All posts by Alan Sienes

Reflections by Alan Sienes on the Sunday's Gospel

Staying the Course, Pleasing God

Many job assignments back, I had a staff member who was always complaining (just like the Pharisees and the scribes in the past days Gospel readings) with just anything. He complains about his workmates, his relationships with friends, and some other departments in the company. You almost can’t hear anything positive from him. He’s one person who you avoid because you worry to be enveloped by the negativity in his attitude. The difficulty for me then was that he was already advance in age and I knew I have little influence in him. He retired years after that and the last time I know is that he has settled back in the province and hopefully, with age (and maturity) he has become wiser and better of having a life of positivity and good vibes.

The Gospel (Lk. 13: 1-9) in this Third Sunday Lent, the people were quite fixed on the appropriate Jewish way of preparing the sacrifices for Yahweh. They had the notion that people die gruesome deaths because of their sins. And so, they complained that Pilate mixed the blood of those people with the blood of their sacrifices so that they thought these offerings were tainted with sins of those people.

Jesus said to them in reply,


Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means!”

Jesus used it as an opportunity to tell them about the importance of repenting and reforming their lives. He warned that 

But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

The Lord’s message is now clearer and more stern in His warning, that death will come to those who remain to wallow in sin and indifference to the faith. Jesus feels that people are still hardheaded and choose darkness over the light. The present over Heaven. And the same attitude is prevailing in the world today. Some politicians remain corrupt and crooked, some people choose the easier life, some take detours to enjoy the dazzling ways of the world, as if there’s no tomorrow and thinking that life here on earth is permanent. The risks and the anxieties surrounding that kind of life is real. Who can even tell that the unexpected happens and you suddenly die and for sure you will go to a place nobody-likes-to-go and suffer eternal damnation! It’s real and it’s true! Hell is terrifying and just the thought of it makes me tremble in fear.

If you follow and please God in your life, you can be at peace and ready at any time without big time worrying. You will be calmer and trustful of how the Lord will judge you because you have tried consistently to stay the course. But it is not a reason to rejoice and be complacent because you still need to remain humble and grounded. Actually, the more you think and reflect on this, you will realize that you aren’t worthy even of being in the Lord’s presence. You will feel the filth, the garbage, and the smell that your sins bring to your soul. So again, the Lord is inviting all of us to take His message to heart: 

“…if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

St. Paul wrote aptly in the Second Reading (1 Cor. 10: 1-6, 10-12):

These things happened as examples for us, 
so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. 
Do not grumble as some of them did, 
and suffered death by the destroyer.
These things happened to them as an example, 
and they have been written down as a warning to us, 
upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure 
should take care not to fall
.”

Our mission then is to live our lives in ways that please God and not man. Stay the course. In doing so, we avoid getting into the fates of those who perished before us.

Let us pray that we be mindful that our lives be pleasing to God not only in these Lenten season but at all times. Let us pray that the Lord pardon us of our repented sins, and that we remain steadfast in our faith.

Repent, says the Lord; the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Mt. 4: 17)

Listening to Jesus

When I was young boy one of the lessons I learned from my elders is to hear and to listen. Every time I fail to listen they would ask me, “Didn’t you listen to what I told you? Alan, remember this: always pay attention to what we are saying.” Now it’s my turn to remind my people to listen to what I’m saying. I also tell them that whenever our superiors ask us something, we sort of “drop” (figuratively) what we are doing and do what has been requested of us. What our superiors ask us to do is important, so it makes sense to re-arrange priorities and do it. 

In the Gospel (Lk. 9: 28b-36), “Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray…” While he was praying, the Transfiguration happened: His face changed in appearance and His clothing became dazzling white. Two men (prophets actually) were conversing with Him, Moses and Elijah. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. He suggested to the Lord for them to make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.”

I could imagine the way the voice of God the Father echoed and reverberated in the mountains that day. Forceful and directing to the Apostles and to us today, “This is my chosen Son, listen to Him.”  We have been “ordered” by the Creator to listen, and not to ignore. In living as an “ordinary” human in those times, Jesus healed the sick from various illnesses, drove off evil spirits and performed other miracles. Most of them were looking at the Messiah as one who will come in majesty and splendor. They wanted Him to be coming to liberate them from oppression in the literal sense of the word. But it’s not meant by the Father to be that way. As it was before, so it is now: He speaks to us in ways that our human eyes can’t see.

I know this because when we become mindful of what’s happening around us, we can actually feel the hand and movements of God. Sometimes the events that are happening are telling us things that we only have to be thankful for the lessons and grateful for the insights these bring to us. At times, He speaks through ordinary people that we encounter: the security guard at the mall, the cleaner at the yard, or the attendant at the gas station.

A few months back I watched Noah in Netflix, the adaptation of the biblical story. Many were disappointed that it veered away from the biblical version but what struck me the most in the movie was how the Creator gave instructions to Noah. To avoid being anticlimactic to those who haven’t seen it yet, suffice it to say that the way the Creator gave the instructions was different from how it was described in the Holy Book such that if Noah wasn’t spiritual he wouldn’t have recognized God’s message to him. It’s the same with us, God wouldn’t appear to us just like how He did to His chosen ones, but if we are to read, see and listen to Him, we have to build on the faith that we have. He speaks in ordinary ways but which aren’t obvious to those who are blind to the ways of faith. God wants us to gaze deeply despite the seeming “ordinariness” of each day. Each person we meet and each event that happens should enable us to see the hand of God. It shouldn’t matter to the faithful if that event is something positive, as it could also be negative. In the low moments of life, as faithful followers of Christ, we have to rise above the challenges and work with faith in addressing these. We do what we can, and trust that the Lord will bless our efforts with Divine approval and success.

As we observe this Second Sunday of Lent, let us work on improving how we walk our faith. Do you listen to what God is saying in the “ordinariness” of each passing day? Are you patient and persevering despite challenges coming your way? Rise above these concerns, because the Lord is with you all the way. Have faith!

From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear Him.” (Mt. 17: 5)

Dealing with Temptation

When saying the Lord’s Prayer, I always feel the importance of the phrase “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Such fear is founded on the realization that we are weak and need strength and courage from the Spirit to resist temptations and avoid falling into sin. That is why we should always reserve judgment on other people as Jesus has emphasized, because we may also fall into the same situation. It is also important to realize that the evil one has also adjusted the way he lures people into sin: he allows them to be in their comfort zones, pamper them with wealth and comfort in order for them to become complacent and unmindful of others in the community who are in need of help and support. They become lukewarm, they are only concerned on their own welfare and security. “Never mind the neighbors and others, we have our own lives to live”, they say. Without realizing it you may be in such a situation. You may never know that in exchange for the comfort and seemingly safe conditions you are in, your soul is already on the verge of decay and death.

In the Gospel today (Lk. 4: 1-13), Jesus proved His strength over evil when He was able to resist all the kinds of temptations that the devil offered to Him. He uttered the famous phrases “One does not live on bread alone“, “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve” and to prove that God reigns above all, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” The Lord wants you to realize that the things the devil offered Him or will be offering you are not the most important or the most relevant in life. The evil one will be sugarcoating it with attractive options too hard for you to resist.

The Scriptures offer us a glimpse of the Spirituality that we have to develop if we are to grow in faith. We are reminded on what things matter the most and that God will provide for our material needs. In our faith response, we trust that God will be faithful (He always is) and thus we worship Him alone and no other.

The challenge though is you will find it really difficult to discern which events in life are important in your life journey and not lead you elsewhere. Just very recently a brother in the faith shared with me the struggles in his new assignment, as health and anxieties came along with it. The job may look better but there is certainly an exchange for something that he loves or cares about. Looking at it in the context of today, it may be a subtle temptation that has to be dealt with. But then again, we never know, so we have to “pray without ceasing”. He’s contemplating of leaving and as I offered prayers told him, “… God is working on it now. He’ll answer these (your) prayers.” Praying will enable you to see clearly beyond the cloudiness in the horizon.

As we observe this First Sunday of Lent, let us pray fervently the Lord’s prayer, so that the Almighty God grant us the grace to see temptation in its cunning forms. May His Spirit give us the wisdom to discern on things that matter the most, that God provides for all our needs, and He’s faithful on His promises. This should be more than enough for us to believe and trust in Him.  

One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4: 4b)

Avoiding Self-Righteousness

The Gospel this Sunday (Lk. 6: 39-45) continues from the previous week where Jesus now talks about self-righteousness and humility:

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye
?”

The Lord is reminding us to look at ourselves first before making judgments on others. This is because we don’t even know what’s going on with the other person’s life thus we ought to exercise self-restraint. The best thing to do is to pray for the other person’s ability to see his weakness while looking inwards to see our own shortcomings.

Looking at our own faults require humility and discernment as there are times we fail in looking at ourselves clearly that’s why we have to listen to others’ feedbacks and comments. It takes a lot of humility and courage to listen to what is being said of us. The value of family and real friends — people who only have our best interests at heart — come into focus as we engage them to be the sounding board of inner reflection. On the other hand, whenever you ignore constructive feedback and react to it negatively, you show something that tells of this pride and arrogance, as said by the prophet Sirach in the First Reading (Sir. 27: 4-7):

When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one’s faults when one speaks.”

When you choose to ignore your family and friends’ comments, you fail to acknowledge your own defects and instead show your readiness to see the defects of others. That’s what is being a hypocrite as Jesus said in today’s Word. Thus, it takes humility and courage because it also takes strength to accept and face the need to change, sometimes painfully as there is a need to imbibe new habits and even choking back your pride.

If you are spiritual and prayerful, there’s always ease in discerning what’s close to Jesus as you already feel how He would want you to handle the situation. Developing that prayerful attitude allows you to become one with nature and with God, thus in sync with what is Divine. Sometimes His message just comes from the least expected of persons: the parking lot security guard, the front desk clerk, the office cleaner and anybody you don’t notice easily. Being mindful of what’s happening around helps you to identify what nature and events are saying at that particular moment.

It isn’t easy but St. Paul in the Second Reading (1 Cor. 15: 54-58) is encouraging and reminding of God’s promise that what you’re doing for the Lord will not be useless:

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters,
be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain
.”

Let us pray that the Lord grant us the grace to be humble to see our own weaknesses and ask Him for courage and strength to change to become better versions of our own selves.

May the Lamb who willingly obeyed the Father bless us as we do His will here on earth.

Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life.” (Phil. 2: 15d, 16a)

Loving Unconditionally

This Sunday’s Gospel (Lk. 6: 27-38) is familiar to us as this is the very measure of what it means to be Jesus’ follower and disciple. However familiar it is, admittedly it is also one that is quite challenging to follow. The Lord wants us to reflect on this core and extraordinary teaching of loving our enemies. He wants us to look at this not as a burden but as a means to look at ourselves on how we can celebrate His love to others. He wants us to be generous in spirit; to take on an attitude of looking beyond the difficulties we suffer, ranging from insults, curses, dishonesty and maltreatment and be sensitive and hear others’ plea for help. Even in being hurt ourselves!

When we were still struggling we experience this generosity of spirit from our parents, a grandmother, uncles, aunties and friends, who reflected the infinite compassion of God in our lives. I can fondly recall some people who live in Dad’s farm come to our home and borrow money for their family’s needs. He would gladly share even though money was also tight considering five children being in school at that time. Also, I have aunties and uncles who shared generously to their nephews and nieces even when they had other needs too. In our relationships with others, we experience their sincerity and peace-loving kindness that they stay away from occasions that can breed conflicts. Just like in the First Reading (1 Sm. 26: 2, 7-9, 1-13, 22-23) David spared killing Saul out of respect for God, even if he had the opportunity to do so.

Such examples of loving generosity are still vivid as we try to emulate their examples now. We are thankful to them as they made our life experiences so blessed and worth keeping. They’ve taught us how to rise above petty quarrels and become sparks of God’s presence as we reach out to others in love. This teaching poses a challenge for us today to inspire others to be generous and loving.

Jesus further tells,

 “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven
.”

When you let love power your attitude and behavior, you will bring out the best in people around you. Not only that, God will smile at you and pour His favors upon you.


Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” 

Jesus is challenging you to be generous without expecting something in return. He promises abundance to those who imitate His loving generosity.

He wants those who want to be His followers and disciples to be more like God. Being like God is to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Being generous and loving are divine attributes borne out of mercy as God loves us beyond our expectations, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. In response, we are to love as God loves us. In doing so, you will be rewarded with abundance beyond what you can imagine.

Let us pray therefore that God bestow on us the grace so that we are able to treat others, not as they deserve, but with love, kindness and mercy. That we be blessed with the strength to forgive. For it is only in being able to forgive that we be truly healed of our own infirmities.

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord: love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn. 13: 34)

Trust in the Lord!

Being happy is one undeniable state that everyone desires. Being happy inspires others and it is something that uplifts the people around more than just being happy yourself. However, being truly happy isn’t easy to achieve. Some think that to be happy one must have wealth and earthly possessions. Yet we can read about rich and wealthy people committing suicide or having depression because they can’t handle the pressure or adulation whatever you call it. Some say that when they’ve achieved something great in their life they’ll be truly happy. Yet, when they’ve achieved it, they still find nothing but emptiness.

Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, says that “Being happy is the firm refusal to be dragged down by the hubris of living. A happy spirit will always find something to celebrate or be thankful for. A happy person believes that life is on his side. Yes, his heart overflows with the songs of his private victories which will eventually find their echoes in the lives of others.”

More importantly as Christians, we believe that ultimately the state of happiness should be lasting (eternal) and not just here in this world (temporal).

In the Gospel (Lk. 6: 17, 20-26), Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” St. Luke was referring to the situation of the poor as blessed since they have no other recourse but to trust in God’s provision. Come to think about it, who is better to trust to, God or man? In the First Reading (Jer. 17: 5-8) the Prophet Jeremiah says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” The poor are indeed blessed because when they recognize that what they have is from God, they become humble and generous as well, having the faith that God will richly bless them if they share what little they have to others who are in need. This verse also tells that you can’t serve both man and God. Thus, a stern warning: this Gospel warns that as a consequence of not trusting God, the Lord says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”

Becoming happy is not about you, it is about making others happy. Only then can you truly be happy.

Reflect on your own situation: are you generous to the poor in your community? Are you helpful in your own parish whenever asked to help? Do you sacrifice from the little you have to provide for those who have even less?

Let us pray therefore that in all that we do, in all the situations and challenges we are in, we will be always grateful and giving, fully abiding and trusting in the Lord.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.” (Ps. 40: 5a)

[If you want to understand happiness and real joy, join the next run of the Code of Champions!]

Here I Am Lord!

There are moments in our service to our communities that we become so tired and weary that we want to give up feeling frustrated and spent. Especially when the results are far away from our desired outcomes, we want to veer away from reality and fly out of it all, trying to escape the disappointments and failures.

My daughter Alexa plays the piano so well that we look forward to listening her play at home. Yet, we’ve observed that the moments she does it are times when she’s expressing herself — and the best music comes out naturally. As an artist, I sketch and draw but these are also mood dependent, the timing simply has to be there so that I can focus on it and get better results. You don’t do it just anytime, there’s what you call the perfect moment in doing the things you love to do.

In the Gospel (Lk. 5: 1-11), “the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, Jesus asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”

Simon must have been so tired already but the words of Jesus was powerful enough to persuade him to follow the Lord. As a fisherman who knows his work well, Simon knows it may just be a waste of time, but the Lord’s command is just so hard to resist especially that Jesus has worked wonders and miracles. True enough, “When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.”

Thus, the Lord is assuring He is behind you in all that you do especially when you are in the service of His people. The “deep water” that Jesus mentioned here is significant. In the turbulent and stormy times that the Church is in, you have to recognize that you have to follow the call of the Lord as you have a role to do. In your Parish you may be a youth coordinator or volunteer, or a reader/commentator, an altar server, a Eucharistic minister, a Mother Butler guild member, etc. it really doesn’t matter what your service is or what others may think. You may say that what you are doing is insignificant, but don’t worry, the Lord is not after the grand things, He is after obedience and humility in serving Him.

Even St. Paul felt that way when he said in the Second Reading (1 Cor. 15: 1-11) “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.”

Today, reflect on the service that the Lord has given you to do. Feel and hear as in the First Reading (Is. 6: 1-2a, 3-8) the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I sendWho will go for us?” Gently follow His command and say “Here I am, send me!” And you’ll be amazed at the bountiful harvest that is forthcoming.  

Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4: 9)

Acceptance and Rejection

A popular successful Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist once said, “When selling to close friends and family, no matter how much you’re selling to them, they will always feel you’re earning their money, no matter how cheap you sell to them, they still wouldn’t appreciate it.”

Just like in business, one of the more difficult challenges in your participation in Christ’s saving mission is in sharing the Good News to your family and friends. It seems awkward for them to hear from you – someone they know so much that they always look at it with indifference. [Don’t get me wrong as family has always looked and appreciated my efforts in this regard but there are still those few who chose to distance away whenever situations like these are presented to them.]

In the Gospel (Lk. 4: 21-30), the people were amazed at the gracious words that came from Jesus, but they then asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” Those who knew him up close where skeptical and asked this question. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus pointed out to them their indifference and doubt. “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place”, Jesus told them, proceeding further about the stories in the Old Testament about the favors God bestowed elsewhere but Israel. The people became furious, rose up, and became close to being violent. For them the truth hurts and is so hard to swallow.

Why is it like that? I also heard of spouses not listening to their spouse talk about such concerns, children who don’t listen to their siblings, nor children listening to their parents. This is more often the rule than the exception. At one time while in the South after doing a talk on Spirituality which was so well liked by my department members, I asked my assistant why other managers don’t try doing the things we’re doing? She responded by saying, “maybe they are not comfortable doing it, or maybe they have that fear of being rejected. It’s also difficult because they may have done something bad in the past that affects their credibility in discussing something about doing good”.

This is also likewise true with us. We tend to be somewhat selective and biased with family. Maybe it is more of being so familiar with them that we tend to let biases come into the picture and affect our impressions and reactions. Your experiences with them has become some sort of filter that is screening out the good intentions that they may have. You let these downsides muddle the goodness of their intentions. Subconsciously you carry much baggage including resentments, hurts and bad experiences.

The Lord is telling us to remove these biases and open our hearts to family and friends. What we can do is try to unload these “baggage”, look at their positive side and give family an open mind and a fresh chance at presenting themselves differently from the bad experiences in the past.

Reflect on the strength of your family instead of their weaknesses. Reflect on how God has worked on improving them and their lives. You may be surprised at what God is telling you through them.

The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Lk. 4: 18)

Sharing in Christ’s Mission

There are days that we feel confused on what to do, what to write, and even on the little things. Even when we think about it, the words are hard to come by, the thoughts hard to organize. This is the time that we have to let the heart move our hands so that rhythm can be restored, inspiration can be summoned, the Spirit’s wisdom can be discerned. Just like the Church, we need the guidance on how things are in relation to God’s Word. We cannot just interpret the Word as we like, we have to ensure we are guided and discerned by the Holy Spirit of God. This is when we need the Church to shepherd us through the rough seas and storms that we have to navigate in this life.

In the First Reading (Nehemiah 8:2-4a,5-6,8-10) The prophet Ezra reads from the book of the Law and interprets it for all the people old enough to understand. Many times we need the guidance of elders and superiors who help in our journey. Ezra read from the book of the law of God, and interpreting it so that all could understand what was read. This is when we need the Holy Spirit to guide the Church who will lead us well. St. Paul explains in the Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12:12-30), that the people of God are part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Saying, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.”

The Word and the Body of Christ are now announced by Jesus as a continuation of Israel’s prophetic tradition. Jesus announced His ministry as the focal point in today’s Gospel (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21) when He reads from the scroll handed to Him; it contains the words of the prophet Isaiah. What is momentous in this event is that this defines Jesus ministry,

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.

The Lord Jesus not only announces God’s salvation; He also brings this power about in His person. He is not an ordinary prophet, He is the Christ, the “Anointed One” filled with the Spirit of God. The Kingdom of God is now at hand, even at this time more than 2,000 years after the Lord walked this earth. It is made present through power of the Holy Spirit so that the Kingdom of God can be fulfilled.

To continue the saving ministry of Jesus, we are invited to do our share in bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the sick, and freedom to the oppressed. We definitely can’t do these on our own as the thought alone overwhelms. We have to follow the leadings and guidance of the Spirit, with which the Church continues the saving mission of Jesus. By the Spirit’s power, we will prevail, we will succeed, we will be victorious!

May we therefore have the courage to say “Here I am Lord, I will go Lord!”

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Lk. 4: 18)

The Father’s House

The Church in the Philippines has a special permission to reserve one Sunday just to celebrate the Feast of the Child Jesus—the Santo Niño. The readings give us an opportunity to get to know Jesus as a child. 

In the Gospel (Lk. 2: 41-52) after Mary and Joseph completed the celebration of the Feast of the Passover, they returned and journeyed for a day before discovering that Jesus was not in the caravan with them. They returned to Jerusalem to look for him for three days and found him in the temple, “sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.” When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

In the beginning, Jesus already knew His identity. That’s why He stayed behind in the Temple even when it’s time to go home. He wasn’t lost at that time. Jesus claimed it with confidence and certainty when He said, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

How about you, do you know that you are God’s child?

Also, Jesus knew His mission. He was already clear about what He should be doing while in this world. This should be the same with us. If you haven’t found your purpose in life, it’s time to think seriously about it. Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” 

Finally, Jesus teaches us to be obedient: “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them...”

Knowing our purpose isn’t enough. There has to be both a spirituality and obedience to the will of God. After your conversion, you have that responsibility to be in the “Father’s house”, just like Jesus.

In this Feast of the Sto. Niño, let us pray that we may be reminded of our identity as sons and daughters of the Father. May we know and fulfill our mission and calling in life. May this knowledge make us bow down in humility and become obedient to God.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Any who did accept Him, He empowered to become children of God.” (Jn 1:14.12)