Finding my sacred space     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 7, Friday, after Epiphany to the Baptism of the Lord – [But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray. Luke 5:12-16] Jesus was becoming more and more popular among the people because of his wondrous works and they kept on following Him. I can imagine that Jesus must have also felt uncomfortable with the fuss around him so He always finds time to be alone, to be quiet, to pray and to be with His Father. I am also bothered with many things, and even some petty things around my community. I wish to join Jesus in his quiet spot, just to be with Him, to calm my nerves… Lord, please teach me to be quiet and to pray. Amen.

"This Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me'     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 6, Thursday, after Epiphany to the Baptism of the Lord – [‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ Lk 4:14-22] The world is full of troubles and confusion. By virtue of my baptism, I became a child of God and also belonged to the Church. Thus, how do I share in the mission of Christ? Do I cultivate peace in me and among my brothers and sisters? I pray to God to grant me the grace to live my daily life as an instrument of peace and unity for my community and for the bigger society. Amen.

My Greatest Fear     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 5, Wednesday, after Epiphany to the Baptism of the Lord [“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” Mark 6:45-52] The feelings of Fear surely makes me immobile, paralyze waiting for my doom. One of my greatest fears in life is losing a member of my family. I had experienced it before and it was terrible! It was only by the grace of God that kept me sane… Lord, help me to lift my eyes toward You and to turn away from the sources of my anxiety and fear in life. Fill me with faith and hope in You and give me the courage to put all my trust in You. Amen.

Jesus was looking at the crowd with compassion     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 4, Tuesday, after Epiphany to the Baptism of the Lord [When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mk 6:34-44] Jesus was looking at the crowd with compassion. He saw a group of people who seemed lost, were searching and were spiritually hungry. They were looking for some direction in their lives, and so, they were coming to Jesus. This is how the heart of God is, it is full of compassion! Right now at this moment, I am also feeling lost and frustrated. I feel so down that everything that I see is all negative. I am looking for a way to relieve these feelings and I end up looking at Jesus. Asking Him in my prayer to help me go through this ‘ordeal’. I just knew that He was looking at me, gazing at me with compassion and this realization made me cry… God is inviting me, teaching me to cling on to him, and know that He is with me, filling me with his loving presence…

The Ministry Goes On     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 3, Monday after Epiphany to the Baptism of the Lord [From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17,23-25] Jesus begins his public ministry and he is calling for a change, for a renewal. Today is the start of the new year's week. I also ask myself, what are the things, or my actions that are keeping me away from God? Do I have the will to change my old ways that are not really helping me personally? Lord I pray, give me the grace to become free from all that keeps me from You. May I not only turn from sin but also turn to You as the source of all mercy and fulfillment in my life. Help me to keep my eyes on You and be able to contribute to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. May I become an instrument to bring glad tidings for others especially at this trial time of pandemic. Amen.

The Great Epiphany     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

January 2 - Solemnity of the Manifestation of the Lord / Epiphany Sunday [Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ Matthew 2:1-12 (B)] The Magi travelled the distance to look for the newborn King, with the wonder star as their guide leading them to the Infant Jesus in Bethlehem. Life is sometimes full of questions, seeking and searching. With God’s guiding light, I pray that I may always seek the truth and that I may recognize it when God puts it in my path. Likewise I also pray for the many people who are losing their faith due to life’s adversaries, may they find people as their guiding star that will lead them back to Jesus our Savior. Amen. Like the Magi, what gifts can I bring to the Infant Jesus? I contemplate Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the manger. I ask permission from Mary if I can carry baby Jesus… then she gave him to me, saying ‘He is for everyone…’ I am deeply moved by looking at the baby Jesus, so fragile, so innocent, so lovable, so adorable! I thank Mary for allowing me to hold Jesus in arms.

The Light of Christ     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 31, 7th day of Christmas Octave [What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1–18] This readings gives me so much hope and and assurance that God will bring us light. The Light of Christ is more powerful than darkness so nothing to be afraid of. At this time of pandemic, I pray that many people will experience the Light of Christ is this seemingly dark period of our present time. May all people grow in faith, hope and trust in God. Amen.

The Prophetess Anna     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 30, 6th day of Christmas Octave [There was a prophetess, Anna…She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36–40] Like Simeon, Anna was also an old woman who prayed unceasingly as she wait for the coming of the Lord. She devoted herself in fasting and praying at the temple while waiting for the one and definitive moment of her life: her encounter with the Christ Child in the Temple. Anna is a woman of prayer and my symbol of persevering hope. Lord, thank You for the powerful witness of the prophetess Anna. May her lifelong devotion to You, a life of continual prayer and sacrifice, be a model and inspiration for me as I follow you your way of life. Anna, holy woman of Israel, pray for me!

The Song of Simeon     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 29, 5th day of Christmas Octave [Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." Luke 2: 22-35] Simeon was an old man but one who is hopeful and looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. As soon as Mary and Joseph with baby entered the temple, he recognised Jesus as the promised Saviour of all nations. Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God. All his dreams were now fulfilled and as a servant he was content to go in peace. Simeon is teaching me to be hopeful up to the end, and he also showing me how to welcome Jesus and give thanks to God for the gift of the Incarnate God in the person of Jesus. I pray to recognise Jesus in everyday of my life and to welcome Him more fully as I move forward to the unknown future. Simeon, holy man of Israel, pray for me!

The Holy Innocents     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 28, Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs [When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13] This passage reveals to us the will of the Father to protect His divine Son and to protect the sanctity of all human life. St. Joseph played the main role for the safety of the Infant Jesus. This envites me to be like Saint Joseph, to become an instrument, an agent to protect life at all cost. To stand for the helpless, the innocent, the most vulnerable especially the child within the womb.

St. John, Evangelist and Apostle     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 27, Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist [So Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb… John 20:2-8] During the Nativity of of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day), the shepeherds, the magi looked for Jesus and they found Him in a manger! Today Gospel’s is John’s account of the empty tomb where Mary Magdalene and the apostles were looking for Jesus because they found the tomb empty! I am also invited to find and look for Jesus in my daily life. To find Him especially now a days where this pandemic is seemingly not coming to end, where other countries are having another period of ‘lockdown’ or ‘emergency period in order to contain the spread of COVID19. Where is God, where is Jesus our Saviour? St. John the the apostle, pray for us!

Feast of the Holy Family     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 26 - Feast of the Holy Family- Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Last Sunday of December) [When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:22–40] I would like to imagine that the Holy Family- (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) also lived and experienced a normal family life like what we have today. Joseph as father and the provider, the foundation of the Holy family. Mary as the light of their home, a nurturing mother and wife and Jesus the Son, obedient and filial to his parents. I pray in a special way all the families that through the intercession of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (the Holy Family), all families in the world may grow in love and care for one another. Amen.

Christmas Day     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 25 Christmas Day [So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Luke 2:16–19] Christmas day is always been a joyful day for me. It has a magic that makes me forget and set aside whatever is troubling me. On this very special day, I pray most especially for the many families who (for so many reasons) can’t not be together as one family to celebrate the birth of our Lord. May each of us be blessed with peace, hope and love that the infant Jesus brings. Amen.

The Song of Zechariah     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 24 - Friday, Day 9 of Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Philippine Tradition) [The canticle of Zechariah… Luke 1:67-79] Zechariah’s hymn of praise at the birth of John has sounds like with Mary’s Magnificat. The prayer focusses primarily on Jesus, as Saviour, the promised One. God has come to rescue his people as he promised long ago… This gives me hope that God will also come to rescue us and deliver us from the pandemic we are experiencing right now. This very thoughts and realization is enough to give me peace. God came down from heaven to be with us at Christmas, so He is also within us and among us.

Pondering on God's Graciousness     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 23, Thursday, Day 8 of Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Philippine Tradition) [Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Luke 1:57-66] When Angel Gabriel revealed to Zechariah the good news that his wife would conceive in her old age, Zechariah did not believed. And as a result, the Archangel struck him mute for the nine months of his wife’s pregnancy… Nine months of silence, to ponder on God’s graciousness to them. After John was born, Zechariah’s mouth was opened, and he give praise to God. Like Zechariah, many times I also doubt with God’s personal invitation or challenge to me especially when it seems beyond my capability. I pray for the grace to be always believing in God’s graciousness, that He can work wonder in my life. Amen.

My Soul Proclaims the Goodness of God     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 22, Wednesday, Day 7 of the Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Philippine Tradition) [“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.” Luke 1:46–56] Mary proclaims her Magnificat because of her awareness of God’s goodness to her and it will be celebrated in all generations! Proclaiming God’s greatness is a duty of love and must always be done, every day, in every circumstance, no matter what. We proclaim God’s greatness primarily because of Who He is. He is God! And He is worthy of all our praise. Oh Mary, our blessed mother, pray for me that I may also seek to glorify God each and every day, no matter what challenges or blessings I receive. May I imitate you, dear Mother, and share also in your perfect joy. Mother Mary, pray for me. Amen.

The Joy of Visitation     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 21 (Day 6 - Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary - a Philippine Tradition) [Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39–40] I can imagine the joy and happiness of Elizabeth when Mary came to visit her. Mary's presence in the house of Elizabeth is such a blessing! This made me reflect, is my presence giving joy to others? Lord, make me an instrument to bring joy to others. Amen.

'Here I am Lord'     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 20 - (Day 5 - Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Philippine Tradition) [“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” ] Mary is the supreme example of obedience to the will of God. As Christian and more so as religious of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, the primary meaning of my life is to say with her , "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Oh Mary, mother of Jesus and my mother too, pray for me that I may imitate your perfect “Yes” to God. Mary, mother of God, pray for us!

The Visitation     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 19 (Day 4 - Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Philippines) [Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39–40] Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. This story teaches the importance of reaching out in love to others. It is also important to care for my relatives and friends when they need me the most. It’s important to sacrifice my time and energies for the good of others, because through these acts of humble service, I certainly share the love of God and most importantly, I am bringing Christ Jesus Himself to others.

'Fear Not'     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 18 (Day 3 - Dawn Mass in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary) [‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary, your wife, into your home…’ Matthew 1:18-25] St. Joseph’s courage and generosity towards Mary and his obedience to God’s will evokes in my heart a deep sense of gratitude and love to St. Joseph. He is my model of a man of faith, a man of action, a man of courage and a man of love. He had the most privilege to be the first man who held God (Jesus) in his fatherly arms. Through the intercession of St. Joseph, may I also be courageously obedient to God’s will in my life. St. Joseph, earthly father of Jesus, Pray for us!

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