FR. FROILAN BRIONES,SSS, said last Sunday’s Gospelfrom Luke 4:21-30 is about prejudice and discrimination.In the Gospel, Jesus narratedtwo stories in the Old Testamentwhere God helped the non-Jewsand foreigners alike.
The rst, about a famine in
the time of Elijah. The prophetis sent by God to farawayZarephath outside of Israel.There, he meets a widow andher son. Elijah asks the womanfor food. All the widow has are
little our and oil for her and her
child. Nevertheless, she makesa meal for Elijah. Then, she is
rewarded with a jar of our and
a jug of oil that never runs out.The other story is aboutlepers during the time of Elishawhen there was still no cure for leprosy. Naaman, a foreigner stricken with the same disease,asks the prophet to heal him.Elisha instructs the man towash himself in the river Jordan seven times. His leprosymiraculously disappears.Fr. Briones said the Jewsthought highly of themselvesand looked down on allforeigners, so they got offendedafter hearing Jesus’ stories asthey felt Jesus was challengingtheir beliefs. So they plotted tokill Jesus.God’s grace is for all,Fr. Briones reminded us. Heencouraged everyone togive love the Christian way
as dened in Paul’s second
letter to the Corinthians. Fr.Briones lamented the manydivisions in our society. Hesaid all these would be brokenif we remember that we are allmembers of God’s family.
-- Cessna Papas
All Preciousin God’s Eyes
“WHO wants to become rich?”Bro. Bo Sanchez asked assoon as he went onstage, andthe Feast attendees roared asthey raised their hands. Bro.Bo then immediately warnedthe crowd that the new series,
Happy, Healthy, Holy Money,
will be about something that wewon’t hear from other preachers because not all preachers talk about money.But, Bro. Bo pointedout, we should talk aboutmoney because God wantsus to have an abundant lifeas expressed in James 1:17:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down fromthe Father...”
Bro. Bo explained thatGod doesn’t mind us becomingrich-- on one condition: that wewill be rich on the inside beforewe become rich on the outside.
If we are rich on the inside rst,
we can handle the money thatwill come in. Bro. Bo pointed
out that money is a magnicentmagnier. If we are greedy andselsh, money will just magnifyour greed and selshness. But
if we are good, money willmagnify the good in us.So how do we usemoney? Bro. Bo referred us toPsalms 35:27: “..
.Let the Lord
be magnied who has pleasure
in the prosperity of His servant.”
Bro. Bo said God takes pleasure in our prosperity.But we are squeamish about becoming rich because we’veoften been told that money can’t buy happiness. So we’ve had bad relationship with money.He said, however, that there arethree kinds of rich people:
The Filthy Rich
Bo said that the lthy richare those who are greedy, selsh,
and sometimes cruel people.The reason people can say thatmoney can’t buy happiness is
because of the lthy rich. Bro.
Bo said they are like Gollum in
the lm trilogy
The Lord of the Rings
who, at rst was normal
but who became a monster when he desired to possess thering that he heard would makehim powerful. Similarly, if you
become a lthy rich man, you
don’t possess money but money possesses you.
The Guilty Rich
The guilty rich arethe people who are usuallyabundantly blessed, good,church-going, and Bible-reading people-- rich people who are notcomfortable with their wealth.An example is a woman whoearns a lot of money but is stillnot happy. It turned out thatwhen she was young, talksabout money were shunned intheir house because her parents
thought gaining prot was
bad. Bro. Bo said he advisedthe woman to read his bookson wealth and attend the Feastregularly to slowly change her mindset on money.Bro. Bo cited a surveyamong 150,000 persons to
nd out who are the happiest
countries in the world. Surveyresults showed less fortunatecountries, including thePhilippines, were in the top 10while rich countries like France,Germany, Japan, and Americaranked among the lowest with
Singapore, a rich rst-world
country, at the bottom of the list.The survey, Bro. Bo pointed out, shows that moneycan’t really buy happiness.But, he said, desiring to bewealthy is not about buyinghappiness. God designed moneyto increase helpfulness-- asstated in 1 Timothy 5:8:
if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for
members of his household, he
has denied the faith and is worse
than an unbeliever.”
The Truly Rich
Bro. Bo said the TrulyRich is the person who useshis money to help others. Hesaid it is our moral obligation to
be nancially stable, and even
earn more, not for ourselves for we should not be thinking of just ourselves, but the peoplearound us who need our help. He
specically addressed fathers
who, he said, have two major tasks: to provide for their familyand to teach their children,especially their sons, how toearn money.Bro. Bo prophesied thatif we will follow the teachingon being Truly Rich, in10-20 years, we will be therichest good people in thePhilippines. If we just continueour search for abundance tohelp people, we will becomemulti-millionaires.
-- Mark Villacorte Photos by ELS
TERESA DUMADAG sharedlast Sunday at the Feast howGod provided for her one time
she suffered a nancial crisis.
She said one day, she justdidn’t have enough money--not even for groceries for her family. She reviewed her budgetover and over again but she justcouldn’t solve her dilemma.Mustering enough faith,she asked God to help her.Throughout the week, however,there seemed to be no solutionto her problem. Undaunted, sheCome Monday, surprise!Someone bought the car she had been trying to sell for so long--at a price that more than met her immediate needs.Teresa thus shared two of God’s promises that have been
fullled for her:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and thelove you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
-- Hebrews 6:10
And God is able to bless
you abundantly, so that in all
things at all times, having all
that you need, you will abound in every good work.
-- 2 Corinthians 9:8remained faithful to God, givingher tithe at the Feast, evenas she didn’t know how shewould make both ends meet thefollowing week.
THE FEAST February 10, 2013