Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gospel Reflection

October 02, 2013
Wednesday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
by Rev. Fr. Jose Alan V. Dialogo, Parish Priest, Saint John of the Cross Parish, PEMBO Makati City
12:15PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)

Reading 1 Neh 2:1-8

In the month Nisan of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when the wine was in my charge, I took some and offered it to the king. As I had never before been sad in his presence, the king asked me, “Why do you look sad? If you are not sick, you must be sad at heart.” Though I was seized with great fear, I answered the king: “May the king live forever! How could I not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been eaten out by fire?” The king asked me, “What is it, then, that you wish?” I prayed to the God of heaven and then answered the king: “If it please the king, and if your servant is deserving of your favor, send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves, to rebuild it.” Then the king, and the queen seated beside him, asked me how long my journey would take and when I would return. I set a date that was acceptable to him, and the king agreed that I might go.

I asked the king further: “If it please the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of West-of-Euphrates, that they may afford me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah; also a letter for Asaph, the keeper of the royal park, that he may give me wood for timbering the gates of the temple-citadel and for the city wall and the house that I shall occupy.” The king granted my requests, for the favoring hand of my God was upon me.

Responsorial Psalm PS 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R. (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
Though there our captors asked of us
the lyrics of our songs,
And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
“Sing for us the songs of Zion!”
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
How could we sing a song of the LORD
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand be forgotten!
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
If I place not Jerusalem
ahead of my joy.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!

Gospel Mt 18:1-5, 10

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”


Good afternoon, brothers and sisters. Sino po ang naniniwala sa mga guardian angels, taas ang kamay (almost everyone raised hands). Mabuti naman at marami pa tayong naniniwala. Ang iba kasi hindi na naniniwala sa guardian angel.

Kilala n'yo ba ang guardian angel ninyo? (People say 'yes'.) Sino? May pangalan ba siya? (People say 'yes'.) Wow, may mga pangalan ha. Ang guardian angel ko ay 46 feet tall, kulot ang buhok. He is an angel of worship. Siguro dahil pari ako, kaya ang binigay sa aking guardian angel ay angel of worship. Siguro kung kayo ay masungit, ang guardian angel ninyo ay angel of patience.

According to our catechism, God sends us his angels. Each one of us has its own guardian angel. If Satan sends a dark angel, God has given us our guardian angel to watch over us and protect us in our life. It is sad because sometimes, we take our guardian angels for granted. When I was a newly ordained priest, I always call on my guardian angel. When I have masses outside the parish and I will already be late, at wala akong masakyang taxi, I call my guardian angel. I tell him, 'My guardian angel, male-late na po ako. Kapag hindi mo ako kinuha ng taxi, bahala ka kay Lord. (laughs) Pag na-late ako, isusumbong kita kay Lord, kasi ikaw ang guwardiya ko'. Alam n'yo, after one minute, nandiyan na ang taxi. This may be seemingly insignificant, but I have many simple experiences with my own guardian angel. They are there to guard us, they are there to protect us. We just have to call them, and ask for their help. I always travel to Bicol, and most of the time, I drive alone, and travel during midnight. I always call on my guardian angel to protect me and to guide me from all harm. I believe that my angel is always there. Maniwala po kayo, may guardian angel tayo.

Our guardian angels are real expressions of God's love for us, to protect us. They are expressions, manifestations that God continues to care for us, kahit na tayo po ay makasalanan. Our angels are God's gift to us, that we may not fall into Satan's hand. But we have to recognize them. We have to call them. We have to ask for their help, for their guidance and protection. Kasi, baka gusto nilang lumapit sa iyo para tulungan ka, pero ayaw mo naman, o hindi mo siya tinatawag. Tawagin n'yo sila, and you will feel their presence in our lives. God loves us; hindi Niya tayo pababayaan, hindi Niya hahayaang tayo ay mapariwara, that is why our guardian angels are always there. Huwag natin silang bale-walain. Let us call them, most especially in moments of temptation, in moments of confusion. Sometimes, we are blinded by our own minds, our own hearts, and our own values, so let's call on our own angels, our personal guardian angels.

Today, we also honor our 'Ina', Our Lady of Penafrancia, as we celebrate the last day of her stay here in the Shrine. Like the guardian angels, 'Ina' is also a gift to us by God. 'Ina', Our Lady of Penafrancia, is also God's manifestation of His unceasing love for us. 'Ina' is always there to be our mother. I remember an experience when I was in Lourdes, France. While waiting for my friend priests, may nakatabi akong isang matandang babae na Caucasian, at nagkwentuhan kami. And I discovered that the lady is a Buddhist and that her husband, a Singaporean, is an atheist. So I asked them why there were at the Our Lady of Lourdes. The lady told me, 'Your God has also given us Mama Mary.' Di ba, tinawag din niyang Mama Mary, ang Mama natin ha. She said, 'Mama Mary has been so good to us. Mama Mary loves us also, even if we are unbelievers of your God'. In my own reflection, even among the non-believers, God manifests His love for them through Mama Mary. That is why even non-Catholics or non-believers experience Mama Mary's love - God's love through her.

Our dear 'Ina', Our Lady of Penafrancia, is known for her 'manto' or cloak. I have been a devotee of 'Ina' since I was a child. Lumaki po ako sa Naga kaya nakilala ko na po si 'Ina'. And I can attribute my vocation to 'Ina'. She is known for her 'manto', and in the history of the Our Lady of Penafrancia, marami na pong gumaling sa 'manto' ni 'Ina'. That is why even in other countries, they request the 'manto' of 'Ina'. In fact, I have named a project of mine - a children's village - after 'Ina'. I, myself, have experienced the love and protection and assurance of 'Ina'. I always come to 'Ina' whenever I am in crisis, whenever I experience difficulties in life, whenever I need the embrace of a mother, and I experience extraordinary peace. And today, we will also experience the 'manto' of 'Ina' - our Lady's mantle of love - which is God's manifestation of love for us. You can ask the intercession of 'Ina' for your own healing, not only physical, but also spiritual and emotional healing for yourself, and that of your loved ones, even if they are not here. In this mass, we ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Penafrancia, as we honor her in this celebration of the Eucharist.