Daily Gospel Reflection for August 7, 2016 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


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Today’s Gospel: Luke 12, 32-48 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Abraham looked forward to the city whose architect and maker is God”

I will never forget that Friday evening in September of 2010 when Fr. Paul said “God always has his hand opened for us, our responsibility is to reach back to him and take it.” Although a very simple statement this became a central turning point in my life. Never had anyone, with such simplicity told me how simple it was to encounter God. Of course, I had to take stock in my life, separate from what was keeping me from God, and put that life within His hands. This was not brought on by any deaths in the family, crisis at work, critical diagnosis or anything that might shake your foundations. Instead, it was said in the greater context of a talk, where I was attending just for curiosity, on having a plan for life.

“..and without faith it is impossible to please God” Heb 11:6. Abraham “sojourned” from place to place with his family and was even ready to offer up Isaac! He had faith that God would raise Isaac from the dead because God had told him that “through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” I have often found myself questioning the will of God in my life and those of my family. Death, financial crises, familial issues all can have the effect of making people question what God is doing and how he can let some of these awful things happen. We know that in these times He is the solid rock of “rock bottom” and wants us to be in union with him.

I’ve found that the rewards far outweigh the difficulties of humbling yourself to God and His will.


Do I look at every setback or challenge as an opportunity to humble myself before God and look to him for guidance through prayer?


Lord, grant me the humility to discern and follow your will especially in the most difficult of times.


Copyright 2016 Michael Kotary

My college sweetheart and I have been married for 14 years we have 4 beautiful children. We’ve lived all over the country and I often get the question “Are you Mormon, or military?” I proudly respond that we’re Catholic and move for my work.


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  1. Raymond Andes on

    A blessed Sunday!

    It was a very happy Sunday for me here in Legazpi, Philippines. I attended a mass at around 7 pm Philippine Time and received the good news from the Lord. Since September 2013, I have been attending masses every Sunday but I was born a Catholic. It was around 2002 when I began losing my faith in God until one day in 2010 when I became a total atheist. The following day, however, I decided to just be Agnostic because I was feeling so empty having that sad thought that there is no God who made the universe.

    From then on until September 2013, my faith was rocky and unstable. I no longer attend masses every Sunday. I was flip-flopping with my thoughts over that period of time. But in that particular month, I discovered this prayer from Mother Teresa who is now a saint. That powerful prayer moved me to tears and made me decide that I will attend masses every Sunday. Ever since then, I wouldn’t miss a single mass but for just one (if I’m not mistaken) but it was a complete turn-around from before when I would just attend masses once or twice a month only.

    However, I didn’t know that I was not yet at the point where I completely trust God. I still had doubts but every time these doubts come to surface, I tell myself to listen to the next Sunday mass to learn. I convinced myself that I would not get answers from just merely pondering things to myself and that I should listen to God every Sunday perhaps to fill in the gaps.

    The year 2014, which was supposed to be the first year after my spiritual conversion, turned out to be the most difficult year of my life. That year, I was diagnosed with three ailments, which I am not prepared to divulge until now, but one of them is Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis. One of the pills I was taking induces me to get insomnia. So aside from having three diseases, I was also battling with insomnia and sleepless nights on a daily basis. From August 2014 until March 2015, I recorded 30 nights when I didn’t even get to sleep a single hour or even a single minute… so I had three diseases plus 30 sleepless nights! During that same year, also, I was in my final year in law school. Battling with these problems weighed heavily against my favor that I thought I’m not going to graduate in March 2015. I was very nervous and was also asking God why these things happened to me all at once.

    Some thoughts even come to whisper to me: forsake the Lord and surrender your life to the devil if you want all these problems to go away. So even if I had completely turned towards the Lord, I still had these temptations! But I was resolute enough to decide that I should put my trust to no one else but Jesus. I told those thoughts, “I know what your plans are and I know that God’s plans are better than yours.” It was around October/November 2014, at the lowest point of my life.

    In December 2014, things begin to change. At first, I was still troubled then because I don’t have an idea how to finish my thesis and that was one of the many problems I had that year. Then, for some reason, ideas came out surfacing. Maybe angels helped me out then I don’t know. That year’s Christmas also turned out to be the best since childhood or even better. As the days pass, the more I get ideas for my thesis until, in March 2015, my partner and I were the first among all the groups to finish with flying colors (we obtained a high grade of 90%). It was a miracle since we were the last group to have a topic approved by the school.

    In January 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines. His visit here ignited my faith even further. The song “Tell the World of His Love”, which was written by composer Trina Belamide in 1994 for the World Youth Day of 1995 was unearthed by some news network. As I heard that song for the first time in a long while, I cried buckets of tears. Even to this day, I still cry whenever I hear that song. It begins with “For God so love the world, He gave us His only Son. Jesus Christ, our savior, His most precious one.” This song inspired me to create a song which I entitled “Coming Home.” I will post it here maybe next time when I have time.

    By March 2015, it became clear to me that I will finally graduate from law school. At that same month, I was told by my physician that I no longer have Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis… so I was so happy then and thankful! I still have the other two diseases until today but half of my problems are gone by that time.

    The months after, I still have occasional sleepless nights. But it wasn’t as frequent as before. I would have one or two each month until the month of August, when my last sleepless night took place. Ever since then, I would finally get to sleep every night. Somehow, I found a way to battle insomnia with the help of my doctor. But my problems are far from over. For one, I still had those two diseases. And for another reason, I didn’t know that the pills I was taking to combat insomnia had some side effects.

    The bar exams was slated November 2015. That was the final examination I had to take to become a full-fledged cpa lawyer but since my last year in law school was terrible and since the pills I was taking impair memory, comprehension and attention span, I received the awful news on May 3, 2016, my mother’s very birthday, that I didn’t make it. That was the first examination I failed in my life. My parents had always thought that I am a bright person and the school authorities were surprised to learn that I didn’t make it. They’ve always thought that I’m going to make it. In fact, some of the students in our school told me that it came as a big surprise because I was one of the best students in the school and I had always topped the exams (I didn’t graduate with honors because I was a transferee and the school do not give honors and recognition to transferees).

    My mother, of course, was hurt, but life has to move on. In my thoughts, I wasn’t able to give my best shot because of the circumstances I was facing. Somehow, it did affect my faith in God a little. I realized that no matter how hard you pray and how hard you prepare for the exams, if it isn’t the will of God, it won’t happen.

    However, my failure didn’t deter me from praying to God. I still pray to God every night and I still visit the church every Sunday. And over the course of the past few weeks, my faith has even gotten stronger. The more I do good deeds such as giving alms to the beggars in money, in food and in drinks. I also convince myself to not masturbate anymore nor to watch porn movies. The last time I did those two was seven days ago.

    And what happened today? My faith has crystallized. I finally have complete trust and faith in God. Doubts no more. Sins no more. This is the first time I felt this way since birth. Almost all my questions were answered. All my doubts are gone. The gospel readings for today’s mass has something to do with it. Today, I know that God will bring me to His promised land. I know that one day, I will be there in Heaven.

    In turn, I also told God that I promise that I will do His holy will and that for every blessing that I will get, I will glorify His name. I promise that when I pass this year’s Bar examinations, I will serve the people through my skills and intellect, and I will do such things out of LOVE for Him.

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