The Gifts of Peace and the Paraclete On Mother’s Day

Dear Parishioners,

Today the second Sunday of May, the month of our Blessed Mother, is Mother’s Day. We remember and pray for that wonderful gift of God personifying love itself in our lives. We greet our mothers a “Happy Mother’s Day.” May they all be like our Blessed Mother whose love for Jesus and for us is worth emulating at all times.

In connection with the gift of a loving mother, the Good Lord also has given us a motherland totally unique and she is the only one we have. Let us show our love for her by going out and casting our ballots with a prayer. Your single ballot may help solve the ills plaguing our beloved country. Only an honest-to-goodness citizen can bring about an honest-to-goodness motherland.

This Sunday, too, God gives us from the gospel of John two most important gifts, namely the Holy Spirit and Peace. The way St. John presented these gifts to us in his gospel is quite unique due to the problems his community was experiencing at the time of the writing of the gospel. They are the following:

a.)    There was confusion in that community of St. John caused by the death of the apostolic eye-witnesses and the difficulty of survival without any direct link to Jesus.
b.)    There was the anxiety caused by delayed second coming of Christ.

To give an answer to these two problems, the author of St. John’s gospel developed the theology of the Holy Spirit as the second Paraclete bringing the presence of the Resurrected Christ, the first Paraclete, (John 14:16) among believers. Through the Holy Spirit, the followers of Jesus would continue to know Him more in the circumstances and situations of their lives. Thereby they would be able to face the challenges of their lives better.  Therefore the link with the Resurrected Christ is forever established.

No wonder, in St. John’s gospel, there was that close resemblance of the Holy Spirit to Jesus. Virtually everything that has been said about the Paraclete has been said elsewhere in the gospel about Jesus.
Just as Jesus was sent by the Father (3:17), so would the Father send the Paraclete (14:26). In the same way that Jesus was said to be within his disciples and remain with them (14:20), 15; 4-5, 17:23, 26), so would the Paraclete be within and remain with Jesus’ disciples (14:17). Whereas the early Jesus guided his own in his truth (14:16), so would the Paraclete be their guide (16:13). In the same way that Jesus taught those who opened themselves to him (6:59, 7:14, 18, 8:20), the Paraclete would also teach (14:26).

One day, a cowardly chicken prays to the forest fairy to make him brave and courageous. The fairy grants his request by turning him into a tiger. However, when the chicken, now transformed into a tiger, meets a lion, it trembles in fear and runs away.

“Turning me into a tiger did not make me any braver,” the chicken complains to the fairy. “Please turn me into a lion.”

The fairy does as she is asked and turns the chicken into a lion. However, when the chicken, now transformed into a lion, meets an elephant, it runs away, overcome by its fear.

The chicken once more goes to the fairy and asks to be turned into an elephant. But when the chicken, now transformed into an elephant, meets a hunter, it runs away, scared as ever.

Approaching the fairy for help once again, the chicken asks to be turned into a man. While walking down the road, the chicken, now transformed into man, sees his own shadow and runs away in fear.

Seeing this, the fairy rebukes the chicken, “No matter what I turn you into, you will never be brave and courageous for as long as you have a chicken’s heart!”

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are ever present in us and can change the whole make-up of ourselves and our country even how weak we are. Let us have that living faith, especially in this most critical time of our history as a people.

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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