Pleasing God

Many people are guilty of trying to please others above anything else in their life. They go to extra lengths to live up to the opinions of others, and their behaviors revolve around it. Sometimes the opinion of their families and loved ones take a backseat. 

In the Gospel (Mk. 1: 7-11), after Jesus was baptized by John,

On coming up out of the water He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him. And a voice came from the Heavens, “You are my beloved Sonwith you I am well pleased.”

Today’s Sunday is the last day of the Christmas Season and what follows is the Ordinary Time in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. It is also the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a transitioning moment from His hidden life in Nazareth to the beginning of His public ministry. This is significant because this is when Jesus revealed to the world who He is, an “epiphany”, a manifestation of His true identity as He prepares to begin His public ministry. It was through the simple and humble act of Baptism performed by John; not a grandiose event in the eyes of the world. The Lord didn’t have to go through it, but in His humility, He went through the experience. He waded through the Jordan in solidarity with sinful, struggling and dirty humanity. During His public ministry, He even dined with sinners, and as expected, it “scandalized” the religious leaders at that time. By these actions, Jesus embraced us as we are, so that we will understand His love for us as something even greater than our own selves. This opened up our lines to Heaven so that we will comprehend better His redeeming act of love for mankind’s salvation.

Even though Jesus is God, He shared our fragile and fickle-minded human nature. There was affirmation from the Heavens when God the Father said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This perfect act of Jesus also opened up Heaven for us. With our own baptism, the appropriate response is the journey towards a deeper commitment to follow Christ and avoid sin and wrongdoing. 

This Sunday, reflect on your own life: Who are you giving your full attention and commitment to? Are you giving God the attention that He deserves, as your Creator, King and God? Will He say at the end of your life, that He is “Well pleased” with you?

Dear Lord, thank you for sharing your Baptism with us. May we respond through a deeper commitment to You every day as we journey towards fulfillment of our vows in Baptism, hoping to live fully in unity with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call Him while He is near.” (cf Is. 55: 6)

Saying Yes to God

God calls each one of us in so many different ways. In most instances, the Lord uses the situations close to us as means to connect with us. For example, the Lord used my parents to bring me closer to Him. They got me involved starting with what’s easier for me to do at a young age: serving as a Knight of the Altar. My parents woke me up early during summer so that I can catch up with the 6 o’clock daily Mass. Slowly, the practice of going to Mass became a habit, ingrained in my being that my elders didn’t have to wake me up anymore.  Aside from Masses in the Church, our Parish Priest also brought me when he celebrated Mass in the different communities. Baptisms, weddings, fiestas, and the like; those different experiences taught me more about the Faith, the Sacraments and the Holy Eucharist.

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 2: 1-12), we hear the proclamation,

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the JewsWe saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

The Magi were engaged in the study of the stars and were believed to come most likely from Persia, modern-day Iran. While they weren’t Jewish, they knew of the popular belief that a king would be born to save them. God used their interest — the study of the stars — to call them to search and meet the Lord. With a star, God guided them to follow this sign to pursue the search for the Savior. What was good about it is that the Magi responded to the call of God. They travelled a long and perilous way to meet the Child Jesus,

They saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

How about you, do you recognize the ways by which God is reaching out to you? Like the Magi, are you responding to His calls? Are you attentive to God’s invitation for a deeper relationship with Him? 

Dear God, as I face the New Year, continue to guide me to you. Make me be sensitive to the many ways You are reaching out. Grant me the wisdom and courage to respond and follow You. Protect me from the dangers of the journey and make me commit my life to You.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” (cf Ps. 72: 11)

Be the Light to the World!

Today, the Sunday after Christmas, the Holy Mother Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This is to honor Jesus of Nazareth, His mother Mary, and His foster father Joseph, as a beautiful and model family. The Gospel proclamation (Lk. 2: 22-40) reveals that after Mary and Joseph completed the prescriptions of the law of Moses, they took the Child Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law. Their family life is worth reflecting in the light of their humility, simplicity, and obedience to God. While the Sacred Scriptures do not present much details, surely theirs is a remarkable and perfect family. Although they may look similar to how the typical family at that time live their daily lives, theirs is also different in that they are a perfect model for families even up to the present age.

Amidst the current pandemic, today’s Christian family is a very challenged family. Loss of employment, underemployment, poverty, decent living and health, are some of the current issues affecting every Christian family. We see the same challenges that the Holy Family had during their time. They lived in poverty, despite their being “highly privileged” in the eyes of God. According to the Law, the prescribed offerings are usually lamb or goats, however; two young pigeons were accepted as sin offerings from the “poorer people”, and as purification offerings. In the Gospel account, the Holy Family fulfilled the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

Why did God allow the Holy Family to be poor? Many of us find it hard to imagine the Holy Family living in abject poverty. Yet in His infinite wisdom, God shows us that the Holy Family, being poor is very much a “human family”.They handled all sorts of difficulties and challenges that life has to offer, to share our human experience that we may share in His Divinity. Despite the odds, the Holy Family was a very pious family. Joseph and Mary were apparently observant Jews, making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year with other Jewish families. They showed us that even in poverty, one can handle life’s daily challenges. Despite these issues, it is possible for one to be holy and obedient to God.

We celebrate Christmas because as the Church proclaims, we are reminded “Your Son shares our weakness: may we share His glory.” We celebrate the Season lest we forget that God loves us so much, that He sent His only Son to give us the opportunity to be saved from the effects of sin. In this feast of the Holy Family we are reminded that we can always strive to be holy, in our own humanly way. 

Let us be like the Holy Family to the world. For our families to be like them, we must find time to read the Word. We must pray regularly to God. We must be obedient to His Will. The readings this Sunday provide us a glimpse of what God wants us to practice (see Sir. 3: 2-6, 12-14; Ps. 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; Col. 3: 12-21). Doing these will make us better families, holy families.  Only then can we become the light of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to the world.

Have a blessed Season!

Obedience to God

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38a)

Mary’s obedience to God is unprecedented. Without a shadow of doubt, she accepted the challenge of the Angel Gabriel, who was the same messenger sent to herald the news to Zechariah (in yesterday’s Gospel). The Blessed Mother’s attitude is one of a true servant of God, her attention to serve God was full and complete. She didn’t hesitate, unmindful of what this meant, but dedicating her life to serve no matter the cost. 

What would you have done if what happened to Mary happened to you? Would you believe the angel? I’m certain you’re not sure what your response would’ve been. Mary portrayed confidence in her answer and showed her total devotion to God. After being “greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be”, Mary found the courage to ask a question. In her innocence, humility and purity of heart, Mary truly believed. She had faith and never doubted.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

The Gospel (Lk. 1: 26-38) in this Fourth Sunday of Advent exhorts us to believe the presence of God in our lives. Regardless of the situation we are facing now, let us realize that we are being used by God to do good to others. The Lord needs you to be a part of His miracles, whether it be a sick relative, a problematic child, or an unreasonable colleague at work. When you accept your daily challenges, your happiness will unfold as you become part of the process. 

Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, shared a beautiful story of his friend, who is a father to three children — all with autism. When Fr. Armand asked him how he managed bringing up his children, the reply was, 

“Father, ewan ko nga eh, paano namin nakakayanan ni misis, pero sila yung ibinigay ng Diyos, makakayanan namin. Hindi kami pababayaan ng Diyos. Ibinigay Niya ito.” (I really don’t know Father, how me and my wife managed these, but they were the ones given to us by God, we will go through this. God will not abandon us.) 

What a beautiful answer! Fr. Armand said, 

“Walang imposible sa Panginoon. Kahit gaano kahirap, gaano kadilim ang buhay, may mangyayari at mangyayari diyan. Kailangan lang natin makisabay sa Panginoon, tayo ang alipin, tayo ang katiwala, sa atin Niya ibinigay ano man iyan. (Nothing is impossible with God. No matter how difficult, how dark life is, something good will come out of these. All we have to do is to walk with the Lord, we are the servants, we are the stewards, He gave these to us.)

Bakit kailangan ko pang sumali Panginoon? (Why do I have to work with you, Lord?) 

“Para malasahan ninyo, para tunay yung kaligayahan mo, kasi kasama kayong magluto.” (So you can experience it, so that your happiness will be true, because you’re part of the process.)

In this Fourth Sunday of Advent, let us reflect on our humility and obedience to the will of God. Are we humble to listen to God speaking through His messengers? Are we willing and freely-giving our obedience to Him? Are we sharing in the miracles God is performing to others?

Let us pray that our obedience to Him be complete, total and loving, so that we fully participate in His work now and for as long as we live. 

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” (Ps.89: 2a)

Recognizing the Lord

Life in the Lord shouldn’t be miserable. While we are experiencing bad things, there are reasons unknown to us why these events happened. It is hard to explain but let us be comforted with the fact that despite the difficulties, the Champ in us have to make sense of what’s happening, knowing that the Master Conductor is in control. The music remains a symphony waiting to be heard and appreciated. Will till you hear the finale! 

In this Sunday’s Second Reading (1 Thes. 5: 16-24), the Apostle Paul tells us to, 

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 

The Champ remains joyful because he believes that life is meant to be a happy experience. Being joyful doesn’t mean the absence of pain. He knows that to stay the course, he chooses to remain faithful. He knows that despite the incompleteness, “life blooms over and over again”.

One of the most important lessons that my beloved late Mom Charing has given to us by way of her example is the importance of prayer. She has always stressed the importance of attending Mass, especially on Sundays and other Holy Days. When they were still both walking this earth, Mom and Dad made it a point to hear daily Masses, even travelling to other places to attend special feast days of the Church. Since the time we started going to Church with them, we were not allowed to be absent from family Sunday Mass. It was a rule which we cannot change, and which we also try to bring into our respective families. Our home visits-cum-vacations would always end with the recitation of the Holy Rosary and these always conjure memories of constant communication with God. Prayer ensures that our connectedness to God is maintained and nurtured, despite the efforts of the enemy to cut off this vital source of power.

In the First Reading (Is. 61: 1-2a, 10-11) the Isaiah prophesied,

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord…” (Is. 61: 1-2).

Today’s Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, and is a counterpart to the Laetare Sunday (during Lent) and provides a similar break about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord’s coming. The spirit of the Liturgy all throughout Advent is one of expectation and preparation for the Great Event of the Lord’s Birth as well as for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The penitential exercises suitable to that spirit are thus suspended for a while in order to symbolize that joy and gladness in the promised Redemption. Symbolically, rose-colored vestments are worn instead of violet, which is otherwise prescribed for every day in this Season of Advent. Despite the otherwise somber readings which have as a secondary theme theneed for penitence, the readings today emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.

In this eager anticipation we are again reminded to be always grateful.  To be thankful in all circumstances, even in sorrow and even in pain. The Champ knows that this is part of creative development, of preparation for Eternity. He expects no less than cleansing and forming, trusting that the Lord knows what is best for him. As I write these thoughts, the Church is preparing for the first of the nine-day Novena Masses heralding the final preparation of the Baby Jesus’ coming. While we are still limited to physical distancing, the thoughts still send shivers up the spine as it also floods childhood memories of Christmas carols and loved ones, of home-made lanterns and gifts, cold mornings and native delicacies excellently prepared by my beloved Lola Andang. Yes, these are for now only memories but it also sums up the spirit of gratitude that is in my heart.

Reflect today on the need to remain in humble gratitude to the Lord, for seeing you through. Have you remained focused on yourself, instead of putting all the glory to God knowing that you are nothing more than His unworthy servant? Do you see value in imitating the humility of St. John the Baptist in pointing others to Jesus? Do you recognize the Lord as the source of all your talents, skills and abilities?

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Is. 61: 1)

Humility and Greatness

One of the greatest challenges and struggles in life is pride. Many people boast of their achievements, their possessions, and their wealth. They crave for popularity and point attention to themselves. When in conflict, they insist on their correctness and that they’re right, even without hearing the other side. They want praise, honor and fame.

In today’s Gospel (Mk. 1: 1-8), we are told about John the Baptist who appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People who acknowledged their sins and came to him were baptized in the Jordan River. He was considered by Jesus as “one of the greatest human beings ever to walk the face of the Earth” (see Matthew 11:11). Yet in that greatness we see humility, as in today’s Gospel St. John the Baptist said of Jesus,  “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

This Sunday, our Lord is telling us to examine ourselves especially on how we are to others. By being truly humble, St. John the Baptist showed us the example of what true greatness is. He knew who Jesus was. He acknowledged Christ as the Messiah and pointed his followers’ attention from himself to Jesus. 

Let us reflect on these acts of St. John the Baptist and imitate his humility. Let us acknowledge that if we want to find meaning and purpose in life, there is no other way but through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Use your life to honor and glorify Christ, make Him the center of your life and humble yourself before Him. It is only by embracing humility that one’s true greatness is revealed. 

One of the greatest challenges and struggles in life is pride. Many people boast of their achievements, their possessions, and their wealth. They crave for popularity and point attention to themselves. When in conflict, they insist on their correctness and that they’re right, even without hearing the other side. They want praise, honor and fame.

In today’s Gospel (Mk. 1: 1-8), we are told about John the Baptist who appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People who acknowledged their sins and came to him were baptized in the Jordan River. He was considered by Jesus as “one of the greatest human beings ever to walk the face of the Earth” (see Matthew 11:11). Yet in that greatness we see humility, as in today’s Gospel St. John the Baptist said of Jesus,  “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

This Sunday, our Lord is telling us to examine ourselves especially on how we are to others. By being truly humble, St. John the Baptist showed us the example of what true greatness is. He knew who Jesus was. He acknowledged Christ as the Messiah and pointed his followers’ attention from himself to Jesus. 

Let us reflect on these acts of St. John the Baptist and imitate his humility. Let us acknowledge that if we want to find meaning and purpose in life, there is no other way but through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Use your life to honor and glorify Christ, make Him the center of your life and humble yourself before Him. It is only by embracing humility that one’s true greatness is revealed. 

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his pathsAll flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Lk. 3: 4,6)

Be Watchful! Be Alert!

We are all given a limited number of heartbeats in this lifetime. For the souls ahead of us, some were given a few years, some were given long lives, while some were given only up to midlife. As to how it’ll end for us, we don’t really know the answers. For Christians in general, we believe in eternal life for which we are hopeful to attain with God’s mercy and grace. 

When my Lola Andang was busy raising me and her other grandchildren, I always observe her praying the Holy Rosary and that created a deep and lasting impression on me. She was a very prayerful woman, saying prayers when she wasn’t too busy thinking about other things.Widowed early, she was left to raise seven children of which my mother is the eldest. Yet, despite the difficulties that life threw at her, she was able to lead her brood to successful achievements. Even to this day, we haven’t stopped talking about how courageously persistent she was. And I’m sure that God was always near her, within whispering distance.

In the Gospel (Mk. 13: 33-37), Jesus said to His disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. The Lord says that we need to be watchful, as we “do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.” 

This warning is perfect in timing and reminding of the need to be watchful.

Are you mindful of the presence of Christ? Being mindful means being fully aware of His presence every moment, every minute even at our busiest. It is about seeking, looking and anticipating God’s presence.Sin and wrongdoing can block our ability to feel spiritual matters so that there is haziness and cloudiness around. These noises can affect our hearing God’s leads and whispers. Without our realizing it, we are “asleep” instead of being watchful and alert.

Also, excessive attention to social media platforms are forms of “sleepiness” that contribute much to distraction in our faith experience. Beware of these addictions!

As we begin this Advent Season, let us reflect on how the Lord is constantly seeking our attention. He is not shouting, but is whispering softly and sweetly. He is persistent in telling us to be watchful, to be alert. After all, His words and leadings are all that matter. Thus, we need to listen deeply with our hearts. 

Let us pray that we take the effort and time to listen to Him. Let us pray to prepare for Jesus’ coming. Let us be awake in hopeful anticipation.

Show us Lord, your love;and grant us your salvation.” (Ps. 85: 8)

Hail to Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe!

What a fitting way to end the Liturgical Year than to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe! The Gospel reading today (Mt. 25: 31-46) provides insights into what’s important for God.The judgment that will be made will be based on the acts of mercy and compassion that we’ve done for the least — the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned. Indeed, Christ who suffered on the Cross identifies Himself with the least, the lost and the last. Jesus’ Kingship is unlike any other worldly monarch, but one characterized by being our Good Shepherd. Rather it is His desire that we become His faithful followers, ever offering guidance and protection. He wants us to voluntarily accept Him into our lives, never forcing Himself on us.

In the previous week’s the Parable of the Talents, the Gospel teaches us that the gifts and abilities that God has bestowed on us have been given with the intention to be used for the service of others, especially the least in society. God is telling us that whenever we have served these least ones, we have served Christ the King Himself.

In my own experience, God is real and has always exceeded our own generosity; He gives cheerfully, abundantly and lovingly. These are all because He loves us unconditionally and faithfully. When we place ourselves under His Lordship, He becomes our constant companion, always ready to assist us whenever we invoke His Holy Name. Growing in intimacy with Him will make us obedient, mindful and sensitive to His leadings. We become sensitive to the Spirit of God, allowing Him to move us, so that we become His hands in helping others. Have you noticed it that when you pray for help and guidance, the Lord sends angels in disguise to our aid? In a way, when we pray to the Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment we can share ourselves with others because we are fully attuned with what the Lord wants us to do in particular moments. Besides unless we share ourselves with others, we can never be fully happier, right?

There’s a lot to be grateful for especially the richness of our family life, the blessings He has given us, and the peace of mind that we have, regardless of the challenges and problems that come with these troubling times.God’s abundance in giving and blessing us only show how He wants us to be happy. This happiness will be complete whenever we reflect His generosity, cheerfulness, and love towards others — especially those in need. We have to demonstrate that what we have are meant to be shared whenever necessary. We have to realize that when we have that attitude of giving, we allow the Lord to use us to be His face.

Giving generously. When we give, the Lord wants us to include those people outside our family and friends; He wants us to be generous as well to those who are most in need of help as these verses clarify,


‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me
.’ (Mt. 25: 40)

Being generous doesn’t exactly mean just simply giving, it means, in a way that shows a readiness to give more of something than is expected. When situations arise such that our generosity is required, as followers of Jesus it is our turn to demonstrate that kind of unselfishness to the least, the last and the lost.

Giving cheerfully. The King will reward us when we give cheerfully and without reservation. Way back in college I became close with this classmate and brother Ariel, who is so generous with others. He is always looking for ways to help and give. He is such a caring person and his outlook in life simply inspires! And what a way God returns the blessings to him: while spending more time to God’s work, his business has grown more than expectations.

Giving lovingly. We can’t give generously unless our intention is governed by love. When our motivation is Jesus, when we see Him in the face of the poor, there can be abundant love to share with others,

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”  (Mt. 25: 35-36)

Life is complete when we are selfless and loving with others. Doing this will make others happy and the fulfillment in doing comes back to us in so many ways. It is then when we realize that acquiring more possessions and wealth don’t bring happiness; it is when we become mindful of the needs of others and share what we have in the name of Jesus that bring us deeper joy and fulfillment. Isn’t a giving, caring and loving life more wonderful? 

As we close the liturgical year, let us reflect on how we’ve lived:  Are we worthy to be in the company of the “sheep on the King’s right”? Are we ready to meet Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King?

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LordBlessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!” (Mk. 11: 9,10)

Becoming Trustworthy

One person I know left his job because of his own perception that he is treated unfairly by his employer. When talking about his work with others, he was quite expressive about it. To some extent, it appears to me that he feels some entitlement, or perhaps some pride. Even in other organizations, there are others who feel the same way, always thinking about the “I”, rather than the “we”. In the present time, people everywhere tend to be obsessed with what many call “equal rights.” Whenever there are others they think are treated better than themselves, they get envious and angry.

Even in today’s Gospel proclamation (Mt. 25: 14-30) we see reactions about how the master gave different talents to his servants. If you were the one given only one talent while two of your colleagues at work received five and ten, would you feel being subjected to inequality? Would you raise this concern to your superior? Maybe you would.

The Lord is telling this parable in the context of how we will make use of the talents given to us, how we use it to grow and help others. On the day of judgement we will all account for the talents that we are given. Obviously, each one is given different gifts in accordance with God’s will and plan for our lives. In the eyes of the world, to one He will entrust many, while to some He gives lesser.But it is not fair to judge others based on the way we measure.God looks at matters differently from how people do. For example, the usual intelligence is measured only through how people fare in school. However, we note that in life, people are gifted with different kinds of talents and if they pursue to develop these, they become better and better at it such that they become the best in their fields.People like Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Bill Gates, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and our own Manny Pacquiao among others have different types of talents. They became world-class because they have nurtured their gifts and pursued development even at an early age. Yet to others, it’ll appear that God gives different portions of blessings to different people. To the world, He gives what seems to be an overflow of blessings, while to others, only very little.

God is fair, however. This parable shows that it isn’t about how many talents He has given, rather, it is about what one does with these gifts. Thus, we should ask ourselves: 

What are the talents that God has given me

What am I supposed to do with these talents

Have I been a great steward of what God has entrusted to me?

Let us pray for discernment, humility and generosity, that we know what mission God has tasked us to fulfill, accept what He has given us, and nurture it so that what we do will bear fruit. Let us pray that we become trustworthy of the gifts that the Lord has given us. Let us pray that we be generous in sharing our gifts with others, especially the least, the last and the lost.

Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.” (Jn. 15: 4a, 5b)

Are You Ready for Heaven?

With the pandemic taking a lot of lives (more than 1.2 million total worldwide as of the latest count), the fear of getting sick and dying from the virus is real and affecting the lives of many globally. The topic of dying not only coming from the disease but for any other reason comes and with it the realization that when it’s our time, how will we react and what are we going to do? 

For many people the anxieties may not be on one’s own situation but on how will our loved ones manage without us, how are we going to prepare them for the future, among other things. While these are also important, the most pressing consideration we should worry about is: Are we ready to face God now?  

In the Gospel (Mt. 25: 1-13) Jesus told his disciples the parable of the Ten Virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, when the bridegroom came, all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones asked the wise for oil, But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to youI do not know you.’


Oil in the Sacred Scriptures has great significance and symbolism. It pictures the work and anointing of the Holy Spirit for without the Holy Spirit, no one can be saved. Thus, how can we become like the wise virgins so we can enter into the wedding feast? The Spirit of God leads people to Christ and makes them realize that they need Jesus as their Savior, for there is absolutely no other way to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Acts 4:12). If we want to be ready to meet the Lord at any time, we’ve got to have charity in our lives. It is a radical commitment to be the face of Christ to others — meaning we have to love others the way Jesus loves us — unselfish, sacrificing and self-giving. It is taking the heart of the Lord in our daily lives, making it a habit to think like Jesus at each and every moment. It may just be an ordinary situation we encounter, but whatever it is, we need the Lord’s mind to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In our moments of decision and confusion, what would Jesus do? To get to think like Christ, the First Reading (Wis. 6: 12-16) tells us that if we look for the answer, we can easily find it,

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 desireWhoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.”

Today, let us reflect on our charity and capacity to love and forgive. How far are we willing to love others? How committed are we to God? How far are we willing to give up of ourselves in loving God?

Let us pray that the Lord grant us the grace, the humility and the strength to become like the wise virgins, intelligent enough to prepare and be ready to meet God any time.

Stay awake and be ready!For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Mt. 24: 42a, 44)

Six Secrets To Living A Life With No Regrets