We’re going to take a passage from the Book of Matthew which is very appropriate in celebrating Easter. Most of us are familiar with this story. Before Jesus was crucified, certain events happened…

Raised to Life: What It Means

I pray that this resonates with you and in whatever stage in your life you are right now.

Many times, we have also denied Jesus. complete humility and sincerity, let us pray:

Father, we ask for Your forgiveness and mercy for the countless times we have turned against You. In this moment, we pray that Your mercy flows like a river in this place. We receive that forgiveness. We receive that mercy.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your love that endures and forgives.

Today, we want to know Your love even more. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path

We are going to do a four-Sunday talk mini-series before we launch into another long series. This special series is called Raised to Life.

We are going to try to answer the question: “What does it mean to be truly raised to life with Jesus?”

What is the evidence that you are being raised by Jesus? It’s through L.I.F.E:

Two Reasons God’s Love Is Not Appreciated

Sometime in 2021, when the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic lockdown was lifted, we were able to have our first face-to- face Feast session at the Barcelona Academy in Bulacan. We called it FBA: Feast Barcelona Academy.

A few months later, I was able to bring to FBA my wife Kristel and our son Ethan. I was so excited for Ethan to experience the Holy Mass.

The moment the Mass started, Ethan was silent. He was observing everything.

For ten minutes he was silent…

Suddenly, he gripped and pulled my hand for me to lean down because he wanted to say something.

Once I lowered, he said, “Dad, can we go home now?”

Of course, I wasn’t expecting him to appreciate the Holy Mass as he was only four years old at that time.

I shared this story because I wanted to show you an example of how sometimes we fail to understand or even appreciate the love of Jesus that happens through the Holy Mass. We fail to understand the sacrifices of Jesus for us to give us this celebration. Why?

Two possible reasons:

  1. We have a broken perspective of
  2. We have never fully experienced God’s love. You cannot love without getting

Even the band Nazareth sings: Love hurts… Love scars…

Sometimes, when you love, there is pain. If you get love without getting hurt, then you have never really loved. Even God got hurt when He was rejected by many of us. But the difference between God’s love and our love is that even if God gets hurt, He doesn’t get tired of loving you.

True Love

There is no way to love people perfectly.

Only God can do that.

St. John tells the story of this woman in Samaria when she experienced the love of Jesus for the first time. This woman got divorced five times. One day, she went to get water from the community well in the middle of the day. Scholars believed that she went at mid-noon– the hottest hour of the day– so that no one could see her. She met Jesus there and He told her:

We can go through life by not really drinking the right kind of water. Jesus was somehow saying that the water the woman used to drink was dead water and that it would make her feel thirsty again.

Jesus was saying that He is the only water that would not only quench your thirst for a day but for a lifetime. Get your love from God. If you’re drawing your love from any place other than God’s well, that well will inevitably run dry. You’ll quit on people. But when you get your love from God, that love gets quickly replenished because it’s connected to an infinite brook, an infinite source of love.

Falling in love is easy. The challenge is in staying loving. But God said that when you remain loving in the harshest of conditions, that’s when it’s truly worth it.

Success Chart

I remember my son, a few weeks ago, we got the results of his third quarter at his school. He’s in only Grade 1. I’m so happy and proud that in one subject he is excelling — Christian Living Education (CLE). Of course, he inherited that from me…

Look at this: 20/20 for three straight quarters.

And then you know what happened?

Two days ago, I caught him bullying his sister. That one he didn’t inherit from meJ.

I told him: “Ethan, even if you’ve got perfect grades on paper, if you don’t love your sister, your grade is useless.”

A good friend, Sally da Silva, our District Finance head, it was her birthday yesterday. I told her I would talk about her story today… A few Sundays ago, we were sitting at that same spot where she is sitting right now.

She said to me, “You know, I’ve had so many failures, so many setbacks…” And she added the most powerful question: “… but who’s counting anyway?” And I completely agree with you, Sis. Sally: Who’s counting, anyway?

When you think about it, what is God counting when it comes to the measurement of success? Because we might have a different scoreboard compared to God’s scoreboard.

Jesus was the one who said it Himself: Love your enemy. Because if you love only those who love you, what benefit is there in that?

Even sinners do that. Sinners love those who love them.

It’s easy. And Jesus said when you’re loving people even when it’s hard, that’s when it’s truly worth it.

Measurement of Success

You know our scoreboard of success at The Feast at that time? It was how many seats we filled up in the place.

How many came, how many gave, how many enrolled in our Discipleship Program.

But in 1 Corinthians we studied a few weeks ago,

Paul said this: In the end, three factors will remain: faith, hope, and love– and the greatest of these is love.

So, what if God’s measurement of success is different from my measurement?

The true measurement of our success as a Feast is not how many persons attended — but it’s how many felt loved.

And I know we can’t measure that. I know that sometimes, we cannot please people. I know sometimes, there will be disagreements.

But that’s what Divine Mercy is called– as long as love is the goal. Even when you fight, fight with love. That’s God’s measurement.

Sometimes, we disagree so much with people. And that’s fine– but as long as we have the goal of loving people.

You know, sometimes we are fighting the wrong battles. You know, even if we have a successful event here– a great Worship service, great singers, great preaching, wonderful world-class venue, but if behind the scenes people are fighting with one another, this event is a failure. And that’s the truth.

How To Remain Loving

So now, how do we remain loving in the face of oppression?

Stay close to Christ. That’s as simple as it gets.

When you seek God’s word and wisdom, those are the days that you are most loving. On days that you are far from the Lord, those are the days that you are most judgmental.

It was the dilemma of Peter. When Jesus was captured by the Romans, Peter got separated from Jesus. He denied Jesus three times. But before that, Peter denied that he would deny Jesus:

Thirty verses later, Peter was doing the exact thing that he said he wouldn’t do. He denied that he was going to deny Jesus. I mean, that’s ironic on so many levels. But what happened to Peter?

We are all like Peter. One minute, we’re faithful.

The next minute, we’re failing, we’re falling.

Some of you may never have thought that you’d be the one to fall away from God, but it happened.

Here’s my simple advice: go back to the beginning. Fr. Bob said it so well.

Go back to when you first loved your God. We all failed the Lord once upon a time.

God is a good parent and being such, He allows you to go through hardships.

He didn’t stop Peter from denying Him. He already prophesied it.

Jesus is simply saying, “Peter, before you become The Rock where the church stands on, you need to go through a rock-bottom moment.”

Don’t ever think, my dear Friends, that just because you feel less blessed, God is punishing you, or God doesn’t love you. It could be that the reason He wants you to go through that storm is He wants you to strengthen your faith.

When you get separated from the Savior, that’s when you sin the most. Evidence that you’ve already accepted God’s love for you:

  1. Change in your speech. Are you praising God more or are you complaining more?
  2. Change in your Your story is not even your story but God’s story.
  3. Change in Your countenance is all about walking with Jesus.

Being Separated from Jesus

I believe we are all like Peter, the backslider. Because when you get separated from your Savior, my dear Friends, you sometimes go back to your old life.

Before Jesus asked them to follow Him, the disciples were fishing (at the Sea of Galilee in Israel).

Jesus told them, “Come follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

When Jesus died, the disciples went back to fishing. They went back to what they knew the most. And it was in that same moment, on that same shore, in that same place where Jesus found them that He returned.

Oh, I just thank God that He fetches us– every time we backslide. Aren’t you glad that God is the one who fetches you when you get lost? He’s the Shepherd who gets you. Praise God!

This is the storyline: Jesus was dead; after three days, Jesus had now been resurrected…The Book of John said:

Peter’s Dilemma

… If I were Peter, I would feel ashamed… I would have felt that He would banish me.

Peter denied Jesus three times. But three times, Jesus asked Peter,

“Do you love me?”

“I still love you. I still love you. I still love you… I still trust you…”

I pray you’re receiving this message just like God wanted me to send it to you. Three times… How many times has God said it to you again and again?

That “I still love you. Despite you walking away, I still love you. Despite you doing this against me, I still love you. Probably more than three times…”

That’s the message of the Gospel: The number of times that you failed God is the equivalent time that He’ll give you His mercy.

That’s how much He loves you.

But my question now is this: Now that we know that God loves us, how do we love God in return? How do I reciprocate this incredible, inexplicable love that He gives to me?

… For us to love God back, we need to take care of the flock… Love the people He has planted in your life.

Called To Be a Shepherd

Jesus said, “…feed my lamb…”

And the way I see this is through the lens of a Feast Builder, or a pastor.

Because what do we call a leader who preaches? …We call him shepherd.

A leader leads. A shepherd leads, yes, but he loves.

I love this message so much because it says you are called to be a shepherd… He loves all His flock– no favoritism. He loves the lost…

What blesses me the most is that Jesus said the world will know that you are my disciples… if you love each other…

So, as we accept the love of God today, know that it’s not just for you.

It’s for the people around you. We can’t love perfectly. We’re conditional… But thank God that we don’t have to love perfectly — for only God can do that.

This is the message: You become His Love.

“Father in Heaven, we believe that You created us for a purpose so that we can love You with our whole heart, mind, and spirit. In that way, we can also love those that You put on our path. Lord, we need Your boundless love. We cannot do it on our own. We are going to tap out when we get tired but we don’t want to do that. We want to be tapped into your infinite source — your brook, your ocean, and your river. So that we can draw love from that well every day as we live. Father, we are made to be yours. We are made to love just like You do. With our humble voices, we worship You today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


This is a very important time in our Ministry, the moment when you can make the greatest decision of your entire life: To profess that Jesus is your Lord and your Savior, that He was brought into this world to rescue you, and that He died, three days later He resurrected to raise you to life with Him.

That’s the message of the Gospel: That there is salvation through the Son.

His Name is Jesus Christ. And you can have that same salvation right now…

Put your hand over your chest and say:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner in need of a savior. And right now, I need

Your mercy. I need Your love. I am done doing things on my own. I am tired. I am broken. Do it with me. Have Your way. Take my life and take the seat of Your throne in my heart.

Today, You are my God and You are my Savior. Today, all of me, all of my heart, and all of my soul are Yours. I am Yours. I am Yours. Amen.

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine

Published by THE FEAST (April 14, 2024)


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