Tuesday of the 7th Week of the Year


Jesus gives us a direction or a goal in life that we, as children of God should follow. This goal is: to become the kind of person others look up to and imitate. That through us, others may do and live truly what is to be Christians. In order to achieve this goal, we always try to direct the work that we do for the sake of others. A true disciple must do the things that could benefit others.

In one of my Sunday TV Masses, I noticed a tense situation as soon as I entered the studio. I saw one leave the place in a hurry. Another one refused to sit in front, another refused to join and there was a lot of murmuring. I found out later on that the public officials who were sponsoring the Mass were quarreling among themselves who was going to do the first reading, who was saying the prayers of the prayers of the faithful and who was going to sit in front. They were quarreling over who was the greatest among them!

Pride is the single biggest single instrument of the evil one to divide us. Unless we become humble like a little child, we cannot be true and pleasing children of the Father.

Is money, position, status, influence such a big deal in your life? Are you engrossed and slaved by these?

Remember, your greatest worth is that you are a child of God. That is enough. Problem is that for some, it is not enough. (Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


So that we may learn from them before they grow up and learn to behave like most adults, children are given to us on borrowed time. Why did Jesus frequently take children as His example to teach His disciples? Because children don’t know that they are children – vulnerable, helpless and humble. And these are exactly what make them lovable. Vulnerable – they don’t give orders, they take it. And for us adults? True greatness is attained by service. Helpless – they don’t know what to worry about because they don’t know about tomorrow. And us? “Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow is sufficient for its own. Seek first the kingdom of God? An elderly woman during the war during the war years was observed not to have years was observed not to have been unnerved by the constant bombings in England and was remarkable for her serenity. They asked her why she was not worried and afraid. She replied that she says her prayers every night and goes peacefully to sleep. “After all, there is no need for both of us (God and she) to stay awake.”

Children are humble – they turn their heads up to look at you because they are too small to look down on you. And us? We can ask the Lord for humility but we can’t thank Him for it because then we lose it. The most powerful posture that we can render is to kneel.

We are all at one and the same time child and adult. Vulnerable and dependable, helpless and strong, humble and proud, we must try to balance the tension between these two. In us is the seed of greatness, the child that must grow to manhood in the final contest of faith. In one monastery, while the monks were having their meal in silence, the novice master was reading the story of the “Little Flower.” Upon entering the dining room, the Abbot heard the reading and interrupted the reader and fumed, “I want my men to be mighty oaks and not little flowers.” (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2005)


Children are symbols of purity and innocence, the very reasons why Christ made them models of greatness. Ironically, they can become victims of irresponsibility, violence, neglect and abuse.

Christ says that we have to become like little children to be great in the eyes of God. But this greatness can only be achieved if we ourselves uphold the purity and innocence of children, protect them from harm and look after their welfare. Embedded therefore in Christ’s declaration is an imperative to be responsible parents, child welfare advocates, supporters of orphanages, and be involved in efforts that protect children’s rights. (Fr. Eugene Docoy, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


Mohammad Ali, the former world heavy weight boxing champion, once claimed, “I am the greatest.” In the 1960s, the sensational British singing group, the Beatles, had allegedly stated that they were more popular than Jesus Christ. The desire to be “great” in one’s own way is very human indeed.

Jesus’ community of disciples was no different. Rivalry, competition and jealousy existed. One can just imagine the exasperation of Jesus towards these tiresome and childish issues. In reply, He called a little child and set him in their midst. Childlike humility was Jesus’ answer and this too is the basis of our constant connection to God. “Whoever welcomes a child, welcomes me and the one who sent me.” True humility goes hand-in-hand with the truth, the truth about who we are – our original, unique and unadulterated self when we were born-a child made in God’s image and likeness. Aren’t we great simply by being God’s beloved? Aren’t we even greater because Jesus humbled Himself and became one like us obedient to the point of death? However, the glamor and appeal brought about by human attention and worldly recognition distracts us unnecessarily from this truth. Jesus taught His disciples and us too, that this wholehearted acceptance of oneself as being loved, forgiven, redeemed, and the childlike willingness to serve are the measures of greatness. (Sr. EFT, SSpS Bible Diary 2007)


Today’s gospel makes me remember the day when I was chosen to be a leader of my class in the SVD Novitiate in Vietnam even though I was the youngest among 11 novices. The fact that I was to be a leader of those who were older than I surprised me, so upon being elected, I prayed: “O Jesus! How come I am chosen to be a leader of my class? What kind of person do you expect me to be?” After staying in silence for a while, these words came to mind: “My beloved son, you were chosen not because of your talent but because of your commitment to serve. Therefore, just learn from me to keep yourself humble and gentle at heart; try your best to serve and become a servant of all.” Since then, I have learned the lesson of being the last of all and a servant of all my classmates.

Being servant means becoming a child at heart. A child image is considered a symbol of the Kingdom’s qualities such as trust, humility, obedience, helplessness, dependence as well as forgiveness. For this reason, a good servant is one who humbles himself so that he will be able to receive, share, accompany, love and forgive.

Being a servant of all means serving those whom we meet or live with. As Christians, we are expected to serve, not to be served, for serving is one of the best ways of witnessing our love for each other and for God. Jesus Himself is the best example of being a servant of all when He washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper and more. He offered His life for all.

May Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, empower us to become the last of all and the servant of all, so His name will be glorified. (Frt. Peter Tran Xuan Vu, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


Many people wish to become great – a great politician, a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great musician, a great athlete or a great movie star.

It is interesting to note that nobody dreams of becoming a janitor, garbage collector, housemaid, street cleaner, laundrywoman, waiter and ever a driver. But then, this is the picture that we see among many of our countrymen today. Hundreds and hundreds are leaving the country to work in other countries as domestic helpers, caregivers, drivers, janitors and waiters in big hotels and restaurants.

Certainly, “greatness” is something we aspire for. We should be surprised therefore if the apostles of Jesus in today’s gospel behave as they did, thinking big, and dreaming of becoming great “celebrities.” They were even arguing as to “who is the greatest” among them.

Jesus took this opportunity to speak these words which opened their eyes and made them so embarrassed: “”If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

Jesus is not against anybody who is doing something great to make himself known, popular, and important in the world. He is not against parents encouraging their children to have dreams and visions of themselves.

What he against is when these things get into our head to corrupt us, to isolate ourselves from others, to make ourselves totally independent from God and most of all, to enrich ourselves but forget to share our blessings with others or to ignore the needs of the poor, the less privileged and less fortunate.

In a way he is telling us, yes, you can be great but greater the person you are if you learn to serve others. Like Jesus, He was the Son of God and yet He remained humble and loving to others. (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


May 17, 2016 Tuesday

Gyl has Down syndrome and born with a weak heart. With her fragile state, all care and love at maximum levels are showered on her. While this fondness extends equally to all our child and youth members, Gyl’s giftedness squeezes out an extra love from us all. She moves us to care for all.

On Sundays at church, she welcomes everyone with a hug and a kiss and bids everyone goodbye with the same. Such warm gestures have become a well-loved feature and tradition that a Sunday without her seems a bit bland.

No wonder the heart of the Lord beats strongly for children. The humility and the joyful love that they possess can command us to return to our simple selves. We once had this simplicity but through the years, we hardened and turned into rocks. We degenerate from having hearts of flesh to acquiring hearts of stone. We build our towers of Babel, our fortresses and our walls and hurl stones at one another. Then we succumb to the sin of pride and display our wares, our greatness, our highness and our majesties. Upon this hardness of heart, the Lord sets his face like a stone as well.

He calls a child in the midst of a crowd to emphasize who they should be like and who they should receive if they were serious to be called disciples.

One time, Gyl came to mass quite sick. Her family said she kept on uttering only one word: “Simba!” and like a General’s order, it had to be obeyed. Her heart is in the church. For someone who sometimes forgets where his heart is, I understand why Gyl –a child – comes into our lives and eloquently echoes the person and deeds of the Master. (Fr. Ferdinand Bajao, SVD | Rome, Italy Bible Diary 2016)



Be a BMW in the Workplace: Ano ang dream car mo? Sa website ng thetoptens.com, nagkaroon ng survey kung ano ang itinuturing ng mga tao na Top Best Car Brands, at ito ang kanilang napili: # 10: Dodge, # 9: Cadillac, # 8: Volvo, # 7: Honda, # 6: Ferrari, # 5: Porsche, # 4: Mercedes, # 3: Lamborghini, # 2: Audi. At ang number one (# 1), may hula ka ba? BMW!

Sa trabaho, gusto mo rin maging parang BMW?  Top Performer at Most Preferred Employee sa inyong kumpanaya? Here are six tips kung paano. Just remember the initials BMW:

Be excellent in what you do, dahil ang mahusay mas lalong pinagkatiwalaan ng dagdag na oportunidad at responsibilidad.

Be open to learn from others. Humility is key to learning from others. Acknowledge that you do not know everything.  And that you cannot do all things. Matuto tayo sa iba on how we can better team players and employees in our places of work.

Makinig at magmasid. Dalawang tainga, dalawang mata, isang bibig na maganda – ibig sabihin, mas madalas na dapat making kaysa magsalita. Mabuting magmasid para naman matuto tayo sa iba.

Magtanong. Kung gusto mong maging BMW sa inyong opisina importanteng nagtatanong tayo. Kugn hindi alam, magtanong – kaysa magbakasakali. Ang pagtatanong naman ay hindi palaging sa ibang tao kasi baka naman makulitan sa atin. Kung may tanong ka, aba, mag-research. I-google mo para madagdagan ang iyong kaalaman.

Work with enthusiasm. Hawaan mo ng  iyong pagiging energetic at positive ay iyong mga kaopisina. Masarap katrabaho ang taong enthusiastic: nakakakita ng opportunity sa bawat sitwasyon; nakakahanap ng solusyon sa mga limitasyon at problema sa trabaho at opisina.

Work to serve and meet the needs of others. We want to satisfy our customers by addressing their needs and making life easier for them. Kaya nga ang BMW preferred brand pagdating sa sasakyan dahil maraming mga needs ang name-meet nito sa kanyang mga customer.

Ang BMW, di lang brand no kotse; paalaala din ito para sa inspirado at maayos na pagtatrabaho. Be a blessing in the workplace today (Maloi Malibiran Salumbides, As You Enter the Race, 2012:43-45).


Reflection: It’s so tempting often times for many of us to use Jesus to become well known and popular. But is this the purpose why we serve Jesus? For us to be well known and admired by others? Of course not! If this is our purpose we can be assured that we surely will not grow in our faith.

While walking going to Capernaum the disciples were arguing as to who was the greatest amongst them. Why were they arguing about who was the greatest amongst them? Did they not know that they were there to solely serve Jesus? Did they not know that self propelling of ones ego has no place in the heart of Jesus?

Often times we purposely do things for us to be noticed. We always thirst for attention and we want others to know who we are. For what purpose?  To feed our bloated egos? This kind of self serving attitudes will not bring us nowhere we are in fact only deluding ourselves.

We must always remember that humility is the weakness of God. Our humble attitude is what takes the attention of God and our fellowmen. And it’s only through our humility that we could truly serve God and our fellowmen. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 9:30-37. MAHIMO BA SA USA KA KANDIDATO NGA MUDAOG SA ELEKSYON BISAN DILI SIYA MAMALIT OG MGA BOTO? Adunay kandidato nga wala gayod manghatag og kwarta o butang sa mga botante, apan nidaug isip numero uno nga konsehal sa lungsod. Unsa may anaa ning tawhana nga gipili man siya sa mga tawo? Daghan ang moingon nga siya usa ka tawo nga mapaubsanon ug maalagaron sa mga kabos. Nanerbisyo siya dili lamang panahon sa kampanya ug eleksyon, kondili sa matag adlaw sa iyang kinabuhi. Kining maong pulitiko angay natong himoong modelo tungod kay siya nagsunod sa gitudlo ni Kristo diha sa ebanghelyo: “Bisan kinsa ang buot nga mahimo nga labing dako kinahanglan nga magpaubos siya ug mag-alagad sa tanan.” Sakto si Martin Luther King, Jr. sa pag-ingon, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” Posted by Abet Uy



ALL THINGS NEW – “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” – Mark 9:37

“If you can change one thing about your body, what would you change?” This was the question that an interviewer posed to adults and children. Made by the Jubilee Project, the video shows the children having a hard time answering the question. After some time the answers came in. “Mermaid tail,” said one girl. A boy answered, “Shark mouth.” Another boy said, “Feet like a cheetah so I can run faster.”

That video struck me, not only because of the lack of insecurity among the children that they had difficulty naming what they wanted to change in themselves, but also because it showed a different perspective of reality. This is one of the reasons I love talking to children — I don’t have to worry that my answer will be considered weird since they’re open to new things. To them, everything is fresh.

To become childlike in the way our Lord desires, each of us has to learn to look at life in a fresh way, to think of each day as though everything is new. It’s not always easy, I know. So let us pray that the Lord will grant us this childlike quality — for the Kingdom belongs to such as these. Joyce Sosoban-Roa (jsosoban@gmail.com)

Reflection: Has pain and failure made you cynical? Pray for the grace of healing.

Dearest Lord, would that my eyes would always be open to beauty, kindness and mercy. Help me, Lord, for I want to be childlike.



DO YOU HAVE AN “I” PROBLEM? – In yesterday’s reflection, we spoke about the inability of the Apostles to expel an evil spirit possessing a boy. When they asked Jesus about it, Jesus replied, “This kind, you can drive out only by prayer” (v. 29).

We said that the prayer Jesus was referring to was not the kind of petitionary prayer we are all used to. It is a “dangerous” kind of prayer, one that requires forsaking oneself and allowing God to take His central place in our lives.

Today, we see clearly why this was not a prayer the Apostles have learned, or at least not yet.

Asked about what they were busy discussing among themselves while on their way home, the Apostles fell silent. It was a silence of embarrassment. While Jesus was speaking about His future act of self-sacrifice, the Apostles were busy discussing among themselves who among them was the most important.

Now it is clear. God was not yet central in their hearts. Their individual egos were still the one ruling within them. They were following Jesus because they were thinking of a political kingdom that He will establish. They imagined themselves as little sovereigns ruling particular territories Jesus will assign for them. They still have much to learn. To begin their education, Jesus gathered them around Him and said, “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all.”

This is not only for the Apostles. This is for all of us.

Rick Warren wrote that we are all born with an “I” problem. As the middle letter of sin is “i,” we sin when we make ourselves the central focus of all our strivings and aspirations. When we make ourselves the central focus, we deny God of His rightful place as first in our lives. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Today, look for ways or areas in your life where you can practice a little of self-denial.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20). Amen.



May 17, 2016

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

James 4: 1-10; Mk 9:30-37

God-Seekers in Self-Seeking Mode

Facing the Will of God:  Jesus came into the world to die for our sins and the sins of the whole the world. Here he announces that he will soon suffer, for he came for that very reason, to offer himself as an acceptable sacrifice to the Father, taking on the burden of our sins. This is the greatest act of service: to lay down one’s life for his friends. Jesus calmly accepts that this is the plan of the Father and tries to prepare his disciples for the hard times to come. However, their hearts are not yet ready to embrace the implications of this teaching. They are enjoying the good times with Jesus, and fail to see the big picture, how he intends to save the world and reconcile us to the Father. They fail to grasp that this is the way God reveals his love. The Will of God for us is a constant revelation manifested in our daily experiences of life. Yet, what matters is how you read it and decide to follow it with love.

God Seekers in Self-seeking Mode: As so often happens, we want to be close to Christ, but at the same time we find that our egoism and self-centeredness predominate. The apostles were caught arguing about who was most important. They needed still to learn the way of Christ: loving, self-sacrificing surrender for the other, seeking nothing for oneself. “Unless the grain of wheat fall to the ground and die, it remains but a single grain” (John 12:24). How often we need to relearn this fundamental truth of our following of Christ. How easy it is to slip back into self-seeking!

Servants of All:  Jesus shows us the way. He came to make us all great in His Kingdom. Selfless and humble service is the path He has chartered for us. The way of the Christian is to be the servant of all people, with humility, simplicity, detachment and love. Christ gave us the perfect example of this when he left his place in heaven to come among us as a man and die for us. He showed us the way when he washed the feet of his disciples, even though he knew they would run away and that Judas would betray him. How hard it is to live in a constant spirit of service and generosity. How badly we need to recover this attitude, to live with the kind of self-giving love Christ asks of us. From self-service and ego-trips I need to trace my path behind the Savior who emptied Himself and took the likeness of a servant. Fr. James Thayil CMI



May 17, 2016

REFLECTION: Both readings in today’s liturgy insist on the need for humility. Now we can ask ourselves why God has such a preference for the humble. And the answer is very simple: because he is pure truth, and those who boast of themselves or think highly of themselves are simply liars. Why liars? Because they identify themselves with their talents, beauty, I.Q., artistic gifts, etc. They falsely imagine that they are these abilities of theirs. But that is not true. They have merely received–and without any merit on their part—these talents and aptitudes. As the apostle Paul reminds us, “Who confers distinction upon you? What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor 4:7) Humility is based on truth. Without God, I am nothing. Period. I do not even exist outside of him. And everything else I have comes from him as pure, unmerited gift. To acknowledge this is simply to be honest, truthful. Humility is truth. When we are humble and truthful God is attracted to us because that is what he is.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 7th Week of the Year

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