For the imperfect realize that they are not qualified to judge others and that they need God who alone can make them perfect. [A note. For the next two weeks, again I won't be able to do any blogging, so please check back after April 11 for new messages. Meanwhile, pray unceasingly for the salvation of all the souls, both living and deceased. Yes, God hears and needs us ~ we can make a difference! May he bless you all.]
Monday, March 27, 2017
When I watch some of the most talented jazz pianists play, they improvise freely, knowing exactly how they want to express themselves. I could see that they are one with the music. This reminds me that when one is in union with the Lord, he experiences the same kind of freedom, knowing exactly what God's will is and follows it with ease. In both cases, something beautiful results.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Today it becomes clear to me that we are all individual beings created by God. Each of us is aware of his or her existence. You could say that we were never mass-produced, but made by hand carefully by God, one at a time. Should all billions of us become saints, there would be billions of different saints with each exhibiting his or her individuality. Cherish and be grateful for your unique existence.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Following Jesus is serious business, for we are dealing with God. Too many people speak freely in church without restraint, especially right after Mass. True, we are not in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican where silence is maintained, but a church is a church, a sanctuary of God. Attending Mass may be likened to joining the Lord at the Last Supper where all focus was upon the Lord. God will take us seriously as we take him seriously.
Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. In the Gospel reading from Luke 1, after the angel Gabriel came to Mary and announced the birth of Jesus through her, she said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." The surely is a model response to God to all of us.
If you don't want to face God because you know you have offended him, you have the right kind of fear. But if you are afraid that God will lord it over you should you accept him as your Lord, you've got it all wrong, for this fear is baseless and unjustifiable. We address God as Lord out of reverence and awe. If God had wanted to domineer over us, why did he give each of us the free will in the first place? All God desires is to love and serve us. It'd be extremely foolish and unfair to conceive God otherwise.
I felt great joy on my way to Mass this morning, for I was going to unite with Christ, receiving him again into my home, my heart, my whole being. It felt like I was going to see him for the very first time, for he is forever refreshing, wanting to renew us constantly. It is so good to have him and that's an understatement!
Friday, March 24, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 12, Jesus reiterated to one of the scribes the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." You wonder how you can possibly do that – it just seems hard. Where is the incentive? What's in it for me? The wonderful thing is that like anything the Lord asks of you, if you say yes and really mean it, he will help you accomplish it without expending much of your own effort and with you being rewarded with peace, joy, and freedom in the process!
Sin is detrimental to our soul as cancer is to our physical body, but it's a lot more serious on a different level. Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." In a way, all sinners are teetering on the edge of a precipice. Overloaded with sins, they can easily fall off the cliff. What Christ can do is to not only remove the burden of your sins, but also pull you away from the cliff into a safety zone. There you await until the time to be transported to heaven arrives.
After watching how the politicians vote on various issues in Congress, it's easy to see that they mostly vote to win for their party and/or to benefit themselves, not thinking about what's best for the people, let alone what God thinks. This is a tragic situation. Ordinary citizens do the same, planning everything by and for themselves ~ never mind what God thinks. God is just about the remotest thought from their mind. Of course, the reality is that only what God thinks matters; but we have replaced God with ourselves. It's way past wake-up time!
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Being aware that we must change is only the beginning. To effect any change, we must know how to do it. The best, proper, and, as a matter of fact, the only effective way to make things happen is to let God do the work. As our creator he certainly can perfect us, provided that we submit ourselves to him. Again, humility works wonders.
Today's first reading came from Jeremiah 7. The people of those days did not obey God, nor pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their hearts and turned their backs to the Lord. History sure repeats itself to this day. God is always calling us, but we must soften my hearts to hear his voice. The only way to discover, to know, to win over God is to approach him with open humility. To "demand" God to reveal himself to you is the dead wrong approach. Have pride and you are out!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
We should never look down on other sinners, for we do not know if we were in their shoes, living their lives and facing their problems, we would have done better and been holier than they. We are all sinners before God, so how can I possibly think that I am a better sinner than someone when I can't even read anyone's mind or heart? And who am I to judge anyone whom God loves? Our business is to follow God with full attention on him alone.
We are born sinners. Everyone is 100% responsible for his own sins; blaming others won't get you off the hook. Of course, if your sin causes others to sin also, then it becomes doubly serious. Anyway, since God hates only the sin and not the sinner, you should do so likewise. Therefore, do not debase yourself after you have sinned, but realize that you have offended the Lord and ask him for forgiveness, and he'll make you pristine again.