PDEA Declares Robredo's Hometown Naga as Shabu Capital of the Philippines Following Multiple Arrests
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has now declared Naga City the Drug capital of the Philippines following the latest ...
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25: 14-30
For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return, I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that you don’t want me to live my life in fear. Only one type of fear is legitimate: the fear of losing you. Because I know you will never leave me, I am not afraid of this either. I know that I can lose you only if I leave you. Jesus, I place my hope in you and offer you all my love.
Petition: Heavenly Father, grant me the grace of increased hope and trust in you.
1. To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected: At times, life can seem a little overwhelming, and we can feel we just don’t have what it takes. Then we are reminded of a certain truth: Christ never gives us more than we can handle! When Christ gives us a mission or allows a temptation, he always provides the talents and grace to complete that mission or resist that temptation. What, then, is there to be afraid of? Each of us has been given a certain amount of talents; thus, we are expected to bear a certain amount of fruit. We are not expected to bear fruit beyond the talents we have been given. Each of us is faithful to the degree in which we glorify God by using our talents!
2. There Is Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself: St. John tells us that “God is love.” There is, then, only one proper response to him: love. It is amazing to think that we can fear him who is described simply as “love.” We might fear what will happen in the future – college, job, family, and so on – but does this really solve anything? If we look into the past, it’s easy to see that many of our fears were unfounded and unrealized. So why is this fear present? Satan will use any means to separate us from our God who is love. If he can’t get us to fall by committing sin, he paints a picture that might make us fear or fall into discouragement. It has been said that “after mortal sin our biggest enemy is discouragement.” Our faults keep us humble, aware that we are always in need of Christ. No disposition brings greater joy to the heart of Christ than that of a humble, trustful child.
3. Take a Risk for Christ: Christ took the ultimate risk for me! He died knowing full well that I might not choose him, and yet the small chance that I would, far outweighed the chance that I would reject him. Again I am reminded that Christ didn’t die for a whole mass of people, but that he died for each of us individually: He died for me! Jesus, I want to be like the first disciples who loved you with an unrestrained love. I want to go out on a limb for you! I want to offer my life for the salvation of one soul, knowing full well that he might not choose you!
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I know that you do not want me to be afraid of failure. I know that if I try my hardest for you, there will be no such thing. Please help me always to fight courageously in order to better myself for your glory.
Resolution: Today, when the opportunity presents itself, I will speak to someone about Christ.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
The Philippine Supreme Court (SC) has ruled on the issue of the burial of former Philippine President Ferdinand E Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). Nine SC justices (Arturo Brion, Presbitero Velasco Jr, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Teresita de Castro, Jose Mendoza, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe) voted in favour of the burial while only five (Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno herself, and Justices Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardaleza, and Caguioa) voted against it. The Marcos burial at the LNMB was something that was promised by current President Rodrigo Duterte during his campaign before he went on to win the presidential elections this year.
The ruling ends almost 30 years of uncertainty surrounding the remains of the former president who died in 1989 while in exile in Hawaii. A decision by then President Fidel Ramos to allow Marcos’s remains to be brought back to the Philippines in 1993 re-kindled hope that his body would eventually find its way to the LNMB someday.
In a speech delivered before a small crowd protesting the burial at the Rizal Park last Sunday, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III described the prospect of a Marcos burial there as a “desecration” of the cemetery…
“The pro[burial] seems to be one group. The antiburial seems to be so many groups, and in a sense representing the whole political spectrum … I still cling to the hope that there are a lot, if not a very significant majority, who are against this burial and the desecration of Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Aquino said.
Since Marcos’s ouster in 1986, anti-Marcos activists have mounted sporadic protests against the continued persistence in Philippine politics of Marcos’s children and other family members who, since that “revolution”, have been elected to various positions in the Executive and Legislative branches of the Philippine government. Most recently, his only son former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr came close to winning the Vice Presidency in the 2016 elections — a loss that remains shrouded in controversy amidst electoral fraud allegations that remain unresolved and will likely put the legitimacy of the supposed “vice president”, Leni Robredo, in question for the rest of her term.
As if it weren’t enough that these protests were sporadic, at best, and the fact of the Marcoses’ continued prominence in Philippine politics is an on-going indictment of that merdiocre “activism”, there is also the fact that the top architects of Marcos’s supposedly brutal “Martial Law regime”, former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and the former chief of the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary (Marcos’s purported Gestapo), General Fidel Ramos, also went scott-free after the 1986 “revolution”. Even more amazing, both Enrile and Ramos went on to pursue successful political careers with Enrile becoming Senate President and Ramos elected president.
In short, there really is nothing surprising nor outrageous about Marcos’s iminent burial at the LNMB. It is just the logical conclusion of several decades of failed anti-Marcos “activism”. The noisy community of Martial Law Crybabies have no one else to blame but themselves.
Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary TimeFather Edward Hopkins, LC
Then Jesus told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, Lord, for you are mine and have proved your love for me. I trust you, for you have never let me down and know what is best for my life. I love you Lord for all your gifts. I desire to love and to do your will.
Petition: Teach me to pray always, Lord.
1. Becoming Weary: We can become weary in prayer when we don’t see results. This happens because either we have a distorted idea of prayer, or we have taken on worldly views that undermine our appreciation for its true value, or simply because we experience what seems to be failure in prayer (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2726-2728). Prayer is a gift and comes from the Holy Spirit. It is neither a machine nor a magic formula. It requires effort on our part, for it is an act of love, self-giving. Prayer works if I persevere and allow God to act. Sometimes I will not see its effects. To continue to seek God in prayer is already the best fruit of prayer. Do I depend on him?
2. The Judge: If prayer is about giving myself and depending more on God, then it becomes a question of how I understand God. I depend only on those I trust, and I trust only those who have proven their love and ability to support me. Do I really believe God is all good, all-loving and all-powerful? Do I believe he cares about me? God for us is a judge, but so much more. He is first of all a loving father and a dedicated, unconditional savior and lover. As a loving Father he wants our trusting dependence. He wants us to believe.
3. The Chosen Ones: Who are we for God? We are more than simple creatures, more than worthless slaves. We are beloved children, for whom he died and to whom he gives everything. We are the frustrated scholars and broken lovers that he desires to raise up to share his infinite truth and love. We are chosen ones, chosen for him, for happiness, forever. Out of the darkness and slavery of sin, he frees us so that his glory will shine in us. Now, if we are all this and more for God, why do we doubt in prayer? Let us place all our confidence in him.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord Jesus, increase my knowledge of your love for me. Help me to trust you in my everyday life. Open my heart to persevere in prayer. Grant me the humility to see how I need to pray, always and in so many ways. Teach me what prayer is and how to do it well for love of you.
Resolution: Throughout the day, I will dedicate myself to simple, small invocations and prayers that express my love, gratitude and trust in God.