Friday of the 28th Week of the Year

Luke 12:1-7

Courage Under Persecution


The Pharisees are acknowledged leaders in the Theocracy of Israel. As expositors, they are entrusted the authority to teach and interpret the Law. They are the so-called learned in the time of Jesus. Jesus acknowledged their authority when he said to the crowds and his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do what they teach you and follow it…” (Matt 23:2).

But why would Jesus warn his disciples to avoid the ways of the Pharisees? The evangelists are unanimous in pointing at their lack of integrity. “…but do not as they do, for they do not practice what they teach,” (Matt 23:4). Furthermore, the gospels allude several times to the proud exclusiveness of the Pharisees (Matt 9:9-13, Mk 2:13-17, Lk 5:27-32, Jn 7:49). They despise and look down on the “people of the land”, the ignorant who neither knew nor cared about the niceties of pharisaic observance. They evade the more sacred obligations of the law and insist on mere external formalities, but do not themselves observe the obligations which they impose (Matt 15:1ff,Mk 7:1ff), they too, were likened to “white sepulchers”, concerned only with looking devout while vicious at heart 9Matt 23, Lk 11:37ff).

To preach the kingdom is a tremendous responsibility. We cannot afford to spoil its supreme value due to disjointed witnessing. To Jesus a true disciple knows how to close the gap between word and deed. Integrity and credibility are characteristics of every witness of the kingdom. (Fr.Nielo cantilado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


“Do not fear those who kill the body.” The greater injury or loss that we could experience in life is not physical but spiritual – the loss of one’s soul to the power of the evil one.

Fear is a powerful force. It could lead us to flight or panic or it could spur us to faith and action. Francis Bacon said, “Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark.” But fear of death would at least lead us to know how to live. Fear could work for safety many times.

The fear of God is the antidote to the fear of losing one’s life. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears…. Fear the Lord, you His holy ones, for nought is lacking to those who fear Him. Come children, hear me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” (Ps 34:5, 10, 12). This is the soul of godliness.

A healthy fear of the Lord could lead to spiritual maturity, wisdom and right judgment and it could free us from the tyranny of sinful pride, cowardice – especially in the face evil and spiritual deception. Sometimes it seems that there is very little fear of God nowadays. There was a time when Christians were known to be God-fearing people. But somewhere along the way they lost it, as if the idea of fearing God is like a relic in the past.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit makes us again God-fearing Christians. Then, fearing God, we shall have no one or nothing else to fear.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Prov. 9:10). (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


How hard it is to find a truly honest person?

The main point of these Lukan verses is integrity. First, the Lord warns us of hypocrisy (doble cara) – “For they preach but they do not practice,” (Matt 23:4). Webster defines it as “feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not.” In reality, we are, in various degrees, all hypocrites; only genuine saints are fully integrated.

The following verses (2-7) continue the Lord’s teaching on integrity, transparency, and genuine simplicity.

Nothing can really be hidden that will not ultimately be made known. If not now, in our grossly hypocritical world, at least and finally, on the last day of judgment. But even now we sometimes catch a glimpse of heavenly realities embodied in genuine Christians.

This integrity is based on a total trust in God who sees our hearts and knows our innermost thoughts. It is a main teaching of traditional spirituality that we should control our thoughts and center them on the Lord. We are to love God “with our whole heart, with all our soul and with all our mind,” (Matt 22:37). Totality, integrity, wholeness.

How fortunate we are if we have met genuine saints who embody the ideas of integrity. (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


“Beware of the leaven – that is, the hypocrisy, of the Pharisees.” Jesus is good at using brilliant metaphors. “Leaven” is one of those striking similes.

“Hypocrite,” is derived from the Greek word hupokrites referring to one who is acting, dissembling and pretending. During the Roman and Greek times, stage actors wore masks in dramas and plays to conceal their faces. They are called hupokrites or hypocrites.

The Pharisees wore “masks” to hide their real selves. They offer gifts on the altar in order to be admired and applauded. They pray in public so that people will perceive them holy. They wear sad and haggard faces so that others will know they are fasting.

But Jesus who sees right through the heart knows who they really are. In one instance in the gospels, he spews scathing words at the Pharisees. “You are like tombs that are kept beautifully painted white on the outside but appear outwardly to others to be good and righteous, but inside you are full of filth and corruption, hypocrisy and lawlessness,” (Matt 23:27).

In the gospel, Jesus likens the hypocrisy of the Pharisees to a leavening agent or leaven. A leaven is a substance used in dough and batter that causes it to rise and acquire a supple and spongy texture. Such a reaction is triggered because the leavening agent, for example, baking powder, produces a gas that is trapped inside the dough. That makes the slice of cake you are eating soft and fluffy.

One can see that the metaphor “leaven” is suitable when one outsiders the “leavening effect” of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus warns us not to imitate them because they give false impression and bad examples. For instance,, they like to give alms in public. They do this only to please the crowd, not God. Now, if one follows their example, one also becomes like them because of their corrupting influence, their ‘leavening effect.”

Remember one government official who promised 10,000 pesos to Barangay captain if they will deliver straight votes for favored candidates last elections, and he saw nothing with that? That is a classic example of hypocrisy having a “leavening effect” or corrupting impact on our body-politic.

Jesus also warns about the insidious influence of their teachings. Recall their complaint to Jesus that His disciples do not wash their hands before eating. He quotes Isaiah: “This people honor with their lips but their heart is far from me and in vain they worship me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men,” (Mark 7:6-7).

The same corroding influence is exemplified in their malicious intent to destroy Jesus. One time the Pharisees sent their minions to him saying, “Teacher,, we know that you are true and teach the way of God in truth; nor do you care a        bout anyone, for you do not regard the person of men. Tells us therefore what do you think?” (Matt 22:15-18). What hypocrisy? With smiling faces and praises, they lay a trap for Jesus.

This is the context of Jesus’ injunction to his disciples to be aware of the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees, hypocrisy. This warning is still relevant for us today. So are the words of St. Paul: “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth,” (1Cor 5:8). (Fr. Raymun Festin, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


Way asong makumkom.” This is a Visayan adage which refers to keeping secrets. No smoke can be kept in a closed fist” (because it always finds its way out through the spaces between the fingers).

This saying resembles the words of Jesus in today’s gospel. “There is  nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” This implies that God knows everything. He has the capacity to know every bit of our lives even the secrets that we solely know and personally kept in our hearts. Yet it is worthy to none that this quality of God is not an encroachment into our valued human freedom. This is more of demonstration of His love and care for us.

God does this because He likes to lead us into the path of righteousness. He is inviting us to follow His way. This concern of God is confirmed when Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” He really cares for us because even the slightest and insignificant part of our life like the number of our hair he knows by heart.

Sometimes we worry too much on what the future brings. We panic, we lose hope. But Jesus is telling us today to be courageous because He knows better what we really need and what is truly good for us. We only need to put our trust in Him and do our part (Fr. Ross Heruela, SVD Bible Diary 2012).


October 14, 2016 Friday

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote about his three years in extreme situation in the Nazi concentration camps where prisoners survived on meager ration. Frankl recalled, there were “men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offered proof that everything could be taken from a man but one thing: the freedom to choose his attitude in any given set of circumstances.”  These inmates could have become selfish, but they opted instead to share the little they had. “Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul,” our Lord teaches in today’s gospel (Luke 12,4).

Today Christ’s followers may not live in the same milieu as that of the biblical ancestors. But they can suffer the same lot for their moral convictions. A friend in Laoag City who owns a video rental shop said, “Despite the stiff competition among video shops, I don’t resort to renting X-rated movies. Nonetheless, my business is doing well.”

A spouse is tempted to quit amidst marital difficulties. However, aware that marriage is a lifetime commitment, he/she strives to remedy their problem and their personal differences. Although their marriage is not perfect, both are trying hard to preserve it.

Everyday we encounter pressures to abandon our Christian moral convictions. Christ exhorts us: “Do not let men intimidate you.” Meaning, don’t follow their wrong opinions, and don’t imitate their bad example.  We may suffer the loss of our health, our job; we may see our home burned, our marriage broken up. But none of these should topple over our faith and hope that some good will come out of all this. (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD | CKMS,QC Bible Diary 2016)


Today’s gospel gives us much to ponder for our spiritual growth: first a warning against hypocrisy and then some wisdom on why we should not be afraid. Jesus tells us: “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” He says this to his disciples, the ones closest to Him. Hypocrisy is a pretense.  It is insincerity – a beautiful exterior but a corrupted interior. It is a greater danger for religious people who can look holy while not being holy. Hypocrisy is a hidden sin. It is like yeast. We cannot see it working, but we can see its effect as the dough gets puffed up. This is the way it is with hypocrisy – it multiplies, it spreads, and it affects the entire dough of our lives.

The best remedy for hypocrisy is to have the hidden truth exposed. Then we can no longer hide behind appearances. Perhaps this is why Jesus says, “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed.” When our inner life is exposed to the light of God, the light of truth, we can be set free. One powerful example of this “revealing what is hidden” is when we confess our sins in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Behind much hypocrisy and lying is fear. Often we are afraid of how others will react if they discover the truth about us. Jesus, who so often urges us not to be afraid, tells us once again in this gospel to fear nothing, neither man nor God. We are told not to fear man because there is a limit to what man can do to us: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no more.” The freedom the martyrs experience comes from their confidence in God and their realization that those who are torturing them cannot touch their souls.

We are not to fear God either. Though He has power to cast out into Gehenna, he cares deeply for us. Jesus uses the image of the sparrows who are worthless in the eyes of man but whom God does not neglect. He also uses the image of the hairs of our head. God knows us so intimately that he even has the hairs on our head counted. No detail of our lives goes unnoticed by God. The fear we should have is that we will offend God and damage our relationship with Him.

In the first reading, Paul reflects on the relationship between God and Abraham. Abraham did not obey God because he feared that otherwise God would reject him. He knew deeply that God had a personal love for him, and he puts his faith in Him. His obedience is rooted in his faith. This, Paul explains, is the faith that justifies. We do not need to hide from God, or put on a holy appearance, or show that we are worthy of God’s love.  All we need is to respond to God’s love with faith (Pondering the Word The Anawim Way, September 4, 2011 to October 15, 2011 Cycle A – Year 1 pp. 197-198)


October 19, 2012

Sts. John de Brebeuf
and Isaac Jogues, priests,
and Companions, martyrs
(OptM) RED

St. Paul of the Cross, priest

Friday of the 28th Week
Eph 1:11-14
Ps 33
Lk 12:1-7

Lk 12:1-7
Courage under Persecution

[At that time,] 1so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. [Jesus] began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven—that is, the hypocrisy—of the Pharisees.

2“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. 3Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. 4I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. 5I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. 7Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.


Sparrows. As we commit ourselves to Jesus, as we follow and work for him, there is opposition, persecution, and crucifixion. Jesus does not promise comfort in following him. But Jesus assures us that God will take care of us, as God looks after common and ordinary creatures such as sparrows.

The mention of birds in Scriptures symbolizes trust in divine providence. Job is asked, “Who provides nourishment for the ravens when their young ones cry out to God, and they rove abroad without food?” (Jb 38:41). Psalm 84:4 tells us that sparrows and swallows build their nests in the Lord’s house and seek protection at his altar. Now, the Gospel tells us to put our trust in God. We must be confident of God’s care as we are “worth more than many sparrows.” 

When some sectors of society oppose the Church’s stand on an issue, how do you react?
Can you consider daily hardships as forms of persecution to your existential choice to remain a faithful Christian?


FRIDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 12:1-7. Unsa may nakangil-ad sa pagpakaaron-ingnon? Ang usa ka maayong buhat, sama sa paghatag og limos o pagtabang sa kabos, mahimong daotan kon kini atong buhaton nga pakitang-tao lamang. Bisan gani ang pagsimba mawad-an og bili kon kini atong gihimo aron lang daygon. Ang pagpakaaron-ingnon usa ka matang sa pagpangilad sa isigkatawo. Kasagaran, ang pagpakaaron-ingnon ubanan sa daotang katuyoan. Pananglitan, magpakita ka nga matinabangon aron pili-on sa umaabot nga eleksyon, o kaha, aron magustohan ug pakaslan sa tawo nga gi-angayan. Si Hesus nagpahimangno: “Bisan unsay gitabonan madayag, ug ang tanang tinagoan mabutyag.” Sa pagkatinuod, walay malilong sa Dios. Ang tanan sa atong kasingkasing ug hunahuna Iyang makita. Busa, angay nga magmatinud-anon kita sa tanan natong mga tinguha ug binuhatan. Posted by Abet Uy


Thursday, October 15, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 12:1-7. NGANONG DAOTAN MAN ANG PAGPAKAARON-INGNON? Ang maayong buhat, sama sa paghatag og limos, mahimong daotan kon kini atong buhaton nga pakitang-tao lamang. Bisan gani ang pagsimba mawad-ag bili kon kini atong gihimo aron lamang daygon. Ang pagpakaaron-ingnon usa ka matang sa pagpangilad sa isigkatawo. Kasagaran, ang pagpakaaron-ingnon ubanan sa daotang katuyoan. Pananglitan, magpakita ka nga matinabangon aron pili-on sa umaabot nga eleksyon, o kaha, aron magustohan sa tawo nga gi-angayan. Si Hesus nagpahimangno: “Bisan unsay gitabonan madayag, ug ang tanang tinagoan mabutyag.” Sa pagkatinuod, dili nato malinlongan ang Dios. Sakto ang pahimangno: “God knows our heart, and He cannot be deceived. We might be able to fool the world at times, but we cannot fool God.” Posted by Abet Uy


Friday, October 14, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 12:1-7. NGANONG DAOTAN MAN ANG PAGPAKAARON-INGNON? Ang maayong buhat, sama sa paghatag og limos, mahimong daotan kon kini atong buhaton nga pakitang-tao lamang. Bisan gani ang pagsimba mawad-ag bili kon kini atong gihimo aron lamang daygon. Ang pagpakaaron-ingnon usa ka matang sa pagpangilad sa isigkatawo. Kasagaran, ang pagpakaaron-ingnon ubanan sa daotang katuyoan. Pananglitan, magpakita ka nga matinabangon aron pili-on sa umaabot nga eleksyon, o kaha, aron magustohan sa tawo nga gi-angayan. Si Hesus nagpahimangno: “Bisan unsay gitabonan madayag, ug ang tanang tinagoan mabutyag.” Kini ang kamatuoran – mahimo nato nga malansisan ang tawo, apan dili ang Dios. Sakto ang pahimangno: “The world sees only what you do. But God knows why you do it.” Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for Friday October 17, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr; Luke 12:1-7 – Reflection: To whom do we entrust our lives in this world?  Do we entrust it to Jesus or we always entrust it to ourselves? If we say that we are in control of our lives this simply means that we take the driver seat and let Jesus take the passenger seat. However, when we take the driver seat we also open ourselves to many worrying circumstances that would continuously disturb us for as long as we live.

In our gospel Jesus tells us that He knows everything about us; our deepest fears and worries. Even the number of our hairs He knows how many, then He assures us not to be afraid for we are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:7).

When we let Jesus take the driver seat of our lives we will have no more fear of anything that may befall us; even death we will not fear anymore. For this is one of the countless blessings that we would receive from Jesus once we let Him take the driver seat of our lives.

There may come a time that we will hit a wall and everything in our lives will come to a halt. And we will begin to ask ourselves: Where am I going and what is the purpose of my life in this world? This would come because we are always at the driver seat in full control of our lives this world.

Why not let Jesus take the driver seat and we stay at the passenger seat? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


We are afraid of so many things: Fear is part of every person life. We fear anything we are not sure about or cannot understand. That is why we fear ghosts, spirits, and diseases. We fear things that make us very tiny by comparison. That is why we fear thunder and lightning, earthquakes, floods, whirlwinds and the likes. We sense the overwhelming power of God in all those. Fear takes hold of us and we crawl back into our tiny shells.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” is a frequently expressed rule of thumb of the Old Testament. In other words, this fear does not harm us; it helps us.

There are also other kinds of fears around us everyday which help us rather than harm us. For example, why do we fear opposition of any kind? Opposition is not necessarily bad at all. In fact, it can be good: it can bring out the best of us. So why fear it?

We also fear to lose a game or race or ‘contest’ of any sort. But here again, losing is not at all that bad. We lose some, we win some: that is the law of life. We usually learn more from losing a game than from winning it.

Another thing we are afraid to do is to apologize. We are afraid to admit that we have done wrong or been wrong. Why? An admission like that does not lower us in people’s eyes. It does the very opposite: it makes them think better of us. We trust people who admit that they make mistakes sometimes.

Sometimes we get caught at something and we tell a lie out of fear: we fear to tell the truth. Then things really get coupled because we have to cover one lie with a second and a third and. Then one day we forget, and our whole pyramid of lies collapses, and so is our good name. Someone has put it this way: “The nice things about telling the truth is that you do not have to remember what you said.”

One of things we fear most is the hereafter. It is also so mysterious and threatening and inescapable. The only answer to that is 1John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear.” How can I call you my closest and best friend and be afraid of you? How can I call God my closest friend and be afraid of him when I am standing for my last examination and he is the examiner? (Fr. Frank Mihalic SVD, A Thought for Today, Manila: Logos Publications, Inc., 2001:129-130)


TRUE TO HIS WORD – For the Lord’s word is true; all his works are trustworthy. – Psalm 33:4

“I will give to you, and your descendants after you, the land….” God used this verse from Genesis 17:8,featured in another Didache reflection entitled “This Land Is Mine,” to make a promise to me last year. Danny, the writer of that reflection, shared how he and his wife prayed for a property where they could build a home, how God led them to one that matched their requirements, and how God helped them buy the land even when at the start they didn’t have enough money to purchase it.

I read his story at the most perfect time! I just visited a property that also matched my requirements — “peaceful, secure neighborhood and within walking distance to a church.” And my husband and I didn’t have money to buy the property, too. But God made a way for us to reserve the property and pay for the down payment in the months that followed.

My heart was filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness to His Word. God said that He would give me and my family that land. That’s exactly what He did!

Remembering this wonderful blessing from God makes my heart sing one of our favorite songs at The Feast: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (

Reflection: How much do you trust God’s Word? Do your actions show that you trust Him and His Word?

Lord, may Your Word serve as my life’s compass and anchor.


OF GOD AND GRANDMOTHERS – I wonder how many of us now really value the five-centavo or even the 10-centavo coins. For one, they are so small. Second, they are practically worthless, for there is absolutely nothing now that you can buy with them.

I remember a time when the segment of Taft Avenue in Manila fronting the Philippine General Hospital was lined with huge acacia trees. To a child’s mind then, the avenue was such a wide thoroughfare, so spacious, airy and shady. It had another memorable trait.  Sparrows filled the air, the shady trees, and the ground where we waited for our bus ride to Mendez, Cavite.

They were so commonplace, so visible, yet unnoticed. And they were so many. We didn’t mind them at all. How do you value something so available, so numerous, and so worthless in your eyes? What does one do to so many moths during the onset of the rainy season, apart from letting them die when the sun comes back in the morning?

What a good teacher the Lord is! He found use for something so useless and worthless. He found meaning in a reality that does not merit a second look. He found it useful to make the lowly sparrow a stepping stone towards increasing our self-worth and self-image vis-à-vis the loving God.

I guess love is really that, essentially. It is all about loving even seemingly useless things. My grandmother loved us truly. She kept away and stored everything she found lying around: a hair clip, a paper clip, a piece of string, a used paper bag. She kept and stored everything “useful” for some rainy day, not for herself, but for us. Guess who came to our rescue when we were looking frantically for a clip, or a piece of cloth, or the like!

God and grandmothers! They sure are alike in at least one thing. They both value even the valueless — for love. Even though we may feel like worthless little paper clips, or useless five-centavo coins, Someone up there loves us and cares for us. God values me and you and, mind you, we are worth more than many paper clips. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: What value do you put on seemingly useless things and, more importantly, weak and useless people?

Lord, thank You for still loving me and making me feel worthy despite my unworthiness because of my transgressions.


GOD KNOWS – “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” – Luke 12:7

Do you know of anyone who knows how many hair you have on your head?

Imagine someone coming up to you and telling you he knows how many moles you have, how many teeth you have, how many hair you have, including those that fell this morning.

Creepy… crazy… and cool! That means he knows you real well and is very much interested in you.

Of course God knows, not only because He created you and knows every bit and part of you, but because He’s very much interested in you.

That means you have nothing to hide and therefore can present your real self to Him — warts, scars and all.

That also means He’s got you fully covered — from every strand of your hair to every burden and fear, hopes and dreams that you have.

So sleep tight tonight even if you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

God knows. And that’s what matters most.Alvin Barcelona (

Reflection: Are you afraid of the things you’re not sure about in your life? Offer them to God. He knows. He’s in full control. Receive His peace today.

Dear Lord, grant me the grace to find peace and comfort in trusting that You are in control of the things that I am not. Amen.


DESTINED AND CHOSEN – Some years ago, a national politician became the laughing stock on social media for mishandling a hammer and pretending to be working hard. He did not know how to handle the simple tool. It was an elementary rule in basic woodworking. A tool is an instrument of the worker. Any carpenter would know that a screw driver is used to drive in a screw and a hammer is used to drive in a nail. The human worker would do well to respect the purpose for which they were made.

Years ago, someone I knew could not close the baggage compartment of his car. The hook was not aligned with the latch. While the hook was fixed, the latch was movable. So he looked for some tool and found a screw driver. What he did was a good example of not respecting the purpose for which things were made. He hammered the latch using the screw driver’s head, instead of loosening the screws with the screw driver and adjusting the latch to align with the hook.

God knows how many times I have disrespected the purposes for which some things were made. This is what sin is basically — a kind of “missing the mark,” or misusing what God has given us as tools for something nobler.

God gave us the human mind to pursue truth, particularly saving truth. The human will was placed by the same God so that we could propel ourselves to pursue the good, and find “accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will.” These two — intellect and will — ordinarily should work in tandem and not at cross purposes with each other. But you and I know from experience that, at times, we cheat. Like the Pharisees, we claim to know the good but still do the opposite. We act like the hypocrites condemned by the Lord in today’s passage.

We are chosen. We are destined — in love. “Blessed be the people the Lord has chosen to be His own.” Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you using your God-given gifts and talents for the right purpose?


Dearest God, grant me the wisdom to know how to use the gifts and talents You have given me for the right purpose. Amen.


October 16, 2015

Friday of the 28th Week in the Ordinary Time

Rom 4: 1-8, Lk 12: 1-7

Fear Not

After his confrontation with the Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus now turns to the crowds. He advises them, “My friends do not fear those who kill the body.”

Early in the second century, Ignatius of Antioch was executed for his Christian faith at the order of Roman Emperor Trajan.  Ignatius of Antioch was the Christian bishop in Antioch.   Ignatius’ surviving letter To the Romans expresses his fearlessness and eagerness to die.  Ignatius wrote:

“I am writing to all the Churches that I am dying willingly for God’s sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you; do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God’s wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ”

What does fear have to do with the kingdom of God?  Fear is a powerful force.  It can lead us to flight or panic or it can spur us to faith and action.  The fear of God is the antidote to the fear of losing one’s life. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. ..O fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want! Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (Psalm 34:4, 9, 11)  The greatest injury or loss which we can experience is not physical but spiritual — the loss of one’s soul to the power of hell.  A healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom and right judgment and it frees us from the tyranny of sinful pride, cowardice — especially in the face of evil and spiritual deception.  Do you trust in God’s grace and mercy and submit to his word?

And then, “Do not fear!” We are in fact precious to God – far more than the value of many sparrows (and even the sparrows God knows and loves). What we are to fear then is the loss of our true worth, our value – the spiritual reality and relationship that connects us to God and God’s kingdom, through which we seek our own identity, reality, relationship. We wish to remain in that love, and once again, our own choices are crucial to this relationship. We are not powerless, but rather powerful. We bear the responsibility to return that love and relationship, or not.

Fear ye not -you are of more value – None can estimate the value of a soul, for which Christ has given his blood and life! Have confidence in his goodness; for he who so dearly purchased thee will miraculously preserve and save thee.

Lord, your perfect love casts out fear.  Give me a passion for your word and for your righteousness and a resolute hatred for sin.  Help me to cast aside anything which would hinder full union with you.


Savoring the gospel of today, I am drawn to dwell on the following:

  • Jesus speaks about the “leaven of the Pharisee.” Leaven, though small in amount, affects the whole dough. It corrupts the dough, and makes the dough to rise. Good or evil multiplies! Good and evil influence, diffuses themselves, and circulate.
  • Jesus states: “there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed.” Truth, amidst all masks and cover ups, will always triumph in the end. God is truth! To follow God then means to live in the truth.
  • Jesus spoke as the crowd was “trampling one another underfoot.” One reason why we find it hard to live in the truth, and so we engage in self-deception and self-declusion, is a systemic truism. Society defines success as a rat-race, a competition. Everyone is a wolf, a competitor.
  • Jesus assures us, “do not be afraid, my friends….” The security of the believer is Jesus, what Jesus says, what Jesus will say. He is the believer’s friend, confidante. He is the believer’s “significant other.” What others say will not really matter that much.
  • Jesus elaborates, “do not be afraid of those that kill the body but after that can do no more. To live in goodness and truthfulness, we have to fix our gaze beyond the horizons of the material world. We need to have transcendence; then our values and principles also begin to rest not on temporal rewards, but on the Absolute, that is God. (Fr Domie Guzman SSP (2006). New Every Morning, New everyday. Makati: St. Pauls, pp. 306-307)


October 14, 2016

The dictionary defines the word “plan” in this way: “a detailed scheme, method, etc., for attaining an objective” (Collins). Now in today’s first reading, the apostle Paul says that God “disposes all things according to his own plan and design.” Well, when they hear that God has a plan, a lot of Christians imagine that somewhere in the sky there is a detailed master plan of their lives and that their job is to discover what is in the master plan. And they agonize over what daily decisions they must make.

These are wrong questions. We must not think of God as wanting us to fit into some pre-made plan of his. We must think of him as a skillful dancer who constantly adjusts to our motions (decisions). God improvises in response to what we freely decide. The truth of the matter is that we are the ones who actually create God’s plan as we go along and follow our deepest aspirations. We are free agents. In most situations no one thing will please God, but many will. It is enough for us to listen to our inner attractions, to choose our greatest gladness. All masters of the Christian life agree on this.



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 28th Week of the Year

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