Knowing that you maintain a private, close relationship with none other than God.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The Gospel reading yesterday came from Matthew 6. Jesus pointed out that doing anything to make people think that you are doing it for God is being hypocritical and will not receive any recompense from God. If we do things to win the praise of others, we have received our reward already. So it comes down to choosing to please God or ourselves, to serve God or ourselves, to worship God or ourselves. God not only needs to be No. 1, but the only one in our life.
Since I am traveling, I may not be able to blog daily in the coming week. Anyway, yesterday the entrance antiphon from Psalm 14 read: The clean of hands and pure of heart shall climb the mountain of the Lord and stand in his holy place. To me, keeping the hands clean is not to do any bad deeds and keeping the heart pure is not to have any bad thoughts. Both clean hands and a pure heart assure that you will feel good in God's presence, and what a treasurable feeling that is!
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus asked his disciples to love not just their neighbor, but even their enemies. And he wants them to be perfect, just as their heavenly Father is perfect. The lesson here: (1) Specifically, we are to love everyone as the Father loves us, irrespective of whether the person is good or bad, just or unjust and (2) fundamentally, we are to imitate the Father who is perfect.
Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 27: O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my savior. We can ask, beg, pester, or even argue with God. As long as we treat him as our most loving Father, he wouldn't mind a bit. Sharing everything in your heart with him surely endears yourself to him.
Monday, June 19, 2017
So many people are disconnected from God, for they are deeply immersed in the world and have lost whatever spiritual awareness they had. They say that God is dead, but I say that their own hearts are dead. Here's a human analogy that illustrates the situation. A father raises his children, loves them very much and gives them the best in everything he could. Now the children have grown up and totally forgotten about the father. They are immersed in doing what they want to do and no longer visit or communicate with the father. You don't have to be a parent to know how bad that father would be feeling. Imagine now how our heavenly Father with infinite love for us would be feeling over us.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 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 you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one what wants to borrow." These are hard sayings, but they completely make sense if you truly love everyone as God loves us, never wishing to judge or hurt anyone. Naturally, vengeance is out of the question. I think this is the point Jesus had wanted to get across. Another example, in Matthew 5.30, Jesus said, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away." Here he made the point that we are not to sin. Nevertheless, love the Lord with all your heart and you'll know what to do in each situation.
We are trapped in the middle of an intense spiritual warfare. As a matter of fact, we are involved because our souls are the sole object of this warfare. We'd better open our spiritual eye from sleep to recognized this reality and take a stand. There is a time for everything and there should be one for detaching yourself from the world and choosing to follow Christ to save yourself and the world. That time, more urgent than ever, is now.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Communion experience. I received profound peace, knowing that I have the truth. Of course, there are still issues unresolved and pieces of work unfinished in this life, but if the Lord wants me to go to him, I just go (no packing needed) because it's his will. This is the peace of belonging to God alone.
Today is Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. In the Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said the following to the Jewish crowds: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world," "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him," "The one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven," and "Whoever eats this bread will live forever." If there are sayings of Jesus that we should listen to and take most seriously, these are the ones. Many non-Catholic Christians gloss over these sayings of Jesus in John 6, for they believe that the bread and drink merely symbolizes his flesh and blood. In other words, they remain ordinary bread and wine. Can you imagine that Jesus had meant "Whoever eats this ordinary bread will live forever"? It's in believing that Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist that we receive the power of transformation to be made fit for living forever. (All the early Church fathers agree with me on this.)
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Communion experience. After the priest elevated the Eucharist and said: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb." We all responded: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." After I received the Lord, I realized that he entered under my roof not only to heal my soul, but also to dwell within me to be one with me forever!