Talk: October 17, 2021 Talk 5 : God vs Emperor Part 1 FOR the past 22 months, we’ve been mining Matthew for spiritual gold. I cannot begin to describe to you what the messages are doing to me. I know I’m the one preaching them to you but God’s Word is changing me. Coincidentally, we’re now in Chapter 22 and the narrative is ramping up towards the climax of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Today, I’d like to preach the powerful message, “Give to God what belongs to God.” Before we open the sacred text, I’d like to share two stories… Secret Passcode to Your Heart One day, I was attending Mass in a faraway place. When it was time to take Communion, I stood and lined up, but silly me, I left my phone on the pew. When I returned, it was gone. When my wife learned about it and gave me the “look” that only wives can give to husbands and get away with it, I told her, “Sorry Sweets, I was so focused on receiving Jesus, I forgot everything else.” (That’s what she gets for marrying a preacher.) After Mass, I used my wife’s phone to locate my phone using some hi-tech wizardry I myself don’t understand. According to the map, my phone was moving out some one kilometer away. I jumped in the car and chased after my phone. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but 30 minutes later, I got my phone back. Do you know why? The thief couldn’t use it. By default, phones are encrypted with a PIN—a personal identification number. Without my PIN—that secret passcode only I knew—my phone would just be a very expensive paperweight. Please listen to my message. You belong to God. He is your Owner. And only God knows the PIN of your heart. Please don’t share your PIN with anyone else. Not to anything or anyone. You Belong to God Here’s my second story. Recently, I got into biking. Even if I’ve never been athletic my entire life. But one day, my son Francis got into biking and he asked me, “Dad, do you want to bike with me?” I may not love biking, but I love my son. So, I dove into biking head first. And today, I enjoy biking too. At first, I was borrowing my nephew’s bike, until I was able to buy my own. When my brand-new bike arrived home, I looked really beautiful. I was surprised that the first thing I did was tell my driver to borrow it so he too can exercise. Honestly, I felt happy. I realized I wasn’t attached to anything. I felt free. I believe many of our problems come from our attachments. My prayer: “Lord, be my only attachment.” I want my heart to belong to God alone. Let’s now unpack our key reading for today… Part 2 Never Look for Praise Matthew must have liked the number 3 because he
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The Feast Mercy Ministries Thanksgiving Gathering Destination: God’s Kingdom HELLO! THIS week, we give you an extra gift: This Special Report on the recent Feast Mercy Ministries Thanksgiving Gathering. On Saturday, October 2, 2021, our founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, led the roster of speakers – all expressing gratitude to those God sent to enable our Feast Mercy Ministries to obey His mandate to serve the poorest of the poor. Bro. Hermie Morelos, chairman of our Light of Jesus Feast Mercy Ministries, presented updates on the Mercies, how well they have progressed despite the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic, page 5. Bro. Randy Borromeo, executive director of Shepherd’s Voice Radio and Television Foundation (SVRTV), which produced the event via Zoom, welcomed and expressed gratitude to our supporters for their good heart, page 4. Bro. Monching Bueno, builder of Feast San Mateo, presented the abundant blessings God promised to cheerful givers, page 21. The talks are generally in Tagalog but we translated them in English, for our International readers or viewers. Here, we share this Special Report which we also issued in The Feast International, our online newsmagazine for our Feasts around the world. Yes, we have endeavored to fulfill our calling as our Light of Jesus Family has anchored our core principle on our Lord’s mandate to His apostles: Go, and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-19). We have endeavored to accomplish this mandate through a three-fold Ministry: Mission-- establishing The Feast, our faith gathering now multiplied into 700+ prayer communities throughout the world; Media—print, broadcast, online--the means to spread the Lord’s Good News Gospel of Salvation; Mercy—inspired by Matthew 25:24-26, our way of walking our talk by serving those in need. As The Feast International points out, our Ministry has been inspired by the promise of our Lord Jesus on how we may inherit God’s Heavenly Kingdom: Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ —Matthew 25: 34-36. All for His Glory, Randy Borromeo WELCOME AND OPENING PRAYER RUBY ALBINO Head, Marketing and Fund Raising Program Host Good morning to you all—our donors, sponsors, partners of our Feast Mercy Ministries, Feast TV, and Feast Conference! It’s a very beautiful Saturday morning because you are here with us. We know you could have been sleeping late because it was a long week. But you’re all with us. It is amazing that we are able to do this inspite of the COVID Pandemic. Thank you very much for spending with us your hours this Saturday morning and it is our prayer that God will speak
Talk: October 3, 2021 Talk 4 : Invited vs Chosen WE’RE back to our exciting study of Matthew. We continue our series, The Clash and today we tackle Talk 4: Invited vs. Chosen. Today, I want to preach the wonderful message, Come to The Feast. At the start of the talk, may I recruit your imagination? Picture you were a Jew living in Jerusalem, around the year 90 AD, the same time the Gospel of Matthew was written. Since you were a tiny kid in diapers, the Torah was drilled into your skull; The 613 Laws of Moses were your life and oxygen; They were your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You ate Kosher food—no pork, no crabs, no shrimp, no tulya, tahong, adidas, bopis, Betamax, IUD… You observed the Sabbath to the letter—you didn’t even light a fire to cook anything on Saturdays. And then you met Jesus. He revealed the Father to you in such a revolutionary way, you were never the same again. And you followed Him. But you remained a Jew, still following the 613 Laws of Moses. It was easy because The Feast Light (He-he)— okay, house church—you were attending, out of the 16 members, all were Jews like you. But one fateful day, strange people started to join: A Greek guy with tattoos and a few earrings, an Ethiopian guy with a funny accent, and a woman who admitted working as a prostitute. They all wear funny clothes, didn’t speak Hebrew, and even smell different. But they say they believe in Jesus. Obviously, you get the shock of your life when they don’t know, much less do any of the 613 Laws of Moses. You fall off your chair when you learn they all eat dinuguan, gambas, crispy pata—all unclean food. They don’t know who Abraham is. And they all work on Saturdays. OMG! You pull the Feast Light Leader to the corner and complain. “I don’t like those new guys,” you say. “How can they follow Jesus but not Moses? This is wrong. We’re destroying our church!” But in truth, God was building the Church. And Matthew’s Gospel was speaking into this divisive situation. Today, we have the same problems. When we meet someone with different beliefs and practices, we think we’re better than them. But Jesus is condemning this elitist attitude. God is building a Kingdom that embraces everybody. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Jesus is saying: In God’s Kingdom, He Favors the Underdog Let’s now dive into our key passage: Matthew 22:1-14… The first line says: Because this parable belongs to a set of three parables: You can call these the “underdog parables” because especially in the first and third parable, there were two groups— a top dog and the underdog—and by some twist, the underdog wins. Why? God always favors the underdog. Today, in your situation, do you feel like an underdog? Do you feel like David fighting Goliath? Dear friend, God is fighting beside you.
Talk: September 26, 2021 The Clash TALK 3: Greed vs. Generosity WE continue our Feast series titled The Clash. Our Talk today, Talk 3, is titled Greed vs. Generosity-- about the clash between the greed of the Pharisees and Sadducees and the generosity of Jesus. We tend to be greedy because we think and act like we own our Life. Let’s start with something really basic: I’ll answer by sharing how I read the Bible. Every morning, before I read, I start by making the Sign of the Cross. Sometimes, I imagine the Father touching my forehead, the Son touching my heart, and the Holy Spirit enveloping me and embracing me. And then I pray, Why? It’s my date with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Here’s my point: God must speak to me about my here and now, in my present situation. He knows what I’m going through. He knows the burdens I carry in my heart. He knows my joys and tears. I’m His beloved, and I expect Him to speak to me. The Missing Step But there’s an important step many persons miss: Before you personalize, you must contextualize. What does that mean? For some reason, God did not ask an angel to ship the Bible to our mailbox. The Bible didn’t drop from Heaven on a silver platter. God used human authors to write the Bible. Hundreds of them. And God didn’t zap these authors into a half-conscious trance, control their hand or dictate every word. God didn’t bypass the author’s idiosyncrasies, personality, intelligence, culture, and history. Meaning? I too should not bypass the author. I cannot just pluck out a Bible verse and read it with my modern eyes. Before I personalize the Bible, I must enter into the world of the human biblical author. Bottomline, If you notice, this is what you’ve been learning at The Feast—contextualizing before personalizing. Yes, it’s harder work. It’s so easy just to read a few verses that can make us feel good. But I promise you—if you do the hard work of understanding the original intent of the author, the spiritual fruits you’ll bear are all worth it… Two Benefits of Respecting the Human Biblical Author First, if you contextualize, you’ll avoid the extreme errors of Bible interpretation. Hey, it’s super easy to be deceived. For 2000+ years, many religious persons sincerely believed that God told them to do crazy things, like abandon their wife and kids, or marry 18 wives, or kill themselves in mass suicide, or massacre a million persons— because God told them to do so in the Bible. Second, if you contextualize before you personalize, you’ll get God’s fuller message for your life. Like the parable we’re about to read today. It’s actually mind-blowing, if you understand the context. Are you ready? An Infographic of The Bible Welcome to our empowering exploration of Matthew. Today, I’d like to preach the message: Once again, the common mistake we want to avoid is
Talk: September 19, 2021 The Clash TALK 2: Righteousness vs. Repentance WELCOME back to our inspiring study of Matthew. Today, I want to preach the simple and comforting message, “God’s mercy is bigger than all your mistakes.” Today, we continue our Feast talk series, The Clash, with Talk 2: Righteousness vs. Repentance. I’ve met a lot persons who think that just because they made wrong choices, God won’t bless them anymore. But the truth is that we’ve all made mistakes. Perhaps you gave yourself to addictions. Or you were a rebellious child and made your parents unhappy. Or you married the wrong person. Or you didn’t raise your kids well. Or you made poor financial decisions. I want to give you hope today. Your future is brighter than your past. How do I know? Because God’s mercy is bigger than all your mistakes. Have You Missed Your Chance? I’ve met so many who think they’ve “blown” it. Persons like Jordan and Cindy. While still single, Cindy got pregnant at 18 years old. They rushed into marriage and both had to drop out of college. Today, every day is a struggle to survive. When I talked to them, I realized that the lack of money was not just their problem. Jordan and Cindy lacked of hope. Guilt was eating them up. At the back of their mind, they felt they deserved their poverty as punishment for their sins. They told me, “Brother Bo, we blew it. We missed our chance at a happy life.” Meet the God of Second Chances I told them, “You’re wrong. Your mistake can never be bigger than His mercy.” I then talked about a few not-so-perfect persons in the Bible. About Jacob—how he lied, deceived, and swindled. Yet God named an entire nation after him. About David—how he became an adulterer and a murderer. Yet God still made him the greatest king of Israel. About Elijah—how he ended up depressed and a coward before Queen Jezebel. Yet he was there with Jesus and Moses at the miracle of the Transfiguration. About Peter—how hot headed, temperamental, and out-of-control guy he was. Yet God made him the head of the Church. About Paul—how he was a murderer of saints. Yet God made him one of the greatest apostles of the Bible. I told Cindy and Jordan, “If you read the Bible, the biggest stars were the biggest sinners…” This reminds me of something that happened some years ago. My Experience as a Father One day, when my son was 5 years old, he said, “I want to cook pancakes!” While he was in the kitchen, it sounded like the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When I followed him, I saw the chaos mentioned in the book of Genesis. Like a tsunami hit our kitchen. There were broken eggshells everywhere, flour on the floor, spilled milk on the table. He made so many mistakes. But then again, I expected him to make mistakes. Not just in cooking.
Talk: Big Day September 12, 2021 The Clash TALK 1: Prophet vs. Provocateur Part 1 TODAY, I want to preach the message, “God wants to restart your life.” In the Jurassic era of the 1990s, I bought a “homemade” owner jeep. In one sense, it was “brand new”. And yet in another sense, it was as old as when General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines in 1944. It was brand new because it was newly assembled by Manong in his talyer. But it was as old as MacArthur because every spare part came from scrap vehicles, dating back to World War II. But if there was one thing I was proud of my jeep, it had strong air-conditioning (AC). I asked Manong to enclose my jeep with doors so I could have it air-conditioned. I specifically told him, “Make my AC really powerful.” And that’s what he did. The air-con he installed was huge. So, it was freezing inside. And because my jeep was painted All-White, I called it Ref. But alas, the air-con was the only good thing about it. Everything else was a disaster. The engine itself was so old, my top speed was 40 kilometers per hour (kph). If I went above that, the jeep’s body would shake so bad, little bolts and rusty bits fall off as I drove. I may not get caught for speeding— but littering. Even the jeep’s brakes were bad. Three times, I pressed on the brake and nothing happened. I had to step on the road a la Flintstones. (No joke.) Trivia: The Flintstones is an American animated situation comedy (sitcom) produced by Hanna Barbera Productions broadcast on television by ABC from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966, and became popular in the Philippines up to the 1970s. The show is a comical version of the Stone Age combined with technologies in America’s 20th century. The lead family, the Flintstones, and their rival neighbor, the Rubbles, live in a town called Bedrock. They have cars made of wood and rock— with no fuel. The drivers make the car move by running while inside the car. Somehow, like my jeep! I kept bringing the jeep back to Manong for repairs every other week. So, I actually funded the college education of his four kids. I felt my jeep had self-esteem issues. Matampuhin siya. Whenever I’m driving and see a modern, super car, and tell myself, “I should have bought a car!” At that moment, my jeep’s engine would just stop. I had to pat the dashboard and say, “Joke lang. I really like you…” for the engine to come back to life. But one day, I had it. I was pushing the jeep more than driving it, my biceps and calf muscles were getting extra-large. I brought the jeep back to Manong and asked, “If you owned this jeep, what would you do?” He motioned me to walk 50 meters from his talyer.“Why are we talking far away?” I
Talk: Big Day HI, EVERYBODY! Welcome to The Feast! And I pray that God will just pour out love and His blessing into your life. We have three stories I want to share with you. Before I do, let me share my message: How we see something changes that something. How we perceive that something changes that something. Let me apply that to God perceiving us, looking at us, seeing us with His eyes of love. Because by the way He looks at us with love, we get changed. Here are my three quick stories: A Cheesy story; A Shopping story; and A Love story. The Cheesy Story What’s the Cheesy story? Here it is: It is about a dying girl with her barkada, gang-mate with other guys doing stuff together-- loving God, serving God. Beautiful, beautiful group. Now the guy is on that stage when he needs to move on-- start a family. So, he starts praying, “Lord God, who do you want me to marry?” Then the image of his friend, his girl barkada, flashes in his mind, flashes before his eyes. And he is like, “Really? That girl? But she’s just my barkada.” So, he keeps on praying and praying. And he looks at the girl and says, “Yeah, it’s possible.” Because he checks the criteria (a list of qualities, character traits which in our Light of Jesus Family we recommend singles to check out so that they will make the right choice for a spouse). The guy begins to tick off the qualities and he says, “Right, this is the girl I’m looking for.” So, he starts courting the girl. And man, this single girl comes up to me and says, “Bro. Bo, si ganito, nililigawan ako… Yuck!” She looks like she wants to throw up – not because she doesn’t like the guy, but that she regards him just as a friend. So, when he starts making the moves, she just can’t handle the situation. I tell her, “I’m not gonna give any advice— except one thing: Just bring this thing to prayer.” That’s what she does. She brings the matter to the Lord. And the Lord says, “Yeah, give him a shot.” You know, these guy and girl are now married. They’ve got kids. They’ve got a fantastic family. They’ve got a beautiful marriage. So, did the girl and the guy actually change? No. What changed was their perception. When your perception about something or someone changes, that something or someone changes. The Shopping Story Here’s my second story: This friend of mine calls me and says, “Bro. Bo, I need help.” He describes his financial difficulty and adds, “I am not asking you for money. I am asking you to help me by buying some of my stuff I wanna get rid of. Then he gives me a list of his stuff, and the only kind of useful for me was a guitar… So, I bought the guitar. Two years later, I
Big Day THE Healing Love of God is flowing into your life right now. I’m declaring it. I’m speaking forth these words: The Healing Love of God is flowing into your life. Amen and Amen. If you want to receive the Healing Power of God, if you want to pray for healing power of God, you need to act in three ways. Number 1: Seek God. All throughout the Bible, God heals. In the Gospels, Jesus heals thousands. The same Jesus walked in Galilee 2000 years ago is the same Jesus here living with us. You pray as you go to Mass, as you go to The Feast. Jesus and His healing are the same yesterday today and forever. I say it again: God’s Healing Love is flowing into your life. Seek it. But when I say seek God’s healing, I’m not just saying pray for God’s healing. But seek it, work for it, cooperate with His Grace. I’ll tell you a sad story… I was praying for someone with lung cancer, and then we chit-chat, and we ate together, and then after we ate, I saw him go to the back of his house, and I saw him smoking. No judgment. I don’t know why he still does that. He knows it’s wrongand all that. He has lung cancer but he still smokes. No judgement. I am not condemning this particular person because I don’t know his reason, and I don’t know his situation. All I am saying is, generally, when you say I seek God’s healing, you’re not only praying for it-- but you’re finding ways by which you can cooperate with the grace of God that brings healing. So that means finding a way to live a healthy lifestyle, finding ways to have healthier habits, learning how to take care of your body. I just needed to say that. Number 2, very important, you need to surrender to God’s Plan. I connect this to what I shared last week: God knows better how to heal you. He knows if the healing would be instant—or would it be gradual? Would it be with the help of medicines, would God use a doctor, or surgery? You know, we just need to leave that up to God-- even leave the chance that… what if God does not want to heal you physically, but He wants to heal you spiritually, or some other ways? You know, we have no control. There is no formula. But that’s the message we shared with you last week. And I’m going repeat it today: Do not trust any formula. If there’s a preacher or any healing book that says there’s a formula —“You do this: A,B,C,D, and the healing will happen. Guaranteed!” Hmmm, do not trust a formula. There is no formula. Trust in God. Trust that He knows best. And there are times that He does not answer the way we want Him to answer. You say, “I surrender myself to Your
Big Day THERE are times when God answers my prayers and gives instant healing right there. You know (there are cases when) the doctor says to a patient, we can’t see the tumor and the tests have turned negative. You know there was a lump there… now there is no lump. You know, there are times when (the healing) is instant. But there are times when God decides to heal one slowly, though time. And the person recovers. And praise God! But why was it not instant like the other time? I don’t know. There were times when God would heal without medicines. You know, we just prayed and when she was going to the doctor… But before she was on her way to the doctor, the healing happens. But there are times when God will not answer my prayers in the way I want Him to. Because that person I was praying for did not get well physically. You ask me why? I don’t know. But this I know: He knows what is best. And I go back to the very simple teaching that in human life, there are two domains: the domain that I have control of, and the domain where I have zero control. Meaning to say, in this area I control, I’m going to take responsibility. And I’m going to take care of myself. And I’m going to find a way to heal myself. And I’m going to pray earnestly. And then I am going to take my medicines. And I’m going to do radical self-care. But at the end of the day, I will leave everything in the hands of God. Because there is a territory where I have no control over. And that’s why there is anxiety. And that’s why there is fear. And I need to trust in God. Today, God is asking you: “Trust Me. From beginning to end, trust in Me. I love you. I know what is best for you.” We’re still reflecting on this beautiful story about this woman touching Jesus and getting healed, receiving the healing power of God (Mark 5: 21-29). I want you to know that she didn’t touch Jesus. And that’s what we need. So, here’s the thing: Let’s pray that we receive the healing of God through this series. But I’m also praying another prayer… That you become the cloak of Jesus. Today, you’re going to hear from my fellow preacher, Philip Sumera, our Feast Builder for young people in Feast Manila. He is an amazing preacher and you will be very, very blessed. Talk: Big Day August 22, 2021 HOW are you? Kumusta po kayo? I am all set to serve you today. Allow me to start with a story. I remember when my wife Sally and I were invited to be guests in this amazing Father and Son Tandem at Fast Talk where we had a great time with Bro. Alvin Barcelona and his son Aio. There was a segment
Big Day THIS is my joy that I am able to serve you and I am praying for us as we are going to enter into a very special series. God knows what you need. He knows what you need to hear. So, I’m praying that you are going to hear it right now in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Our one big message today is this: Love is on the way. And I am praying that Love is on the way toward your direction right now. Where does this come from? Okay. Let me breathe. Because this is going to be difficult. Love is on the way. This one big message is in my reflection on the passing on of a dear, beloved friend, Fr. Michael La Guardia. We honored him last week. I just want to tell you one story about him. Sigh…Yes, my heart is grieving… Can you imagine… He was only 56 years old—so young… His passing so sudden… Like, we were just exchanging messages online a few days ago… And all of a sudden… So, yes, sometimes, when I think of Fr. Michael… I’m sad, I am very sad. But there is this beautiful moment when I smile. And the reason is this: I remember how much he loved us and how he loved me. Because he is so personal in his love. Mike Viñas, one of our preachers, posted this about Fr. Michael: “You know, akala ko lang ang special sa iyo…I thought I was the only one special to him. You know, Fr. Michael…he made you feel like he loves you, like you are special to him. And akala ko ako lang ang close sa inyo. ‘Yun pala, lahat ng tao—which is amazing.” Anyway, I was sick with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID). When I was recuperating, you know what Fr. Michael would do? He would visit me, give me Holy Communion. And I’m telling you, I would tell him, my wife Marowe would tell him, “Fr. Michael, you know, nakakahiya… You’re very busy…” And then, he would say, these are his words: “It’s okay. You’re on the way.” And that struck me, as in, “Wait a minute…Waaait a minute…” May I share with you what he did? He said he was supposed to visit his mom. Now, I want you to think with me… Geographically: Fr. Michael is here… he is in Bicutan (a barangay in Taguig City). We are on Sucat Road, Parañaque. And Fr. Michael’s mom is in Mandaluyong. Okay? So, when he said, “It’s on the way, you’re on the way,” I am like, “Fr. Michael, you’re brilliant. Man, you’re a great theologian. You’re an amazing Bible teacher. But right now, your logic is failing you because I’m not on your way. You’re there in Bicutan, in the middle (in between Sucat and Mandaluyong) and all you have to do, from Bicutan, is turn right to get to Mandaluyong. You know what, he turned left toward Sucat to get to