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A Catholic Prayer Meeting of the LIGHT OF JESUS FAMILY September 16, 2012
SIONS CONFES NT LE PARE of a SING ge 5 See pa
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.
FOR many centuries, many theologians, preachers, priests, and pastors have declared from the pulpit that “sex is sin!” St. Augustine didn’t say that, because he believed that God designed sex to make babies, but he insisted that sex was inferior to the celibate life. For religious leaders of that era, sex was tolerated as long as some of the offspring will become priests and nuns. So for a long time, married couples were seen as second-class citizens of Heaven. Because of this, even today, many married Christians see sex as something to be tolerated and never to be enjoyed. It’s too close to the boundaries of sin, we might as well go as far away from it as possible. But is it really? Today, I declare to you a shocking statement: Sex is God’s idea. He invented it. He designed it. He created the human anatomy, with all its curves and contours, with
LOBBY IMAGES. Attendees (top) snagging their Kerygma Conference tickets (see Pages 6-7). Above, Feast Video now showing! Bro. Bo Sanchez recommended that we start minimini Feasts in our home or office, using video of his talks (inset). For details, log on to www.feastvideo. com. -- Photos by RAMEL ROBLES
all it’s ability to tingle and tantalize. He created our ability to express love by giving sexual pleasure to our spouses. Today, I’ll encourage married people to make sex not something you get but something you give. Strengthening your marriage will strengthen your sex life, and strengthening your sex life will strengthen your marriage. But I’d like to also speak to those who aren’t married: The teenager with his raging hormones sloshing through his veins, or the singles in their twenties and thirties and forties in a world where sex is as casual as a handshake, or the separated or the widowed or those married people whose spouses are abroad, fighting loneliness. What do you do with your sexual desires? The options seem to be only two—give in to the desires or bury them forever. Is there a third option? We shall seek God’s wisdom for this sensitive area in today’s Feast. Enjoy! May your dreams come true,
WE’RE bringing holy back in our new series, Money, Sex, Power, talking about the three most controversial topics in life-- which can destroy people. But nevertheless, these three can be transformed into Holy Money, Holy Sex, and Holy Power. Bro. Bo Sanchez started with Talk 1: Holy Money. You have the choice to make your money a terrific servant or a terrible superior. Bro. Bo presented as an example the story in 2 Kings 4:2. The widow of one of the servants of the prophet Elisha is greatly in debt. She asks for Elisha’s help. Elisha asks her what she has in her home and the widow replies,”Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil.” Elisha then instructs her to borrow jars from her neighbors and pour the olive oil into those jars. The widow follows as instructed, and miracle of miracles, the oil stops coming out of the small jar only when the widow has no more jars to fill. Bro. Bo said there are three lessons from the story about money: 1. Available. Elisha doesn’t just produce money to help the widow. He instructs her to make something of what she already has. In the same way, God doesn’t produce something out of nothing. He works something out of something. What are the passions, potentials, and resources God has given you? What you’ve got may be just a small jar of olive oil. Bring to Him the little amount and see how He can multiply it. Bro. Bo said simple Math shows that any number multiplied by zero equals to zero. Give something to God, no matter how small so He has something to multiply. 2. Acceptable. The widow-- not Elisha-determines the amount of oil. And the amount of oil which poured from her small jar is determined by the number of jars she is able to borrow. When she runs out of jars, the oil stopped pouring. God gives you the key to His storehouse. You can get as much blessings as you want! It is your level of acceptance-- not your level of expectation-- which will determine your level of abundance. Bro. Bo added that one’s level of acceptance depends on one’s level of hunger. He said hunger is more powerful than hope. Sometimes, when we pray for more financial blessings, we don’t get them. Why? Because we only hope for the blessings but are not really in desperate hunger for them. Bro. Bo said he already has what he needs-- but he still keeps on working because his hunger now is to build 1,000 Feasts. Indeed, when you are hungry for something, you tirelessly work for it. 3. Actionable. Instead of just receiving doleout, the widow has to act-- borrow jars, fill them up with oil, and sell them to have money to pay her debts. Here, we see that God’s miracles demand the action of man. Sometimes, people want easy success. But abundance will always require hard work. Bro. Bo ended by emphasizing the importance of being contented with what you have. Yes, be contented but never with what you earn. Live by with what you need, but the surplus you can give away to help the needy. Earn the best amount that you can and honor God with your wealth. As Proverbs 3:9-10 puts it: “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” -- Kristine Mutuc Photos by ELS
FR. ALEX BALATBAT reflected on the Gospel from Mark 7:31-37 where Jesus heals a deaf-mute by putting His finger in the man’s ear, and with His spittle, touches the man’s tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He groans, “Ephphatha!” The man is able to hear and speak, and the crowd is amazed. The more Jesus tells them not to tell anyone, the more they did. Fr. Alex said the Holy Bible shows that sickness and sinfulness are interconnected. A sick person tends to not like himself-- he hates himself for getting sick. Then, people avoid him, lest they be infected, and thus, he is left alone. In the Gospel, the deaf man with speech impediment experiences alienation until Jesus heals him. Fr. Alex related the Gospel with the Reproductive Health Bill issue. He said that just as we don’t see the connection between sickness and sinfulness, people seem to have forgotten that the choice of the majority isn’t necessarily the right choice. He said it doesn’t matter whether more people favor the RH Bill. What matters is whether the bill is right. Fr. Alex said proponents of the bill say Vox populi vox Dei-the voice of the people is the voice of God. Fr. Alex countered that the informed voice of the people is the voice of God. The man in the Gospel is informed about Jesus when he experiences the healing power of the Lord. Thus, when he speaks about God’s healing grace, his voice is an informed voice. Fr. Alex paid tribute to Sr. Pilar Versoza, RGS, founder of ProLife Philippines, who died last Sunday. He said until her death, Sister Pilar spoke against the RH Bill. Like the man in the Gospel, Sister Pilar, a prayerful woman, heard the voice of God and so against all odds, she talked about God’s side on the RH Bill. -- Bella Estrella
2 THE FEAST September 16, 2012
Talk 2: Holy Sex God Invented Sex—It Must Be Good!
1 Corinthians 6:15-20 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong Personal Reflection and Group Discussion: For Married Couples: How can you make sex as your way of serving your spouse? For Singles: How can you channel sexual energy into a passion for your dreams? __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
THE FEAST September 16, 2012
to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Proverbs 5:15-23 Drink water out of your own cistern, running water out of your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, streams of water in the public squares? Let them be for yourself alone, not for strangers with you. Let your spring be blessed. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe and a graceful deer– let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Be captivated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be captivated with an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another? For the ways of man are before the eyes of Yahweh. He examines all his paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare him. The cords of his sin hold him firmly. He will die for lack of instruction. In the greatness of his folly, he will go astray.
KERYGMA CONFERENCE 2012
By LORRIE SAMBILE
VIVA CEBU! Bro. Bo Sanchez with Bro. Buddy Tan launches Kerygma Conference during Feast Cebu. At the launch, clockwise from top right: happy attendees during Worship; the worship leaders; attendees registering for the conference.
Q and A
I am curious about the Education stream of Kerygma Conference 2012. We didn’t have such stream in previous conferences. What is the highlight of the Education stream? --Teacher Meanne Education is a vital part of our spiritual journey. The kind of Education we get -- at home and in our school-- will determine how we relate to God, how deep our faith in Him would be. The Education stream will tackle issues about our Education-- the role of parents, teachers, as well as the academic community, and God’s stand on these issues. I already attended the Prayer stream last year. Is there something new I would learn about Prayer in this year’s Kerygma Conference? --Arianne Yes! Just as the world changes every day, just as our concerns change from day to day, our prayer-- what we talk about with God-also changes. This year’s Prayer stream will present the basics of Prayer as well as how a prayer warrior-- one who has chosen to be an intercessor-- may be more responsive to people’s needs in these, our challenging times. You will learn prayer skills, the best intercession, what is efficacious, what’s pleasing to God.
YES! Kerygma Conference 2012 rocks Cebu! With this year’s theme, Champions, Arise! the Cebu leg of this year’s Kerygyma Conference will be held at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City on December 1. And the fun started last September 3 when Bro. Bo Sanchez. together with Cebu Feast Builders Bro. Salvador “Buddy” Tan and Bro. Orly Alino, formally launched Kerygma Conference 2012 during the Feast Cebu celebration at the SM Cebu Trade Hall. Over 2,000 attendees gathered during the launch all eager to emerge victorious in the major areas of life: spiritual, financial, career. Touched by the words of God through the two preachers, 400 particpants instantly signed up for the one-day learning event. On the same day, Feast Cebu held a press conference with the city’s local media to spread information about the event. Chelle Crisanto, who hosted the press conference, said, Kerygma Conference “gets better every year.”
“I believe that we are more open, we are more experienced, we know how God’s spirit become the light of the people so year after year, we make the conference better, we make it bigger, we make it stronger, we become wiser, ” Bo shared what to expect this year. Bro. Bo said the conference aims to bring people, especially the young, to an encounter with God and ultimately let them “have fun while in the presence of God.” Feast Cebu is held every Sunday at CAP Auditorium on Jones Avenue, Cebu City. Mass starts at 9 a.m. followed by worship and life-changing message from the Feast builder. For more information, log on to www.kconcebu.com
4 THE FEAST September 16, 2012
Once a Victim, Then a Hero … and Soon, a Champion!
By ANGEL BAUTISTA Photos by JESED MORENO I AM a public servant and a broadcaster. I attend events where I mingle with powerful people and celebrities. I hear them talk about their achievements and luxurious lifestyle. There was a time when I had fun when I was with the rich and famous, feeling like I was one of them. The truth is, at the time, I carried a heavy yoke -- the burden of a single parent. But I hid my misery, the feeling that I was alone in my struggle to bring up my son, the fear that I would fail him, and make his life miserable like mine. Then, one day, I learned about the Feast. I attended the Sunday gathering at PICC and, hearing the powerful talks, I began to see my life in another light-- in the eyes of God. I learned that God loves me in a personal way, and knowing so, I began to love God that way, too. I felt so grateful to have found the Lord and to have become a member of the Light of Jesus Family, that I volunteered to serve in the Feast. Since I am a broadcaster, I joined the Feast Media Ministry, helping announce the Feast events in my radio program. At the Feast last year, I came to know about the Kerygma Conference, which is dubbed the biggest Catholic learning event in the country. The title of one of the streams caught my attention: Solo Parent: A Victim or a Hero? Right away, I felt like being alluded to. I’d always felt like a victim-- of the circumstances that made me a solo parent. But me, a hero? I volunteered to be the Feast Media reporter to cover the Solo Parents stream and write an article about it for the The Feast bulletin. When I entered the venue for the Solo Parents stream, I saw that there were already attendees waiting for the conference to begin. There were people in the room but the place was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Being a solo parent myself, I could understand the silence. Yes, precisely because they are going solo, single parents really don’t talk much, simply because they feel there’s really no one to talk to. But as the speakers began to talk about how solo parents can cope with life and its demands, I began to hear first, a few ahhs and ohhs, then
NO LONGER ALONE. Angel (3rd from left) with Feast Media friends, from left: Apple Cruda, Marthina Salome, Jane Ibay, Rhoda Osalvo, and Bella Estrella; Solo Parents speakers, top, from left: Reng Morelos, husband Hermie Morelos, and Michelle Alignay. Above, the Minstrels of Hope perk up the conference.
some laughter, and soon the room was buzzing with the attendees’ reactions to the talks. Yes, I learned so much in the Solo Parents stream in last year’s Kerygma Conference. Thus, I volunteered again to cover Solo Parents in this year’s Kerygma Conference to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena on November 24-25. At the end of last year’s Solo Parents conference, I no longer felt like a victim, but rather, a hero for my child. Now, this year’s Kerygma Conference centers on the theme Champions Arise. I can’t wait to hear why I, a solo parent, can be a champion.
THE FEAST September 16, 2012
BLESSING L O G S
By PAUL ANTHONY DE JESUS as told to RHODA OSALVO I STUDIED in a Catholic school. I went to church regularly and even served as sacristan. Then life’s difficulties pressed me to stop attending the Holy Mass. But one day, I met Marie-- charming, kind, and a devoted Catholic. We fell in love, got married, and looked forward to marriage bliss. But then trials came one by one. First, we had financial problems. I worked as a college professor, teaching Accountancy, and Marie as financial consultant in an insurance company, but our combined income was never enough to meet the needs of our five children. Then, our children got sick one after the other. I then developed this foolish belief that our going to church had something to do with our misfortune. I noticed that every time my family and I attended Holy Mass, a family member would get sick. The ailments ranged from a simple cold, to a grave illness that required hospital confinement. To test whether my hunch was correct, I sometimes skipped attending Mass-- until I somehow established that we were being harassed by some evil forces. You know, like we were being persecuted for being good churchgoers. So, to avoid the harassment, I stopped going to church. Actually, I couldn’t go to church even if I wanted to. To make both ends meet, I took a second
I Am Free!
job-- as reviewer for students taking the exam for Certified Public Accountants -- which I did on Sundays. Marie, by this time, was already attending the Feast at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City, together with our children. So they got to attend Mass every Sunday. She often asked me to go with them, saying that it’s difficult to haul the children to the Feast all by herself. But always, my excuse was I had a review class to attend to. I say excuse because, crazy as it was, I still feared sickness would plague our home if I attended Mass. One Sunday, however, I didn’t have a class. So I had no choice but to go with Marie and the kids to the Feast. At the time, Bro. Bo Sanchez was the main preacher at Valle Verde and he was preaching a series titled Relationships Reborn. That day, I realized that in my effort to earn money for our material needs, I had neglected establishing close relationship with my wife and children-- and with God. Still, the next day, entertaining my foolish fear, I checked if my wife or any of our kids got sick because I attended Mass. To my relief everyone was just fine. In time, I decided not to take Sunday classes anymore so I could spend time with God and my family. And amazingly, my humble effort has been rewarded. I have learned a lot from Bro. Bo and have applied his teachings in my life. After Bro. Bo’s teaching on tithing, I began to tithe and wow, we’ve received blessings-like we now have a new home in a subdivision in Cavite. After hearing the teaching on discipleship, I think I’ve made my students disciples of the Lord because they are now attending the Feast. Best of all, I felt the foolish fear that had shackled me for so long had been broken. I now enjoy the Mass at the Feast. Yes, the Feast has set me free.
6 THE FEAST September 16, 2012
By MARTHINA SALOME MARESTAN PALMA shivered as she entered the Plenary Hall. She was happy though that the place was air-conditioned, so unlike the churches she went to for Holy Mass. “I’d been a churchgoer all my life,” Mares sighed. “I studied in a Catholic school from elementary until college. I even attended First Friday masses. But when I got out of college-- out of the Catholic schools where attending Mass was a way of life-- I began to drift away from the Church.” You read that right. Mares did not only stop going to church. Some of her friends joined a Born Again prayer gathering and converted to that religion. Listening to them gushing over the lively prayer meetings, and the envigorating talks, Mares began to question the Mass and the Catholic Church altogether. “I thought going to church was merely an obligation and I didn’t feel any guilt whenever I missed attending Mass,” she said. Mares works as a social media specialist, marketing products and services in the Internet. Thus, she has become an expert in using Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. In her shout outs and tweets, she not only promoted her clients’ campaigns, she also expressed her stand on current issues. “Since I turned away from the Church, I did not agree on her stand on issues such as the Reproductive Health Bill,” she confessed. “ I posted on my Facebook page my strong Pro-RH opinion.” Then, last December 2011, her father gave her and her sisters a Christmas gift that would change her life. Their father gave them books of Bro. Bo Sanchez. “I got interested particularly in Bro, Bo’s book titled 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich. After reading it, I decided to attend his Truly Rich seminar held last February 4, a Saturday. During the seminar, she met Bernie Sacro, a regular Feast attendee serving in the Creatives and Events Group of Feast PICC, who invited her to the Feast.
“He sounded so passionate about the Feast, I got so curious, I decided to attend right the following Sunday,” Mares recalled. “I found the Feast to be as fun as the Born Again prayer meetings,” she said. “I thought I didn’t have to convert into another religion to enjoy going to a religious gathering.” “The PICC Plenary Hall was cool,” she added. “But as I listened to Bro. Bo’s talk, especially about how God loves us without condition, I felt warm all over-- as if God Himself was embracing me.” In time, Mares joined a Caring Group, the Feast PICC Creative and Events Group, then attended the Jesus Encounter-- a lifechanging seminar where yes, you encounter the Lord in a personal, intimate way. Today, Mares remains a social media specialist. But now what you will read on her Facebook and Twitter pages are about her new passion for the Lord. Check her shout outs and tweets.
SOCIAL NETWORK. Mares (top) shouts out this month’s talk series. Today, she includes Feastbook in her social media (middle row). Above, Mares (extreme right) with her co-members in the Creative and Events Group, during a team building session.
Editor’s Note: Have you a similar story how you have received blessings from God? 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.
THE FEAST September 16, 2012
ONE MORE MIRACLE
A Divine Secretary
By KRISTINE ANNE MUTUC TWENTY-FOUR hours in a day always seem not enough for a multi-tasker like me. I juggle lots of activities-- my full time job, graduate school, and ministry work. Early this month, stress was taking its toll on me, affecting my health. So I looked for an opportunity to relax. Along came the announcement at the Feast about a retreat for singles dubbed I Love Life to be held in Tagaytay, September 7 and 8. I registered right away and got a slot. I couldn’t wait to get to the retreat. Alas, ten days before the big day, I received an email from my professor scheduling a final exam on the same day as the retreat. I tried to negotiate for another schedule but the implications were too complicated. I had no choice but to back out from the retreat. I was disappointed, to say the least. With a heavy heart, I gave away my slot. The next day, Monday, I got another email from my professor-- cancelling the exam. I was ecstatic. I immediately called the retreat organizer and asked if I could get my slot back. But to my dismay, my slot was already taken by another attendee. So I was like, “Fine Lord, the retreat was not really meant for me.” Then Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from the organizer. She goes, “Sis, somebody backed out. Are you still interested to attend the retreat?’ Am I, ever! As I attended the retreat, I realized one thing: God will put you where He wants you to be-- even if He has to arrange your schedule for you, like He’s your personal secretary. That Friday, September 7, God wanted me to be with Him. He wanted me to relax in His presence because He knew I needed a break. He knew I wanted to attend the retreat real bad so He just cleared my schedule. God hears our prayers. We just have to trust in His proper timing, and that includes His own calendar of your divine appointments. Cancelling is not an option.
Got One More Miracle? A mysterious, inexplicable experience—a miracle God has allowed to happen to let you know He loves you? Share! Email your article with your picture to 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 CES ARCILLA SHOJI MERIS JAMES MORRISON JEJETTE NOCUM ALEX UY YCO RAMEL ROBLES Photographers LOURDES DELOS ANGELES LOUIE RAMOS IRISH RAMOS 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
PUBLIC RELATIONS: RHODA OSALVO Head JOY NACURAY Assistant Head
8 THE FEAST September 16, 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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