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The Bible Diary is an attractive publication that contains the scripture readings for the Daily and Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

 Each page contains a reflection and space for the reader to add his or her own thoughts. A real spiritual treasure.

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每日聖言 (Traditional Chinese) (331)


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每日圣言 (Simplified Chinese) (335)



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Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:59

November 18, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 18:1-8
          Jesus told them a parable, to show them that they should pray continually, and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge, who neither feared God nor people. In the same town there was a widow, who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Defend my rights against my adversary!‘ For a time he refused, but finally he thought, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much, I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.“
And Jesus said, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for his chosen ones, who cry to him day and night, even if he delays in answering them? I tell you, he will speedily do them justice. But, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?“

The first reading shows the Lord‘s mighty power as He delivers Israel from the Egyptian‘s slavery. “A safe passage was opened through the Red Sea, the tempestuous flood became a green plain where the whole nation of those protected by your hand passed across, witnessing your astounding deeds.“
The judge in today‘s gospel is described as “neither fearing God nor people“ and as “evil judge.“ Yet evil and bad as he is, he did listen to the widow‘s request and rendered decision favoring her. The corrupt judge did goodness. Truly, in the depth of one‘s being, resides the goodness God has sown. It is not totally blotted out by sin. God‘s image and likeness are not permanently erased by sin. Goodness has power over evil. It naturally comes out of a man.
The perseverance and courage of the widow reminds of what St. James wrote: “ Happy is the person who remains faithful under trials, because when he succeeds in passing such a test, he will receive as his reward the life which God has promised to those who love him“ (Jas. 1:12).

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:58

November 17, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 17:26-37 -
        As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be on the day the Son of Man comes. In those days people ate and drank and got married; but on the day Noah entered the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. So it was in the days of Lot: people ate and drank, and bought and sold, and planted and built; but on the day Lot left Sodom, God made fire and sulfur rain down from heaven, which destroyed them all. So will it be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, if you are on the rooftop, don‘t go down into the house to get your belongings; and if you happen to be in the fields, do not turn back. Remember Lot‘s wife! Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever gives his life will be born again.
I tell you, though two men are sharing the same bed, it might happen that one will be taken, and the other left; though two women are grinding meal together, one might be taken and the other left.“
Then they asked Jesus, “Where will this take place, Lord?“ And he answered, “Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.“

Many are frustrated. Many too stopped praying because they do not receive reply from God. Asked what they are praying for, their prayers are all petitions, asking for their needs. This reminds me of our retreat master when we were college seminarians who told us; “You love the works of the Lord but you do not love the Lord of the works.“ People pray for miracles but do not pray to the God of miracles. True then is what our first reading is telling us: “They were interested in His works, but they did not recognize the author of them all.“
The world is habituated by different peoples, different in races, religion, profession, cultures and by good and bad. Christians are different from them all. Most often Christians are misinterpreted, misunderstood, discriminated, poor. Many times the bad triumphs, has better financial resources, powerful, happy and easy living. In their times, Noah and Lot lived differently, unnoticed among the marrying, the drinking and perverse people. Only God‘s eyes saw the difference.
God knows who belongs to Him and who is His. When the Son of God comes, God knows whom to take and whom to leave behind. No worry then if our goodness is unnoticed, not recognized, not rewarded. God does not sleep. It will not escape God‘s eyes. He will reward the good and punish the wicked.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:57

November 16, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 17:20-25 -
        The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe, and say of it, ‘Look, here it is!‘ or ‘See, there it is!‘ for the kingdom of God is within you.“
And Jesus said to his disciples, “The time is at hand, when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you, ‘Look there! Look here!‘ Do not go with them, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man; but first he must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation.

“The Kingdom of God is within you“ says Jesus in our gospel reading. Immediately it tells us that God‘s kingdom is not a territorial jurisdiction. It is within us. It is in our heart, when we allow God to reign and to rule our hearts. It is within us when we allow Jesus to walk with us and we decide to walk with Him wherever, whenever and whatever he wants to. In the Lord‘s Prayer, we pray “hollowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven.“ God‘s kingdom is where God‘s will is perfectly done on earth as in heaven.
Sometimes, we are graced to experience God‘s kingdom. In intense prayer, where there is nothing but quiet, wherein we are so possessed by God and we so possessed God, we experience real peace and joy that can never be compared with anything. It is an exclusive presence of the ME and my God. For me this is a foretaste of God‘s kingdom. It is so sweet an experience with a God who loves us most.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:56

November 15, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 17:11-19 -
        On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village, ten lepers came to meet him. Keeping their distance, they called to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!“ Jesus said to them, “Go, and show yourselves to the priests.“ Then, as they went on their way, they found they were cured. One of them, as soon as he saw that he was cleansed, turned back, praising God in a loud voice; and throwing himself on his face before Jesus, he gave him thanks. This man was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus asked him, “Were not all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Did none of them decide to return and give praise to God, but this foreigner?“ And Jesus said to him, “Stand up and go your way; your faith has saved you.“

How can we not be grateful to God? The Jubilee of Mercy deepened so much my gratitude to God. I almost cannot fathom the depth of God‘s love, which is mercy itself. What moves me so much are the words of St. Paul to the Romans; “It is difficult to die for a righteous person… Someone might dare to die for a good person. God had shown how much He loves us–it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us.. and we were put right with God“ (Rom. 5:6-8). This is how deep God‘s love is! No one who realizes this truth, can be ungrateful. The consequence of sin is death. Because of sin death came (Cf. Rom. 5:12 ff.) We have sinned so many times yet we are alive and sustained by God. God asks nothing but gratitude. “Were not all ten healed?‘ “Where are the other nine?“ Jesus misses our grateful heart. Can we not count our blessings and return to Him and say Thank you?
‘In everything give thanks.“

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:54

November 14, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 17:7-10 -
          Who among you would say to your servant, coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Go ahead and have your dinner‘? No, you tell him, ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterward.‘ Do you thank this servant for doing what you told him to do? I don‘t think so. And therefore, when you have done all that you have been told to do, you should say, ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.‘“

“It is the will of the Father that you be holy“ (1 Thess 4:3). “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy“ (Matt. 5:48). God has a goal for us. The exhortations of St. Paul and Jesus should move us to aim high. Jesus does not like mediocrity and doing things simply because one is obligated, that is performing a duty because one is paid. Jesus expects more. A Christian is distinguished from the rest of the world because he works not only out of duty but out of love.
Worse things sometimes happen in the parish. Some donors and bene­factors expect and demand special treatment due to their donation. Worst of all when they think God owes them. And therefore nothing wrong should happen to them; no sickness, no one in the family should fail in examinations, no unexpected death, etc. When these happen, they run from God, they blame God and accuse God as ungrateful and does not know how to pay.
God can never be indebted to us and we can never have any claim from Him. If we did something good, we have only done our duty to be good, as expected, because God has created us good and to be good, “immortal in the likeness of his own nature.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:53

November 13, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 17:1-6 -
         Jesus said to his disciples, “Scandals will necessarily come and cause people to fall; but woe to the one who brings them about. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck. Truly, this would be better for that person, than to cause one of these little ones to fall.
Listen carefully: if your brother offends you, tell him, and if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he offends you seven times in one day, but seven times he says to you, ‘I‘m sorry,‘ forgive him.“
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.“ And the Lord said, “If you have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted, and plant yourself in the sea!‘ and it will obey you.

Priests, religious and lay people share in the prophetic function of Jesus through the baptism. The baptized are teachers. Teaching needs constant studies, researches and reflections. We have to enlighten, lead people to the truth.
A doctor who prescribes a wrong medicine to a patient, will only affect one person. While a teacher who teaches wrongly, will bring many to falsehood, to wrong doings, to sin. It is “better for that person (to be thrown into the sea to die) than to cause one of these little ones to fall.“ “Crooked thinking distances you from God.“
“Lord, increase our faith“ was the request of the apostles. Jesus‘ reply was scientific, He explained how a small mustard seed grow naturally, it sprouts, grows, gets bigger branches then bears fruit. Faith has been planted in us. It will increase (grow) if cared for and given the nutrients. Fr. Romy Castro, SVD prescribed spiritual vitamins needed to grow: Vitamin A–Active attendance at church, Vitamin B–Basic Bible reading, Vitamin C–Caring service, Vitamin D-Daily prayer, Vitamin E–Eucharist. To these vitamins let me add, Vitamin S–Sacraments. With these nutrients, we will be spiritually healthy. Our faith will grow and will bear lasting fruits.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:52

November 12, 2017

A GospelGospel: Mt 25:1-13 -
        This story throws light on what will happen in the kingdom of heaven: Ten bridesmaids went out with their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were sensible.
The careless bridesmaids took their lamps as they were, and did not take extra oil. But those who were sensible, took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom delayed, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.
But at midnight, a cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here, come out and meet him!‘ All the maidens woke up at once, and trimmed their lamps. Then the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out.‘ The sensible ones answered, ‘There may not be enough for us and for you. You had better go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.‘
When the bridegroom came, the foolish maidens were out buying oil, but those who were ready went with him into the wedding feast, and the doors were shut.
Later the other bridesmaids arrived and called out, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!‘ But he answered, ‘Truly I do not know you.‘
So stay awake, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Read: Those who ardently desire wisdom will not be disappointed. Similarly, those who trust in the promise of resurrection will not be disappointed either. Jesus gives the parable of the ten bridesmaids who waited for the arrival of the groom.
Reflect: God‘s promises will have their fulfillment in His time. It is important to trust in His words and wait in hope with the right preparation. Many people start enthusiastically along the Lord‘s path; but the seeming delay in the fulfillment of God‘s promises disappoints them. Their oil of faith runs out and they haven‘t carried with them extra reserves, and they drop out, only to realize to their regret that God does fulfill his Covenant. Who are we like: the five wise bridesmaids with reserves of faith or the other five not-so-wise ones?
Pray: Pray for perseverance in faith and mission.
Act: Reach out and comfort someone who feels discouraged by the seeming delay in God‘s healing intervention in his/her life.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:47

November 11, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 16:9-15 -
         And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes.
Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own?
No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.“
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.

St Paul‘s letter to the Romans mentions all the men and women to be greeted and be kissed reminds me of the life in the parish. In the parish, wherever one is assigned, there are lay people who are so dedicated and would do anything they can to help the parish and of course the priest. They are men and women, young and old, rich or poor, learned or not. They are in different ministries and apostolates. The parish is able to carry out its programs through them. In their own ways they make the Church present in the locality. Since the start of the Church, God has provided the Church with pastors and the Pastors were provided with collaborators. Together, they form the parish. God‘s presence and action are made visible. They form the Church, the “People of God.“
The gospel reminds me of a gumamela I planted at the inner garden of the pastoral center. It bore a beautiful yellow flower. It attracted everyone. One time I found the plant seemingly dying because those going to the center got cuttings mercilessly for their home garden. I then decided to hang a note on it : “An paghabon dawa sadit, kasalan (Bicol). On the other side; “stealing no matter how small, is a sin.“ It solved the problem. “whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones.“

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:45

November 10, 2017

A GospelGospel: Lk 16:1-8 -
        At another time Jesus told his disciples, “There was a rich man, whose steward was reported to him because of fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service, for it is about to be terminated.‘
The steward thought to himself, ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do: I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be people who will welcome me into their homes.‘
So he called his master‘s debtors, one by one. He asked the first debtor, ‘How much do you owe my master?‘ The reply was, ‘A hundred jars of oil.‘ The steward said, ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write fifty.‘ To the second debtor he put the same question, ‘How much do you owe?‘ The answer was, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.‘ Then the steward said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.‘
The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness: for the people of this world are more astute, in dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.

Every first Monday of the month, I celebrate Mass at the Provincial Police Office. After the post communion prayer, I was very strong and courageous to tell the policemen of the evils I witnessed done by them openly. I told them that it saddens me so deeply to see cargo trucks and other vehicles throwing money, packed goods, envelopes, bills or coins to the policemen on the highway. It pains me much every time a policeman is connected with a crime particularly in illegal drugs, etc. What I did is justified and confirmed by what St Paul wrote in the first reading; “I am convinced, that you have the goodwill, knowledge and capacity to advise each other…. “ Thank God, I made it. “The greatest tragedy in our time is to keep quiet and close our eyes before the evil in front of us.“ (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)
Biblical scholars say that today‘s parable is one of the most difficult to understand. Seemingly, Jesus is praising the dishonest servant. The truth is, Jesus commended the servant not for dishonesty but for his foresight. He was in a critical situation. However, the servant faced it with resolve and foresight. Crisis could be prevented through faith and foresight. Foresight prepares us for the future. It makes us use our time and talent for what is to come, for the next life.

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:44

November 9, 2017

A GospelGospel: Jn 2:13-22 -
        As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of my Father‘s house!“
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house devours me like fire.
The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?“ And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.“ The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?“
Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

One time after a wedding, during the pictorials, I was not able to control myself. I returned back to the church and shouted very loudly and angrily to the noisy crowd: “Quiet! You are in a church. Respect the Church.“ Not to justify my unbecoming action, but with It, I understood deeply what Jesus did in the temple in today‘s gospel.
Why did Jesus do it? Why did I do it? The Feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica has the answer.
On the front façade of the basilica, prominently written are these words: “OMNIUM ECCLESIARUM URBIS ET ORBIS MATER ET CAPUT“ “Mother and head of all churches of Rome and the World“ The Basilica is the first church of Christianity given by the Roman Emperor, erected on the land donated by the Laterani Family, dedicated to Our Savior, the Cathedral Church of the Pope, the bishop of Rome. A building set apart for worship.
More importantly than the historical event and value, the basilica same with all parish churches, shrines, chapels and oratories are God‘s special dwelling place. It is the spiritual home of God‘s people. It represents the community spiritually bound together by their faith. All sacred places have to be respected. In this era wherein the people are losing the sense of the sacred, Jesus‘ acts in the temple as well as the feast of the dedication of the Mother Church of all Churches to restore back the sense of the sacred and not to turn it into a marketplace.

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