The Father’s Word is Truth
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Kyrygma
2015 UNFRIENDLY? – “As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” – John 17:18
A new research study released by the Barna Group reports that around three out of every five young Christians leave church after the age of 15. Why? I can sum up the many reasons in one word: “unfriendliness” of Christians to the world they’re sent to.
About 25 percent say they feel “Christians demonize everything outside of the Church.” About 35 percent say Christians are “too confident they know all the answers.” Seventeen percent said they’ve “made mistakes and felt judged in Church.”
When economic crisis and depressing news were all the headlines could offer, two Purdue University students decided to lift the spirits of people on campus. Cameron Brown and Brett Westcott set aside two hours every Wednesday afternoon to simply stand along a busy walkway holding a large “Free Compliments” sign. There they say nice things to everyone who walks by. “I like your red coat.” “Very nice smile.” In fact, a good number of students said they deliberately choose the path where “the compliment guys” are, just to hear a kind word.
Thank You, Lord, there are still those who understand what You want us to do. Jon Escoto (email@example.com)
Reflection: Are there people who need the friendship that you can bring? They need the friendship that you have with Jesus, too.
Father, give me the desire to go out of my comfortable circle of “good” Christian friends, and make friends with someone who needs You. Amen.
2016 VULNERABLE – “I do not ask you to take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil one.” – John 17:15
I was about to leave for work when Aunt Vy pulled me aside and prayed for my protection and safe journey. I felt more at peace as I commuted that day. Each day, I am vulnerable to accidents, robbery and untoward incidents. But the Lord always sends my guardian angel to protect me from harm.
Jesus’ prayer for His disciples in today’s reading is a curious one. As I read verse 15, I thought, “Why is Jesus stingy with His prayer?” Couldn’t He have asked God to eliminate the enemy once and for all?
Jesus can ask anything and the Father will grant it. But He is also realistic. Even though He knows that His followers are vulnerable to the devil, the flesh and the world, He also knows that this world is where they are called to fight the good fight. That’s why He prays that they be set apart while fulfilling their mission and strengthened in the fight.
Jesus says the same prayer for us. Though vulnerable, may we remain on course in our faith journey and draw strength from His merciful love. Dina Pecaña (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reflection: “Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here.” (Elijah Prince from the movie Unbreakable)
Lord, You have placed me in the world even though I am not of it. But far too often I think and act like one who belongs to the world when, in fact, I belong to You.
2018 LISTEN AND OBEY It is more blessed to give than to receive. — Acts 20:35
I used to equate giving with material things. I eventually learned that giving can also be made in terms of time and talent.
Years ago, a sister in our prayer community asked for prayers because she was undergoing an operation. During my prayer time, I heard the Lord speak to my heart to offer my time to keep watch over her while she was hospitalized. I mentioned this to our other single sisters and we were able to mobilize a group to keep her company from the time she was admitted until she was discharged.
She was so grateful because as a young widow with two small children, she had no one to stay with her.
I was thankful that I listened to the Lord and followed His prodding. It gave me and the sisters who helped her so much joy that we gave up our free time to be of service to someone in need. Reng Morelos (email@example.com)
Reflect: When you pray, do you just do the talking or do you allow the Lord to speak to you as well?
Lord, give me a listening heart. Help me to obey Your prodding that I may know who to reach out to and in what way I can help.
2018 KUROT SA PUSO There is always a faint tug in my heart every time I reflect on this passage from the Gospel of John. Biblicists refer to this lengthy portion as the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus Christ. I sense a lot of care and concern on the part of the Lord, acting and doing His role as High Priest, as Master, as Teacher, but most especially as loving and solicitous Shepherd.
I do not know if any of you has ever felt alone at any time in your lives. We priests and religious, who work for and are surrounded most of the time by crowds or big groups of people, could at times be narcotized by the seeming endless attention and affection from throngs and individuals. We seldom experience being alone by ourselves. For those of us who work in big parishes and big schools, there is always someone by our side to do our every bidding — to cook for us, wash our clothes, clean our offices, and the like.
I purposely used the word “narcotized,” for like substances, the Internet or anything for that matter, when used excessively and relied on a bit too much, that semblance of solicitous care from others can daze us into believing everything is for real. Psychologists, grappling with the realities of online deindividuation and disinhibition, also speak now of narcotizing dysfunction, or the belief that one is actively engaged in doing something simply by clicking the mouse and posting “likes” in social media.
Modern Filipino language even uses the phrase “Napusuan mo na ba?”(In Facebook lingo, it means, “Have you reacted to it?”) is, among others, shows us that there remains a vestige of humanity in the world of social media.
That tinge of the tender side of Christ’s humanity is what I would like to think He is showing us in this prayer. “May kurot sa puso ang Kanyang panalangin!” (His prayer leaves a tug in the heart.) It shows us that the Lord, more than just teacher, was High Priest. He was Supreme Shepherd. He begged His Father on our behalf: “I gave them Your word, and the world hated them.” I feel I am in good company today and for all days. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
——- REFLECTION QUESTION ——- Imagine Jesus praying this prayer for you personally: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name.” How would you feel?
Dearest Jesus, thank You for thinking of me every moment of my life, even when I stray away from You. Amen.
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