"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gentle Lord

        God is so gentle that when he teaches us, he simply opens our eyes so that we may see the truths for ourselves.

Strength from Union

        Communion experience. Receiving the Lord to be one with him gave me great strength because I felt all his pains and that any attack from the evil one on me is an attack on him

God or Mammon

        In both Matthew 6 and Luke 16, Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve both God and mammon. If we do not choose to serve God, then we're surely going to end up serving mammon, as that's the easy way to go. Only in serving God will we find serving mammon distasteful. So the important thing is to decide as soon as possible whom we wish to serve or we'll be drifting through life being slaves of mammon.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jesus Our Comfort

        Let's look at our situation. We are bound to a planet of finite size and live only for a limited time. We may be actively looking for happiness or just sit around for happiness to happen. We keep ourselves busy to escape from facing reality. We see that whatever good we do will become history and be forgotten. To make life meaningful, we need is to latch onto something that's permanent and can make us live forever and be happy. This is where Jesus comes in, fulfilling what we desire. He is the one whom the Father has sent, the Perfect One, our Comfort. 

*Checking Jesus Out

        If you do not know Jesus yet, but are interested in checking him out, I propose that you do it this way. First, empty your mind of all prejudices, preconceived notions ... in fact, everything you have learned about him so that you may remain open-minded and objective. Then shut out all distractions and read any or all of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) as if you are reading it for the very first time. At the end you should be able to conclude either he is the true God or the most remarkable false teacher that had ever existed. But note: If you come to the latter conclusion, you'll also have to conclude that all authors of the books comprising the New Testament had been deceived by Jesus or they simply wrote fiction ~ all in all, even more incredible!

Highest Calling

        Today is the Memorial of St. Catherine of Siena. As I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I felt his calling for me to be one with him. It seemed unthinkable that we would receive this greatest gift of heaven, but not want to give more of ourselves to him!

Love of Enemies

        The Beatitudes Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew include this one: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." It follows that if we are to make peace, we must pray for the conversion of our enemies, not their destruction. Indeed, later Jesus did teach, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More Ave Maria Videos

        I have posted Ave Maria by 4 different composers (listed under Good Sites, Blogs, Web Pages... in the right margin). I am now replacing the Bach/Gounod video in the list with this version featuring Deborah Sasson, also with Andre Rieu. I think Sasson sounds a little bit more musical and polished than Skota.

              

        I am adding this Schubert's Ave Maria sung by Mirusia Louwerse, again with Andre Rieu. Barbara Bonney, already listed, may be more pure, but Louwerse is more expressive.

Love Bridges the Gap

        Communion experience. I felt totally unworthy to receive the Lord, for he is holy in heaven and I am sinful on earth. Then I saw the sun whose light and warmth still reach us even though it is almost 93 million miles away. In Jesus' case, his great love for us has bridged the gap. 

Superior Spiritual Life

        Repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation, since sin can only be forgiven through repentance before God. Surrender lifts one out of the ordinary pathway and makes one holy, thus greatly reducing the need for repentance. Therefore, repent but aim for surrender to live the superior spiritual life.   

Comforting Words

        In today's Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said to the Jews, "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." Since the words of Jesus will not pass away, even when heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 23, Mark 13, Luke 21), these words were a great comfort to hear again at morning Mass.  

Why God Wants Us to Be Holy

        Perhaps the post should have preceded the last one. There is no doubt that God wants to be one with us because he loves us. And this is why he wants us to be holy, for if we are filthy and soiled, how would it be possible for him to dwell within us? 

Letting God Make Us Holy

        God wants us to be holy and that's a high goal indeed, but no worry. Since he sets the goal, all we need to do is say yes to him and he'll make us holy without the need to crawl and struggle on our own ~ it's all up to us and all up to him, again with him doing the work. Note that all miracles are performed by God and surrendering to him makes us see miracles.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ready to Follow Jesus?

        In Matthew 4, we read that as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men" and they at once left their nets and followed him. Then he saw the two brothers James and John in a boat with their father, mending their nets. He called them too and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. A good test for us to see how willingly we are to follow the Lord is to ask ourselves how we would respond should he ask us to leave the world to go to him. Would we hesitate or comply instantly?

Giving Up the World Easy

        To give up the world and embrace God ~ it just seems so hard to accomplish. The smart way is to embrace God first. Then once you find how attractive he is, the world just fades away without your having to detach yourself from it. It's a win-win situation to let the Lord do the work for you

Christ Our Only Hope

        Two most saddening incidents occurred. First, a 27-year-old Afghan woman named Farkhunda was brutally beaten to death near a shrine by a mob of men after being falsely accused of burning the Koran. Then in Pakistan, Sabeen Mehmud, a leading female human rights activist was targeted and killed in a drive-by shooting. Jesus must be shedding tears now while we should weep for ourselves. All the more I see the bright, shining light of Christ as our only hope, who alone wants to save us by dying for us, murderers included.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Growing in Faith and Trust

        Faith and trust do not miraculously increase; they are gained through experience. When you let the Lord draw you close to him, he uses every experience of yours, pleasant or painful, to help you grow in faith and trust. And you know it when it's happening. 

My Sins Removed

        Communion experience. Again, it was crystal clear to me that Jesus could take away the sins of the world and he was taking away mine.

Jesus Speaking Unequivocally

        It seems that what I read in the Gospels now takes on new meaning for me. In today's reading from John 10, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father." Of course, I have read these verses or heard them read many times before, but today I heard them and just knew that it's unequivocally the Lord God speaking ~ there were no other possibilities. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hardened Hearts

        Horrible, terrible headlines! Two days ago, Chile's Calbuco volcano suddenly erupted, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Today, Nepal just had its deadliest earthquake in more than 80 years, killing already over 1,000. I see loud and clear that both are signs among numerous others that God wants us to turn to him. If you don't believe it, then you probably wouldn't believe that God is calling you even if you received a personal email from him. I suppose hardened hearts do not soften; they only break.

Making Salvation Easy

        God's mercy is constant and he has set the same rules for all ~ Jesus spelled out clearly in the Gospels how one can be saved. Therefore, how easy it's done would depend much upon that person's response. Sometimes though, it can turn out that salvation is harder than you think. Take the Protestant who believes that once saved, he is saved forever. Recall that Jesus warned that "not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7.21). So we have simplistic thinking here. Now take the Catholic who thinks that he is a pretty decent person and should have no trouble getting into heaven, yet he does not see all his imperfections. This reminds of the Pharisee who thanked God, telling him how good he had been and ended up going home not justified by God (Luke 18). Respond to God's calling and never exalt yourself, then you should do OK.

Feeling "Lucky"

        Communion experience. I felt rich, full, and content because I have Christ. As Psalm 23 reads: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack." I can honestly say that I am the luckiest person in the whole world. But, of course, there is no luck involved; it's all by God's mercy. 

Suffering for Christ

        The Crucifixion of Jesus teaches us to accept unavoidable sufferings that come our way. In doing so, we are united with the Lord and gain merit which we can offer to him for the salvation of souls. Seen this way, suffering is not only to be reconciled to, but also welcomed, for suffering for the sake of Christ does glorify God.

Hearing Jesus

        If you try hard to figure out what the Lord is saying to you, then you are too busy to hear him. The heart needs to remain still and receptive. When the message arrives, it's there, not even with a whisper. The Lord usually speaks to us this way to shape and form us so that we'll know what his will is and follow it.

Treating Jesus

        Today is the Feast of St. Mark. The Communion antiphon from Matthew 28.20 reads: Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, says the Lord. I believe in this, so I treat Jesus as my Lord and my God and as someone who is present with me (and in me) at all times, even if I do not see him. This is all real to me, since the Gospels show that Jesus as a man could only have existed as God.

Entering Jesus

        To have Jesus, you must enter him. And entering requires your willingness to surrender to him. The deeper you enter, the more beauty and perfection you discover and the greater are your joy and freedom. Now that you know what you'll miss if you remain on the outside, enter him so that he may be yours! Since God never looks down on us, when you let him possess you, you possess him.   

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another Wake-Up Call

        What's inevitable is that one day soon, we will see ourselves as God sees us. The wise thing is to ask him to help us see it now so that we can amend ourselves to avoid being shocked later.

Not a Fairy Tale

Fullest living is following Christ in everything and in every way, because he is Lord. When you surrender to him, you decide to go home to your Father, no longer a rebel on the run. Then after you get home, the Father and you live happily ever after.     

Must-Have for Your Defense

        The foremost defense you need against evil is a clear conscience. Whatever measure you take to defend yourself should be guided by this conscience. When the truth is on your side, rest assured that God will bless and protect you.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cause of Emotional Imbalance

        I see attachment to people (our own family members included), material goods, pets, or anything else in the world as the main cause of our emotional imbalance. Detachment is the only cure, and only God can administer that. Bond yourself to God alone and automatically you become free, as you lose your attachment to the world. This is what spiritual growth is all about. Remember that we are just passing through on our way home.

Helplessness Most Helpful

        If you want to get intimate with God, you must acknowledge your utter helplessness without him. If you choose to manage all things on your own, then you're essentially saying to the Lord that you do not need him. On the other hand, to seek union with the Lord is to express your desire to be inseparable from him. 

Don't Pass Up God's Mercy!

        So many lose their lives under tragic circumstances. Recently, an overloaded boat of Mediterranean migrants capsized and hundreds died. In today's news, a CIA drone strike against al-Qaeda in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan also killed the two hostages held, an American and an Italian. Not to mention those killed by terrorist suicide bombers. The point is that we are here now, but maybe gone the next moment. Therefore, it is imperative that we go to God, repent and make amends for our sins while we are still alive, for this window may close when you least expect it. To not do so is to reject God's greatest gift for us, his mercy! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The World in Coma

        This is the world that does not see the light of Christ, thus not realizing that it's drowning in sin and heading toward condemnation. When you do not know Christ, you are in darkness and thereby do not see the severity of your sinful state. It's in the light of Christ that your true spiritual condition is revealed.        

Unique Christian Joy

        Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, John 6.40, reads: Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day, says the Lord. This is enough to make the Christian feel joyful. Many Christians don't realize that God wants to give us his joy! He wants us to be happy! If we live for Christ, this joy becomes our strength, overcoming all our sorrows. This gift from God is pure; it frees us, wipes out all self-pity and self-centeredness, and makes us compassionate toward others. After all, the Lord himself is our greatest joy. Enjoy him and we'll be joyful.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Die-and-Live Sequence

        Today's Communion antiphon, Romans 6.8, reads: If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Christ. First, Christ died for our sins, then he rose from the dead and lived again. Next, in response to his love, we died with him and lived in him. Later, we shall die and live with him forever. In sum, Jesus died once so that we may live forever!

Unique Christianity

        The unique revelation of Christianity has to be what the Apostle John wrote in John 3.16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." Essentially, a doomed sinner can believe in Christ and end up being adopted by God as a son or daughter. Furthermore, through receiving the body and blood of Christ, one can even attain union with God in this life. Such is God's amazing transforming power.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hastening the Lord's Coming

        Jesus is Lord! Do we live up to what we proclaim? If everyone is meek, humble, willing to serve, and full of compassion like the Lord, no question we'll have instant peace on earth. And there would be no point for him to delay his Second Coming anymore. Let's start making him truly our Lord in our life to hasten his coming.

Receiving Is Giving

        Is it always better to give than to receive? Today the Lord made me see that the best way for us to give to him is to remain open and passive so that we may receive all that he has to give us. What he has for us are his word, teachings, graces, and a desire to be one with him ~ all for making us holy and perfect. It is lopsided love!

Simple Reasoning & Solution

        The Resurrection of Jesus shows that there has to be life after death for us. It follows that there have to be heaven and hell for the soul to go to. And it only makes sense if heaven and hell are for all eternity. Then how can we have eternal life with God? Today's Gospel reading from John 6 at morning Mass provided an answer: Jesus told the crowd to work for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man would give them, by believing in him, the one God sent. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

No More Complaints

        One who offers all up to God has nothing left to complain about.

God's Plan Unfolding

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 24 at Mass, the resurrected Lord appeared to his disciples and told them that everything written about him in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day." Jesus came and fulfilled the numerous prophecies concerning the promised Messiah. It is clear that God's plan can take millennia to unfold. But we can be certain that the unfolding is continuing and Jesus' Second Coming will be here in time. 

Handling Sorrows

        A Christian shares the same joys and the same sorrows with Christ. The sorrows all have to do with sin ~ he is sorry that both he and the world offend Christ. If someone offends him out of malice, he sees that person basically offending Christ. United with the Lord in his suffering, he offers all his sorrows up to him.  

Hope Ever Present

       Since a Christian can always have his sins forgiven when he repents to Christ, hope is ever present for him. 

Ultimate Rest

        Yesterday's Communion experience. I savored my ultimate rest in Jesus, my refuge, from whom I hold back nothing and to whom I let go of everything. How I wish that everyone would experience this rest.

Reason Christ Not Accepted

        Jesus has redeemed us by his blood so that we might be delivered from sin and have eternal life. I don't recall hearing people directly objecting to this message, because I believe that they basically know that they are sinners. If they haven't accepted the message yet, it's because they are not ready to give up their sins yet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Know Your Blessings

        Everything that draws you closer to God, no matter how painful or distasteful, is a blessing from God. Cherish it.

"Lost" in God's Space

        The tighter God's embrace around you, the more free you feel!

God's Time

        Everything is God's. So is time. Every second you spend is his time. Therefore, don't waste any of it and spend it for his glory, and your life will be beautiful in his sight.

Be Bold in God

        We need to be bold in God and with God. After all, he is our loving Father. If you need help, ask him with all your heart. If you love him, don't hesitate to shout it out. Pussyfooting around him is just as bad as hiding from him. 

Crying to Mary

        The prayer Hail Holy Queen we say in concluding the Rosary contains these two lines: "To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears!" The other day after reading all the tragic news happening around the world, I finally felt those two lines as I cried to my Mother from my heart.      

Jesus Beautifies

        Communion time thought. We mind our physical appearance; but if we want our soul to look beautiful, Jesus is the one to go to.

Most Special Death

        People die. Some die and we say "So what?" because we don't know a thing about them. Some we feel sorry for even if we don't know them. And we are grateful to those who have died for our country. Then Jesus has also died, moving many of us to the point of even willing to die for him in return! Apparently, his death has awakened us to God's love for us and our need for salvation. Therefore, the death of Jesus is unique, most special, earthshaking, even celebratory, because it greatly glorifies God. 

For the Sake of His Name

        In today's 1st reading from Acts 5 at morning Mass, a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin had the Apostles flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. The Apostles rejoiced that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. To suffer dishonor and feel worthy and even rejoice . . . I don't think any cause other than for the sake of the name of Jesus could possibly have made it happen. It only shows that God can truly win our heart and our soul.

Highest State for Us

        The best state for us to exist in is to be one with Christ. If you love the Lord and want to be holy, this must be your goal, your end. Aiming for anything less is not good enough for him or even for you. Go directly to him to tell of this desire for rapid progress. I'd like to recommend the spiritual classic He and I by Gabrielle Bossis again in case you did not read about it in my posts of 2013. The book reveals intimately how God desires to be one with us.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jesus Most Satisfying

        Communion experience. I felt the intense, burning love of Christ. Nothing else could possibly have made me feel so peaceful and content. I was grateful, but right off couldn't think of something special I'd like to offer him, so I continued enjoying him.  

Viewing Your Enemies

        If your enemies have sinned against you, do not view them as evildoers but as ones who do not know the Lord yet. Therefore, feel sorry for them and pray for their conversion.

Jesus Challenges

        Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recorded this statement of Jesus: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." He again challenges us ~ are we to take him seriously or not? He does not force us nor does he leave us alone ~ he cares about us by challenging us. This is why I believe in him. To ignore him is to ignore the one who created us! To reject him is to reject the one who loves us!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Chance to Get Happy

        I had a moment in which I was aware that my life was getting briefer than ever. If you have such a moment, I hope you would decide to live every moment for God from that moment on so that you'll be happy the rest of your life. 

Learning Directly from God

       A conference is coming up in my area with a good theme and renowned speakers. I had attended quite a number of such conferences in the past, and I must say that no matter how inspiring the messages might have been, nothing could come near learning from the Lord directly. When you surrender to God with the goal of attaining union with him, he starts to shape your heart, mind, and spirit for you to see, hear, and understand the truth. The lessons are delivered directly to your heart by the Holy Spirit. It's like receiving a college education without having to go through any regular schools.   

Be Weak to Be Strong

        The world teaches us to be strong by believing in ourselves, taking control of our own destiny, and always going for it. But to be truly strong is to be weak in God. The more we acknowledge our helplessness without him, the more he reaches down to help us. Complete trust and abandonment in God results in his doing the tough part of the work for us. It is faith that moves the heart of God our Father. Recall what Jesus said in Mark 11 to the disciples, "Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him." This is our recipe for strength. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reality of Life

        Let's face it. The earth is no heaven. We have covered it with our sins, causing us to suffer and struggle with unfulfilled dreams till the day we die. It sounds sad, but it's reality. That's why I set my sight on God and heaven, which go together. This supports me through life with peace, freedom, and joy. Be detached from the passing earthly life and embrace the eternal one in God. Let Jesus be your beginning and end.

God Sets the Purpose

        Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, John 3.14-15: "The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." The Communion antiphon, based upon Luke 24.46, 26: "The Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, and so enter his glory, alleluia." I italicized "must" and "had to" in these two statements because I realize that I must or have to go through the various experiences and trials in life so as to accomplish the purpose God has set before me. I may not understand it fully, but one thing is sure: the Lord is drawing me ever closer to him (increasing my faith).      

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why We Need God

        Watched on YouTube Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones playing together at the 2004 International Jazz Festival of Montreal. The performances were amazing ~ you see two genius pianists playing virtually as one ~ there's a deep communion between them. Then I saw that we and God could form a deep spiritual communion too. In fact, it was this beautiful union that made me see that we need God.    

Most Beautiful Love

        For a brief moment this morning, I sensed the infinite beauty of Christ, beautiful beyond words. Immediately, I saw that anyone who sees this beauty would realize how ugly his own life is. I also saw that an awareness of this great beauty can change many lives and bring peace to our world. Yet the world continued inflicting wounds on the Lord. I asked him why he must continue to suffer like that. His clear answer: "I am love."  

To Continue Trusting or Not

        There are times when we need to trust in God completely, but being weak we find it hard to let ourselves go completely ~ so what are we to do? There are just two choices ~ we either quit trusting in God or believe in him even more. It seems that the second choice has to be right. It's because we are weak that we need to trust in God even more. And he loves to help his children who are weak, for it's an opportunity for him to draw them even closer to him.   

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let the Cross Draw You

        The Cross of Jesus draws us to him. We can let our own smaller crosses draw us closer to him too. By bearing them patiently with great trust, we can grow stronger in faith and become more united with the Lord. The process is much like going through purgatory ~ we suffer, but emerge purified. May each cross be a blessing to you. 

Heavenly Intimacy

        Communion experience. When the Lord entered me through the Holy Eucharist, the feeling was that the Father just swooped me up to his bosom. This is fusion with Love.

Self-Driven or God-Driven

        Imagine that you are an engine. If you run it yourself, one day you'll be worn out, out of fuel, or possibly suffer a complete breakdown, as your resource and reserve are limited. If you let God be your driver, you receive all power and guidance from an all-knowing, inexhaustible source and whatever you do is now his doing. It can be seen that you are just going along with the Lord for the ride ~ this is the smart, superior way.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Journey to Union with God

        It's all up to you. Then you make the key decision to surrender yourself to God. From this point on, it's all up to God.

Union with God Reexamined

        If God is holy and pure, and we are sinful and soiled, how can we possibly become one with him? Well, God is light and we are in darkness if we reject him. Do not see union as the blending of the pure and the impure; rather, see it as light wiping out darkness. Our sins cannot stain God, but in the presence of his light, darkness can no longer exist. Therefore, let the light of Jesus take away all your sins, including the sin of not surrendering to him, and you are in union with him.  

Great Christian Joy

        To be forgiven by God ~ experiencing his mercy.

The Full Truth

        Some people say that all religions are the same. This at best is a vague statement, appealing only to those who do not seek the full truth. If it means that all religions can lead you to God, then it's false, for many religions have different conceptions of God or even worship many gods. What I can agree to is that most religions have something good about them. One thing I am sure of: there is only one truth, for God would not give us many different belief systems to confuse us. For me personally, the full truth resides in Catholicism in which Jesus is uniquely not only our teacher, but also my creator and redeemer.   

Settling Our Future Abode

        The best place to be: heaven. The worst: hell. Love Jesus as much as you can and only heaven will be there for you.

Be Honest with Yourself

        In my last post, I mentioned that Jesus' messages could make a lot of people feel uneasy, for they are challenging. If that's the case with you, turning away from him would be a big mistake. Instead you should face the challenge and look inward to find out why you felt that way ~ this is being honest with yourself. If you hide yourself, you'll never be free! Knowing yourself is the key to personal freedom, for it can lead to letting God transform you into a new being.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Jesus Not Accepted Readily

      Story #1. Let's assume that you don't know anything about astronomy and I tell you that the earth we live on is a round sphere and the sun is also a sphere but so much bigger that 960,000 balls each of the size of an earth can fit inside the sun, and that there are other planets even larger than the earth all orbiting around the sun, and that the solar system is just a tiny part of a galaxy containing billions of stars, and that there are billions of galaxies out there . . . this would be so mind-boggling that you probably wouldn't believe in anything I've said.
        Story #2. I tell you about a man named Jesus who came to us about 2,000 years ago. He cured the sick, performed many other miracles, and was crucified so that we might be saved from condemnation. Then he was raised from the dead by God and ascended into heaven. You probably would believe in this story more readily than in the first.
       Of course, the reverse is true today. What has happened? I think people believe in the first story now because that see the stars and have learned about the many scientific discoveries, while Jesus they do not visually see and his story is an old one. To the intelligent person, this shouldn't make any difference. But the main reason people do not readily accept Jesus, I believe, is that his challenging messages touch a nerve in all sinners, causing discomfort in them ~ not a good reason, but real.

Standard for Living

        You've heard the saying that we should live each day as if it's our last. To be more precise: we should live to be ready for God's judgment at any time. 

The Time Is Now

        The Gospel reading from Luke 24 at Mass was about the appearance of Jesus after his Resurrection on the road to Emmaus. The two disciples of Jesus' felt their hearts burning within them while the Lord spoke to them on their way to the village. Ask the Holy Spirit to set your heart on fire too right now. The time to follow Jesus is now. The time to choose to inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25.34) is now. Start journeying toward heaven right now.   

Diametric Ways of Drawing

        This morning after Mass ended at church, an elderly parishioner on her way out, stopped momentarily by me to ask me how my Easter was. That's just a small, kind gesture, but it contrasted sharply with all the evil deeds committed against humanity worldwide. Both God and Satan are drawing people, but their ways are diametrically different. God inspires and uplifts us, while Satan lures and tempts us. God wants to free us, while Satan, to enslave us. God aims to make us selfless, while Satan wants us to be self-centered. God makes us feel clean, while Satan robs us of inner peace. To let God draw us, we remain open and passive; to let Satan draw us, we focus upon fulfilling our own desires. Know clearly who's drawing you and react accordingly. In both Matthew 16 and Luke 9, Jesus has summarized for us: "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."     

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Going Home Happily

        This morning's Gospel reading at Mass came from John 20. Mary Magdalene was weeping at the empty tomb, thinking that someone had taken the Lord away. Then Jesus appeared, and 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 is only Son of God, yet we have the same Father and the same God! Knowing this should make us eagerly look forward to going home to our Father and our God. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Enlightened Living

        Once you see the hand of God in all things, that he is guiding and molding you every step of the way, you do not mind whatever you are going through anymore.

You Can Not Possibly...

over-love, over-obey, or over-trust God.        

All His

        Communion experience. I am now all his, so he's going to fight all the battles for me.

Stupid Sinners

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 28, the guards assigned to watch at the tomb of Jesus were shaken with fear when they saw him raised from the dead. Some of them went and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests gave a large sum of money to the soldiers and told them to say that Jesus' disciples had come and stolen the body at night. The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. It seems that lying to cover up the truth is such a stupid act. As a matter of fact, committing any sin is being stupid because you think you can fool God. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Let Joy Be Our Lord!

        With the Resurrection of Jesus giving us so much joy, how can we possibly even think of sinning? Let this joy pervade all areas of our life so that we may remain holy!

Union, a Two-Way Thing

        On this Easter Sunday, I want to enter the infinite space of the Lord entirely to dwell in him, then he lets me see that I must let him enter to occupy me fully by receiving him in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.        

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Hope

          Tomorrow is Easter, but my anticipated joy is preceded by sorrow when I watch the world news today. The Mideast has been embroiled in turmoil involving various government troops, rebels, militias, warlords, religious extremists, foreign volunteers, Sunni and Shia Muslims ~ too numerous to mention. Civilians continue to suffer ~ they get slaughtered, kidnapped, raped, robbed, and displaced. I believe this has to be one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history with no end in sight. One headline today: "Iraq Tikrit: looting and lawlessness follow recapture." The picture that accompanies the story shows Iraqi Shia militia, who helped recapture Tikrit from Islamic State, jubilantly displaying the V sign with raised arms. I just wonder what's really there to be happy about. Do all people think this way? Don't people ever feel sorry anymore? I suppose no one expects us to be remorseful nowadays. What is the world coming to? Has it painted itself into a corner? I hope not. The tragedy is that those who do not believe that Christ is the Savior are the ones who need him the most! This is the time to heed the Lord's warning in Mark 4.25: "To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." My fervent hope is that the world will see that hope for all of us is ever present, since Christ is ever present.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Be Extraordinary Now

        Looking back in history, countless humans have come and gone. Where are they now? If we don't do anything different, we'll be like most of them ~ attached to the world, following the world's way, and disappearing into the oblivion. What we should do is something extraordinary. We need to be lifted out of this world, break free of this life, and set our eternal destiny. This is where Christ the Lord comes in. He has already died for our sins and shown us the way, the truth, and the light. There is only one true God and we only have one window in this life to seize him. Do not wait.

Pleasure of Pleasures

        At noon on this Good Friday, I prayed the Stations of the Cross with the congregation at my church. At Station XVI, we recited John 16.22: "I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you." The joy of Christ is indeed our greatest pleasure, which the world cannot give. Once you have this joy, no pleasure of the world will ever be able to satisfy you, plus you'll be able to discern if a pleasure is beneficial or harmful to you. 

The All-Knowing Lord

        I am happy that Jesus knows all about me so that he may mold and shape me as he sees fit, lift me up when I am down, strengthen me when I am weak, and shield me from all evil. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Offering Way

        Here is a way to help free yourself to get through life. Offer God your every thought, word, and action. Whatever you must do, pleasant or otherwise, offer it to God. Offer yourself to him as well. In other words, do everything unselfishly for his sake. This will not only free you from being burdened, but also turn you into a saint.  

Sinking in Sin

        It is Holy Thursday. At Evening Mass of the Last Supper, the washing of disciples' feet will be reenacted to show that we are to do for others as the Lord has done for us. This morning the Lord made me see how beautiful the world would be if we didn't sin, for it is sin that has caused today's miseries, pains, and sufferings among us all. The need for surrendering to Christ is greater than ever; would that the whole world senses this urgency! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beautiful Way of Finding God

        Read the Gospels and meditate upon the Lord. Let what you read speak directly to your heart. See how amazing, how beautiful, how refreshing he is. Marvel at his intentions, words, and deeds. Then believe in him, follow him, fall in love and give yourself entirely to him. You now know you've been chosen and are on your way home to him, your Father and creator. Peace, joy, and freedom sustain you the rest of your life on earth.

Need for Prayer

        We need to pray to God to praise him, thank him, to show that we love and trust him. Another reason more practical is this. Since everything works through God and nothing can happen without his knowledge and permission, to make good things happen, we need to go straight to his heart with our requests, and prayer directly links our heart to his.

First Things First

        Before we ask the Lord to have mercy on us, we should repent our sins and be ready to be merciful to our brothers and sisters.       
         Before we ask the Lord to grant us peace, we must be willing to do his will.

Following God's Example

        This morning's Entrance Antiphon at Mass taken from Philippians 2 reads: At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, for the Lord became obedient to death, death on a cross: therefore Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is such a profound statement. We have the Lord obedient to himself for his own glory! It shows that God will go to any length to accomplish what his love demands. Naturally, he alone deserves to be glorified. What's proper for us to follow is to also let love motivate everything we do to the glory of God our Father.