Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Matt 11:16-19

Jesus Laments


After many years, I met a friend who proudly introduced me to her four-year old child. Thrilled, I extended my hand to her as a sign of friendship to my surprise the child sulked, sneered at me and ran away. No matter what approach I tried, I failed so I left her alone to enjoy her own world.

The attitude of Jesus’ contemporaries was like petulant children who refused to join any activity no matter how varied the choices offered. Jesus and John the Baptist employed different approaches to proclaiming the Kingdom of God. John the Baptist’s approach was ascetic and sober; Jesus’ way was more lighthearted as “eating and drinking” suggest. Both were rejected by the people.

Sometimes God comes in the most unexpected ways. How open are we to receive him? Do we behave like the obstinate children in the gospel or like the deer that yearns for the spring of water? (Sr. Mildren Arcos, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


Once I came across a cartoon strip depicting this situation: a man and a woman appear stranded on an island. The man looks suggestively at the woman. Apparently, he had said something seductive to her because the scene shows her shaking her head and emphatically saying, “I will know. That’s who will know!” Remarkable integrity and inner freedom!

The people who opposed Jesus expected him to dance to their tune. Their tune, however, was arbitrary, for it catered to their hidden selfish ambitions and desires. Jesus knew. He remained unaffected by these pressures. He danced to his own tune. He was directed by inner motives that he felt secure and certain about. Attuned to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, he was single-hearted in following the Father’s will. He was therefore certain of the fruit of all that he did. He knew where they come from.

In my daily life I hear many voices from within and from without. Do I dance to the tune of pakikisama in order to win approval, in order to belong, no matter what? Or do I foster in myself critical, reflective thinking to discern what is of true and what is not? Am I attuned to the still inner voice of the Spirit? (Sr. Lou Anne, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


If we want to, it’s easy to find fault with fellow human beings. Isn’t it? Being human, each one of us has his/her share of weaknesses and that’s not difficult to detect. Even with the best of us one may find fault still.

Take John the Baptist, for example. A great prophet, he prepared the way for the Messiah. And when the Messiah did come, he himself said of John that none of those born of women was greater than John.

For his part, John did not consider himself worthy to untie Jesus’ sandal straps. He knew himself only too well in relation to the messiah and proclaimed him as such when at last he came. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He harangued lawyers and soldiers and other sinners; he subsisted on locusts and honey. Truly, ho towered over other mortals. And how did the fault-finders regard him? A demoniac, one possessed by a demon!

Even with Jesus Himself who, in contrast to John, was often seen with the lowly and the outcasts, partying with them, people found fault. How did they call Him? A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!

Was Jesus aware of the kind of reputation he was having? Only too well. In fact in our gospel, he is the one who brings out the contrast between himself and John, leading us to understand that people will find fault with us whether we act in this way or that.

As it was then, so it is now. The fault-finders are with us still and their tribes keep increasing. If would be disastrous if we led our lives trying to please them. We should leave according to our convictions, just like John, just like Jesus. And it should be an essential part of our convictions that there is goodness in everyone and that to help bring that out is to help build up people. Evil we must avoid and denounce, but it should be our joy to foster the good. (Fr. Dong Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


“To shall I compare this generation?” in Matthew this is a statement with an unfavorable nuance. The members of “this generation” were as stubborn as children who always wanted to play some other game than the one suggested by their playmates – a childish attitude. Due to their unbelief, Jesus rebuked the ways of the Jews as being childish. God had done all things possible, yet the Jews refuse to believe and cooperate.

God sent John the Baptist and then Jesus. John and Jesus lived diverse manners of life. John lived an austere and ascetic life, almost weird in the eyes of the Jews, “neither eating nor drinking”. He was thought to be a demoniac. Jesus in turn, made no departure from the usual, ordinary lifestyle of the Jews. He ate and drank with people, even with society’s outcasts. He was called a “glutton and a drunkard.”

No approach could satisfy the Jews if it suggested a change in their belief and way of life. “This generation” due to their hardheadedness and pride stuck to their expectations of who the Messiah should be and how God’s manner of liberation must be.

How about our generation? Are we open to the ways of His Spirit who blows where He wills? Are we open to the many changes and surprises God brings in our life, in the church, in the world?

A writer tells the following story about herself: Occasionally I meet someone who seems to have a secret, some special knowledge that sets that person apart. Such a person is Ruby Freedom. I met her when she was conducting a Holy Land Tour. I said to myself, she must have a secret. How else can she accomplish so much, so easily? I envied her…she was a good listener, a troubleshooter, an organizer, a mother hen to all 72 of us…and a real mother to her two children. Yet, she never tired, she was never out of sorts. I wanted to know what her secret was. Then back home I visited Ruby. And I discovered her secret. There it was, a two-word motto over her kitchen sink. It said, “YES, LORD!”

May the power of the Word give us the grace to always say YES to the many changes and surprises God gives in this journey we call life. (Fr. Manny de Leon, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


There is a saying in our vernacular that goes, “sala sa init, sala sa lamig.” No matter what you do, the effort is always wanting.

Is this not our experience as a country now? We are never satisfied with what is. We always want changes. We want to change our leaders every now and then but we cannot present reasonable alternatives. Can we not postpone our negative remarks and reactions and try to see what is behind the seemingly hopeless situation?

When I was still a seminarian, I remember that some of my comments regarding some priests were harsh. Now that I am already a priest I am eating my own words, and having a dose of my own medicine. After all, it is not easy to be a priest, a good one, that is. I realize that experience, as usually the case, it is the best teacher.

Jesus in our gospel is describing the people of his time, pointing at their failure to respond accordingly to what he is offering. They did not see the messageand purpose of John the Baptist, branding him as a demon-possessed. They even regarded Jesus as a glutton and a drunkard. They negatively looked at Jesus and the purpose why He came.

Sometimes we are no more than the people during the time of Jesus. We are indifferent to what God is presenting us – the fullness of life and salvation. In this season of Advent we ask God to grant us the grace of openness to see beyond what meets the eye, to exercise justice in everything and to love every person that comes our way. (Fr. Gerry Paat, SVD Bible Diary 2007).


A grandfather (lolo) and his young grandson are leading their old horse to town from the village. Along the way, they hear people comment: “Why do those two not ride on the horse.”

Irked by the comment, the lolo mounts the horse and lets his grandson lead the horse. But people they meet shake their heads and remark: “Isn’t it funny that this old man should be riding while that poor child has to walk?” So after a few meters away, he dismounts and lets his grandson mount the horse this time. When they meet some more people, they hear criticisms like, “How shameful! This kid is riding while his lolo is walking. Why does this old man permit it to happen?”

Whereupon, the lolo decides to end all those criticisms by riding on the horse together with the lad but people, along the way, see them and remark: “Goodness, don’t they pity that poor old horse with that weight? Shame on them!”

Completely at a loss, the old man and his grandson end up carrying the horse!

The gospel today shows how the Lord Jesus was criticized and rejected by His own countrymen but, unlike the fickle-minded grandfather in the story, Jesus remained firm and steadfast in His conviction.

Jesus compared His unbelieving countrymen to children who were playing but did not respond. He did everything to win His own people but they turned their backs on Him. They even went to the extent of calling Him a “glutton, drunkard, friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

If the Lord was not spared of criticisms and harsh words, then it can happen to ordinary mortals, like you and me.

We are all vulnerable to destructive criticisms. We should not worry if there’s no truth to these because they will eventually die down.

The question is, what if there is some truth to these criticisms hurled on us? Then we should be humble enough to admit our faults and mistakes and learn from them. (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


December 14, 2012

St. John of the Cross,
priest and doctor

Is 48:17-19
Ps 1
Mt 11:16-19

Mt 11:16-19
Jesus Laments 

[Jesus said to the crowds,] 16“To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 17‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ 18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”


It is like children. Being childlike is different from being childish. Being childlike means trusting someone you look up to, confidently believing and accepting what the person tells you. Being childish is being stubborn or ungovernable, being unreasonable or hardheaded.

Jesus calls us to be childlike. He pinpoints the childish attitude of his listeners. They refuse to commit themselves either to John’s call of repentance or to the saving works of Jesus. They prefer to be fence-sitters. Commitment is decisiveness—to be either for Christ or against him.

We are often childish: we want God to do what we ask when we want it. We make God conform to our needs and adjust to our lifestyles. We do not heed God’s messages for us. We seek to be excused from observing God’s commandments or choose what we want to follow and obey. Let us stop playing games with God and participate in his saving plan.

I will dedicate and commit myself to Jesus—totally and completely.


Reflection for Friday December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Matthew 11:16-19 Reflection: Are you quick to judge based on what you see? The people during Jesus and John’s time most especially the Pharisees and scribes were like that also. They judge both John and Jesus; John they judged as having a demon and Jesus as a glutton and a drunkard. They based their judgment on the external actuations that they saw.

However, their judgment was misplaced and farthest from the truth. Those who judged Jesus and John should have first tried to know them first by becoming their followers but they never cared to follow, they instead quickly judged. Thus, they missed the opportunity of a lifetime to know John and Jesus.

Those who judge allow themselves to be controlled by their misplaced emotions. Those who judge usually end-up missing something worthy and beautiful from the person that they judge.

There are times that I see married couples the husband is handsome but the wife is not beautiful and vise-versa. I usually tell myself, how come they ended-up in the altar of married life? The reason behind is simple, they never cared to judge based on what they saw on their future spouse. They instead delve deeper, thus they discovered how beautiful the character of the person they chose to be with for the rest of their lives.

Are you quick to judge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reflection for December 11, Friday of the Second Week of Advent: Matthew 11:16-19


Whenever biographies of famous personalities are to be written. Publishers would try to make the exterior of the book as attractive as possible so that it would create an immediate exterior attraction to the buying public. especially to those who have superficial knowledge of the personality involve.

Jesus was called names such as glutton, drunkard, friend of tax collectors and sinners by the Pharisees and scribes. Because that’s what they saw, they based their unfair judgments on what their eyes saw. If only they knew that the real motive of Jesus was the conversion of tax collectors and sinners they would not have unfairly judged Jesus.

The same is true with John he was labelled as someone who is possessed by a demon. Perhaps the reason behind such unfair name calling is based on the physical appearance of John. And John’s preference to live in the desert before coming out to prepare the way for Jesus to name a few.

Oftentimes we are like the Pharisees and the scribes for we judge also based on what we see and hear about our neighbor. We base our judgment on the exterior and the superficial. But is this right? Of course not!

It’s not correct to throw judgment based on what we see or observe for what we see is a scant representation of the whole person. Let us know first the person before judging. And if there’s an opportunity to talk to him/her so that we could have a clearer picture of the person’s personality let us do so.

Are you often times quick to judge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Reflection for Friday December 9, Second Week in Advent; Matthew 11:16-19

Are you familiar with the word repentance?

The word repentance is perhaps the most ignored word. For example we would often call on people close to us to repent and change their ways for the better. Most often than not this call is ignored and we would reason out that we have nothing to repent.

We often don’t see our sinfulness until a person close to us tells us about it and we don’t normally like to be told about our sins. But the reality of it all is we are sinners we sin by our words, thoughts and actions.

John the Baptist called for repentance asceticism was his lifestyle he wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt on his waist his food was locust and wild honey. He prepared the way for Jesus by calling the sinners of his time to repent.

Jesus’ approach was different, He mingled with sinners and non sinners, He healed the sick, He preformed miracles and conducted life changing sermons in that process He called them all to repentance.

This season of Advent the call to repentance intensifies to a crescendo for us to be more worthy of the coming birth of our savior. But only few of us give it an ear, we chose to ignore it. Why not listen to this call? Why not change our ways for the better? Why not humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Confession?

If today you hear His voice harden not your hearts. (Hebrew 3:15) – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, December 10, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT (YEAR C) – MATEO 11:16-19. GISUNOD BA NATO ANG PANAWAGAN SA PANAHON SA ADBIYENTO? Ang libro sa Ecclesiastes nagtudlo nga adunay saktong panahon para sa tanan – panahon sa paghilak, panahon sa pagkatawa; panahon sa pagsubo, panahon sa pagsayaw; ug uban pa (3:4). Ang Adbiyento usa ka panahon nga nag-awhag kanato sa pagsusi sa kaugalingon ug sa pagbasol sa mga kasal-anan, sa pagtarong sa kinabuhi ug sa pagbiya sa mga daotang binuhatan. Kini ang panawagan sa Adbiyento agi’g pagpangandam sa pag-abot sa Ginoo. Busa, ning panahona, likayan una nato ang pagsabasaba, pagkumbira, pagsayawsayaw, ug paglulinghayaw. Aron mahimong makahuloganon ang atong Pasko, atong ayohon ang mga nangagubang relasyon, mangayo kita’g pasaylo sa Ginoo ug sa isigkatawo. Posted by Abet Uy


Friday, December 9, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT – MATEO 11:16-19. GIPAMINAW UG GISUNOD BA NATO ANG PANAWAGAN SA ADBIYENTO? Pinaagi’g sambingay, gihulagway ni Hesus ang kahimtang sa katawhan sa iyang panahon. Sama sila sa mga bata nga wala maminaw ug wala motunong sa gipabuhat sa ilang mga kadula. Ning panahon sa Adbiyento, ang Simbahan nagtawag kanato nga mag-andam sa kaugalingon alang sa pag-abot ni Hesus nga Manunubos. Gidasig kita sa pagbag-o sa kinabuhi, sa pagbiya sa daotang binuhatan, ug sa pagpakighiuli sa kaugalingon ngadto sa Dios. Hinaot nga mosunod kita ning maong panawagan, ug dili magbuhat og dili angayan. Sakto ang giingon, “Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” Hinaot nga ning kapaskohan, dili lamang mga pinutos nga gasa ang atong ablihan kondili ang atong mga kasingkasing. Posted by Abet Uy


NO ONE CAN DENY – The images that Jesus presents here are just all too familiar. A priest known for his stringent ways is assigned to be a pastor of a parish. Church workers are easily threatened by his imposing presence. They are meted with sanctions and suspensions whenever they fail to measure up to what the parish priest expects them to do. Soon the workers lose interest in serving under his pastorship. “He was just too strict,” people say. Then they leave.

Another priest takes over the parish. This time he is more lax and lenient. The workers have a grand time. The priest is easy to please and no rules are set to guide those serving the church. Eventually, some found a way to abuse the system. Others were scandalized by their fellow worker’s loose approach to ministry. “The priest is just too good. And most of the people simply abuse his goodness.” So they too left.

Jesus’ words today express His frustration in the people’s stubborn resistance to God’s initiative to work in their lives. No matter what was presented to them, they found loopholes in it. Something is always not right according to their standards.

The clear idea here is that when man just refuses to receive the truth, he will think of all possible excuses to avoid listening to it. He would be like one of the spoiled children that Jesus speaks of who would refuse to play no matter what the game is.

But “wisdom is justified by her deeds,” Jesus closes the discourse. No one can deny how John the Baptist’s way converted a lot of people and brought them to Jesus. People may not have “danced” with Jesus then, but this cannot negate the fact that He was able to offer a new life to people and a new way of reaching their Father in heaven.Fr. Sandy Enhaynes

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you find areas in your life where you act like a spoiled child?

Make my heart fertile, Lord. Grant me deeper conversion.


Is 48: 17-19; Mt 11: 11-15

Spoiled Children

After a long waiting God sent His Son as the Messiah, the fulfillment of all prophesies and promises. Jesus, the Messiah, offered the kingdom of God and salvation to all starting with the people of Israel.  But this passage illustrates how the offer was ignored. On the whole Jesus’ contemporaries chose to stay where they were and to ignore both John and Jesus.

Using a simple illustration Jesus compared the people of his time to sulky children who can’t be pleased, no matter what you do for them.  They do not know what they desire, or they have forgotten what they ought to do. They acted like children who were invited to join in their games only to be ignored. John the Baptist wailed and the people did not mourn: he invited them to fast.  And Jesus laments and decries his own people: acting like spoiled children, whining and complaining. Jesus played the flute and they refused to dance: as the bridegroom he is inviting them all, sinners and outsiders to the wedding banquet. They simply ignored the opportunity generously offered by God.

However, God’s wisdom is demonstrated in the actions of John and more especially in the actions of Jesus the Messiah. If they continue to reject the salvation being offered, they must know that they are rejecting God’s providential design, thus choosing to stay outside God’s chosen people. They would have experienced healing and forgiveness if they joined his company as it was the case with so called sinners and tax collectors.

Advent is a season for learning how to desire in a way that leads to deeper life.  God is pleading and begging us to listen.  If only we would heed God’s Word, then God would bend to us, lead us, be our Redeemer. Does Jesus look at us, disgusted and frustrated because we will not listen or obey? Dr. Fr. John Ollukaran CMI


Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Is 48: 17-19; Ps 1: 1-2. 3. 4 and 6; Mt 11: 16-19


Very often we hear only what we want, instead of hearing what is said!

Everybody does filtration when they hear anything from out. It is because of the difference in the cultural-linguistic and social background in which everyone is brought up.

Jesus tried to convince his opponents about his mission on the earth. But his opponents were not able to listen him as they had their own misconceptions regarding the messiah and the kingdom of God.

Today the reality is not different.

Some are away from the church due to their painful experience with the priest or other consecrated people. Some give more importance to saints than to Jesus. And some of us are Christians only on Sundays. Many of us find our satisfaction in mere repetition of few prayers. They all show that many of us have not understood Jesus and his message.

The message of Jesus is the Kingdom of God where everyone is ruled by love and service. There is eternal life that must be valued above mere eating and drinking. And there is always place for the sinner in the love of God.

Let’s listen to the message of Jesus without watering it down by our likes and dislikes. FR. JOHNSON BEZALEL CMI


December 09, 2016 

Juan Diego was a simple Mexican Indian. He was born in 1474 at 20 kilometers north of Mexico City. He walked every day those 20 kilometers to Mexico City just to attend Mass. He lived a very simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer.

On this day of December 9 in 1531, when Juan Diego was already 57 years old, the Virgin Mary appeared to him as he was passing by Tepeyac Hill. She was dressed like an Aztec princess. She asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said she wanted this “so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help and defense, for I am your most devoted mother…” The bishop was skeptical and asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady’s identity. Juan returned to Tepeyac Hill and there found a patch of Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico) growing in the frozen soil. He brought these to the bishop. Eventually a great basilica was built on the hill, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Juan died in 1548 and was canonized in 2002.

How far would I be ready to walk to attend daily Mass if I could?


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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