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.

Gratias agens (Lk. 17:16).


When we were little, our parents often taught us manners and ethics. The one good attitude that was always taught and emphasized for us was don't forget to say “thank you” when we received something. This attitude of expressing gratitude is reflected in today's Gospel when ten lepers came to Jesus to be cleansed, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" But when they were cleansed, only one person came back to express his gratitude to God.  The others did not realize what God had done for them and they seemingly forgot the blessing that they had received.

Being grateful is sometimes so easily forgotten. Maybe we are so excited that we forget the One who had helped us and gave everything to us. Therefore, in the Gospel, God reminds us to behave in a balanced way when asking, give thanks. God has given us many things for free, granting our wishes, and meeting the needs of our lives.  So, balancing these two things becomes the goal of everyday life in our words and deeds. Amen.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Spera in Domino (Ps. 37:3)


What makes a relationship last? How can we establish a relationship with God? These questions guide us to understand the basic needs that all people have in this life. Trust is needed to establish a relationship with one another and with God. Without trust, we cannot build a harmonious life. When we do not trust each other, we suspect others and start the conflict. Similarly, we spoil our relationship with God by distrusting his kindness. 


God wants to build a relationship with human beings. He invites us to put our trust in Him. Trusting God means surrendering ourselves to God. Trusting God means that only God can save our life. Indeed, when God asks us to trust Him, He has placed first the trust in us. He trusted us before we trusted Him. 


In Luke, 17:7-10, Jesus describes the relationship between the master and the slave to tell us about trust. Jesus asked us to behave like the servant with humility and say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty. " 


Let us ask God to encourage us to trust each other and in this way create a better world. 

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Dei aedificatio (1 Cor. 3:9)


The human being is a temple of God. What a great mystery? What a wonderful miracle? What grace? By the grace of God, we are being built as God’s temple. However, it depends on us how beautiful and amazing is this sanctuary. Obviously, our body is limited and get older and older. But our inner life and ornaments can become more and more beautiful.

Every day we must eat so that we can live healthily and happily. Each day we also need to provide spiritual food so that our souls could flourish. For we are to become like Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who knew how to manage his physical and spiritual life in the Holy Spirit. He is able to help us in the process of growing and following him. Furthermore, there are people who are mature and wise. They are like God’s angels who support us on the journey of life.

Becoming a holy temple of God is not easy. It takes time and patience. It is hard work that needs much effort and perseverance. But it is worth doing. Since there is a throne of God in our hearts that must be adorned. In the middle of our soul, there is a source of divine fire. From this place, our strength comes and holiness begins. For we are not only physical beings but much more than that. We are created by God the Father as his beloved children. Consequently, we partake in the divine life and sanctify ourselves day by day. Finally, we will live in the heavenly temple with God and angels and saints.

Here on the earth the process of sanctification starts but does not finish. The full perfection of our inner sanctuary will be accomplished in the heavenly kingdom.   

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

De oleo vestro (Mt. 25:8).


This parable puzzled me for many years.  I had always thought, why don’t they share the oil? But the description of the virgins uses the terms wise and foolish virgins. Isn’t true wisdom a gift of the Holy Spirit given to a person over a period of time, usually over a long period of time?   So looking at the parable in relation to the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, it helps one to understand the meaning of the parable.

“Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire.”  These words seem to hold the secret of wisdom:  loving, seeking, and desiring!  It does not seem to be given to everyone and that is why I call it a gift.

Since wisdom is a spiritual gift of a life-long search, it cannot be shared like oil.  By its nature, it leads a person to the Source of all wisdom, the Bridegroom.  This solves the dilemma:  the wise virgins were ready while the foolish virgins were empty and awaiting the groom with nothing. May our loving, seeking, and desiring the Bridegroom bring us daily closer to Him!  My prayer for all of you!

By Sr. Mary Vivette, SND.

Ecce sponsus! (Mt. 25:6)


At first glance, I found this parable unfair. It is unfair that the five stupid maids were excluded from the wedding simply because they forgot to bring enough oil for their lamps. When I read it again, I found the parable deeper than I thought before. It is about much more than a little lamp oil. Then I tried to redesign it to better understand the gospel.

“The kingdom of heaven is like ten parents who had good families. In those days, girls married so young that it was the parents’ duty to organize their weddings. Five parents had many children. And so they had many opportunities to celebrate their children's weddings. So, they knew everything it took to organize a wedding. They knew everyone involved with whom they had to contact. Also, they already had a list of their guests. They knew all the steps they had to take. In short, they knew everything. These five parents became stupid women. And the other five parents only had one child each. They had to learn by doing it. You were inexperienced in organizing a wedding. You might have been overwhelmed with a lot of preparation: finalizing the list of guests. ensure enough food and drink and properly follow the ritual. With all these engagements, they may have sleepless nights before the wedding was over. Indeed, it was the first and last chance of her life to organize or support her child's wedding. And so, they could not miss it. These five parents became wise women.”

Let us now return to the story of Christ. It should be clear by now that this is not a momentary memory loss - we forget to bring some extra oil. We are dealing with two opposing attitudes towards the wedding celebration. For the wise women, it was their one chance of a lifetime. It was something they really valued and diligently prepared for. Here was the opportunity to meet the groom and take part in the wedding feast. There was no way they would miss it. For the fools, I imagine it was a bit of fun, a joke. They would have said we should take it easy just out of habit. Deep down, they did not care. Still, they felt disappointed when they did not enter. But it was her whole attitude that was wrong, not just a small memory loss. In fact, they were not judged at a moment in their lives.

Our learning points should be clear to us by now. We are not dealing with a one-off wedding party. The stakes are far higher. It's about our eternal salvation. We are talking about the possibility of being excluded from the eternal banquet. When the word of God becomes so trusted that we no longer need to hear it, we are at risk. When sin becomes a habit to the extent that we cannot see the urgency of conversion, we are at risk. When poverty and injustice become so normal around us that we do nothing about it, we are at risk. When it becomes so normal not to pray and to seek a virtuous or Christian life, we are at risk. When God calls us, all that matters will be the kind of people we are, not what we have achieved or what we have amassed. Before that call of God comes, we ask ourselves what if we are caught off guard with no oil in our spiritual lamps? We are therefore invited to ensure that our lamps are always on. So, we have to keep pouring oil into them. And the Eucharist, prayers, our services are times to refill our lamps. Our vigilance should be a daily matter. Vigilance means keeping an eye on our faith. Vigilance is necessary to seek God and one another.

We are all called to be bearers of the light of Christ, lamp holders. But like the five foolish maids, we are sometimes careless and irresponsible, taking for granted our life of routine and let this lamp goes out or at least get very darkened.

Let us convince ourselves today that through a spirit of prayer and vigilance, Christ will help us keep His light burning brightly. God of life, please, help us keep the lamp of faith burning. Help us keep the lamp of hope burning brightly. Help us keep the lamp of love burning brightly. Never leave us alone!

By Fr. Ouwakpare Victorin Oussoi, SVD



Saturday, November 7, 2020

De mammona (Lk. 16:9).


 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive into an everlasting life home.” (Luke 16:9)

Money can be both a blessing and a curse for us depending on how we manage and use it. Money is an important thing but not the most important thing in our life. Money is one of the means to achieve happiness but not an end of happiness itself. Everyone needs money, so it is not wrong if we work to earn money. Getting rich is also not a problem, but don’t make money for everything so that we oppress others, cheat and enrich ourselves. Let’s make money as a blessing from God and a tool to help others who are in need. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His reaches in glory by Jesus Christ” (Phil. 4:19.)

We need money to buy something to eat and drink, treat sickness, and to live our religious life. Nevertheless, it is wrong if money is no longer used as a means of life but as an end in life. By making money as a goal of life, we become slaves of money. Being slaves to money makes us afraid of death and doesn’t want to leave all our wealth. We start thinking of corruption, living extravagantly, and we don’t know how to manage money properly. Many people think that the benchmark of success is seen from abundant wealth. It’s not that! Success is seen from how many people love us! Paul said “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned it in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Phil. 4:11-12).

 “No servant can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Lk. 16:13)  

We ourselves must be admitted that being a good person is easy, but it is rather difficult to be a loyal person. In our life, sometimes people can fail to maintain loyalty. We may not be faithful to what has been promised. People always change over time and loyalty can easily change too. It could be easy to say “YES”, but then it could be “NO” in our deed and mind. Nowadays, loyalty is hard to come by. The world offers so many things that we can become unfaithful in life. In terms of faith, we can also become unfaithful with our life choice, so easily become lovers of money instead.  Jesus reminds us to be faithful people in any way, be a person who is loyal to our duties and jobs, a person who is faithful to the calling of life, a person who is faithful in service. In full fidelity to our life and calling, we have to demonstrate the quality of our lives as a disciple of Christ today.

By Frt. Sandre Loreng, SVD.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Homo dives (Lk. 16:1)


Shiftiness is often identified with cleverness. After all, the shrewd are those who are capable of critical thinking and capable of carrying out perfectly responsible, perfectly thought-provoking thoughts. Those who have both the ablest and the common experience have a good position. But let us realize, some shrewd people are also unable to deliver them to safety. For example the corruptors. They are intelligent but not enough to help themselves get out of the legal snares of corruption.

In today's Gospel, Jesus gave by means of an illustration. Jesus spoke highly of the ingenuity of a dishonest steward. His tadpole was reflected in a situation that set him up because he lacked responsibility for his job. And he was even aware of the risk of being fired and losing his job. Even if the risk is imminent and yet he uses all of his potentials to save himself.

The evangelist Luke wants to invite us to learn shrewdly in life now, in order to attain a future/eternal life. In the face of such a situation as the dishonest steward, we need not despair and mourn but think creatively to resolve issues. Jesus wants us to appear as problem-oriented individuals, not focused on problems. Thus, a person's intellectual ingenuity must help him/her attain the spiritual intelligence of salvation.

By Sr. Maria Venidora, SND.

Et laudavit dominus (Lk. 16:8)


Today Jesus tells us the parable of the dishonest treasurer. At the end of his teaching, Jesus says, "For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light."

Unbelievable is the master’s reaction when he discovers the steward’s dishonesty. Instead of putting him in prison, he commends the steward for acting prudently. The gospel today may cause confusion in our minds. How could Jesus praise someone who, in today's world, is corrupt or seeking his own advantage at the expense of others? In today’s world, I doubt that this is how an employer would respond. It is more likely that the steward, at least, would find himself or herself out of a job or perhaps find himself or herself in jail.

Jesus says that we can learn even from dishonest people who are smart! Just as the children of this world cleverly prepare for the future, so the children of light must be clever in preparing for their future. That is preparing the Kingdom of God. The manager adapts quickly to a crisis. When a crisis hits me, do I turn to God and work out what to do, or do I let the crisis ruin my life?

By Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Dominus salus mea (Ps. 27:1).


COVID 19 turned our plans upside down. By the fourth week of March, Maumere was placed under total lockdown. The church that used to be filled with believers had gone empty.

However, by God's grace, churches were reopened to the faithful in the first week of July.  People started going to church again. The crisis did not quench the people's thirst to hear God's words and receive the Holy communion. What consoled me during this challenging situation was the presence of young people in the church, attending mass and devotions not only on Sundays but also on weekdays. Every Friday and Saturday of the first week of the month, people also come for adoration and Rosary.

Seeing this fervor in people strengthens me and gives me hope. The responsorial Psalm of today which says: “The Lord is my light and my salvation” reminds us of our total trust in Him. Despite many challenges and crises that we are now facing in our religious vocation, yet God always enlightens us.

By Sr. Imelda, SMBS.

Meus discipulus (Mt. 14:27)


In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus invite all of us to be his disciples. To be his real disciples, we must follow what he says; we must love him above all else, and we must carry our crosses. Many times we think that carrying the cross means we have to accept the sufferings of life for the love of Jesus. But today Jesus reveals that carrying the cross means much more. In carrying the cross, we must be in communion with Jesus, and we also must participate in the mission of Jesus; it means that we must take part in the work of redemption.

Jesus’ talk of hating our dear ones as a condition for following Jesus by sharing his mission confuses us a little bit. But, in the language Jesus spoke, ‘to hate’ also meant ‘to loveless’. So, we can understand now that we must love Jesus more than anyone else if we want to be his real disciples. But to love Jesus is not easy, because in our daily lives we prefer to love ourselves and the desires of our hearts more than Jesus. So, what should we do? We ask Jesus to soften our hardened hearts so that we can realize that only Jesus is to be loved because he alone is able to give us real happiness and salvation. We pray and ask Jesus to do this for us.

By Father Risco Batbual, SVD

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

In regno Dei (Lk. 14:15)


Have you been invited to the banquet? What do you feel when you are the one that gets the invitation? Perhaps, we have been welcomed to the dinner. We are joyful because the host knows and remembers us well. Same with that, we are happy people indeed as we are invited by God to enter His Kingdom. We are special people for God who knows and remembers us well.

Today’s gospel tells us about those who will enter the Kingdom of God. Those who will get into the Kingdom of God are those who open their heart to accept God’s invitation and believe in eternal life come from Jesus Christ. Christians are the people who get this invitation, thus will be glad about it. The Kingdom of God offers eternal salvation. We efforts to get it by putting God in the first place and doing good, such as establishing fraternity, respecting differences, putting the last first, help each other, etc., as the implementations of loving God. However, as a Christian, we are not good enough to implement it. Sometimes we reject God’s offering or invitation. We are more focusing on our importance rather than God’s invitation. We focus on our business and forget to pray and come to God. In our family, we do not put God as our center of life, instead of our selfishness.

The opportunity comes once yet we will lose it for we do not take it. Every time, God invites us to His Kingdom. Now, it depends on us to accept it or not. If we reject his invitation, God will give it to others. May we who believe in Jesus Christ accept God's invitation every time.

May God pour his joy into our hearts and strengthen us to keep faith in the name of Jesus. 

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Domine caeli et terrae (Mt. 11:25)


On 2nd November we pray for all souls of the departed brothers and sisters. Should we feel sad or depressed because they are not with us anymore? Or rather would it better to praise God the Father for our beloved family members, friends, and colleagues? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, teaches us to bless the Creator of heaven and earth, and the Lord of life and death.

As human beings, we neither understand everything nor control our future. It is enough if we accept our present life as a gift from the loving Father. For him, time and space are not a problem. Only we-the earthly species are closed and depend on these realities. Obviously, the omnipotent God can reveal the mysteries of the spiritual life to us. Thus, thanks to the Son and the Holy Spirit, we are able to comprehend the hidden life in the heavenly kingdom. 

Especially when we commemorate our departed relatives and friends, we are to come closer to Jesus and ask him for eternal peace. If we are overburdened by difficult circumstances and painful experiences, we can approach Jesus as our Redeemer and Saviour. We are never alone. His gentle presence and strong-arm support us. In him, we find rest for our souls. 

As Christians, we do believe in the communion of the saints. During our prayers, we do partake in the inner life of God and meet with all souls. Eventually, we will live forever and ever with all the saints, angels, and our beloved brothers and sisters. So, let us bless our Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.  

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Beati pauperes spiritu (Mt. 5:3)


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” When I read this passage, it reminded me of my experience in the first week of August. I had a chance to give communion to the elderly and the disabled. Actually, I was a little bit thirsty and hungry because right after the Mass I went from house to house. This did not bother me. The important thing was to bring Jesus to our brothers and sisters who long to receive Him. That day, I visited the house of the disabled boy. I could feel the joy he felt as I looked at his face. He kept on shouting even though he could not speak and he smiled at me. I could not express what I felt at that moment. I felt a garble of emotions in my heart but one thing I’m sure that seeing him made me happy. Then I uttered a special prayer for him. After I gave him communion, I asked permission from his mother if I could carry him and have a picture with her son. The mother was a little hesitant, perhaps because I look so thin and she doubted whether I could carry her boy. She told me that her son is heavy. I insisted and I carried the boy in my arms, embraced, and kissed him. He was so happy despite his condition and when we took the picture, he was looking at me and laughing with pure joy. That moment really touched me and left a deep impression in my heart. In my heart, I said, “thank you Lord for allowing me to experience your presence within this little boy.”

 I am so grateful for this experience and as we celebrate today the solemnity of all saints that comes to my mind is the message of Mo. Teresa of Calcutta: “Do ordinary things with great love. Do something beautiful for God.” So, my dear brothers and sisters, some of us might not be declared saints but we are all called to live out and imitate the life of the saints. Let us challenge ourselves to help people around us especially in this pandemic, help them experience the presence of God in our little ways, through our words and deeds.

By Sr. Imelda, MSBS.