Let’s Start with Our Name
GOD be praised for this grace for me to have this column where we can give you updates on our management of our mission.
I title this column Letters— inspired by the New Testament where 27 of the books are 21 epistles— the word derived from the Greek word epistole, translated to letter.
Bible studies say four of the letters attributed to Paul the Apostle — letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon— are called Prison Epistles because Paul wrote them while he was under house arrest in Rome.
The letters are most relevant for us nowadays as the Community Quarantine to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) has placed us under house arrest too. I am not at all a Paul, but well, with my positions in the Media arm of our Light of Jesus Family, it’s my humble duty to write this column— so says our ultra-strict editor
So, here’s how it all happened. As our Light of Jesus Family founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, announced earlier, Bro. Hermie Morelos (right), retired from his post as head of our Shepherd’s Voice Radio and Television Foundation and Shepherd’s Voice Publications Inc., also founded by Bro. Bo, passing the Media Ministry baton to me. Now, in this maiden issue of this column, I start with an update on the changes in the names of our ministries.
As you know, The Feast Family is the official online newsmagazine of this LOJ spin-off ministry founded by Bro. Bo, what we used to call the Kerygma Family, a unique online, nonphysical, borderless, international community of friends who support each other’s personal growth. Kerygma Family was named after Kerygma, our inspirational magazine, also founded by Bro. Bo, who took the name of the magazine from the Greek word kerygma, meaning to proclaim as a herald. And by God’s grace, Kerygma has well proclaimed the Good News of our Lord Jesus, attracting thousands to The Feast, our weekly faith gathering.
Since most of our members have also become members of The Feast, in time, we eventually renamed Kerygma as Feast, and Kerygma Family as The Feast Family, which continues to support our Mercy partner beneficiaries. Of late, to be specific about its function, we also renamed The Feast Family as the Feast Mercy Ministries — served by SVRTV, so, we are under the leadership of our overall LOJ Mercy Ministry coordinator, Bro. Hermie, and of course, Bro. Bo, our founder.
But don’t mind the titles. Humbly, we all are simply, servants, blessed to be called by our Big Boss, our Lord Jesus— the One whose name is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshua, meaning to deliver, to rescue. Yes, that’s what He does for us to this day. Praise be Jesus, the Name Above All Names.
All for Jesus,
FR. BOB McCONAGHY
on the Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
The Great Commandment
I LOVE the Gospel today – it’s a beautiful Gospel—about the meaning of love…
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been giving a series not on the meaning of love, but the meaning of the Mass which really is the expression of our love for God and His love for us…
Today, I want to zero in on the Offertory during the Mass. We call it the Presentation of the Gifts… The Offertory seems to be not “spiritual” (because) it is
to give the Love Offering…
Today, I’m going to show you a way that the Love Offering and Presentation of Gifts can come alive for you… I want to zero in on to bless. How are you blessed by the Lord? Before you figure out what to give during the Love Offering, preparation for that moment in the Mass begins on Monday. How?
Begin spiritually to develop an attitude of gratitude. At night when you pray, meditate on your blessings that day. I want you to think about those blessings and write three ways you are blessed on Monday. And on Tuesday night, reflect again on blessings on that day and write them down—write the blessings different from what you received on Monday so that by Saturday or Sunday, when you go to Mass, you have 15 ways you know you were blessed.
You are thankful for these blessings and now you have to offer them as gifts during the Offertory. This Love Offering is not about so that Father could fix the roof or The Feast could pay the bills… No. You miss the “spirituality” if you did that.
Think: How best can I express my gratitude? Perhaps by tithing. If I ask myself how much should I give… I always point to the Gospel about the widow’s
offering (Mark 12:41-44). In the story, there was a very wealthy guy who gave a lot… everybody probably looked and say, “Oh my, is he generous!”
Jesus noticed that and I’m sure He was grateful to him… But I love that Jesus noticed the one who everybody else didn’t notice… this poor widow who put in two copper coins– maybe equivalent to P20 today. The amount is not important. What’s important? That the woman gave from her need.
The lesson is you give what you miss. For example, after Mass you want to buy a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and a cup of Starbucks coffee. Instead, you go to Dunkin’ Donut and buy just one donut.
You see— you miss what makes you happy. Maybe you miss those weeks you had not been going to the movies — but instead of going to the movies, you give P200 (as your Love Offering).
That should be over and above your tithing and that should make it powerfully spiritual. Because you’ve given something “acceptable” when the priest says, “Let us pray for our sacrifice, my sacrifice and your sacrifice so that it may be acceptable to God Almighty Father.”
So, start your Presentation of Gifts on Monday, and go on, every night write down those blessings. With deep gratitude, read those blessings as you take out your money to give as your Love Offering… It doesn’t matter whatever the amount. Just that you give what you wanted to have but you missed during the week– as your sacrifice that may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.
EXHORTATION by MO NUEVO: Every single day we learn new ways how to cope (with Life’s trials) and that is because of the Grace from our Father. Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.”
Let us pray: Father God, we thank You for the wisdom that you bestow on us, and for showing us the way to move forward. So, today, we will worship and declare that You are and always be our Good Father.