Joy to the world! The Lord has come! Let earth receive her King!

Christmas is a special time when we come together and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Jesus is the gift God wants us to have. It’s the miracle of God giving himself to us; in a sense, inviting us to hold him in our hands and to discover the joy that living with him brings.

The joy of Christmas and the gift of Emmanuel – God with us – gives us the confidence to face the future with hope. This hope is born of our faith in the Living God.

Christmas is, first and foremost, about Love, God’s Love. God loves us so much that He gave us the most precious gift, Jesus, His own Son. That’s the heart of Christmas.

This great and wonderful love calls us to love one another. We share love in and through our human relationships; love is a commitment and a decision to stick by others, come what may, through thick and thin, when the going is easy and when the going gets more challenging. The love that we share in our human relationships is a reflection of the love of God, calling us to give of ourselves for others.

Jesus left us an example to follow. So we need to always be learning from his life in the Gospels. From the crib of Bethlehem to the cross of Calvary, he gave his life completely as a gift of love. That is how we should live. By loving others as Jesus has loved us. We are all brothers and sisters, members of one family.   “What you do to one of these little ones, you do it to me.” What we do to each other, good or bad, we do it to God.

At Christmas, we remember that Jesus was born in poverty, in a stable among the poorest people and the farm animals. What does this mean for us today? We are called to look for the face of Christ in the poor, those at our own door and in places far from here. Love can look like a cup of coffee offered, a hand held, a smile shared, and a story heard. In the end, we will be judged by how we care for the poor. Let us welcome him with joy and generosity, giving space in our lives to the others: refugees, migrants,   poor, sick, and weak, lonely, abandoned those at the margins of society.

Christmas is also about repentance and forgiveness. Love takes commitment and work, and sometimes we don’t get it right. We’re not perfect. But with God there is mercy and forgiveness, and second chances. And so must we offer those gifts to others. Christmas is a time of renewal, of fresh starts and coming together. Because our time is so precious, it is a beautiful gift. So let us try to be more generous with our time and more ‘present’ to others; less distracted. Let’s try to turn off our phones and computers more often so we can really pay attention to the people we love.

Christmas is not a day or a season; it is a lifetime of growth in holiness by generous giving of oneself to the others, by making a difference in the world.

May this Christmas celebration bring us peace and joy in our hearts and homes. And may God’s blessing be with us through thick and thin in the coming year 2019.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today
raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayers for the Dead on All Souls Day

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

 

RESPONSORY FOR THE DEAD  WITH PRAYERS FOR PERSONS, PARENTS AND ALL FAITHFUL DEPARTED

V. Do not remember my sins, O Lord.
R. When you come to judge the world by fire.

V. Direct my way in your sight, O Lord, my God.
R. When you come to judge the world by fire.

V. Eternal rest grant unto him/her/them, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him/her/them.
R. When you come to judge the world by fire.

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Our Father…

V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. From the gates of hell.
R. Deliver his/her soul, O Lord.
V. May he/she rest in peace.
R. Amen.

V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come to you.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And also with you.

PRAYER FOR A PERSON:

Let us pray. Lord, welcome into your presence your son N. (daughter, N.), whom you have called from this life. Release him (her) from all his sins, bless him (her) with eternal light and peace, raise him (her) up to live forever with all your saints in the glory of the resurrection. We ask this through Christ our Lord

PRAYER FOR PARENTS

Almighty God, you command us to honor father and mother. In your mercy forgive the sins of my (our) parents and let me (us) one day see them again in the radiance of eternal joy. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

 PRAYER FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

God, our maker and redeemer, in your mercy hear our prayer. Grant forgiveness and peace to our brothers (sisters) N. and N. who longed for your mercy. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

O Risen Lord!

O Risen Lord,
the way, the truth and the life,
make us faithful followers
of the spirit of your resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly
renewed; dying to ourselves
in order that you may live in us.
May our lives serve as signs
of the transforming power of your love.
Use us as your instruments
for the renewal of society,
bring your life and love to all
and leading them to your Church.
This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever. Amen

Let us remember them in our prayers…

On May 7, 2016, Fra. Nathaniel D. Robilla, SCJ, will make his final commitment in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the act of the Perpetual Profession of Vows of Chastity, Obedience and Poverty. The ceremony will be held at the “Studentato per le Missioni” in Bologna, Italy at 6:30 PM. Fra. Nathaniel belongs the SCJ Philippine Region and at the moment is completing his studies on the “New Evangelization” at the Bologna University.

Nathaniel invitation

Also, on May 19, 2016, Deacon Ronald M. Basco, SCJ, will be ordained a priest by the Most. Rev. Wilfredo D. Manlapaz, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Tagum. The ordination will be held at 9:00 in the morning in the Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum City.

Ronald's Ordination

GENERAL PRAYER FOR 2016 PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS

 

eleksyon 2016Almighty God, Loving Lord:

On May 9, we, the people of the Philippines, will go to the polls to elect both our national and local leaders.

Lord, we ask You to help us appreciate the importance of fair, free and honest elections and of electing sincere honest and capable men and women who have the best interests of the Filipino people at heart, and who will work diligently to grow our economy, create  jobs, and lift millions of our countrymen out of the bonds of poverty.

Guide us so that we may choose men and women of good character and integrity, men and women who are fit to lead our country and pursue what is right and just, men and women who can best respond to the many social, political and economic challenges our country faces.

In the exercise of our precious right to vote, banish and free us from all temptations of money, favors, power, revenge, leverage and other improper motives.

Grant, Lord, that the national elections be conducted honestly and peacefully, free from fraud and any irregularities that subvert the will of the electorate.

Protect all voters from harm and keep all candidates safe, especially those for whom we pray.

Amen.

Easter Prayer

he-is-risenO LORD OF LIFE, we thank you that the day of resurrection has dawned upon us. In its clear light, help us now to step from whatever sign of darkness there may be in ourselves into the true light and life, which is now yours—and which you long to share freely and fully with us.

Come to us – tune our heart and mind to give abundant thanks and praise to God – that on every Sunday we may solemnly celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. Give us this day quiet peace and special gladness, that being protected day and night by your mercy, we may rejoice always in the gift of life given to us by our faithful Savior.

– Norman Shawchuck

PRAYER FOR THE XXIII GENERAL CHAPTER

 

General Chapter Logo«MERCIFUL, IN COMMUNITY, WITH THE POOR»

Thank you Father, rich in mercy,
for the love that we experience
in your Son, Jesus Christ,
who “emptied himself” (Phil 2:6) to live among us.

Guide us and enlighten us with your Holy Spirit,
that we may always thank you
for the gift of faith and the vocation
we live in the Congregation of the
Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Give us the ability to share
your gift of grace
in our community service
to all the brethren, and especially
to the poor, the young and the marginalized.

Mary, our Mother,
model and protector of all
be with us and support us
that we may be faithful
in every experience of life,
and may announce the Kingdom of Your Son,
to each brother and sister awaiting
salvation and joy.

Heart of Jesus,
source of salvation and eternal joy
reign in our hearts.
Amen.