Father Salvador

Come, Holy Spirit

June 5, 2022 |by N W | 0 Comments | Baptism, Comfort, Father Salvador, Holy Spirit, Hope, Mission, Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday
June 5, 2022 — Year C
Readings: Acts 2:1-11 / Ps 104 / Rom 8:8-17 / Jn 20:19-23
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor

There is a story about a young boy who went to the store on his bicycle to buy something, but there was no place to park his bicycle.  He decided to go to a nearby church and make a request to the parish priest and, of course, the priest granted his request without any hesitation.

The boy asked, “Father, is it safe here?”  He needed to ask, because he was concerned that someone might steal his bicycle.  The priest replied, “Of course.  The Holy Spirit will keep watch over your bike.   But first, let us go inside the church and pray.”  They knelt down, made the sign of the cross, and the boy said, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son.  Amen.”  The priest interrupted him, “My son, you forgot the last part ‘and of the Holy Spirit.’”  The boy said, “We should not disturb the Holy Spirit, Father.  He is watching over my bike.”

The Holy Spirit does not keep watch solely over bicycles.  Rather, He keeps watch over everything and everyone, especially over the disciples, including ourselves, whom Jesus leaves behind as He returns to the Father.  At the Last Supper Jesus tells them that He will send a gift from the Father, the greatest of all gifts, and that is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures tell us that fifty days after the Exodus, Moses received the ten commandments from Yahweh at Mount Sinai.  Yahweh presented them to His people, and the people pledged faithfulness to all that Yahweh expected of them.

We Christians celebrate Pentecost fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus.  It is the feast day of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church, for Jesus sent His spirit over the disciples to empower them to live by His word.  That is why we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Pentecost today, the giving and coming of the Holy Spirit as a gift from the risen Lord.  Pentecost, in Greek, means the fiftieth day, that is, the fiftieth day after Easter, or the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Actually, the Holy Spirit had already been given to the disciples when Jesus appeared to them after the Resurrection.  He breathed the Holy Spirit on them by saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Do not be afraid.”  But still, they remained sad, and afraid that what happened to Jesus Christ might also happen to them.  It was only after fifty days that the apostles finally realized that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them and they became courageous.

We, too, receive the Holy Spirit during our Baptism and Confirmation.  But why doesn’t it change our lives as it changed those of the apostles?  Why do we behave, in many ways, like those that are unbaptized, or pagans, as if we never received the Holy Spirit?  I guess the answer is because the Holy Spirit inspires us to do good things, but in the long run it is up to us to accept, ignore, or reject His promptings.

So now the question is, who is the Holy Spirit?  We know that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Blessed Trinity.  He’s the love of the Father and the Son, present within God the Father and God the Son throughout all eternity.  When we want to describe Him, however, we have difficulties, for we cannot see Him.

The original word in Greek, can express the idea of breath, wind, or spirit.  Before the world was created, a strong wind blew over the water.  There was no life yet on earth.  Nevertheless, the earth was covered by God’s presence.  Even though we do not see the Holy Spirit, we are all aware that He is at work in our lives.  We cannot see the wind, and we do not know where it comes from or where it is going, but we see its effects.  The leaves on the trees rustle in the breeze.  Trees are toppled by its fury.  The wind gives speed to a sailboat and produces sound when blown into a musical instrument.

Our Church reminds us today that Pentecost represents God’s gracious, enabling presence at work among His people. This presence enables them to live their lives according to His teachings.  It is also a day to celebrate hope:  a hope that suggests that a knowledge of God, through the Holy Spirit, is working among His people.

The event also celebrates a newness, a renewal of purpose through the Holy Spirit and a mission and calling as God’s people.  Most of all, the day is a celebration of God’s ongoing work in the world which emphasizes the gifts of the Holy Spirit and provides a tremendous opportunity for churches to use this sacred sign to call for a renewal through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

In closing, please join me in praying this prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth your spirit and they shall be created
and You shall renew the face of the earth.  Amen.


Dust in the Wind

March 2, 2022 |by N W | 0 Comments | Father Salvador

Ash Wednesday
March 2, 2022 — Year C
Readings: Jl 2:12-18 / Ps 51 / 2 Cor 5:20 – 6:2 / Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor

During the season of Lent, especially Ash Wednesday, we may ask the question, “Why do we use ashes on Ash Wednesday?”  Why not use oil or other things?

If we stop to reflect, ashes are useless; ashes have no value, useless, simply because ashes come from burnt objects.  Of course, the ashes that we use here came from the burning of the palms that we blessed last year.  But there is no value in those ashes.

That’s why, whenever those ashes are imposed on our foreheads, it’s a reminder for us that everything in this world will vanish; that everything in this world is temporary.  Everything that your hand can hold will disappear.  Your dreams, your aspirations in life – they are all temporary.  Even the things that you are proud of – they are not eternal.  The ashes remind us that everything we have in this world – even our own lives – are temporary.  They are like ashes that can easily be blown by the wind, and they’re gone.   That’s why we use ashes on Ash Wednesday.  This will remind us that everything in this world – our own lives, our talents, our dreams — are temporary.  It should always humble us.

Another thing about ashes is that they are itchy.  In the past, when people wanted to repent, they covered themselves with ashes as a sign of repentance.  If you have a wound and put ashes in it, it’s very painful.  But people would endure that itchiness, that pain, as a sign of their repentance.

And again, the ashes are a reminder to us that everything in this world will disappear.  Ashes are also a reminder for us that we all need to repent.  When we repent, we need to make some sacrifices.

During the season of Lent, we are always asked to make some sacrifices.  We cannot just keep complaining; we need to sacrifice.  We need to listen to the will of God in our lives, and allow our problems, allow the trials that may come into our lives, to mold us.  Sacrifice.  That is why St. Maximilian Kolbe once said, “There is no love when there is no sacrifice.”

If you take a look at the word Lent, you’ll see that it is the past tense of the word lend.  When somebody lends, somebody also borrows, and vice versa:  When somebody borrows, somebody also lends.  In this season of Lent, it is a time for us to remember that everything we have in this life is borrowed:  our lives, our talents, our skills, our jobs.  These are all God’s gifts to us; we just borrow them from the Lord.

The greatest lender is not the bank, or the pawn shop, but God Himself.  He lends us even our own lives.  He lends us so much, and there will be a time when we have to return everything He lent us.  Sooner or later, we will have to make an accounting of what we have done with the lives that He gave us.

Lent is a time for us to remember that everything will vanish; everyone needs to repent, and everything will turn into dust.  The only thing that will not turn into dust is the love of God, because this love is forever.  His love for you, His love for me, His love for all of us, is forever.

If you want to find meaning in your life, then cover yourself, not only with the actions of repentance, but also cover yourself with the love of God.  When you cover yourself with repentance and the love of God, then you will surely find meaning and purpose in your life.


Jesus is Our Lifeline

June 6, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Jesus is Our Lifeline | Eucharist, Faith, Father Salvador, Sacraments, Saints |

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 6, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Ex 24:3-8 / Ps 116 / Heb 9:11-15 / Mk 14:12-16, 22-26
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Yesterday, one of the headlines was about Cathy Boone, a 49-year-old homeless woman in Oregon. She died last January with nothing. She was homeless, no family, no friends. But they discovered after her death that she actually had inherited close to $900,000 from her mother. The state had tried to get in touch with her. Somehow she was estranged from the family when her mother died, and she just lost it. Her life had been spiraling downward. So she died penniless and homeless, and yet she had actually inherited almost a million dollars. (more…)


Follow in Hope

May 16, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Follow in Hope | Easter, Eternal Life, Faith, Father Salvador, Heaven, Hope

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
May 16, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 1:1-11 / Ps 47 / Eph 1:17-23 / Mk 16:15-20
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

About five hundred years before our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a philosopher in ancient Greece by the name of Heraclitus, who said that the only permanence in life is change. Heraclitus was stating the obvious. Every single moment there is a change in the world within us and around us, whether we are aware of this or not. We are no longer the same persons compared to yesterday. We change physically, mentally, and even spiritually. (more…)


Prayer is Our Connection

May 2, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Prayer is Our Connection | Father Salvador, Hope, Prayer, Sacraments

Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 2, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 9:26-31 / Ps 22 / 1 Jn 3:18-24 / Jn 15:1-8
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

The other day, when I noticed that the percentage of my cell phone’s battery was down to 1%, I connected it immediately to my phone charger. After about fifteen minutes, I checked it, and I noticed that the battery was totally discharged. The phone was dead. Since my cell phone is more than five years old, this got me concerned. So I consulted the tech support that I know will give me a quick answer: my good friend, Google. (more…)


Our Shepherd Cares for Us

April 25, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Our Shepherd Cares for Us | Blessings, Comfort, Father Salvador, Grace, Healing, Hope, Trust

Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 25, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 4:8-12 / Ps 118 / 1 Jn 3:1-2 / Jn 10:11-18
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

At this morning’s first Mass, baby Theodora, whom I baptized a few months ago, was a little uneasy during the liturgy. Her Mom, as all mothers do, knew exactly what to do to calm her down. She knew what she wanted every time she was uncomfortable. It is such a privilege, if you are in the company of someone who knows you like a mother knows her baby. (more…)


Open Your Eyes and See

April 18, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Open Your Eyes and See | Eucharist, Faith, Father Salvador, Resurrection, Sacraments, Trust

Third Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 / Ps 4 / 1 Jn 2:1-5a / Lk 24:35-48
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

On the day that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to two of His followers walking on the road to Emmaus. These two men, as Saint Luke the Evangelist related to us in today’s gospel, recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

What was their story? Just like all of the disciples, they were so sad while they were walking on the road, because their friend, their teacher, and their Lord was crucified and died. The risen Jesus walked along with them, but they failed to recognize Him. (more…)


Divine Mercy — We Believe

April 11, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Divine Mercy — We Believe | Eucharist, Faith, Father Salvador, Healing, Mercy, Trust

Sunday of Divine Mercy
April 11, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Acts 4:32-35 / Ps 118 / 1 Jn 5:1-6 / Jn 20:19-31
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

A number of years ago early in my priesthood, when I was an assistant pastor in a big church in Manilla, I was having a pastoral conversation with my pastor, Monsignor Jose, and we heard a commotion and shouting on the second floor of the church’s pastoral center. The building was adjacent to the rectory where we lived.

I ran to see what was going on, and Monsignor followed me, just walking slowly. When I got there, I saw a middle-aged woman shrieking and screaming with her mouth foaming, and being pinned down on the floor by seven men and women, but she seemed to be a lot stronger than all of them. I was reminded of one of the scenes in the movie, The Exorcist, when I saw her. (more…)


Forgiven and Forgotten

March 21, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Forgiven and Forgotten | Comfort, Father Salvador, Forgiveness, Healing, Hope, Mercy, Repentance, Sin

Fifth Sunday of Lent
March 21, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Jer 31:31-34 / Ps 51 / Heb 5:7-9 / Jn 12:20-33
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

All of us who have attended funerals in the past where there is a eulogy know that the friends and members of the bereaved family will always say all of the good things that the deceased has done. If ever the person being eulogized has done something wrong, all those things are forgiven and forgotten. But of course it is unfortunate that most people only do this to the dead and very seldom to the living. The great news for all of us is that we have a God who forgives and forgets. (more…)


Care for God’s Temple

March 7, 2021 |by N W | Comments Off on Care for God’s Temple | Easter, Father Salvador, Lent, Repentance, Resurrection, Sin

Third Sunday of Lent
March 7, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Ex 20:1-17 / Ps 19 / 1 Cor 1:22-25 / Jn 2:13-25
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

A story is told about two altar servers who, one Sunday morning, while waiting for the Mass to begin, noticed that the priest was wearing a vestment in a color that was out of the ordinary. One of them said, “It is quite unusual that Father is wearing a pink robe today.” The other corrected him, saying, “It’s rose, not pink.” “How do you know?” the first asked. He answered, “Because Jesus ROSE from the dead; he didn’t PINK from it.” (more…)