Communion experience. I love the Lord because his love for me has made it possible. The Lord has made me for him!
Monday, April 23, 2018
In John 10, Jesus declared to all, "A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep and they know me." It strikes me that our God, the God of Christ, is most personal. You won't find another god like that anywhere else. Since there is only one true God, perhaps I should have stated that our God is more personal and caring than any other being. This is logical and as it should be, and I rejoice in it.
Today's Psalm 42 response: Athirst is my soul for the living God. Looking back, I see that I first thirsted for God because I felt the emptiness of life. Now that I have found him, I thirst for him still as he draws me. So it is that you would want even more of the one who can completely satisfy you. Such is the unique power or charm, if I may use the word, of God.
Today's entrance antiphon, Romans 6.9: Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him. Of course, being God and the creator of all life, Christ cannot possibly die. His let himself be killed on earth only because he was carrying out the Father's plan of salvation for us. As for us, we'll all die. After death, we'll either remain dead forever or be raised by Christ – the choice is ours to make here and now!
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Every sin we commit provides the opportunity for us to grow holier. Loss of inner peace is our first reminder. The worst thing you can possibly do is to ignore your past sins and continue on sinning. Thus your soul gets defiled more and more. This is evading God, a game in which you'll lose for sure. This is also playing Russian roulette with your own soul – what if you die expectedly? Of course, the right thing to do is to repent as soon as possible your sin and have the Lord make you clean again. Don't stop, for it is also the time to surrender to God more to reduce your chance of sinning again. With practice, each sin you commit will lead you to greater holiness. By the way, with more inner peace, your physical health will benefit too.
In today's first reading from Acts 4, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to leaders of the people and elders, "There is no salvation through anyone other than Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified and God raised from the dead." In the Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd and I will lay down my life for my sheep." If Jesus was good enough for Peter and John, he is certainly good enough for me.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Who wouldn't want to be set for life? Perhaps you think that the billionaires are set for life. If so, then you are being quite short-sighted. What is infinitely superior is to be set for life for all eternity, and you can be in that position by simply following Christ! Now, this has to be the best possible news of your life on earth.
Jesus prayed to the Father that those who follow him may always be one in him and the Father. In Matthew 16, Jesus said to Peter, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Sadly, the Reformation headed by Martin Luther in the 16th century led to the establishment of many Protestant churches, breaking up the Church Christ had established. Since Jesus said that the gates of the netherworld should not prevail against his church, the Catholic Church still standing today has to be that church. Unfortunately, there is still a sizable number of Protestants continually attacking the Catholic Church, believing that the Pope is the Antichrist. My question is, if that's true, when did it happen? Did it start with the Apostle Peter, the first Pope, or later? They also claim that the Catholic Church has gone stray, yet no one can tell me when and how that happened. Study the early fathers of the Church and you'll see that they believed in what Catholics believe in today. One foremost example is the belief that the Holy Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Christ. So, please find out what we truly believe in before drawing any conclusion. By the way, we do not worship Mary. Do not judge us, for we were Christians first before you split off 1,500 years later. If you believe that we are lost, then lovingly pray for us. If you judge us, then pray for yourself too. I pray that we'll always follow the Holy Spirit who wishes all Christians to be one. Last, to set your mind at ease, we Catholics are not going to hell, so don't worry about us.
What does the world teach us? The world is good at teaching us how to succeed by making more money to get rich so that we may achieve financial security, and that we can realize such dreams on our own if we try hard enough. The focus is entirely on ourselves. In other words, the world is out of touch with God. To be blunt, we live in godless societies. Where God counts, he is more or less worshipped in private and in churches only. The separation of church and state in this country succeeded in keeping God where he belongs, so to speak. This is the sad reality today.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Excerpts from today's Gospel reading from 6: Jesus said to the Jews while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, "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. Whoever eats this bread will live forever." After hearing all these sayings, can you still presume that the consecrated bread and wine Jesus gave to his disciples at the Last Supper and we receive at Mass are just ordinary bread and wine the whole time, symbolizing the Flesh and Blood of the Lord? Not a chance! (John 6 is the chapter many Protestants avoid scrutinizing.)
To get your sins forgiven, you need to accept and believe in Christ as your Savior. You might think that you are a pretty good person, and maybe you are, but that is no guarantee that you'll make heaven. Matthew 10.33: Whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father – says the Lord to the Twelve. Yes, accepting Christ does take precedence over getting your sins forgiven.
John 14.6: Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This makes perfect sense, for he is to be our sole judge and the only one who can take away our sins! It follows that there is no way we can bypass him, right?
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Peace on earth begins when you realize that in the God of Christ you can have your future secured for all eternity! No one else in history can promise you that as Christ has with such authority, backed up at the same time by mighty deeds, culminating in his own death and Resurrection. Only in him, the Prince of Peace, will one find ultimate peace.