2nd Sun of Advent, Cycle A

2nd sunday

Is 11:1-10;

Rom 15:7-8, 12-13, 17.

Mt 3:1-12.

            Today we are presented with the figure of John the Baptist dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and who feeds on locusts and honey. He is an image of mortification and self-denial.  In the season of Advent we are invited to mortification and penance, and to be cleansed of sins so that we may meet the Savior with pure hearts. The first word that comes out of the Baptist’s mouth is “REPENT”; the reason is “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And how are we to do it? “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

            Let us clarify our concept of repentance by reviewing the parable of the Prodigal Son in Lk 15. “v. 18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.’ 20. So he got up and went to his father.” Watch the elements of repentance. 1) conviction of sin: “I have sinned against heaven and against you.” This is the first requisite of repentance. There was a man who had relations with the house help while the wife was in out-of-town assignment. The maid became proud of it and in a quarrel with her landlady blurted out that the husband loves her more than the wife, because the wife cannot give him children. When the wife confronted the husband he denied it. The wife discovered other evidences but the husband kept denying. Finally the wife discovered the diary of the maid and showed it to her husband. Only then did the husband say: “I’m sorry.” Is this repentance? NO! He said “I’m sorry,” not because he offended God, but because he was caught. To repent means that I acknowledge that I have offended God, that I have sinned, not because I was caught. Jn 16:8 says: “When he (the Spirit of Truth) comes, he will convict the world of sin.” When I do not have conviction of sin, then I do not have the Holy Spirit. 2) Repentance: “I no longer deserve to be called your son,” because I have offended, “treat me as you treat one of your hired workers.” This is repentance: I have sinned, I deserve punishment, and I am ready for what I deserve. 3) Conversion: “So he got up and went to his father.” Conversion means turning away from sin and taking steps to return home to the Father to live a new life.

            What caused the prodigal son to be convicted of sin? It was hunger and feeling dirty among the swine. God uses external discomfort and physical pain to bring us to our senses. And the Father’s attitude, what does it tell us? “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance” (Lk 15:7). Furthermore, God restores me to the status of son: “Quickly, bring the finest robe (of grace) and put it on him; put a ring (seal) on his finger and sandals on his feet” (capacity to walk the stairway to heaven).

            True repentance should lead us to confession. It cannot be denied that many of us still miss the true meaning of confession. I heard someone say, “I have not gone to confession for five years because I have no serious sin to confess.” Well, the fact that you have not confessed in one Lenten season, you already have serious sin to confess. Confession should not remain an obligation; it should become a devotion. St. Teresa of Avila, during the last two years of her life, went to confession every day. The higher she climbed in holiness, the clearer was her consciousness of God’s holiness as against her lowliness as creature. Confession is a “bath for the soul;” if I take a shower every day to keep my body clean, should not my soul have a regular shower? If I eat three times a day to keep healthy, should not by soul be nourished daily to remain healthy?

            If I go to the tribunal and narrate all my crimes, what happens to me? I get indicted, convicted. The more crimes I tell, the greater my penalty. But if I go to the confessional and narrate all my sins, I will be acquitted. Surely, I do not want to be indicted nor convicted before Christ the King. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is only for this existence; after this earthly life there is no chance for repentance. Therefore, let me be acquitted now while still on earth, and be clean of any stain or any weight of sin before I end this existence. “Seek the Lord, that you may live” (Amos 5:6). “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving” (Is 55:6-7). “I have brushed away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you” (Is 44:22). It is I who wipe away your offenses; your sins I remember no more” (Is 43:25). “I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony heart and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees” (Ez 36:25-27). “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine… For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior… Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I love you… Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:1, 3-5).

            Let us look deeper. At the tribunal, I get indictment and conviction. The human court throws me into prison and holds me in my past sins. It cuts me off from the future and I have no chance to improve the self to become a better person. Similarly, when I do not forgive my spouse and decide for a separation, I cut off the future of my family. I condemn all of us to be imprisoned in our past sins and we all suffer the consequences. A son of sixteen became addicted to drugs and stole the jewelries of his mother and sold them to pay for his drugs. The father in his anger banishes him: “Wala akong anak na magnanakaw.” This father keeps his son in his past sins and cuts off the future. What will become of him since he has no experience in life? This is the result of human unforgiveness.

            Let me go to the confessional and tell all my sins. I get acquitted. I come out relieved and strong, facing the future with hope. Why? Because I hear the Lord say, “Get up, try again, I will help you.” Isaiah is insistent on this. “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice” (Is 41:10). “For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’… I will help you, says the Lord, your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel” (Is 41:13-14). The sacramental grace of confession empowers me to begin a better future. It does not condemn me to my past sins, but promises a bright future in the life of grace. I can move on and work it out to become a better (and holier) person. The Lord keeps his promise: “I will be with you” and “I will help you.”            

God readily forgives me, do I forgive my enemies, those who offended me? We pray many times, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” and yet unforgiveness happens to be the most frequent case in our life. At Christmas we celebrate God’s love and forgiveness coming down to us –the Infant Jesus. Advent is the time to seek God’s forgiveness and give out forgiveness to those who offended us. By forgiving others, we become more like our forgiving God and Father. Then our Christmas will be complete. -0-

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2023 >
January
SMTuWThFS
12
  • All day
    January 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Arsenia Villanueva (Trial / Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Charlene Catchillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)
    Jorge Datuin (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2021-2023)
    Fray Chrislean Rey Pamilaga

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
  • All day
    January 3, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Danny Cabuslay Jr. (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Estelita Buenavista, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Angelina Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Tita Montemayor (Tondo Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ernil Orbecido, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cristina Domingo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Bro. Nenito Javarez (Puerto Prtincesa Chapter / Trial)
    Fran Cheska Marie Andan (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    +Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2023

    FUNERAL OF THE LATE +POPE-EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jude Dacullo (postulant)
    Sis. Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Bro. Jose Pepito Bonete Jr., SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Yulanda Lim, SAR (Trial / Miranila Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Sylvia Evina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Grace Aba-a, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aurora Decipolo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Solatan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Dominga Torregosa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

7
  • All day
    January 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Eliza Stubbs, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lorelie Cabanes, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

8
  • All day
    January 8, 2023

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace, OAR
    St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church
    Laoang, Northern Samar / @1600H

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Diocese of Dumaguete)

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2023

    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    PROVINCE-LEVEL CHRISTMAS PARTY
    Venue: Provincial Curia
    Time: 1200H

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Joshua Miguel Salmon (postulant)
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
    Sis. Marcelina Taguinod, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2023

    OAR FORMANDS’ CONVENTION START
    Venue: CARES, Baguio City
    Inclusive Dates: January 10-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jayson Solmayor (postulant)
    Sis. Shirley Ostia (Tondo Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR
    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
    Sis. Elena Dagdag, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Ian Gabrielle Canlubo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR
    +Sis. Elena Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter) f

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Sis. Josephine Guinto, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gaspillo, AR
    +Bro. Hilario Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2023

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    (1998-2023)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Antonio Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2023

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray James Erold Gatinao, OAR
    St. Joseph the Husband of Mary Parish Church
    Poblacion, Narra, Palawan / @900H

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR
    Bro. Jose Valdez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luisa Gumiran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. Patrich Miguel Ajos (Bacolod Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Esterlita Gracia, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Aurea Figura, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Vicenta Prado, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • 4:04 PM
    January 15, 2023

    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR
    Bro. Maximo Epanto, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Virgen de la Consolacion, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2023

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    ANNUAL RETREAT (THIRD BATCH)
    Retreat Master: Fr. Elias Ayuban Jr., CMF
    Theme: “Synodality and Charismatic Identity”
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City
    Inclusive Dates: January 15-19, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jhon Russel Manalstas (aspirant)
    Br. Janrhey Palmis (aspirant)
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod)
    Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR
    Sis. Alice Mojica, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Bernarda Tan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Melissa Sandil, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Lucia Degamo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Cleofe Alvarez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Carmencita Victorino, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Lucila Young, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
  • All day
    January 17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Corvin Maturan
    Sis. Belen Taniagao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR
    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2023

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    January 18-25, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    Sis. Guia Gonzales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Christina So, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Rhea Canania (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    January 19, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY MIGUEL ÁNGEL HERNÁNDEZ, OAR (Prior General)
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR
    Sis. Angelica Tejada, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Amante, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Teodora Delus, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Sheny Valerio, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosario Grace Roldan, SAR (Manila Chapter / Trial)

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2023

    ST. SEBASTIAN (Patron Saint of Manila & Cavite Communities, Diocese of Bacolod)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR
    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bibiana Madrietta, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

21
  • All day
    January 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Urbano Galanido
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo
    Sis. Leticia de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Alicia Catulong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ofelia Balocating, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Flaviana Minoza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2023

    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

    [Pope   Francis’   Apostolic   Letter, Motu   proprio Aperuit  illis, published on  30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is   to   be   devoted   to   the   celebration, study   and
    dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Jovito Padua, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Acosta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Esterlina Silva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Rose Marie Gaspar, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Melba Cariño, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR
    +Sis. Felisa Torrecampo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Paz Chico, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Teofilo Jabonero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2023

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Cristopher Maspara
    Br. Ken Joshua Manalo (aspirant)
    Sis. Henrietta Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emenciana Cabaral, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    (2005-2023)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Margarita Zafra, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
    January 27, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Florepis Vergara, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Welim Husayan (Laray Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Eusebia Siarez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2023

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray Julius James Tinapao, OAR
    Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church
    Bayawan City, Negros Oriental / @1000H

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Louie Gabinete
    Sis. Lita Lorenzo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2023

    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    70th WORLD LEPROSY DAY BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Anecita Paglinawan, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Angelina Duhig, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)
    Marielet Vital (RAY-Urbiztondo)

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
    Sis. Violeta Siozon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Fedencia de la Cruz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Evangeline Castro, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Sis. Julieta Dawa, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Jay Rosauro Cortez, SAR (Manila Chapter

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 1: ROME-KINSHASA

    07:55     Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport to Kinshasa
    15:00     Arrival at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    15:00     OFFICIAL WELCOME
    16:30     WELCOME CEREMONY at the “Palais de la Nation”
    16:45      COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the “Salle Présidentielle” of the “Palais de la Nation”
    17:30      MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the “Palais de la Nation”

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR
    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Lance Raven Lapinig (RAY-Talisay)

    

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