Our Empty Tomb

OUR EMPTY TOMB

By: Estrella (Star) del Mar

 

NEW LIFE!  NEW SELF!  NEW ME!

Easter 2018

Our old sins, old weaknesses, old bad habits are part of our old selves.

If they are still part of us now.  Then there is new life to talk about.

But let us suppose that during the Season of Lent, we had made a good confession, a good reflection and good resolutions of a new self to welcome Easter.

Old selves are our tomb.  Can we step out of our tombs?

Do we need assistance to roll away the stone?

Who will roll away your tomb stone?

It is not always easy to recognize the risen Lord!

We are given the signs but we do not pay much attention to them.  We have the Word and the Eucharist as signs of God’s presence among others.  For example, do we really recognize Jesus in the Eucharist? Or does He vanish when we leave the Church? Or do we continue to live the usual routine of the day as if Jesus is not there?  Do we find time to read the Word, reflect on God’s message, and live it?

People do not need preachers, they need witnesses who can share their faith!

The Lord has a mission for each one of us.  We need time to be quiet and listen to His Word and message.

We are busy with livelihood and a lot of things that use up a lot of our time and energy.  We need to try our best and exert effort to cooperate with God.  Ours is the human effort and God’s is the divine grace.

Easter 2018

In Scripture, we read the text and reflect on our lives as the context.

Let our lives become the text and the Scripture as the context.

Then Easter becomes a reality in our lives!

 

 

Remembering +Fr. Francis Xavier Vu Phan Long, OFM

Remembering

+Fr. Francis Xavier Vu Phan Long, OFM

Fr. F.X. Vhu Phan Long, OFM

Fr. F.X. Vhu Phan Long, OFM

We sadly convey to you that our friend +Fr. F.X. Vu Phan Long, OFM (66); born on August 21, 1951 in Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam  has gone back to the Almighty at 22:30 Friday, October 13 of this year 2017 at Hochiminh City after 45 years of his religious profession and 40 years of priesthood.

He had been sick with lung cancer since 2015 or even earlier. But he survived till after the SEA Workshop that he coordinated and prepared in Nha Trang. And he was even present in the first 3 days in spite of his weakening body. We truly appreciate him. We recalled our togetherness in CBF Plenary assemblies, Asian Workshops and our SEA workshops through the years!

+Fr. F.X. Vu Phan Long, OFM was official representative of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Vietnam until he died.

Sr. Emma

Ms. Star

Fr. Doms

 

Fr. F.X. Vu Phan Long, OFM

 

October 14, 2017

Dear Sister Emma,

Dear STAR,

Dear Fr. Doms,

I am very sorrowful to inform you that our dear friend, Fr. Francis Xavier Phan Long, OFM has passed away last night. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on next Monday morning, at 8:00 in the Franciscan Theologate, Hochiminh City.

Let’s pray for Fr. Phan Long. May our Loving Father welcome him into the Kingdom of Heaven and give him eternal rest in peace.

In The Word,

Hoa Hung SDB

October 15, 2017

Dear Fr. JM. Joa Hung

Greetings in the Word!

I was really saddened about your news on the demise of our dear friend Fr. Francis Xavier Phan Long, OFM. I see again the picture we had with him in Nha Trang. We were all happy seeing each other again with him. It was the last picture then with him. Our last memory of his presence with us. Yes, I pray that the Lord will open the gates of heaven for him that he will finally experience eternal joy and happiness with the Lord. Amen.

Praying for him,

Fr. Doms, SVD

 

Celebrating Ten Years of Service to the Word

We celebrate the tenth year of the existence of this blog site of the CBF-SEA in the service of the Word linking us all here in Southeast Asia and the whole world. We thank and glorify the Almighty for all His blessings unto us through the years. The site was visited for 90,355 as of this writing. We thank all the people involved in the creation of this site. We remember that year 2007 when Sr. Emma celebrated her 70th birthday and this is a gift to her on that very significant occasion.

 

Happy 80th Birthday Sister Emma

Sister Emma Turns 80 Today

CBF-SEA: Welcomes New Coordinating Team!

 

From the 7th CBFSEA Workshop in Nha Trang, Vietnam,

we, your coordinating team, after serving for 21 years,

say goodbye to you.

Not with sadness or regret, but with a grateful heart.

It is the Lord who brought us together in this vast sub region.

We have been working together, in good times and bad times.

inspiring each other in living and spreading the Word of  Life.

Somebody said that our sub region is most active and alive.

I don’t know whether that is true, but I pray, that our sub region

under the banner of Dr. Natividad Pagadut, the new coordinator,

may grow and with great zeal proclaim the Good News

to our people in this modern world.

Let us remain united in Him, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yours in the Word

Star, Doms, Emma

 

Happy Easter!

Jesus is risen!

He is our Lord.

He is our Life.

He is our Hope.

He is our Light.

He is our Comfort.

He is our Strength.

He is our All.

He is the Word we proclaim.

 

Dear Friends in the Word,

Wishing you a glorious Easter.

May the risen Lord bestow his blessings on us,

on our loved ones and our ministry.

For the CBFSEA Easter wishes, see our website

www.cbfsea.wordpress.com

 

Yours in the Lord,

Sr. Emmanuel Gunanto, osu

 

 

 

Care for Peace!

Care for Peace!

He-is-Risen-pic-03Jesus our Lord is risen! Let us rejoice and be glad!

His first greeting to the disciples was a greeting of peace:

“Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

He sends us to proclaim peace in this war torn world.

How do we do that? Let us listen to Pope Francis.

In his homily on February 16, 2017, he said:

“May God give us grace to proclaim an end to wars in the world.

We must cultivate peace daily, with our own hands, so that it spreads to the rest of our suffering world.

War begins here, in the heart, inside the person, and finishes out there.

The news we see in the papers or on television …

Today so many people die, and that seed of war, which breeds envy, jealousy and greed in my heart, is the same – grown up, become a tree – as the bomb which falls on a hospital, on a school, and kills children.

It is the same. The declaration of war begins in here, in each of us.

For this reason, the question arises:

‘How do I care for peace in my heart, in my interior, and in my family?’

The answer is: Care for peace. Not only care for it, but make it with your hands every day.

Just so, will we succeed in spreading it throughout the whole world.”

May the Risen Lord, our life and our hope empower us to make peace with our hands every day, and together build a peaceful world.

Your coordinating team:

Sr. Emmanuel Gunanto

Ms. Estrella del Mar

Fr. Dominador Ramos

images

The Empty Tomb!

THE EMPTY TOMB

John 20:1-9


 “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them.  “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.  When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believedFor they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

Do we need to see to believe?  How come we do not yet understand?  How deep is our faith to believe and not see? To believe in the unknown?  To believe in God’s Word?

I did this exercise …

I tried to empty myself from everything:  achievements, success, prestige, honor, pride, position, power, and all material things painstakingly accumulated through the years.  And yes, even my dearly beloved ones: family and friends.  What are left? The life that God gifted me and the love He gave me and what I received and shared with others. And most of all my Faith in God.  I have always believed in a God of love, mercy and compassion.   I believe in a God who does not count my wrongs but is happy with all that I do right.  I believe in a God who is ever patient to wait for my growth.  Once upon a time, Jesus told me “you are still young; when you grow up, you will understand.”  I have grown in age and understood many things.  And yet, there is still so much to understand. Please Lord, help me to grow in faith and understand more.

I know that on the last day of my life on earth, I have to leave everything earthly behind.  I can only hold on to my spirit and all the spiritual treasures I received from God and the people who made my life meaningful with a purpose.

And when that time comes, don’t look for me in my tomb.  It will be an empty tomb.  As Jesus has risen, so I will rise with Him.  Alleluia!!  Thank you Lord for saving me!  Thank you for saving us all!  Thank you for your love, mercy and compassion!

For now, I am very much alive and happy with life!  In spite of my asthma attacks, broken spine, muscular spasms, bleeding ulcers, heartburns and refluxes, I have survived with the help of my patient Doctors and friends.  I have befriended my pains.  I continue my work joyfully and do them as if nothing happened.  But I have to accept my limitations now.  My body is ageing and my ailments are reminding me of that.  There is still so much to be done.  I have hope and trust that the good Lord will allow me to continue my work.

Easter is victory over death!  Easter is new life!  Easter is hope!  Easter is joy!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!

By:  Estrella (Star) Cui del Mar

April 15, 2017

 

Welcome Our New Member of the CBF-SEA

We Welcome Our New Member of the CBF-SEA!

Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, Inc.

(Association of Scholars)

Ateneo de Manila Campus

Loyola Heights

Quezon City

Philippines

Associate member since 2017

President: Sr. Professor Anicia Co

Ecclesial Assistant: Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, D.D, S.T.D.

 

The 7th Sub-regional Workshop 2017 in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Presentation of the Logo of the 2017 CBF-SEA Workshop

Logo-Pc

The theme of the event is very prominent, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9). It goes with the theme “Family and God’s word” completes the circle as it represents the message of God embracing and protecting the family.

2017- The year that the event will happen, CBF-SEA Workshop will be held in Nha Trang, Vietnam, are everywhere in the cross. Their positions create balance for the layout. The cross used is a simple and common cross.

The members of the family wear the traditional Vietnamese long robe , “ao dai”, a national costume, most commonly worn by women but can also be worn by men. This is a basic biblical family unit comprised of a man, a woman and their children, in which each member lives harmoniously, understands and fulfills his/her God-given role.

The pigeon symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the source of life creating warmth in the family and peace for the world. Green and yellow were used as the dominant colors in the logo. Green symbolizes nature, grass, tree, trustworthiness, wisdom, and faith. This classic color also creates a calming and peaceful effect to the mind. As it goes with cheerful yellow illustrating lights of the sun and aura of the Lord spreading vitality to the world.

Nha Trang, Vietnam