Again, during today's Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, Jesus asks us to eat of his body which will be given up for us and drink the chalice of his blood which will be poured out for us for the forgiveness of sins ~ are we to refuse this offer of the greatest gift from God, the Lord himself? Are we? Are we?
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
At morning Mass, Father Paul mentioned that he was in Southern California last weekend and learned that the sex abuse scandal cost the Los Angeles archdiocese $660 million. He pointed out that such was the wages of sin. But worse than the loss of money is the loss of our soul which, once lost, is irretrievable. Paul said in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. A couple of days ago, the Lord made me see the beauty of putting our faith in the true God. In the second half of the same verse, Paul said that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ. What a huge difference from sin to faith...from death to life ~ all can happen in a split second!
A church without the Holy Eucharist in it is like an empty cross with no Jesus on it. Since the Holy Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, we should never touch it if we are in a state of serious sin. When we receive this most holy sacrament, we should not only let Christ enter to dwell within us, but also ask him to become an integral part of us so that we may become like him. The saying "You are what you eat" has now a new meaning.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Realization at morning Mass today, the Memorial of St. Catherine of Sienna. Having offended God, we feel sad; but there are joys to be realized too: (1) Despite our failure, God's love for us remains undiminished, (2) He is still there for us to love, (3) We're given the realization that we need to change, (4) We have repenting our sin and being welcomed home again to look forward to.
I've found that it's more challenging to remain humble with your family at home than with outsiders, especially if you happen to be the head of the family. I believe it's because your family already knows you well and your feel comfortable remaining the same you. While with others, wanting to make a good impression on them helps motivating you to appear more humble. In either case, we fall short of being truly humble. To remedy this, we need the Holy Spirit to fill us with compassion for all, family members or non-family members.
Yesterday the retired bishop of the diocese celebrated Mass at my church for the confirmation of 65 young people. He gave a beautiful homily centered upon the Holy Spirit, which made me sense the beauty of obeying the Spirit. If I could do that at all times, I'd be in union with God at all times. Then I would have constant peace because in obedience to the Spirit, one on longer offends God.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
God's ways are not our ways. God wants us to be weak in him so that we may become strong; to surrender to him to become free; to die in him to bear fruit; to remain passive to get close to him; to be lowly to get exalted; to serve others to become great; to forget about ourselves to be noticed by him; to give up all to gain him who is everything...
In the same reading from Revelation 21 I brought up in my last post, John also heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away."
My only comment is a recommendation: Read these verses and be thankful and rejoice in the news!
Reading 2 for today's Mass comes from Revelation 21. In his vision, John saw a new heaven and a new earth. He saw a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Now, a bride adorns herself solely to please the husband. If we wish to please God, we need to adorn ourselves as best we can too, and that means seeking union with God so that we can become like him. At the end of the reading, John heard the One who sat on the throne say, "Behold, I make all things new." Things definitely are going to work out for us!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
Today's tragic news is the collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory, killing at least 273 people. It's believed that neglect and lack of regulation led to the disaster. Since over 90% of the population of Bangladesh are Muslim, it's safe to assume that most of the victims did not know Jesus. So, are they saved or not? Jesus did say, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). I believe that good people can be saved through Christ without their knowing it. It'd be unthinkable that they are condemned due to no fault of their own by God whose mercy is infinite. To think otherwise is to judge others. If you still have doubts, read the first eight Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:3-10).
The Gospel reading at Mass was from John 14. At the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be." How good it is to hear that the Lord wants us to be where he is! By receiving him in the Holy Eucharist, we've already become inseparable from him.
"Acts 13:26-33" was the first reading at morning Mass. I am not going to reproduce it here, but what Paul said made it absolutely clear that Jesus did come and was put to death, accomplishing all that was written about him. He then rose from the dead and appeared to many who became witnesses to the people. God had brought to fulfillment what he promised their fathers. Note that Paul used to persecute the Lord. This reading strongly confirms my faith in the truth of Christ.
I tend to see things in their simplified state. I am also a relatively short-winded person. Once I attended a piano workshop on preventing hand injury. As I recall, the entire set of 30+ videos on this method was available for $800. After listening to lectures with demonstration on the piano and watching many videos that weekend, I could summarize the essence of the method in three sentences. Similarly, when it comes to seeking union with God, you can take lessons, courses, or workshops that involve spiritual reading and exercises, learning how to pray, etc. ~ such formation process could take years. What if I am illiterate? What if I don't have access to all the information? Certainly, God wouldn't exclude me from seeking union with him. Again, I see how to achieve the goal the simple way. You surrender to God, put you trust in him, and let him draw you into union with him. God already knows what you desire; total abandonment in him is the only act you need to perform.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Today's Gospel Acclamation at Mass, 1 Corinthian 1.23a-24b, reads: "We proclaim Christ crucified; he is the power of God and the wisdom of God." God is love and mercy, but the other aspect of God is power and wisdom. Power because he can transform us; wisdom because he is the truth that can guide us to eternal life. The Lord is what we need and is all we need.
This is a brief summary of what I've been posting about the last 2700+ times. God is within our reach! In fact, God wants to enter us to be in union with us. Through the Holy Eucharist, we can express our desire for union and he will draw us into him. Finally, in fulfilling his desire, we are completely fulfilled ourselves ~ this is perfect resting in God. We are now ready to enter heaven, for we'll always be Where God is.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
We are supposed to love God with all our heart, with all my soul, and with all our strength, but do we even think of him? How often do we mention him to others? Do we consult him in anything we do? Is your relationship with him personal at all? Does God live only on the periphery of your life? Is he even relevant to you? Praying to him only when you need him is not good enough, whereas we should be concerned about how we can serve him. In fact, we should become saints for his sake and the best way to get there is to seek union with him through the Holy Eucharist. Make your desire known to God and he will draw you into him and you will have all of him ~ this is the sure expedient way.
For our own spiritual growth, there are many things to pray for, and I've found that by seeking union with God through the Holy Eucharist, all those prayers get answered. Similarly, there are so many ills of the world to pray for. And since their cause is godlessness, praying for the conversion of the world becomes the urgent, fundamental prayer for delivering the world from all its ills.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Living as if everyday is your last day on earth shows that you are alert and ready to meet the Lord. After this last day, your eternal life begins. To those who foolishly live as if there's no life after death, their last day may indeed be the last, for they may not have life with God afterward. Then there are those who live as if they are never going to die ~ this is being equally foolish.
Glad that I watched "The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi" on EWTN this morning. The program was an encore presentation of his interview with Russ and Deborah Rentler. It lead me to their website: http://www.crossedthetiber.com/, a beautiful spiritual site to explore.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
In today's news, opponents of gay marriage in France hold their last-ditch rally. Opinion polls have suggested that 55-60% of French people support gay marriage. Elsewhere gay marriage supporters hold a rival march. In US, pro-life and pro-abortion groups take up diametrically opposite positions. And atheists are on the rise, attacking the religious. When Jesus comes again to judge the world, he'll be separating the sheep from the goats with the sheep placed on his right and the goats on his left (Matthew 25). Whether we realize it or not, we are already choosing sides, not that the Lord needs our help.
This is today's entire Gospel reading at Mass from John 10:
Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."
The recent Boston bombing has caused terrible deaths and injuries to the innocent. It just shows how fragile life can be in these days of great evil. Even though our physical life can get snuffed out, our eternal life in Christ is indestructible ~ just read the Gospel above to see how secure we can be! By seeking union with the Lord in this life, my security is being established.
During Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, we sang the Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of host, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. An overwhelming realization: God is holy, yet I should touch him soon in Holy Communion.
The Memorial Acclamation followed: We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again. The words conveyed the sweet mystery of faith to my heart.
If we were robots, God would give us specific commands to follow. Since we were created with a free will and are capable of thinking and making our own choices, the Lord no longer speaks audibly to us with direct commands ~ he lets us base our thinking and decision making upon what he lets us see, hear, and experience. Our whole life is one of discerning God's will.
Continuing the story from Acts from Acts 13, we heard that later on, the Jews incited the people, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet and left. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Spreading the word of God, telling others about Jesus, sharing how the Lord has transformed your personal life...these things are continually prompted by the Holy Spirit. Since joy and the Holy Spirit are inseparable, the Christian heart is continually filled with joy.
First reading at Mass from Acts 13 tells that on a sabbath almost the whole city of Antioch gathered to hear the word of the Lord from Paul and Barnabas. The Jews, filled with jealousy, contradicted what Paul said with violent abuse. Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles." Note that rejecting the word of God is condemning ourselves as unworthy of eternal life! Let's then latch onto the good news once we hear it so that we may be made worthy of eternal life.
If you live as if this life is your only life, you will feel more emptiness as time passes, I assure you. This is why the majority of the world remain unhappy. But the minority who live for the eternal life Jesus promised not only find their present life meaningful, but also experience greater joy as time moves onward.
Being finite, we often fall short of achieving the best results in serving God despite our best effort. We must humbly accept that and move on, not judging ourselves out of pride. Remember that the Apostles rejoiced when they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name of Jesus.
The Communion antiphon at yesterday's Mass based upon John 17.20-21 reads: Father, I pray for them, that they may be one in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me, says the Lord. Here Jesus was praying for those God had given him out of the world. This example teaches me to make my intention clear and not be concerned about how God is going to answer my prayer. "Ask and trust" is doing our best.
Receiving the Holy Eucharist is more than touching God. It is letting the Lord God who seeks union with us enter us. How do we respond? If we wish to enter him too, then we shall have union. Every time we receive this most holy sacrament, we are given the opportunity to become one with God or strengthen the existing union. How blessed it is to be in God with him in us!
Friday, April 19, 2013
This morning's first reading came from Acts 9. Saul (Paul) was breathing murderous threats against the disciples of Christ and wanted to arrest and imprison anyone he might find living according to the new way. Then Jesus called him and he began proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God. Left to myself, I used to think that divorce is OK, abortion permissible, getting ahead of others by any aggressive means just fine, and so forth. After I got to know God, all my views changed because I realized that I had been wrong. This is what conversion is about ~ it's giving up our own ways and adopting God's ways. The world has lost its way precisely because it has been following its own ways.
This morning I no longer felt "trapped" in this world; I am now free in Christ! I feel blessed that I came into the world after Christ, who showed us the way to salvation so clearly. We now know God the Father as revealed through God the Son and are set free by God the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I've mentioned that I like piano music, and consider Rachmaninov a great composer. His two sets of preludes are beautiful enough to stir the human soul. One of my favorite preludes is the one in D major, Op. 23, No. 4. It's not an easy piece to play, requiring big right hand stretching at places, and making the melody sing is another challenge. I like Boris Berman's interpretation. He plays warmly with tenderness. I don't know what Rachmaninov had in mind when he composed this prelude, but it expresses my yearning for God very well.
After I received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist this morning at Mass, I felt the Lord asking what I would want from him. Feeling like a small child who greatly admires his father, I spontaneously came out with "I just want to be like you." Then he made me see that this is the ultimate fulfillment for all of us: to be like God.
Last night I realized that if I pray to obey God always, then I shall have peace always. This seems obvious ~ I am posting it because the realization came to me when I was half-asleep. Learning from the Lord is always a delight whether you are awake or asleep.
I've been reading John 5. Here's Jesus speaking to the Jews in verse 20: "For the Father loves the Son and everything the Father does he shows him." I stopped, thinking that if the Father loves the Son, then how could he sacrifice him to save us? Does he love us more than he loves the Son? I realized that this is possible only if the Father and the Son are one. So we have the Lord God sacrificing himself for us, and it all made sense.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell who performed thousands of late-term abortions and murdered newborns after inducing labor is finally being tried in court. If killing the newborn is considered a crime, then how come our law allows killing the unborn? You figure that out. Life begins at conception ~ this is certain. Our "Supreme" Court had the wisdom to amend one of God's Commandments to read "You shall not kill except in the case your target is an innocent, defenseless unborn child."
Certainly not another ordinary human being. Certainly not some god who doesn't care for us. It has to be a loving god who wants to save us, and that leaves only God the Father whom Jesus the Son has revealed to us. Conclusion: Nothing but the love of God can save a soul. Think about it.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Today at Mass, the first reading came from Acts 7. The people, the elders, and the scribes did not have the humility to listen to Stephen proclaiming the truth; instead, they threw him out of the city and stoned him to death. The proud are always so occupied with themselves that they turn blind and deaf to any truth. Only the humble can hear the Lord and get to know the truth.
I have an outdoor deck on the east side of my house. On a moist morning like today hundreds of water-drops hung from the white metal rails of the deck railing. As the sun light hit the drops, they turned glisteningly red, green, yellow, or white. When I moved my head from side to side, all the colors continually changed ~ the sight was beautiful! This exquisite natural phenomenon reflected the ever-present beauty of God.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Go on www.persecutionreport.org and you'll find that Christians are being persecuted in many countries around the world. In my opinion, our government should not give money away so freely to aid those countries if they do not promise to provide fair protection of Christians, who have human rights too! Pray that all governments will defend the rights of all their citizens.
In this morning's Gospel reading from John 6, the day after Jesus multiplied the loaves to feed the five thousand, the crowd went looking for him. When they found him, he said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me...because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures for eternal life." In today's BBC News online, one story exemplifies working for food that perishes and the other for food that endures.
"King of Bling" headlines the first story. A man in India spent $250,000 on a shirt made with 7 pounds of gold. He says wearing it makes him feel good. For him it is the ultimate manifestation of achievement and gives him a status he has craved since he was young. With all the gold he has accumulated, he says he feels financially secure. Ironically, he still has a security guard with him whenever he travels wearing the shirt.
"Pedal Empowered" is the title of the second story. US teen Thomas Hircock of Philadelphia initiated the project of sending bikes to some of the poorest children in India. When he was 12 years old, he traveled with his father to India and was shocked by the poverty he saw. Some of the pupils at one school told them they needed bikes to get to classes from homes up to 20 miles away. Back in Philadelphia, Thomas and his family started a fundraising campaign at his own school. So far, the charity has shipped 400 bikes to schools in India.
To each his own, I guess, but you also reap what you sow.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus also asked Peter three times if he loved him. Each time after Peter answered yes, the Lord asked him to do something ~ they are "Feed my lambs," "Tend my sheep," and "Feed my sheep." It shows that the Lord wants us to assure him that we love him and to prove it by performing works.
The Gospel reading at Mass came from John 21:1-19. Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the sea of Tiberias. While fishing from their boat, the disciples did not at first recognize Jesus standing on the shore. Finally, after he told them where to cast to net and they caught a large number of fish, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord."
It is such a joy to recognize the presence of the one you love! Jesus is not physically with us today, but we can still realize his presence everywhere, in others, and especially in our own hearts. Such realizations should constantly fill us with joy.
Acts 5 continued to be read at Mass. The Sanhedrin ordered Peter and the apostles to stop speaking in the name of Jesus and dismissed them, but they left rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. Did the apostles have a warped mind? No, they were elated because they already knew and belonged to God. Once we have the Lord, only what he thinks of us matters ~ this is how we were made.
With God, either you are in or you are out. When you are in, you enjoy peace, freedom, security, knowing that you are heaven-bound...all the good things I've mentioned numerous times on this blog. These are not things I've cooked up ~ they are actual knowledge. When God lays something in your heart, you just know that it's true. If you are still outside God, can you give one good reason if it's not fear of facing the truth? Outside God, there is nothing. Seek union to enter God to gain everything.
Suddenly, I see how vulnerable life is. I am still breathing, typing away this moment, but life can leave me at any time as it has happened to so many of my friends. We are powerless in securing our life in this world, but we can secure our life in the next. Happy are those who have already "arranged" with God for a dwelling place in heaven! Now, they can truly sit back and rejoice.
Yesterday I gave a presentation for the first time, before a small group at a mini-retreat. The subject was "Seeking Union With God Through the Holy Eucharist," what this blog is about. The urge to spread this message has become so strong that I must go beyond mere blogging. When the Lord wants us to do something specific, he does not want us to be concerned about how it might affect others ~ he wants us to follow him single-mindedly so that his wish may be realized. He alone is to be our focus, our vision, and our guide.
Friday, April 12, 2013
In today's Gospel reading from John 6 at Mass, when Jesus saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he asked Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said his to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do (multiplication of the loaves, coming up). The Lord tests us too. Let's always remain faithful and watch for a miracle to follow.
Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, Matthew 4.4b: "One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." How much time do we waste on listening to words spoken by the media and by people we know ~ and on speaking our own words to others? The words of Jesus are all we need to hear. Read the Gospels and let his words of life speak to you.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I've started reading the Gospel of John in bed every night before I go to sleep. This time I do not read it as a bystander; I see myself at the scene, in the story, and even imagine seeing things from Jesus' point of view. What comes across is amazing because everything becomes real and makes sense now. You see what actually happened and how Jesus spoke and acted as the all-knowing Lord.
I started reading a couple of excellent books on how to write better. Both authors recommend writing with brevity and clarity ~ no wordiness. Every word should express simply what we want to say. This suggests to me the proper way of praying to God. Sometimes we can be so brief and to the point that no words are needed, and the Lord hears us perfectly.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
At Communion time, I saw the Lord as our transformer. As I had pointed out in the past, we are the only rebellious creatures against God in this universe. If we cease rebelling and start obeying, he will then transform us into the most beautiful creatures existing in this universe ~ that is, one small change of mind resulting in a great transformation! (Neil Armstrong's famous first words, after becoming the first person to set foot on the moon in 1969, come to my mind: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.")
At morning Mass, Reading 1 was taken from Acts 5. We learned that the high priest and his companions laid hands on the Apostles and put them in jail. Then during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison and let them out, and they went to the temple area in the morning to teach the people again.
The voice of the Lord cannot be silenced. We must spread the good news by whatever means at our disposal. A timid Christian is one who still cares more about himself than about God.
At Mass this morning, I desired to possess all of Jesus, and I realized that I didn't need to do anything to achieve my goal ~ I only needed to remain still and let him take possession of me first. In the same way, to gain freedom, I surrender; to live in Christ, I die in him; to be exalted by him, I remain humble; to be courageous, I lean upon him; to be invigorated by him, I rest in him; to be filled with God, I empty myself. God is easy to deal with!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
At today's Mass, the Gospel acclamation came directly from the Gospel reading from John 3 that followed: "The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." God's intention is crystal clear. If we hear it, understand it, but still ignore it, then why?
If we are not sinners, then hearing the good news of salvation would absolutely mean nothing to us. We would wonder why Jesus even came and died for us. What's he talking about, really? The fact that there are enough of us who were deeply moved by what he had undergone and what he had revealed to us ~ to the point of even willing to die for him ~ proves that we are indeed sinners and need salvation.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Coming home after Mass, I enjoyed looking at the blue skies above and the blossoming trees along the roadsides. Then I remembered that yesterday was a different day ~ cloudy and gloomy. It's clear that everything in our universe changes except God. For security and stability, we need the constancy of the Lord. That's one reason union with him makes us feel good.
When our heart is troubled, it always feels good to pour out all our troubles to a friend willing to listen, then we don't feel so helpless anymore. But let's not forget our most caring and understanding friend, the Lord. After I confess all my troubles to him, he not only removes the load, but also forgives and heals me. He even helps us in identifying and understanding our problems during the process.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Today's Communion experience. Even though I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist yesterday, I already missed him. I felt extra joy because we got to drink the cup also. After receiving Communion, I immersed myself in Jesus and experienced the heavenly beauty of his interior where no evil exists. How wonderful the world would be without evil! I was in heaven for a brief moment.
Today is Sunday of Divine Mercy. A Gospel reading from John 20 was read at Mass. After his Resurrection, Jesus came and stood among his disciples behind locked doors. He showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced and Jesus said to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." At his point, I realized that we who follow the Lord had been sent by him too. We are on an important mission, a mission to save the world for God's glory. What a privilege and honor to be so chosen!
Saturday, April 6, 2013
At the beginning of Mass this morning, I yearned to hear whatever the Lord wished me to know; I was ready. Reading 1 came from Acts 4. After observing the boldness of Peter and John, the leaders, elders, and scribes ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John relied, "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." Father M in his homily commented that Peter and John were uneducated, ordinary men, but when they had the good news, they had to proclaim it without fear.
Well, the Lord spoke to me, for I'd been scheduled to give a talk before a group next Saturday on how God wants to draw all to union with him through the Holy Eucharist, the central message of this blog. Thanks be to God.
It is difficult for people to know God, to find God, nowadays, because they were born into a world that had strayed far from God. Then the Prodigal Son parable should give us great hope and courage. In reality, no matter how much we've forgotten about God, we can still get back to him instantly if our hearts so incline ~ this is the beauty of the mercy of our heavenly Father. This good news we should let all know that God never closes the door on us, but we must at least get partway inside that door.
Friday, April 5, 2013
It is time for us to trust in God and not ask him any more questions. There will always be things we do not understand even if we live a million years on earth. Therefore, be content with the knowledge of salvation from God and follow Christ faithfully through this short life, for one day we'll have the answers to all our questions.
In today's Gospel reading at Mass from John 21, we heard how the resurrected Lord revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. The disciples went fishing, but all night caught nothing. At dawn Jesus was standing on the shore, but they did not recognize him. Then Jesus asked them to cast the net over the right side of the boat; they cast it and could not pull the net in because of the number of fish. So they realized that it was the Lord.
Two lessons I learned from this reading: (1) Jesus knows everything, so we can trust in him. He will always lead us in the right direction if we listen to him. (2) Even though we do not see or recognize him, he is present.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
During consecration of the bread and wine at Mass this morning, again I heard through the priest the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: "...this is my body which will be given up for you....this is the chalice of my blood...which will be poured out for you..." The words struck me ~ how personal the Lord was! And such giving! I can't possibly imagine myself giving as such.
Seeking union with Jesus is to make him No. 1 in our lives. The Holy Eucharist assists union in the following ways:
(1) Receiving it initiates a physical union with the Lord, and this union can grow into a spiritual one.
(2) Since the Lord is present in this Sacrament, it is a power source from which we receive the grace needed for attaining union.
(3) The Holy Eucharist ensures the attainment of ultimate union.
(4) Receiving the Sacrament strengthens our union with God.
(4) Receiving the Sacrament strengthens our union with God.
Human accomplishment has been amazing in numerous areas; but human capabilities are limited. God's power being infinite, no human can possibly match him. The most amazing accomplishment comes from God ~ the spiritual transformation of a soul. Without God, that would be impossible. Spiritual transformation is satisfying precisely because God accomplishes it.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Romans 8.38-39: "...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus..." God's love is ready and waiting. If we completely accept this love, we become inseparable from God. What a blessed state for us to be in!
Entrance antiphon at morning Mass, Matthew 25.34: Come, you blessed of my Father; receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. This is what Jesus will say to his sheep on Judgment Day. Another saying that should make us jump for joy. God always does his utmost to make us happy!
John 12.24: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit, says the Lord. Similarly, unless our enslaved heart turns to God and surrenders, it remains enslaved; but if it surrenders, it gains great freedom.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
In today's Gospel reading at Mass from John 20, Mary Magdalene was weeping outside the empty tomb, thinking that someone had taken her Lord away. Then Jesus appeared and asked her why she was weeping. She first thought he was the gardener, but recognized him after he called her by name. Then Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Jesus' Father is our Father and his God is our God! ~ surely our hearts should jump with joy upon hearing this.
All news get old except the Good News of salvation from God. It is as fresh as it was two thousand years ago and is needed as long as one unrepentant sinner still lives. In today's dark world, the Good News, our only good news, is our last and only hope! Whoever rejects this Good News rejects the love and mercy of God, in effect believing that Christ has died for nothing! And they'll have to answer for that before the Lord.
I got up this morning before 6 and saw dawn breaking over the eastern sky. As surely as the sun would appear next, Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead. Chances are I shall meet him before the Second Coming. Either way, I'll be ready. Once my eternity destination was clear, peace settled in my heart. Anyone who does not know where they are heading is like sailing on the Titanic, for disaster can strike unexpectedly.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Quoting St. Augustine once again: "O God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." I felt this morning at Mass that I wouldn't be happy until God took full control of me. One taste of freedom in him and you desire more of it.
As always, the churches were packed yesterday because so many lapsed Catholics attended Easter Mass to ease their guilty conscience. Some never had much faith, but others stayed away because they didn't like something about the priest or a fellow Catholic. To the latter, I pose the question: "Were you, as a Catholic, attracting others to the Church or turning them away from her?" Since the Church is the Body of Church, to leave her is to not want to belong to Christ.