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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Leni puro dak-dak, putak ng putak - Contreras 11/12

Luke 17:11-19 | Diane Hanna | Along the border between Samaria and Galilee

Luke 17:11-19 Along the border between Samaria and Galilee
Fleeing Mosul,
Painted by Diane Hanna,
Watercolour on paper,
Executed in Iraq 2018
© Diane Hanna, Doctors Without Borders , read more here
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’
 Reflection on the Watercolour on Paper
We had a close look at this reading a few weeks ago (see here). What struck me re-reading today’s Gospel reading is the very first sentence where the border is mentioned between Samaria and Galilee. Yes, even in Jesus’ time there were borders. Ten lepers are mentioned as part of the group and we know that one of them was a Samaritan. The assumption then is, the other nine were Jews. It was the Samaritan, mentioned in our Gospel of today as the ‘foreigner’ who went back to thank Jesus. Ok, so now we know who the ten are and aware of the hostility there was between the Jews and Samaritans, we witness in our reading how having leprosy broke down the racial, geographical and religious barriers. Yes, desperation and adversity break down barriers that often divide people. Leprosy at the time was a death sentence, a slow death sentence. Because the disease was highly contagious, lepers could not live a normal life and were driven out of town to live amongst fellow lepers, no matter what their backgrounds were. Their adversity and suffering united them.

In times of trouble, members of a family, communities and nations come together to overcome the obstacles set by adversity. Adversity has the power to unify and bring people together. But why on earth does it take adversity to bring people together? It is in times when we don’t have any major obstacles in our lives that we also need to be uniting; actually it is especially in those times that we need to unite, across borders, across cultures, to bring compassion and God’s love to the world.

Our watercolour is by Diane Hanna, an Australian psychologist for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontiéres), who turned to art to tell her story about witnessing conflict and suffering on her travels for the charity organisation. It depicts a determined mother and faceless child fleeing burning Mosul, shone upon by a crying sun.

As human beings we are maybe not innately grateful. So we have to nurture having a grateful spirit and learn to express gratitude to God and others; gratitude for where we live is at peace, but aware we have responsibilities towards those less well off and crossing borders seeking a better life.

by Patrick van der Vorst


Why eight Jesuits five blocks from ground zero survived.
eastwind journals
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Freelance blogger, retired columnist Philippine Daily Inquirer
Facebook “Eastwind Journals” / “Bernie Lopez”
Share via blog link – http://www.sisterraquel.com/2019/09/the-first-nuclear
August 6, 1945, feast of the Transfiguration, marks the infamous date in human history. The first-ever nuclear bomb fell on Hiroshima, Japan, heralding the nuclear age where Man is now capable of destroying Himself and the Earth many times over, as prophesied by Our Lady of Fatima.
Everything was vaporized within a mile, except for a church five blocks from Ground Zero. About 100,000 were killed instantly, and the casualties climbed up to about ten-fold within a few years due to radiation sickness. Fr. Hubert Schiffer, SJ, one of the survivors, said, “We survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the rosary in that home.” This is why Satan is so afraid of the rosary.
On the third apparition at Fatima, Our Lady showed the three children a terrifying vision of hell for Mankind, saying “If you do as I ask (prayer, penance, say the rosary), many souls will be saved, and peace will reign on Earth. The war will end, but if you do not stop offending God, there will be an even worse one.” Fatima predicted the Spanish Civil War, World Wars I and II, and a possible future nuclear war.
The 20-kiloton Hiroshima bomb is dwarfed today by thousands of multiple-warhead 5-megaton bombs worldwide (250 times more powerful). One such bomb can obliterate Manhattan in New York in the blink of an eye before one can say a prayer. There have been a few accidental cases of near nuclear war based not on conflict but on technical reasons or plain human error. The prospect of nuclear war today hangs over Mankind like the Sword of Damocles. Let us return to the Lord, resort to prayer and penance, and pray for peace on our troubled planet.
God-sent disasters are always followed by messages of hope, as in the rainbows that appeared to Noah after the deluge, in New York after 9/11, and in Tacloban after Yolanda. The God of wrath is the God of mercy, as shown in the eastwind posters below.
eastwind posters
p216B Jesuits at hiroshima LONG SHOT
p216C Jesuits at hiroshima PORTRAITS
p216D Fatima message
p98C rose petal Fatima pope SHORT
p195 fatima mediatrix
p97B maribojoc earthquake

Dante Live Nov. 12, 2019 || Oplan Tokhang, naging OPLAN DALDAL

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A unifying president?

By Rigoberto D. Tiglao   November 11, 2019

PRESIDENT Duterte’s appointment of the unoccupied Vice President Leonor Robredo as vice chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was certainly unexpected. Just as unexpected was Robredo’s near-immediate acceptance of the appointment.

Perhaps it is a reflection of our sick political culture that many of the reactions to this turn of events pontificated on Duterte’s political motivation. For example, one early reaction was that it was a a devious move (if she had rejected it) for him to unmask the Vice President’s hollowness, that she was all blah-blah against the war on drugs, but really wouldn’t want to be waking up every morning to do some real work.

The Yellows, on the other hand, are applauding Robredo’s decision, claiming that it turns out to be a big mistake for Duterte, who thought that she wouldn’t call his bluff. One such couldn’t help herself from showing her glee, writing in her column: “Look whose star has risen in the firmament.” On the other hand, another anti-Duterte critic wrote:”Duterte is cleverly setting up Robredo as a scapegoat, for the failure of the war vs drugs. “

Hold on. Forget whatever motivation Duterte may have, and just focus on what the President did objectively.

Not because of the leadership but simply because she occupies the highest ranking post in government, Robredo is chairman of the Liberal Party, its symbolic head. And the Liberal Party is the opposition party, isn’t it?

Vice chairman
So, objectively, Duterte has appointed the opposition’s highest official as vice chair of the ICAD, to be his partner in arguably his most important objective in his six-year term as president, which is to end the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

What does that mean politically? It signifies that he has boldly reached out to the opposition and offered it a major, even crucial role in his government. It means Duterte has demonstrated he intends to be a unifying president, even if that entails the risk of politically helping the opposition.

Indeed some claim that that he has even injected political energy into the opposition leader who was getting to have a reputation of having loony ideas, thereby giving her a chance to rise politically to be a “presidentiable” in 2020.

In the past three years, Duterte has proven to be so politically astute that he knows he was taking these huge political risks when he appointed Robredo as ICAD vice chairman.

I’m not an admirer of Robredo. But as a nation, we shouldn’t really care if Robredo’s star rises or not for her to have a shot at the presidency, if she could help in eradicating the scourge of illegal drugs in this country.

Not unprecedented
Duterte’s unifying move isn’t unprecedented. President Ramos appointed the opposition vice president then Joseph Estrada as head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission. To his credit, or to his operative, now Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Estrada did exterminate the robbery and kidnapping gangs that had proliferated at that time.

As president starting in 1998, Estrada in turn appointed the victorious opposition candidate for vice president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as social welfare and development secretary. That was a bold move on Estrada’s part, as he gave to Arroyo one of the main apparatuses for undertaking his avowed goal, which was to reduce poverty.

That these two vice presidents did get to be president should have worried Duterte. He wasn’t. His spokesman Salvador Panelo was really speaking for him when he commented; “We’re giving her a ladder to the presidency, this is her chance, this is her moment. She should accept it. Be in the moment, help the Filipino people, help this country and help herself.”

Duterte through his spokesman is in effect saying: “I don’t care if it becomes a ladder to the presidency, as long as she helps the country demolish the scourge of illegal drugs.”

How unified more? Duterte’s administration has the highest rating ever. Table from SWS

Is there an ICAD vice chairman?
Having said that though, I hope Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea does his attorneying job for the President by issuing the necessary document to amend Executive Order 15 that created the ICAD.

That executive order provided that the ICAD be headed by a chairman, which it strangely designates not the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, but the organization itself. The EO designates as ICAD members 20 departments and agencies, and specifies that these entities must designate “permanent representatives” with the rank of undersecretary or assistant secretary.

But Duterte’s EO does not designate any ICAD vice chair. Unless the EO is amended, Duterte appointed Robredo to a non-existent post. Robredo was obviously so excited about her new role she didn’t bother to check if there was one.

‘Unifying’ exaggerated
I may be exaggerating of course in my use of “unifying,” as the nation has never been unified before as it has been today. This is not my opinion but based on the most recent (September 2019) Social Weather Stations survey that showed that 77 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with the national government, and only 10 percent dissatisfied. That means a net satisfaction rating (satisfied minus dissatisfied) of plus 67 percent.

Under-reported by media, which instead highlighted Duterte’s dip in net satisfaction ratings to September’s plus 67 from plus 73 in June, no other president, including Cory Aquino, has received such level of rating at any point of his or her administration. At the same period, or after three years into their terms, Cory’s administration had a plus14 net satisfaction rating; Ramos, plus10; Estrada, plus 2 in December 2001 before reaching his third year in office; Arroyo, plus 18; and Aquino 3rd plus 35.

And to think that Duterte has had the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN Broadcasting, several online US-funded new sites relentlessly painting a picture of him as a dictator “bathed in blood,” convincing nearly the entire US media to see him as such.

Duterte likely knew where he stood, that he was so confident, as Panelo put it, to give Robredo a “ladder to the presidency.” Why is it that my gut-feel is that she’ll trip on her own while she’s on the ladder, as she keeps looking at the people watching her?

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
Book orders: www.rigobertotiglao.com/debunked


Luke 17:7-10 | William Hogarth | We are merely servants

Luke 17:7-10 We are merely servants
Heads of Six of Hogarth’s Servants,
Painted by William Hogarth (1697–1764),
Oil on canvas,
Painted circa 1750
© Tate Britain, London
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’
 Reflection on the Painting
What a huge dose of realism today’s Gospel reading brings. Jesus suggests that we are ‘merely servants’. It sounds rather harsh to tell us that, but let’s look closer at what the word ‘servant’ actually means. It is isn’t only about being subservient to a master or a boss. No, ‘servant’ means that we have limits. We have limits as we cannot act without our master; limits in our abilities, limits in our achievements; limits in our talents; limits in our generosity… because we are human. It is only when we understand that we are limited and seek to go beyond these limits that we can find God.

So this reading is not about Jesus wanting to enslave us or putting us in our place. It is a direct call to humility and invites us realise our limits. And having limits is fine. We actually should treasure these limits, as because of these limits, we can seek and find God. Each time we reach our limits wether physically, mentally, emotionally, this can be a direct invitation to grow closer to Our Master, Our Good Lord.

This unusual and attractive group portrait of William Hogarth’s servants hung originally in his studio. It did not only just show off his skills of being able to paint great expressions and characterisations of figures, but to me it gives the servants great dignity and respect. If it wasn’t for the title of this painting ‘Heads of Six Servants’, we wouldn’t really know that they were serving staff. There is a collective sense of dignity and humanity emanating from this picture; dignity that God gifted to us all. We are all creatures, coming from dust. The dust isn’t all that significant when considered isolated and on its own, but it becomes important when we see God’s artistic hands pick up this dust and shaping it into a human being… a creature made in His image… But we have our limitations and should realise that… for only God is unlimited, eternal and almighty!

by Patrick van der Vorst

The “Right” of Gratitude

The “Right” of Gratitude
November 12, 2019
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Father Edward Hopkins, LC

Luke 17:7-10
Jesus said to the apostles: "Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here at once and take your place at the table'? Would you not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink'? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So, you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, 'We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'"
Introductory Prayer: Jesus, I believe in you, my Lord and my Creator! You have given me everything, and you owe me nothing. You have forgiven me everything when I owed you more than I could ever pay. I trust in your forgiveness and love, Lord.
Petition: Jesus, help me to be grateful to you.
  1. Proud Attitudes: How often are we offended by how others treat us, by a lack of gratitude, respect or appreciation? However, justified the reactions of our sensitivity, what lies at the root of our complaints is pride. Looking out from my own broken creaturely condition, I can’t help but see myself for more than I am and expect more respect from everyone – including God. Yet, before God I am but a poor, tiny and dependent creature. From him I receive all that I am and need. How can I demand anything from him? Even worse, how can I complain when I recognize that I am an ungrateful sinner who has denied the rights and love of my Creator?
  2. The Fundamental Relationship: Our culture has become one of “entitlement.” We view ourselves as having rights – “just” expectations –, and we expect that much is owed to us. Thus, we see children demanding what they want, spouses expecting their preferences to be respected, and the belief that government must provide us with everything. God gets thrown into the fray as well, so that he, too, must deliver according to our attitude of spoiled children. What we forget is that we have received everything from God, and we owe him everything. Jesus’ image of the slave and master is not just a metaphor. Although his free and generous gift of redemption raises us up to the level of children and friends, he owes us nothing. Our fundamental relationship with God must be that of a grateful creature with a loving creator. We must start there.
  3. Humble Attitudes: Far from asking us to act as “worthless slaves,” Jesus wants to free us from the pride that enslaves. The virtues of service, gratitude, honor and obedience may not be popular today, but they forever reflect the heart of a child of God. Jesus embraced all these virtues and the attitudes of humility that they require. My first duty in life is to serve and obey God. My duty of gratitude can never be exhausted, for he gives me so many gifts – life, faith, family, etc. –, and he leads me to a love that is self-giving rather than demanding my rights before God and others.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to embrace my condition as creature with humble simplicity. Open my mind and heart to the many endless expressions of your generous love. Teach me a gratitude that thinks more of you than of me.
Resolution: I will pray for the grace to show gratitude to God in my daily activities, striving to make these acts of gratitude occur.
Our Daily Meditation is also available with audio:

1974 ‘massacre’ hoax recycled for a 2014 moneymaking scam

By Rigoberto D. Tiglao   November 8, 2019

Second of 4 parts
THE colossal hoax contrived in 1974 by the insurgent Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of an alleged massacre of 1,500 Muslims in a barangay called Malisbong in Sultan Kudarat province, was intended to rouse to anger Muslim Arab leaders, especially the fiery Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, so they would support, with their newfound oil wealth, the fledgling Moro insurgency.

The idea came from the propaganda success of the so-called Jabidah “massacre,” another hoax — that earlier case a concoction of then opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. — which had convinced many Muslim students in Manila to join the MNLF. Because “Jabidah” revealed Marcos’ secret plans to invade Sabah, it prodded Malaysia into throwing its full support behind the MNLF, giving it huge funds to buy arms, training its first corps of military officers, and providing its leaders refuge in their territory.

Do the photos express horror over a massacre? Zeitlin in Palimbang, where the purported ‘massacre’ occurred, a few days after the alleged event happened. From Amaral, A.E. The Awakening of Milbuk: Diary of a Missionary Priest (2016: Authorhouse, Indiana)

In the case of the Malisbong deception, the MNLF thought that such a “massacre” could further inflame Gaddafi against the Marcos government that he would convince Middle East Muslim nations to stop exporting oil to the Philippines. Indeed, it was reported at the time that Gadaffi, after listening to a BBC news broadcast that a Christian paramilitary group called Ilagas had massacred 70 Muslims, became so enraged that he announced that he would ask Muslim countries to impose an oil embargo against the Philippines. While that plan fell through, Gaddafi still sent financial aid to the MNLF, and provided refuge to its leaders, mainly its chairman Nur Misuari. 

Ironically though, it was the MNLF’s efforts to fool the media into believing its deception of a massacre of Muslims in Sultan Kudarat that provides us — 45 years later — with one of the most convincing evidence that those killings never occurred.

Fake story

The MNLF tried hard to sell the fake story of a massacre to foreign media. Only the New York Times bought it, but qualified it as a “rumor” in a March 25, 1975 New York Times piece that was a wrap-up of the entire Muslim insurgency. That was the first and last time foreign or local media referred to a “Malisbong massacre.”
Quoting an unidentified “Moslem,” the New York Times piece read:

“In Palimbang (municipality where Malisbong was) a detachment of marines systematically started executing Moslem noncombatants last October and 800 were slain, he charged. Non-Moslem sources said that they had heard of the Palimbang incident but that fewer than 200 were killed. The government denies that any such incident occurred, but it is already part of the popular history of the war to local Moslems.”

Fortunately for historical truth, there was one foreign correspondent who was in the area at the time who assiduously investigated the claim, and interviewed Muslims there who tried to sell him the yarn. This was Associated Press Manila Bureau chief Arnold Zeitlin, a very much-respected journalist who covered and filed many articles on the Moro insurgency in the early years of martial law.

In an email to me in June last year, Zeitlin said that while there were rumors that a massacre occurred, it could not be verified and there were no eyewitnesses, and he therefore did not file even a piece on such a rumor.

“We never found authoritative sources to determine the extent of deaths. We never had a story that met balanced journalism standards,” Zeitlin said.


Zeitlin’s testimony is impeccable, his integrity and capability as a journalist is unquestionable. He covered Mindanao in the early years of martial law. He wrote critical articles on the army’s campaign against the MNLF, including the naval bombing of Jolo in February 1974.  Because of his intrepid coverage, the Marcos regime deported him in 1976, the first foreign journalist the Marcos regime banned from the country.

Zeitlin would have reported a massacre, and he was on the scene to have done so quite easily, if it did occur. But it didn’t.

Zeitlin’s Filipino deputy Guillermo Santos, also a respected journalist in that period, further explained: “I double-checked the (Malisbong) report with my AFP and PC-INP sources, our usual intelligence networks and they all had no information of the ‘massacre.’ The late Rommel Corro who was with us in the AP and had his own private sources throughout Mindanao drew a blank as well. So the AP didn’t carry that story.”

With its failure to fool foreign media, the MNLF soon abandoned its project to concoct a yarn about  “1,500 Muslims massacred.” It also had become useless to do so. The Libyan strongman Gaddafi obviously stopped believing such tales: He arm-twisted the MNLF into agreeing to a peace settlement in 1976 with the Marcos government. Why would he do that if there had been such a gruesome, massacre of “1,500 Muslims”?

There is another account of that period that disproves that there was such a massacre of Muslims, and that instead, there was a massacre of non-Muslims.

This is a blog of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Milbuk, which is just 10 kilometers away from Malisbong.  The blog had a history of the parish’s area, which covers the entire Palimbang municipality. It does not mention at all that there was a massacre in nearby Malisbong on Sept. 24, 1974.  At the scale it was claimed — 1,500 innocent Moros killed — to have occurred, it would have been impossible for the parish priests not to have mentioned it.


The blog in fact reveals what really happened:

“It was the existence of [the US-owned] Weyerhaeuser Philippines Inc., a logging company that made Milbuk an abundant and peaceful place to live in. However, this situation did not last very long because of the conflict between the [Moro] “Blackshirts” and [Ilonggo] Ilagas in the ‘70s, which spilled over to Milbuk.

“An Infantry Brigade was sent to Milbuk to protect the people from the conflict. But on Aug. 6, 1974, the first ambush occurred that killed 11 employees of the logging company and nine Manobos. A number of employees were also wounded. Then on September 3, there was another ambush at Barangay Kanipaan where several company employees died on their way home.

“Milbuk was so tense that people didn’t know where to turn to. The only way out of Milbuk was through pump boats, but fearing that this would cost more lives, the company as well as the military ordered that people should remain calm and stay in their homes to avoid being hit by stray bullets.

“Because of the situation, the company was forced to close its operation for more than three months. Food and medicine, however, were provided by the company, and the Society of Oblates of Notre Dame Sisters helped in giving medical assistance to the wounded. During this time, the Church remained the center of faith and hope for the people because of its presence, in spite of the fact that almost 65 percent of the populace of Milbuk left and transferred to other places in Mindanao to seek for greener pastures.”

After several months of trouble, Milbuk was able to move on with the arrival of Greenbelt Wood Products Inc. (owned by a Chinese national) whose employees and workers came from Labasan, Zamboanga del Sur. The community was again alive and happy. The succeeding years up to 1995, when Greenbelt finally left Milbuk, was relatively peaceful and enjoyable.


If there had been a massacre of 1,500 Muslims just 10 kilometers away, the biggest such massacre of Muslim ever claimed in our modern history, the parish’s history would have reported it.

If there had been a massacre just 10 kilometers away, would that new company operate there and the Milbuk residents continue to live there, with the prospect of a Muslim retaliation?

A confirmation of this account of the parish history was in the form of a comment posted in my column last Monday, November 4, by Mr. Osias Moscoso: “I was a former member of an auditing firm that serviced Weyerhaeuser Phil’s. logging camp based at Milbuk, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat until the logging firm closed operation. I will agree with you Mr. Tiglao that no massacre happened among our Muslim brothers and sisters in Malisbong. The massacred victims were Weyerhaeuser’s workers by armed groups.”

A horrific “massacre of 1,500 Muslims and the rape of 1,000 of their women” by soldiers would have been investigated and reported by scholars, who would have the time and resources to do so. No such scholarly studies reported such a massacre.

A University of California 1998 book by Prof. Thomas McKenna, “Muslim Rulers and Rebels” discussed several cases of atrocities against Muslims.  It didn’t mention a “Malisbong massacre” or even rumors of such an atrocity.

A 2014 article in the International Organization for Scientific Research’s Journal Of Humanities and Social Science by Marjanie Salic Macaslaong titled  “The Liberation Movements in Mindanao: Islām as a Thrusting Force” was clearly biased for the MNLF and the MILF.  It listed 20 incidents of Muslim civilians massacred and even gave vivid details on the “Manili Massacre” of 70 “Muslims civilians — including women and children — mercilessly massacred inside a mosque.”

The study didn’t mention at all a “Malisbong massacre.”

Both studies even discussed the “Jabidah Massacre” as if it really happened, even as I had thoroughly exposed it as a hoax by the Liberal Party.* Yet both had totally no mention at all of a “Malisbong massacre.”

This propaganda project of the 1970s would have been long forgotten, and certainly would not be the subject of a newspaper column, if the Yellows and the Commission on Human Rights headed by Loretta Rosales, gullible or complicit in the scheme, had not allowed it to be  resurrected  in 2014, for unscrupulous people to use it as a scam to grab millions of pesos through the 2014 Human Rights Victims Compensation Law.

At our nation’s expense — that it is one where Christian soldiers  are ruthless murderers of 1,500 helpless Muslims and rapists of 1,000 Muslim women, with its media complicit in hiding such atrocity.

We have never been that kind of people.

Next Monday: Anatomy of a deception.

*This hoax is extensively discussed in my book Debunked: Uncovering Hard Truths About EDSA, Martial Law, Marcos, Aquino, with a special section on the Duterte presidency, available online www.rigoberto.tiglao.com/debumnked or at amazon.com, and at Popular and National Book stores. 

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao


Monday, November 11, 2019

Luke 17:1-6 | Jan Van Eyck | If your brother does something wrong, reprove him

Luke 17:1-6If your brother does something wrong, reprove him
The Ghent Altarpiece, 
Painted by Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) & Hubert Van Eyck (1385-1426),
Oil on panel,
begun mid-1420s and completed before 1432,
© St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!
If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’
The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.’
Reflection on the Altarpiece‘If your brother does something wrong, reprove him’ Jesus tells us today. This may sound a little harsh at first, but upon deeper reflection it isn’t. There is a big difference between ‘telling someone off’ and ‘reproving him’. Telling someone off comes out of a negative place; it comes out of a place of annoyance or impatience; the ‘reproving’ Jesus mentions comes out of a place of love and generosity. It is done with the intention to help the other person. To help him grow, to help him improve, to help him be a better man. Whilst receiving praise is flattering and motivating, it rarely helps us grow as a person. Often the criticism we receive, if it comes from a place of genuine love (as in the the other person wills the good for you), can be a great source for personal growth and growth towards God.

Also this word of ‘reproving’ is a beautiful word, as it implies a certain gentleness within it and a kindness of intent. Just like in art REstoring a painting or REpairing an antique piece of furniture, brings back great beauty and radiance to the work of art, so can the REproving we receive from our friends, colleagues, formation staff etc, genuinely help us to bring (back) in our spiritual lives.

A few months ago, I had a pleasure of seeing the restoration up close of the brothers Jan & Hubert Van Eyck Ghent Altarpiece and what a joy it was to see not only the meticulous brushstrokes applied by the artist, but to also to see the vibrancy of colours being revealed again through the restoration. As carefully executed, professional restoration simply returns the artwork to its original appearance, as intended by the artist, … so can true reproval return us to be close to our own Artist Creator too and restore us to what we were intended to be……

For more details on the Ghent Altarpiece restoration, click here.

by Patrick van der Vorst

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Unadultered BS! Award winning journalist busts Ressa’s ‘pa-victim’ spin: What war zone have you been in?

An acclaimed foreign journalist has called out Rappler founder and Chief Executive Officer Maria Ressa for trying to portray herself as a victim of oppression under President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ted McDonnell took issue with Ressa’s statement to CBS’ Bill Whitaker, which aired on its public affairs show, 60 Minutes.
Ressa, the former chief of CNN’s Jakarta bureau, described the Philippines as “worse than any war zone” she has been in.
“In a war zone you know exactly where the threats are coming from. We’ve been living through three years of this kind of hell,” she said.
McDonnell, who has been to the Philippines a number of times, called Ressa’s statement “unadulterated bullshit.”
“This is unadulterated #bullshit! I’ve worked in the #Philippines as a journalist\documentarian for past 5 years it’s safer than many places in the USA. Did you ask Ressa why she accepts money by CIA funded NED? Her “facts” are false & what war zones has she been in? #notjournalism,” he tweeted Sunday (November 10).
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is believed to be the US Central Intelligence Agency’s front to course funds to non-government organizations in various countries.
Arroyo-era Cabinet Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao said NED gave Rappler P7.5 million in 2018 in the guise of a grant for a project tilted “Understanding and Addressing Disinformation’s Impact on Democracy.”
Rappler’s other foreign funders include American billionaire Pierre Omidyar, who invested in the media outfit through his company, Omidyar Network.


Leni Robredo dapat sumama sa operasyon - Dante

Fake VP Robredo, Hinamon Na Sumama Sa Mga Operasyon

The God of the Living Makes Us Truly Alive

The God of the Living Makes Us Truly Alive
November 10, 2019
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Father Alex Yeung, LC

Luke 20: 27-38

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally, the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed, they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive." Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well."
Introductory Prayer: I love you my Lord, because you are love itself. I am sorry for whatever is in me that does not come from your love and does not reflect your love. If I am to become what you want me to be, it will happen only if I allow you to act in me.
Petition: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to be a true child of the resurrection.
  1. Our Shallows, His Depth: The encounter in this Gospel passage is somewhat embarrassing to read. It reminds us of so many similar occurrences in which we see shallowness trying to sound deep but achieving little more than bothersome clatter. We’ve all heard rock stars who take themselves for prophets, or media people who handle issues of the Church, natural law, and other sublime truths without really knowing what they’re talking about. They just can’t see things outside of their pre-conceived notions. Their words grate on our ears and make us cringe. Something similar happens here. The Sadducees confront our Lord on their own terms and with their own agenda, armed with what they believe to be clever wit. Precisely such shallowness is the occasion to reveal God’s depths.
  2. Christ More Than Satisfies: Our embarrassment for the Sadducees turns to admiration for Christ. Christ knew full well what was in the hearts of those men, and he patiently explained to them where their thinking failed. The man’s specious reasoning was given an answer that went far beyond the realm of theory. As the Sadducees’ superficiality is revealed, we get a glimpse of God’s mercy. These men were humbled, not humiliated. They were not rejected for being wrong; but were invited to go deeper in the truth. When we allow the Word of God to penetrate our hearts, it opens entirely new vistas and takes us out of the comfortable, predictable world of our own pre-conceived notions. However, for this to happen we need to be open to it. Once the Word of God finds a crevice, it will work its way in and bring new light into our previously darkened hearts.
  3. We Are Children of the Resurrection: St. Paul says that whereas Christ is risen, he “has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). This is what the Sadducees had to learn and what we must still learn: to know our true place as “children of the resurrection” who are also members of Christ and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are raised again and again, yet frequently we are unaware of it. God’s word might enter our ears, but it may take a lifetime for its truth finally to sink into our hearts and penetrate every aspect of our lives. We are like people waking from sleep, unable to collect their thoughts quickly. Little by little the truth breaks in upon us and reality comes into focus. Christ’s truth surprises, reveals and invites.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, suddenly I see that I am more like the Sadducees than I had previously thought. Help me to have an open heart, alert to your will and a readiness to adapt to it. Forgive me my rationalism and small-mindedness. I trust in you.
Resolution: I will strive to see others as children of the resurrection.
Our Daily Meditation is also available with audio: