Sunday, April 25, 2010

Called to be Shepherds

First Reading: Acts 13:14; 43-52

Responsorial Psalm: We are His people, the sheep of His flock (Ps 100:1-2; 3; 5)

Second Reading: Rev. 7:9; 14b-17

Gospel: Jn. 10:27-30 NAB

Jesus said:

“My sheep hear my voice;

I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

No one can take them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

The Father and I are one.”


In this Gospel, there are three ideas or topics clearly seen in the passage:

First, and foremost, is about Jesus being the Good Shepherd;

Second is the unity of the Trinity; and

Lastly is about Peter’s ministry as the appointed Shepherd of Christ’s flock in relation to the Gospel Reading last week.

This passage is actually the parting account in the Good Shepherd discourse at the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. If we expand this discourse, we may read the very resounding words: “I AM the Good Shepherd” (10:11; 14), with the qualities of: giving His life for the sheep—something which a hired man cannot do (verse 12); knowing the needs of His sheep (verse 14); that His flock is open for all who wants to believe in Him—in other words, universal (verse 16); and that even if He has the power to lay down His life in His free will as the Son of Man, he also has the power to take it up again as the Son of God (vv. 17-18).

Another point of the Gospel is the focus on Jesus being “of substance with the Father.” Of course this mystery is very hard to imagine, especially to skeptics; but if we reread the passage, we see that because of His great love for His flock, Jesus assures that He will not let go of it, just as the Father does not abandon it and all of creation. This similarity makes the two distinct Persons unite; and with His phrase “The Father and I are one,” the Holy Spirit manifests Himself, for it is in this affirmation that the He force Himself out because of the mutual love of the Father and the Son.

Finally, we look back at last week’s Gospel (on which I apologize for not posting), where Jesus appoints Peter as the earthly shepherd of the sheepfold of Christ, only junior to the Good Shepherd. This does not mean that Peter and his successors as Pope are the shepherds, but merely the universal Vicar responsible for tending and feeding the sheep of Christ—a co-worker to the Good Shepherd, but NOT a hired hand.


When I was in my Literature class and we were discussing Psalm 23 as a literary art, my professor refers sheep as “stupid” creatures for their biological instincts; and he was right, for that was a fact about them. But when we shift this discussion to a theological light, of course they will not think for they are not rational creatures, but because this poem was made by an inspired rational being in the person of King David (?), and referring himself as a sheep, does it mean that he is also stupid? Of course not; in some way, I beg to disagree. There are similarities, though; like our tendencies to fail, to sin, to displease God and man, to be egoistic, sarcastic, or even to be sadistic, but through these, the Lord is still in our midst, waiting for us to recognize Him—where the comparison is to be a sheep lost and being found by a shepherd who left the rest of his flock just to find the sheep and take it home in his care.

A shepherd is, in the broadest sense, the one who guides, guards, and takes care of the sheep. Theologically and politically speaking, a shepherd is a leader, with their respective constituents as their flock.

It is a great challenge for every Pope—or in a smaller and more appropriate scale, every bishop—to imitate Christ, the Good Shepherd, in the line of their mission and ministry: to be a father to all who believe in Him and to be the perfect example of being an alter Christi—another Christ—to their faithful, especially the former, who is considered the Shepherd of the flock on earth. This mission and ministry is also a responsibility of every Pontiff, who has been attacked by lies, corruption, and even the Evil One. But prayers and determination makes him stronger and more faithful to his Shepherd—Jesus Christ Himself.

We also have another kind of shepherd; of which we badly need, most especially in this time of uncertainty and strife: a political one. This shepherd must be dedicated to uplift and strengthen the welfare of his flock—that he may be ready to respond to their needs—that he may be ready to risk his own life the moment his sheep are in danger of fierce wolves (and in speaking of wolves, he must not also cry “WOLF!” when there are actually none)—that he may be ready to die in defense of his flock. We need this kind of hero-leader as all government posts—and our Motherland—are at stake as the elections draw near; we need this ideal head-servant who will follow, at the best of his duties, the footsteps of Jesus. And even if the Good Shepherd has to die on the Cross, He is raised from the dead and is among us to this day. This hopeful statement is a fulfillment that even if He has the power to lay down His life, He also has the power to raise it up again (cf. Jn. 10:17-18).

By this end, I just imagine how many people, including myself, influenced by the example of the Good Shepherd, are discerning very much on what is really my role to my community, to society, to my field of specialty, and most of all, to God. I pray that those who are at my state would be guided accordingly by that same Good Shepherd, and those who are working with Him as shepherds in their own ministries, especially priests and bishops, that they may be reignited of His mission as priest, prophet, and servant-king to their flocks.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Politics…Politics… Blog Series: Part 1: At the threshold of the climax

The 2010 National Automated Election is fast approaching, and citizens eighteen and above by May 10 (the author would turn 18 by December of this year; thus, he could not vote) would decide the fate of this State which has been the best and the worst the world has ever seen. But are we ready for this kind of history? Are we ready for this kind of decision where the power that lies in the people is more powerful than ever?

A month from now, this nation would write a new record in history because of a technology never before tested by the people, but much likely anticipated by the Commission on Elections. From this technology, the way the candidates get the sympathy of the masses and the stakes of its aftermath was raised to a higher level. Who are these sojourners for the positions at the national posts? What are their platforms and how would they convince the undecided to choose them? What would be the cost of their toil if ever they achieved their goals of having a seat in the government?

All these would be discussed at the next set of blogs.

April 9, 2010

Araw ng Kagitingan

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Narito po Ako, Inay...
muli po Akong nabuhay
upang ang sanlibuta'y
'di na malumbay
sa pag-aalay Ko ng buhay.

Narito po Ako
upang pawiin ang iyong mga luhang
tanging para sa Akin;
huwag na po kayong malungkot, Inay.
Masdan ninyo po Akong tinupad ang loob ng Ama;
masdan ninyo po Akong matagumpay sa kamatayan, kadiliman, at kasamaan.
Nais Ko po kayong pasalamatan
dahil tinanggap po ninyo ang kalooban ng Ama't Panginoon
ng sangkatauhan.
Nais po kitang yakaping muli
upang mapatunayan po ninyong
hindi kayo nagkakamali.

Narito po Ako!
Muling nabuhay para po sa inyo at sa buong mundo!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three Cheers for the Risen Lord!!! HURRAH!!! HURRAH!!! HURRAH!!!

The blogger's angelic sister, Betina Marie Riñon at the center as main angel at the Salubong in their place, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Community, Springville Heights Subd., Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Queen's Row, Bacoor, Cavite. This was taken after her Luwa (Praise Speech to the Risen Lord and to the Queen of Heaven) and after she unveiled the Blessed Mother.

First Reading: Acts 10:34a; 37-43
Responsorial Psalm: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. /Alleluia. (Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23)
Second Reading: Col. 3: 1-4 or 1 Cor. 5:6b-8

Gospel Reading: Jn. 20:1-9/Lk. 24:1-12/Lk. 24:13-35 (Gospel frequently read in bold)

Jn 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.


Lk 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.


Lk 24:13-35

For afternoon or evening Mass
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.


There are varied meanings where the word "Easter" came from.

In mythology, it was from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Ēostre, the goddess of spring. this was the etymology given by Saint Bede the Venerable, and was actually one of the variations of the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn, Hausos (

Another meaning would be the word "east," which is actually a layman's term--and a more theological one. By becoming the Firstborn of the dead, Christ became our Sun, the Light of life and love that rises from the east that would forever defeat the darkness of death and evil; thus, Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, is our "EAST-er," whether we face Him in His sanctuary at the west, north, south, or any direction.


There is no life without death, that is what some elders say. Thus, life is not complete without being in the depths of our distresses. Jesus WAS in this state; but after His resurrection, it was His duty as a Son to reveal to His Mother--and ours--to share His happiness of fulfilling His Father's will. In Scriptures, it was to Mary Magdalene that the Risen Christ first revealed Himself. But in Filipino tradition, and because of our deep devotion to His Mother, we believe that Jesus, the Risen Lord--maybe as soon as He got out of the grave where He was placed lifeless--went to His Mother to assure her that He fulfilled His promise to rise from the dead after three days: this is the rubric of the Salubong (Filipino for meeting), a paraliturgical procession only practiced in the Philippines where the icons or statues of the Risen Lord and the Mater Dolorosa start from opposite points of the community and would meet up at any part outside the church that would materialize the above-mentioned explanation.

In this context, Christ does not only wants to reveal to His mother, rather, being one of Christ's last words on the cross where Mary became our Divine Mother, and in our behalf, Christ wants to reveal Himself to us that He is truly risen. Just imagine that our Mother is with us seeing her Son glorious and victorious! What would you feel? You would feel patriotic and you could not control your eyes from becoming wet, right? You may even come to the point that you would not help but give Him a military salute (being the Lord of Hosts)! That is what I did last night and just last morning! If you were me, you would understand this....


Heads' Up!