Today Friday I prayed the five Sorrowful mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Jesus went through the agony in the garden, got scourged, was mocked by being crowned with thorns, had to carry his own cross, and finally was crucified. These tragic scenes would surely appear most dramatic to any spectator or bystander, but the important thing is to ask why he underwent such excruciating suffering and pain? The answer is that he did it out of love for all of us, you and me, all sinners, so that we might live forever with him!
Thursday, June 21, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray by saying the Our Father, the most appropriate and beautiful prayer there is. He emphasized the importance of the forgiving-others part by further adding: "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."
We must absolutely take this last saying gravely. Forgiving others is often most difficult for us to do. We could decided not to forgive the person, which amounts to shutting the door in God's face – outright disobedience. Or we could admit to God that it is difficult for us, and so we need his help – this is keeping the door open. These two opposing stands display the fundamental difference! Should you choose not to have the Father forgive your transgressions, you have to be the biggest fool in the whole universe!
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Communion experience. Catholics believe that the consecrated bread and wine are the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, while most Protestants perceive them as only symbolically true. The difference is huge. When I receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I know that it has the power to actually change my soul! If the bread and wine had remained as ordinary bread and wine, I would be merely going through a ritual to help me remember the Lord's death and resurrection.
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 6. Jesus taught his disciples not to perform righteous deeds in order that people might see them. We are to keep all our righteousness hidden for the Father to see only, and Jesus promised that the Father would repay us. Again, care only about what God thinks about us. The immediate reward of such selfless living is inner peace.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
If we want to excel in anything we do in this world, we must work hard. To get better grades in school, to be a better pianist, to make your garden more beautiful . . . all require time, energy, and gumption. But when it comes to becoming holy, it doesn't work that way, even if you're so determined that you grit your teeth and tell yourself a thousand times each day to be holy. In fact, you should do just the opposite. That is, you drop all your guard and relax in the Lord as to let him do all the work for you, for only he can take away your sins and heal your soul to make you holy.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus continued to teach his disciples; this time, about loving their enemies. Yes, he wanted them to be perfect as the heavenly Father is. We all know right from wrong if we are courageous enough to sweep aside our emotions and pride, and examine our conscience objectively. Then we must follow our conscience, not our feelings, to show the Lord that we aim to be perfect as he had commanded.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Since our life began at a certain time in this world, we are all finite beings. It dawned on me that this is why we have trouble perceiving infinity. When scientists searched for how the universe began, they came up with the big bang theory which had a beginning. But what came before that? When I was a little kid, I wondered if I would ever run into a wall if I kept flying into the sky. If I did hit one, then what'd be on the other side? I gave up. You see, our mind is incapable of dealing with things that are infinite. Since God by definition has no beginning and no end, we with the finite mind have trouble in believing in his existence. Naturally, if you were God, infinity would be the norm. I hope I have hit on something that can help you believe in God more readily.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 5, Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with your tunic, hand him your cloak a well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles." If it sounds like Jesus wants us to be less human, that's because he wants us to be like him. Basically, the Lord wants us not to let anyone who bothers us bother us. Losing our peace only shows that we still have not trusted in or surrender ourselves to him completely yet.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Today's Gospel reading came from Mark 4. Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds. Once it's sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade. This parable presents a beautiful picture to me. We humans are small like the mustard seed. When we allow God to do all the work through us, we accomplish mighty deeds in his glory.
God does not always answer our prayers right away. As we wait, we tend to get discouraged and lose heart. That's human nature, right? Then I see that God wants us to learn patience and have complete faith in him, that is, to be less human and more like him. The Lord is infinitely patient and never gets anxious or lose peace. Christ always advised his disciples not to be anxious and wished them peace. Therefore, pray hard and let God work all things out. Total abandonment in God is the way to go. No more anxieties nor loss of inner peace!
Today is Father's day. To me, there is only one true father and he is God the Father who created all of us. On earth each of us has his own father and many of us become father ourselves too. But when we go before God, we are all equal as his children. That is why I say that we have only one true father.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 5. Jesus told his disciples not to swear at all. And that they should let their 'Yes' mean 'Yes' and 'No' mean 'No,' and anything more is from the evil one. It is easy not to be aware of what comes from the evil one and what comes from God. A sharpened conscience is what we need, and we get that as we grow more in union with the Lord.
Life is more battling God than battling Satan. When Satan tempts us, we do not experience any direct threat, for he is tricky. With God, we always feel whether we should obey or go our own way. So you can say that life is all about whether you let God win or not. We become perfect when we let the Lord win each time, and the reward is most satisfying – we receive peace, freedom, and joy, contrary to what we'd expected. When we let God win, we win big too!