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A Catholic Prayer Meeting of the LIGHT OF JESUS FAMILY July 29, 2012
sage cial Mes Spe Today
I READ a beautiful story from Connie Podesta. She said she met this incredible woman who’s been married for 53 years. Amazingly, this woman was still working and she still had a great job, earning big money. And sometimes, her job would take her to various parts of the country. That year, however, her husband decided to retire. But he told his wife his reservations. He said, “I’m a bit afraid. Because you’re earning and I’m not. You may decide you don’t need me anymore…” His wife said, “I really don’t need you. I’ve never needed you. I don’t need you for the money. I don’t need you to give my life meaning. That’s not your job. That’s my job.” And then she held his hand and smiled at her husband of 53 years… “But when I’m traveling, and instead of staying in a five-star hotel, I take a midnight flight, and crawl in bed beside you, not because I need you— but because being with you is where I want to be.” Do you know the problem of most relationships? We confuse love with need. We think we love when in fact we need. We see the other person as a way of completing what is lacking in us, to meet our deepest needs of worth, fulfillment, security…
Today, I receive all of God’s love for me. Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless, overflowing abundance of God’s universe. Today, I open myself to God’s blessings, healing, and miracles. Today, I open myself to God’s Word So I would become More like Jesus every day. Today, I proclaim that I am God’s beloved, I am God’s servant, I am God’s powerful champion. And because I am blessed, I am blessing the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you want a great relationship, each person must already be complete without the other. Our heart must be filled with worth, fulfillment, and security. And from a position of strength, we go into the relationship to give ourselves to the other… Have a beautiful Feast today! May your dreams come true,
Alex Uy Yco
WRAP UP. July Feast images, clockwise from left: Tagged tarp onstage; Mercy volunteer with plastic gallon for He Cares donations; Mary Khole Charmane J. Tino giving her share for Feast 1000.
Bo Sanchez PS. Next week, we start a brand new series titled, Unique. I believe it will change your life. Invite your friends to join us in this incredible journey of transformation.
IN the last talk of our series Tagged, titled Invite, Bro. Bo Sanchez said to invite people to be closer to God means we should be fishers of men as Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “And he said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus called us to become fishers of men not because we are useful to Him, but because of His love for us. Jesus wants to establish a relationship with us, His people, because He is interested in us-- He considers us as His friends! Many think that Jesus’ calling to become fishers of men are only for religious leaders. Bro. Bo recalled that the Light of Jesus Family used to have about a hundred word mission statement. But now, LOJ’s mission statement is down to two words: Make Disciples. A disciple means a follower of Christ. And Jesus wants us to be a disciple-maker. How? By being a friend to someone. Discipleship is relationship. In the context of that relationship, we make someone experience God’s love. How did Jesus really do it? Here are His strategies:
THE readings last Sunday focused on Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Thus our priest presider, Fr. Eric Santos, zeroed in on how Jesus showed what a Good Shepherd is like. In the Gospel, Jesus and His disciples want to take a break from their ministry work. The people, however, follow Jesus for they know He is the Shepherd who can satisfy their longing for a deep relationship with God. Just like the people who wanted to be with Jesus, people today long for a Good Shepherd. Fr. Eric noted, however, that our modern-day shepherds may be like those alluded to in the first reading in 1 Jeremiah 23:1-6 where the Lord says, “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.” In our Church today, Fr. Eric lamented, we have two problems: 1) lack of priests; and 2) priests lacking in preaching skills as well as true love for their parishioners—thus driving them away from the Church and into the arms of other religious denominations. Fr. Eric said theology is not enough to evangelize people. Parishioners need their priests to be shepherds who will guide them in their journey to spiritual renewal. Thus people go to prayer gatherings such as the Feast which answer their spiritual need. We come to the Feast because we seek quality time with Jesus—amid our trials. So nothing—not even the rains last Sunday—could stop us from attending the Feast. Christians need priests who serve as their true shepherds, Fr. Eric emphasized. For as long as there is a shepherd, the sheep will come out. Fr. Eric then called for prayers for our priests-- because there are some who go astray-and for more young men to go into priesthood.
Follow the Shepherd
Learn from the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Israelites consider Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, as a traitor because he collects taxes for the Romans who have conquered Israel, and worse, he collects more than the required tax so he can pocket the excess amount. Zaccheus, a small man, also knows he is spiritually small—a fact that does not escape Jesus 1. Meal Before as he sees Zaccheus climb a Sycamore tree to get the Message. the Lord’s attention. So Jesus tells Zaccheus, “I must stay in your house today.” Bro. Bo pointed out that instead of condemning Zaccheus— as church elders of the time are most likely to do—Jesus has a meal with the tax collector, meaning, He first befriends Zaccheus. In the same manner, if we want to make disciples of people around us, we must first be a friend to them, before we relay to them Jesus’ message, His invitation for them to follow Him. Learn from the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4. Israelites consider the Samaritan woman as an outcast for three reasons: she is not a Jew; she is a woman—therefore a second class citizen; she is not holy – because she had five husbands, and she’s living-in with No. 6. To avoid people’s condemning eyes, the woman 2. Worth Before fetches water at noon time, when everybody’s at their the Word. home having lunch. But Jesus goes near the woman and asks her, “Will you give me a drink?” By doing so, Jesus gives this woman worth. In the same manner, before we tell people about Jesus’ invitation for them to be His disciple, we must first make them feel that they have worth—that is, they are valuable, they matter—enough for us to care for them.
Seek the Unchurched. Bro. Bo revealed the shocking fact that only 1.5 out of 10 Catholics attend Holy Mass. The 8.5 who no longer attend Mass have various reasons: they are too busy; they are angry at God or at the priests; they had joined other denominations; they don’t feel they belong to the Catholic Church. Bro. Bo said we should focus our discipleship efforts on the 85% of Catholics
who have strayed away from our Church. He then outlined three basic steps in making disciples: 1. Plant. Establish good relationships with people around us. 2. Grow. Nurture our relationships by constantly connecting with the people and assuring them of our love for them. 3. Reap. Invite the people to follow Jesus. Bro. Bo said success in building relationships may
not happen overnight. But we must persevere in sharing with everyone God’s words, His message of love and ways to abundant living. For, as God promised in Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” — Kristine Mutuc Photos by Edmundo L. Santiago
2 THE FEAST July 29, 2012
I HAD this five-day vacation from work so I got the chance to watch an episode marathon of The Vampire Diaries. The vampires in this television series are pale and good looking. Guys who turn into werewolves have six-pack abs, and witches have magical bling-blings. All of them have supernatural powers and humans have always been their victims. But we know vampires aren’t real. They don’t roam around the city robbing blood banks, roaring “ahhooo” during full moon, and, up to now, I haven’t met someone with a library of magical spells. I’ve realized, however, that we do meet vampires, wolves, and witches every day. Scared? Don’t be. The vampires around us won’t drink your blood up to the last drop but they could be people who drain your love tank, your self-esteem, and your energy. They could be those negative people who don’t believe in you, those abusive people who control you, you become a people pleaser and you hate it, and then you feel like they are parasites eating you up. Next, there are the wolf of temptation and the wolf of trials. Sometimes they could
Rosemarie with the stars.
By ROSEMARIE INOBAYA IN March 2010, I was given a chance to taking, no more free meals and taxi fares, work as production assistant on TV 5, no more freebies. serving in Juicy, the television station’s I was not exactly happy about the talk show on movies, movie stars, and offer, so I prayed to God if I should accept other players in the entertainment business. it. And I sensed God wanted me to accept My job was a dream-come-true. I the office job. So difficult as it was, I was part of a dynamic team covering one obeyed the Lord. show biz event after another, interviewing Today, I realize the job is a big celebrities, video tape recording for the blessing. In my previous work, I had no various segments of the show. regular working hours. It’s show business, Naturally, I was often star-struck, and you cover events whenever and getting a kick out of having my picture wherever they happen. In my work now, I taken with the stars, and posting the have regular working hours-- plus a day off pictures on my Facebook page. of my choice. What’s more, I enjoyed free meals, I chose Sunday as my day off. The free taxi fare, plus lots of giveaways from best ever. For now, I could attend the Feast the stars’ press conferences. regularly, and I have ample time to serve as Alas, I was given only a threemember of the choir. month contract. I applied for a regular I don’t get paid for my service. I position in the same network but what was don’t have freebies. I don’t meet stars. No offered to me was a desk job in an agency more celeb pics on my FB. connected with TV 5. That meant I would But hey, I am always with the Star of no longer cover show biz events-- no more All Stars—Jesus, my Lord and my Savior. hobnobbing with the stars, no more picture Life can’t get any more juicy than that.
By AILEEN GRACE ALVAREZ be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They disguise as good pleasurable things but they usually drag us to sins. That’s where the wolf of temptation is good at. On the other hand, the wolf of trials could be cruel. He could give us painful situations, sickness, brokenness. How about the witches? They are experts in magical spells, right? They are those who lured you into a business that turned out to be hocus pocus. Or those who cast a love spell on you-- those pick-up lines that turn you into a love sick puppy. But as we learned in our Tagged series, Someone is more powerful than these reallife vampires, wolves, and witches. He’s on our side. All we have to do is stick to Him, our beloved Savior, and He will give us the strength and wisdom to deal with evil. Our God has the capacity to mold, save, and love us over and over again. No one can bite... er... beat that.
THE FEAST July 29, 2012
THE Singles Ministry retreat held at St. James Retreat House in Tagaytay City last June 1 and 2 was titled I Love Life. You might say, “What’s new? What’s so earthshaking about loving life? Because everybody loves life, right? So why title a retreat for singles I Love Life? Is it because singles love life more than marrieds do? Or is it the other way around: marrieds love life than singles do? That’s why singles have to be told they must love life. Is that right? Singles have to be given a reason to love life—so they will love the single life? Well, the Singles retreat answered those questions. Or rather, each single person found an answer—about love, about life, about loving life. Here are reflections from two participants...
Serving with love, clockwise, from left: Beng Umbalin, Singles Ministry Head Pat Morales, Myee Campos, and Jennifer Bagaporo. At far right, the ladies helping Aezer Cajegas check out computer files. Above, the participants signing I Love You!
Life, the Singles Way
By RHODA OSALVO Photos by DAVE APALLA
God Does Not Make Junk
The I Love Life retreat came as a big blessing for me. In the retreat, I realized how God sees me as His son. Prior to this retreat, I must confess I was so disappointed with myself and with my relationship with God. I hated myself committing the same sin over and over again. I felt I’d failed God. A passage from Romans 7:14-16 expresses how I viewed myself: “For we know that the Law is spiritual but I am carnal, sold into the power of sin. For I do not understand what I do, for it is not what I wish that I do, but what I hate, that I do.” As I listened to the talks, I began to see myself in a different light. I realized that despite of all my failings and no matter how unworthy I may feel, God does not look at me the way I look at myself. As the speakers put it, God will always seek the image and likeness He created in me.
Some attendees shared trials and issues besetting them. As I listened to them, I realized I’d been beset by trials too. Like the sharers, I’d been able to overcome my troubles. And that I’d been able to do so not by myself alone—but really by God’s amazing grace. At first, it was difficult for me to pinpoint what I love about myself. Instead, it was much easier for me to identify the areas in my life that needed more loving. Only when the other participants started to share what they love about themselves was I able to identify what I love about myself. And to my surprise, I realized many things good about me that I had not been able to recognize. Once, I saw myself as worthless, as in close to junk. But, as the speakers said, God does not make junk. In God’s eyes, I have worth. Another realization is that I often neglect to show my love for others. I had not been spending time with people I
should care for. In the midst of our fast-paced world, we all seem to be running against time -- to the extent that we substitute time for our families and friends with time -- Celmer L. Santos going after Single Men’s Ministry material things. I walked into the retreat a pessimist. But I am glad to say that I came out of it happy and grateful. I even stood up in front of the group to say that I love myself more now and I have never been more thankful to God than now. I thank the I Love Life retreat and all the people I met there.
4 THE FEAST July 29, 2012
Speakers, top, 1st row, from left: George Gabriel, Jan Silan, and Didoy Lubaton; sharers, 2nd row: Mara Relova, Lissy Relova; and Mayi Aguila. Below, the invite for the next I Love Life retreat.
Team Feast Makati and Feast PICC, back row, from left: Celmer Santos, Feast Makati Builder Randy Borromeo, Jan Silan; middle row: Roxanne Vizmonte, Lissy Relova, Myles Guilaran, Rhoda Osalvo, Eugene Marie Loretizo, Dave Apalla; front row: Sasa Abad and Paolo Payawal.
I Love My Life!
Life. It is so easy to define life. There are numerous definitions. But attending this I Love Life retreat taught me the difference between living life and loving life. Living life is merely and plainly existing. But loving life is totally different. I learned that I’ve got to have a purpose and enjoy life in the process. How? First, I’ve got to learn to love myself and accept my total package. There are lots of things I should be proud of myself and that I should love. Sometimes, I forget and I only focus on my own shortcomings, my flaws. But I have to remember that God
loves me and sees not my mistakes but my potentials. I remember what my Ministry head, Audee Villaraza, once told me: “From our vantage point it might seem dark and pitiful, but God looks at us from a higher perspective... He loves us not for our performance for we fail over and over and over again. He loves us, period.” Bro. Didoy Lubaton’s message kept racing in my mind: “Our service to God should never be an excuse for us not to be with our family. Instead, service to God should be a way for us to bring our family closer to Him. I knew then what I wanted to do the very next day: go home and spend quality time with my family. God said, “Love your neighbor.” My family is my immediate
neighbour. I must love them first. The retreat was what I needed. I had other things to do, but I’m glad I chose God and had two intimate days with Him. For sure, I’ll go home with a smile and joy in my --Rose D.S. Mendoza heart because now I Creatives and Events know my perspective Group in life have definitely changed-- and so will my life. Now I can really say that I Love My Life!
THE FEAST July 29, 2012
BLESSING L O G S
MY PARENTS separated when I was only four years old. I was young, so I didn’t know how life was then in our home in Mindanao. One day, Mom just walked out of our house, leaving my older brother and me with Dad. In the next 24 years, I would live with my father and his mistresses—I had at least 39 stepmoms. One day, I just woke up in a hospital, my face and arms black and blue, my feet numb. My stepmom at the time had punished me because I played with a friend. I was just seven years old. Nine years after Mom left, my Kuya left too. He could no longer bear the cruel life we lived, so he stowed away. Later though, we’d been able to keep in touch with each other. I had nowhere to go so I stayed with my father, enduring those painful years. Despite my difficulties, I was able to go to school and I finished college with a degree in Accountancy. I am now 29 years old. Ten months ago, I finally left Mindanao. I now work as an accountant in Makati City. Realization At the workplace, I’d heard coworkers talk about the Light of Jesus Family. They were all praises about the Feast and told me I should attend it. But I was like, “Catholics only attend Mass. We don’t do worship like they do it in the Feast.” But my friends insisted that I try the Feast in PICC. So to please them, I attended the Feast on January 7 this year. I thought the Feast was just a worship concert of sorts. So I was surprised that there was a Mass. And there was singing and dancing. People were so happy.
My Mother Left Me…
By BEV DOLOR Illustration by JANELLA IBAY
6 THE FEAST July 29, 2012
All my life, I waited for the Lord to send her back to me. My prayer while I was growing up was Psalm 27:14: ‘Dear God, I know that all things are working together for my good; but help me to wait patiently and work diligently, though the waiting be long and the toil hard. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’
Some were in tears, but I sensed they were tears of joy, when you feel God’s Presence. I know, because that’s what happened to me. In the midst of it all, I felt God touching me, deep in my heart. Since then, I’ve never missed a Feast. I’ve followed Bro. Bo Sanchez’s pieces of practical advice. He said knowing God loves us, we couldn’t help serving Him, for that’s the way for us to be truly happy. So I now serve God at Feast Makati. Bro. Bo said we should tithe, for that’s how we will grow in faith as we experience how He returns whatever we give to Him. So now I tithe, too. Most important, Bro. Bo said we should dream big and trust that God will help us fulfill our dream, because He intends us to live a life of abundant blessings. My big dream was to meet my mother. So encouraged at the Feast, I prayed to the Lord that I would see my Mom. Reunion At 7:15 a.m. last May 30—my birthday—I checked my Facebook page. A message from Annie, a girl whom I had accepted as a friend in Facebook, said: “Ate, sabi ni Mama, mahal daw nya kau ni Kuya. Mag-ingat ka raw parati.” Immediately, I called up my Kuya and I asked him if he knew who this Annie really is. He revealed to me that Mom had married and Annie is her daughter. I then went back to my FB page and chatted with Annie. She gave me a phone number, I dialed it, and I heard a woman say, “Bev, Anak…” Reconciliation I learned that Mom now lives with her husband and children in Rizal. One day, I went there to meet all of them. Mom cried and hugged me tightly, and at that moment, blame, bitterness—everything I’d buried in my heart simply vanished. Mom’s husband is a good man and her children welcomed me like their own sister. By God’s grace I’ve found a new family. Now, on weekends, I finally have a home to go to. When I met my Mom again, I remembered a prayer I’d said as I was growing up, in Psalm 27:14: Dear God, I know that all things are working together for my good; but help me to wait patiently and work diligently, though the waiting be long and the toil hard. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” I had long waited for the Lord. Little did I know, He’s been with me all the time, helping me survive life. As Bro. Bo said, “God knows our future and He knows what we deserve.” I thank the Light of Jesus and the Feast for making me realize who God really is. He is a God of Love, our God of Abundant Blessings. And He has well given me my portion. ________________________________ Bev Dolor is a pseudonym. Names and some circumstances were changed to protect the privacy of people involved in this sharing.
Editor’s Note: Have you a similar story on how you found God through the Feast? Share! and let the world know miracles still do happen today to give hope especially to the lost. For details, email feasteditor@ gmail.com, or call 09399044065.
Thank You, Lord, for the lessee in our commercial space. - Jefferson Thank You, Lord, for our 10 years visa to the United States. - Rebgel Ann and Vangie Alejandro Thank You, Lord, for the healing of Jaime after his bypass operation. - Love, Ariel Jel Thank You, Lord, for the store that You gave. - Corazon Thank You, Lord, for my complete healing from the big C. - Florencita B. Thank You, Lord, for the provisions You have given that enabled us to buy a new 5DMK3 camera for our photography business, for the new bookings and new inquiries we received. - Puy and Chie Thank You, Lord, for the salary increase and for the academic award of my daughter. - Winifrida Y. Miclat Thank You, Lord, for making me a dean’s lister. - Arni Santiago Thank You, Lord. I saw and hugged again my lost daughter. - Leonie Thank You, Lord, for saving my life from a car accident. - Marilyn Cortes Thank You, Lord, I got my mother back, and she has forgiven me. - Anonymous Thank You, Lord, for the recovery of my son from depression. - Becky Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful and safe trip to China, for the opportunity to enjoy life, and settle our problem. - Anonymous
THE FEAST July 29, 2012
ONE MORE MIRACLE
I HAVE a big crush on a boy at the Feast. Secretly, I gaze at him when he passes by where I am sitting, or when he is at the Lobby. Sometimes, he notices me and gives me a buss. Wow! One Feast day, however, my crush was nowhere to be found. The Feast attendees by this time had already swelled in number. There were so many people, I lost hope of seeing him that day. But we’ve been told at the Feast that we can pray to God and He will answer us. So, I said a little prayer to the Lord to let me see my crush. I did not take my prayer seriously, though. I thought it was so petty, God won’t even bother listening to me. I’d already forgotten my prayer as I got engrossed with the talk, when lo! there he was—my crush—his face, that is, on the LED screen! I was like, “Hmmm, God has answered my prayer.” But his picture was a close-up, so I couldn’t tell where he was in that huge hall. I kind of lamented that I could not go near him and make beso-beso. But then, again, the LED screen showed my crush—this time the image was wide enough for me to see where he was!
So I was able to, ahem, get near him so that when the time came to greet your seatmate and make beso-beso, I was right there next to him! Does God answer even petty prayers? That day, I found out He really does. Name withheld upon request.
CALLING EDITORS, WRITERS, REPORTERS MASS COMMUNICATION STUDENTS OR MEDIA PRACTITIONERS We have good news for you!
The seminar will train you how to be an efficient media servant of God. Topics are: 1. Your Calling: Servanthood and the Media Person 2. Media Ethics, The Jesus Way 3. Elements of Style: Grammar, Composition, and Writing Techniques for Efficient and Effective Gospel Journalism 4. Media Coverage of Prayer Gatherings: Interview, Reporting, and Other Christian Skills 5. The Feast Media Ministry: Your Assignment, Should You Decide To Accept It... The seminar will be held at Valle Verde Country Club on August 11, 2012, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The seminar fee is P997 only -- for lunch, snacks, seminar handouts. For details, call SMART 09399044065 / GLOBE 09175489095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com. LOST and FOUND If you lost or found an item, please approach any of the ushers who will guide you to our Lost and Found section.
BO SANCHEZ Founder CYNTHIA U. SANTIAGO Editor-in-Chief BELLA ESTRELLA Managing Editor KRISTINE MUTUC APPLE CHICO Associate Editors EDMUNDO SANTIAGO Chief Photographer CRIS LEGASPI Assistant Chief Photographer ARLENE BATISLAONG MIA FRANZ CATAN BLAISE CEDRICK GOMEZ RAMEL ROBLES ALEX UY YCO Photographers CHERRY ALCAZAR IMELDA FERRER LOUIE RAMOS IRISH RAMOS MARY JOY ACABADO REGIELLE ANN CRUZ Reporters JOEL ESTRELLA Chief Artist JANELLA IBAY DON FRONDOSO Assistant Artists MEMBERSHIP: KIM PAMPLONA Head ARLENE BATISLAONG Assistant Head FINANCE: JANE IBAY Head CHICHI BARBA Assistant Head
3rd Journalism for the Lord Seminar
The Feast Media Ministry is mounting the
PUBLIC RELATIONS: RHODA OSALVO Head JOY NACURAY Assistant Head
8 THE FEAST July 29, 2012
The FEAST, published by the Light of Jesus Family, is distributed during The Feast by the Manila Bay, a weekly prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus held at the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, every Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.,10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The FEAST holds office at The Lighthouse, 60 Chicago St., Quezon City, with telephone numbers 725-9999, and email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
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