In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 12 (and in Matthew 9 too), Jesus quoted "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" from Hosea in response to the Pharisees' question. I think I see why God prefers mercy over sacrifice from us. Let's say that you have two sons trying to please you. The first son knows that he is unworthy of your love and does things to "punish" himself in some way, hoping to win you back, while the second one, also feeling unworthy but goes on joyfully doing good deeds to help others. I think you would be more pleased by the second son and even feel sorry for the first one, for self-sacrifice is still self-centered – an act with no joy in it – while helping your neighbor is following the second greatest commandment of God.
Friday, July 21, 2017
People tell you to move a step closer to God, good advice – but I tell you to run to God and jump right into his lap, hold onto him tight and shout as loud as you can "I love you"! After all, your heavenly Father loves you more than you can possibly imagine, so you can totally let yourself go, letting him satisfy your deepest longings for all eternity! You'll be one smartest and most blessed person in the world when you take full advantage of all his promises and generous offers! Yes, he becomes all yours at the wish of your heart! We should live for nothing but the God of Christ! (Note. what I have recommended above may seem to be extreme, but it is in fact what God deserves and we should do. Think about it.)
When we do fun things with friends, we bond with each other; but stronger bonds are formed when we go through difficult times together. And there is no better way of strengthening our union with God than offering up all our sufferings to him, for out of love he always suffers for our sake – that is, he is happy when we are happy, and unhappy when we are unhappy!
Thursday, July 20, 2017
All of us are at various stages of spiritual growth. You may not be ready to serve God with all your heart yet, but the important thing is to always leave that door ajar for him, and the time will come when you are called to serve him more and better. Think of God as your loving Father. If he is not on your mind constantly yet, just keep him in your mind.
Communion thoughts. Since God is my creator and knows everything about me, then, of course, I should let myself be his completely. It's only logical and natural to go back to where you came from. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is a direct invitation to do just that. All obstacles on our return have been cleared by our loving Father.
In today's first reading from Exodus 3, Moses, hearing the voice of the Lord from the burning bush, asked him, "When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?" God replied, "I am who am." And he added, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: I AM sent me to you." "I AM" is truly the most wonderful name fit for God, and only the Lord himself can give it to us.
The main reason for seeking union with God is to please and glorify him by showing that we love him as our Father and want to belong to him completely. One great side benefit of union is that your transition from this earth to heaven will be absolutely smooth and joyful.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I had a scary dream this morning in which I was being chased by someone. I woke up and asked myself what we fear the most in life. The answer was clear: the loss of our life. And it's also clear to me that all the more important we should seek eternal safety in Christ.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
There are many beautiful articles, statues, pictures, etc., in many religious gift shops, aimed at aiding you along your spiritual journey, but there is also the hidden danger that attachment to them can hang up your spiritual progress. If you are able to focus upon the Lord, I would recommend that you bypass all such possible distractions and go directly to him. Never let the trees blind you so that you lose sight of the forest.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
In the city I visited, mentioned earlier (6 posts back), I also saw homeless people everywhere. This made me think that if we live from day to day, not thinking about nor knowing where we are going, we are basically lost. Even if we have set goals, we are still lost if the these goals are worldly ones. Sadly, many people do not realize this until their moment of death. This city also shocked me somewhat when I read in its visitors' guide not only where to shop for fashion, jewelry, souvenirs, etc., but also where to get tattooed and buy sex toys! What Jesus said in Matthew 24.37-39 comes to my mind: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.