Monday, December 31, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 31, 2012
Monday – Year of Faith
Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
by Rev. Fr. Boogie Tacador, Society of St. Paul
12:15PM Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel (Greenbelt Chapel), Makati

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:18-21

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2, 11-12, 13

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel Jn 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.'" From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him.


Good afternoon and Happy New Year.

We are now busy preparing for tonight's activity, for the Media Noche. Kung may Noche Buena po noong nakaraang Christmas, ay siguradong mayroon na naman tayong hinandang pagkain para po mamaya. Nakabili na ba kayo ng 13 fruits? Kahit hindi naman tayo mga Chinoy, ano, we are still preparing 13 fruits, which is one of the traditions of the Chinese, like the firecrackers. Dati naman ang mga paputok natin mga kawayan lang. Ngayon ang tawag natin mga pla-pla, mga 'goodbye Philippines'. Baka sa susunod atomic bomb na yong gawing paputok (laughs) huwag naman, ano.

Let us prepare ourselves as we approach the year 2013. And going into our Gospel today, it seems that there is an irony or shall we say, paradox, because today is December 31, 2012, but our Gospel speaks about 'in the beginning'. In the beginning. Based on the Gospel reading today, we are asked to reflect on the challenges that await us in the year 2013. For the Chinese, it could be the 'Year of the Water Snake'. But for us, Christians and Catholics, today is the 'Year of Faith'. It is the year of grace and faith for all of us.

What are the things that we need to consider as part of our preparation for the year 2013? First, today should be a moment of reflection, a moment of discernment on what transpired during the year 2012. Kami po sa Society of St. Paul, from 7 in the morning up to 6 o'clock in the afternoon, we have a whole day of adoration. It is a day of prayer for all of us, to reflect on what transpired during the year 2012. Ano po ba 'yong mga blessings na dumating sa akin? Ano ba 'yong mga pagpapala na ibinigay sa akin ng Panginoon?

At the same time, as we look back, we also ask ourselves. Ano ba 'yong mga pagkakamaling nagawa ko? Ano ba 'yong mga hindi ko dapat gawin? When we are aware of the what transpired during the year, lalo na 'yong mga pagkakamali natin, hindi natin mauulit ang mga iyon in the year 2013, or in the coming years. 'Yan ay isa nating dapat na plano sa araw na ito. The Gospel tells us that in the beginning of this year, we should already reflect on what transpired - the good and not so good - and try to correct them, and fulfill our promise as we enter the year 2013.

Secondly, it could be a day to reflect on the season of Christmas. The Gospel today is also the same Gospel on December 25, on the day of Christmas. In that way, we are also challenged by the Gospel today to realize the meaning of Christmas in our life. As we approach the year 2013, the Christmas story tells us about the coming of the Son of God. The Word became flesh and became the Light of the world. Ang liwanag ng mundo ay dumating sa ating buhay.

This, perhaps, should be another moment for us to reflect. Kung si Hesus ay isinilang sa sabsaban ng ating puso, the Light of the World and the Light of our lives, hayaan nating ang Ilaw Niya ang magliwanag sa ating buhay. Tonight, the sky will be lighted by fireworks. There will be so many lights in the sky. But despite all the glittering lights in the sky, ang tunay na ipinagdiriwang natin ay ang tunay na liwanag ng mundo at ng ating buhay. At 'yan ay walang iba kundi si Hesus na isinilang sa sabsaban ng ating puso.

Jesus came and became one among us, except sin, so that by being one of us, He will guide us to the light of life. 

Finally, in our Gospel today, the Mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that the Word became man. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Lord God offered Himself for our salvation. That is the meaning of Christmas; that is the Mystery of the Incarnation. God dwelling among us and taking our humanity initiates the history of salvation in our own lives. God is one among us in order to bring us toward divinity. 'Yon po ang Mystery of Incarnation na ipinagdiriwang po natin ngayong Pasko at Bagong Taon.

Sana po sa panahon ngayon ay huwag nating kalimutan na ang Diyos na napakabanal ay nagkatawang tao, inako ang ating pagkatao, upang maligtas tayo sa kasalanan, upang makasama natin Siya, at isama Niya tayo sa buhay na banal. As we approach 2013, sana ang kabanalan na 'yan and the quest for holiness will always be there. As the 'Year of Faith', the year 2013 should be a moment of grace upon grace to us, when we should continue striving toward holiness of life.

Sana sa Bagong Taon, mayroon ding pagbabagong maganap sa ating buhay at ang pagbabagong 'yan ay magsisimula in our quest for holiness in our life. My dear brothers and sisters, mag-ingat po tayo ngayong gabi, lalo na po sa mga paputok. In the center of our celebration, as we close the year 2013, sana hindi maalis sa ating isipan ang hamon ng ating Ebanghelyo sa araw na ito, na si Hesus ang liwanag ng ating buhay, at Siyang magbibigay ng gabay at daan sa atin patungo sa kabanalan ng buhay. May God bless us all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 30, 2012
Sunday – Year of Faith
Feast of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph
by  Rev. Fr. Rufino Jun Sescon (Chaplain, Sto. Niño de Paz Greenbelt Chapel)
6:00PM Anticipated Mass at Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

Reading 1 Sir 3:2-6, 12-14

God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children, and, when he prays, is heard. Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him; revile him not all the days of his life; kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sins --a house raised in justice to you.

or 1Sm 1:20-22, 24-28

In those days Hannah conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him. The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows, Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, "Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the LORD and to remain there forever; I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite."

Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh. After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD." Hannah left Samuel there.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5.

R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

or Ps 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10.

R. (cf. 5a) Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
Happy they who dwell in your house!
Continually they praise you.
Happy the men whose strength you are!
Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
O LORD of hosts, hear our prayer;
hearken, O God of Jacob!
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

Reading 2 Col 3:12-21

Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.

or Col 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

or 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24

Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. And so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.

Gospel Lk 2:41-52

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they 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?" But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.


Merry Christmas pa rin po. We are still in the Octave of Christmas, eight days after Christmas. And if the world already has somehow folded up thinking that Christmas is over, for the Church, we are just really beginning Christmas. Kaya hindi pa rin ho masamang bumati ng 'Merry Christmas'. Kaya pakibati n'yo nga ang katabi n'yo rin ng 'Merry Christmas'. (people greet each other) Parang hindi 'Merry' ano? (laughs) Ang hitsura n'yo talaga ano. Mainit kasi. Tingnan n'yo na lang ako kung naiinitan kayo. (laughs) 

Christmas, indeed, is the celebration of the family. In the Liturgical calendar, the first Sunday after Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family. But for some, the first Sunday after Christmas, ewan ko lang po kung ginagawa pa po ito ng ibang mga pamilya o ibang mga magulang, natatandaan ko po ang ang lolo at lola ko, kahit ang parents ko, 'yong napamaskuhan ko po ay dapat isinisimba ko rin, bago pa po isuot sa iba - sapatos, damit. That is why I remember that the first Sunday of Christmas is a showcase of what we have received as a family.

There are times that some parents, especially if their children are still small and young, naalala ko ho dati noon pinag-eeksperimentuhan ho kami, frustrated fashion consultant po ang Nanay ko, ano. Ilang beses pong nangyayari noon, ano - tatlo lang ho kami, dalawa ho kaming lalaki, isang babae po, and at times, my brother and I wore the same clothes. Once in a while I see that - mga magkakapatid pareho nang suot, ano? Minsan may mag-asawa, kasama ang anak, pareho ang suot, magka-terno, ika nga.

That is Christmas. Christmas is about families. After all, our Lord decided to pass through the family. Our Lord, being God, could have done anything. He could have just landed here on earth, like Superman, and become man. The Lord really does not need a family, but He chose to be part of a family, to show to us the importance of families. And that is why on the first Sunday after Christmas, the Church also invites us to focus on the family, because God passed by way of the family.

Blessed John Paul II once said, "Humanity passes by way of the family." Ano po ang ibig sabihin noon? Whatever happens to the family happens to humanity. The family, as the basic unit of society, is very pivotal and crucial. Kung anuman ang gawin sa pamilya, ganoon din ang mangyayari sa lipunan. Pag pinasaya mo ang pamilya, magiging masaya ang lipunan. Pag sinira mo ang lipunan, masisira din ang lipunan. Humanity passes by way of the family.

No wonder God decided to pass through a family, to show to us how important the family is. Try to look at people and analyze people. Isn't it that those who have violent tendencies, you will realize that they are violent because they grew up in a violent home? Those people who are, we may say, very generous, grew up in a home imbued with charity. Kaya 'yong iba, kapag may mga nanliligaw, ang unang itatanong ng magulang, "Saang pamilya ba 'yan? Ano ba ang pamilya niyan?" Kasi po, napakahalaga ng pamilya. Ang tao ay nabubuo - ang kanyang pagkatao, ang kanyang buong buhay, ang kanyang buong pag-uugali - sa pamamagitan ng pamilya.

And that is why when forces want to destroy the family, let us pray and be vigilant. It is not a simple measure; it is not a simple law. It is not a simple economic policy. But it is crucial and pivotal whenever it affects the family. Huwag po natin iismolin, kapag pamilya ang pinag-uusapan, sapagkat ang daan ng pamilya, ang daan ng sanlibutan.

This Sunday, let us lift up to the Lord our families. Yes, today, we celebrate the Holy Family - Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Holy Family - that is the adjective that the Church chose - Holy Family, not happy family, not successful family, but Holy Family. Sasabihin natin, 'Sana, happy family kami. Sana successful family kami at healthy family kami.' But today, may we also pray that we may be a holy family.

And holiness here is not just about perfection. Like what I said, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, was not a 'perfect' family. They also had their share of crisis moments. Sa umpisa pa lang, kung matatandaan ninyo, noong Simbang Gabi, mayroon na sila agad problema. Mary got pregnant, even before the marriage. Isn't that a big crisis? That is not perfect. Joseph was having a dilemma. "Will I marry Mary or not?" Sa mga kalalakihan dito - madali ba 'yong ginawa ni Joseph, na pakasalan niya 'yong babae na nagdadala nang hindi niya anak? Di ba may teleserye ngayong ganyan - ganyan ang dilemma niya. Parang si Joseph, that is not easy. Nangingiti ang mga nanood ng teleseryeng 'yon ano. Ano na nga ang title no'n? Kunyari pa ako na hindi nanonood ano? (laughs)

And then here comes, remember just yesterday, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, they had to flee because Herod will persecute, will kill the baby Jesus. They had to leave everything and go to Egypt, uncertain. And now, we are told of the story that Jesus got lost. They lost Jesus. Is that being perfect? No. This family - this Holy Family - had crisis moments. They lost Jesus. Somebody, something was lost.

Brothers and sisters, in our families, there are occasions also when something or someone is lost. Siguro ngayon, katatapos lang ng Pasko pero hindi buo ang ating kasiyahan kasi parang may kulang. Parang may nawawala sa pamilya natin. Ano ba kaya 'yong nawawala? 

In some families, there is an absence of communication. Baka mayroong hindi nag-uusap, di nagpapansinan sa pamilya natin. May nawawala. Nawawala 'yong pag-uusap. Or perhaps, there is an absence of respect. Nagsasagutan na, nagdedemandahan na, nag-aaway na, wala nang Kuya Kuya, wala nang Ate Ate. Wala nang magkakapatid, wala nang magpipinsan. Wala nang respeto. Ano 'yong nawawala sa pamilya natin ngayon?

Or perhaps for some, it is the physical presence that is lacking. Kasi si Daddy o si Mommy nasa abroad, o 'yong mag-anak, kanya kanya na. May nawawala. Hindi kumpleto ang Noche Buena. There is an absence. An absence, even perhaps of unity. An absence of love. Something is lost. Someone is lost.

If, right now, our family is in that situation, the very family that will understand us is Jesus, Mary and Joseph - the Holy Family. They were not perfect. Somebody was lost.

Ano na ba ang nawawala sa pamilya natin ngayon? Marami na bang nawawala? Alin ang unti-unti nang nawawala sa pamilya natin ngayon? Like Joseph and Mary, we are searching, we are praying, we are anxious. And we are told that they were looking for the Child Jesus for three days. Three days. Do you remember something about three days? What Gospel would also mention three days? Isn't it that when our Lord was buried, three days he was gone. His friends, His family thought that He was gone forever. He was dead. But we learn after three days, He rose again.

Yes, Mary and Joseph were searching for three days. The three days there was not just a symbol or a time element that is a symbol in the Bible. What did Mary feel during those three days? Perhaps, when Mary saw Jesus buried, and for three days she did not see Jesus, perhaps Mary remembered the three days when Jesus got lost in Jerusalem.

This, my brothers and sisters, symbolizes a period of uncertainty. A period of great anxiety. A period of long wait. Perhaps some of you will say, "Three days lang? Kami nga eh sa pamilya, tatlong taon na kaming may nawawala." Three days is not just about theoretical time element. Three days point to uncertainty. A point when sometimes we want to give up. A point when we are crushed. Because we think it is hopeless. Three days.

Brothers and sisters, as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, let us also offer to the Lord the moments we think our family is hopeless. When we think our search is in vain. Moments when we want to give up. Today, Mary and Joseph want to tell us, "Do not surrender. Do not give up." It could be a long wait. You couldn't even see a tiny spark of light. But believe. Because the Lord is faithful in His promises. 

We will also find what we are looking for. How? Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple. Sa dinami-dinami nang pwedeng puntahan - Jerusalem was a very big city - they finally found Jesus in the temple. Perhaps Mary and Joseph were asking themselves, where can they find Jesus? In the marketplace? Doon ba siya sa amusement park?

Tayo ho kaya, pag may nawala, 'Ay doon tayo magpunta sa Greenbelt. Do'n siguro natin makikita 'yon, kasi madalas mamasyal 'yon do'n.' Pag nawala kayo at nagkahiwa-hiwalay kayo sa Greenbelt, saan kaya kayo maghahanap? Siguro doon kayo sa Greenbelt Chapel at baka doon kayo matagpuan. Pero baka sabihin, 'Hindi, doon tayo sa sale. Malamang nandoon siya sa sale'. O baka ang iba sa inyo nagko-coffee.

But when Mary and Joseph were asking where can they find Jesus, it is in the temple. In the House of God. We will also find what we are looking for, as a family, in God, with God, towards God. Yes, brothers and sisters, Jesus was God Himself. But He did not exempt Himself from being with God and towards God. Ang problema po mga kapatid, kung saan-saan tayo nagpupunta. Kung saan-saan tayo naghahanap. Sa Diyos pala natin matatagpuan nang sama-sama, bilang isang pamilya, ang tunay nating hinahanap sa buhay. 

And that is why I commend parents who tag along their children. If you notice, I have my longest patience with children at mass. Because I appreciate their presence. Kahit minsan alam ko naman po na ang misa ay hindi naintindihan ng mga bata, 'yong mga nangyayari ngayon. But this will make an impact in their lives. That being with God is also important. 

I hope that our children will grow up, thinking of Sunday, not only as a mall day, but I hope that they would grow up thinking of Sunday as the day of God. As their date with God. As their encounter with God. As the family, together with God. I have always said, since time immemorial, the family that prays together, stays together. The family that revolves around God will find what they're looking for.

And so, as we continue with this mass, let us pray for that grace. Right now, let us pray for our respective families. As I posed those questions earlier, 'Ano kayang nawawala? Ano kayang hinahanap natin ngayon para sa pamilya natin?' Tatandaan natin na kung anuman 'yon, matatagpuan natin 'yon, kung kasama natin ang Diyos. Kung pupunta tayo sa Diyos.

Dear Lord, we consecrate to you our families. Our family is not perfect. Our family also would have its shadows, its weak moments. Our family also will undergo those times when we want to give up, when we want to disconnect. But Lord, today, You remind us that the family is very important to Your eyes. That the family is very close to Your heart. Be in our homes, dear Lord. Be the center of our family. For with you, nothing is impossible. With you, we will find what we are looking for. Amen. 
 You may also want to see: A Holy Life - The Holy Family

A Holy Life

The Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Feast day – December 30

The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on the Sunday following Christmas, unless that Sunday is January 1st, in which case it is celebrated on December 30th.

The feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany; that is to say, on the Sunday between January 7 through January 13, all inclusive (see General Roman Calendar of 1962). The calendar of the 1962 Roman Missal, whose use is still authorized, keeps the celebration on that date. It was never a holy day of obligation, unless its celebration fell on a Sunday, when therefore there is an obligation to attend Mass on that day.

In the calendar promulgated in 1969, the feast was moved to the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, between Christmas and New Year's Day (both exclusive), or when there is no Sunday within the Octave (if both Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God are Sundays), it is held on 30 December, a Friday in such years. (In other words, the feast is on the same day as the Tridentine-rite Mass of the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas.)

Sources for this article were taken from:



Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in your own family in the little town of Nazareth.

Mother of Jesus and our Mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.

Foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph
I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
may I breath forth my soul in peace with you.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 29, 2012
Saturday – Year of Faith
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
by Rev. Fr. Peter Baquero (Salesians of Don Bosco, Papua New Guinea)
7:15AM Mass, St. John Bosco Parish, Makati

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:3-11

Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel Lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


Two nights ago, I was at home and then we received a phone call from my younger sister and she was looking for her husband, my brother-in-law, asking whether he is already at home or not yet at home. I said no. After a few moments, it was my brother-in-law who called and was asking for my sister. And I said, "She's not here." They were actually in a mall, at nagkasalisi sila.

After a while, my sister arrived, gusot ang mukha. And I know that she is really very disappointed. After a while, my brother-in-law arrived with his daughter. Then I told myself, "Patay. Away ito." So I was waiting for a commotion. But strange, they went down together, and took supper together with their daughter.

Really, one thing that we would hate in life is to wait. To wait. Sometimes, if we have to wait for a few minutes, we get irritated. Much more if we have to wait longer. You can just imagine the pain and the stress of people waiting at the airport, just to find out that their flights have been cancelled or postponed. And this causes so much stress. 

Imagine Simeon. Simeon was waiting for a long time. And most probably, Simeon could have possibly been impatient. But it was the Holy Spirit who sustained him in that long wait. It was also the same Spirit who told him to wait. And when Simeon saw the Christ Child, he saw that Light. At nawala lahat ng kanyang paghihintay. All the pains for the waiting that he experienced disappeared because he saw the Light. He finally saw the Christ who he was living for, who he was waiting for, that he already forgot how long he was waiting by the sight of the Child Jesus. 

St. John mentions to us that for us to see God's light, we must keep God's promise and we must follow God's ways. If we are aligned in God's ways, then we will see the consolation of God's light in our life. Like Simeon, if we want to feel and see the consolation of God's light in our life, we should recognize Christ as the Light and our true Savior. Simeon tells that if we want to know and receive God in our lives, we should follow His ways.

My dear friends, it is good to ask ourselves. How bright is God's light in our life? Is it dim, is it flickering, or is it bright? The Gospel invites us to look into ourselves, whether our life is aligned with God's ways, whether our life is attuned with the Spirit. Then and there, we could see the light of Christ in our life. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.