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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Kumusta Ka Na?


Ascension of the Lord
24 May 2020


First reading                                                                        Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Second reading                                                        Ephesians 1:17-23

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel                                                                     Matthew 28:16-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflection
By Gary Tulabut

As we were entering February this year, I remember posting “Feb Be Good” as my Facebook status. Of course, this has something to do with Taal Volcano erupting to start the year. In my introduction as a co-preacher at The Feast in San Fernando, I even mentioned this and of course asked the congregation how they were coping up.

Then as we entered March, I was on stage again asking the congregation how they were doing, because after the Taal eruption, we were then about to face something we are not yet ready to face - Covid-19 pandemic - that we are now experiencing. I even added the recent Kobe Bryant’s death just to paint a picture of what’s going on in the world.

But, of course, in both instances, what I delivered was a message of hope; that God is in control, and that our God is bigger than our problems.

Now, three months later, kumusta ka na? How are we doing so far? How many versions of the quarantine did we already have? Can we still do it? How long can we last?

Today, I still give the same message: GOD IS IN CONTROL. GOD IS BIGGER THAN ALL OUR PROBLEMS.

I am not an expert in advising what should or should not be done in our present situation. But here are my priorities: first priority is our health and survival. As a famous business giant was quoted in social media, “Success during these times is to be alive.” So that should be our priority. Let’s not get sick.  

Then we must have a plan, how to stretch our income. This is the time to stop buying non-essentials. Plan how to make money during these times also. Let us think of a one year situation. Or, might as well listen to experts on until when shall we be experiencing this.

Let us not forget to help others who are helpless. Then improve ourselves. I believe in prospering ourselves in times of crisis, so that when all these is over, we are on top of our game. 

And then surrender everything to the Lord. 

Do you have doubts that we will get through this?

In today's Gospel, Jesus was about to leave His disciples. It was also mentioned they doubted. Why did they doubt? What did they doubt?

Probably with all the things that has happened to them and to Jesus during those times they doubted if they could survive the trials that they would be facing. Now, Jesus was even leaving them. And Jesus even left them with great responsibility— to make disciples of all nations. 

But of course, let us not forget what Jesus promised. That He will be with them, and us, till the end. 

Do you have doubts? Let us hold on to His promises. He will be with us till the end.

Prayer

Lord, Jesus, forgive me if I sometimes doubt. May I always be reminded of Your promise that You will be with us till the end. Amen.

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