January 30, 2016

4th Sunday - C



Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.”

These are the words the people of Nazareth said to Jesus in his first public appearance in his hometown. They must have heard of his mighty deeds and his powerful preaching elsewhere.

Yet, their words do not express a sense of pride. Neither are they words of disbelief.

Rather, these words seem to express the people's desire to keep Jesus to themselves.

They do not realize that Jesus cannot be contained. Nobody is entitled to the gift of God. Nor can any group of people keep God's salvation to themselves.

Earlier in this Gospel, Luke emphasized that Jesus is the Savior of all. He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (2:32) and that “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (3:6) [1] .

More specifically, immediately before the exchange of words with his townsfolks, in 4:18-19, Jesus indicated that he has been sent to the poor, the captives, the oppressed, and not to those who feel entitled to God's gift. Like the prophets, Jesus – the new Prophet – has been sent to the poor, the widows, the lepers, and the outcasts of society, the widow in Zarephathp and the Naaman the Syrian of his time.

What attitude do I have towards the gift of Jesus? And as a beloved child of God, am I sharing God's salvation to all, especially the poor, the widows, the lepers, and the outcasts?


[1] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke, Sacra Pagina Series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press; p. 82.

January 31st is the Feast Day of St. John Bosco, our Founder.  Please pray for us, that we may grow in holiness following his example, and continue to bring God to young people, especially those who are poor.
Some info about us:  http://www.salesiansofdonbosco.org

4th Sunday - C (January 31, 2016)


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January 23, 2016

3rd Sunday - C


Today … In Your Hearing …

Jesus came to Nazareth anointed and sent by “the Spirit of the Lord.”

To his neighbors, Jesus proclaims, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

God's salvation – glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed, and a year acceptable to the Lord – is fulfilled today, in our hearing. It is real, here and now.

Nazareth was an insignificant town of probably 400 people [1] . It was so insignificant that there is no mentioning of it in the entire Old Testament [2]. And outside of the Gospels, it is only mentioned for the first time in the 3rd Century [3]. (Next Sunday, as we continue with Luke's Chapter 4, even the people of Nazareth do not see themselves too highly).

To the people in this insignificant town, today, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in their hearing.

It is so with us. Today, God's salvation is fulfilled in our hearing, regardless of who we are.

And just like Jesus, as children of God, we have been anointed and sent by the “Spirit of the Lord.” We are commissioned to proclaim the same message to all people. May they know that it is today God's salvation is fulfilled in their hearing also.

[1] Scott Korb, Life in Year One, quoted by Wikipedia
[2] Catholic Encyclopedia, www.newadvent.org
[3] Anchor Bible Dictionary, quoted by Wikipedia 

3rd Sunday - C


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January 16, 2016

2nd Sunday - C


The Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

Most often, we reflect on this Gospel passage of the wedding at Cana looking at Mary, or the disciples, or the couple, particularly at wedding Masses, or Jesus as he performs his first sign here in John's Gospel.

Today, on this 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, let's look at the waiters.

The waiters simply do their job: doing what the guests ask, filling up water jars, taking water to the headwaiter. They do their ordinary tasks.

The key is that they do these ordinary tasks in Jesus' presence and at his command.

And the result is extraordinary. Gallons and gallons of good wine. The waiters, Mary, and Jesus save the day.

The waiters are firsthand witnesses of Jesus' very first sign.

Jesus is likewise present in our daily and so often ordinary lives. His presence makes our lives extraordinary. Thus, every ordinary thing we carry out can be extraordinary if we do them at his command, and with him at our side.

And may our eyes be open to see the extraordinary things Jesus is doing in our lives. 

2nd Sunday - C (January 17, 2016)


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January 9, 2016

Baptism of the Lord - C


Beloved Son”

In describing Jesus' baptism, Luke includes three details: heaven was opened, the Holy Spirit descended, and the voice from heaven spoke to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

By coming into the world, Jesus opened heaven for all humanity. Now, at our baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon us. As we are baptized into the death of Jesus, we rise with him and become sons and daughters of God. The Father speaks to each of us the same words, “You are my beloved Son/Daughter; with you I am well pleased.”

Later on, as Jesus begins his public ministry, he will speak of how, with the Holy Spirit, who is “upon” him, he will live out his mission as the Son of God. [1] In two weeks, we will hear this proclamation from Luke 4: 18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”

In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has invited us ask God to give us the grace to live out this same mission of Jesus, as sons and daughters of God. And in this way, we can become “merciful like the Father” (Reference: Prayer for the Year of Mercy)


[1] http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com

Baptism of the Lord - C (January 10, 2016)


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January 2, 2016

Epiphany of the Lord


Two Responses to the Newborn King

There are two opposite responses to the news of the newborn king of the Jews.

The first response is that of Herod and the chief priests and scribes. The second is the response from Mary and the magi.

Herod is afraid of losing his power and control to the newborn king of the Jews. Because of this fear, Herod plots to remove the threat to his throne. The chief priests and the scribes later would have the same fear. Jesus became a challenge to their religious authority. And like Herod, they would plot to do away with Jesus.

Mary and the magi do not have much power and control. Mary was a simple young woman in a patriarchal society. She comes from a town of little significant. (We learn this about Nazareth in the responses various people gave about Jesus' background). Religiously, the magi were considered outsiders.

Unlike Herod, the chief priests and the scribes, Mary recognizes God's mercy and generosity in the gift of Jesus. She would praise God for having looked upon her lowliness. The magi acknowledge their ignorance and have the humility to ask for help and guidance. They rejoice when they are led to the little child. As a gesture of subordination, they prostrate themselves and does him homage.

Epiphany of the Lord (January 3, 2016)


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