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Sleeping on Stormy Seas


Talk Talk 2: Sleeping on Stormy Seas  BO SANCHEZ: Thank you, Audee. Give a big hand to Audee Villaraza. Thank you, Worship Team. Thank you so much. Happy Mother’s Day! This day is very special because May 8 is the birthday of my Mom who is with the Lord. And it’s really, really special. If there’s one thing that I want to happen in our study of the book of Jonah, it is this: That we learn to read the Bible the way Jesus read His Bible. What does that mean? You’ll find out as the weeks go by. I pray that when you open the Word, you will hear God sing to you: I will open your eyes Take you wonder by wonder. I’m dedicating this song to my nephew Quino, 7 years old. And I pray that God will show you a new world. A fantastic point of view. It really is. I’ve got two messages I’d like to share with you today: No. 1: See God in the storm. No. 2:  God loves them more than you do. Prayer for My Sons I’d like to begin with a story. The timing is perfect: Mother’s Day. Mothers, you will resonate with what I am going to share. I have two sons. Bene, right; and Francis, below. When you have children, you pray for them         a lot. Mothers, Yes, or No? Yes. Fathers, Yes, or No? Yes. We do. Half of my prayer time is dedicated to those two gentlemen. Do you know when I started praying          for them? Even before they existed in the universe,         I started praying for them. They were but a dream in my heart. They were but an idea in God’s mind, and I was praying for them already. And then when my wife came up to me and showed me those two blue lines on a pregnancy test, my prayer intensified tenfold. Like, I would put my hand on the tummy        of my wife and I would pray, “Lord, bless my baby. Lord God, work on my son. Lord, Lord God, I pray, pray for my child.” And to the Holy Spirit, I would be praying fiercely. My wife would tell me, “Pag nagdadasal ka, Love, parang may hawak kang microphone—When you are praying, it’s like you’re holding a microphone and there are a thousand persons in front of you…when you pray intensely.” And I would say, “I can’t help it. I mean, I want my sons to be filled with the Spirit of God and God to work.” I would do that every day. I have a confession—I am embarrassed to say this-- When my kids were born, I tried my best to avoid changing diapers. I wasn’t very good at it. If there’s somebody who could do it, they would do it.  But if there was no one else, I’d do it. And when I did, there would be accidents—like major leakages that would cause the flood of Noah to

Sleeping on Stormy Seas2022-05-14T15:59:00+08:00

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Reading I Acts 13:26-33 When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:  “My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath. For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him put to death, and when they had accomplished all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people. We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm,     You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.” Responsorial Psalm 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab R.        (7bc)  You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R.        Alleluia. “I myself have set up my king             on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:             The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;             this day I have begotten you.” R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R.        Alleluia. “Ask of me and I will give you             the nations for an inheritance             and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod;             you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.” R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R.        Alleluia. And now, O kings, give heed;             take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;             with trembling rejoice. R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R.        Alleluia. Alleluia Jn 14:6 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Jn 14:1-6 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter2022-05-14T05:01:06+08:00

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Reading I Acts 13:13-25 From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue officials sent word to them, “My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, “Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. With uplifted arm he led them out, and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert. When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance at the end of about four hundred and fifty years. After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king. God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. Then he removed him and raised up David as their king; of him he testified,I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish. From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’"   Responsorial Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27 R.        (2)  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R.        Alleluia. The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;             through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;             in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R.        Alleluia. “I have found David, my servant;             with my holy oil I have anointed him, That my hand may be always with him,             and that my arm may make him strong.” R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R.        Alleluia. “My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,             and through my name shall his horn be exalted. He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,             my God, the Rock, my savior.’” R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R.        Alleluia.   Alleluia See Rv 1:5ab R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, you have loved

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter2022-05-13T05:01:23+08:00

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Reading I Acts 12:24—13:5a The word of God continued to spread and grow. After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission, they returned to Jerusalem, taking with them John, who is called Mark. Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.   Responsorial Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8 R.        (4)  O God, let all the nations praise you! or: R.        Alleluia. May God have pity on us and bless us;             may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth;             among all nations, your salvation. R.        O God, let all the nations praise you! or: R.        Alleluia. May the nations be glad and exult             because you rule the peoples in equity;             the nations on the earth you guide. R.        O God, let all the nations praise you! or: R.        Alleluia. May the peoples praise you, O God;             may all the peoples praise you! May God bless us,             and may all the ends of the earth fear him! R.        O God, let all the nations praise you! or: R.        Alleluia. Alleluia Jn 8:12 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Jn 12:44-50 Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.” - - -Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter2022-05-11T19:37:15+08:00

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Reading I Acts 11:1-18 The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, saying, ‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.” Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’ But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time a voice from heaven answered, ‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’ This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying, ‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.’ As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.” Responsorial Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3, 4 R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! R. Athirst is my soul

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter2022-05-10T11:55:29+08:00

The Prophet Who Won’t Preach


Talk AUDEE VILLARAZA: Welcome to the Feast, everybody! Today we are starting a brand new Feast talk series titled Depths of Mercy. Today, we’re going on a five-week journey and study the life of this Old Testament character Jonah, who ran away from God’s calling. Talk 1, titled The Prophet Who Won’t Preach, will blow you away. I wonder if there are prophets right now who feel like, “I’m not equipped to serve God. I’m not equipped to go on a mission.” That’s what we’re going to talk about today. And so, if you’re ready, let’s join our hearts right now as we signify the great symbol of love. In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Spirit. Everybody, stretch your arms out, and say this with me: 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 Word so I become more like Jesus every day. Today, I proclaim that I’m God’s beloved, I’m God’s servant, I’m God’s powerful champion And because I’m blessed, I’m blessing the world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. The Book of Jonah  BO SANCHEZ: Welcome to our brand new series, Depths of Mercy. We’re going to unpack the book of Jonah. We have two lofty goals today. The first one is to be able to read the book of Jonah. And the second: in learning to read the book of Jonah you will learn to read the Bible— the way Jesus read His Bible. Now, I want you to know that it’s very difficult to do that. I’ve been reading the Bible ever since I was 12 years old. And it changed my life. But you know, over the past 40 plus years now, of the things I’ve learned, foremost is: How can I read the Bible the way Jesus read the Bible? And we’re going to learn that through Jonah. Jonah is one of the most sophisticated, complex, intricately crafted writings in the entire Scripture— jam-packed in a typical one and a half pages That’s how short the Book is. Typically, in your Bible, it occupies about one page and a half and it was written by a brilliant Jewish writer 2,400 years ago. Now, let’s admit this: If, the moment you hear Jonah, the first thing that comes to mind is whale. Even if whale is not in the Bible. Whale was a mistake made 400 years ago by the translator of the King James version— putting the word whale in the Gospel where Jonah was mentioned. But no. My dear friends, let’s admit it: the way many people look at it, the Book of Jonah is a children’s story. It’s a tale with a nice ending. But this is not only a problem for Jonah. It’s a problem for the entire Bible. Many people still look at this Book as a collection of bedtime stories with good moral

The Prophet Who Won’t Preach2022-05-07T19:24:31+08:00

Follow Him


Special Talk Follow Him AUDEE VILLARAZA: Come on, put your hands together. Somebody bring the praise to Jesus… I remember a very good friend, Feast Preacher George Gabriel Feast — remember him? He is all the way now in New Zealand with his family. George said to me, many years ago, he attended an international conference, and he asked a volunteer about a class — who the speaker would be. And the volunteer said, “I actually don’t know.” George asked, “Why?” And then this guy said the most beautiful thing. He said, “It’s because it’s not important who gives the message— what’s important is the message.” Yes. And I want you to know that you did not come here because you wanted to see Bro. Bo, or you wanted to see me, or you wanted to see Bro. Alvin, or Bro. Tony, or our regular preachers here. You came here because you love God. You came here because you want to hear a message from God. That’s why we have prepared such a fantastic message for you today And I hope that you get to lean in. Just lean in and let God speak to you today. Join me in praying our favourite prayer: NOVENA TO GOD’S LOVE 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 Your blessings, healings, 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 blessing the world. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN. My dear friends, allow me to introduce my dear, dear friend who has become part of my family, and I know you will be blessed by his message. I want you to give the same warmth, the same love that you extend to Bro. Bo, to me, every week, as we welcome, Bro. Doc Didoy Lubaton! DIDOY LUBATON: Please look into the message, not into the messenger. Altogether: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Today’s one big message is: Reading from the Gospel of Luke 5:1-11: St. Luke says: 5 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a] great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night

Follow Him2022-04-30T03:15:53+08:00

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene


Talks ALVIN BARCELONA: I’m going to read to you the Gospel verses that followed after the verses read in the Mass. From John 20:11-18: Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene 10But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you. 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.—John 20:11-18 ESV Big Question: Do You Want To See Jesus? Of course. But let’s learn from Mary Magdalene as we had already learned from Bishop Ted a while ago. Three important secrets: First Secret of why Mary Magdalene saw Jesus: She was present. You want to see Jesus? No. 1: Mary Magdalene was the first to go to the tomb of Jesus to anoint the Body of the Lord—after the Sabbath. He died on Friday. (The following day was Saturday, the Sabbath, and according to Jewish custom, the anointment ritual should not be done on the Sabbath because it was rest day, away from the cares of the world, a time of silence with God). Mary saw the tomb was empty. So, she ran to the apostles, specifically to Peter, and to the disciples whom Jesus loved. And then, they ran. The Gospel said that the disciple whom Jesus loved ran first. But it was Peter who went inside the tomb and saw the linen cloth. And then the disciple followed. But still, they did not see the Body. When they saw nothing, they already left. Tinge of Hope Mary Magdalene was left. Mary stayed. She was not just present, she stayed on. I know some who were present— just showed up, so their names would be checked on the attendance list, then went home already. But Mary stayed. Why? Maybe out of confusion, or despair. Remember this was the same Mary Magdalene who saw Jesus being nailed to the

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene2022-04-23T17:01:44+08:00

Citizen: Talk 4 When Jesus Become King


Talk CAN everybody just say this: “God will fill us up.” Say that in Tagalog to the person beside you: “Bubusugin ka ni Lord.” Today is the last talk of our series, CITIZEN. But it’s not just a talk. We’re going to be praying for our nation. At the end of the talk, we’re going to turn over the Philippines to King Jesus. But before that, we need to have a clear vision of what the country will be if Jesus is King. Tha t’s what we’re going to clarify today. We’re going to ask the question: What will happen to a place when Jesus becomes King? What will happen to a country, a city, a province, a barangay, a home, a business, a company, a life—if Jesus becomes King? Remember the story, in Genesis, of Adam and Eve? They did not trust God. And because they did not trust God, they were banished from Eden. But from right there, from that moment, when they were banished, God was trying to bring us –all of us-- back to Eden. All throughout the history of Israel, the kings were trying to bring Israel back to Eden. But they did a horrible job. Why? Because they were far away from the Lord, and they were idolatrous, and they were corrupt. But there were beautiful, brief, moments.s What is Eden? Two meanings. I mean, I can talk about 10 things but I just want to focus on two meanings: No. 1: God and Man hanging out in the garden. Basically, it’s divine fellowship. Cross your two fingers. Twist those two fingers together. Show those crossed fingers to the person beside you, then tell that person, “Ganito kami ni Lord.”   That’s what Eden is. That is how beautiful Eden is : Divine Fellowship. But not only that. Here’s No. 2… No. 2: Man can enjoy the fruits of the garden: Abundance. Overflow. Excess. The kings of Israel tried to recapture th at. They could not-- most of the time. But there were brief, beautiful, shining moments when they were able to get a taste of Eden. A glimpse of Eden. So, here’s the reading: Put your hand on your chest and say this with me: Father, I want You to be at the center of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Be King. Amen.  Before David, there was a king named Saul. He neglected the Ark of the Covenant. They used it once in a while when they would go to battle. They would bring it—like an anting-anting, like an amulet. Do you know what happened? They lost those battles. You lose battles if you fight battles that God never sent you to fight. And what happens is, let me say this to you: that there is a huge difference between using God as a religious prop, and serving Him as King. Huge difference. I catch myself many times—using God as a prop. Going into battles that He never asked me to fight.

Citizen: Talk 4 When Jesus Become King2022-04-15T15:00:36+08:00

Citizen: Talk 2 We are World Changers


Talk WE’RE going to receive the Word of God. But I want you to do this together as one voice. This is our declaration of abundance that God is going to bless you today and this week. All right, let’s all come into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirt. Amen. I want you to stretch those hands out and say this with me: Let’s give honor and reverence for God’s Word, as we all sing: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. WE are on Talk 3 of this beautiful series called Citizen: How To Build a Nation. We want to give you a message that will encourage you to think of who to vote for, how you should vote, and what are the ways that God wants us to look at the political issues from the perspective of our faith. And so, our title for our talk today is not so much of a title but it’s more of a declaration. So, I want you to declare this message with me, with one voice, Everybody, say: We are world changers. It’s a little strange because none of us ever imagined that history would repeat itself. In the sense that… How many of you had ever seen that we would experience a global Pandemic? Like, we would experience being locked down at home. Did you ever wonder that we would go through that all? These are the things that we only read in the history books, right? Like the bubonic plague, and the Spanish flue, the influenza—but let alone us witnessing people don’t go before us. And we saw that in the last two years. We’re still seeing that now— the effects of the Pandemic. None of us imagined that we would experience another war in our lifetime—where two countries would battle it out and innocent people would have to suffer-- children, women… None of us even realized that we would also experience once again history repeating itself with our country being divided again because of politics. None of us imagined any of that. And somehow you’d ask: “What is the Lord doing in all these? Lord, what is the purpose of all these?” But you know, here’s what I believe: That in the midst of all these— the Pandemic, the war, death, suffering, elections, corruption—I still believe that God is good. I still believe that God is working. I still believe that God is blessing. I still believe that God is healing. I still believe that God is orchestrating blessings in your life. And you know, when you think about it, I still believe this: That since the beginning, since the Fall of Man, in the book of Genesis, God has still been recreating Heaven here on Earth—recreating Eden here on Earth. That’s our message for today. Our message today is this: God is calling you back to Eden. We’re going to study

Citizen: Talk 2 We are World Changers2022-04-09T15:10:24+08:00