December 18

Matt 1:18-25

The Birth of Jesus

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

There was once a young mother who brought her three beautiful children to a hamburger outlet. In the middle of their meal, the mother and the children collapsed. The storeowner quickly brought them to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, the six-year old youngest child did not make it. When the mother revived, she confessed that she tried to poison herself and her children because her husband left them and she was afraid that she would not be able to sustain the family. She could not face and solve her problems all alone.

In our world today, beset by poverty, violence, environmental destruction, infidelity, and indifference, people can easily become desperately fearful and paranoid. Yes, fear is part of human life. But if we do not learn to overcome it, we become paralyzed and lose our trust in life and in the saving power of God. Fear makes us unable to recognize God’s gifts in us and our capacity to move on and live.

Christmas is special day to look forward to because this feast is our assurance that God is with us and among us in Jesus. Even if God allows adversary to cross our journey, He never ceases to be present in all the events of our life. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us also not forget to share the gift of faith to others especially to those who are unable to recognize the saving presence of God in their life. So that in our own little way, we could be bearers of God’ life-giving love. (SVD friend Bible Diary 2002)

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In today’s gospel, Matthew unveils a new aspect of Jesus’ teaching – a new understanding of what means to be related with God. Among the Jews, to have a good relationship with God, being good or being just, has a very precise connotation. It means following the law to the very last detail. In fact, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, believed and taught that if every Jew would just follow the law God gave to Moses, the Kingdom of God would be realized.

Today, using the figure of St. Joseph – a forgotten and misunderstood saint, Matthew teaches us what, in the new religion of Jesus, is the new meaning of being related with God, being good and being just. Joseph who betrothed to Mary found out that Mary was with a child before their official marriage. He knew that he was not the culprit. As a good Jew, the law obliged him to report Mary to the authorities who, in cases as this, would hand down judgment for Mary to be stoned to death. This was the Law of Moses. He thought of doing what was expected of him as a Jew. However, Matthew says in today’s gospel: “Joseph being a just man AND not wanting to put Mary to shame, decided to leave her secretly.” The important word in this verse is the word AND. In the original Greek, the role played by this word is like that abbreviation we use in English i.e., which stands for the Latin ID EST, meaning that is. If we take the verse again, it would go like this: “Joseph being a just man THAT IS or WHICH MEANS, not wanting to put Mary to shame, decided to leave her secretly.”

Matthew calls Joseph a just man (one who was good, who had a good rapport with God) which in Jewish understanding would have mean to follow the law to the letter. However, in his version, it was the opposite that Joseph did. Instead of reporting Mary to the authorities, he decided to leave Mary secretly because he did not want her to be put to shame. And this is the motive why Matthew calls Joseph a just man. This is the new meaning of being just, of being good and of having a good rapport with God: NOT WANTING TO PUT MARY TO SHAME, which means TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE NEEDS OF OUR NEIGHBOR, TO LET OUR HEART BLEED FOR OUR NEIGHBOR, TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR. Was it not Matthew who taught us in chapter 25 of his gospel that LOVE OF NEIGHBOR is the condition for our entrance and non-entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. In the religion that Jesus started, to be good, to be just, to have a good relationship with God is TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR.

The same Matthew tells us the reason behind this new understanding of being related with God: “Whatever you do to the least of your brothers/sisters, you do it also to me.” Jesus has identified himself with our neighbor.

If this is so, then there is sense in being sensitive to the needs of our neighbor, to let our heart bleed for them. (Fr. Ding Fabiosa, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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You would know this, wouldn’t you? This, S-I-L-E-N-T is made of exactly the same letters as L-I-S-T-E-N, no more, no less!

So what?

So it’s not surprising at all that, in the Annunciation narrative, Mary falls silent before the heavenly messenger, after her only query. “How can this be done….?” Mary is listening intently to the angel’s explanation. Which is to say Mary is at prayer deep prayer.

Prayer is conversing with God. In conversing, one also listens. One who does all the talking is by no means a good conversationalist.

Prayer is listening to the Word and the Word maybe a message, an event or a person. One who is at prayer may then be receiving a message, or taking part in an event, or surrendering to a person. In the case of Mary at the Annunciation, she is truly receiving a message from God, truly taking part in the Incarnation event, and truly surrendering herself totally to God.

No wonder she is so silent.

This prayer-filled moment of the Annunciation is the very moment – O blessed of all moment! When the Word begins to become flesh in Mary of Nazareth.

And the cry of the moment is the cry pf the humble and hope-filled: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Fr. Dong Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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Question at the noontime TV show, “Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba?”: The Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary, though remaining a virgin, gave birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world. What is this doctrine called? A male participant: “Immaculate Conception.” Kris Aquino: “You are wrong. The others can steal.” A female participant: “The Virgin Birth.” Kris Aquino: “Correct!”

For isn’t it in our faith that, in the relations of the Triune God, the Son is son indeed in relation to the Father, but no mother is involved?

And isn’t it true also that, in the Incarnation, Jesus, the Word-made-flesh, is Son indeed but without a human father?

Still more, isn’t it true that Jesus, the Son of Mary of Nazareth, needed someone worthy to stand as his father before the eyes of people, otherwise Mary’s reputation would be ruined? And so Joseph, the carpenter, the silent one, is the perfect response to this human need.

In the beginning, though, on learning that Mary was already with child, Joseph’s first impulse was to put her side, to disengage himself from her. Being a just man, he did not want to have anything to do with al already pregnant girl. But again being a just man, he did not want to put her to shame; so he decided to put her aside quietly; no fuss at all.

And it was at that point that God intervened – through a dream. And so it was that Joseph leaned of the Divine Secret. How privileged he was! And what a wise choice on the part of God, entrusting a precious secret to one who, to all indications, loved to be silent.

Foster father of Jesus, protector of Mary’s honor, breadwinner of the Holy Family – Joseph became all these and more. (Fr. Cornelio B. Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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In life we have significant persons we consider “idols.” We look up to them and are inspired by them. Their virtues and values are shining examples for us to emulate. In today’s gospel we have such a person to emulate: Saint Joseph. What exactly do we find admirable in him?

First, we see his righteousness; this means his being right and proper before God and man. And because of this virtue Joseph decided not to expose Mary to shame. At that moment Joseph did not yet know the real score about Mary’s situation. Second, we admire his fairness and justice. Joseph refused to judge and condemn Mary; he gave her the benefit of the doubt. Third, our saint decided to suffer in silence, rather than create a scene or scandal as many others would have done.

As they say, “Virtue is its own reward.” In the case of Joseph, God was his reward, for the Lord explained to him in a a dream what the situation with Mary was about. And this brings to the other virtues of Saint Joseph: deep abiding faith in God and obedience to His will.

Thus, it is no surprise that Joseph is the saint that he is today. And our “idol” continues to inspire us with his virtues, the very same that would make us pleasing to God, and saints somebody.

Saint Jose, pray for us! (Fr. Lino Nicasio SVD Bible Diary 2013 Dec. 18, 2013).

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December 18, 2016 Sunday

St. Joseph is many things. He’s been labeled as the quintessential “silent man” by virtue of the fact that he never speaks in the Bible; He is also said to have been a hard-working person, one who lets his hands do the talking rather than his mouth; also he’s been hailed as the “chaste” spouse of the most Holy Virgin Mary.

The Gospel today could add to the wealth of reflections that we already have about the kind of person that Joseph was.

As I read the Gospel account and picture Joseph in there I remember something written in some wall which says, “I am cool, I am calm and I have a plan”. I think St. Joseph could very well have written those about himself. COOL.

The angel appeared to him in a dream. I would like to believe that this means Joseph was sleeping.

I remember one professor sharing a story in class where he said that one of the most outstanding traits of Alexander the Great was that even at the height of a “red alert” he could sleep, therefore he was always rested and fresh for action. When I have problems and tasks to do, I get so nervous that sleeping is impossible. Joseph had a big problem; that he could sleep speaks volume about him. CALM.

He was about to get married. He must have prepared for it already…then he found out that his lady love was pregnant and that he had absolutely nothing to do with it! I don’t think anybody would have blamed him if he reported Mary to the authorities or at least spit out something nasty against her. Instead in all calmness he tried to figure out a win-win situation for everybody! HE HAD A PLAN.

Because he was cool and calm he was able to come out with a plan. Many people when faced with extreme difficulties would say they blacked out, lost all reason, and just “swung and hoped they would hit something”.

Coolness, calmness and planning are marks of greatness. And one who surrenders them in favor of a “higher plan” is a fool, “a fool for Christ”, a saint. St. Joseph, Pray for us. (Fr. Dante Barril, SVD | Rome Italy Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/1068-december-18-2016-sunday

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According to an unknown source that righteousness is an attribute of moral purity that belongs to God alone (John 17:25). It is He alone who is truly righteous. No one in the world is righteous in the eyes of the Lord, that is, except the Christian. We are counted righteous in the eyes of God when we receive Jesus by faith (Phil. 3:9). Our righteousness is based on what Jesus did on the cross. The righteousness that was Christ’s is counted to us. We, then, are seen as righteous in the eyes of God. Though we are actually worthy of damnation, we are made righteous (Is. 61:10) by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. As a result, we will spend eternity in the presence of the holy, pure, loving, kind, gentle and righteous God.

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December 18, 2012

St. Peter Truat
Late Advent Weekdays: Dec. 18
VIOLET

Jer 23:5-8
Ps 72
Mt 1:18-25

Mt 1:18-25
The Birth of Jesus

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. 19Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 21She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:/ 23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,/ and they shall name him Emmanuel,”/  which means, “God is with us.” 24When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. 25He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

REFLECTION:

He was a righteous man. This is how Joseph is described. Why? The law of Moses calls for the stoning “of a young woman who is brought to her husband’s house and found not to be a virgin” (Dt 22:20-21).

His betrothed Mary is found to be with child. In order not to expose her to public disgrace or scandal and possible death, Joseph wishes to divorce her quietly.

God sends his angel in a dream to clarify things with Joseph and reveal the divine plan. Being a righteous person, he does not doubt the message of the angel or question the intentions of God. He obeys and places himself at the service of Mary and Jesus.

God has entrusted us with a mission. He has assigned specific tasks to us according to our capacities. God believes in our ability. Besides, God gives us the necessary graces so that we can fulfill God’s will for us.

God tells us, “Don’t be afraid!” We need not fear accepting new responsibilities, taking a stand for God, and carrying our cross.

If God walks with us, whom shall we fear? If we remain with God, how can we possibly miss our way to heaven?

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2080-december-18-2012

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3rd Day, 18th December Year A: Theme is Emmanuel

Readings: Jeremiah 23: 5-8; Matthew 1: 18-25

The short reflection on the 3rd day of Misa de Gallo is taken from the Gospel reading (Matthew 1: 18-25). “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Mt. 1: 23)

The passage invites us to reflect on the fidelity of God to his promise… the sign – A Virgin with child and his name is Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’!

We, like the Blessed Mother Mary, are too tiny to imagine greatness within us. But God always hides – it seems, inside of littleness and seeming insignificance. God lets us do all the discovering.

The people, who can recognize God in the child born of the Virgin Mary in a manger, also recognize within their own puny and ordinary lives the same God who will freely and daringly affirm the Divine Presence in the humanity of Jesus, in their lives and in the whole creation. It is all one and the same patterns – ‘Emmanuel which means God is with us’. Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI (facebook.com/jun.mercado)

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PANAGINIP AT PANGAKO: Reflection for Chiristmas Novena – SIMBANG GABI Day 3 Year B – December 18, 2014

Isa ka ba sa mga naniniwala sa panaginip? Sabi ng mga matatanda ay huwag daw balewalain ang panaginip sapagkat  nagkakatotoo daw ito!  May kuwento na minsan ay magkasamang natutulog ang tatay at ang kanyang anak.  Nagising ang tatay sa malakas na ungol ng anak na nananaginip.  Biglang sumigaw ito: “Paalam, LOLO!”  Kinabukasan, nakatanggap sila ng masamang balita na namatay ang kanilang lolo.  “Hala! Nagkatotoo ang panaginip ng anak ko!”  Kinagabihan, habang sila’y natutulog ay nagising uli ang tatay sa ungol ng anak na nananaginip;  “Paalam… LOLA!”  Kinaumagahan, nakatanggap uli sila ng masamang balita na namatay din ang kanila lola.  “Ano ba ito?  Nagkakatotoo ang panaginip ng anak ko!”  At kinagabihan, muling nagsalita ang bata sa kanyang panaginip: “Paalam… TATAY!”  Kinabahan ang tatay.  Kinabukasan doble ang pag-iingat niya.  Hindi na siya umuwi pagkatapos ng trabaho dahil feel niya na safe siya sa office.  Nagpadrive siya sa company driver para iwas aksidente. Lahat ng kilos niya ay doble ingat para di madisgrasya.  Pag-uwi sa bahay ay sinalubong siya ng kanyang asawang umiiyak kasama ang kanyang anak. ” O ba’t ka umiiyak?  Buhay na buhay pa ako!”  sabi ng mister sa asawa.  “Darling… kasi namatay ang driver natin!”  At bumalik sa alaala niya ang sinabi ng kanyang anak noong nakaraang gabi: “Paalam… TATAY!!!”  hehehe…  Ang panaginip daw ay isang malaking misteryo. Mahirap ipaliwanag.  Minsan nagkakatotoo… minsan naman ay kabaliktaran ito!  May magagandang panaginip.  May tinatawag ding bangungot!  Sa Lumang Tipan ang panaginip ay tinatawag na “forgotten language of God” na kung saan ay ginagamit ito ng Diyos para makipag-usap sa tao.  Sa Bagong Tipan, ang panginip ay “katuparan ng mga pangako ng Diyos!”  Kaya nga nang managinip si Jose at sabihan siya ng anghel na huwag matakot tanggapin si Maria bilang kanyang asawa sapagkat ang pinaglilihi niya ay lalang ng Espiritu Santo,  ito ay hindi lamang karaniwang panaginip.  Ito ay pagsasakatuparan ng plano ng Diyos!  Ang pagsang-ayon ni Jose sa sinabi ng anghel sa panaginip ay nagpapakita ng pagtanggap na niya sa plano ng Diyos sa kanyang buhay.  Sinasang-ayunan ko rin ba ang plano ng Diyos sa aking buhay?  Ano ba ang trato ko sa Diyos kapag hindi niya naibibigay ang gusto ko at hindi naisasakutaparan ang plano ko?  Anuman ang plano ng Diyos sa iyo ay isa lang ang sigurado… nais ng Diyos na maging masaya ka ngayong Pasko!  Ibinigay Niyang regalo ang Kanyang bugtong na Anak upang maging maligaya tayo sa buhay natin dito sa lupa at hindi lang sa langit.  At kasama rin sa Kanyang plano na mabuhay tayo ng mabuti at ng may banal na pagkatakot sa Diyos!  Kapag sinusunod natin ang Kanyang mga utos, sa tuwing tayo ay gumagawa ng kabutihan, kapag namumhay tayo ng banal at marangal… isinasakatuparan natin ang PLANO NG DIYOS para sa atin.  Ang panaginip ay nagiging PANGAKO at ang pangako ay nagiging GANTIMPALA! Ipinaskil ni kalakbay ng kabataan

kiliti-ng-diyos.blogspot.com/2014/12/panaginip-at-pangako-reflection-for.html

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 18 MISA DE GALLO

Mateo 1:18-25

MAGPABILIN BA ANG ATONG PAGTOO SA DIOS BISAN KON ANAA KITA SA KAHIMTANG NGA MAKALIBOG UG MALISOD? Ang ebanghelyo naghatag kanato’g duha ka modelo sa lig-ong pagtoo. Ang una mao si Maria, nga nagmabdos sa gahum sa Espiritu Santo. Ang iyang pagsabak makalibog ug pwedeng maghatag kaniya’g dakong kaulawan. Apan, si Maria nisalig sa gisulti sa anghel ug nitahan sa iyang kinabuhi ngadto sa Dios. Ang ikaduha mao si Jose, nga bisan sa dili masabtang pagmabdos ni Maria, nagpabiling matarong ngadto sa iyang hinigugma. Gisunod niya ang mensahe sa anghel ug gipangasawa si Maria. Adunay nag-ingon: “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” Hinaot nga mahisama kita kang Jose ug Maria nga hugot ang pagsalig sa gugma ug panabang sa Dios.

Ning kapaskohan:

Atong tan-awon ang mga panghitabo sa atong kinabuhi karong mga panahona – sa kaugalingon, sa pamilya, sa Simbahan ug sa katilingban. Aduna bay nakapalibog kanato? Aduna bay nakatandog sa atong pagtoo?

Pamalandongan nato kon unsa ang mga mensahe sa Ginoo nga nag-uban ning mga panghitabo sa atong kinabuhi. Pangayoon nato diha sa pag-ampo ang grasya sa dakong pagsalig sa Diosnong pangaliya ug pag-amoma. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/12/december-18-misa-de-gallo.html

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (A) – KINSA MAN ANG TINUOD NGA AMAHAN? Duha ka amahan ang gihisgotan sa mga pagbasa ning Domingoha. Ang una mao si hari Ahas, nga nagsalig sa iyang gahum ug katakos. Giingnan siya sa propeta nga mokonsulta sa Dios, apan wala siya mosangpit sa Kahitas-an. Ang ikaduha mao si Jose, tawo nga ligdong ug maampoon. Nakadawat siyag mensahe sa Dios pinaagi sa anghel. Bisan lisod tumanon, nisalig siya sa kabubut-on sa Dios nga mahimong amahan sa batang Hesus. Si Ahas nagpatay sa kaugalingong anak aron ihalad sa iyang dios-dios; apan si Jose nagbuhis sa kaugalingon aron panalipdan ang kinabuhi sa iyang anak-anak. Adunay kamatuoran kini: “The who raises a child is called a father, not the one who helped make it.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/12/4th-sunday-of-advent-a.html

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reflection for December 18, Friday of the Third Week of Advent; Matthew 1:18-25

Reflection: If only all husbands are like Saint Joseph, there would be no broken marriages; there would be no suffering wives, there would be no suffering children that ultimately bear the trauma of their parents’ separation.

Joseph initially planned to divorce Mary quietly until the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-22).”

When he woke up, he humbly did what was commanded to him by the angel of the Lord. What if Joseph brushed aside the message of the Lord? The Blessed Mother would have been in a very difficult situation. She could have died through stoning a brutal punishment for those who bore a child out of wedlock.

There would be no birth of Jesus; therefore there would be no savior for mankind. But thanks to Joseph who listened to the Lord. With Joseph’s acceptance of the responsibility the plan of God was laid out without anymore hindrance.

God has a plan for you also, just like Joseph who listened and obeyed; God wants you also to listen and obey.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/12/reflection-for-december-18-friday-of.html

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reflection for Sunday December 18, Fourth Sunday of Advent; Matthew 1:18-24

Why can’t husbands be faithful to their wives? I can only surmise that it’s the lack of sufficient moral and spiritual groundings. I think it’s also the husband’s intentional forgetfulness of their Marriage vows which states: “To have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part.”

In contrast to the philandering husbands of today is Joseph the faithful, righteous and obedient husband of Mary. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant before they lived together he decided to divorce her quietly so that she would not be exposed to shame, humiliation and severe punishment.

It was Joseph’s intention to divorce Mary but the angel of the Lord intervened in a dream and said: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife into his home.

In the Sacrament of Matrimony the husband is also being told by God thru the  Marriage vows, thru the Sacramental blessing of the Priest which officiates through the person of Jesus and thru his wedding ring that he must be faithful to his wife not only for a month, not only for a year but for the rest of his life!

In the gospel we see Joseph’s humble submission to the will of God. He obediently followed what God said thru an angel; he therefore brought Mary to his home and took care of her for the rest of his life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/12/reflection-for-sunday-december-18.html

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Jer 23: 5-8; Mt 1: 18-25

Immanuel Persons

The angel said, He will be called Immanuel, meaning ‘God with us.’

The OT too speaks of an Immanuel, a baby boy, whose birth was a sign from God to King Ahaz of Judah. (Isaiah, chapter 7 & 8). Here we see a picture of God reaching out with His presence to Judah but to a particular instance alone. The Immanuel in NT (Mt 1:23) is a different one whose presence will be with us till the end of the world (Mt 28:20).

The life of Jesus was true to his name ‘Immanuel. ’He lived in the presence of God and helped others too to experience the presence of God in their lives. Whoever heard him or met him were filled with the imminence of God. Whether it was the multiplication of bread, sermon on the mountain or the encounter on the way to Emmaus, what Jesus aimed at was to help people to experience God as Immanuel.

We too are called to become “Immanuel Persons’ who live in the presence of God and help others to enter into the experience of ‘God-with-us’. Our conversations, lifestyle, institutions must give witness to others that there is a loving God present among us, a God who loves them personally and takes care of them more than the birds of the air and lilies of the field. Achieving the realisation that God is ‘Immanuel’, who accompanies them wherever and whatever they are, is the only answer to the many problems society is facing. Francis of Assisi was an ‘Immanuel Person’ through whom people experienced the presence of God among them. Even the animals felt the presence of the loving Creator when they saw Francis of Assisi.

Let us reflect to see how each one of us can become ‘Immanuel Persons’ the sign of God’s presence in this world? Fr. Johnson Bezalel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-12-18 (2015.12.18

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7 DUTIES OF A GREAT DAD
By Gleno G. Narvaez

One father woke up a bit worried. Yesterday, the school teacher called up reminding him of their children’s monthly school dues. He was thinking where to get the money to be able to pay the bills. Their weekly budget was already used up for other needs. Today, they have scarce of food on the table and money is yet coming in the afternoon. He was worrying and wondering what to do to be able to meet the needs of his family.

Thank God. Money came in the afternoon and some needs are met.

The above story and similar stories reflect our God-given responsibility as a father. But what are the duties of a Dad? How can one say that he is a great dad? What are the things the qualities that qualify us to be called a great dad? In few days from now the world will celebrate a very special day for Dads—the Father’s Day. I would like us to talk about this and discuss the 7 Duties of a Great Dad. Let’s begin.

How do you define Duties? Merriam-Webster defines duty as “a conduct due to parents…, obligatory tasks, service, or functions that arise from one’s position.” The 7 Duties of a Great Dad are obligations or functions that every dad must perform. Taken from the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-15, these duties are the following:

1. Availability – A great Dad is Present usually –v.6
2. Godliness – A great Dad lives righteously – v.9
3. Leadership – A great Dad leads the Family – v.10
4. Provision – A great Dad provides responsibly – v.11
5. Love – A great Dad loves unconditionally – vv. 6, 8, 12
6. Protection – A great Dad protects regularly- v.13
7. Discipline – A great Dad disciplines consistently – vv.14-15

1. AVAILABILITY – A great Dad is Present usually.
The first duty is to be available or at least to be usually present. I cannot fully comprehend the term “absentee-father”. How can a dad function if he is absent for his children and wife? A lot of studies show that the presence of a dad helps in his children’s education especially in Math, Science and Reading subjects. His presence also helps the stability and discipline of children.
A young man once told a story about his father regularly invited him to drink coffee when his father was still alive. He didn’t actually like coffee but he was just being obedient and polite to his dad. When his father died, he then realized that their coffee-time was his Dad’s way of spending time with him: mentoring and teaching him the lessons of life.

2. GODLINESS – A great Dad lives righteously.
Many months ago, I was with my family and was driving along going home. When suddenly a speedy, reckless bus passed over us almost hitting the right side of our car. Immediately my blood got over my head and I was furious. In anger, I said to myself “I will get even with this crazy man”. At once, I shifted gear and started a hot pursuit. Then

sermoncentral.com/sermons/7-duties-of-a-great-dad-glenn-narvaez-sermon-on-family-167522.asp

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Bolet, my wife, who was beside me said, “Stop and let go”. She added “you are a Pastor”. Right there and then I mellowed, calmed down and stopped the pursuit. I remember that my children were there and could have seen my “ungodly” attitude towards the bus driver.

We have a TV ad that says “whatever an adult do, children do”. The above incident and this TV ad remind us of our responsibility to be a good example to our children. It doesn’t matter what we do at work or who we are in life. What matters is that we live and leave a righteous legacy to our next generation especially to our children.

3. LEADERSHIP – A great Dad leads the Family – v.10
It’s Sunday. Last night I told our children that we have to be early today because we have visitors at church. Arriving visitors are Jews from the U.S. so we are excited to hear them. Since our children were born, my wife and I bring them to church on a regular weekly basis.

We do not ask them to go church. We bring them. I think every father should do. You may have heard of Samuel and Hannah, his Mom. But have you heard of Elkanah? He is the father of Samuel. The Bible says that Elkanah brought his family to church on a regular basis. 1 Samuel 1:3-4,21 (NIV)
How many fathers out there who is like Elkanah? Dads like us should take the lead not only in spiritual matters but in all areas of our family in and outside our homes. If you haven’t started, it’s not yet late.

4. PROVISION – A great Dad provides responsibly – v.11
In one family here in the Philippines, a wife uses the iPad. The son uses the iPhone. The daughter uses the iPod. While the father said, “For all of these, iPaid! A funny story but in reality it is the father who is responsible in giving or providing the needs (sometimes even the “wants”) of the family.

5. LOVE – A great Dad loves unconditionally
Luke 15:11-24 (NIV)

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

6. PROTECTION – A great Dad protects regularly- v.13
Last December a truck hit our town’s electric post that caused a 2-day brown out. While my family sleeps and we do not have electricity, I was compelled to use a card board to blow the heat and mosquitoes away. I believe that any father will do the same to protect their family. God has given an innate o natural instinct for all fathers to protect because it is one of our duties.

7. DISCIPLINE – A great Dad disciplines consistently – vv.14-15
About 30 minutes ago I scolded our third son and asked him to stand-in-a-corner and wait for my next instructions. He was being punished for continuously bullying and teasing his younger brother after my many attempts to stop him. I think he exceeded my tolerance so I have no choice but to discipline him. Many may not agree with the way I discipline but I would like to my make my point across.

If you have been a father for more than a year, you know it is difficult to punish our children. I would say it is heart-breaking for any parent to punish his/her child but it is necessary to teach righteousness. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Discipline is another expression of our love. Proverbs 13:24 says “If you don’t punish your children, you don’t love them. If you do love them, you will correct them.” Discipline is a God-given responsibility to parents specifically to fathers. See also Hebrews 12:7,9-11.

To all Dads out there thank you for fulfilling your God-given duties to your family. I salute you. I pray that we will continue to be courageous for the sake of our families and the next generation. May God empower us fathers to be able to continue fulfilling these God-given duties.

Finally, I would like to add and conclude that all these Duties are not only God-given they are God’s attributes toward us his children. He is our HEAVENLY FATHER, THE GREATEST DAD. He has been available for us all the time. He has been holy and wants us to be the same. He is our leader, guiding us to safety. He is provides for all our needs and sometimes even our wants. He is our loving God, loving us as far as the East is from the West. He has loved us with an everlasting love. He protects us under His wings and lovingly and patiently disciplines us when we are wrong. As we celebrate the Father’s Day today, let us be reminded that God our Heavenly Father has been fulfilling these duties to us His children because He loves us eternally. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to you and me and TO OUR GREATEST DAD — OUR HEAVENLY FATHER!

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GRACE IN SUFFERINGS – When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. – Matthew 1:24

Before I dedicated my life to serve the Lord many years ago, I was comfortable and living in my own world. I would pick up any item from a store without looking at the price tag and have my assistant pay my credit card without knowing how much I spent.

So when I said yes to serve God and found myself struggling in my finances, I asked the Lord, “Why is it that when I wasn’t with You, I was OK? Now that I am with You, I’m struggling.”

Then, I read the prayer of St. Padre Pio: “O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church.”

Padre Pio was right. Suffering does bring immense goodness to my soul. Now, I’ve learned to wait for the Lord and trust in His ways. Ironically, it’s less stressful this way.

So, did Mary and Joseph know what they were getting into when they gave their yes to God? Of course they did. They knew they were getting into God’s graces — the privilege toexperience His miracles all the way.Ruth Collantes (ruth.collantes@gmail.com)

Reflection: When the road ahead is uncertain, faith will light the path for you.

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-12-18

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SLEEPING SAINT JOSEPH – When Pope Francis came for a pastoral visit to the Philippines, he had an evening with families at the Mall of Asia Arena. He gave an animated talk about faith and family, and he touched on St. Joseph as an exemplar. He said that families now face varied issues and concerns, and these often press us for some answers and plans of action. He said that to move with faith in those moments is to start with prayer. Prayer, however, is not just speaking to God. Rather, it is also giving space and time for God to tell us what He wants. The image of the sleeping St. Joseph shows us what prayer means: to sleep and allow God to speak to us in a dream. Pope Francis shared that he has an image of the sleeping saint on his desk at the Vatican. On many occasions, he said he would slip a paper under it that contains lists of issues or a letter that concerns him.

Our Gospel today is the biblical basis of Pope Francis’ devotion to the Sleeping St. Joseph. Let us take note, though, that the narrative mentions certain important dispositions that Joseph had as he slept. Joseph slept not to escape but to seek God’s guidance for his resolution and action regarding Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. Escapism is never a godly inspiration.

Joseph wanted to practice justice, to do what is right according to God’s Law and human propriety. We should never ask God to enlighten us on options that are unjust. God cannot contradict Himself.

Joseph woke up, and did as the angel commanded him. We listen, we decide, we act. It is not good to allow ourselves to be dragged by events. When the divine instruction is clear, our call of faith is to act with great trust.

So the Sleeping St. Joseph did not sleep forever. Neither did he sleep longer than necessary. The Sleeping St. Joseph is also St. Joseph the Worker. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTION: In all your concerns, strive to have a balance between two modes: “sleeping” (trusting prayer) and “working” (decisive action). Which mode are you now called to be in?

Lord, help me to trust You with all my concerns. Guide me with Your wisdom. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-12-18

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December 18, 2016

READ: Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.

REFLECT: Joseph knew that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, but he was so humble that he could not imagine himself playing a role in the history of salvation—until an angel enlightened him on that score.

PRAY: Let us earnestly ask God to make us as humble and as flexible as Joseph.

ACT: Today let us courageously listen to God’s call and embrace the responsibilities of our state of life.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3737-december-18-2016

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December 18, 2016: Thoughts on the Third Day of Simbang Gabi

Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins.” [see Matthew 1:18-25]

What if Joseph immediately condemned Mary “guilty of marital infidelity”? As the law prescribes, Mary would be stoned to death and that would also include Jesus in her womb.

Everybody is a critic, but nobody wants to be judged or condemned. Then why is judgementalism so rampant, even among Christians? “Thinking the best of other people” is necessary if we wish to grow in love. And kindliness in judgment is nothing less that a sacred duty. The Rabbis warned people: “He who judges his neighbor favorably will be judged favorably by God.” How easy it is to misjudge and how difficult it is to be impartial in judgment. Our judgment of others is usually “off the mark” because we can’t see inside the person, or we don’t have access to all the facts, or we are swayed by instinct and unreasoning reactions to people. It is easier to find fault in others than in oneself.

Many faultfinders do not see their own faults. If only each of us examined himself better and diligently corrected his own faults, there would be less evil in the world. As it is, there is much evil because we criticize the faults of others and do nothing to correct ourselves.

Our judgments are only as good as our information. Hence, wrong judgments are so easy to make considering our limited information and knowledge.

Furthermore, it is impossible to read others’ hearts. “God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts; for that reason he forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone” (GS 28). The impulse to condemn any particular person except oneself as a sinner should be blocked by refusal to judge others. But that same refusal should block any sentimental tendency to acquit people of their apparent sins. Indeed, love forbids doing so, since acquitting those who really are sinners will encourage them to persist in their sins until they die in them.

It is so dangerous to judge and criticize another. Therefore, ‘Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.’ (Luke 6:37.)” So much time and energy is wasted that could be spent on developing tolerance and love for others. As Mother Teresa says, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“Stop passing judgment.” —Matthew 7:1 (Fr. Estong Bendita 2016.12.18)

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See:  Year I, Year II

Back to: December 18

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