Eucharist in Layman’s Term

 

 

IEC-Procession

 

A Christian from another denomination surprisingly asks you, “What is a Eucharist?” You as a Catholic, paused for a while and smiled. Suddenly you wanted to ask Mr. Google about it but you cannot ‘coz it’s a shame. Then, out of nowhere you just answered, “The Eucharist? Easy! He’s the one who plays the ‘Eucalili’. They are called Eucharist!” Your friend laughed out loud! And he tells you, “Idiot!”

Some people call it; The Holy Mass, The Lord’s Supper, The Breaking of the Bread, The Memorial of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord, The Holy Sacrifice, The Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, Holy Communion and Eucharistic Celebration. All those are the different names of The Eucharist. And a whole lot of Catholics do not know about it. And that’s why IEC is here in Cebu.

When Romi Garduce reached the summit of the Mt. Everest, the whole Filipino nation celebrated with him. We we’re so proud with the team who reached the peak since not everyone can reach that milestone. Some quit and some die along the way. It’s not that easy because Everest is so steep and so cold. The Eucharist is just like Everest. Eucharist is actually the Mt. Everest of Christianity. The Eucharist is the summit and the most important milestone to encounter and to achieve that’s why everyone kneels down and confess that we are not worthy when it is lifted up. The Eucharist is the core of Christianity. The Eucharist is where everything revolves around. It’s that special! Actually, the Truth is that Eucharist is Life.

Why is the Eucharist The Summit of Christianity?

One word – Jesus.

The Eucharist is not just a piece of bread but Jesus himself. That bread becomes the greatest miracle in the world. Over 30 miracles already were proven all over the world that the bread is the flesh of Christ. You can google the Eucharistic Miracles and be amazed!

What does the Eucharist mean?

A Doctor in Philosophy once taught that one of the Pillars in life is “Thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving energizes the soul of a human being. Thanksgiving makes a human being happy and light. Thanks giving seemed like a wire so natural in our DNA’s that all of us were made just to be thankful.

So happens “Eukharistiya” a Greek word means “Being Grateful” or “Thanksgiving”. Isn’t it amazing? Jesus, the summit of our lives means “Thanksgiving”. Christianity is just so cool! Jesus is a very thankful guy and happy as well. He is thanksgiving in human form.

Why is the Eucharist called the “Hope of Glory”? (Compendium of the CCC 294)

The Eucharist is a pledge of future glory because it fills us with every grace and heavenly blessing. It strengthens us for our temporary journey in this life and makes us long for “forever”. It makes us one with Christ who is already seated at the right hand of The Father, to The Church in Heaven and to the blessed virgin and all the saints.

“In the Eucharist, we break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ.” – Saint Ignatius of Antioch

 

Note: some of the answers written by the writer above were taken from Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a small book available at St Paul’s or National Bookstore at a very affordable price. I encourage you to have one.

The King of Sinulog and The Birth of a New City (Part II)

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28th of April 1521

Magallanes deployed forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows and guns then sailed for Mactan in the morning. A hundred of native warriors who converted to Christianity also came to their aid and they are all set for a war against Datu Lapu-Lapu and his warriors…

Lapu-Lapu’s warriors prepared themselves for the war. As they see the Spaniard ships approaching, Lapu-Lapu ordered them to form three divisions to the number of more than one thousand five hundred men. Lapu-Lapu led the uproar and shouted “Luba! Bara!” And everyone roared in unison with Lapu-Lapu.

The shuttering uproar terrified the Spaniards. To their fear, the crossbow-men and musketeers started to pull the triggers and shot the warriors from a distance for about half an hour but all were useless. The native warriors became louder and started to laugh after the gunfires, trying to ridicule the Spanish weapons.

The big ships were stuck on the big rocks as if the heavens are on the side of the  native warriors and they cannot go close to the shores of Mactan. They cannot deploy the cannons on the ground. So Magallanes commanded, “Let us leap into the waters! Leave the cannons in the ship! They are too heavy for us in the waters. Let us go on the other side and burn those houses.”

The burning houses caught the attention of Lapu-Lapu and his warriors. They ran quickly with great fury. Lapu-Lapu screamed, “Archers! Pull the arrows! Warriors! Rip their heads off!” The barrage of arrows rained on the Spaniards but the strong helmets and shields left no permanent damage.

One of the sharpest archers of Lapu-Lapu’s noticed Magallanes in command. His arrow had a poison and locked Magallanes on his aim. Magallanes got hit on the legs and he shouted in pain, “ Frontal Assault!” Seeing Magallanes fall on his knees, the Spaniards did not obey his Frontal Assault command instead, they ran away going back to the ship.

Fifteen of Magallanes’ men were left standing on the ground to protect and die for him. Five of them got hit on the legs with the poisoned arrows. The mortars and the cannons were of no help as they were left in the hands of Lapu-Lapu and the one thousand five hundred warriors surrounding them.

Lapu-Lapu in air of pride said, “I know you will not understand what I shall say. You underestimated us and now you are kneeling with no strength. I am Datu Lapu-Lapu! Luba! Bara!” And everyone shouted with him and so many were the bamboo spears and stones hurled at Magallanes and his men while some of the Spaniards managed to escape.

Magallanes fought until the end like a warlord. He shot the warriors using his gun until he ran out of ammunition. He pulled his sword at the last seconds of his life but it was too late. A bamboo spear hit his face, he turned around one last time to signal his men to run away and escape. He looked at the ship as if telling them, “Leave! Leave! We fought a good fight. Continue and finish our true mission.” The original mission of Magallanes to go to the Spice Islands was halted by Datu Lapu-Lapu. And a man on the ship shouted in a loud cry, “Our Mirror! Our Light! Our Comfort! Our True Guide!” His name was Antonio, a very good friend of Magallanes and the chronicler of his crew. He wept while the boat sailed back in retreat. He wept at Magallanes who fell face down on the ground while fifty native warriors with large cutlass and bamboo spears putting an end to his voyage.

Datu Lapu-Lapu and his warriors shouted in victory. They danced around the campfire with the heads of Magallanes and his men laid on top of the bamboo spears near the campfire.

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Rajah Humabon received the news of Datu Lapu-Lapu’s victory over the Armada of Magallanes. Humabon was so terrified. He did not know what to do until Juana, his wife, came in.” Did you receive the news?” Juana hurriedly asked without knocking on the door. “I do not know what to do,” Humabon answered with a blank face. “Before the Spaniards arrive here at our kingdom, let’s kill them all. Let’s arrange a feast – a poisoned feast,” Juana suggested with a grin on her face.

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The Spaniards arrived at the Kingdom of Humabon. They grieved the loss of Magallanes and some of their men, and told Humabon of what happened in the battle. Then Juana interrupted them all and suggested to eat first after a long journey and a terrifying battle.

Some of the Spaniards did not join the dinner since they were grieving and not having any appetite to eat. When one of them went to the dining hall to get a glass of water, he accidentally dropped his glass and was shocked at what he saw. All the Spaniards inside the dining hall were lying down on the floor. He was shocked at what happened so he ran as fast as he could telling the other Spaniards to escape. They all headed to the ship like rats chased by a cat.

The Spaniards vanished from the Island. Rajah Humabon and Hara Amihan can now take a breather for what had happened the past month.

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Years passed by they lived in temporary peace. Rajah Humabon began to age and felt too old for the position. Rajah Tupas inherited the throne after Humabon ended his reign.

Exactly 44 Years Later…

 

28th of April 1565

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his expedition returned with a vengeance. They burned all the houses and bombarded all the villages. The Augustinian Friars were with the expedition and went over the place to look around. So many dead people all over. The Augustinians were led by their Prior Andres de Urdaneta. While walking around, a soldier named, Juan Camus ran towards him saying, “I found Hesus! I found Hesus!” He was catching his breath then he added, “It was a miracle Father! The house was burnt to ashes and I found a box in the middle of it. I was very curious why the box was still there so I opened it. I saw a black Hesus in it. Though burnt but it did not turn to ashes. Amazing!” The prior was surprised with what Juan Camus reported and said, “ This is The Sto Niño or what we call The Holy Child,” in amazement he added, “a miracle indeed!”

May 8th 1565

Rajah Tupas submitted to Miguel Lopez and accepted the Spanish rulers.

July 3rd 1565

Miguel Lopez named the city – “ Villa de San Miguel de Cebu.” In 1567 Cebu garrison was reinforced with the arrival of 2100 soldiers from New Spain (Mexico) and they fortified the city and was called Fuerte de San Pedro.

And the rest is History…

 

Note: This is a work of art. All characters are real historical figures but conversations are taken from the imagination of the writer.

The King of Sinulog and The Untold Story (Part I)

 

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Seventh of April 1521 on the Spanish Calendar

The scorching heat of the sun welcomed the Armada de Molucca led by Fernando de Magallanes on the shore of the small island which later will be known as Sugbu.

“Welcome to Pulua Kang Daya!” greeted Rajah Humabon with a friendly gesture then translated by Enrique to Magallanes. Fernando de Magallanes greeted the royal couple with a kiss in response and then commanded his crew to plant the cross on the shore.

“Their armors and weapons look stunningly powerful and elegant,” Hara Amihan secretly whispered to her husband Humabon while the crewmen are busy fortifying the cross.

“I’d love to wear them on my body,” Humabon cautiously replied with a grin on his face.

The cross of the Spaniards towered them all and after they finished fortifying, both parties went to the hall to arrange the baptism.

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“The God of power and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin and brought you to new life through water and the Holy Spirit. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation, so that, united with his people, you may remain forever a member of Christ who is Priest, Prophet and King. You are named, ‘Carlos,’ in honor of King Charles of Spain,” announced the friar in a loud voice.

The friar also baptized Hara Amihan and named her Queen Juana and 800 of the subjects of Rajah Humabon were also baptized to Catholic Faith. Magallanes in his delight gave Queen Juana a gift.

“Thank you so much!” expressed Juana while kissing the gift. Magellan looked at her and replied with a smile. Carlos then interrupted the exchange of gifts and invited Magallanes, the friars and 800 newly baptized men to a very big feast with the loud beat of drums and graceful dancing. His subjects were shouting with praise, “Pit Señor! Pit Señor!”

►►►

After the party Juana and Carlos, formerly Hara Amihan and Rajah Humabon, were alone.

“A wooden boy,” Juana said in frustration, “They have gold and silver and they’ll give me this toy as a gift?”

“All right,” said Carlos, trying to comfort her with a hug from the back,” Take it easy, this not just an ordinary toy. This is an idol. They respect this idol and we should show our respect as well.”

Carlos reached out for something under his bed as he stumbled for words,” Look at this golden cutlass. Isn’t this splendid?”

Juana with a surprised look on her face kissed Carlos good night.

►►►

“This can’t really be happening,” Carlos grunted as he pulled his feet out of bed. “That was a horrible nightmare!” He ran quickly to search for the supplies and found out that his nightmare became a reality. The supplies for his Kingdom are not enough for the month and his visitors. The feast consumed much more than he expected.

Later that morning Carlos ordered and issued to the nearby chiefs that each of them were to provide food supplies for the expedition and convert the chiefs and their subjects to Christianity. The chiefs obeyed the order not knowing Carlos had plans of secretly taking advantage of their supplies. But one chieftain is not in agreement.

Datu Lapu-Lapu, one of the chiefs within the Island of Mactan, received the order and became furious, “Who is he to take the fruits of labor from my subjects?”

“Tell him,” Datu Lapu-Lapu in a loud and angry voice,” Not a single grain of rice will go to the stomachs of those hypocrite Spaniards!” He said this to the messenger and the man with the orders ran away clumsily.

 

26th of April 1521

Datu Zula, the second chief of the Pulu of Mactan, sent one of his sons to present two goats to Magallanes and to say,” My father’s allegiance is to you my Lord. He sent me here to assure you of our promised supplies. We support you but our balanguais that contained the supplies were blocked by Datu Lapu-Lapu .”

Carlos then talked to Magallanes with his translator Enrique, “You should go to Mactan with your Spaniard crew to show Datu Lapu-Lapu how powerful Spain is. I will be with you.”

At midnight sixty of the Spaniards armed with corselets and helmets together with the prince, some of the chief men and twenty-five balanguais. They reached Mactan before dawn. Magallanes sent a messenger to Datu Lapu-Lapu telling him:

“I wish not to harm you. I only ask you to pay us our tribute, to recognize the authority of Carlos formerly Rajah Humabon and obey the King of Spain, then you will become our friends. Otherwise, you will see our power and how we will destroy you.”

Datu Lapu-Lapu understood the message and told the messenger in reply, “I will make you an example of how I will destroy Spain.” Lapu-Lapu’s warriors hurled a bamboo spear to the leg of the messenger. The messenger cowardly ran and Lapu-Lapu’s warriors threw big stones while mocking and laughing at the coward messenger.

 

28th of April 1521

Magallanes deployed forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows and guns then sailed for Mactan in the morning. A hundred of native warriors who converted to Christianity also came to their aid and they are all set for a war against Datu Lapu-Lapu and his warriors…

 

To be continued…

Note: This is a work of art. All characters are real historical figures but conversations are taken from the imagination of the writer.

 

 

The Force Awakens – A Star Wars Reflection *Spoiler-Free

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A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… “I can do it! I can do it!”, said Rey and Finn to themselves while trying to figure out how to pilot the legendary spaceship they thought was a junk. They are running away from the Stormtroopers. The Stormtroopers are chasing BB-8 and he gets lucky ‘coz he’s got company in Finn and Rey. What an exciting scene in the movie! Rey’s got some very cool driving skills. Now that’s the hype! Cool graphics!

Poe, the master of BB-8, gets captured and tortured by the First Order. So BB-8 wandered alone protecting the sensitive piece of Jedi-tech against the evil forces. Rey, the scavenger, is on her visualization mode. She’s sitting down in the desert, eating and daydreaming of becoming a pilot. She then heard of a commotion, a droid in trouble with the brutish scavenger, Teedo. That’s where BB-8 and Rey met, and Rey saves the day. Soon Rey will be offered by the Junk Dealer, Unkar Plutt, a big amount in exchange of BB-8, the techie droid. Rey stared at the money with so much desire afterward glanced at BB-8 trying to make a decision. Her kindness shines and she refused the big amount of money for BB-8. After that scene, you just know that you have a hero.

The very successful Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games is finished and now comes Rey the female Jedi of Star Wars. There are some similarities with The Hunger Games that will be noticed. The President of District 13, Alma Coin is a woman and so as the leader of The Resistance who is Leia Organa. You have Katniss from a small district who is a nobody and you have Rey who is a scavenger from Jakku which is being famous as a junkyard. Rey has no idea that Luke Skywalker, The Millenium Falcon and The Force is not just a myth but will soon become a reality in her life. That is the big difference – The Force. I am not going to write about the similarities and differences of this and of The Hunger Games but of the one thing special in Star Wars which is “The Force.” It’s my first time to watch Star Wars and here are the insights I’d love to share why I’m going to watch the trilogy:

 

  1. “I can do it! I can do it!”

“You don’t need to be great to start but you need to start to be great,” said Les Brown – one of the best motivational speakers in the world. It’s a matter of life and death. The Stormtroopers are destroying Jakku. Rey is on-board telling herself, “I can do it! I can do it!” She is doing the famous self-talk and encouraging herself.

In our lives we encounter those moments when we are faced with an overwhelming debt, a project so difficult, a sales pitch in front of VIP’s, a good break, board exams, family challenges, cancer and all sorts of trials with no one to encourage us. All we’ve got left is ourselves to encourage and motivate our mind and heart.

Don’t forget to tell yourself in the mirror, ” I CAN DO IT!” We all need a self-talk like taking a bath. A clean self-talk just like a clean water for taking a bath. Take a bath every single day!

 

  1. The Betrayal

Finn is running away. He is living in fear. He explained in the movie why he’s so scared of The First Order. He had to lie just to escape and hide even to the beautiful Rey. Rey got upset but Finn followed his fear and arranged an escape plan.

So many of us are paralyzed by Fear. We leave our friends, our loved ones, our colleagues because of insecurity and fear. When a bad situation happens, we keep quiet, we do not participate, we do not make a stand and we hide just like Finn.

But the good thing is that Finn saw the First Order attacking them. He forgot what fear meant. He searched for Rey and fought the battle to the very end even if it costs him his life. Like Finn, it’s not too late to fight for your loved ones. Forget about your escape plan. Face your fears like Finn and live your dreams!

 

  1. The Calling

Rey hears the calling. Skywalker’s Saber is calling her. Sounds like Obi Wan but for sure it’s her fate to be a Jedi. We all have the same moments like Rey. We get called. We see the vision of happiness. We get to know our dreams but then again we run away from it. We run away because we are afraid of the responsibilities and challenges that lie within those calling. Again and again – Fear. We are afraid that we will look weird because we have unique and special calling. We like to blend with the many and fade away with no legacy.

Like Rey, there will be that life changing moment that you are only left with one – to fight and to follow the calling. There is no other way around for Rey and for you: to live and to follow the vocation of becoming a Jedi.

 

  1. The Force

This is the very highlight of Star Wars. Rey is in denial that she was a Jedi. She is now a captive of The First Order and she needs The Force to escape from this. Kylo Ren discovers it and starts to be intimidated with Rey. Rey also slowly discovers the power of The Force and before Kylo Ren brings her to Snoke, The Force Awakens and Rey is on her way out.

Rey faces Kylo Ren towards the end. Kylo Ren said something very special that triggered The Force. Kylo Ren tries convincing Rey about a teacher, a mentor or a coach. He emphasized that if she only had a mentor, The Force will manifest in a very powerful way.

We all have The Force in us and Kylo Ren got it right. We need someone to coach us, to mentor us, to teach us. We need teachers, mentors and coaches. Manny Pacquiao got Freddie Roach. Rafael Nadal got Toni Nadal. MJ and Kobe got Phil Jackson. Tony Robbins with Jim Rohn. Quirino has Quezon. TJ Dillashaw with Urijah Faber. We all need someone to teach us how to manifest The Force within us. Sometimes, it takes a book, a blog or a seminar or an encounter of a wise man. Never waste the chance. Awaken The Force! The Force is with you!

The New Year’s Rut

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“There is nothing new under the sun.”

– King Solomon

 

That feeling when you want to extend the long vacation. That horrendous feeling of going to work or school. That awful, lazy situation that you dread. Netizens call it “Reality”, others call it “The Monday Blues” and whatever it is called, we are all “stuck in a rut” – Welcome to The New Year’s Rut!

January 4th of 2016 broke our Christmas rush. That joyful ambience of relaxation & a whole lot of delicious pastries. The smell of the luscious ham, the crispy lechon, the wonderful gifts, the laughter with friends, the bottles of beer, the blinding lights, the fireworks – suddenly, it’s all over. The joy you treasured in your heart is now replaced with fear of the unknown. Afraid of all those tasks we dread to do repeatedly all week long. But hey! Would you like to have a vacation again? Or would you rather remove that heavy feeling of dreaded sadness? Let’s break it down using these weird yet poignant thoughts.

  1. Exercise your Mind

So many of us have not discovered that the mind is the main door to the throne of your emotions. What you see is not everything but “how” you see & “how” you give meaning to it that matter. What you sense is not everything but “how you give meaning”. Fear, sadness, joy & all sorts of emotions – it’s all how the mind process the senses then it gives birth to what color of emotions it will bring. Sounds like a movie.

  1. Imagine if Christmas Season is From January to December!

All you have to do is eat, sleep & laugh. What a boring life! Imagine you have Simbang Gabi all year long? Would you be willing to complete that? Imagine you have lechon everyday, consuming it for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Yuck! Life’s wonder happens when you let the four-seasons be the four-seasons or let’s say two-seasons if you are in the Philippines. Take it from Immanuel Kant. “Happines is someone you love, something to do and something to hope for.”

  1. Be Patient and Feel Each & Every Moment

“A thousand years is a single day for the Creator”, says the Psalmist. Feel the sadness, feel the fear, feel the boredom and believe that it won’t be there for long. Face it. Embrace it. Those emotions are the reasons why happiness becomes so special. Those are what make a life story legendary. Watch MMK. Watch an inspiring movie. Watch an epic play. They all have things in common: stories of sadness, weariness & boredom in the beginning that turned out to be awe-inspiring & legendary once faced with boldness & courage. What are your life’s fears? Your boredoms? What is your life story? Be in the zone and be patient. Become someone who will leave a legacy that will inspire your family, friends & the world!