Lenten JourneyThe Lunar New Year had been celebrated all over the world.  It was notable here in the Philippines among our Filipino Chinese.  There were so many things that they place in the house, or wore or ate or gave in whatever way.  All these were for luck, for success, for every good thing for the New Year.

We need to look beyond the things and what they stand for.  We know that we cannot depend on luck alone.  Success requires some intelligence, hard work, perseverance, determination, good interpersonal relationship and perhaps the right connections.  Most of all, it requires lots of faith that in spite and despite of possible happenings, in the end, you will be blessed!

We often see the Sto. Nino image in stores.  I do not know exactly why the store owners place the image there.  Is it show that the owner is a Catholic and a devotee of Sto. Nino?  Or is it for Sto. Nino to protect the store or perhaps bring luck by inviting more customers?  I don’t know.

Jesus-on-Cross-1024x1024GlorifiedLet us look beyond the image and see what the Sto. Nino is showing to us.  Let’s understand the Father’s way of allowing His Son to be like us – the Word that became man in the natural way as an infant and a child like anyone of us!  And yet this Child grew up too to fulfil the mission that His Father gave Him.

He took upon Himself the weight of the world, to complete the covenant between God and man, to suffer and die for us because of our sinfulness.  However, in his short life in the ministry, He did it all – teaching, preaching, healing, celebrating, praying, witnessing to the Father and being an example to His apostles and disciples. “After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.  If you knew these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:12-17)

What is LentDuring this season of Lent, we remember and reflect the meaning of Lent in our lives today.  “Do this in memory of Me!” This is what He said when he took a cup and after giving thanks he said “Take this and divide it among yourselves; then He took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:17-20)

We hear these words spoken in the Eucharistic Prayer at mass.  Do we remember each time?  Do we remember the torture to this “Body” that we receive and the “Blood” poured out due to human violence? Do we remember how we have contributed to the violence in various ways that we do day by day? Can we appreciate enough how God saved us?  Can we rejoice enough that the gates of Heaven is opened for us again – if only we cooperate fully with God?

Holy MassIn every Eucharistic Celebration, God reminds us our history and how God continually saved us through His love, mercy and compassion – if only we fully accept this redemption and bring out the goodness, the beauty and purity of our spirit that God the Father intended for us from the start.

But since we continually fail and sin again, we realize that our weakness prevails when we do not hold on to the strength of God and depend on His help all the time!  At mass, the priest leads the prayers for ourselves and for every one’s needs.  We also thank the good Lord for everything that He has blessed us.  All that we have, all that we enjoy, all that are around us –are all God’s gifts to us.  And we can only say “THANKS”!





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