My Christmas Joy

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk.2:10-12).

I am fascinated always with the picture of the nativity (the Belen) every Christmas season. And my attention is always centered on the infant Jesus lying in a manger. This is so because I oftentimes ask how difficult it is for a mother to deliver her son in just a manger and also for an infant to survive in a cold place prepared for animals. It is for me an unusual situation. However, what I find amazing about it is that the nativity scene keeps on drawing people. I observe that people are coming to pray seriously in front of it. They later touch and kiss the baby Jesus. And they will pose for a picture with it and go. And then here comes another group with the same purpose of venerating the Belen. And it seems to me that the Belen has the power that invites the people.

Then later in my seminary years it dawned on me the implication of the simplicity of the person of Jesus as well as of his family. Jesus’ birth in a manger is very meaningful especially in his being the Savior of the world. He has a lot to tell us in his simple birth. And these messages are at all times applicable for us his people. And if these messages are given the chance to penetrate into the hearts of all then they will produce joy that nothing compares. And one of the many messages that I learn and love most from the birth of Jesus is the message of simplicity. He is communicating simplicity in his birth reminding the people that life is not complicated. Life is meant to be simple. His birth in a manger reminds the people to live a life away from the many dangerous ambitions. This is very striking for all for oftentimes there is the tendency for the humanity to dream for a life beyond reach. Jesus only has his swaddling clothes we also have contented on simple things we have.

Jesus in a manger is destined to save the humanity. This message is giving me so much joy that in spite of my limitations I have my Savior who holds me and keeps me in his care. He is giving me hope especially in my trying moments. He serves as my light in the midst of my darkness in life. And he invites me to give hope also to those who find life meaningless. I should be hope for others.


God Became Human - Mary Looking at the child Jesus in a manger that God has given us to save the world reminds me also to be a gift to others. Giving gift is a reflection of the gift of Jesus for the world. This act of goodness and generosity especially to the needy is much appreciated, for this speaks of the child Jesus in a manger as gift for the world. When we give gifts, we give the being of Jesus that we have received to others. And there is always that joy in sharing gifts.

Let us visit and venerate the baby Jesus in a manger and accept him as the most special gift given to us. Then in turn let us be gifts for others by sharing what we have especially to those who are in need. This is my Christmas joy.

Christmas Reflection by:
Fr. Muriel A. Uy, SSS @ Christmas 2017
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Advent Reflection: God Became Human

As Catholics, we profess our belief in the Incarnation in the Nicene Creed: Jesus Christ “came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

The Incarnation is a unique and singular event. Its truth informs the way we view God and ourselves. For by his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every person. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin. (Gaudium et Spes, 22)

God Became Human.

Advent offers only four weeks to reflect upon the meaning of those three words, how they changed the course of human history, and how they impacted upon the lives of those who believe in Jesus Christ. They can radically change the course of our personal history over these next weeks if we will welcome these words to fill the emptiness in our souls and allow them to create in us a deep sense of awe and reverence.

God came to be with us as a little child! Born like us into a world in need of love. Three words, “God became human,” deserve a space in our heart as a start to this Advent season. God wants to “hang out with us,” and Advent is a time of grace and blessing to integrate the meaning for us personally of “God became human.” Our spirituality consists essentially in the profound and intimate relationship with Christ. This season calls us to enhance this relationship as a preparation for celebrating Christmas.

Advent has four weeks. In the first week, we are encouraged to be on guard; stay awake to the miracle of the Incarnation daily; for Advent is a season of special revelation. So this week look for and expect to see and experience traces of God’s presence.

During the second week, we turn to the title of Jesus that most perfectly captures the idea of Incarnation: Immanuel, “God with us.” Where do you look for God? We Catholics look for God’s presence especially in the Eucharist.

In week three, we are invited to examine the testimony of John the Baptist, and do something in response to what we hear. That something is “repent and believe the Good News.” Get personally involved with the Word made flesh, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We can do this by taking inventory of our motivation, mode, goal and perspective in living out our daily lives.

And in week four, we are challenged to walk with Mary, and “Do not be afraid” for Jesus is near. Some Saints would say: “He is closer to us than the air we breathe!”

To fruitfully enter into this season, take inventory of your relationship with Christ that is rooted in the Eucharist, the Word and the people. These three means will strengthen the deep personal bond to Jesus Christ. Everything hinges on this bond. The heart of our religion is knowing Jesus intimately, loving Jesus intensely and following Jesus more closely.

Allow some questions to spark your reflection.

First, what is your motivation? Do you go to Mass out of obligation or awe? Do you see the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture, and your ministry as an opportunity for God to touch you and continue to form you into the image of his Son? Choose awe over obligation, pick up the New Testament before your smart phone, read it for 10 minutes each day for these 30 days of Advent, and see what happens.

Second, are you engaged in the Eucharist, Word and ministry as an observer or a participant? Do you listen passively to the Scriptures at Mass or actively seek the connection with your own life? Do you participate in ministry and genuinely listen to the needs of others, or is your agenda uppermost in your mind when you are with another?

Advent is a new beginning, not only of a new Church year, but for you to engage in the Eucharist, Scriptures and ministry with a mind that explores to deepen your relationship with Christ and does not close down the transformational possibilities of these three avenues.

Christ always draws us into the future, into new life, deeper intimacy. Yet, we can choose to close down and resist the drawing power of God.

In Advent, ask for the courage to make some adjustments if your motive, mode and perspective are not where you want them to be and where you think God wants them to be. You might also look at those moments you find yourself defensive and ask yourself what is the value you are defending and ‘do I need to continue to hold that position.’ This is the season, now is the time!

Decide today to not allow Advent to get lost in our wild dash towards Christmas. Since Advent is the season of promises, filled with spiritual riches for those ready to accept its blessings, promise yourself a few minutes each day to dive deeply into the Sacred Scriptures or contemplation. For only if we dive deeply into Advent will Christmas deliver its deepest blessings! Make a decision now and give yourself the freedom to fail and start again; that will take the pressure off and you can enjoy this season.

As we approach the great Solemnity of Christmas we are invited to draw very close to Jesus, to contemplate Him in the manger. In your meditation, take Him out of the manger and hold Him in your arms. As St. Therese said, “A God who became so small could only be mercy and love.”

Advent carries a quiet unmistakable message that God is near, our God is near, our God, who is unlimited and unconditionally loving, is near.

Let your heart be filled with love and affection for the Lord. He is not distant from us. He is Emmanuel, God with us. This Christmas, open your heart and let Him give you the greatest gift: a deeper love for Him and a deeper trust in His tender care for you.

Written by:
Fr. Froilan Renato A. Briones, SSS @ Advent 2017
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Santuario Celebrates Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with Baptism

Our active communities in Zone 2 Carmen, Oro Chain Village and Binonoan, celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with a Fiesta Mass and Baptism last July 15, 2017.

A few weeks before the fiesta, the community of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan attended a Pre-Baptism seminar given by Sr. Marge P. Manabat, TMM and our parish catechists as preparation for their Fiesta Celebration. They had willingly participated in the seminar and are now ready to receive the Sacrament of Baptism which is the basis of the whole Christian life and doorway to all the other Sacraments.

On the 15th of August 2017, the whole community of Carmen celebrated Mass in Honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Our active parishioners of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan had separate celebrations. The Baptism was help in Oro Chain Village where our Shrine Rector and Parish Priest, Fr. Froilan R. A. Briones, SSS baptised 17 infants. In Binonoan, the mass was presided by one of our assistant priests in the shrine, Fr. Clifford Barrios, SSS.


Santuario Eucaristico in partnership with the community of Oro Chain Village and Binonoan is truly grateful to the divine providence of our Lord and the intercession of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for another successful fiesta celebration and welcomes our new brothers and sisters to Christianity! In Fr. Froilan’s homily, he gave us a reminder that “True devotion to Mary consists of leading holy lives in conformity with her virtues of humility, gentleness, love, penance and prayer.” Happy fiesta to all!


Resurrection is the victory of Jesus from His death on the cross and his way of giving to man the gift of new life. From the darkness of our sins we receive the light of the newness of life and it is freely given to us by our Lord and Savior. We experience this and we feel like being new creations free from the stain of sin. Oftentimes we wonder why the Lord is offering his life on the cross for us. Is it because we are worthy? Precisely we are not. But why the Lord is offering his life on the cross for us? It is because of one thing- he loves us. And this love brings him to the cross so that we can have life. Jesus can show us his love for us without dying on the cross. Yes, he can do that. However, he prefers to die on the cross so that we can understand that his love for us is not only in words but in deed. And through this death on the cross he teaches us further that to love is to sacrifice even to the point of death for the sake of the beloved. And St Peter Julian Eymard is right in saying that, “True love is self -forgetful, devoted, perpetually self- sacrificing, not through self-interest and effort but with joy, finding its sole happiness in pleasing others.” He endures the pain and shame on the cross and we enjoy the fruit of this and that is the new life. He embraces death that we may have life, a life to the full.

This newness of life that we oftentimes called Easter grace makes us pleasing before the eyes of the Father once again. Therefore it is but good for us to celebrate and thank the Lord. The whole creation must be shouting for joy and must be in a state merriment because of this wonderful gift that is received.

Some reflections are showing the links between the Season of Easter and the Season of Spring. They have similarities actually. Easter is the move from death to the resurrection and is linked with spring when flowers begin to burst forth from the soil. And by seeing the link we can observe that both reveal and point to the newness of life after waiting, planting, hoping, and watching. While autumn may seem more beautiful, we hear it said that as we get older, we enjoy and appreciate spring even more than autumn. Spring points the way to new life. And in spring the season is very inviting for us to experience outdoor, to come to new life, and so be in accord with what is going on in nature around us. We have managed, survived, and even conquered the winter of our life.

Emily Dickinson once talking about the season of spring and connects it to the resurrection. She describes the season of spring as “this whole experiment of green…” And by saying “this whole experiment of green”, she is talking about life that the said season brings. And just as the season of spring brings life, so as the resurrection brings the newness of life to the rest of the humanity. Life is bursting forth, with fragrance and color, and above all with green in this Easter season. It is but good to discover, recover, and keep the greenness of life alive deep within us.

And as we receive this Easter grace we are also challenged to remain faithful to Him so that we can keep this grace of new life, the greenness of life in us alive. And like what one author says, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song,” let us be forever singing the love and goodness of the Lord in us. Happy Easter!

Written by:
Rev. Fr. Muriel A. Uy, SSS
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Reflection on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ

We can read in the Gospel of Luke that after the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives and prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” This was an intense moment between the Son and His Father. Jesus prayed so intensely to His Father because He knew the sacrifice that was set before Him. This sacrifice, starting from the agony in the garden, betrayal of His friends until His death on Calvary, was never devoid of physical suffering and emotional pain because He is fully human like us yet he endured and embraced it whole-heartedly.

We are once again in the Season of Lent. This season brings us again to the Passion and Death of our Lord. We will be confronted once again to the bloody and brutal scene of his immolation. His Passion and Death is the greatest act that only He could supply to please the Father. This act was finally accomplished on the Cross. Jesus` Passion and Death is not for Himself but for mankind. There is no sacrificial lamb that can be offered as a perfect sacrifice on the altar of the cross to wash away our sins but Jesus` own blood. Through the Lamb of God, man`s communion with God was restored pouring out His own blood for many for the forgiveness of sins. He paid for our freedom with the price of his own blood–His suffering and death.

As we journey in the Season of Lent, let us contemplate the Holy Week recalling to mind what our Lord endured for our salvation. Let us remind ourselves that the redemption worked by Christ on the Cross requires personal recognition of our own responsibilities. The fruits and merits of Christ’s Passion and Death need to be applied in our life by means of practice of faith, reception of the sacraments, conversion of heart, and accepting all the hardships in life. Meditating on His Passion and Death should strengthen us to be more faithful, should move us to reconcile with God through the reception of the sacrament of Confession, and keep us on the path of doing the will of the Father. Christ achieved a great redeeming value for us by enduring and embracing whole-heartedly all that He had to face. Jesus crucified on the cross is the greatest love story that is ever told—Jesus’ self-sacrifice for humanity. Therefore, it is only when we identify with the sufferings of Christ that we can merit and achieve a great redeeming value during our own sufferings and pains and fervently say, “… not my will but yours be done.”

Written by:
Br. Mark Divine B. Pangilinan, SSS
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

The Stations of the Eucharist

In order to promote greater devotion to the Holy Eucharist, stained glass windows of the Stations of the Eucharist were installed at Santuario Eucaristico. A conference on the Eucharistic Stations was then conducted last March 25, 2017.

Santuario Eucaristico Stations of the Eucharist

A Prayer Booklet was provided to our parishioners during the conference where Fr. Froilan R. A. Briones, SSS, our speaker, introduced the Stations of the Eucharist. In his talk, he stated that the stations was originally designed by the Poor Clare Nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama. They have a monstrance-like garden which leads one around the twelve (12) stations with corresponding image and scriptural texts from the Old Testament and continuing into the New Testament. As stated in the website of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament:

“The purpose of the Stations of the Holy Eucharist is to help the Faithful deepen both their understanding and appreciation of the Source and Summit of our Faith: The Most Holy Eucharist. Through the whole of salvation history, God Our Father has prepared His people for the Gift of His Beloved Son, and also for the Gift of His Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist. Throughout the Old Testament, the Eucharist was prefigured. And in the New Testament these shadows gave way to Reality.”

We are glad to have finally provided our parishioners more information about the Eucharist. It will surely help one where to find references of the Eucharist in the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament. These references are proof of the doctrine of the Eucharist; that the Eucharist is not only a Sacred Tradition but is significantly found in the Sacred Scripture.

Below are the 12 Stations of the Eucharist with it’s corresponding image and scriptural text.

The Stations of the Eucharist

To those who would like to see and have their prayer booklet, you may come and visit Santuario Eucaristico anytime.