Celebrating in time of corona virus

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe, Saturday within the Octave of Easter, 18 April 2020

Acts 4:13-21 ><)))*> +++ <*(((>< Mark 16:9-15

Mass in my parish without a congregation, except for two birds.

Praise and glory to you, O Lord Jesus Christ, our Eternal High Priest for this most joyous day of our lives with my six other classmates, our 22nd Presbyteral anniversary that coincides with the birthday of or fifth Bishop, the Most Rev. Dennis Villarojo!

In a few minutes I will be celebrating your Holy Sacrifice of the Mass alone – no congregation, no families and friends except for the birds keeping me company since last month.

First, it was my birthday last month; today, our presbyteral anniversary still in lockdown and on my third “self-quarantine” after exposing myself to some possible carriers. At first, I felt tired like the Simon Peter and the rest in yesterday’s gospel when I felt like going back to my old ways. But, the day dragged on without catching any fish at all when in the afternoon, a sudden burst of your light made me realize to search you more in this time of darkness. You taught us through St. Ignatius of Loyola in our 30-day retreat to always be positively indifferent to you, that I may be poor than rich, sick than healthy…

I do not complain, sweet dear Jesus, that we are still in a lockdown or in self-quarantine again. These are all part of my life in you and with you. Besides, I have no plans of great celebrations as it has always been slightly like this in the past 22 years. And maybe, this is one way of you telling us to be alone with you longer, more intensely.

Praying at the Garden of Gethsemane in the Holy Land, 2019. Photo by Atty. Polaris Grace Rivas-Beron.

What do I have to pray for today, Lord?

Nothing really but the usual things I ask you day in, day out: when I die, I will be with you in Paradise like that thief on the Cross. I have no desire of going anywhere or having anything more than what I need because only you suffice.

Make me your faithful servant that everyday I may know you more, love you more, and follow you more closely. May I do your holy will in every here and now in the way you would want it to be done, not mine. And always, give me the gifts of hiddenness, of stillness for this is not really about me at all but more of YOU.

You have given me with so much, Jesus, but I have given so little. Teach me to give more of my talents, more of my love, more of my patience, more of myself, and most of all, more of YOU to others.

In my prayers yesterday and last night, I saw myself somehow with Peter and John in the first reading…

Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceived them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and the scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.

Acts 4:13

Let me be recognized more than ever as your companion, Lord Jesus. I have nothing special to be chosen as your priest. It is all your love and grace freely given to me.

May I have the courage like that of Peter and John to be bold and daring to proclaim you are risen, you are alive, that you are the Christ especially in this time of quarantine.

Keep me faithful to your mandate to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk.16:15).

Just be mine, LORD, for I am wholly THINE. Amen.

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