ADVENT SEASON is here! Symbols reveal the meaning and beauty of ADVENT. The four candles (three purples and one pink) are placed in an Advent Wreath. “ The green of the wreath speaks of our hope in God… The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of his Son. The four candles represent the season of waiting. The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that… brings… life and hope. The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various aspects of our waiting experience. The flame of each new candle reminds the worshippers that something is happening, and that more is yet to come.” The best is soon to arrive!
2020 is going by fast and the Angel Toy Drive is almost here! Due to the effects of the pandemic, our community anticipate this year's requests for toys will reach higher than ever. If you would like to be an angel this Christmas and help meet this historic demand and ensure our local children in need receive some holiday joy, please consider donating a toy, game or gift card to our Angel Toy Drive.
On November 26, 2020, we celebrate THANKSGIVING DAY! COVID-19 might alter the way we celebrate it, however COVID-19 cannot lockdown thanksgiving! Although there is “social distancing,” thanksgiving is working double time in connecting hearts. While there is a “stay home” guideline, thanksgiving is making every home a sanctuary of gratitude. And even if there is a “facial mask wearing,” thanksgiving is a smile flying around like a flying kiss.
Today, in a divided society and challenged by COVID-19, LOVE is what we need to rebuild the earth becomes heaven. COVID-19 cannot lockdown LOVE. Although there is “social distancing,” LOVE is visibly connecting every heart; although there is “stay home” guideline, LOVE is making every home a sanctuary of love; and although there is “facial mask wearing,” LOVE is a flying kiss flying around.
Beginning today, let our goal each day of our lives be this: to touch one’s life “with all our heart, soul, and with all our mind”. May this goal always be rooted in the commandments of: “Love of God and Love of Neighbor!”
When Jesus hold the Roman coin, his question to the Pharisees was very revealing: “Whose image is this?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” With that answer came Jesus’ morally acceptable and noble instructions to the Pharisees, he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” This reply avoided a confrontation with the Pharisees, but rendered a teaching moment for the inquisitive mind and unbelieving heart.
Today, let’s join Jesus in this Eucharistic table by wearing the garment of “FRIEND-SHIP.” That is, “FRIENDS” sailing together in a “SHIP,” garbed with love not hatred, inclusion not exclusion, hope not despair, faith not doubt, peace not violence and life not death. Let us proclaim this week a “friend-ship” week!
Today, as we take our best shot in safeguarding the holiness of LIFE, let our battle cry for human dignity and the respect for life be: NO TO VIOLENCE, YES TO PEACE! NO TO DEATH, YES TO LIFE! LIFE IS SACRED, IT’S GOD’S GIFT!
Jesus is telling us today that, although the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners are ignorant of the law, they believe faster, and always open to the spirit of conversion; not like the Pharisees - experts of the law, but their hearts are closed to the spirit of reconciliation.
The Kingdom of God is characterized by we-us-community-in-unity, and the value that is being practiced is generosity. While a society is characterized by we-them-survival of the fittest, and the overriding practice is envy.
In today’s gospel, Jesus illustrates dramatically the dynamics of correcting one another in the forms of: dialogue, forgiveness and prayer. Let us compartmentalize Jesus’ words and see the progression of winning the confidence and trust of others whom we’ve hurt and those who hurt us:
Carrying the cross – with hearts focused on the “Love of God” and “Love of Neighbor,” redirect our vision of delivering Christian service as: we look not for happiness but holiness; seek not being a celebrity but act with humility; build not personal fame but character; not seeking personal gains but building people’s faith in God.
Placing our faith in Christ is not a guessing game nor magic. It’s surrendering our will to God with Peter’s confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In other words, we are not afraid to say in public and in private: “In God we trust!”
Along our journey in life, many of us have experienced rejection and insult in one way or the other. We know that the impact is very dehumanizing and humiliating, but let our life’s spirit be like that of the Canaanite woman. That we become persistent and courageous in our approach to life’s challenges. At the end, Jesus might tell us: “Great is your faith! Let it be done to you as you wish.”
Today, we the Christians in this planet, we can change the image of our world. We are not factory defects, but completely God’s creation in his own image and likeness. Therefore, we have that divine dignity to hang on. Like Jesus, let’s be daring to stretch out our hands to a friend, family members, people in need, even to our enemies, and sincerely say the words, “I LOVE YOU!” or to assure them security and friendship, and say: “It is I; do not be afraid!”
In today’s gospel, Jesus reveals our integrity and character as essential disciples in his kingdom, and what we can become in the world today. He describes us as: “You are a treasure buried in a field which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field!” (Mt 13:44)