The influence of Paul in Christianity is based on his missionary journeys around the towns and cities adjoining the Mediterranean Sea. His name will always be remembered among Christians because he is a role model in spreading the gospel of Jesus to distant lands far from Jerusalem. In his early life, Paul was not a Christian himself, but his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus to arrest 'believers in the way,' reformed him. He became an apostle specially appointed by Jesus to preach to the Gentiles. He had major missionary journeys mainly to people in the Hellenistic culture. The popular towns and cities Paul evangelized are Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Philippi, Thessaloniki, Rome, and others. Eventually he wrote letters to these locations instructing the new converts to stay firm in the faith. He produced many spiritual writings about the faith and sixteen enjoy a place in the bible.READ MORE
After the celebratory engagements of Christmas and New Year, we face the next stage in God's revelation about the personality of Jesus. The work of John the Baptist is not yet over. There is one important event he must accomplish: Introduce Jesus.
John the Baptist refused to accept that he was the Messiah. He did not know Jesus when he was baptizing people by the Jordan River. In fact, he was performing all the baptisms by the river so that the personality of the Messiah could be identified. After so many baptisms, Jesus appeared before John needing to be baptized like others. It was at this encounter that John recognized Jesus by the signs God revealed to him. Biblical theologians give us many signs, but we but here we note only two significant signs. The first sign is the appearance of the Spirit upon Jesus like a dove. The second sign is the divine confirmation through the voice of the Father. John knew that Jesus was the Chosen One.READ MORE
One Sunday, I had only one candidate for baptism after Mass. The family arrived well before the Mass ended and took up positions in the front pews ready for the baptism of their lovely baby. Since I had the afternoon Mass, I dressed up appropriately in the sacristy and proceeded to the altar to start the initiation of this lovely baby into the Christian faith. The baby was dressed all in white, but he was busy having his lunch from a small feeding bottle and his face beamed with angelic smiles. I was later told that his father ﬂew in from Germany to attend his son's baptism. What a proud family! An older child was beside them wondering "who's this baby that has taken my position as the number one in the family." I guess the father of this baby is in the military because I could see his haircut was neat and his body looked as ﬁt like as a ﬁddle. The mother was there with her dress, elegant and beautiful and as happy as every woman can be. Beside her were three people; a couple as baptism sponsors of the baby and one lady as witness.READ MORE
In 2012, we watched the London Olympics. It was one of the highlights of 2012 in sports. It made me wish I was a young boy again with a ﬂexible body. I used to do acroba cs during my high school days but no more. Can you imagine how those Olympians prac ced winning the gold for themselves and their countries? They spent endless hours swea ng, rehearsing, and accep ng correc ons from their coaches.
Did you see Usain Bolt, the Jamaican who is considered the fastest man alive? What about the US women gymnasts? They won gold. I cannot forget the admiration that greeted those young ladies when I saw them on The Late Show w/ David Letterman. Dave teased them, drilled them with questions and even oﬀered to go to the next Olympics just to get the gold like they did. The audience went into laughter. I did also in my little room facing my TV. Gold is precious and if you win gold you can appear on many TV shows both at home and abroad. At the end of the London Olympics, America came in ﬁrst with 104 medals, followed by the People's Republic of China with 88 medals and in third place was the Russian Federation with 82 medals. Great Britain, the host nation, came in fourth with 65.READ MORE