Friday, 29 March 2013

How can we make the world a better place to live in?



http://www.flickr.com/photos/21251150@N04/

I remember one world economist who once commented, "80% of the world's resources are only enjoyed by 20% of the world's population."  In other words, 80% of the world's population only enjoys 20% of the world's resources.

There's so much inequality in the world today.  I happened to read a story in the internet and I would like to share it to you.  For me, as we celebrate Holy Week,  this story is the message of Christ's dying on the cross for us. Read the story below
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62204521@N00/
"We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave.

I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.”

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers - three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a suspended coffee ?’
http://www.flickr.com/photos/40650893@N04/

It’s simple - people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage  The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support ? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it."


http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/


What makes Good Friday good?

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43419254@N06/



Did you ever wonder why the day when the whole Christendom commemorates the death of Jesus it is called Good Friday?  What makes it good?

Because it is birthday celebration.  What?

Before I proceed, let me tell you something about today.  At 5:00 this morning (March 29), I was awakened by a call.  The first words I heard from the phone were “Happy birthday, sir!”  Yes, it’s my birthday today.  I was thankful for that call because it pushed me to wake up, go to the bathroom, change clothes and get ready for the 6 am Via Crucis (Way of the Cross).

So, today is a (good) Friday for me.
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43419254@N06/
Now going back to  the question, What makes Good Friday good?  There are several explanations to this but allow me to share a few, which are related to my personal celebration today.

There are two theological reflections to explain why the day of Jesus’ death is called Good Friday.

1. Birth of the Church.  Good Friday is the birth of the church.  This is how the Bible narrates in John 19:32-34:
32
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him;
33
but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34
But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
Water is symbolic in this passage.  It refers to the Sacraments or the Church.  Thus, the death of Jesus marks the birth of the Church. 
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63447043@N00/
2. The Church is entrusted to her mother.  Jesus knew that his physical presence would affect in the short-term towards the apostles and disciples.  Though He promised that the Holy Spirit will guide them, he also made it sure that they were under the care of a human hands and heart.  This is the role of Mother Mary.  This is how the Bible explain in Jn. 19: 26-27.

26
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
27
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13897165@N00/
In this passage, the beloved disciple represented the Church.  Jesus, in this episode, entrusted the Church to her mother.

Thus, Good Friday is indeed a good day because it is a celebration of the Church’s birth and the commemoration on the official role of Mary as the mother of the Church. 
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34128007@N04/
On the personal note, it is a (good) Friday because I am with the church in celebrating her birth while I also celebrate mine.  I am one with the Church in honoring her mother while I also thank my own mother for delivering me into this world.

May the celebration of Good Friday inspire us to follow Jesus and at the same time encourage us to be faithful in serving Him through the Church with Mary as our guide and protector.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Celebrating Palm Sunday religiously

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/

I still remember as a young kid how excited I was during Palm Sunday.  Of course, it was fun seeing new things during this particular Sunday.  First, I really liked the palms with different designs.  One time I even made one, a cross, and I was so happy doing it.

In the Church, another something new was the way the gospel was read.  It was no only the priest but many people.

Today?  The same.  I still witness same practices.  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/46856367@N00/

Question?  With this routine and almost the same experience, do we still see meaning in the celebration?  In almost all homilies, the priest would always highlight the meaning of symbols and how these would inspire people to get closer to God.

The challenge for each Christian is to see the relevance of the celebration and all the symbols associated with it.  That is why Lent  is a time for prayer and reflection.

In order to deepen my point, watch this VIDEO and reflect on the seriousness and religiosity of Palm Sunday.

CLICK HERE.   

Do you believe you will be rewarded for your sacrifices?


by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22177648@N06/

This afternoon I attended a graduation party of the eldest daughter of my childhood friend, Anelyn. Actually, all her sisters and brother were my childhood friends because were were neighbors.  When their family transferred residence we never saw it each other again for may be 30 years already.  I recently had contact with Anelyn through Facebook.  She and her family lived in Davao City, around 5 hours of travel from our hometown, Mapawa, Maragusan, Comval Province.

The celebration was festive. The room was filled with family members, relatives and friends.  Moreover, the celebration became more meaningful because the center of the celebration, Queenie, graduated as a Cum Laude at Ateneo de Davao University, one of the prestigious schools in the Philippines.

I came to the celebration upon the invitation Analyn and learning of her mother’s attendance.  I also wanted to see my childhood friends.  Erlinda, the mother , was a former teacher in our barrio’s only elementary school.  Although I was not under her I knew their family.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44345361@N06/

What I could remember most was how Maam Erlinda struggled to meet the needs of the family because she raised them alone. It was may be one big reason why they have transferred residence to look for better pasture.

To make the long story short, Maam Erlinda went to Canada and last Monday came home for the big celebration.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33990680@N07/

The moment I saw her I immediately recognized.  I was surprised.  She seemed not getting older.  Her face was glowing and really showed happiness and contentment.  Then I met my childhood friends with their children.

They were a still a happy family.  They remained simple. But I could see that Maam Erlinda was happier.  She is a very successful mother.  I saw it in her eyes.  Her happiness was contagious which led me to reflect on the goodness of God to her and the whole family.

Indeed, God rewards people who are committed to make their dreams come true.  He blesses those who trust in Him. He never loses sight those who struggle but find ways to maximize His blessings.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44745966@N07/
I even imagine myself in the person of Ma'am Erlina.  I look forward to the day when I just look back and smile at the struggles I went through but most importantly enjoy  on the blessings of God. 

Reflecting on the life of Ma'am Erlinda  I learn about patience.  Raising her children alone was not a joke.  She did everything she could and I’m sure there were so many down moments in her life.

I learn about perseverance.  She never quit.  Her children were her inspiration.  Going to Canada, she said, was a blessing because she was able to extend help to her children. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14111752@N07/

I learn about love of God.  Just seeing her happy and watching her children and grandchildren gathered together, I believe she is blessed.

This week is graduation week in the Philippines.  This is one of the happiest weeks for parents whose children are graduating.  Graduation is a testament of God’s unconditional love for His people.  The diploma symbolizes His grace and blessings.

Friends, whatever situation you are in now, whatever struggles you are encountering now, be strong.  In the end, you will just look back and smile.  Your reward is ready because you have a compassionate, caring, loving and compassionate God.



Friday, 22 March 2013

How to live a genuine life as a Christian professional

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35660391@N08/
In my article entitled “What makes Christian professional truly Christian”, I posted the views of my online friends.

This time I would like to share the views of my other online friends on being a genuine Christian professional.  I am very happy and proud to post them here.



"For me it’s turning the other cheek when others don't...going the extra mile....giving twice more than someone expects or asks....not tormenting your fellow coworkers like others sometimes do...loving people when others do not....not bullying....accepting others as they are and then telling them how or why your life is different...ie your belief in Jesus."
  

"To be a Christian is a title/position we hold and not a service that we perform. Whether be it in the office, home, or at the beach. It is who we are, based on our relationship with Christ. We are called to demonstrate Christ-like behavior in all areas of our lives. So we are by definition, exhibitors of Godly behavior. We don't have to "act with integrity" because "WE ARE PEOPLE OF INTEGRITY", so there is no other way to be. Neither do we have act with character, we are people of character. Our relationship defines who we are, not our acts, our services, or our profession."




"When he or she keeps in mind that the audience of heaven, GOD & HIS angels are listening & viewing all that we do & we still do what is right by HIS standards not our worldly learned ones no matter what the circumstances, situations, obstacles or behaviors being demonstrated, exhibited or exemplified because it pleases GOD and it is the right thing to do...."


"Even as Christian Professionals we are to maintain the standards GOD has put up & set in place for us to follow & abide by doing all things by & through L.O.V.E. (Living Omnipotently Victoriously Eternally-everlasting) embracing HIS kingdom mentality & identity HE has given us in the mind of CHRIST which we must allow & put on letting HIS mind permeate are entire being. It is the mind of CHRIST that is the catalyst of change in our life which that alters our identity into HIS as we trust, believe & depend on GOD for all things by being in expectation HE will give us the best of the best in all things..."



"I'm in Law School but I realize the challenges of maintaining a Christlike nature in during working life, education and beyond. To say law school's competitive is an understatement- it's like the Hunger Games. During lectures and tutorials, hardly anyone talks to each other out of competition. Our Christian lawyer small group has been trying to show Christ's love and concern to non-Christian lawyers but it can be hard- think "Turn the other cheek" and how Jesus was rejected."


"I think to truly be a Christian in a professional setting would be to realize the privilege of having an income stream and challenging (though at times tedious) work to do, and pray for the Lord's strength while on the job. It is through these things that the Lord encourages us to put our trust in Him and rely not on our own strength." 



Let us know also of your own view.  Write it on the comments  box below.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Who is your real boss?

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23912576@N05/
Our president, Benigno Aquino, delivered a very strong message during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). “Kayo ang boss ko” (You are my boss).  Sure enough, he worked hard to listen and act on the sentiments of the people, at least on his own capacity.  These words were also used by activists to remind the president of his words noting the inconsistencies that are happening in the country.

One time  I accompanied my wife to her hometown.  She was the commencement speaker of her alma matter.  I happened to sit at table with a couple, Neneng and Nonong. Neneng is the principal of the school where my wife was to deliver her speech.  Nonong is a district supervisor.

In our conversation at table, there was something that they shared that caught my attention.  They said their boss is not the people they serve.  I began to wonder what kind of leadership philosophy they have knowing that they are working in the government under the Aquino administration.  They explained that their boss is not the people but God.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24463988@N00/
Boom!  Gotcha!  They further explained that if you put God as your boss all your actions will be for the good of the people under you.  You lead by example.  You guide them to become better, if not excellent. 

This prompted me to think of how other leaders practice genuine leadership.  If God is your boss, you will surely not allow corruption in your organization. If God is your boss, you will surely preach love, unity and peace. 

How I wish leaders of nations and even small organizations, or school for that matter, live up to this philosophy or we may call it principle of leadership.  God is our boss.  Everything follows according to His will. 
freechristimages.org
It doesn't mean you will not follow the vision, mission and values of your organization.  God’s values are universal.  These can be applied in any organization.  Why?  Because the center of any kind of leadership is LOVE. 

If you lead with love, your boss is God.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

How to deal with failed dreams?

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27355894@N04

All of us experience failures in life. But it is more painful if your dreams fail.   

One of our neighbors was so frustrated.  They have money but none of her seven children finished college.  All of them married at young age.  She said she is a failure.  She had so much dreams for her children but nothing happened.

Some of my students did not pass the board examinations.  They said they are a failure.  Sometimes I will just tell them not to worry because ti doesn't need a license to be successful in life.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/
I also failed in my past relationship.  It was really painful.  I even questioned God about it.  My plans (and my dream) were all in place.  It didn't work.

So, what do we do when our dreams failed?    First, learn from this famous failures below:

http://www.funri.com/famous-failures/

What these people did after such failures?  Never gave up! These were the words of English Prime Minster Winston Churchill during a commencement exercise at Harrow School.

Why not give up?  Because God knows what is best for you.  Your failure is just a door for another opportunity.  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49512158@N00/
I did mention about my failed relationship.  However, that failure opened a window for me to a beautiful, blessed and happy relationship.  Now, I'm happily married to my beautiful and almost perfect wife. I cannot ask for more.

For more enlightenment on dealing with failed dreams, CLICK and watch this VIDEO from my mentor Bo Sanchez.





Why the new pope chose the name Francis?

by Randy Tudy
Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The new pope was the first one to use the title Francis.  It was some sort of a tradition where popes chose a Regnal name from a predecessor.  For example, Pope Benedict XVI is obviously the 16th pope to use this name.  There were names which have been used several times in the history of the Church- John (23 times), Gregory (16 times), Clement (14 times), Innocent (13 times), Leo (13 times), Pius (12 times), Boniface and Stephen (13 times each) and so on.  

But what's the importance of the name Francis to our new pope?  Well, as of this time, there's no report from the pope himself why he chose Francis.
Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

There are two saints named Francis.  One is Francis of Asisi and Francis Xavier.

St. Francis of Asisi is known for his simple lifestyle and is a model of living in the vows of poverty.  He is also popular as a great lover of animals and the environment.  On the other hand, Francis Xavier is a very successful Jesuit missionary.  He is considered as the co-founder of the Jesuit Society of Jesus or Jesuits.  He was a student of  St. Ignatius of Loyola, the main founder of the Jesuits.   I happened to visit a church in Rome where his relic (hand) is preserved until today. 
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko,
Looking at these simple data, the name Francis is fitted for the new pope.  In many articles about him, he was portrayed to be a very simple man who lived not in the bishop's palace and he even cooked for himself. 

Pope Francis is also the first Jesuit pope.  So St. Francis of Asisi and St. Francis Xavier are very close to his heart.  Their life and ministry also resemble to the witnessing of Pope Francis.

Let us pray and support our new pope, who like St. Francis of Asisi and St. Francis Xavier, is given a huge task of making the Kingdom of God more visible in this world.

Let us also implore the intercession of these saints to help our newly elected pope.


Friday, 15 March 2013

The most popular cardinal in Facebook

by Randy Tudy

Now that there's a new pope I believe our very own cardinal in the Philippines can live more normally after high expectations from Filipinos and other Asian Catholics to follow Pope Benedict XVI.  I believe he is still a top contenter in the next election, after all he is still very young.

I am talking about Cardinal Tagle, the most popular cardinal in Facebook. 

Watch this VIDEO and know why he is the most popular cardinal in the social media. 

Why do popes change their original name?

by Randy Tudy


When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope, he took the name Benedict XVI. Pope John Paul II's original name was Karol Józef Wojtyła.


So why do popes change their original name?

Watch this VIDEO for the explanation.


Be still and know He is our God

by Randy Tudy

In this first homily as a pope, Pope Francis emphasized this message, "Without the cross we are no longer a disciples of Christ."

As Christians we look at the cross as a sign of inspiration.  However, we don't only see the cross as an outside symbol.  What the pope is saying is the carry our own crosses.  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/67474215@N08/
But what is really mean by carrying one's cross?  Is it carrying one's suffering?

As long as we believe and profess our faith, we experience hurdles, rejections and persecutions.   For instance, to work with honesty is a cross to carry when all others, like people in the workplace, are not honest.  

The pope addressed his message to the cardinals, bishops, priest and all Christians to carry the cross that Jesus carried.  It means humility.  It means serving the poor.  It means being honest.  It means being unselfish.  It means being true to one's identity as Jesus' followers.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99771506@N00/
However, it should not be taken as purely suffering when one carries his/her cross.  Just like the experience of the apostles in the middle of the sea who encountered a storm, Jesus would come. Amidst the storms of life, we are called by Jesus to be still.  This song below is calling us carriers of the cross to be still and know that there is God.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

We have a new pope

Finally, we have a new pope.  Pope Francis was not among the top contenders of the throne.  This is how God works in  wonders.  There are already several articles that delve into the life of this man of God.  One thing for sure, he is the right choice.  He is God's choice

Right after emerging form the conclave, the new pope,  Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio takes name of Francis, delivers his firs address.



What makes a Christian professional truly Christian?

by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68224853@N00/


In one occasion, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”  They gave Him several answers.  Then, the question suddenly became scarier.  “But for you, who do you say that I am?"

I supposed there was silence which caught the disciples by surprise.  Then, Peter came forward and gave his own answer.   

This is one story in the Bible which brings me to reflect on my own identity. I ask myself who I am as a Christian professional, a teacher who is in-charge of forming the minds of hearts of students under my care?

In order to get ideas from other people, I made a simple survey and new friends from other countries were generous enough to share their reflections.  With their permission, I post their answers and identity below.  My question is “What makes a Christian professional truly Christian?”




“To me as a Jewish believer in Christ it simply means; John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”





“It's reflecting Christ in our professions, showing love in our workplace so that people will see Christ in us and as such be won to God's kingdom. It is dealing with people in ways that will ultimately bring glory to Jesus!”




"It means taking Christ's perspective into our workplace and witnessing with our actions and behaviour.”

What about you friend?  Share your reflection on the comment below.


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

3 Ways to take a hold of your life


by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41754875@N00/
I arrived very early on a conference I attended.  Before the conference formally started, flashed on the screen was this phrase “Take a stock of your life”.  My attention was caught on this one.   

What does it really mean?  I began to understand when several flashes on the screen contained the following words- pause, read and reflect.  Trying to reflect on the phrase and the words that follow, I began reflecting on how I need to take a hold of my life, not to put many things.  

With so many distractions and influence coming from different stimuli, I believe we need a strong hold of ourselves so not to be driven away

1. Pause.  With all the complexities in this world nowadays, not counting people’s pre-occupation with technology, there’s so much that our minds are bombarded with.  We need time for ourselves. We need time to rest or just simply pause. I have the luxury of this when I was still a religious brother.  Every 6:00-7:00 in the evening we are in the chapel for silence and prayer.  There was plenty of time to pause.  Today, it’s almost difficult to pause especially owning a phone which is internet connected.   I’ve seen a lot  of people who are glued to their phones,  even in restaurants.  It is supposed to be the  time to talk to each other but you see them busy scrolling or manipulating their phones- individually, separately.  We need to pause.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97745792@N00/
 2. Read.  According to a quote used by Larry Gamboa, your future depends on the kind of book you are reading today.  Reading is not only to gain knowledge but to harness the brain to function productively.  For instance, I write this article because I was influenced by the words I read on the screen at the conference room.  However, I caution everyone to only read books or articles which you believe is helpful to you. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21257461@N05/

3. Reflect. According to Socrates, unreflected life is not worth living.  We need to reflect on what is happening on our life.  Are we still on course of achieving our dreams?  Are we still doing the will of God?  Are our actions leading towards closeness in the family or the opposite?  Are we giving precious time with our loved ones? 

In Ignatian Spirituality, the practice of Examen is the most important practice to develop a deep relationship with God.  Examen, usually done in the evening or before going to bed, is simply reflecting on the day’s activity.  Where was God most evident in all our activities during the day? It is also a time to recognize our faults and be sorry for them.  Lastly, Examen leads us to commit to do better the following day. 

Having practiced these three, you will be guided in your words and deeds, plans and actions.  God will not give us specific direction what to do.  Just like in our gospel today(John 5:1-16), he asked the blind man what he wants Him to do.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/87884524@N00/
 Therefore, pausing, reading and reflecting will lead you to nowhere if you don’t act.  Supposedly, the fourth one is obviously ACTION.  This is how to take a hold of your life in the loving embrace of God. 

Know and do God’s will by doing these simple steps.  

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Most trusted organizations by Filipinos


by Randy Tudy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32059995@N00/
True to its nature as the only Christian country in Asia, Filipinos put their trust on the Church more than the government.  In a study conducted by EON Stakeholder Relations in partnership with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB), findings showed that the most trusted groups in 2012 for the general public were the Church (68.1 percent), the Academe (45.1 percent) and the Media (32.2 percent). Ranked as the least trusted in 2011 with a 7 percent trust rating, Government mustered a trust rating of 15 percent  in 2012, higher than NGOs (12 percent) and Business (8.9 percent).

To read the complete article CLICK HERE.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8047702@N07/
In the world full of complexities, people need organizations that they feel secure.  It is indeed a blessing that despite the lure of materialism and commercialism, Filipinos still have great respect for the Church.  Even if the church lost its battle against the RH bill, she remains committed to protect the sanctity of human life and the welfare of women and children.

What is also inspiring to know is Filipinos’ trust on the academe which ranked second.  The findings affirmed the importance of education.  The result also supported the notion of inculcating values being preached in the church into the educational mainstream. This is also the very reason why Catholic schools’ identity is closely attached to their relationship with the church.  In fact, Catholic schools are the privileged avenues where the church advances her education ministry.

Unfortunately, the survey only showed a mere 15% rating for the government sector. It’s election time in the Philippines.  It is the opportunity for Filipinos to elect the most trusted leaders who will truly serve the people and will become agents of bringing back the trust of the people to the government.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The prodigal son or generous father?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/89882307@N00/

Hi everyone.  If ever you have no newspaper or have not read this article from Fr. Orbos, I am giving you a link. It is worth reading. 

As a kid I was always fascinated to hear the story of the prodigal son. In fact, as young as before entering grade school, I already memorized the whole story.

 I thought of writing my own reflection but this article is really nice.  So, click  or copy and paste (://opinion.inquirer.net/48475/the-generous-father) or visit the Inquirer website.

Have a meaningful and blessed Sunday everyone!