"With joy, not a day without the cross"

Gospel Reflection: “If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me.”
Reading the gospel today reminds me of the late Fr. Lisa, Paref Woodrose’s chaplain of many years. He used to say, “With joy, not a single day without cross.” St. Josemaria Escriva explained as, a day without a cross is a day without God. Our own cross that we bear everyday with so much strength, grace, and dignity is what will keep us close to the Father. And as we carry our cross well and as we offer it up to the Him, you will be surprised at just how easily His own cross takes it all. You will be amazed at such healing and abundant blessings that He will give us for it in return. So lets take up our cross without thinking and without complaints, and bear its burden so that others who will see and know about it will learn about God’s love and mercy as well.

To Follow God

Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.”
I understand why a lot of people choose not to follow the Lord. It is because the path that leads to Him in heaven is not always easy to take. We take different paths to get to the Lord, some will have it easy at the beginning while some will have it hard. Either way it will definitely take a lot from us. We often talk about finding our purpose in life, well for me it is actually this, to follow where the Lord will lead us, which is in all cases, to heaven. In the course of following the Lord, He will ask us to use or give up what we are, where we are, who we are, what we have, who we have in order bring ourselves closer to Him in heaven. So, being God’s follower is not for the soft hearted, faint hearted, or weak hearted, it is only for the faith-hearted. If there’s one thing we should work on, it is to develop a heart filled with faith so that following Him will eventually be less of a struggle but more of a joy.

The Power of Prayers

“For human beings it is imposible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”
This passage reminds me of the letter I received from my student on my last birthday last year which reads: Dear Mrs. Dela Cruz, Happy Birthday! I remember when I was Grade 2, I saw you in your Grade 3 classroom. You were teaching so when I went home I prayed and wished that you be my S.S. Teacher and now I remembered you said, Impossible will be possible if you pray. Then my wish came true. Wow! You are a teacher who has faith. Love, Bianca Lazaro. Though the probability that I will be her teacher this year was quite high at the time she saw me teaching, the fact that she attributed it as a work of God and some sort of a miracle made this letter so endearing. And it is true, I experienced and witnessed it a dozen times, how deep faith can turn things around, how things you can’t even imagine happening even in your wildest dreams happen all because you pray for it, believe that the Lord will give it, and you ready your heart to receive it. Miracles, though products of the Divine are also consequences of our willpower to hope, believe, and trust in the power of the Almighty.

Proactiv Skin Care Advisor Program

I was at The Proactiv Kiosk at Glorietta 2 last weekend to personally consult with a Proactiv Skin Care Advisor. I heard that Proactiv recently launched a Skin Care Advisorship program whose main objective is to provide customers with the best information on acne care. Skin Care Advisors are technically sales representatives who have undergone training using the module created by Proactiv founders themselves, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields. Unlike ordinary sales personnel or promodisers, Skin Care Advisors are trained to offer free acne care advice and after-sales support. They are all knowledgeable and well informed about Acne and Proactiv.
The Skin Care Advisor I consulted with gave me one on one guidance on how to best use the Proactiv products that I already have aside from the three step combination therapy. The Skin Care Advisor explained to me how the Daily Oil Control, Moisturizer, and Refining Mask work to target my acne problem with proper use. Turned out I am not using them well to my advantage. She also gave me tips on how to prevent my pores from clogging so I wouldn’t have to deal with zits as much. I am happy to note that it sure was a pleasurable experience consulting with the Proactiv Skin Care Advisor.
If I were you, I wouldn’t miss this chance. The Skin Care Advisors are deployed at selected Watson Stores and Proactiv Mall Kiosk im Trinoma, Glorietta 2 and Marquee Mall. Come visit them soon, they will be happy to assist you.

YOLO

“Salt is a good thing; but if it loses its saltiness how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”
Salt is the one that gives food taste. Before all artificial and natural seasonings were invented and discovered there was already salt. It is the one that transforms food into a wonderful meal. The Lord in today’s reading challenges us to be the “salt” that will enrich the lives of others. He challenges us to be a man or woman of substance who can effect change within our self and others.

YOLO

“You have no idea what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? No more than a mist, which appears for a moment and then disappears.”
This is perhaps one of the verses in the bible that to me has generated a lot of spin offs…You prabably heard about life is too short, live it…make each moment count…live well, laugh much, love often…but then the pinakamatindi of all the spin off of this verse for me is YOLO. It is so hugely popular that it has become one of the most commonly used hashtag and the mantra of both young children who want to act like adults and adults who are fond of acting like young children (with matching handsign ). I imagine that if God where to rewrite this verse during present times, using layman’s language for a change so his message will come accross quickly, he would prabably state this as, “Tomorrow is a big question…(insert YOLO hashtag and emoji here).” BUT then again wait! This is God we are talking about, so I am pretty sure He wouldn’t just simply end with #YOLO. Probably He would, in all His majesty, end this verse with #YOLOdir (read: You. Only. Live. Once. Do. It. Right).

Humble yourself before the Lord

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will raise you up.”
I remember clearly the day the Lord took Nan away. When I arrived at the emergency room in Asian and took one look at him, I knew in my heart that he’s not going to make it. But I was adamant then. In my mind I bargained, pleaded and demanded God for a mircale. I wanted Him to give me back my Nan. Told Him I wouldn’t want it any other way. But then as always love will always be greater than your fear and so even if it was hard, even if it was painful, I finally gave in and silently, fearfully prayed, thy will be done. Next thing I knew the doctor was beside me, telling me that we just lost Nan. That was the first time I humbled myself before the Lord. Second time was when I was seeking treatment for Bianca. The mother in me had a growing suspicion already that it was what I feared the most especially when all tests seemed to be pointing to it. But a lot of people were praying that it be otherwise, they were storming heavens with their prayers. But then, instead of asking Him what I think will be easy for me, for Bianca, for everyone, even if it was hard, even if it was again painful, I asked Him to give Bianca what He deemed best for her. Doctors later confirmed it to be cancer. Humbling ourselves before Lord can be really tough. It takes a lot from us to be humble especially in our prayers because sometimes it is not easy to understand God’s wisdom right away when He gives us His answers. But then I learned, based from all my experiences that, though humbling ourselves before the the Lord can leave us vulnerable and open to heartaches, we still shouldn’t be afraid to do so because it also make us ready for the outpouring of blessings and the avalanche of miracles from heaven that will surely come when we, with all humility, surrender to His will.

Gospel Reflection: February 24, 2014

“Beloved: If you consider yourself wise and learned, show it by your good life, and let your actions, in all humility, be an example to others.”
I am blessed to have friends who have good heads on their shoulders. I learn so much about how to become a good mom, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, and teacher from them. They continuously show me how to take on these many roles with the wisdom and strength of a true woman of faith. In essence this is exactly how God wants us to live our life. He wants us to live it in such a way that we become an inspiration to others. He wants that when others see what we do and how we do them, they will be moved to commit to a life that would be pleasing not just to themselves but to Him as well.

Gospel Reflection: February 23, 2014

“Beloved: If you consider yourself wise and learned, show it by your good life, and let your actions, in all humility, be an example to others.”
I am blessed to have friends who have good heads on their shoulders. I learn so much about how to become a good mom, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, and teacher from them. They continuously show me how to take on these many roles with the wisdom and strength of a true woman of faith. In essence this is exactly how God wants us to live our life. He wants us to live it in such a way that we become an inspiration to others. He wants that when others see what we do and how we do them, they will be moved to commit to a life that would be pleasing not just to themselves but to Him as well.

Gospel Reflection: February 17, 2014

“Why do people of this present time ask for a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this people.”
I remember I used to ask for signs from the Lord whenever I am in doubt or unsure of my decision. I have to admit that at some point I even demanded signs from Him. Nan’s death put a stop to my sign searching for there clearly wasn’t any when it happened. After his passing, I’ve decided to totally give up on the idea of asking for signs and instead turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance. And the Holy Spirit, he never fails or disappoint. He always leads and directs me to the right course of action so I can eventually make that sound decisions. Unlike signs, his work is steadfast and sure like God’s love for us. When in doubt or faced with a problem, instead of asking for signs, why not ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, you will be surprised at how swiftly he can make things clear for you. Asking for signs from the Lord shows lack of faith in Him wheras asking from the Lord to send us His Holy Spirit shows enormous faith and trust in Him.