15)


Today, the universal church celebrates Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). He was an accomplished journalist. He left his homeland to proclaim glad tidings to others. He truly lived the Gospel, as the evangelist Mark reaffirmed today, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The word “go” is a command to go not only understood as a command to go forth or walk-in preaching the Gospel to the whole world. But it also means that the Gospel is not only to be preached but also to be "living according to the Gospel" that we have received from Lord Jesus. The Gospel is not only reported or heralded, but it must also be lived.

 A person in Christ believes that the Lord Jesus is not only a Gospel heir but also a living proclamation. It means that we too must walk while revealing our lives that are filled with the Gospel of Christ. How can people hear and believe the Gospel message we send forth if others cannot see an example of our lives? Jesus came into the world on one side to show that the promise of his salvation that had been proclaiming by the prophets was not nonsense or a silly promise but did occur. The greatness of God’s love for us humans is not only words but Jesus proved it by dying on the cross.

So Jesus’ command to go forth proclaiming the Gospel was not limited to the form of a spoken heir, but just by seeing ourselves, others would be able to get the news about Jesus. Let us proclaim the Gospel to all creatures as exemplified by Saint Francis Xavier. If we are already living in the Gospel of Christ, then it must be inherent in us. It must have power over us so that it comes alive.

By Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Misereor turbae (Mt. 15:32)


It is so common to hear that Jesus came to save the sinners who believe in him so that they would not perish but obtain eternal life. Our spiritual condition is mostly considered here. Nonetheless, during his life on the Earth Jesus was also concerned much with the humans’ physical condition.

The scriptures today are taken from Matthew 15: 29 – 37. The great crowd came to him, bringing sick people of all kinds. He healed them all. The text said these people had followed him for three days. They must be amazed not only by the miracles he did but also by his powerful teaching. They might carry some supplies with them but then on the third day nothing was left or not enough to support them. Still, they remained with Jesus. It would be fine for him to dismiss the crowd, because he had healed their infirmities and given them spiritual food before. However, he didn’t think of the excellent service he had performed. He urged to serve more, in spite of his disciples’ irritation because of the huge crowd they had never invited in the first place but had to deal with.

In this advent season, weare expecting Christ to come and be with us. Through this reading today, we could see, if he were here, he would ask us to pay more attention to someone, or some people, destitute communities who are in despair. Christmas is about celebrating Christ on Earth. It’s not merely to think about what we might lack in our house or family or to adorn ourselves but to take notice of people in need just like what Jesus did.

Since the first time he came to the world, he had emptied himself– being born in a poor condition until he sacrificed himself on the cross for the undeserved ones like us. It’s because he loves us too much. May we are also able to empty ourselves and feed others with our spiritual gifts and of course the tangible ones such as food, money or even ourselves in many ways. Have we got a plan on our mind?Let people welcome Jesus through us.  

By Desire Litaay.

Septem panes (Mt. 15:36)


Compassion comes as a result of someone’s identification of the needs of others. Jesus is identical to the sick and suffering as his compassion prompted him to do good for them. In the miracle of multiplying the bread, it was compassion that caused Jesus to provide food for them, to think of ways to satisfy their hunger, and to show God's intervention for their benefit.

But the opposite response came from the disciples of Jesus. They were also in the same situation as Jesus. While Jesus felt compassionate, they thought only of themselves and the discomfort they would experience. They did not like taking unnecessary risks.

As the disciples of Jesus, at this time, we must follow the example that Jesus had shown us. We must help the poor and the needy. Do not be afraid of taking any risks. Because, in fact, the risks that God expects us are not beyond our strength and ability. We are expected to give what we have and even ourselves to help and serve others. When we do that, God acts through us and miracles happen. Where there are compassion and mercy, miracles always happen there. 

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Confiteor tibi (Lk. 10:21)


Did you give thanks today? What kind of thankfulness that you offer toward God? The person who always is grateful gets peace in daily life though he or she deals with so many challenges.

Every day is a blessing. From waking up until sleeping at night, we experience many things. Through experience, God is working in us. His grace is often not visible. Nevertheless, we can feel. Only those who are grateful can recognize it.

As a Christian, God asks us to be grateful all the time. Jesus can be an example for us. Saint Luke shows us that Jesus is a person who knows how to be thankful. He prayed, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth...". By this prayer, Jesus realized that His life had come from God. Only God was a source of His strength. Jesus knew to whom He addressed His gratitude.

By being a grateful person, we do not lack anything, on the contrary, we become rich. Richness is not about we have a luxurious house, car, much money, but faith, hope, and love. And there is no one who can rob these things if we have Jesus in our heart. Let us pray to God, may we always become a grateful person and become rich in the name of Jesus.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Venite post me (Mt. 4:19)


Jesus is still walking by your side. He sees you praying, working, and talking. He knows all your activities. He is present in your life even if you do not realize it. Furthermore, he calls you with his gentle voice: "Follow me!" It means: become holy as your heavenly Father is holy. Jesus encourages you and speaks to your heart directly.

Jesus also looks at your relations with family and friends. He is aware of everything which is happening in your life. Jesus sympathizes with your emotions. He is eager to help you overcome the difficulties. 

Only Jesus can make your life prosperous and gorgeous. The point is how you respond to his calling and invitation. Are you ready to obey him rather than your experiences and ideas? Are you not afraid of changing your attitude and behavior? 

Look! There are so many followers of Jesus. All of them are weak and sinful people. But Jesus makes them apostles and heroes.

Jesus knows very well that deep in your heart you are a child of God. He sees not only your face but also your soul. For that reason, you cannot cheat him. 

Eventually, Jesus Christ teaches you what love is. True love is much more than love for your closest ones. Divine love is stronger than the love of your friends. His love is without limit and capable of dying for others. 

Would you like to leave your private boat and sell everything for Jesus' sake? If you are brave enough and have faith, you can follow Jesus... 

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Vigilate (Mk. 13:33)


Blessings on each of you “Seekers” as we begin a new Liturgical year!  

This is such a refreshing season as we begin anew and slowdown, wait in wonder as the Promise Messiah rests in the womb of Mary!

Can we imagine the longing and waiting of the people as expressed by the Prophet Isaiah: “Oh, that you would rend the heaven and come down...  while you wrought awesome deeds, we could not hope for...  No ear has ever heard, no eye has ever seen, any God but you are doing such deeds for those who wait for him.”

Jesus calls out to us in Mark’s Gospel to “Be watchful!  Be alert!”  How often, as in His own time, we miss the comings of the Lord!  “Watch!”  Advent puts us on alert to see the many comings each day of the Lord of Glory.

My Advent prayer for each of us:  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…  God is faithful, and by Him you were called to fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Come Lord Jesus, Maranatha!

By Sr. Mary Vivette, SND

Friday, November 27, 2020

Verba mea (Lk. 21:33)

It has been twenty centuries that the words of God have echoed in people's hearts, from generation to generation. The world is constantly changing but His word will stand forever. His Word keeps up to date through all the ages while heaven and earth will pass away.

This was said by Jesus to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”God's faithfulness is eternal. His promises last forever. God never breaks His promises. He continues to guide his people. Even though we have fallen, been up and down in struggling for loyalty, God remains patient and faithful. His words once spoken, last forever.

God's words today also make us even more convinced that the Bible is not just a collection of some letters or series of dead words, but the Word of God is alive. It can thrill our hearts and change our lives and make us respond to the signs of the times in the light of His words. Let us not pass a day without reading His words.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Levate capita vestra (Lk. 21:28)


In our daily lives, we always touch, find, and use many signs. Apart from the signs of the natural world that exist and happen by the will of the Creator, many other signs are man-made. For example, signs of traffic on the streets, bells in schools, offices, places of worship, monasteries, and other public places. The purpose of these signs is for the common safety and good.

In today's Gospel, Jesus spoke of two important things: "sign and time." Jesus did not speak of his birth, two thousand years ago, as a weak infant. His birth became the greatest sign of love and gift from God the Father for the world. Jesus reminds us again of his second coming in this world that we do not know of his time. Jesus reminds us to be vigilant, attentive, and to repent of all our weaknesses and sins. Always gaze with the constantly burning lamps of our hearts and lest, the lamps of our hearts are extinguished because of our pride, envy, and lust. We must always be wise, lest we prepare a lamp but not prepare oil on it. “ But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” The sign is always revealed, but time is always a secret of God. Time goes on and where it goes we never know. Time is precious, so let’s not waste it.

By. Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

In patientia (Lk. 21:19)


In today’s Gospel Jesus explains that in the last days his disciple will have to face terrible sufferings. Now, in various parts of the world, Christians are being persecuted in many ways. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, storms, etc., are very common nowadays. We often wonder is this a sign that the end of the world is approaching?

It may happen, but one thing we must remember, Jesus does not tell us to escape persecutions and calamities. Jesus teaches us to turn them into good opportunities to bear witness to him. Keep in mind that sufferings and tribulations are part of being a disciple of Jesus. But, we have to understand that we are not alone, Jesus is always with us and he helps us with his blessing and protection. Let our calm approach to the sufferings and trials in our life be a message to others that being a disciple of Jesus is something different from being a disciple of someone else. 

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

De templo (Lk. 21:5)


How do we feel when we see beautiful churches? I am sure that we immediately adore their aesthetic aspect. However, sometimes, we do not realize what’s really happening. We admire the beauty of the church while we forget about the main aim of it which is a place for praying and honouring God. 

In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds some people about that fact, that God is the aim for establishing a church. The temple is a facility for people to gather together to praise God. Saint Luke on 21:15 writes that when the people were admiring the beautiful temple built upon solid stones and beautiful ornamentation, Jesus reminds them “as for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down”. In other words, Jesus wants to tell them that the church will not be of any worth if your eyes do not see God and if your heart is far from Him.

Today’s gospel invites us as well to recognize the core meaning of a church as a place for praying and honouring God. During this pandemic, we have come to realize more about the importance of the church as we are banned from gathering, including celebrating Eucharistic together in the church. Not only us, but many people throughout the world also miss coming to church. People yearn to unite with Jesus Christ by eating His body. How grateful we should have been for it.

Let us ask God to open our eyes and mind in rethinking over the meaning of a temple and realizing the existence of God in our life in the here and now. God Bless us.

By Fr. ArisMada, SVD

Monday, November 23, 2020

Sicut pastor (Ez. 34:12)


The book of Ezechiel (Ez 34:11-12, 15-17) describes our King, the caring, good Shepherd.  But also He addresses us, the sheep, as Judge who will separate the sheep from the rams and goats. 

The Gospel also shows us judgment but is most explicit telling us the qualities of each group, sheep, and goats.  To enter the Kingdom of God, God-seekers know what is required of them!  At this moment in history, we can’t make excuses for not being “shepherds” caring for God’s people especially the poor who are all around us!  Yes, we are limited in what we can do during this pandemic, but that is the challenge facing each of us… what can I do with the limitations that mine or those that are imposed on me?  With God’s direction and help, may each of us creatively meet today’s challenge as a true “shepherd.”

By Sr. Mary Vivette Baker, SND.

Scriptum in frontibus (Ap. 14:1)


Apocalypse is happening now. Many people are dying and suffering because of the Covid pandemic. Many people lose their hope and give up because they do not see any solution for themselves.

 However, in these difficult circumstances, the Christians look at the Holy Mountain where Jesus Christ is reigning. With him, there are thousands of saints and holy angels in a great number. Not only those in heaven but also those on the earth have his holy name written on their foreheads.

Apocalypse is a time of testimony. We are to hear the sound coming out from the Holy Scripture. There is our hope and explanation of the current situation. There we can find the answer of God the Father who does love the world.

We are singing a new hymn of praise in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We unite our voices and prayers in order to support those who do not have strong faith in God. Let us follow the Lamb, Jesus Christ, who is humble and remains hidden from our eyes. He is our Redeemer and Saviour. There is no other hope but in him. 

So let us seek his holy face and live according to his teaching. Let us keep faithful and thus we can receive the crown of eternal life. Amen.

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Friday, November 20, 2020

In templum (Lk. 19:45)


Many people come to the temple, but not to worship God. They take advantage of the celebration of Easter as an opportunity to do business and seek a maximum profit. Jesus was angry because he knew that these people were in the temple but their hearts were directed to their own interests, not to God. So in my opinion, it was worth it for Jesus to get angry and drive them all out.

Until now, I believe that God is still doing the same thing: Jesus purifies the temple of God. Where is the temple of God? The temple of God is in all who believe in Him. We are the holy temple of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 3: 16). Up to this day God has always purified and sanctified our lives. We are cleansed from all evil thoughts, words, or deeds within us. Sometimes God also uses harsh methods to clean it, in order that we are all worthy before God. This may not be easy to do and will require true humility and surrender from ourselves, but in the end, as a result, our ownself will be cleansed and purified by our Lord.

Jesus desires to purify us in many ways. Let Jesus accomplish His mission in us all.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Videns civitatem (Lk. 19:41)


We may have gone to great lengths to reveal that we love someone. But it turned out that they didn’t accept our love, not even realizing that we loved them. Jesus also felt that way. He has done his best to show his love, yet humans rejected him and ignored him.

In the Gospel today, we hear that Jesus wept. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem: “if this day you only knew what makes for peace-but now it is hidden in your eyes” (Luke 19:42). Jesus was deeply depressed by the fact that his people could not understand what was most significant to peace. They thought that God’s temple was the most important thing. God was the one who could bring peace to his people. The moans of Jesus are the cries of love, concern, and wrestle. He wept with the hope of the best for his people. Yet they don't care. Perhaps there is no denying that Jesus wept on this day. He wept not for Jerusalem but all humanity. He moans over all of us who become his followers. He wept when we no longer gave Him a place in our hearts, at home, in the community because the Lord was no longer the center of our lives. After all, we chose the happiness we created ourselves. Let us open our hearts to listen to Jesus, who always wants the best for us so that he neither feel disappointed nor weep over our lives.

By Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Prope Ierusalem (Lk. 19:11)


People at the time of Jesus waited for a prompt manifestation of the kingdom of God. They saw that moment as a political victory over the occupying Romans. But Jesus often told them that the visible manifestation of the kingdom was not as they thought and would not be immediate.

The parable of Jesus today gives us two suggestions:  A rebellion against the king and the rejection of him would happen before the coming of the kingdom; and the time that remains before the glorious coming of Jesus, is not to be wasted and filled with speculating when he will return. We must be seriously involved in carrying out the responsibilities that Jesus has given us now. So my brothers and sisters, let us ask the Lord Jesus to grant us the grace so that he will find us busy in the work that he has given us, to be ready whenever he comes in glory.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Festinans descende (Lk. 19:5)


When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus would be passing his area, he climbed a tree to see Jesus.  

Dear brothers and sisters, In our life, what kind of tree that we use to see Jesus? 

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus on the tree, he ordered: “come down”. 

What kind of tree in our life is that we have to come down? 

Sometimes, we wrongly choose the tree to climb in order to see Jesus. We rely on the treasures or power to find Jesus. Often, we are falling down because of our arrogant attitude. We think that Jesus belongs only to us or that we can control Jesus. 

But, today, Jesus says, come down and change your arrogant behavior. 

The special tree that you have to choose is your cross. The cross teaches you about humility. You are not only bearing it but you have to be hung on the cross like Jesus. To be a Christian means to choose the radical way.

What is our response to Jesus’ invitation? May he make us come down from the tree of arrogance and choose the way of humility.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Caecus quidam (Lk. 18:35)


How often do we behave like a blind person? We pretend not to see because we do not want to react. We fear to tell the truth. We escape from responsibility. We are like Pontius Pilate who had the power to save the truth but he didn’t do that. For that reason, all of us need a Doctor who will cure us.

The most important is to realize that we need a doctor because we are also sick and blind. We don’t see our own mistakes and often close our eyes not to take any action. It happens everywhere: at home, in the community, in the working place, and even in the Church. Secondly, we need to call a Doctor who is Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and Redeemer. We need to pray and ask as the blind person in the gospel: “JESUS, HAVE PITY ON ME!”

In addition, we cannot be ashamed or afraid of other people who disturb us calling Jesus. For sure,  the divine Doctor, Jesus Christ, wants to heal us. But we need to wait for him patiently. He will call us and we are to come closer to him. He can help us through the holy sacraments.

Thirdly, we have to know exactly what your problem and disease is. If we pray from the deep of our heart, we will receive the grace of God. However, if we still doubt, we need to strengthen our faith and trust. Jesus Christ is able to act instantly. But he is waiting for the proper attitude of our soul. It means when we are humble and patient, but also brave and ready for his coming to your inner home.

Let us praise the Lord who is our heavenly Healer and Master. Let us open our hearts for his healing power. Let us love and trust him with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. Amen.

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Uxoris Lot (Lk. 17:32)


In today’s Gospel, Jesus quotes two popular events from the Old Testament, the flood of Noah's day (Gen. 6:7), and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 6:19). Jesus used these two events to make them possible as important comparisons for the coming of the Son of man. "So it shall be in the day, where the son of man shall make himself known" (Lk. 17:30). Here, Jesus made it clear that when the son of man express himself later, in a situation where humans are living a normal life, human activities go on as usual. There's no insulation nor lockdown like it is happening right now. People go about their lives; Eating, drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, even mating and mating), continued to be normal, with no special treatment at the time leading up to the coming of the son of man.

Yet, it is here that human concerns are often not ready for the coming of Jesus because there is no early warning. As in the days of Noah and Lot, most people made fun of both Noah and Lot, who were busy building an ark and invited children and families out of Sodom. They're even considered insane and paranoid. In our society today, people who are trying to obey a health protocol because of the Covid19 pandemic and often considered funny, ridiculous. Many are fall not in sore straits, but in normal life. Thus, Jesus came at the time when life is walking normally, perhaps, even when we do not “expect” him to come just for now, when life's normality "lulled "men into ruin, as did many around Noah and a Lot of old. We know, that the Son of man will come suddenly, unannounced, without warning. However, we have been warned to prepare ourselves, to be watchful, and not to be lulled into a false spiritual or drought of spiritual life. Are we among those brought (to salvation) or left behind in destruction?

By Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

In diebus Filii hominis (Lk. 17:26)


Lord Jesus described how to prepare the day for the coming of the Son of Man: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying, and getting married until the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all”. Everyone lived his life as usual. Only Noah knew how to prepare himself. He obeyed Lord's commands. He spent the time to prepare for that judgment day. He made an ark.

It was the ark that saved Noah and his family. Do we use our life to make the ark so that we could be saved? We don't know when the end of the world will come, so our whole life should be a  preparation to welcoming the Son of Man.

“Remember Lot's wife!” said Jesus. Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot's wife was not willing to leave her past and did not dare to leave her belongings. Possessions could not save her. Only faith in God can save us. Just as Noah obeyed God's commands, Lot's wife should only believe in God's Word. Looking back was useless.

Let’s follow God's commands and keep looking forward! Let's use our life for the preparation of the Lord's day.

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Omnia possum (Phil. 4:13).


Saint Paul writes in his letter: „I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.”

Do I know how to live in whatever situation? To work stationary, and to work remotely? To live in community, and to live in isolation? To pray with others, and to pray alone? To travel and meet people, and to stay at home? To be healthy, and to be sick?

In this time of the pandemic, we often find ourselves in new situations. Circumstances and restrictions are changing all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to accept, to adjust, to live in uncertainty. Especially when I focus on what I don’t have, what I cannot do. It is much easier when I focus on the positive things, on the possibilities that every new situation offers me.

Sometimes it’s still not enough. Sometimes I just cannot. Sometimes the problems seem to be bigger than me and I feel weak and helpless.

Where is the secret of Saint Paul that enables him to be happy in whatever situation? (Phil. 4:12). „I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me” (Phil. 4:13). The secret is in Him. He is the One who empowers me. He is with me in every situation. He gives me what I really need. I just need to perceive and accept it. I can go through everything if I don’t rely on myself but on Him. He can give me strength. He can give me peace and joy. In whatever situation. He promised it: „My God will fully supply whatever you need, In accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

By Sr. Veronika Gaál SSS.