Reflecting on the earlier post "Declaration of Critical Truth," I see that God has made salvation simple and straightforward for us, but we have made it convoluted and hard for ourselves!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
John 3.16-21 was today's Gospel reading at Mass. Here's verse 16: God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. You've probably heard this verse quoted and seen it on billboards so often that you don't think about it much anymore. To think about it, it is a declaration of the most beautiful truth of critical importance to us! We should really know it by heart and think about it often. Here are verses 19-20: And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. Here we have the "sickness" of the world clearly diagnosed by the Apostle John just about two thousand years ago.
Jesus always taught his disciples to be watchful and alert, for they did not know when the Son of Man would come again. Wise is anyone who expects the unexpected. Recently, I heard about the sudden death of two persons, one in the 70s and the other at only 61. Both were seemingly in great physical shape before it happened. There are also Christians on the lax side who think that spiritually they are OK, not realizing that God might think differently. For Catholics, frequent confession is a good defense in preparing for the unexpected. *To avoid eternal regret, never neglect the everlasting soul.
I see two breakthroughs of life. The first is most important – it raises you to a new level of existence. You find Christ, discovering and accepting the truth that God is love and can save you from your sins. And you are no longer lost, with you future secured for eternity. This is a huge deal, for you are now separated from the secular world and live in the sphere of God. The second breakthrough is attaining union with God. This is fine-tuning and for the perfectionist, but the reward of experiencing freedom, peace, and joy is tremendous – a foretaste of heaven. Christ makes all the difference we absolutely need.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Communion experience. As the bread and wine were consecrated, they changed into the body and blood of Christ. That was a momentous moment, deserving our full attention. All my life troubles were overshadowed and for the moment forgotten. Matthew 20.20: "Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age," was fulfilled.
Famous quote from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address: "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." When it comes to bringing others to Christ, we should do exactly the opposite. That is, we do not tell others what they can do for God – we tell them what God can do for them.
Catholics venerate relics of various saints. All saints are humble and would want to give glory to God alone. Therefore, they'd rather we go to the Lord directly and not center upon them. There is a fine line to be drawn here. It is perfectly fine to let the saints inspire us to increase our love for God, but we must never grow attached to any saint to the point that we lessen our focus upon the Lord. If we seek to attain union with God, it is best that we go to him directly and let absolutely nothing distract us along the way.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Today's Communion antiphon is based upon John 20.19. The full verse reads: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." If Jesus could appear anywhere as he wishes, certainly he can be ever present with any of us. It follows that we must stay awake and live as if he is physically present with us.
God is our creator, greater than all his creatures. Naturally, we can only know what he wishes to reveal to us. Therefore, our role is clearly to trust, trust, trust in him. On a more personal level, we are the children of a loving God, our Father ~ all the more we can and should trust in him.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
This is the Sunday of Divine Mercy. God is merciful because he is all love. And his mercy is infinite, which means that he does not condemn us as long as we still have time to repent of our sins. Moreover, it means that no matter how sinful we are, once we repent, we are forgiven and saved. Therefore, to think that God cannot save us is to limit his mercy, a thought that offends him. Should God's mercy be finite, none will be able to survive. Praised be his divine mercy!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
In today's first reading from Acts 4, when the leaders, elders, and scribes ordered Peter and John not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, Peter and John replied, "Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard." If you also feel impossible not to speak about the Lord to others, you have also encountered him.