"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Monday, October 31, 2016
Communion experience. God is the one to whom I can safely bare my inner self completely. I can go to him to empty any junk, trash, and filth in me, spill forth all my emotions and feelings, and get myself cleansed, healed, and revitalized. Accepting the fact that there is nothing I can possibly hide without his knowledge is greatly therapeutic. Shall we say that being totally honest with God is the best policy?
Jesus said all the following:
Matthew 6.14-15: "If you forgive others their transgressions, you heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do no forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."
Matthew 10.12-13: "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."
Luke 6.37: "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven."
Luke 6.38: "Give and gifts will be given to you . . . the measure with you measure will be in return be measured out to you."
Matthew 7.12: "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." This pretty much sums things up with God taking part also.
Lesson from today's Gospel reading from Luke 14. Jesus went to dine at the home of a leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Indeed, before we invite someone to eat with us, we even consider if that person has ever invited us or if he has, how many times, how good the food was, etc. The same consideration is given when giving a gift. (This reminds me of the "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" saying.) Where is genuine generosity? What Jesus has taught is that we must do good from the heart and not for the sake of repayment. Love must be unconditional. To summarize it further: we must be completely selfless and do good for the sake of pleasing God alone. As a matter of fact, this is the secret of inner peace, when we exclude ourselves (our own egos) from the equation.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
God knows everything about us. What about it? For me, if my God doesn't know everything about me, then he is unqualified to be my God. I rejoice that he does, so that he may know exactly how to help me with my needs and guide me to keep me on track, avoiding falling into Satan's traps. What a blessing!
Saturday, October 29, 2016
It took me a long time to see that feeling uneasy when I performed some task before others was because I was concerned about what others thought of me. Therefore, when we care only about what God thinks, we lose our self-consciousness. Aim to please God alone and we are set free.
One test of holiness is how well we get along with our own family members. By getting along, I mean no shouting, no arguing, no blaming, no getting angry at others, but listening, communicating, forgiving, admitting we are wrong when we are, seeking reconciliation, and making peace always.
I've said that it's a good feeling knowing that you and God are on good terms. Let me add that an even much greater feeling is knowing that you have confessed every single sin, no matter how minute it is, and know that the Lord has thoroughly cleansed and purified your heart. Now, surrender to him and you and God become one. This is ecstasy on earth.
Friday, October 28, 2016
When a human being makes an astounding discovery in science or technology, he can mistakenly think that he is now more godlike, with his ego puffing up some more. When I was studying nuclear engineering many years ago and first learned the mathematical equation that calculates the critical amount of uranium needed to initiate nuclear fission, I felt the power man had in controlling nature. But all our discoveries and knowledge, while amazing, only show the omnipotence of God, not making us more powerful in any way. After all, our intelligence and ingenuities are given to us by God as well. We should be humbled by what we discover and praise God for it.
Today is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. The entrance antiphon: These are the holy men whom the Lord chose in his own perfect love; to them he gave eternal glory. Yes, God's love is perfect. But you say if it is perfect, then why people suffer so much. I would respond by asking you why people sin so much. You will know that his love is perfect when you stop sinning.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus, knowing that he would be killed, lamented over Jerusalem: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!" In reading 1 from Ephesians 6, Paul advised about battling evil: "Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. For your struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness ...." These expressions from the heart resonate with me, as I feel very much in my heart the heavy burden Christ is now carrying at this critical time in the history of my country.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
We can only do so much to fight the war against evil as soldiers of Christ, but God is infinitely powerful. Therefore, let us trust in the Lord even more, pray even harder, begging him to unleash his power to vanquish evil and save all souls for the sake of all those who love and remain faithful to him.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13.22-30, Jesus talks about the narrow door, and salvation and rejection. We must take the message of salvation seriously ~ it's either you believe or you don't. This is exactly why great holy saints regard themselves as most wretched sinners, for casually thinking that you are OK is not taking the message of salvation seriously. It's infinitely better to make sure that you get through the narrow door than being locked and cast out for all eternity!
The moment we are born into this world, we enter amidst a spiritual warfare. God has given each of us a conscience and free will, and we are faced with choosing good or evil. The fact that we understand good and evil shows that there must be God and an evil one as well as heaven and hell, and that life can be made meaningful. Those who know Christ know that they have found the truth, so they know exactly what they should or should not do and where they are heading. But those who do not have Christ have only themselves to follow, resulting in moral decay and social chaos ~ this is the shape of the world we are in today.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Recently, in walking I got a shock when I stepped off a descending step I didn't see. We encounter shocks when we do not see what's ahead. Therefore, prepare well so that you may not encounter the biggest shock of all when Jesus comes or when you depart from this world.
I used to wonder about the souls who lived before Jesus came into the world. How were they saved? The Old Testament and, especially helpful to me, the Psalms, made me see that God had always loved his people from the beginning and many of them were intimate with the Lord, yearning for him. I see that Jesus came into the world to further assure us that God is love and revealed to us that it is through him, the Son of God, that all are saved.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed and to yeast. When a mustard seed is planted and fully grown, it becomes a large bush and the birds of the sky dwell in its branches. When yeast is mixed in wheat flour, the whole batch of dough is leavened. I realized then that when we have Jesus as our center, we grow into holy saints.
Jesus underwent the Passion, suffering so much, yet he remained meek and humble, not protesting that he was innocent in the slightest, and even prayed for those who put him to death. Did he demonstrate turning the other cheek, remaining meek and humble, and loving his enemies? All that, yes; but most inspiringly above all, he demonstrated his perfect obedience to doing the will of the Father. (This should be our #1 duty too.)
Today, Tuesday, is the day to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Naturally, we are aware of the sorrows Jesus underwent. And there's the sorrow we feel when we see others suffering or in distress. But there is one sorrow we tend to forget, that we have sinned against God. If we do not repent, we cut ourselves off from God. Hence, this make it the most important sorrow of all sorrows.
Monday, October 24, 2016
In today's first reading from Ephesians 4, Paul advises us to live as children of light. The response that followed to Psalm 1 reads: Behave like God as his very dear children. What a high calling for us ~ to be obedient to God as his beloved children solely to please him! We are to heed his advice to be perfect as he is by imitating him. This behooves us to seek union with God, for it is through union that he can make all happen to fulfill his desire. The Lord has called, and the Lord can and will surely make it happen.
This morning, I felt that turning and praying to the Lord God is now my only consolation in this dark world. The Lord God is the only true joy we have. The entrance antiphon at Mass came from Psalm 105: Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. This two verses echoed my feeling and what I was trying to do.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Attended Vigil Mass at church. I realized that Jesus has riches inexhaustible that we can turn to him to seek and ask for them to our heart's content. God will give us whatever we need to magnify his glory. Let's take advantage of that with maximum trust.
We obey our parents at home, our teachers at school, or our boss at work; and feel good after we carry out what we're told to do, as if a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. Obedience to God is different because it involves the heart as well as the soul. Obeying God is obeying the one who can remove our sins, make us whole, and lead us to eternal bliss. That is why I can say that there is no better feeling than knowing that you and God are on good terms.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus made it clear that there is no direct relationship between suffering or mishaps and sinfulness. That is, one who suffers much is no indication that he is more guilty (or holier for that matter). The important thing, he said, is that we repent in order not to perish. Which is saying that the soul is so much more important than the body and that taking care of sins should come before taking care of physical suffering.
Satan is far and hidden, yet it's so easy for us to fall into his traps and be enslaved by him. God is immediate and ready, yet it's hard for us to submit to him to be delivered into total freedom. Realizing our sinful state and need for salvation can go a long way in heading ourselves in the right direction. Remember that God has given us the free will; use it to make wise choices only.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Communion experience. I saw Jesus as a mighty current and we are all in it. If you are obedient to him, he keeps you afloat and you flow downstream securely and effortlessly to where he is heading. To rebel against him is to swim upstream against the mighty current on your own, resulting ultimately in fatigue and death.
Some Christians say they cannot change themselves in any way, proclaiming that God has made them that way. They are right because no one can fundamentally change oneself. The real reason here is that they really don't want to change. If you truly want to change yourself for the better, just ask God for help, since nothing is impossible with him. To not do so is to not believe that God has any power over you, which is a sin. The secret of complete transformation is to abandon yourself in God to let him do the work, removing your personal struggle. What a beautiful way to soar, yet how hard it is to let yourself go!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
We are supposed to love God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind. Accompanying this calling is the awesome responsibility to be holy. We must always do good and shun evil, instead of frolicking through life as is so easily done. Much is expected from those who have received much. And our reward will be great in heaven.
This morning I felt an intimate connection with God before Mass began. The entrance antiphon from Psalm 17 "To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me" depicted my feeling. Yes, God is immediate, here, now, ever present, and longing to connect with our hearts.
I watched the presidential debate yesterday. To my horror, Clinton, who is pro-abortion, was OK with aborting an unborn baby at any stage of its development, even to the day before it's born! How godless can you get? The video "Timely Message" I just posted is now more important than ever for Catholics to watch and hear.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus asked his disciples to remain faithful, vigilant, and be prepared, for "the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect." We are familiar with the saying "Live each day as if if it were your last." Now, more to the point, it should be "Live each day as if it were your judgment day."
If you believe that Christ is your Savior, do you belong to him or still to the world? In John 17.16, Jesus prayed to the Father for all those he had given him that they do not belong to the world any more than he does. We are not free to embrace God completely so long as we are still partly of the world.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Communion experience. After receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I saw the dust particles in the sunlight that had streamed into the church next to me. I realized that my physical body would return to dust one day, but my soul would be with God forever. This has to be the greatest accomplishment of the soul made possible by God!
On this Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, I am most grateful that God has called me, although my first feeling at Mass was that I wouldn't be satisfied until I have all of Jesus and am with him for all eternity. This resulted from longing for him of my soul or rather, his drawing of it to him.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Today is the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch. In the Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus told the crowd the parable of the rich fool. In the story, the rich man decided to tear down his barns and build larger ones to store all his bountiful harvest and other goods. Then he planned, after having so many good things stored up for many years, to rest, eat, drink, and be merry, not knowing that his life would be demanded of him that very night. The lesson was that the one who stores up treasure for himself is not rich in what matters to God. Anyway, I instantly recognized that we all were that rich fool at one time or another.
John spoke about Jesus in John 1.3: All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. And Paul in Colossians 1.16: For in him were created all things in heaven and earth, the visible and the invisible; all things were created through him and for him. Jesus himself said in John 14.6: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And since we also know he will be our judge on the final day, it would be utter foolish for us to think that we can sneak by him unnoticed in anyway. Jesus, the way, is always in our way so long as our eternal destiny is not settled yet.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
After hearing the parable of the persistent widow read from Luke 18 at morning Mass, I was encouraged to ask the Lord to keep this nation from sliding into worsening immorality, corruption, hypocrisy, suppression of religious freedom, and disrespect for the sanctify of human life for the sake of those who are faithful, righteous, and laboring hard for his glory. I ask you to join me in this prayer if you feel so prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to Thomas, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." We can also be sure that Jesus will bless those who do not feel like praying and still pray or do not feel like helping someone they don't like and still help. It's the act of will that matters.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Today is the Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Doctor of the Church. In the Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God." What Jesus had said here should be alarming to both believers and nonbelievers, but is fair and square, for he spoke as God.
As I woke up from sleep this morning, I saw Jesus alone as the light of the world, brightening my day, for the world was enveloped in darkness. The world will brighten up instantly if every one of its inhabitants starts to repent and beg for mercy from the Lord.
Friday, October 14, 2016
During the liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass today, I saw that Jesus had given himself to unite with us by instituting the Holy Eucharist. Of course, he was going to complete his giving by dying on the cross for us later. If we do believe that we are created in the image of God, it is time now to give ourselves completely back to him.
Jesus as God is amazing when you examine the many wonderful miracles he performed and how death had no power over him. Today I see that Jesus as man is equally amazing. His mercy, compassion, humility, and teaching has inspired so many of us to become holy and willing to live and die for him with joy.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, we continued to hear Jesus denounce the Pharisees and scholars of the law for their evil deeds. The thought came to me that we essentially determine our own destiny, depending upon whether we hear and obey God or not.
Somehow, we came into being and wonder what life is all about. And we start to search for answers. If you just look for something you feel comfortable with, most likely you would skip over Christianity. But if you want to find the truth, putting aside all subjective feelings, then Christianity has to be the select choice.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus considered his generation to be an evil one because it sought a sign. He pointed out that he himself was a sign to his generation. Jesus is indeed the greatest sign to all of us, the only sign we need to see. To those who chase after miracles, you only need to look at Jesus to see that he is also the greatest and only miracle we need to see. If he is not good enough for you, no other sign or miracle will be.
There are religions which believe that they alone hold the truth and do not tolerate anyone who does not accept their faith. And there are religions which never so claim and leaves everyone alone. Christianity is the only religion which claims that it holds the authentic truth and gives everyone the freedom to choose to believe in it or not. This makes it possible for all its followers to develop a meaningful faith.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 17, ten lepers asked Jesus to have pity on them. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests and they were cleansed on the way. Only one returned to Jesus, fell at his feet and thanked him. Jesus said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." None of us is perfect, but it's good to know that as long as we believe, our faith can save us.
Today's entrance antiphon at Mass from Psalm 130: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel. If God pronounces us to be guilty, we are doomed. Since God is forgiving, we can repent our sins unceasingly to remain in a state of grace always.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Since God first loved and loves us, he is our most precious jewel to be worshipped and praised. Let's not forget that we must also desire him with all our soul. It's this desire and longing for him that he treasures, for his love desires union with us.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
With this year's presidential election day just about a month away, please join me in saying this short and concise prayer sent to me from a friend.
with firm faith relying solely on You,
we entreat You to raise up a suitable candidate
for the office of the president of the United States of America.
O Jesus, we surrender this to You.
"Thy Will Be Done!"
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
The following thoughts clearly entered my mind. (1) Everything we enjoy in this world except the Lord God is temporary. (2) We cannot exist in any way without God. (3) Only Christ, our God, can fundamentally change our inner self and we absolutely need to be transformed.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Habakkuk 2.4, from Reading 1 of Oct. Mass: the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live. When God says we shall live, it means we shall live with him and forever. This is exactly what Jesus has come and promised. When God settles something, it's settled forever.