Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Our daughter-in-law suggested to my wife and me to have a bag containing all the important things ready so that we'd be prepared to leave in case we have to evacuate our house. I had thought about this before because I live in an area with a lot of trees around and California gets lots of wild fires every summer. With just two cars to load what we can carry, I pretty much have to leave behind almost everything normally you would want to keep for a while. This is virtually as "bad" as when you leave the world. Nevertheless, this has been a good exercise, making me realize that there is a time to let all things go and the time to learn to say goodbye to them is now.
With Christians facing persecution, the Church in disarray, and evil seemingly having filtered the fabric of our entire society, the days look dark indeed. But let's know that Satan is loose only because God has permitted it. It is a given that the Lord will triumph totally in the end. Because Satan knows that his days are numbered, he is fighting extra hard out of desperation. So we should fight him and his minions without any fear, but with full confidence in our God. It's only a matter of time before the days will be brighter than ever. We may not be here then, but that shouldn't make any difference to us. Just know that we are fighting a winning battle.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
We were all born into this world and get to live our lives. We can choose to live a holy or an evil life or one anywhere in-between. Then when our time is up, we all die. So what does it matter how we live our lives? Answer: It matters a lot because we have a soul that live on forever after death. This life is only the infinitesimal beginning of our everlasting existence. You want to live it right in order not to screw up your whole eternity.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus said to his disciples, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And who find it are few." Jesus gave us these warnings 2,000 years ago and we still are not taking it seriously enough. Time to snap out of the doldrums!
The Lord has given each of us a conscience. The one who has a dull conscience can sin more and not get bothered too much. Then he won't have much inner peace either. Anyone with a sharp conscience sins a lot less, for he knows the pain of carrying a sin, so he enjoys peace in his heart almost always. It's a choice, but know that if you lack inner peace, it's God calling you to him.
Everything we do, the Lord knows, and we'll be either rewarded or punished. You can say that what goes out from us will always come back to us in some way or form. That is, there'll be consequences to whatever we do or don't do. It's good to remember Proverbs 22:8, "Those who sow iniquity reap calamity."
Because of the many prominent politicians who claim to be Catholic, but publicly go against the teachings of the Church and continue to receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass, the U.S. bishops are meeting, trying to come up with clear guidelines for the reception of Holy Communion. Actually, the guidelines are already there, but since the Church is now divided, the topic has become controversial. Some 60 Catholic Democratic congressmen have already called on the bishops not to weaponize the Holy Eucharist. Cleve choice of words indeed. One congressman who is all for contraception, abortion, divorce, and same sex marriage openly dared the Church to deny him Communion. This I know, when you say you are a Catholic and reject the teachings of the Church, you are a lying antichrist.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Hebrew 4:12 is today's Gospel acclamation: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the the heart. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus said to his disciples, "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." These two quotes are directly related. It's precisely not hearing the living word of God that has made us blind to our own faults. This is the generation that never see themselves blameless and always blame others. Naturally, if you think that you are perfect, you don't seek God anymore.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Knowing the truth is not the same as knowing about the truth. You can know about Jesus but not know him at all. Once I had a guide on a Holy Land tour who knew more about Jesus than any of us in the group, but he was a Muslim. To preach the good news, we must preach Christ and not about Christ. Even in a Bible study class, the focus should be on the Lord. Focusing on all the peripheral details won't draw you closer to him. A Christian must live fully in the Lord and not just observe him from the side.
Today is special, for it's the first Sunday we are able to attend all Masses inside the church with all seats in place. Only a few people wore masks, and social distancing was no longer observed. In today's second reading from 2 Corinthians 5, Paul writes, "Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." What's so wonderful and great about Christ is that he can make us anew at any time so that we can remain new at all times! This certainly makes following Christ most exciting and rewarding!
Saturday, June 19, 2021
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus said to his disciples, "Do now worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." Most of us are getting the order wrong. We seek these things first and God only when we didn't get them, forgetting that the Father is the provider of all the things we need. To reverse this order is to put your life in order, and you'll witness the wonders of God.