Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Are You Looking For?

“Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus.  When Jesus turned and noticed them following Him, He asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are You staying?” “Come and you’ll see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about 10 in the morning.” - John 1:36-39

We are all on this journey called life. Along this road we met different kind of people, build relationships, some lasts others don’t. We also experienced adventures both good and bad. Along the way we also met people that in one way or another affects us in a good way and changes our directions totally. Have we met those kinds of people?

The two disciples that the gospel talks about had that encounter with a person who eventually changed their lives forever. They saw Jesus and followed Him, and Jesus upon noticing them, started the conversation by asking, “What are you looking for?”  They responded by asking where He is staying and Jesus invited them, “Come and you’ll see.” They responded positively and stayed with Him. They stayed because they experienced Jesus. Who would not stay if you experience something good and beautiful? Peter was like that too, when he encountered Jesus transfigured it was heaven for him so much that he wanted to remain there on the top of that mountain. If we experience something good and beautiful with someone, we will most likely wanted to be always in company with that person. 

What have we encountered so far in our daily life? Did we encounter Jesus in others and in difficult situations?

Another thing about this gospel is that it actually tells us that Jesus always starts the conversation, He initiates. Even in loving, He always initiates, He loves us first! Then we respond, because we cannot help but respond to love. It cannot be that we cannot respond to something good and beautiful. It just doesn’t make sense. However, I don’t know why, confronted with decisions, we still choose the bad when good is right before us. We choose drugs when we know its doesn’t do good, we hurt others because we choose to satisfy our own feelings and emotions.

What is our response to love? If we feel so loved and cared for, what is our response to it?

Jesus said, “Come and you’ll see.” He invites. “RSVP” répondez s'il vous plait, French for a request for response to an invitation. Jesus invites us. What is our response?

When we are invited three things are important:

1.    It requires a response. If we are invited response is needed, whether it is an affirmative one or not, so that the host will know what to prepare. If a close friend of ours invites us to a party, most likely we will respond to it positively simply because we know the person and we have relationship with that person. Same with Jesus, if we know Jesus the more we will respond to His invitation positively because we develop a personal relationship with Him.
2.  It requires participation. When we go to a banquet, we participate. It cannot be that we go there and just seat. It defeats the purpose. We are not maximizing our time. We go there, we eat and start conversation. Food is not just the reason but the conversation. That’s the beauty of banquet actually; we just don’t eat but actually build new relationships.
3.  It requires appreciation. In a banquet we need to have the capacity to appreciate what is offered before us or else we will be like an ungracious guest. Sometimes in life we find it hard to accept that we are just blessed! How many times someone wants to help us carry a bag and then we just say, “It’s okay, I can do this.” Or say someone offered a ride, and we will say, ‘It’s okay, the bus will be here soon anyway.” Why can’t we just allow that person to be a blessing to us? Why can’t we just accept blessing? We are good givers but somehow sometimes not too good receivers.

And so we respond to the invitation of the Lord because we cannot but respond to someone who is good and beautiful. So while we continue on the road of life, we need to recognize Jesus in the journey. Like the disciples who recognized something in Jesus, they followed Him and Jesus noticing them asks, “What are you looking for?” They were in fact looking for something they were not able to articulate up until then. They had this weird stirring of their hearts that says, “There is something more than what life is showing us now.” When Jesus invited them to come and see, they responded positively and eventually stayed. They found at last the one they were looking for.

Jesus is asking us, “What are you looking for? What are you looking for in life?”  

by aats

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Knowledge and Wisdom

I came across a phrase that says, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable; wisdom is knowing not to include the tomato in the fruit salad.” If I may add to this on matters of communication, knowledge is knowing how to articulate answers to certain questions; wisdom is knowing the right time and place to say it. 

by aats

Monday, May 20, 2013

Manahimik at Makinig

To be Silent and Listen

I had been listening to this Filipino Catholic song titled “Maging Akin Muli”. The lyrics are so powerful and compelling. It challenges me to be silent and listen to the voice within, so I will fully know the calling of the Lord. It is in silence that we can clearly hear the real call. Whatever it is, silence will be the key to a life fully lived. I will let the lyrics speaks to you.

Maging Akin Muli
(by Arnel Aquino, SJ)

Manlamig man sa Akin puso mong maramdamin
Lisanin man ng tuwa puso mong namamanglaw
Manginig man sa takot masindakin mong puso
Mag-ulap man sa lungkot diwa mong mapag-imbot.
Kapiling mo Akong laging naghihintay sa tanging tawag mo.
Pag-ibig Kong ito isang pananabik sa puso Ko
Sa ‘yong pagbabalik sa piling Kong puspos ng pagsuyo
Manahimik at makinig ka’t maging Akin muli.
Di mo rin akalain tinig mo’y hanap Ko rin,
Ang ‘yong tuwa at sakit, Aking galak at pait.
Kung lingid pa sa iyo, Aking pakikiloob,
Tuklasin mong totoo: tunay mong pagkatao.
Kapiling mo Akong laging naghihintay sa tanging tawag mo.
Pag-ibig Kong ito isang pananabik sa puso Ko.
Sa ‘yong pagbabalik sa piling Kong puspos ng pag – suyo,
Manahimik at makinig ka’t maging Akin muli.

Panginoon, turuan ninyo akong manahimik upang aking marinig ang tunay mong tawag sa akin. Amen. (Lord teach me to be silent so I can hear  Your real calling for me. Amen.)

by aats

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Name of Love

Henri J.M. Nouwen said, “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”

How true indeed. We want to be love so much that if others fall short of our expectations we find it hard to forgive. In the end we find that we too failed in many ways. We want to be richly loved yet we poorly love ourselves. May we always learn to forgive O Lord. Amen. 

by aats

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thank You My Friend and My God

Thank you Lord for reminding me that the greatest relationship I have is my relationship with You. Everything else is secondary. You are a real friend who affirms and corrects. You are present both in ups and downs. You are love satisfying when nothing else satisfies. You are an assuring embrace in times of distress and a loving presence in moments of loneliness. You are a constant and consistent friend. And for that, thank You. Amen.

by aats

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It Takes A Mom

Happy Mothers day! We honor all mothers who raise up Godly kids making the world a much gentler and loving place to be. We thank mothers for raising missionaries who roam bravely the world to share the gospel of love. It takes a mom to have a missionary.

Lord today we pray for special blessing to our mothers who raised us up to be who we are today. Amen. 

by aats

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Only In You

Why is it that so many times I chose the bad when there is so much goodness in You? When confronted with choices I chose the easy and fleeting… I chose the shortcut when I know fully well that there is no shortcut in life. Yet thank you Lord for infinite chances and the chance to be put right again and again. Thank you for your infinite mercy manifested in the sacrament of reconciliation. Thank you for being consistently good even if I’m not. You are God in my life.

In your goodness I trust, for I know you are a faithful God. Where would I had been if you did not hold me? Where will I be if you will not hold me? Only in You that I am safe, only in You that I am secure. “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:8. Amen.

by aats

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dear God

I came across a beautiful prayer written by Henri Nouwen, in his book “The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life”, it says:

“Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”

May we indeed come into our senses that we own nothing and we only have because we have Him. What He gives we share to others. 

by aats

Monday, May 6, 2013


I was on my way to another place outside of the city. It was a beautiful drive with trees lining up with its leaves already showing up. O the beauty of spring! It was so beautiful to behold. Now I now understand why people living in these kind of place loves spring. How can you not be, after being deprived of it in winter months? Deprivation can be good, it allows us to appreciate the things we take for granted. 

by aats

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just A Vacation

In one of Father Jerry Orbos column in Philippine Daily Inquirer, he said, “Unless and until we see life as a calling or a vocation for a mission, then life is only an excursion or one big vacation, devoid of meaning, so full of worldly fulfillment and illusions.”

Are we just having vacation? May we see life beyond vacation but a pilgrimage, making a difference in the lives of others along the way. Amen.  

by aats