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!

The Genealogy     by:   Sr.Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 17, (Day 2 - Dawn Mass - Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Philippines) [The genealogy of Jesus, Matthew 1:1-17] Jesus line (bloodline) consist of not-so-edifying ancestors, but still God use these sinful people to be an instrument in the coming or incarnation of Christ. Perfect goodness came out from the ‘twisted branches’. In my life, there were also not-so-good experiences that I have been through but those bad experiences made me go closer to God, made me search for his Divine Presence and most of all, made me hear His voice calling my name to be His…

A thought for the day     by:   St. Peter Julian Eymard, SSS

December 16 – Listen carefully, gathering oneself from the outside to the inside, not to lose a single word. The best meditation is that which is done through interior silence, hold on to the silence, it is nothing else than being recollected, it is to say like Samuel; Speak, Lord your servant is listening. [Is 3,9] But God does not speak if the soul is too dissipated, nor does he always speak in word, but in thought and affection. (PS 227,2)

A thought for the day     by:   St. Peter Julian Eymard, SSS

December 15 – we must do our meditations with devotion, because as we progress in the spiritual life, it should mainly consist in affection, leave there the discourse of the mind, understanding that a thought is shapeless as long as it does not sunk into the heart, do not seek to tell much to the Lord but to really feel what we tell Him. (PA 9,47)

Be true to your words     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 14, Tuesday, 3rd Week of Advent [Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. Matthew 21:28–32] Words can be meaningless. Promises are empty when not followed by action. The first son sounds defiant but his action shows his goodness. The second son sounds co-operative but fails to keep his promise. The Gospel is telling me to be true to my words. Simply say ‘No’ if I can not do it, and say ‘Yes’ if I can. Never make a promise to others when it is quickly thrown out the window.

A thought for the day     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 13, Monday, 3rd Week of Advent [“Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Matthew 21:25–27] The pharises chose to say “We do not know” where John’s baptism was from because they thought it was the answer that most safeguarded them from any criticism. Playing safe religious-people! This Gospel personally invites me to reflect upon the difficult truths of our day and age and to decide whether or not I am willing to publicly profess the truth. I can think, especially, about the many moral truths of our faith that seem to be continually under attack such as pro-life (no to death penaly, no to abortion, ect) Am I willing to speak and stand on my faith clearly, with charity and with conviction, even if it means criticism from the many people? O Lord, you are the source of truth, grant me the grace to stand firm on all that You have taught me. Give me courage to remain firm in my faith and to proclaim it to all whom I encounter so that I can be an instrument of Your love and mercy to the world. Amen.

Something to think about...     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 10, Friday, 2nd Week of Advent [For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." Matthew 11:16-19] Both John and Jesus reveal to the people what God is like, but they are misunderstood and cruelly rejected… What is striking here for me is the response of Jesus (and John). They never give up the people no matter how badly they were treated. Jesus knew that he could not please all of the people around him. He remained true to his vision and truth. Jesus is also inviting me this season of advent not to give up on people around me especially those who misunderstood me (and sometimes mistreated me) in many ways. This is what advent is all about, to keep loving my neighbours (especially those whom I am having some difficulties) as part of my preparation for the coming of Christ this Christmas. I also pray that I may not be distracted from following Jesus by trying to win the approval of others. Amen.

'Whoever has ears ought to hear.'     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 9, Thursday, 2nd Week of Advent [‘…Whoever has ears ought to hear.’ Matthew 11:11-15] Lord, make me a better listener. Empty me of noise and clutter, to hear what needs to be heard. Let my heart and mind be in silence, because only then you can speak to me clearly. Amen.

To the LOVE of my LIFE who is GOD     by:   Sr. Maria Fe Magbanua, SSS

December 8 – Immaculate Conception of Mary. (On the occasion of my 32nd Years Religious Profession Anniversary) To the LOVE of my LIFE who is GOD Thirty-two (32) years ago, when I made my First Vows on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, but my YES to You was two years before this. My sounding YES was when I took my habit as Novice of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament. From then on, my life has become visibly intertwined with Yours for everything is not a matter for me alone but for both of us. The journey has its ups and downs, tears were shed and a lot of laughter in between the tears. I admit that there were moments that I wanted to pack my bags and leave for good but like all “love story” I need to fight for You to own my YES to the full!!! For you did this for me FIRST when You allowed Yourself to be incarnated and died for me. So, who am I not to take the battle against all “counter spirits” in disguised to make me helpless and weak. You showered me with so much love by letting me experience awesome, meaningful and unique experiences beyond my own imagination. You surrounded me with people who are spiritual companions that shaped me inside out. In my most difficult moment You never LET GO of my hand. You nourished me everyday at the Table of Your Word and Body and Blood that sustains me all these years. YES, 32 years and counting…...You are ever with me! I am happy! (May all those who read this take on their own challenge. Let us spread His Love… one of us! Believe me it’s worth it! ------- EmEm)

The Good Shepherd     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 7, Tuesday, 2nd Week of Advent [Jesus said to his disciples: "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." Matthew 18:12-14] Among us siblings, I remember when I was a still in my early primary school until high school, I kept hearing from other people (be it our neighbors, classmates and some friends) telling me that I was the most ‘not-so-good-looking’ among my sisters, but my father always assured me that I am beautiful in my own way. His words always gave me an assurance that I am loved and I am my father’s daughter. This little parable tells me how God is caring for the least and lost sheep. God affords to leave the 99 to look for lost one. This gives me confidence that the Lord never leaves his people, seeks the lost even though it wanders away!

Persistent Charity     by:   Sr. Leizle Pangngay, SSS

December 6, Monday, 2nd Week of Advent [And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. Luke 5:17–26] The paralyzed man found himself at the feet of Jesus through the active and persistent charity of his friends who carried him physically and finding ways of lowering him down from the hole of the rooftop. I can imagine how helpless and hopeless the paralyzed man was but he was given the hope and got healed through his friends’ determination and act of charity. I asked myself, when was the last time I truly care for my friend? Am I giving hope and helping others to stand up? Lord, increase my hope in You so that I can also give hope to others. Amen.

‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 5, Second Sunday of Advent. [“A voice of one crying out in the desert. ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” Luke 3:1-6(C)] Today’s Second Sunday of Advent, St. John is inviting me ‘to prepare the way of the Lord’. I am called to open myself for a further conversion of heart, to a deeper listening to the voice of God speaking in my heart, to a deeper trust and faith in His ways. ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’

'The harvest is abundant but the labourers are few'     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 4, Saturday, 1st Week of Advent [“The harvest is abundant but the labourers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out labourers for his harvest.” Matthew 9:37–38] I am one of the few whom God has called to be a labourer for his harvest. By virtue of my religious profession, I commit myself to the full and glorious fulfilment of God’s mission in accordance to our Rule of Life. So help me God that I may be faithful to my calling… Amen.

Lord, have mercy on your people     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 3, Friday, 1st Week of Advent [As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When he entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I can do this? Matthew 9:27-31] The cry of the two blind men is also the cry of my heart. With humble heart, I say; Lord, have mercy on your people! Comfort us and please make this pandemic end soon… Amen

Listen to the Voice Within     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 2, Thursday, 1st Week of Advent [“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21, 24-27] Doing the will of the Father is not really easy especially when it compromises my personal wants and needs. Many times there are other voices that comes to my mind, the world itself, my self- my ego, and the devil. But what consoles me, when I bring to prayer my struggles in listening to the Inner Voice within me, the Lord always gives me the sense of peace and hope once I allow myself to listen more to His voice and submit to His will… Lord, grant me the grace of the docility to your Spirit so that I may always hear and listen to Your Voice speaking to my heart. Amen.

He feeds the multitude     by:   Sr. Leizle J. Pangngay, SSS

December 1, Wednesday, 1st Week of Advent [Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full. Matthew 15:29–37] Jesus feeds the multitude people who have been following Him. He made miracle out of seven loaves and few fish to satisfy the hunger of the people. I myself is also a loaves in the Lord’s hands. God takes what I offer Him- myself, he blesses me, breaks me so that I am to be given for others to live... Lord, make me an instrument to feed your people. I am offering myself, my life so I may become bread for other. Amen.

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