Saturday of the 7th Week of the Year

Saturday of the 7th Week of the Year

Mk 10:13-16

Blessing of the Children


“Never shall I see a priest or seek his help!” were angry words spoken by Juan, a former Catholic. For some unknown reasons, he stopped being a Catholic. Now, though old and sick, he stoutly resisted his children’s pleas for reconciliation with the Church.

He had a granddaughter, the apple of his eye. Knowing how the old man doted on the child, her parents asked the girl, a second grader at the Holy Name College of Tagbilaran, to persuade her ‘lolo” to at least confess. The child idolized two men: her grandfather and Fr. Joe Bates, SVD, a tough-looking but actually kind-hearted American.

So, one morning the girl said: “Lolo, I’ll bring Fr. Bates to our house today.” Despite his loud-protestations, the child insisted: “If you are rough with him, he can also be rough with you. But if you talk nicely, he can be equally nice.” And so reconciliation came about. Later, the family was surprised to learn that the old man strayed from the Church because of an old quarrel he once had with a priest. It took the simplicity of a child to bring him back. Great is the blessing to have such children around for “such is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Fr. Flor Lagura, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


In the Philippines, whenever there is an excess of passengers inside the jeepney or the bus, the first to suffer are the children. Parents are the ones who order their kids to stand and vacate their seats, so that the grown-ups could sit.

In Italy when the bus is full, the grown-ups stand and let the children sit down.

Of course we ask the children to stand for economic reason. Since they do not pay, have to right to sit. I am not sure if, in Italy, the kids get a free ride. But whether they pay or not, the gesture of giving the children seat priority in the bus is quite touching to behold; even reverential to experience.

Maybe in this regard, Filipinos have something to improve on or something to Christianize. After all, did not Jesus say, “let the children come to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” (Fr. Atilano, Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


May 21, 2016 Saturday

At present I am assigned in St. George Church and school in Ontario, Southern California – a very challenging mission. It is composed of multi-lingual groups: English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Filipino.

One of the challenges is the complaints about the conduct of children in church, mostly the Latinos. Many would recommend the same for them as the Disciples suggested in today’s Gospel.

We have a cry room, but to me that does not resolve the issue. Children like to be with their parents. To tell the parents not to bring their children to church services is tantamount to saying that they do not go to church themselves. They do not have babysitters.

When will the children learn to behave in church?

Personally I am not bothered by the presence of children at Mass, especially when the parents give a good example. I enjoy celebrating the school Mass on Thursdays and on the second Sundays of every month.

What motivates me? It is what Jesus said in today’s Gospel, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them…” For, “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

We have much to learn from children. (Fr. Jess Briones, SVD | U.S. A. Bible Diary 2016)


Reflection: According to an explanation there was a valid reason why the children were prevented by the disciples from going to Jesus. But Jesus saw how the children wanted to go to Him so He broke the barrier that separates Him and the children by letting them go to Him. Jesus did not only allowed the children to go to Him. He even embraced them, blessed them and placed His hands upon them.

This is Jesus for you and me, ever willing to be disturbed by anyone. Ever willing to embrace, bless and lovingly place His guiding hand upon us. Jesus is not a distant God, He is a God that is with us; a God that is very sensitive to our needs and prayers.

Therefore let us always go to Him with reckless abandon like little children for He is always there for us. Sometimes we don’t feel the love of Jesus for the reason that we don’t go to Him with the trusting attitude of little children. We don’t go to Him with the humility of a child.

In the last sentence of the gospel Jesus embraced, blessed and placed His hands on them. If you’re not yet doing these acts of love to your children, why don’t you do it to them? It will surely give them a sense of security and assurance that they are always loved by you and that you’re always there for them. The same feeling of security and love that Jesus always generously showers upon us.

Do you always pray for your children and do you always embrace them? (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reflection for May 21, Saturday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 10:13-16

Reflection: We trust Children more than adults, don’t we?

Jesus doesn’t only trust children; he also loves them dearly because children’s trust in Jesus is pure. A child’s humility is untainted with deceit and a child’s trust in Jesus is without question. Just look at a child when he/she prays and you can see how pure his/her faith and prayer before Jesus.

We need to be childlike in our trust in Jesus and in our humility. So that when our retirement from this world comes we will be able to enter the kingdom of God and see Jesus there ever ready to embrace us.

All of us are mere passersby in this finite world and someday we will leave this place for another place. Let us therefore see to it that we trust and love Jesus like a child. We humble ourselves before Jesus and our fellowmen like a child. And our faith in Jesus is like that of a child.

Are you always childlike in your love and trust in Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Friday, May 20, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 10:13-16. UNSA MAY ATONG PAGTAN-AW SA MGA BATA KARONG PANAHONA – KALIPAY BA O DISGRASYA? Dili ikalimod nga ning modernong panahon, nag-anam kadaghan ang mga tawo nga dili na ganahan manganak. Para kanila, ang bata perwisyo sa kinabuhi – dugang baba nga pakan-on, makahurot sa tinigum, babag sa lakwatsa, makadaot sa porma, ug maghatag og labad sa ulo. Apan, sa mga mata sa Ginoo, ang mga bata dili samok sa kinabuhi. Diha sa ebanghelyo, gikasab-an ni Hesus ang mga tinun-an nga nagpugong sa mga bata nga buot moduol kaniya. Gipahimangnoan niya sila: “Ang dili modawat sa Gingharian sa Dios sama ning mga bata dili makasulod niini.” Nindot ang giingon sa usa ka ginikanan: “Without my children, my house would be clean and my wallet would be full but my heart would be empty.” Posted by Abet Uy


I AM BECAUSE WE ARE – I once received this beautiful story. “An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basketful of fruits near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first would win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they did it, they responded, “‘Ubuntu.’ How can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?” “Ubuntu” in that culture is a philosophy that says, “I am because we are.”

This anecdote gives us an insight into why Jesus held up a child for everyone as a model of the Kingdom of God. In the Gospel, the Apostles were concerned that many children were beginning to crowd Jesus. After a brief rebuke, Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15). Unlike adults, children typically don’t see one another as rivals. They see one another as playmates, partners, teammates. They don’t see happiness as a solitary experience. Happiness for them is communal. That is why they look for playmates.

There is so much of Christianity that we can see in this African tribe philosophy: “I am because we are.” The body is because the parts are harmoniously synchronized together. We all belong to the one Body of Christ: Christ is the head, we are His members. When a part of the body aches, the whole aches. Every small part makes the whole.

In today’s First Reading, we read prescriptions highlighting the communal nature of the first Christian community: When one is sick, they are to call the elders, and the elders are to attend to them. They are to declare their sins to one another, pray for one another, bring one another to right relationship with God (James 5:15-20). It’s the same philosophy — I am because we are. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: As a member of the Body of Christ, what dominates in your spirit, communion or competition?

Liberate me from my narrow sphere of self-reference, O Lord. Amen.


May 21, 2016

Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

James 5: 13-20; Mark 10:13-16

No kidding: try being a C-H-I-L-D!

Learn From Jesus: Jesus never stops fascinating those who come to Him. Yet, Jesus is fascinated by children. Fresh from the heart of God, the children arrive into the world with a message of life and love. Behold the face of a child and you will see God. Jesus shows us the way. He challenges us to stoop and become like children that we may rise and shine in our call of being children of God. Jesus, Himself, was born a child and lived in the purity and trusting attitude of a Child.

Just Not Kidding: The child is a visible sign of Divine grace and vibrant growth. Child is the model a Christian disciple should follow and aspire to become. When the disciples found children to be noisy, insignificant and nuisance and tried to keep them at the periphery, Jesus made them the center of His kingdom! For all the negative attitudes an adult would carry, the child is the anti-dote, of simplicity and sincerity.

Be a C-H-I-L-D: A child, as the word indicates (C-H-I-L-D) represents Care, Humility, Innocence, Learning and Dependence. These kingdom values are natural to them. A child is known for the care it needs and the carefulness it is demanded of. A child is the epitome of humility as we often say “as humble as a child”. Innocence: If one does not know what innocence is, one has only to behold the face of a child. For in the child there is no duplicity. The innate nature of wonder opens the child’s heart, mind and senses to the world of knowledge that surrounds it. A child learns pretty fast. What a child learns in one year, an average adult would take five years to master. No wonder, it is easy to teach children, and very hard to teach the adults. And, dependence is the trademark of children. They depend on the elders for everything (food, security, love, affection, and what not!). Dependence comes from trust. As adults, we develop independence and self-sufficiency. Dependence, however, is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Depend on God, people and the society. Trust them, their goodness, you will find life flowering.

Do not hinder them: The Father is pleased to behold the children come to Him. Children take delight in being with the Father. In the presence of God our Father we have love and security. Offending a child is, then offending the Father.

Do I become a hindrance to others in their coming to Jesus?

Am I an open door or an iron wall for others in their way of faith and morality?

How far do I need to re-learn the ways of adulthood in becoming a child–caring, humble, innocent, learning and dependent? Fr. James Thayil CMI


May 21, 2016

REFLECTION: We all experience bad days, days when it seems to us that everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong. How do we usually react when we find ourselves caught in “one of those days?” Swear like a drunken sailor? Take out our frustration on those around us? Kick the dog? Get drunk? Go on an eating spree? Pout in a corner? Quit our job?

In this connection James gives us good advice in today’s first reading. He says “Are any among you discouraged? They should pray.” Is praying our spontaneous reaction when we feel down in the dumps? No? Yet, if we tried it, we might be surprised by its good results. Why is this? Because, as James further explains, “the prayer of the upright man has great power.” He speaks of the prayer not of a great saint, but simply of an upright man—what most sincere Christians are, no doubt. But then James adds, “Provided he perseveres.” Ah, there’s the rub! A half-hearted Hail Mary will not do the trick. This must be a persevering prayer for it to lift a person’s spirit. But such a prayer always succeeds in doing precisely that.


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