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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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April 24, 2018 - Nobody Can Steal From Jesus

April 24, 2018 - Nobody Can Steal From Jesus

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 10: 22-30

The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. 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."

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, I believe you are who you say you are. Thank you for granting me this gift of faith. You came so that we, the lost sheep, may be found. Thank you. You brought us knowledge of who we are and what we are worth.

Petition: Lord, help me to hear your voice when you are calling in the night.

1. Kept in Suspense: Suspense is a state or a character of being undecided or doubtful. How many times have we been in suspense, waiting for Christ to do amazing things in our lives, doubting that he could save such lowly sinners like ourselves? Are we undecided in believing in Christ? He has already told us and shown us through his works who and what he is. We are to be his sheep and await him; sheep know their shepherd’s voice, and they follow their shepherd. Then we can await eternal life. Suspense also means “to have a pleasant excitement as to a decision or an outcome.” What is the outcome of life? It is true salvation, and it is eternity with the heavenly Father. Today, as in every day, we should have a “pleasant excitement” in waiting for our outcome. As we go to bed at night we should look at Christ and say, “Another day closer to heaven.”

2. Spiritually Blind: Christ is always standing right beside us. What in our lives is blinding us from seeing him? In human terms, seeing comes through the senses. However, we need a spiritual connection with our Lord in order to see him: The spirit replaces human sight. Once that connection is made, we see God everywhere: in people, in charitable actions, in the beauty of nature. Then, we see him in ourselves. When we see Christ in us, we begin to have peace and assurance that we may yield abundantly.

3. Yield Harvest: Christ’s peace flows in us when we are open and begin to see the path to salvation. Think about how the water of spring rain brings forth life that yields a good harvest. We believe in living water. This living water provides us peace and harmony in Christ. It fills us and brings forth in us work accomplished in peace. Believing and abiding in Christ yield great successes, rich harvests. Let us be watered by trust and bear much fruit in the name of Christ. Come, Lord Jesus.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you have called me many times. Many times I have turned a deaf ear to you, not believing that you could carry my burdens. Help me today, Lord, to believe in you; help me to testify to you, Lord; help me to be amongst your sheep that I may follow you. When I think it is too hard, help me to seek you in prayer and see what you have told me to believe, so that I may have eternal life in you and through you.

Resolution: Today I will speak to at least one person about God’s infinite love and mercy.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Facebook Truth Censors Rappler and Vera Files Slept In the Noodle House As Viral Videos Slurring Congressman Andaya Spreads

Perhaps the ecstacy of being ordained as Facebook’s “truth” censors left people at Rappler and Vera Files bathing so deeply in the afterflow that they slept through the carnage of a Facebook viral video carrying false claims against Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur First District Representative Rolando Andaya Jr.
As with most viral videos aimed at destroying reputations, this one did give the context of the incident and presented only the details which would compel people to react negatively towards the subject of the video.
(Courtesy @NetizenComix)
Because, in order to truly judge the truth or falsity of a story, great care must be taken to tell the story in the right context and present the reader with all the relevant details.
In the words of the Journalist Code of Ethics by the Philippine Press Institute, journalists such as those from Rappler and Vera files must “scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis.”
In short, fact checking for Facebook demands that Rappler and Vera Files play the role of news editor to every single Filipino Facebook user. Otherwise, Facebook, Rappler, and Vera files will most certainly fail in their sworn mission to filter out false news stories.
The fuller context of the video published by Facebook page Bicol Politics showing Andaya being driven out and then shouting outside a police precinct has to do with the Naga Airport expansion project and an ongoing crusade by Congressman Andaya to ensure just compensation for the farmers that will be displaced by the infrastructure project.
According to a friend from Naga, Second District of Camarines Sur Representative Lray Villafuerte through his various agents were forcing farmers to sell them their land at P8.00 per square meter and Villafuerte in turn would sell the land to the government at P300.00 per square meter.
Before Andaya was seen shouting outside the police precinct, farmers had come to him seeking help after members of a group called Sagip Kalikasan blocked the road leading to their fields with truck loads of sand and gravel.
The farmers, upon seeing the people from Sagip Kalikasan who blocked the road to their fields, apprehended them. In retaliation, the Sagip Kalikasan people went to the police precinct where they accompanied by Congressman Villafuerte in filing a police blotter report.
My friend from Naga claims that Villafuerte’s very presence at the police precinct was an attempt to show he had control of the police in the area in order to intimidate the farmers and keep them from contesting the claims made by Sagip Kalikasan against them.
Unwilling to be cowed, the farmers sought out Congressman Andaya to help them stand up against Villafuerte’s attempt to unjustly deprive them of their land.
Andaya went to the police precinct to seek out Villafuerte and that was when a heated confrontation took place. It isn’t clear if it was the police or Villafuerte’s people that pushed Andaya out of the police precinct.
Instead of including the plight of the farmers seemingly being forced from their land, Bicol Politic’s video sought to portray Andaya running amuck without provocation. Malice seems apparent in how Bicol Politics captioned its video, where it said“ Andaya violently attacks Sagip Kalikasan personnel; video captures his Satanic attitude”
In the accompanying description it said:
Rolando Andaya Jr., congressmen of the first district of Camarines Sur, harassed with utmost ferocity the personnel of Sagip Kalikasan who are guarding the area for the re-orientation and upgrading of the Naga Airport and, as can be seen in the video, pursued them in the police station, revealing his demonic attitude.
Andaya, who dubbed himself as Satan in a press conference, can be seen in the video below confronting Cong. Lray Villafuerte with eyes red, words unpolished and gestures that can be compared to a drug addict instead of an honorable lawmaker.
Cong. Vilafuerte was in the police station to give aid to the Sagip Kalikasan personnel after receiving reports of Andaya’s abuses against them.
Bicol Politic’s video was all over my newsfeed as well as on Facebook messenger and there was no mistaking that it had been heavily promoted. The video has garnered 540,000 views as of this writing.
Bicol Politic’s claim that Andaya attacked members of Sagip Kalikasan was demolished by the video of a TV News Report. In this longer video, Andaya was not seen talking to or coming into physical contact with any of the Sagip Kalikasan members and thus, on the basis of that video could not be claimed to have attacked or harassed them.
Moreover, the video shows that it was Andaya who was being restrained and pushed away by people — it is unclear whether they were police or people from Villafuerte’s side.
With the season of political campaigns coming in, there will be hundreds of such videos as well as articles surfacing almost everyday containing claims disparaging one politician or another.
Considering how Bicol Politics was able to freely propagate a distorted and untruthful version of the Andaya-Villafuerte confrontation, I think it would be prudent to assume that Rappler and Vera Files may have grossly overestimated their capability to act as fact checkers.
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About Paul Farol

Try not to take me too seriously.

http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2018/04/facebook-truth-censors-rappler-and-vera-files-slept-in-the-noodle-house-as-viral-videos-slurring-congressman-andaya-spreads/

April 23, 2018 - Going Through the Gate

April 23, 2018 - Going Through the Gate

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter 
Father Steven Reilly, LC

John 10:1-10

Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. So, Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are here with me. This time with you now in prayer is the most important time in my day. I know that you have prepared many graces for me. I wish to take advantage of them with grateful fervor.

Petition: Lord, help me to go through the gate! May I hear no other voices but yours!

1. Jesus Is the Gate: We all want to be happy. There is no one on the face of the planet who would consciously choose to be frustrated and miserable. Yet how is it that so many people unconsciously choose to be, or are missing the boat on what really makes life worthwhile? Jesus is the gate! If we truly want to fulfill our deepest human aspirations, we have to know and love Jesus Christ. As long as Jesus is second to anything or anyone in our life, we have not fully passed through the gate. Taking the plunge and truly passing through the gate is the best decision we could ever make.

2. The Voice of Strangers: If we don’t go through the gate, we are vulnerable. Those who are not fully committed may find the offers of strangers quite enticing. But Christ’s sheep reject those voices out of fidelity to their Shepherd. Perseverance in our Catholic faith and our Catholic lifestyle requires a constant effort to refocus on the Lord. Even if we are besieged by a cacophony of competing voices, the voice of the Lord will always rise above that din. We must be faithful. Our prayer life is the privileged place to screen out the noise and truly hear Christ, which is why our prayer is the most important time of the day. How vibrant is my prayer life?

3. Abundant Life: The effort to go through the gate and to listen only to the voice of the Good Shepherd pays abundant dividends. “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” What is that life like? Put simply, there’s nothing like it. The abundant life that Christ gives us is the indwelling presence of the Holy Trinity in one’s soul. It is the love that envelops authentically Christian homes and communities. It is the peace that comes from a conscience that has experienced forgiveness and is committed to living in the truth. What could anyone give us that can possibly compare to all of this?

 Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I thank you for this time we have spent together. Many times I have allowed other voices to distract me from yours. I pledge to walk the path of fidelity to you. Grant me the grace to persevere always and to give others an example to help them through the gate.

Resolution: I will reach out to a relative who is estranged from the Church, reflecting some of the love of Christ the Good Shepherd with hopes it will direct him or her to the gate.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ph employers hire college grads for work that requires only hi-school grads just because they can

That was the promise back when end-to-end primary and secondary education became a 12-year course for Filipinos. Under that set-up, it was expected that graduates of Year 12 would be ready for the workforce. Indeed, there are many types of work out there, many of them high-paying white collar-work, that the average high school graduate could theoretically perform. But the current mindset from the employer side tells a different story, however. Philippine employers currently require university grads to do even the most clerical or administrative types of work.
The most widely-discussed problem is the perceived skill gap between a high school grad and a university grad. The more confronting reality, however, is that there is such a huge gap between the quality of grads coming from elite private schools and those of lower-tier public schools that a graduate of an elite private high school will likely be seen as more employable than a college graduate of a non-elite school. This gap needs to be addressed as well, but it will require much investment in the public education system to bring it to parity with private institutions.
Ultimately, the problem has the most to do with simple supply-and-demand economics. The Philippines’ labour supply is so enormous that it utterly dwarfs demand. As a result, the Philippine labour market is an employers’ market. Employers enjoy a vast abundance of options and are at liberty to choose. Competition is so tight on the jobseekers’ (supply) side that university grads are willing to fill roles that high school graduates would have been qualified for. As such it is not uncommon in the Philippines to find department store sales clerks and bank tellers who are university graduates.
That supply-and-demand issue alone weighs in so large that it makes it difficult to conceive of any other initiative that could make a dent in the prevalent behaviours of Filipino employers around recruiting overqualified personnel just because they can. One solution that could be explored is granting government subsidies to businesses that employ fresh high school graduates or take graduating students into internship or apprenticeship programs. Such programs could potentially allow high-school graduates to compete on a more equal footing with university graduates over the long run.
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About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2018/04/ph-employers-hire-college-grads-for-work-that-requires-only-hi-school-grads-just-because-they-can/

April 22, 2018 - I Lay Down My Life

April 22, 2018 - I Lay Down My Life

Fourth Sunday of Easter
 
John 10:11-18

Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for this opportunity to be with you in prayer. My heart is ready to listen to your words of eternal life so that I may choose to follow you more closely on the path of true love.

Petition: Lord, may I be faithful to your will in my life.

1. I Lay It Down: The Father entrusted Christ with a mission. Christ was to bring about our salvation through a life of unlimited self-giving, even to the point of giving his own life. Being God, he could repay the Father for our sins; being man he could identify with our fallen humanity and raise its dignity so that we might become the Father’s children. Christ was the perfect bridge between fallen man and an infinitely holy God. His mission of bridging this chasm came about through freely accepting the will of the Father. Our Lord would receive nothing in return, and yet he was faithful even to the point of death.

2. On My Own: Jesus was not ordered to give himself for our sins. He offered himself. Freedom is best used when it willingly embraces God’s will, whatever the cost might be. We have to remember that Jesus knew what lay beyond his preaching and his miracles: the road to Calvary. He spent many nights in prayer on the Mount of Olives in preparation for his hour. He foretold his fate to his disciples and continued forward towards this end despite their misunderstanding. And in the end, when the hour came, he proved faithful. When the hour of darkness sought him, he stepped forward to say, “I am he.” Christ never flinched in front of God’s will. He felt its weight. Sorrow flooded his heart. An easier path tugged at his humanity. But he proved that love is stronger than death, that true freedom can defeat sin and master it.

3. A Life of Love: Perhaps offering ourselves to God frightens us. What will he ask? What will I have to leave behind? Will I be able to do it? However, fear vanishes when we live out of love, like Christ. We need to remember that the Father asked him to die for us, and then look at the fruits this bore! Taking on our humanity, he left behind the splendor of his divinity and raised us to a new level. He did the impossible by bearing the weight of all our sins. He trusted in the Father to give him strength. Today we might be asked to die more to our self-love, to leave behind a vice we have been struggling with or to trust that with grace we can live a truly Christian life in a world hostile to Christianity. In the end, if we love Christ, we will not be frightened because he has already shown us the way –– and he has already conquered.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, give me the courage to be a faithful Christian at all times and in all places, with whomever I meet and in whatever I say. Help me to give testimony to who you are.

Resolution: I will offer one concrete act of self-mastery for love of Christ today.