Acting on our Dreams

What could have happened if St Joseph, the foster Father of Jesus, failed to dream, or failed to listen to his dream, or failed to act on his dream? Perhaps, St Jodeph the Carpenter could have compromised the safety of his Family: Jesus and Mary. But St Joseph, the Humble Man of Faith, was spontaneous in his response to God’s message. God’s countenance lifted St Joseph to pursue God’s purpose in his life. God’s plan prevailed.

Lent is a time for us to recenter our lives to God. It is a gracious time to examine our hearts and listen to God’s message in our prayerful dreams. It is a time to forgive so that Divine Justice may be served.

Divine Justice is never punitive. It is restorative and transformational. It purposely seeks to lift up others for God’s glory alone. We choose to forgive because we want to be whole. Otherwise we become bitter.

So like St. Joseph who chose to quietly live his purpose, may we serve God, too, in the most simple and transformative way we can. We lift up people and break the chains of angst, anger, pride, oppression, hate, jealousy, and such others. We choose love because this is God. May we live God’s dream for us. God, too, has desires and dreams for us.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26



They were called behind their backs as “The Renters.” They heard how people called them as they turned their backs. But they did not mind the name. They just kept their hurts to themselves.

The couple, The Renters, were just too happy seeing their children grow in modesty. They were just sincerely happy with every person who came to their home. They were just simply joyful to share their music with those who were willing to listen. They were just very eager and honest to listen to stories that people shared. They were willing to share their ideas and creativity.

Oh yes, indeed! They were an extraordinary couple in an ordinary setting, “The Renters.” They were not rich but God provided for all their needs. God was the reason for everything they did.

But aren’t we all renters in this world? Is there anything that is in this world that is ours? Is material wealth really ours? Are the lands and other resources really ours?

Are we not just stewards of these things around us? Are we not just renters of space and time? Are we not just passing by and passing through?

“Appreciate the garden but do not pick the flowers.” The garden owner correctly put this sign in his flower garden. Indeed, the onlookers could just marvel at the sight of the beautiful flowers; but not to disrespect the garden by picking even a single flower.

“Put back everything in its original position.” What a good sign to the renter of space to remind him that he is obligated to respect the owner by taking good care of the property.

The Renters knew that they had to make the best out of what they had. They were entrusted with children who were their only gems in the world. They had to do everything to polish these gems.

The Renters understood that they could not fulfil their obligation as parents by themselves. They had to put their trust in their God; the God who is kind to the Renters in this world. After all, God created the Renters for His purpose.

And so it came to pass. The Renters put their trust in God who provided all the means to realise their obligations. And so it came to pass. The Renters completed their purpose. God is pleased.

March 5, 2023

Kung gaan bitaw ang atong paminaw sa atong desisyon; kung hagkap ang atong kasingkasing pagkahuman ug pagpamimaw sa hunahuna sa uban; kung mangutana ta sa uban natong mga higala sa unsa kaha ang ipasabot sa Ginoo; kung kining tanan atong sundon, makaingon gyud ta nga “Ang Ginoo anaa sa taliwala sa atong plano.”

Kay lagi, ang iyang gusto nga maka-ambit ang ubang tawo sa iyang grasya nga ihatag kanato.

Kay kita instrumento lamang sa atong Ginoo; aron ang uban magadayeg kaniya ug dili kita ang makita kung dili SIYA.

Maluoy ka kanamo Ginoo, usba ang among panghunahuna ug ang among mga pamatasan.

My Lenten Reflection

Simon Peter and Andrew were doing their ordinary day to day tasks when Jesus invited them to follow him. They did not know, yet, of Jesus’ true nature, yet they accepted the invitation to follow him.

We are very blessed to know the Word of God. We know fully well that he is inviting us to follow him. We know who he is and what he has done for us. Yet, it takes us a while to follow him completely.

Our hesitations to completely follow his ways are born out of our material attachments which may come to be perceived as blessings. We remember the devil’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The devil quoted Bible verses, too, when he offered materiality to Jesus. But Jesus thwarted the devil saying: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10).

So when our materiality and material attachment come as a hindrance to follow Jesus, we can quote Matthew 4:10 as we pray to Jesus to strengthen our faith.

Dear Jesus, please look into my heart, a heart of a wretched sinner.  I have pure intentions to follow you because I know You are the Son of the living God. Yet, I am a frailty human being who gets attracted to materiality and material attachment. I succumb to temptations. I am hindered to follow you completely. So I rather hold you at a distance in fear that I may lose my material attachments. Sometimes I may be blinded by the devil’s temptations and perceive things differently as though these are blessings.

Dear Jesus, please give me the Holy Spirit of God so that I will earn His mantle of protection. I need the Holy Spirit of God to remind me of all Your ways, the simplicity in life that You lived while walking in the streets of Galilee, the commitment to follow God’s will.

Dear Holy Spirit, please look into the darkest inner room of my soul and see my frailties, my shortcomings, my cunning ways, my vested interests, my pride, my sins and my sinful ways. Please draw me to Jesus with a repentant heart. Please cleanse my heart and refresh my soul. It may take you a while to overturn me from my wickedness but I pray that you will persistently hold the reins and take control of my life. Please let me love Jesus. Please let me delight him in my simple ways.

This I pray in Jesus’ Mighty Name. May God be pleased.


What is visible to the naked eye attracts the mind. Eye-catching; many would say.

What about its hidden features? What’s inside the can? What’s inside the bottle? What’s inside the wrapper? What’s inside the mind? Would it matter?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Unconsciously, the heart overflows with what is inside it. If it is filled with love, then the overflow would be good for everyone who may get the sprinkles and blessings from that heart. If it is filled with angst, envy, pride, or jealousy, then the pith that comes from the heart blackens the atmosphere as it dampens the spirit.

What label then should we be looking for? Should we just be looking at the physical attributes? Or should we be discerning enough to know the ulterior motives? Should we bother to know the purpose? Do we need to know more?

Yes. We should seek to know more. We have to understand better. We have to be involved. We have to be actively engaged in what we do. Otherwise, we would just be stuck to the LABELS which may not be the full representation of the thing, the person, the environment, the scene, the sight, or the situation.

What matters most is the meaning or the purpose. When that becomes transparent, then the Label becomes alive and it becomes a part of us. Until then, we must seek to know and understand first.

Just Another Phase

What matters most is the ending of a page in our life.

Most of us, except those born with golden plates and silver spoons, go through life with our own battle gears. We swim through problems and hardships. We eat stresses and sorrows for our meals. But all these are spices and necessary ingredients to a life well lived.

Getting to the finish line of our work life is closing one chapter of our life. But the story goes on. This time we are more equipped with experience, with knowledge, with family, and with friends. Unlike before when we may be alone in our struggles, this time, there is a whole community who invites us to join in another journey – the most important phase of our journey – knowing the real purpose of life….Jesus himself.

You see, retirement is a blessing. It gives us the opportunity to look up heavenwards and appreciate the air, the sun, the clouds, the birds, the trees, the rain. All these we tend to ignore when we are so busy doing our daily tasks at work. This time, we are very blessed to enjoy the beauty that God has created for us. That is the essence of Christianity – to appreciate what God has made and what God has done.

To retire from work is God-given moment. Not everyone is able to retire from work. Some get separated even before retiring. Some die even before getting to the end. But when we have the gift to retire from work, then we should feel very grateful. We feel blessed. To deny this is just like denying God’s blessings.

There are stages in our lives. There is a time for everything. There is a time for sowing the seeds. There is a time for harvesting the fruits. God has planted the seeds. It is now our time to give back to Him and be very grateful in small and simple ways as we dedicate our retirement from work to the one Who has given us work. Ora et Labora. Work is prayer. God blessed us with work. And we should be very grateful for the work he has given us through the years.

Now is the time to simply say, “Thank you God for bringing me this far and for all the blessings you have given me and my family. Thank you God for this Company that has given me work. Thank you God for my colleagues at work. Thank you God for my superiors. Thank you God for being YOU.

So It Is You

So it’s you, I’ve been waiting for so long
So it’s you, where were you all along?
Very special moments, this will always be with me
We are here, you and I, we belong.

And so the song goes…It was popularized in the 90’s by Raymond Lauchengco who was then a dashing young man who mesmerized young ladies not only with his voice but also with his looks. It is the story of two individuals who happened to meet by chance and they discovered the love that they had been looking for.

I was in the mall yesterday. I was drawn to the accessories area where there were shawls of all colors. I tried on the brown, the yellow, the maroon, then the red. The last one looked good. But then I remembered. “It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow,” I said to myself. So I put back the red shawl and got a blue one instead.

This morning I went to church with my blue shawl. It looked good and so I was happy. As I was listening to the sermon of the Priest which was about, “Are you really with the right person,” my eyes were drawn to the area of the ceiling just above the altar. And lo and behold, there was a drape of blue that matched the color of my shawl. This is the sign for me. So I silently and tearfully said to myself, “So it is you, Jesus.”

I have travelled the ups and downs of my life. I have cried tons of tears over challenges. I have smiled through my sacrifices. But I can always cry tears of joy for my one and only partner in this life and the life hereafter – my Jesus. He is the one and there is no other.

So it is you, Jesus.


A friend of mine shared this story. She said, “My husband is a mountaineering guide. He would go to the mouth of the volcano with a group of mountaineering enthusiasts. They see this trek as very challenging. They would spend the night there by the lake of the mouth of the volcano.”

I was really amazed with what she shared. Her husband and the mountaineers are seeing something not everyone could see. The beauty that we behold is only that which is within the range of our vision. Yet, we do not have the same ranges. Some are in high places and they see things differently. What awesome sights they may have seen.

And here is the catch of my friend’s story. She continued, “At night, while they are encamped up there, my husband would see a procession of lights. Yes, a procession of lights. At first he was terrified. But as this became constant in the nights he spent there, he came to believe that some good spirits are passing by in a procession of lights.”

Wow! My jaw dropped and my eyeballs almost fell from their sockets. What? A procession of lights! I want to see that, too. How I wish I could experience that.

And here is the truth. The people in the Old Testament saw the Glory of God in the burning bush, in the Winds, in the Clouds, in Mother Nature, in Men, or in Angels. Marvelous indeed!  I would have loved to be there, too.  (Exodus 40:34-38).

But there is always HOPE. With great faith we pray that one day we, too, may see the Glory of God. As John The Baptist testified, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11.

This is what we aspire to have in 2023. HOPE -Humility to accept realities, Obedience to do that which delights our God, Perseverance in our journey through ups and downs and detours of life, and lastly but never the least, Enthusiasm to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit of God. We HOPE and we pray.


These verses in Luke 2:22-40 which speak about the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple bring to us several key points in our faith.

1.  The Holy Spirit guides us into the Truth.

     Simeon was a devout believer and he believed in the truth that the Holy Spirit revealed to him – “He will see the consolation of Israel.”

     If we do not firmly believe, we would have many questions and doubts. But Simeon did not entertain those doubts. Instead he kept praying and opened his senses for signs from the Holy Spirit.

     Thus, on the day that The Baby Jesus appeared in the Temple, Simeon, who was led by the Holy Spirit, knew right there that the Consolation of Israel has come.

2. When we are led by the Holy Spirit we may be deviants in the eyes of many.

     Simeon and Anna who were openly declaring the coming of the Consolation of Israel were considered deviants in their time. Some may have even considered them as “crazy.” Many may have looked down on them. But Simeon and Anna did not mind being rejected by many. They held on to the truth that was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit of God.

3.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we do not put expectations before us: we just follow His promptings.

     Joseph and Mary who were led by the Holy Spirit went to the Temple without expecting attention, recognition, flares, and fireworks. They went to comply with the law. 

    But the Holy Spirit had already planned for them. The declaration of Simeon and Anna was a surprise to Mary and Joseph.

    But here is the catch. After the surprise, knowing how important the Baby Jesus would be, Mary and Joseph humbly returned to their simple home; no qualms, no flares, no fireworks, no special attention, no recognition. 

“Come Holy Spirit, please guide us to the truth of our faith and please help us to live a quiet, simple and humble life with you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.”

And So It Seems

It is Christmas once again. Streets are filled with lights. Everywhere we see lights. People capture this awesome beauty in their cameras and happily share these light-filled moments with friends and family.

It is Christmas indeed. Parties are everywhere. Gifts are abundant. Carolers are gleefully singing. Hearts are pouring with bounties. People are happy to share a little, some, or more from what they have.

It is Christmas. It comes by once a year. After the festivities and spendings and parties and caroling and feasts, everything will go back to the just ordinary days.

But is it not supposed to be a Christmas spirit everyday? What truly is Christmas?

A child who was confused asked, “Wait a minute, do you mean to say that Jesus was not born on December 25? Then why are we celebrating Christmas?”

The innocence of a child could amuse us and actually sends us into deeper thoughts.

Christmas is in the air. It is supposed to remind us that the Son of God, Jesus, chose to be born quietly, simply, and humbly in a far away village in a manger. Remembering that essence of Christmas may lead us into meaningful celebrations as we try to live quietly, simply, and humbly. This delights Jesus. This pleases God.

On remembering Jesus at Christmas, we can pray that all that we do be delightful to Him. We can listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who will guide us and move us to that which delights The Son of God. 

Come Holy Spirit of God! Lead us to the Lamb. Fill us with calm, simplicity, and humility. May our Christmas be that in the Manger with Jesus.