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Table Talks: Talk 3 – The Greatest Party in the Universe


Talk We’re going to take one of the most famous Scripture stories in the New Testament that unless you have been living in a cave all your life, chances are you have heard the story at least once in your life. It’s called the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It’s a beautiful parable of Jesus and if you’ve heard it many times, I pray that God will give you fresh ears to hear, and new eyes to see His wisdom today. Let’s read: That’s all of us here: We want the blessing of God sometimes right now, instead of waiting for it. That’s the younger son. Here’s Surprising: His father agreed to divide his wealth between the two sons. And then, Hungry for Love That’s what happens when you’re hungry. You’re so hungry for affirmation of love, you’re going to get love from the wrong place, even from the wrong person. Because when you’re hungry that's a dangerous place to be in. And no one gave him anything. Verse 17 says: I declare that there’s somebody here who has been away from the Lord for so long, I want you to know that God sees you where you are right now, and as He sees you coming, He’ll be the first one to come running to you. And then, in Verse 21: I declare a party will begin here right now. But you know, the older brother, instead of celebrating, he became angry… The father looks at the older brother… Big Message Today Look at the neighbor beside you. Once upon a time, those brothers and sisters of yours, they were lost. But the day came when they were found and we praise God for that. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Here is my big message for all of you today, and I hope you can help me preach this to someone next to you. My message today is this: Join the party. Fr. Mario would say, “Join the Jollibee party.”J Let’s pray: Father, Thank You, for this Word will come alive and it will change us today. That’s what You want. You want us to be transformed according to who you have called us to be. Whatever distraction or hindrances that might prevent us from hearing Your Word, Father, we let go of that-- shatter our expectations today. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen. One more time, Everybody. lift your hands and sing… Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path. Life Comes in Stages A few years ago, we (my wife Kristel and our three-year-old son Ethan) were in the middle of traffic on EDSA. All of a sudden, there was this Harley Davidson motorcycle that came up right next to us. You know, those big bikes that are so loud you cannot help hearing them. I don’t drive a motorbike but if I could I would do it. If I had the resources, yes, I would buy a motorbike.

Table Talks: Talk 3 – The Greatest Party in the Universe2024-02-03T01:53:41+08:00

Table Talks: Talk 2 – Matthew’s Table


TalkWELCOME to Talk 2 of our Table Talks: Community Recipes of Love.Today we are going to talk about Matthew’s Table.And the big message of the talk today is this: God loves sinners.And it’s true. Who among here has committed sins or mistakes? Have you ever felt this: Do you sometimes really think:“Lord, have You really forgiven me? Do You really love me-- despite my sins?” And sometimes, they are repeated. You know that --because when you confess. you tell the priest the same sins over and over again.But today, I want to remind you that God loves sinners. Period.Even before you repent, even before you change your ways, even before you stop the wrongdoings and follow God.Why? Because that is called grace-- grace that is freely given. You do not need to do anything. You just have to receive it.And my question to everyone today is this: Do you want to receive that grace of God today?If you want to receive that grace from God, I invite you all to raise your hands to the Word of God, as we sing:Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path. This passage is the very foundation of why we do our Feast and how we do our Feast.What’s the status of your heart today? Who among here needs Jesus’ healing and grace?I believe that His invitation is at this place today:Come, dine with me. I am your healer. I can heal you.Put your hands over your heart and let’s pray:Thank You, Lord, for loving me despite my sins, my past, my failures. And Lord, teach me to see myself the way You see me. Amen.Let’s raise our hands to the Word of God and sing:Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path. So, I guess that passage we just read pretty much sums up what we want to do here at The Feast. Because our goal here at The Feast is to gather sinners to experience Jesus’ love.Have you experienced Jesus’ love here? Yes!Did you notice that we read from Mark that the tax collector who invited Jesus was named Levi?Then, why is the Talk titled Mathew’s Table? Do you know who Levi is? Levi is the tax collector who later on would be called Matthew the Apostle.And in their context, it was very controversial what Jesus did. Back then, Israel was conquered and governed by the Romans. And imagine, Levi, or Matthew, working for the Roman Empire as a tax collector-- imposing heavy taxes on the people.So, people would think, “He is a traitor. He is a Jew but he is following the Roman Empire and oppressing us…”So, what Jesus did was very controversial. Why did Jesus dine with Matthew?The nerve, right? But that passage is saying God told us that Jesus came for everyone. Everyone included.Tell the person beside you, “Kasama ka.--You are included.”Even your officemates. Sometimes, we hate our officemates who boss us around… Sometimes, we hate

Table Talks: Talk 2 – Matthew’s Table2024-01-27T01:46:58+08:00

Table Talks: Talk 1 – Lost Sheep


Talk WELCOME to Table Talks. For the next few weeks, we are going to talk about Community Recipes of Love. We’re going to talk about us. We’re going to talk about The Feast. We’re going to talk about Community. We’re going to talk about our Family identity, our Family vision, and also our Family strategy for fulfilling that particular vision. For those of you who are new here, at The Feast, some of the things I will be saying will be very surprising-- maybe even shocking. Why? The Community that you joined is radical. It is controversial. It is wild. And it is not only this Community. But we belong to a revolutionary Kingdom that is turning this world upside down. We are not worshipping or following a king that is wanting to maintain the status quo. No. We are following a Commander-in-Chief. His name is Jesus and he wants to turn the world upside down. We are His soldiers and we say we will do what He wants us to do. Now, for those of you who have been in The Feast for quite a while, for a few years already, you will be hearing stuff that you’ve heard before. That’s okay. Because like anything in life, if you want to be successful, if you want to mature, if you want to be whole, repetition is the mother of all skills. Marketing Rule of Seven There is a guy, a business author, his name is Jeffrey Fox. And he talked about the Marketing Rule of Seven. He says that you need to hear a message seven times before you take action. Now, he’s talking about selling soap and selling shampoo. But I am going to talk about eternal truths like the incredible unconditional love of God; God’s plan for humanity; and God’s mission for you and me. So, we are not going to hear this only seven times, we’re going to hear this seven million times-- we want to absorb it, and embrace it in our hearts. Especially if you understand what’s happening in the world: The Church is shrinking. Attendance is going down. In a survey done, they were saying that in Spain, for example, there are only 31% of the population who go to church. In Germany, it’s down to 16% of the population. In France, it’s 10%. It’s 9% in Australia. T he Philippine Experience In the Philippines, would you believe, a Bishop was telling me, quoting his studies, that only 15% of Catholics go to church on a Sunday. Now, if you think about it, you might say, Bro. Bo, it doesn’t seem like it. You know when you go to churches, parishes are full. You know, there are many, many Masses on a Sunday and they seem full. How is it possible that only 15% of Catholics go to church on a Sunday? The idea is like, yeah, it seems there are many. So, what I did, I said, let me confirm this

Table Talks: Talk 1 – Lost Sheep2024-01-20T20:44:00+08:00

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time


Reading I 1 Sm 16:1-13 The LORD said to Samuel: “How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.” But Samuel replied: “How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.” To this the LORD answered: “Take a heifer along and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.” Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?” He replied: “Yes!  I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.” He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice. As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel:  “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, “The LORD has not chosen him.” Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.” Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”  Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, “There–anoint him, for this is he!”   Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.  When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah. Responsorial Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 27-28 R.        (21a)  I  have found David, my servant. Once you spoke in a vision,             and to your faithful ones you said: “On a champion I have placed a crown;             over the people I have set a youth.” R.        I  have found David, my servant. “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.        I  have found David, my servant. “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,             my God, the Rock, my savior.’ And

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time2024-01-17T05:01:10+08:00

Let God Continue The Good Work He Began In You


Talk BRO. AUDEE VILLARAZA: Happy New Year, Feast! I want to lay down the foundation of my talk first. Quick question: How many of you are ready and fired up for this year? I’m sure you are. And you know, a lot of us, whenever we enter into a new year, we’re ready to leave behind everything else last year. And I’m sure you’re ready to leave behind, you know, moments of failure, moments of mistakes, stuff that you want to leave in 2023. But may I negotiate with you just a bit? You know, sometimes, I feel like in our excitement, we miss an important step that God wants us to take -- before we leave the previous year. Because He transforms us in that process. What do I mean by that? Let me just share something very personal and private. This message I’m bringing this to you is somewhat of a struggle because, during our break in the last two weeks, I was praying whether I would share this or not. And God compelled me to do it. Were you here during our Feast on December 17, 2023, where I announced that I'm going through a personal crisis, a midlife crisis? You remember that? Oftentimes, you will never hear people announce that, much less even acknowledge it before a thousand people. And that’s what I did. But there’s a reason I needed to do that. What is funny is that whenever I would prepare a talk, I would gravitate toward a topic that already happened. I would talk about challenges that I already defeated, trials that I already overcome, battles already beaten. But in this case, this trial is something that’s happening in my life. Midlife Crisis The reason I’m sharing this is I believe that we bond in weakness, never in strength. Let me say that again: we bond in weakness, never in strength. We connect all the more when we know that we’re not the only ones struggling in this life. When you know that the person sitting next to you is going through the same storm and the same problem as you are, it kind of makes you feel that God also loves you. And God is fair. Am I correct in that? It makes you connect to know that hey, we’re the same. If the preacher in front of you whom God loves has some struggles that God is helping him to overcome, then maybe, just maybe, you will think, “God also loves me and God is also doing something about my trials.” So, that’s the reason I’m sharing this. You know, my good friend Mike Viñas, during our Christmas Light Group (Caring Group) meeting last December, asked me this question: “Bro, how did you know that you’re through a mid-life crisis?” That’s a good question. Because how in the world would you know that you’re in a midlife crisis? Is there like a rapid test kit that you buy from the drugstore?

Let God Continue The Good Work He Began In You2024-01-13T23:53:23+08:00

What’s your stress level this season


Talk BRO. AUDEE VILLARAZA: May the Holy Spirit use these words to convict us today. I want to ask you a real question just now: What is your stress level this Christmas? I’m going to ask you to rate your Stress Level from 1 to 10-- 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. All those with Level 1 Stress, raise your hand. Really? (No one…) I’m expecting only the 4-year-olds to raise their hands. How about those with Level 2 Stress? Raise your hands. All right, we’ve got a few persons… Level 3? Okay, we’ve still got a few. How about if I shoot it up…Level 8 Stress? Really? This is the place where we’re in… How about those who have Level 9 Stress? All right (those who raised their hands) you’re my people… How about those who’ve Level 10 Stress? Ha-ha! That’s all of us, right? Irony of Christmas You know what’s so ironic? ... Thank you for being honest, by the way… The irony of Christmas is this-- listen to me for a few moments: Christmas is supposed to be the peaceful season of all… (But) the very first Christmas Eve wasn’t exactly peaceful. This is the image of Christmas: Silent Night, Holy Night… And yet go back 2000 years ago, to the very first Christmas Eve… Joseph and Mary were fleeing from Egypt, to go to Bethlehem… Why? Because they were being threatened-- that they would be killed. All the mothers, raise your hands…if you can relate to this: Mary was up to term and she was riding a donkey. Was that comfortable? No. I mean, that’s a lot of stress. And nowadays, you know, when you go to the hospital, they’ve got all these technological innovations to make it comfortable for the moms. They’ve got those machines that are hooked up to the mother so that they can tell when a contraction is coming…They got all those sanitized magic instruments to cut the mom open. They got all these things. They got the epidural to ease her pain. Mama Mary didn’t have any of those. So, can you imagine the pain she was going through? Now, what is point? My point is this: That Jesus was born surrounded by conflict and chaos. Let me park that for a few moments. I’m going to go back to that point in a moment. I want to give you our big message today. And I guarantee you it’s going to bless you… Here’s the message: I want you to turn to the person at your tight. Doesn’t matter who that person is. And tell that person, “Peace is with you.” Now turn to the person at your left and say, “And also with you.” How many of you believe that Peace is with you? We’re going to open the Bible right now, to the book of John. John narrates Jesus giving this message: You know my Friends, peace is a word that I believe we throw

What’s your stress level this season2024-01-06T02:10:22+08:00

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God


Reading I Nm 6:22-27 The LORD said to Moses:   “Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:   This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:   The LORD bless you and keep you!   The LORD let his face shine upon       you, and be gracious to you!   The LORD look upon you kindly and       give you peace! So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,   and I will bless them.” Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy. 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. May God bless us in his mercy. May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. R. May God bless us in his mercy. 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. May God bless us in his mercy. Reading II Gal 4:4-7 Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,   born of a woman, born under the law,   to ransom those under the law,   so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons,   God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,   crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son,   and if a son then also an heir, through God. Alleluia Heb 1:1-2 R. Alleluia, alleluia. In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Lk 2:16-21 The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,   and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this,   they made known the message   that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed   by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things,   reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned,   glorifying and praising God   for all they had heard and seen,   just as it had been told to them.   When eight days were completed for his circumcision,   he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel   before he was conceived in the womb. - - -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 the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God2024-01-02T05:01:20+08:00

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas


Reading 1 1 Jn 2:12-17 I am writing to you, children,because your sins have been forgiven for his name's sake.I am writing to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning.I am writing to you, young men,because you have conquered the Evil One.I write to you, children,because you know the Father.I write to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning.I write to you, young men,because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,and you have conquered the Evil One.Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world,sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10 R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!Give to the LORD, you families of nations,give to the LORD glory and praise;give to the LORD the glory due his name!R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!Bring gifts, and enter his courts;worship the LORD in holy attire.Tremble before him, all the earth.R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!Say among the nations: The LORD is king.He has made the world firm, not to be moved;he governs the peoples with equity. R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia.A holy day has dawned upon us.Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.Today a great light has come upon the earth.R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Lk 2:36-40 There was a prophetess, Anna,the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years,having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple,but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time,she gave thanks to God and spoke about the childto all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.When they had fulfilled all the prescriptionsof the law of the Lord,they returned to Galilee,to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;and the favor of God was upon him. - - -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 the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas2023-12-31T05:01:10+08:00

Friday of the Third Week of Advent


Reading 1 1 Sm 1:24-28 In those days,Hannah brought Samuel with her,along with a three-year-old bull,an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh. After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:"Pardon, my lord!As you live, my lord,I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."She left Samuel there. Responsorial Psalm 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd R. (see 1a) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."My heart exults in the LORD,my horn is exalted in my God.I have swallowed up my enemies;I rejoice in my victory."R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."The bows of the mighty are broken,while the tottering gird on strength.The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,while the hungry batten on spoil.The barren wife bears seven sons,while the mother of many languishes."R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."The LORD puts to death and gives life;he casts down to the nether world;he raises up again.The LORD makes poor and makes rich,he humbles, he also exalts."R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."He raises the needy from the dust;from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,To seat them with noblesand make a glorious throne their heritage."R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior. Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia.O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Lk 1:46-56 Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever." Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home. - - -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 the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in

Friday of the Third Week of Advent2023-12-23T05:01:18+08:00

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent


Reading 1 Sg 2:8-14 Hark! my lover–here he comesspringing across the mountains,leaping across the hills.My lover is like a gazelleor a young stag.Here he stands behind our wall,gazing through the windows,peering through the lattices.My lover speaks; he says to me,"Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,and come!"For see, the winter is past,the rains are over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth,the time of pruning the vines has come,and the song of the dove is heard in our land.The fig tree puts forth its figs,and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,and come!"O my dove in the clefts of the rock,in the secret recesses of the cliff,Let me see you,let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet,and you are lovely." Or Zep 3:14-18a Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!Sing joyfully, O Israel!Be glad and exult with all your heart,O daughter Jerusalem!The LORD has removed the judgment against you,he has turned away your enemies;The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,you have no further misfortune to fear.On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!The LORD, your God, is in your midst,a mighty savior;He will rejoice over you with gladness,and renew you in his love,He will sing joyfully because of you,as one sings at festivals. Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 R. (1a; 3a) Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.Sing to him a new song;pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.Our soul waits for the LORD,who is our help and our shield,For in him our hearts rejoice;in his holy name we trust. R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song. Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia.O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:come to save us, Lord our God!R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Lk 1:39-45 Mary set out in those daysand traveled to the hill country in hasteto a town of Judah,where she entered the house of Zechariahand greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,the infant leaped in her womb,and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,cried out in a loud voice and said,"Most blessed are you among women,and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me,that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believedthat what was spoken to you by the Lordwould be fulfilled." Readings for the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Canisius, priest and doctor of the

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent2023-12-22T05:01:08+08:00