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  • parishworks! 1Vol. 7 No. 42 January 21, 2012

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    Pastors MessageRenewing Faith,Doing Missionby: Msgr. Dennis S. Odiver

    Come after me; I will make you fishers of men. (Mk.1: 17) These words of Jesus were so powerful that those addressed practically left everything to be with Him. Their response was immediate, unreserved and heartfelt.

    The gospel today becomes truly relevant as the Church calls us to commemorate the Year of the Mission and the Year of Faith. A grace-filled year of faith proclaimed, celebrated and lived for the mission of bringing people to friendship with Jesus.

    We must take and accept this task to heart by:

    Learning and relearning the truths of the faith. We must be able to know them and profess them with conviction, confidence and credibility; Understanding, appreciating and receiving the sacraments. We must make our liturgy beautiful, orderly and holy; and, integrating the experience of Jesus in living and loving relationships with others. We must strengthen our exercise of charity.

    The disciples of Jesus were ordinary individuals. Yet, being with Jesus, they were transformed to be His effective witnesses of joy, love and peace. They performed and accomplished extraordinary feats for Christ and His kingdom. Like them, we have had our own personal encounter with Jesus. Now is our turn to make this faith work and do mission for Him.

    Year of Mission highlights need for renewal of faith among faithful

    MANILA, Jan. 15, 2012The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines declaration of 2012 as Year of the Mission highlights the need for renewal of faith and missionary spirit among faithful as more and more people veer away from the Catholic Church and its teachings.

    Gods love letters!By Susan Amoroso

    How do we in the Catholic faith, understand, live, propagate and teach the Word of God? Verbum Domini (latin for Word of the Lord) is central to our faith. Consider this bible verse:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word became flesh. (Jn 1:1, 14).

    The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church is the subject matter of the 12th Ordinary Synodal General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2008 on which was based the Verbum Domini Exhortation issued by Pope Benedict XVI.

    Verbum Domini deals with how the Catholic Church

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    Gods Love Letters... from page 1

    Short Reflections On the EucharistBy Rev Fr. Melchor Boyet Montalbo, Jr. Ph.D.

    The small booklet is fairly easy to read. It is about the reverence of the Mass. In the beginning of it highlights Pope John Paul II and the Holy Eucharist. The love and devotion we put in daily or even Sunday Mass may seem altogether routine at times. This is truly a blessing and not just one of the sacraments. Pope John Paul declared that we may rekindle our amazement and appreciation and love for the most precious sacrament. Pope John Paul stated in his encyclical that, the Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation. We also do need to have a continuous conversion. That is why the Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance or Confession are closely connected. Pope John Paul states that, in order to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner, one must first confess ones sins, when one is aware of mortal sin.

    We forget how divine these actions are when God becomes human for our sake and for the whole of hu-manity. The Lords presence commands a quietness of the soul in order to make our intentions clear. When we kneel and pray these simple actions can let us experience the embrace that we can feel openly. God embraces all our weaknesses, sorrows, worries and fears. So when it is time that the priest, the representative of Christ lifts up the chalice and the host- we venerate. We bow our heads. This is the time we lift up everything to God. All our sac-rifices, hopes, dreams, aspirations, our deepest longings we can offer to Him freely. As if to say, Its all up to you. Lord. Or in Tagalog, Panginoon, Ikaw na ang ba-hala sa akin. The Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ. When we offer all this for Him, it becomes more real to us- the meaning of the Eucharist.

    The booklet also talks about Mary and the Eucharist, the practice of adoration of the Eucharist outside Mass, the Eucharist and priesthood and a brief note on the abuses against the Sacrament.

    Book Pick of the Week

    should approach the Bible.

    First, Verbum Domini teaches that without the leading of the Holy Spirit the faithful could not understand and reflect on the full meaning of the holy scriptures as contained in the Bible.

    The faithful or Catholics are exhorted or urged, not just encouraged to pray and read the Bible. Reading the Bible alone is not enough. Prayers and reflection are very important.

    Father Edison D. Escario speaking before lay leaders of the St. Andrew the Apostle Parish said, prayer should follow reading the Bible. Reading should follow prayer.

    Father Escario was invited by Monsignor Dennis S. Odiver to speak on Verbum Domini and its significance to the laity.

    He said the scriptures must be read within the context of the living Church, within the Church, for the Church and was compiled by the Church.

    He said our encounter with Christ as the central figure of our faith is the center of mystery of Christian faith.

    Secondly, the holy scriptures alone are not the sole basis of our faith. The Catholic Church has always denied a religion based on the Book or bookish religion. Our

    faith encompasses three major inter-related realities in the Church namely:(1) Jesus Christ,(2) Word of God, words preached by the Apostles, and (3) sacred scriptures.

    Thus the Catholic Church foundation is based on the holy scriptures and on tradition meaning the teachings of the Apostles handed down by generations through the ages.

    Father Escario said that women has special role in evangelization. Women are good communicators and can be effective in propagating the faith.

    Every household must have a bible which must be regularly read and pondered upon because the Bible is Gods love letter to His people.

    Christ must be the center of every marriage.God is the binder between the husband and the wife. The preaching of the word of God must start with the family.

    Finally, Father Escario said that the Bible Association of the Philippines is studying ways and means on how to make reading the Bible attractive to the laity particularly to the youth and to the young urban professionals or yuppies.

    Questions on what kind of Bible lingo should be used and adopted to reach the different segments of the laity Church were discussed and debated upon.

  • parishworks! 3

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    Year of Mission... from page 1

    St. Charles of Sezze(1613-1670), January 18

    Born in Sezze, southeast of Rome, Charles was inspired by the lives of Salvator Horta and Paschal Baylon to become a Franciscan; he did that in 1635. Charles tells us in his autobiography, Our Lord put in my heart a determination to become a lay brother with a great desire to be poor and to beg alms for his love. Out of veneration for the Virgin Mother of God, he made a vow of chastity at the age of seventeen, and he preserved it faithfully. For hours he would stare at images of the Saints and studied every detail of their lives. Charles served as cook, porter, sacristan, gardener and beggar at various friaries in Italy. In some ways, he was an accident waiting to happen. He once started a huge fire in the kitchen when the oil in which he was frying onions burst into flames.

    This reality was pointed out by Marawi Bishop Edwin Angot de la Pea, MSP after the launching ceremonies of the Year of the Mission at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus in Pasay City Saturday, when he said that the Catholic Church needs to do everything it could to keep its flock and win back those who have left.

    The Year of the Mission simply wants to keep the peoples faith alive because people are moving away from Jesus Christ and it seems we are a very distracted people with so many things that pull us out of our faith, he said.

    The 57-year old prelate said it appears the Filipinos expression of their faith is cultural and sometimes to the point of fanaticism.

    He added the faithful should experience Jesus in their lives and such a situation should challenge Church people, priests, religious and lay.

    Spirituality is what is needed by the people, he emphasized.

    Asked as to what causes all the distraction, De la Pea said advances in technology pull people away from faith along with advances in Science which continue to separate people from the faith of their forebears.

    Somehow, we have lost the sense of the divine, he said.

    Meanwhile, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Mission executive secretary Fr. Socrates C. Mesiona, said there is a need to fan the flame of missionary


    He noted the two big Church events that happened in the country, both of which emphasized the role of missionaries, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991 and the National Mission Congress held in

    Cebu in 2000.

    The time has come to [re]kindle the missionary enthusiasm specifically among the young, he said.

    He said that after eight decades of its establishment in the Philippines, still very few people know of the Pontifical Mission Societies existence.

    Mesiona said they are trying to introduce lay vocation in the mission.

    The priest also expressed alarm at the de-Christianization of Europe and the Americas which only underscores the connection between the declaratio


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