TODAY, I want to preach the message Love like Jesus.

There is a person beside you who may need Jesus, who may need His love. Might be your husband or your wife. Might be your son or your daughter. Might be your mom or your dad. Or might be a friend. Or might be a stranger.

Whoever that person is, I want you to be Jesus to that person and express the love of Jesus to that person. Either by handshake or a big hug, it doesn’t matter. Just express the love of Jesus to that person. Love like Jesus today.

Fr. Mario loved us like Jesus this morning. Thank you so much. Always does. Thank you for the Word. Thank you for the Eucharist.

So beautiful! What a gift!

We want to thank our Worship Team for loving us like Jesus. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Meet Engineer Jun

I want to tell you a story… Two weeks ago, I met this guy.

His name is Engineer Jun. And his story is that at a very dark season of his life, he entered The Feast in Cebu.

You see, Engineer Jun is a contractor. And you know, as a contractor, you give a little… I won’t bore you with the details…

But two weeks ago, he was telling me that at that point, you know, things happened in his business that

when he entered The Feast in Cebu, he owed P120 million.

If you were Engineer Jun, and you were buried under P120-million debt, how would you feel? Devastated. Hopeless. That’s how he felt.

When he entered The Feast, not only did he have P120-million debt, he was being sued right and left by his suppliers.

So, in his mind, he was saying, “That’s it. My life is over. It’s gone.”

That’s when he walked into The Feast. And he started praying and he started worshiping. And then guess what happened?

Somebody gave him– of course, you’re a first-timer at The Feast, what do they give you? The Novena to God’s Love booklet.

And that’s what he has there in his hand. There are spaces in the booklet for seven dreams you want to be fulfilled, right?

He wrote: I will pay all my debts.

He did not know how. But he wrote it down.

The second he wrote was: All my court cases will be cleared.

He did not know how that would happen. Okay?

So, he kept writing his dreams. And then, No. 7, it was empty.

And the first thing that came to his mind was: My wife, my family and I will go to the Holy Land.

And as he was writing that, he was saying, “Ang dami ko ngang utang, paano ba ito?– I have so many debts, how can this dream come true?”

It was like impossible, right?

Miracle at The Feast

Engineer Jun walked into The Feast in Cebu in 2014. The servants there, they cared for him, they loved him.

The leaders there spent coffee time with him. They just journeyed with him.

Two weeks ago, Engineer Jun and I chatted, and he said, “All my debts have been paid. All my court cases are gone. And my family and I went to the Holy Land.”

And his business resurrected and he’s going strong.

Why did I tell you that story?

At that time when he needed someone to be with him, to tell him there was hope, there were a bunch of Feasters– at The Feast– who loved him like Jesus.

They did not go to him, they did not tell him:

“Kumusta ang buhay mo? Okay, ba? — How’s your life? — Are you following the Lord? You know, is there a relationship that needs to be morally right? Are you reading the Bible every day? Are you praying every morning?”

They did not gang up on him nor give him the Commandments that he was supposed to follow.

They came up to him and said, “What’s your need?

Ah, marami kang utang– Ah, you have lots of debts. We will pray for you. Oh, you have a lot of court cases. We’re going to be with you. and we’re going to journey with you. We’re going to be your friend. And we’re going to be praying that God will fulfill the dreams that you’ve written down in your Novena.

They became his friends.

Jesus Is in You

My friend, Jesus is here and He is here in you. And if you have a need, we’re going to come and pray.

Maybe right now, you’re like Engineer Jun when he was in his dark season. You have a need. Maybe you have debts. And maybe you need a miracle. And maybe there’s a relationship that’s broken. And whatever dream that you have right now, that you’ve written in your Novena to God’s Love, maybe, it’s not yet fulfilled.

Friend, I want you to know Jesus is here. I want you to believe that miracles are still possible. Amen!

And that this is a place of miracles. Yes or No? Yes! It is a place of miracles because the God of Miracles is here.

And whatever happened to Engineer Jun can happen to you. Sure, it took 10 years. I’m not saying it was quick. But you know, Engineer Jun continues to serve the Lord today. And that’s the real miracle: That you love like Jesus.

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

What does spiritual maturity really mean?

The title of the Talk is

The Greatest Metric.

If there is one metric that speaks about spiritual maturity, the greatest measurement is this:

This is the Commandment.

The others are Commandments.

But this is the commandment.

It is the ultimate goal of life: To love like Jesus. Put your hands over your chest. Everybody, say:

Father, perform the greatest miracle in my life. Help me to love like Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Let’s give the Lord a big hand, Everybody. Defining what spiritual maturity is defining what holiness is, is very important.

Why? Because it will define how we do church. If spiritual maturity means loving like Jesus, the church must first of all be a band of people who love like Jesus.

When I start defining what spiritual maturity is, I need to differentiate two terms: religious maturity and spiritual maturity.

And I will do that by introducing to you two fellows:

First: Let’s call him Richard. I’ll not give you his real name.

When I met him, I learned that he did not go to church. All his life, he did not go to church. But then when I got to know him more, I would be shocked at those moments when some beautiful light exploded in his life.

It was selflessness.

This guy– Richard– loved like Jesus. I repeat: Did not go to church. He told me he would go to church when there was a wedding he had to attend.

I asked him, “Why don’t you go to church?”

He said, “My parents never taught me to go to church. All my life, since I was a kid, never did.”

So, here was a man who did not read the Bible, did not know the Bible. But I do not know why he was living the heart of the Bible. And it discombobulated me.

It did.

It got confirmed. It was not like I was observing him, the way he was running his business, the way he took care of his employees, the way he took care of his family…

And then it got confirmed– when I talked to his employees, when I talked to his family, when I talked to his friends, they all told me this guy is unique, he is incredible, he is awesome– his kindness.

And so, his life, I believe, shouted to me that there is indeed a difference between religious maturity and spiritual maturity.

Now, when I differentiate both, I am in no way–  in no way— devaluing religious maturity.

What is religious maturity?

Religious maturity is time in prayer– daily, reading Scripture, receiving the Sacraments, being in church.

That’s religious maturity. And I’m not devaluing that.


Because all of these — for thousands of years and millions of people– have been the God-appointed channels of His love to us.

They’re the incredible conduits– powerful conduits –of God’s unstoppable grace to make us love like Jesus. And so, normally, religious maturity and spiritual maturity grow together. Normally, it happens. But here was an anomaly.

Richard did not have the usual religious channels to receive God’s love, to make him love like Jesus. And yet he loved like Jesus. He was a mystery to me. I could not fathom him as much…

So, I had to ask him a few times: “Richard, where do your values come from?” And usually, he would have only one answer.

Very simply he would tell me, “My parents loved me unconditionally.”

His answer reminded me of something very important that all parents need to hear. Parents, before Scripture, before the Sacraments, before the Church, you–mommy, you– daddy, are God’s appointed, ordained, channels for His love to flow into your children. That if you love your kids like

Jesus, then they will get to know Jesus and love like Jesus as well.

And I know it’s a heavy responsibility. But I just needed to say that.

Second Story: ‘Barbie and Ken’

The second fellow whose story I want to share with you– again, I will hide his name– is the husband of a friend. Let’s call the couple Barbie and Ken. Sorry, my brain is lazy right now. They have no relationship with the dollsJ.

Barbie separated from Ken one day– after many years of marriage. Everybody was in shock.

All her friends were saying, “How could you do that? Ken was a holy person!”

That was how everybody looked at Ken. Because Ken went to church every day. Ken read his Bible every day. Ken, every time you talk to him, he will talk about doctrines, he will talk about, you know, God, and he will invite you to pray.

And so, they came up to Barbie and they said, “Barbie, why?! You’re so lucky to have Ken. He’s such a good man. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he’s always in church, he’s always walking around praying the Rosary… Why did you separate from him?”

And Barbie’s answer was this: “For the past 18 years, I have been verbally and emotionally abused. For the past 18 years of my married life, I have been treated like garbage.”

So, I know this couple. And, my dear Friends, I want you to know all these years I’ve been serving in Ministry, I have met a few Kens. They’re not normal. Okay? Because although they had the God-appointed channels of God’s love like prayer, and Mass, and Scripture, and church, for some reason, God’s love did not go through those normal channels.

Somewhere, somehow, something happened. And we’re going to talk about that today.

Because of this view, I am going to share with you a fruit of laborious reflection over the past 45 years of my walking with the Lord — 44 years of Ministry.

This is what I’m going to share with you today and it’s priceless for me — priceless for me– to share this with you. I find this very valuable.

I am going to define what I think– and this is just my personal opinion after 44, 45 years of walking with the Lord: What spiritual maturity means.

Spiritual maturity means nine signs that you are spiritually mature.

When you say saint, the first thing that comes to mind is somebody who loves God. Yes, or No? I define saint differently.

A saint is someone who knows how to receive God’s love. Because loving God is simply a fruit, a response to that love. In 1 John 4:19:

So, it all starts in receiving God’s love. This is the first move: God initiates. And holiness is receiving that love.

That’s No. 1

If the start of the spiritual journey is receiving God’s love, the fuel — daily fuel– is gratitude. And so, you know you’re maturing spiritually if you see His love everywhere and every action you make is a Thank You to that love.

When I was 12 years old, I thought I was going crazy. Because I came to know Jesus in a very personal way. And 13 years old, I was there, walking on the street, and it was hot. It was scorching– the back of my neck was burning. It was one of those summers when it was really, horrendously hot. And there I was– smiling.

Why? Because I was praying: “Lord, this is how hot Your love is.” 13 years old.

The next day, I was walking on that same road and all of a sudden it rained– and I was drenched. And I did not bother to go to a shade. I did not try to get an umbrella or a raincoat. No. I just allowed the rain to fall on me.

And I had a smile on my face again, and I said, “Lord, this is how cool Your love is.”

Seeing God Everywhere

I really thought I was getting crazy. And as I was walking, there was this field of flowers.

And I began to smell– actually, I didn’t smell it– I just thought

I smelled. You know, I have a big nose but my wife says it doesn’t work. I can’t smell anything.

But the flowers were so beautiful, it’s like I smelled, yeah, the scent.

Oh, wow!

And then, I felt, “Oh God, this is how beautiful Your love is– like these flowers.” Again, I thought I was getting crazy.

Because I saw love– God’s love– everywhere. I was 13.

And then, as I was walking on the road, there was this huge garbage can– overflowing garbage. And it really stunk. I got a whiff of it — and I just began to smile. And I continued to smell it.

And then I said, “Lord, this must be how my sins smell. And how obnoxious my sins are to You– and yet You still love me.”

I was 13 years old, and I thought I was getting crazy. Because everywhere I looked, it’s God’s love. It’s God’s love. It’s God’s love. It’s God’s love.

I want you to know that phase did not last. I grew up. But then at different times, it would come back. At different moments, it would come back.

And I want you to know that today, at my age, nearing that point where

I will enjoy 20% discounts in drug stores and restaurants– nearing that point– I want you to know, it still happens.

It still happens. When I see God’s love everywhere.

Spiritual maturity is seeing God everywhere– and letting every action be gratitude.

Which brings me to No. 3

The Third Sign of Spiritual Maturity is healthy self-love. Fr. Mario was talking about that a while ago.

I remember at The Feast years ago, I preached about healthy self-love. Well, after my talk, there was this critic. He was angry. He came up to me. He was a middle-aged man with spectacles. I still see his face right now.

After the talk, he came up to me, angry, and he said, “Bro. Bo, can I talk to you? Can I talk to you?”

I said, “What is it?”

And he said, “Bro. Bo, I don’t agree with what you just did onstage.

You did not preach the Word of God. You preached pop psychology.

You did not preach the Gospel of Jesus. You preached the Gospel of Oprah. Why talk about self-love?”

And so, I smiled at him, and I said, “I agree with you. If I stopped at self-love… How many times have you gone to The Feast?”

He said, “This is my first time.”

I said, “If you were here last week, if you were here the week before, if you were here last month, if you were here last year, you would have heard I preached about selflessness. I preached about sacrifice– which is the ultimate purpose of life: to give yourself. But how can you give yourself if you have no self— and what you need to do? So, I’m just preaching the start…”

And then I finally told him, “Listen to me. I was like you once upon a time– many, many decades ago I did not want to talk about self-love. I was allergic to it.”

You Are Loved

Anything with the word self, or self-love –I would not talk about it. Until I started befriending some spiritual formators.

Do you know what spiritual formators are? The priest of the priests.

It’s the priests who are in charge of the formation of the priests, seminarians, and the nuns.

And I’ve known a bunch of them and we would chat, and swap stories, and this is what they tell me: Whenever they meet a problematic priest, a priest that is having a crisis, a priest that is going through a scandal– sexual scandal, whatever it is, ultimately, they’ll find one thing: The priest may be religious, he may be doing the rigors and disciplines of the priesthood, but deep down, he does not like himself.

At the end of the day, you cannot divorce spiritual maturity from psychological maturity. Both are two sides of a coin.

Put your hand over your chest and say, “I’m amazing. I’m beautiful.

I’m wonderful. God made me, and what a wonderful person I am.” How do you feel?

When you know that you are loved, and when you know you accept yourself, there is no need to fight for the acceptance of others, there’s no need to prove yourself to someone else.

And guess what? We’re just connected to No. 4

One of the things I hit upon when I meet people– these are religious people– they’ve got addictions. They’re trapped in compulsions. Somewhere, somehow, they’re trapped in bondages. I know. I should know because many decades ago, I was addicted to porn. I was trapped in it for years. I was serving God.

I was praying. But why was I trapped? I’ll tell you why.

Addiction, peel it away, and beneath it, at its core, is a hunger for love. All addictions. They are a hunger for love. All addicts. They do not love themselves. And it’s so painful that they’re looking for a painkiller.

And what happens is they look for painkillers called drugs. A painkiller called alcohol. Painkiller called lust. Painkiller called gambling. Painkiller called shopping. Painkiller called food.

I got healed when I received God’s love– Sign No. 1. And started to love myself– Sign No. 3.

I want to speak to anybody who’s addicted. Anybody who’s in bondage.

Anybody who’s trapped in a compulsion. Jesús will set you free.

Let Him love you today and fill that heart of yours with love.

Jesus said in Luke 4:18:

A spiritually mature person is growing in freedom.

My dear Friends, disobedience, at its core, is a lack of trust.

A disobedience problem is a trust problem. The reason you do not follow the Lord, I’ll tell you. I’ll break it down for you. I’ll give you the anatomy.

The reason you cannot follow the Lord and obey Him — and insist on what you want, you’re telling God, ‘No, Lord, I disagree with You. This is what is right.

Not about what you’re saying. I insist this is what is right’– is that you do not trust that if you follow the Lord, you will find your joy, you will find your fulfillment, you will find your peace, you will find your happiness.

The reason you’re insisting, “This is the path I will take, Lord– not Yours”– is you believe that this path will bring you happiness.

Today, a spiritually mature person– I’m telling you now– is somebody who daily is saying, “Okay, Lord, I may not agree with You– all my logic is saying that I should follow my path– but right now– Haaahh!– I’ll trust You. And I’m going to follow You.”

That’s a spiritually mature person.

No. 6: You’re focused on the Spirit of the Law, not the Letter of the Law.

Six times in the Gospel, Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath. Whenever something is repeated in the Bible, you know it’s pretty important to God.

Why did Jesus heal on a Sabbath? Mark 2:27 says:

Every time I fall into legalism, focusing on the letter of the Law, I know that I am not yet spiritually mature.

The spiritually mature person focuses on the spirit of the Law.

The Eucharist is the most eloquent expression of God’s Presence. It is the unrivaled expression of God’s Presence. Ordinary bread turning into the Almighty God.

This gathering, this one that’s happening right now. Ordinary people

with frustrations and doubts and traumas and hangups and issues. Ordinary people with bad breath and underarm odor and fungus in their feet. Ordinary people with histories. Ordinary people with brokenness. And ordinary people with weaknesses– when gathered together, in the Name of Jesus, become the Body Christ.

God is here. God is here– where the Eucharist is brought. God is here.

When we worship God, God is here. When the Word is preached, God is here.

When you’re alone in your room and you’re praying, God is there. When you’re reading the Bible, God is there. When you’re praying the Rosary, God is there.

God is there in the ordinary moments of your life. God is there. But it’s got to overflow outside religious things.

That’s the point. If you experience God, if you encounter God only in a religious setting, your religious gathering and your religious activities, you don’t get the Kingdom of God. God is not a King just in church. God is not King just over religious activities. God is King over every area of your life.

You need to encounter God when you are in your cubicle finishing your accounting report. When you’re having dinner with your family. When you are taking a shower, when you’re exercising, when you’re cooking your Lasagna, when you’re eating pizza with friends.

God has to be in the ordinary moments of your life. When you experience that, then you know you are spiritually getting to be more mature.

A spiritually mature person grows in humility.

You know someone is holy when he is humble. If God is healing his insecurities.

Because the insecure person is the one who’s trying to become proud.

It is the humble person who is secure.

And Friends, full circle: It goes back to No.1. >

The only way to receive God’s love is when you are humble.

This is the last sign. This is the greatest sign. And this is the Greatest Metric. This is the ultimate goal: No. 9 is selflessness.

Are you holy? Are you spiritually mature?

No. 9 says you know you are growing spiritually, you know you are coming closer to God if you love like Jesus.

My dear Friends, the Cross.

Is the Cross something that you hang on the wall?

Is the Cross just this golden pendant that you hang around your neck? Is the Cross just a little picture on the front cover of your Bible?

Or, is the Cross every action from your daily life? That is what spiritual maturity means.

Selfless Love

The reason I’ve been married to this beautiful woman for the past 25 years… Do you know why this marriage is strong?

Because of the Cross.

Marowe, twenty-five years ago, I said I will die for you every day. I will die for you every day. I failed many times, you know. Became selfish, and proud, and so on. But I made a decision and by the grace and mercy of God, our marriage has stood the test of time.

And that’s why this home. We’re trying our best to love each other without expecting anything in return.

I love you. Every day. Every day.

Two weeks ago, I met with a bunch of friends. I love these friends so much.

Almost all of them are in their 70s. They’re my Light group.

(From left: Carl and Lanie Fontanilla; Hermie and Reng Morelos; Bo and Marowe Sanchez; Pio and Bebot Español.)

You know, in The Feast, we break up into small groups. Do you know how long I’ve been serving with this bunch of people? 40 years. I’m not kidding. We’ve stuck with each other. We’ve served together to this day. There’s a couple that’s not there (Roy and Rorie Pasimio). They’re in the U.S. They migrated there some years ago but they serve there and we still see each other online.

We’re still a Light Group.

My Friends, I want you to know that this bunch, we fought. You count the number of times we fought; I cannot count. Some of these fights were bloody. Oh, my gosh. You know, shouting matches. I’m not kidding. We really fought.

But then at the end of the day, we made up.

Why? Because a long, long time ago, when the relationship began, we said we’re all broken. And if Jesus loved us in our brokenness, how can we not love each other? In our brokenness.

Tayo nga minahal ng Diyos nang tayo ay punung-puno ng kahinaan. We were loved by Jesus in our wounds. We stunk like garbage. He still embraced us. How can we not do the same way — love like Jesus.


This Community has to be a community that loves like Jesus.

Now, when I took the hand of my wife and I said about marriage, I’m not saying — you know, if a husband is abusing you already, you know, if there’s adultery– I’m not saying you still stick to each other. No. There are times when you really have to separate. Because you don’t allow that. You should never allow that.

But you know, 90% of relationships are not about adultery, not abuse, and not addictions. It’s about annoyance. And if they are annoyances, then we’re supposed to love like Jesus and stick around, and continue in that relationship.

So, come and pray and allow Jesus, the Cross of Jesus to bless you. This is the reason we are here. Lift your hands and say this prayer with me:

Jesus, Thank You for the Cross, for dying for me, for being selfless.

I don’t know how I can love the way you love me. On my own, it’s impossible.

But I trust in you. That if you ask me to do it, then that means You’re going to make it possible. And so, perform a miracle in my life. And help me to love like You.

In Your Name. Amen.

Friends, I want you to just put your arms around somebody beside you. Love like Jesus. Love that person like Jesus.

Love like Jesus.

Make a decision to put God first and love like Jesus.

Every Sunday, every week, make a decision to be here, worship the Lord here. Allow the Lord to bless you. Amen.

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

Published by THE FEAST (February 25, 2024)


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