Reflection on the XXI Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Mt16

Is. 22:19-23; Rom. 11:33-36; Mt. 16:13-20.

The 1st reading from Isaiah talks about the majordomo Shebna in the palace of King Hezekiah, who was a megalomaniac: “He has hewn for himself a sepulcher on a height and carved a tomb in the rock.” King Hezekiah had been threatened by Sennacherib of Assyria, but with the help of the prophet Isaiah, Jerusalem was saved and Sennacherib went back to Assyria without conquering Jerusalem. After this Jerusalem became prosperous, and as usual the people became complacent and turned to idols. God called to repentance but Jerusalem did not heed. Among the self-important and arrogant was Shebna who prepared a monumental burial place for himself. But the Lord has other plans, Shebna will be exiled into Babylon and there he will die in exile. He will be replaced by the humble Eliakim. It is the Lord who changes the persons in rank and his decrees are prophetic. Eliakim will be given a new robe as in investiture, and with the robe the authority it symbolizes. What is more telling are the following words: “I will place the key of the House of David in his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut; when he shuts, no one shall open.” This transfer of authority will be expressed in similar words by Jesus to Peter in our Gospel today. The important elements are the giving of the key, the authority of opening and closing of doors. At this point we can assert with St Paul: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!”

Jesus was up north with his disciples in Caesarea Philippi, and he wanted the disciples to confess their faith in his person. It was easy for them to quote what others think of him. But what about these who profess to follow him? What did they think he was? Peter, by special inspiration from the Father replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” This act of faith evoked a great response from Jesus: “You are Petros, and on this petra I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” As a name of a man, it is masculine, Petros, but as rock it is petra, feminine. In the Greek translation of the Bible done by the Jews themselves, ekklesia translated the Hebrew qahal, referring to the Israelite people as community of Yahweh. Qahal was the Church of the Old Testament, and ekklesia is the Church of the New Testament. Jesus adds a prophetic promise: “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Today many attacks are directed against the Holy Father and the Catholic Church as a whole. We need to pray for the Holy Father, the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops and the whole hierarchy that they may be steadfast in upholding the Catholic Faith and be examples of holiness for all the faithful. Let us take refuge under the Maternal Mantle of the Bl. Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother, who during the past centuries has been God’s messenger to us calling everyone to conversion and holiness: La Sallette, Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal, Medjugorie, and Lipa. She, the Immaculate Conception, steps on the head of the serpent. With her at our side, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

Lastly, in our Gospel today, Jesus transmits his authority to Peter and to the Church: “I give to you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The power of loosing and binding is in general: “whatever”. After the resurrection John (20:23) reports that this was made specific: “whose sins you forgive, are forgiven them, whose sins you retain, are retained.” Jesus became man to suffer, die, be buried and rise again for the forgiveness of our sins. When he returns to heaven that work of forgiving sins must continue, so long as there are sinners to forgive, and naturally through the hands of his priests in his Church. Only God can forgive sins and only God can transmit that power to chosen men in his Church, already illustrated in Leviticus 5. Jesus merited for us salvation and eternal life, and he established his Church to be the channel for those graces to flow into us sinners. In his Church Jesus established the priesthood to minister to his people, and the sacraments through which the priest opens the flow of grace to each individual. In the Torah God established the Church of the Old Testament with its hierarchical priesthood and the sacraments and other rituals and festivals to transmit salvation to his people. Only in the Catholic Church do we have these elements and brought to perfection by the actions of Christ. Let us love God and love his Church that ministers to us for our salvation. Amen.

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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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< 2022 >
December
SMTuWThFS
    1
  • All day
    December 1, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray “Joseph” Pham Duc Quoc (novice)
    Sis. Aida Torio, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Christy Joyce Fortaleza (RAY-Talisay)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1984-2022)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2022)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Cornelio Moral (2014-2022)

2
  • All day
    December 2, 2022

    SSC-R MANILA:  REKOLETOS FESTIVAL 2022
    Inclusive Dates: December 2-9, 2022

    BIRTHRDAY

    Sis. Josefina de Leon, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Rodita Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

3
  • All day
    December 3, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (Philippines)
    Venue: OLCP Church, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Joel Baylon, D.D. (Diocese of Legazpi)

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace
    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Fray James Erold Gatinao

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Manuel Concepcion, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tordillo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1994-2022)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel VillaruelFray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Crisostomo Garnica (2011-2022)
    +Sis. Avelina Go, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2022

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Time: 4:00 p.m.
    Venue: Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila Carosa # 21B (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebatian)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong S
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Barbara Cordova, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milica Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Joie Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2021-2022)
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2022

    434TH ANNIVERSARY (1588-2022) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    31st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1991-2022) SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Grethel Manalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Crispina Osejo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1995-2022)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2022)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2022)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2022)
    Fray Paul Demilliones
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Elpedio Sarita Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2022) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)

    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Juana de Sta. Rita, AR
    +Bro. Aproniano Dioko, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Loreda Cruz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Sis. Gloria Piig, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Paican, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Maureen Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Christy Mae Gregia (RAY-Tambo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR
    +Sis. Corazon Morales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Bro. Jessie Bolaron, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gavino Ben Cabardo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Guillermo Villariza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2022

    REAP ONLINE MEETING – PRESENTATION OF NORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES (IV)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR
    Sis. Melinda Olis, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Loreta Maglaque, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Estrella Anotado, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2019-2022)
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR
    +Sis. Teopista Eltanal, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    +Sis. Helen Lingao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2022

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR
    Sis. Concepcion Tagros, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Marjorie de Asis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Clemente San Gabriel Jr., SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1967-2022)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2022)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2022)
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2022)

    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2022)

    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Leonora Larlar, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Alan Dale Adel (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR
    Bro. German Abrina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Desiree Mae Lauron (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2002-2022)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    +Mo. Potenciana de la Encarnacion
    +Sis. Florencia Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Purificacion Dakoykoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
  • All day
    December 10, 2022

    PSTV: SOLEMN PROFESSION & DIACONAL ORDINATION OF FRAY DANILLO DE SOUZA SANTOS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Emerita de la Cruz, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Merly Soriano, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Eulalia Cabigas, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Maica Bironia (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Melchor Atienza, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

11
  • All day
    December 11, 2022

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR
    Bro. Earl Romulo Quero Jr., SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    REAP CONFERENCES – NORMS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City
    Inclusive Dates: December 11 – 15, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2010-2022)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Lourdes Tablizo, AR
    +Bro. Antonio Fidel Padua, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jestoni Latagan (novice)
    Sis. Ma. Isabel Baluyot, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    John Paul Morales (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Basilia Balbino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Jessa Mae Camay (RAY-Laray)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1969-2022)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Charlito Orobia
    Sis. Fe Horcasitas, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Theresa Mislang, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Bro. Carlito Villanueva, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR
    Sis. Eleonor Tadena, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Evelyn Garcellano, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Adormeo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Suzette Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2022

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Rossil Albina (postulant)
    Sis. Alita Atotubo, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Yburan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    +Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR
    +Sis. Evangeline Mactao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Sis. Rustica Tolentino, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Arienda, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Condeicion, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolene Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Bibiana Madrinan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2022

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. June Clark Solas (prenovice)
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)
    Bro. Charlito Padul, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Bro. Romeo Pascual, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tancino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrah Cathillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2022

    ONLINE TRAINING SESSION: COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR
    Sis. Maribel Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Elsa de Guzman, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosario Nacua, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anatolia Lopez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Ma. Nicaella Rudio (RAY-Canlubang)
    Angel Mae Paraan (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Serapion Bustamante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR
    Sis. Eusebia Rubillos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    (1989-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Br. Kent Año (postulant)
    Sis. Floresita Sanico, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    +Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Sis. Emma Binoya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aida Balagtas, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Christer Mari Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bienvenida Dumpa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2022

    CHRISTMAS DAY

    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 nn (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY OF:

    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR
    Sis. Gloria Horcasitas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Bro. Sofronio Maribojoc, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1980-2022)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Allan Vivas, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Gavino, AR
    +Sis. Concepcion Artiaga, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Gaerlan, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosalina Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2022

    HOLY INNOCENTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Sis. Remia Gallegos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lydia Gutierrez, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Tecson, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Dacanay, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Cyrine Mae Mendoza (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rita Lincoran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Bro. Bartolome Lamug, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Luz Tañales, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Benita Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2022

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Tomas Banguilan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Delfin Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Violeta Fumar, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rizalina Gasmido, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Viñon, AR
    +Sis. Teresita Villasario, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    +Sis. Benita Dianon, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Montesclaros, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2022

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr. Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR
    Sis. Elizabeth Mahusay, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Yubal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Pauline Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bonnie de Guzman (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Zenaida Maglalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Myrna Baynosa, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Sis. Nelia Rito, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!

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