Monday After Epiphany


The message of Jesus consisted of a command: “Repent! Turn from your own ways and turn to God. Lift your eyes from earth and look top heaven. Reverse your direction and stop walking away from God and begin walking towards God.” That message had become urgently necessary because the Kingdom of God was about to begin.

Jesus came proclaiming (preaching) the gospel. In other words, Jesus came to defeat people’s ignorance. He came to tell them the truth about God, to tell them that which by themselves they could never have found out. He came to put an end to guessing and to groping and to show people what God is like.

Jesus came teaching in the synagogues. What is the difference between teaching and preaching? Preaching is the uncompromising proclamation of certainties; teaching is the explanation of their meaning and significance. Therefore, Jesus came to defeat people’s misunderstandings. There are times when people know the truth and misinterpret it. They know the truth and draw the wrong conclusions from it. Jesus came to tell people the meaning of true religion.

Jesus came healing all those who had need of healing.  It means that Jesus came to defeat and give a deeper meaning to people’s pain. The important thing about Jesus is that He was not satisfied with simply telling the people the truth in words; He came to turn the truth into deeds. Jesus realized His own teaching in action.

Jesus came preaching that He might defeat all ignorance. He came teaching that He might defeat all misunderstandings. He came healing that He might show His power over pain. We, too, must proclaim all certainties; we too, must be ready to explain our faith; we too, must turn the ideal into deeds. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


This is the beginning of the Galilean ministry. Here Jesus began to preach.  In his first homily, Jesus said: “The time has come; the Kingdom of God is upon you; repent and believe the gospel,” (Mark 1:15). The Greek word for repent is metanoia. It literally means, ‘to change one’s heart and mind.” This is not change for the sake of change, however. We turn our minds and hearts, our lives from sin and back to God, to our heavenly Father, His Son our Lord Jesus Christ,, in the power of the Holy Spirit. We turn from the path of sin and selfishness to life in Christ, life lived at the service of the gospel.

A Christian Living teacher asked her class what the word ‘repentance’ means. One little boy raised his hand and said, “It is being sorry for your sins.” Then a little girl also raised her hand and said, “it is being sorry enough to quit.”

Penitents are called by the same Spirit to observe the commandments out of love, with a forgiving heart, so that they themselves may “be set free from bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Fr. Joey Sepe, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


In a museum in Hamburg called “Dialog im Dunkeln” the visitor sees nothing. He is guided by blind persons as they walk thru dark rooms and corridors. Without eyesight, the blind person’s other sensory faculties are awakened by various scents, wind, temperature, sounds and textures. After this unusual museum visit, the visitor feels grateful for the gift of sight and how light makes the world colorful and beautiful.
Light enables us to see beauty and truth. Without light we cannot enjoy all God’s remarkable creation. Light eliminates our fears, gives reassurance and creates a feeling of peace. Children are usually afraid of the dark. Adults turn on night lights to deter crime. Light is also the source of life. Without the sun, no plants and animals will survive.
Light’s attributes make it a potent religious symbol. Prophet Isaiah used it: “People sitting in darkness have seen a great light” (Mt 4:16). Jesus himself used the metaphor of light: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have light of life” (Jh 8:12) and “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”(Mt. 5:14-15). Light signifies truth, life and goodness, while darkness is associated with ignorance, death and evil. However, this light-darkness vis-à-vis good-evil schema cannot simply be applied to judging people. All of us have both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. Let us figth battles with darkness by being a light to others. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light. May the light of Christ shine in our lives and reflect inside us its beauty and power to inspire others. (- Fr. Simon Boiser, SVD | Hamburg, Germany Bible Diary 2016)


Jesus begins his ministry. Some Bible readers asks, “Why did Jesus leave Nazareth and go to Capernaum in Galilee?” Matthew says it was “to make come true what the prophet Isaiah had said.” But there was another reason. Nazareth was an out-of-the-way hill town. No one bothered to visit it (John 1:46).

Capernaum, on the other hand, lay on the busy shores of the Sea of Galilee. Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, says Capernaum was one of 204 towns that circled the shores of the large sea.

But there is still another reason. Galileans were known for their openness and for their courage. Josephus says that Galileans were “by nature disposed to change” and “full of courage.”

Capernaum was an ideal place for Jesus to begin his ministry.

Today’s reading invites us to ask ourselves: How open are we to truth?

Today’s reading invites us to pray: Lord, give us open minds and courageous hearts (Mark Link SJ, Illustrated Daily Homilies Seasons and Feasts 1987:77)


MONDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY (YEAR B) – 1 JUAN 3:22-4:6. Unsa may atong buhaton aron kita mahiusa sa Dios? Ang Unang Sulat ni San Juan nagsugyot og usa ka pamaagi aron kita mahilambigit sa atong Magbubuhat: “Ang nagtuman sa mga sugo sa Dios anaa sa Dios, ug ang Dios anaa kaniya.” Kalabot sa kasugo-an, ang maong Sulat nagkanayon: “Ang gisugo sa Dios mao nga motuo kita sa Ngalan sa Iyang Anak nga si Hesu-Kristo ug maghigugmaay sumala sa sugo ni Kristo.” Nindot ug klaro kini nga pagtulon-an. Pinaagi sa pagdawat kang Kristo ug sa pagsunod sa Iyang mga buhat sa gugma ug pagpangalagad, kita mahiusa sa Dios. Si Pope Francis nagwali sa susamang mensahe pinaagi sa pag-ingon: “Dili kita mahimong suod sa isigkatawo kon kita dili higala sa Dios. Ug dili usab kita mahimong suod sa Dios kon kita dili higala sa isigkatawo.”

(English) 1 John 3: 22-4: 6. What can we do to become one with God? The First Letter of John suggests a way for us to be connected with our Creator: “The keeping of the commandments of God is God, and God in him.” As to the law, the letter said: “The God commanded us to believe in His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, according to the commandment of Christ. “it is nice and clear teaching. By accepting Christ and obedience to His acts of love and service, we are united to God. Francis preached the same message by saying: “We can not close our neighbor if we are not friends of God. Neither can we be close to God when we are not friends of the neighbor. ”


MATEO 4:12-17, 23-25. Unsa may timailhan nga natapos na ang kagabhi-on ug magsugod na ang kabuntagon? Kini ang pangutana sa usa ka magtutudlo ngadto sa iyang mga estudyante. Usa ka bata ang mitubag: “Titser, makahibalo kita nga natapos na ang kagabhi-on ug magsugod na ang kabuntagon kon maklaro na sa akong mga mata ang kalainan tali sa kahoy nga mangga ug acasia.” Ang titser miingon: “Sayop.” Dihay laing bata nga misugyot: “Magsugod na ang kabuntagon kon maklaro na sa akong mga mata ang kalainan tali sa iro ug iring.” Apan ang titser miingon: “Sayop. Sa pagkatinood, ang kagabhi-on matapos na ug ang kabuntagon magsugod na kon diha sa isigkatawo makita na nato si Kristo. Kay kon dili, ang kalibotan magpabilin pa sa mangitngit nga kagabhi-on.” Posted by Abet Uy

(English) Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25. What indications that ended the night and start the morning? This is the question of a teacher to his students. One child said: “Teacher, we know that the end of the night and start the morning clear in my eyes the difference between the mango trees and wood.” The teacher said: “Wrong.” There another child suggested: “begin the morning clear in my eyes the difference between dogs and cats.” But the teacher said: “Wrong. In reality, the evening after the morning and start in the neighbor we see Christ. Otherwise, the world remains in the dark night. ”



Sunday, January 3, 2016

MONDAY AFTER EPIPHANY (YEAR C) – JUAN 3:22-4:6. UNSA MAY ATONG BUHATON ARON KITA MAHIUSA SA DIOS? Ang Unang Sulat ni San Juan nagsugyot og usa ka pamaagi aron kita mahilambigit sa atong Magbubuhat: “Ang nagtuman sa mga sugo sa Dios anaa sa Dios, ug ang Dios anaa kaniya.” Kalabot sa kasugo-an, ang maong Sulat nagkanayon: “Ang gisugo sa Dios mao nga motuo kita sa Ngalan sa Iyang Anak nga si Hesu-Kristo ug maghigugmaay sumala sa sugo ni Kristo.” Nindot ug klaro kini nga pagtulon-an. Pinaagi sa pagdawat kang Kristo ug sa pagsunod sa Iyang mga buhat sa gugma ug pagpangalagad, kita mahiusa sa Dios. Si Pope Francis nagwali sa susamang mensahe pinaagi sa pag-ingon: “Dili kita mahimong suod sa isigkatawo kon kita dili higala sa Dios. Ug dili usab kita mahimong suod sa Dios kon kita dili higala sa isigkatawo.” Posted by Abet Uy



Reflection for Monday January 5, St. John Neumann; Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25 – Reflection: When does the Kingdom of heaven comes to us? It’s when we have a personal relationship with Jesus. Personal relationship with Jesus means that He becomes our friend, our savior and the rock solid foundation of our life. When Jesus is an integral part of our lives the Kingdom of heaven is already within us even while we are still in this world.

To many of us heaven is the literal heaven that we all know about. It’s upstairs in the skies where God, His angels and other Holy companions are located. And we would only be able to go there after we die. But it’s very much possible for all of us to have a taste of heaven while we are still alive in this world if only we would learn to abide by the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus in our gospel preached to the people of His time to repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. And who is the Kingdom of Heaven that is at hand? That Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus is talking about is no other than Himself. Jesus was literally offering Himself to the people of His time to have heaven.

Many listened to this call of repentance by Jesus that’s why they followed Him and their lives were never the same again. They felt heaven in the company of Jesus, they were fed by Jesus, they were healed by Jesus they were given hope by Jesus; they were forgiven of their many sins and so forth.

How about you? Will you listen to this call of repentance by Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



GOD REIGNS – At the first mention of the term “realized eschatology,” chances are you will ask: What’s that?

Francis Moloney, SDB, famous theologian, explains to us the association of a “realized eschatology” with a theology of self-judgment by saying that “one does not wait until the end times for the return of the Son of Man who will exercise final judgment. One judges one’s self by the acceptance or refusal of the revelation of God in and through Jesus Christ, and by the good and the bad deeds that flow from this decision.”

Jesus says in the Gospel reading today: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Elsewhere in the Gospel, the Pharisees ask when it will come, but instead, Jesus explains how and where it will come. How we wish Jesus could have spelled it all out for us from A to Z! But He did not.

We tend to think that the Kingdom of God is a place somewhere out there, but in reality, it is more than a state or condition. It is neither here nor there and nobody can point to it. The Kingdom of God, more than a place or time, is where God exists. In Christ Jesus, the Kingdom of God has broken through the world. It is not only a future reality. It is present now and will be fully revealed in the future — it is here “now” but “not yet.”

We are children of the Kingdom of God and we ought to witness to that Kingdom. When we forgive, love, share and do all that Jesus commanded, especially towards the marginalized and the oppressed, the sick and the dying, we experience and share the Kingdom to others. Like our saint today, Elizabeth Ann Seton, who devoted herself to teaching the poor and founded the Sisters of Charity, may we have the heart to reach out to those in need.

Yes, the Kingdom of God is neither here nor there. It is where we live out our faith, as what “realized eschatology” implies. For when we live out our faith, we testify that God reigns here and there, now and in the days to come. Fr. Erick Santos, OFS

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How is your witness to the Kingdom of God? How do you live out your faith?

Dear Jesus, be with me as I witness You to the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, thesick. I offer to You my hands and my feet to be used in serving them. All for Your glory. Amen.



1 Jn 3: 22—4: 6; Mt 4: 12-17, 23-25

Change Your Ways          

It is an Arab proverb and translated into almost every language: “A dog’s tail will never be straight”.   It is meant to tell you how deeply embedded is a nature in you and it is seemingly impossible to change one’s inner nature.  When in today’s Gospel Jesus exhorts us to change our ways we have this apprehension- how is it possible? People can and do change. Three basic biological functions determine your behaviour. You are born with DNA. You learn and develop neural pathways through experience. And your behaviour is later chemically reinforced. Very complicate indeed. Bur what is not complicated is this. You start out life with nearly a clean slate and pretty much anything you do will be reversible. There are certain conditions that would facilitate this reversible change.

You have to feel the need to change.  Zacchaeus had this ‘feeling’ and he changes his ways. (Luke 19:1-10). This change in his ways made him worthy of salvation.

You have to have courage to face your fears. The sinful woman wanted to change her ways. She wanted to show her resolution by washing the feet of Jesus. She had the courage to face her fears. To face the fears of general remarks that will be made by the gossip mongers attending the feast at Pharisees’ house. Her courage makes her move ahead and washes Jesus’ feet. She changes her ways and she owns these marvellous words from Jesus: “Your sins are forgiven.  Your faith has saved you. Go in peace”. (Luke 7:36-48)

You have to make the commitment and fight.  St. Paul can be a role model for people who really wish to change their ways. SO rebellious and biased, a change in Saul would have been impossible for God’s grace and the commitment and fighting spiri of Paul. Once he changes his ways, he wanted to make sure that his commitment is absolute and his fight never ending. In his epistle to Timothy Paul reiterates this fact: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Tim 4:7) Fr. Joby Pulickan CMI



The beginning of the Galilean ministry

January 3, 2016

MATTHEW 4:12-17, 23-25

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had benen said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to Him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and He cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed Him.

REFLECTION: REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. “Repent” comes from the Hebrew word shub, which means to make a 180-degree turn. Shub is translated into the Greek word metanoia, which literally means a change of heart, a renewal of mindset. To repent, therefore, means to turn away from sin and seek the Kingdom of God.

Repentance means not only to confess our sins and say, “I am sorry, Lord,” but also to turn to a new way of life; it is a shift from worldly values to the values of the Kingdom of God.

Every Eucharistic celebration starts with the act of contrition to signify our desire to turn away from sin and to accept God’s offer of life.

List at least ten aspects in your life needing change and renewal, along with concrete steps to implement these.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:



January 04, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is not very well known outside the United States because that is where she lived and died. And there she is known mostly as the foundress of a religious teaching community, the first American Sisters of Charity, who began the Catholic school system. Because of this, she is piously classified in the liturgical calendar as a “religious,” presumably because she pronounced the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at some time in her life. But is that the total picture? Far from it.

Elizabeth, born in New York City in 1774, was first an Episcopalian and a socialite. Eventually she married another Protestant, and from him had five children. After his death, she became a Catholic in 1809, and then went on to found a religious order of teachers. She died in 1821.

Now, we can piously ignore her five children (as the liturgical calendar does in such cases) and piously insist on the fact that she was a “religious.” Or—what seems preferable—one can think that God prepared this great woman educator to become an educator and the foundress of an education order by first helping her educate five children of hers. Does he not usually prepare us for our life mission in some such way?


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See Today’s Readings: Year I,   Year II

Back to: Monday after Epiphany

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