In both Matthew and Luke, we read that as Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. To the Pharisees, they were doing something unlawful on the sabbath, but the Lord totally understood them and lectured the Pharisees instead. This morning I forgot to bring a pen and a sheet of paper with me to Mass for jotting down any thoughts coming from the Lord, so I used a pen and a copy of some church announcement that's blank on the back I found in the foyer of the church. I had no intention of stealing anything and knew that the Lord would understand. We often accuse others by what we see but do not necessarily understand. Only God can read our hearts, so he is the only one qualified to judge us. Without such ability, we are prone to become insensible. Again, we should rejoice that we have a most understanding and sensible God.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Whom should we be afraid of? No one! God loves us and wants us to live forever with him, so there is nothing to fear unless you rebel against him. Once you are with the Lord 100%, you may totally ignore Satan. In union with God, Satan cannot touch you without God's permission. In God, we live without fear.
Today's Entrance antiphon from Psalm 130: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel. Forgiveness is the hallmark of our Lord and God, our Father, giving us the hope, just what we sinners need. Praise God and rejoice!
Thursday, October 19, 2017
In Luke 17 (and Matthew 24), Jesus talked about his coming. He said to his disciples, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day they entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will on the day the Son of Man is revealed." Today's world is no different since the times of Noah and Lot. People are now eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, building – not believing in Jesus and what he had said the slightest. Accepting Christ becomes impossible when they all play his role. Intelligence has made them lose common sense. There will be absolutely seriously consequences for those who have so much pride that they do not take Jesus seriously. Those who reject God will be rejected by him in the end – common sense. I can only pray for them as hard as I can.
This morning as I was going to Mass, I realized that it's another day to do some of the many necessary things on a list I have prepared. Then every day is also a day for us to get close or closer to God. In fact, this should be our prime goal daily. And we can accomplish this by performing all things for the sake of the Lord.
People can hate you, even if you have not wronged them. Let it go and pray for them, for God loves them too. What you should be concerned about is whether you wrong God or not. He always loves you despite your sinfulness. Take this seriously and pray for his help and forgiveness. In other words, care only about what God thinks about you and never let anyone else rob your of peace. In my book, this is being truly cool.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Today is the feast of St. Luke. Entrance antiphon from Isaiah 52.7: How Beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation! In plain language, God has cleared the way so that if we believe in Christ, we shall live forever with God in heaven.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
God is like Mount Everest. To conquer him, we must climb the mount. Surrendering to God is like receiving a speedy aerial tram from him. Getting on it and you are pulled to the top fast. Then God is all yours. He and you now live as one happily ever after.
In these last few weeks away, I did have the chance on several occasions to share about the necessity and joy of seeking union with God, so I might have sown a tiny seed in those hearts. But the harvest is immense and I felt utterly feeble in serving the Lord. The only choice I have is to do my little part faithfully and pray intensely for him to do the work, directly and through others also. Prayer becomes absolutely necessary for us to depend upon him.
The Gospel reading today came from Luke 11. Here's the entire reading:
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to that is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you."
The lesson here. We must always work from the inside out, starting with the heart. Similarly, to tell others about God, we must know God ourselves first.
Today is the memorial of St. Ignatius. The entrance antiphon came from Galatians 2: I am crucified with Christ, yet I live; no longer I, but Christ lives in me. I live by faith in the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself up for me. How more personal can God possibly get? Christ die for us as a whole, but he also did it for every single one of us as if there were only he and you. This is what's unique and great about our Lord – he is our pure joy!
Sunday, October 15, 2017
In Matthew 22, Jesus, in telling the parable of the wedding feast, said, "Many are invited, but few are chosen." Did you ever receive an invitation from Jesus? If you did, did you accept it? If you didn't, why not? Many reject his invitation – do you feel sorry for him or for those who reject him? (A good question to think about.) If you accept his invitation and get chosen, both he and you win. Rejecting his invitation and both he and you lose. With the Lord, it's all or nothing. He invites you to inherit all of his kingdom, nothing less. Reject his invitation and you'll regret it for all eternity.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
By definition, a loner is someone who prefers to be alone, avoiding the company of others. For God, you may even prefer to be a loner, and with him, you are never lonely. On the other hand, many seek the company of others because they do not know God and are lonely. While being a loner may be good, being lonely is always bad.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
In this world of tech-savvy entrepreneurs, successful app developers are making a lot of money. I have known one recently associated with an app that has become so popular globally that the company is now estimated to be worth five billion dollars. My point is that no matter how successful your have become in the eyes of the world, God will not in the end ask you what you have done, but what you have done for his sake.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
We have two lives to live, our life on earth and our life after death. Which one should we take care of first? Those who concentrate upon taking care of their life on earth will never get to taking care of the other one, for it becomes a lifelong task. But those who take care of their life after death first (and quickly) takes care of their present life as well.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
There is a great gap between the haves and the have-nots in today's world and our societies. Therefore, in starting a business or doing whatever else, it is important that we do not exacerbate this situation anymore. We must never aim for profiting ourselves alone by taking advantage of others. Ultimately, it comes down to loving all our neighbors as ourselves.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
I know that Christian martyrs are glorified by God, but what about those who died for, say Communism? Lately, I learned that during the Chinese civil war in the late 1940s, many on the Communist side got slaughtered by the Kuomintang and were officially recognized by the Chinese Government as martyrs. This got me thinking that one could be misguided, but if his action is truly motivated by a desire to help others, God, out of his great love and mercy, would understand that, for he alone knows the heart. Therefore, motivation, rather than action, matters.
Friday, September 22, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
First, you give your heart to God by sharing everything within it with him. He now enters your heart and transform you to his liking. This way you and God come to know each other most intimately, with you as his delight. Now we have two persons in deep love with one living in total freedom and without fear in the other.
Monday, September 18, 2017
We all need to be loved by someone, and also need someone to love – this is how God has made us. And the perfect one to love us and for us to love is the Lord himself, our Father! When we have him to ourselves, we are complete and fulfilled.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Communion experience. I wished the Holy Spirit to set my heart ablaze to burn away all the impurities and soothe my soul. [Please note that I shall have to take a hiatus from blogging for a month or so, as I'll be somewhere unable to attend daily Mass nor blog. Check back on October 18 or 19 for new postings. While reading any spiritual writings can be beneficial, the superior way is to meditate upon the Gospels and go to the Lord directly – communicating with him one-on-one with an open heart. Think of the Apostles – they just followed him and learned firsthand from him. Be his Apostle today too. God bless you all!]
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 18 on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Jesus wants us to forgive our brothers and sisters always. If God forgives us, we must forgive others, treating them as the Father treats us, or face severe consequences. By the way, when you forgive others, you gain freedom for yourself and find peace in your heart!
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Here are three examples: (1) Coyotes smuggle poor Latin American immigrants into US for a hefty fee (often borrowed money or their entire savings) and abandon them across the border. (2) Recently, thieves looted evacuated homes and stores in Florida during Hurricane Irma. (3) Now, Whole Woman's Health, a reproductive health care organization is offering free abortions to women affected by Hurricane Harvey. Is this compassion? Don't they realize that abortion can affect a women more catastrophically than a hurricane? Abortion also destroys a new life, period. Does it ever occur to these callous people that a hurricane could be God's warning for being anti-life? (In case you missed my post Abortion Horrendous of November 28 last year, you may read it here.)
In today's Communion antiphon, Luke 22.28-30: Jesus said to his disciples, "It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." To stand by Christ in his trials is to know what causes him to suffer and do our best to alleviate his sufferings. This is following the Lord, requiring us to deny ourselves and take up our cross. To stand by him is the duty of and appointed task for all his followers.
(1) We keep ignoring Christ, time passes quickly and our life is over, over for good.
(2) We know that Christ will reward us for everything we do for his glory, no matter how minute. We remain faithful and keep building up our treasures in heaven. When life is over, we'll be where our treasures are.
Friday, September 15, 2017
These are the three great gifts (rewards) of union with God. I list freedom first because it is a distinctive feature. It is God, the Truth, setting you free. All other so-called freedoms are man-made, not God-given. Freedom in God is absolute freedom, the freedom to do whatever you want in God's infinite space, resulting from being attached to God alone. Peace follows freedom. This is a deep-seated peace grounded in deep faith with the knowledge that your soul is safe in him. Joy is the joy that surpasses all understanding. It comes and goes as the Lord pleases. When it comes, it is powerful and intoxicating, affecting the soul. To paint a picture of these three gifts, I see peace as a calm lake with hardly any ripples on the surface, freedom as the refreshing air and cool breezes that circulate freely around the lake, and joy as an occasional dazzling light that appears over the lake, brightening the entire landscape.
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. At the presentation of the child Jesus at the temple, Simeon, a righteous and devout man awaiting the consolation of Israel, in the Holy Spirit prophesied to Mary that the child was destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign of contradiction, and that a sword would piece Mary's own soul (Luke 2.35). Of course, later Mary did eyewitness the sufferings her own son underwent, all the way through his crucifixion. The great sorrow she experienced was a holy sorrow. I used the adjective "holy" to distinguish it from the sorrow of anyone who does not know God and has lost a loved one. In this case, the sorrow is not pure, for the person also feels sorry for himself, lamenting over his own loss. The Christian focuses upon the will of God and the departed. If the soul is heaven bound, sorrow would be lined with joy. If there is any uncertainty, he would share the sorrow with the Lord. Yes, every Christian sorrow no matter how great has a silver lining, provided by the joy of the Resurrection of Christ.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Communion experience. The Lord entered me not only to purify and heal my heart but also to give me the power to live a triumphant life in serving him. At the end of Mass, Fr. S. blessed each of us with a relic of the Holy Cross and I felt greatly fortified.
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the Gospel reading from John 3, Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." John added: "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." The intention of God is clearly revealed here and we need to know it well.
It was tragic that eight elderly residents at a Florida nursing just died from excessive heat and high humidity after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning system. People die tragically everyday around the world. All of us are going to die, tragically or not. What matters more than the death of the physical body is where the soul goes after death. There is absolutely nothing more tragic than the soul getting separated from God for all eternity!
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
To sin is easy, no effort required on your part. To become holy, you would need God's help, for only he can take away your sins. You may remain living with your sins; but if you wish to become holy and have the best possible future, make the effort to turn to God for help and he will take over and help you accomplish what you wish for. This effort you need to make is just that initial decision, for the rest is taken care by God. Both ways are easy, so choose wisely.
To want to be holy, to please God, to get into heaven . . . all these things must be taken seriously. For Catholics, humility and obedience are absolutely necessary. Humility means that we are willing to submit ourselves to God, and obedience means obeying all of the teachings of Jesus and his Holy Church. We may not succeed in reality, but the intention must be in us. Seeking union with God so that he may help us succeed is definitely the way to go.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
God has already shown his love for us to respond to him. God has already clear the way for us to return to him. God is already merciful for us to repent our sins to him. God is ready to lead us to eternal happiness for us to follow. God is ready to be one with us for us to invite him in. God is ready to teach us for us to open up our hearts. God is already most beautiful for us to discover and enjoy.
I know Christians who choose not to follow certain counsels of Christ. For example, they would not forgive someone they dislike, they just can't. Yes, forgiving your enemy can be most difficult, but deciding not to forgive is going directly against the will of God – certainly the wrong attitude. The smart, right attitude is to tell God it's hard for you to follow his will, but admit that he is right and you need his help. This change of heart exhibiting humility is absolutely crucial to your ultimate salvation.
If you help someone and the person does not show any appreciation, and you get annoyed or upset, then you only helped to please yourself. But if you help anyone for love of God, then, appreciation or no appreciation, you remain in peace, for you only expect to receive your reward in heaven. Anyhow, it's best not to think about your reward now at all and let God surprise you later.
To change ourselves for the better as a person has to be one of the most difficult things for us to do. Even though we know our faults and sins and wish to change, it's no easy task. Otherwise, the world, the nations, our societies, and all families would be in much better shape. It is the ego, the pride, that grips us. I believe that in general, men are more wont to be their own master than women. The Lord God is the only one who can fundamentally change us – after all he is our creator. But we still need to yield our heart to him first. Again, humility is a must to get the ball rolling.
Monday, September 11, 2017
God remains beautiful as always. Naturally, those who do not wish to look his way do not get to see any of his beauty, but for those who love the Lord, the more they get to know him, the more beautiful he appears to them. Thus, in a way you can say that God can be as beautiful as we make him to be.
Today we commemorate 9/11. Now 16 years later, violent attacks continue around the globe. Jesus has never condoned violence. Godlessness pervades our world today. We run away from God by avoiding looking at our own sins. How tragic it is that we forget that our death is inevitable and our judgment inescapable, while squandering away each day until time suddenly runs out!
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Communion experience. Through the great gift of the Holy Eucharist, we achieve the greatest intimacy with God, our union with Love. The antiphon from Psalm 42: Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God. The Body and Blood of the Lord quenched my thirst.
From today's 1st reading from Ezekiel 33, the Lord said to the prophet, "If I tell the wicked, 'O wicked one, you shall surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death." It seems that we should mind our business only when it comes to judging others, but not when it comes to warning others with the intention of saving them. In either case, the motivation must be love. It goes back to the second greatest commandment given by Jesus: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," something we easily forget or ignore.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
I see people suffering, experiencing pains and sorrows. Is telling them "Trust in God" an easy way of offering help? This advice like "God bless you" does sound perfunctory. Besides, most people in suffering are too numb and weak to turn to God fully, plus that the advice could be perceived as being too simplistic for dealing with their complex problems. The reality is that God can truly help when you put your faith in him. The advice is right-on. How Can God help if you are not completely open to him? The Gospels show that God did not perform miracles where there was no faith. If God is all-knowing, powerful, and loving, then you need to put this advice into practice. Of course, time heals, but without faith it could take a long, long time.
We exist only because God exists. We are holy only because God is holy. We are loving only because God is loving. We have hope only because God is our hope. We are willing to die for God only because he has died for us. We can have eternal life only because he loves us. This is certain: it would be better for us not to exist than to exist without him.
You can listen to a lot of sermons, read a lot of good books on spirituality, attend spiritual conferences, go on pilgrimages and retreats, watch DVDs, participate in prayer groups, etc., but if you want to be able to fill the void of your life completely, satisfy your spiritual hunger for God totally, to be inspired to the maximum, challenged to serve God with all your heart, the best way is to read the Gospels, take Holy Communion most seriously, and go directly to the Lord – that's going straight to the top, the head, the source of all power, your Father, your creator – to tell and share with him everything and keep your heart wide open for him to heal you, speak to you, and teach you.
Friday, September 8, 2017
When we apply for a job, we fill our resume with everything we've done that we can think of to impress our potential employer. God needs workers too. Now is just like back then when Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." When you face the Lord on that day of appointment with him, he is going to ask you "What have you done for me?" – will you have a good list prepared to impress him?
I just heard on TV the orchestra version of the timeless aria "Sheep May Safely Graze" from Bach's Cantata No. 208. Beautiful music and things can draw us to God, but if you want to get inside him, there is only one way: seek union with him. Surrendering yourself to him will start you on this most satisfying, exciting journey.
Another picture I envision. We all live on the edge of a precipice. We know that we could fall off the precipice into the abyss below at anytime. It it happens, it's going to be oneway for ever. But many are sleeping, so they don't think about it. Then there are those who are not at all concerned, for they have always been awake and have tied themselves to Christ securely with his cord for now and ever.
If you see that God is our creator and Father and that we all came from the same ancestors, then in the overall picture, we are indeed all brothers and sisters in God's family. And this is the way God sees us. It should help us appreciate and value each other more.
Today is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus came into the world humbly and quietly without any fanfare. By contrast, leaders, government heads, popular personalties of the world expect the red-carpet treatment, welcome ceremonies, banquets, etc., with much hoopla on their visits. If our God were egotistic and pompous like that, I don't believe he'll ever be able to win any hearts. Unfortunately, the world is full of people like that, and this is why we have so much chaos and unrest. How refreshing and fitting the way the Lord arrived in our world was. He has won my heart.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Without God's help, you struggle with your sins and are not free. When you and God become one in perfect harmony, all your struggles vanish and you become free. One greatest joy is being amazed by how God can make you so easily anew! Be open to let God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amaze you.
The very reason we struggle spiritually is that we rebel against God. Therefore, if you surrender yourself totally to God, with the help of receiving the Holy Eucharist, he wipes out all your struggles. This is the very message God wants me to spread, the purpose of this blog.
Today's Gospel reading from Luke 5 was on the call of Simon Peter the fisherman by Jesus. Astonishment seized Simon and his fishing partners at the catch of the great number of fish after Jesus told them where to drop the nets. This happened after they had worked hard all night and caught nothing. Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man" after he realized that Christ is the Lord. This is a moment that we all need to have to be saved.
Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 86: Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all the day long. O Lord, you are good and forgiving, full of mercy to all who call to you. We need to cry to God and call on him. Tell him everything that bothers us, even the silly things and those that show our spiritual immaturity. Nothing shall be hidden from him, for he knows all our shortcomings. Sharing your heart with him this way will surely endear you to him, your heavenly Father.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
When something bad happens to us, we are likely to ask God why he allows it. We feel that God is not being fair to us. We must remember that we are all sinners who offend God continuously, so we don't have the right to feel that nothing bad should ever happen to us. The fact that heaven and hell exist takes care the fairness question. Once we are in heaven or hell, all the things that happened to us on earth, good or bad, become immaterial. This is how I see it. Instead of complaining to God, We should be aware of our sinful status, trust in God's mercy, and live aiming for heaven.
Hurricane Harvey has just swept through Texas and caused up to $180bn-worth of damage. Now on its heels is Hurricane Irma, even worse than Harvey and projected to hit Florida. Is God telling us something? To me, it is loud and clear that we must repent and return to him or face the worst in the end, worse than all the hurricanes and all the other natural disasters put together. Yet we don't even mention God in our daily conversations. Some possible reasons. You don't believe in God so much yourself. You are afraid that you might "offend" others. Religion is a personal thing, not to be shared in public. You are ashamed of your faith in God. God is of no urgent concern to you right now. All good people will be saved anyway. None of these reasons can back you up at judgment time. Let the fear of God bring you to God. Get to know him until your fear vanishes. Then you are all set for eternity.
In the Gospels, we read about Jesus delivering those who were possessed by demons. In today's Gospel reading from Luke 4, demons came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God." They knew that he was the Messiah. In yesterday's reading from Luke 4, a demon cried out in the loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!" While we live in the material world, demons live in the spiritual world, so they ought to know who Jesus is. Here we have them testifying that Jesus is the Lord and God and we can trust them for that.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 4, the spirit of an unclean demon in a man recognized Jesus. The man cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!" With authority and power Jesus commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man and the demoniac was cured. The spirits knew who Jesus was and obeyed him. If we know who Jesus is well, we would want to obey him too! How much you obey the Lord is proportional to how much you know him. The key to holiness is to know Christ as much as possible. As a matter of fact, everything about you is dependent upon your relationship with God. Surrender to him to let him reveal himself to you fully.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Even though we intend to follow God's will, there is the danger of taking our own good will as God's will. When Jesus showed to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer, and be killed and raised, Peter, not wishing such things to happen to his Lord, rebuked him. Jesus then said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." (Matthew 16.23.) Wow, let us learn how to think as God does first!
You hear about all kinds of freedom . . . freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of choosing to keep or terminate the unborn, freedom of worship, etc. It seems that basically, people demand the freedom of being able to do whatever they wish to do, calling it their right. But all such freedoms are created by man and none of them can set you free. The only true freedom we ever need is the freedom given by God when we submit ourselves to him, for we are only free when we get to do God's will. Think about it.
It struck me that when Jesus asked his disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him, and spelled out other stringent demands to all, he did it out of love for our good and not in any way to lord it over us. Unlike the lords, gurus, teachers, leaders, kings, heads of state . . . of the world, he had no ego, no ulterior motive, and no self-glorification. He simply reveals what we need to know for us to be saved.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Today my heart sees and my soul knows clearly that if everyone would understand, believe in, and follow Christ, we will have the most beautiful world to live in. But, alas, it's no use dreaming about it, only something to pray for. All this makes me yearn for and seek solace in the Lord even more – how much he loves us and how much we need him!
We can see that St. Augustine is right in saying that God has made us for himself so that our hearts are restless until they rest in him. If you think about it, you'll see the many different ways God has made us. One came to me today: God has made us so that we feel uneasy when we avoid him. This becomes obvious when you talk to people about God.
In today's crazy, godless world, the spiritual warfare being waged against God is so fierce that we need to hold onto the Lord for dear life to be sure of survival. For Christians, this is not the time to lay back, remain neutral, or be just lukewarm. It's time to do as St. Paul advised in Ephesians 6: Put on the armor of God to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. Stand fast for the gospel of peace. Hold faith as a shield to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. It's time to fight hell like hell!
Saturday, September 2, 2017
I believe that by the time you are aware that Jesus has arrived on Judgment Day, it is already too late to repent and ask for God's forgiveness, for faith would be absent. The time to believe is before you die or the Second Coming, whichever happens first.
At church this morning, the larger than normal attendance told me that parishioners were there for Saturday morning confession. I noticed that some people who usually sits elsewhere chose to sit in the last row closest to the confession room, hoping to get to confession first. What happened was that this made them almost last in going up to receive Communion. And by the time they came back, those who received Communion first had already lined up for confession. So it's a case of "the last will be last, and the first will be first" or perhaps "hoping to be first will be last, but planning to be first will be first."
Today, we heard the parable of the talents from Matthew 25 at morning Mass. The lesson I learned from it was that, as Christians, we must be bold, forward-thinking, and diligent in bearing fruit for the Lord. And the best way to achieve that is by abandoning ourselves in God to get all the guidance, strength, and power we need. It seems that whatever we want to accomplish, this should be the way. Then why not make abandonment in God our first and primary goal and let all things flow thereupon?
Do you dare to say that Christ had come and died for nothing? To say so is to deny that God loves you and proclaim that Christ is not the Son of God! If you don't dare, then you should submit yourself to him right this moment to acknowledge that God so loves you that he gave his only Son, so that if you believe in him, you might not perish but might have eternal life.
Many of us after toiling and struggling to find security and happiness in this world will eventually realize that life is empty without God. Even though they have sinned much for many years, this awakening can bring them right back to reconciliation with God. Therefore, many will be saved in the end. Without such grace, not too many of us can make heaven. Better late than never for sure; but still, it's much better early than late, for you would live a happier life now and have a smoother transition to the next life later.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Those who are afraid of God are precisely the ones who need him to remove the cause of all their fears. Once removed, they will be extremely happy with themselves and God. Fear of God can be both proper and improper. It is proper if it makes you realize that you are a sinner and need God to save you. It becomes improper if you avoid facing it and end up not thinking about that you can lose your soul forever. Just know that God does not set up barriers between you and him; it is you who do not believe that he loves you.
Communion experience. Christ most holy, make me holy. Christ more perfect, make me perfect. Christ most pure, make me pure. Christ most loving, make me loving. Christ most merciful, make me merciful. Christ most humble, make me humble. Christ most beautiful, make me beautiful. Christ my most beloved, make me be like you.
Another advantage of being in union with God. You face a problem and feel depressed. If you are in union with the Lord, your problem becomes his problem as well. In fact, you can even see it as entirely his problem. Then you are freed and your depression can even turn into joy. It's the Lord doing everything for you! Praise him.
The biggest problem with this generation is running away from God. Non-Christians may have a better excuse than Christians for doing so. We profess to follow Christ, but do not go all the way. The Lord leads, but sometimes we even go the opposite way. It's the rebel in us that should be subdued and banished, or we won't ever be free and have peace. All the more we need to surrender to God and become inseparably one with him. Then after experiencing the joy of union with him, you don't ever want to run away from him again.
Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 25 was on the parable of the ten virgins. The kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five of them wise. The wise ones prepared their lamps with enough oil, but the foolish ones fell asleep while waiting. At midnight, the bridegroom was coming and the wise virgins went out with their lamps to meet him, but the foolish ones had to go buy more oil for their lamps to make it. When they got back, the door to the wedding feast was already locked – they were shut out for not staying awake.
For each of us, there is a door to enter, and that door will be locked the moment we die. It would be extremely wise to enter that door now while we still can.
Today's majority leftist news media no longer report news honestly; they manufacture or process news. They are good at ignoring what's positive and important and blow up what's negative and insignificant with the political goal of bringing down anyone they don't like. This is being both deceptive and unpatriotic. What I see reminds of what Jesus asked in Matthew 7: Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye. But it's even worse – the new media make up the splinter they purport to see in another's eye! And what about the commandment Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor? Seeing how Jesus denunciated the scribes and Pharisees, it's clear that the assured way to incur the wrath of God is to be a hypocrite. When you pray for our country, don't forget those news media.
Looking back on how I found my God, I see the process more clearly and can advise those who are still seeking him. Once you have learned of Christ, you want to study him carefully to see if he is believable. When you are convinced intellectually that he might well be the true God and Savior, you need to let your heart take over and accept him as what he claimed himself to be, for God is to be studied and then tasted. You've done your homework and it's time to apply and test the knowledge you've acquired. Without the participation of the heart, you'd still remain an outsider.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Jesus said, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? But rather, love your enemies, and your reward will be great." We see that if we follow ourselves to do what we want to do, it's super easy, and there can be no merit in that. But if we give ourselves up to follow God, then we would be doing something pleasing to him and be rewarded later.
Does God attract you more than the world? Would you obey, if Jesus shows up and ask you to follow him? These two questions measure how ready you are for God. Don't forget – you still need to make sure that you'll get to heaven. Too much work? Let God do it for you!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 24, Jesus said to his disciples: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." Great warning for those who do not take the Lord seriously. For those already in union with him, they are wide awake and fully prepared, for the Lord dwells in them.
When Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited and greeted her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist, the infant in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy. Similarly, when the thought of the Lord enters our mind, our heart is filled with sweetness. God is to be enjoyed and rejoiced in!
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Communion experience. When John the Baptist heard that Jesus had started proclaiming the kingdom of God, he said to his disciples, "He must increase; I must decrease." Now that Jesus had fully completed his mission on earth, we must decrease all the way to nothing – that is, we are to vanish completely in the Lord. This is where and how you'll find your greatest joy.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus continued to denounce the scribes and the Pharisees. Verse 27: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth." Jesus certainly portrayed something ugly beautifully. This is an image that easily sticks in my mind. (All you painters out there, take notice.) Our world is full of people who want to look beautiful on the outside to others – how I wish that they know this verse. It's only looking good on the inside to God that matters!
We had verses from Psalm 139 read at Mass:
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
If I take wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light"–
For you darkness itself is not dark,
and night shines as the day.
Yes, God searches us and knows us. Nowhere can we hide from him. If we hide in darkness, he sees right through it. For he does not see things through the eyes as we do – he just knows everything in our heart. That's why those who hide from God do not have peace in them. Advice: Don't ever play hide-and-seek with God.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Communion experience on this Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist. Even in complete union with God, we never become a puppet or robot of God. The Lord has created each of us as a distinct being with our own heart, mind, and will. And this makes our faith and our obedience truly valuable and meaningful to the Lord.
We are concerned about how well we know God, but do you realize that whether we know him or not, he knows every hair of our head, every atom of our body, everything we've done, every thought we have, and even what we shall do next? For me, it is a great consolation to know that God knows me so thoroughly, that he sees and watches over me so that I am not alone, abandoned, nor unloved. Once I get to know him well, he'll make me understand myself even more. Now, self-realization becomes the beginning of my journey to complete freedom in him.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Final thought of the day. Here's the South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son playing Chopin's great composition, the set of 24 Preludes in the 12 major and 12 minor keys. The playing is absolutely masterful, making a huge emotional impact on the listener. (She gets a little bit carried away in the last prelude, but that only adds to the excitement.) Everything beautiful I see or hear makes me think of God. God's love for us is pure and simple, on a more abstract level than any music. And if we love him back with the same pure and simple love, you have the most exquisite, beautiful relationship in the whole universe. Now enjoy the music.
Psalm 84.10-11: O God, watch over our shield; look upon the face of your anointed. Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Every second with Christ is most precious. If you know him well, your whole life becomes most precious from now on.
I enjoy taking pictures with my mobile phone. The exiting part of it is not knowing what will catch my eye next. I mention this because living the spiritual life is like this. I am excited about what the Lord will speak to my heart next. Waiting for the unknown to happen is always exciting. In these cases, the unknown is always good, beautiful, and satisfying.
Right now, Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic floods in southeastern Texas. We do not know precisely why God allows such disasters to hit us, but the general message is clear – he is letting us know that we are at his mercy and must not sin against him or we'll have to take the consequences. This is not old-fashioned thinking. I merely see that everything that happens to us has a lesson or warning for us. Shall I say that I am just a believer in the Lord?
Today is the memorial of St. Augustine. Response from Psalm 149: The Lord takes delight in his people. By contrast, in the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus denunciates the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy by saying "Woe to you" repeatedly. Naturally, we want the Lord to take delight in us and not ever say woe to us.
A half-filled glass can be seen as half-full or half-empty. You can see life as facing problem after problem with respites in between. No matter what your perception, the successful (triumphant) life is remaining in union with God and taking all the problems of life in stride together with him.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Communion experience. I looked forward to receiving my Lord, for he is most awesome. I saw myself receiving his power to change myself, for he is the source of all power. The refrain of the closing hymn "Here I Am, Lord" at Mass was most appropriate: Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Yesterday I heard the story of how Dr. Ray Guarendi reverted back to his Catholic faith on EWTN. He is a practicing clinical psychologist, quite well-known nationally. After I heard him, I realized that there are so many people out there lacking inner peace because they do not know what to do in any unpleasant situation. It's like they hear different voices telling them to do different things at the same time. I felt somewhat that way in the past too when there was no clear moral guidance. Now I am so happy that one of the best things about knowing Christ is you know exactly what you should do in each situation. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit provide just one voice for you to follow. And when you follow, confusion flees and peace and freedom prevail in the heart. The Lord God will help anyone in a quandary if he will submit himself to his guidance.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Jesus came into the world as the Son of God to die for us on the cross so that we sinners might be saved and enjoy eternal life. Therefore, to reject him is to reject God's love for us and to say that Christ had come and died absolutely for nothing, amounting to writing him off entirely! Is it too much to hope that those who do not accept the Lord will ask themselves what their true reasons are? Are they too cowardly to face God because of their sins? Whatever the reason, such rejection is total folly and will bring on serious consequences.
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 22. Jesus gave the second great commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Why? Simply because God loves your neighbor as much as he loves you. Also, since we are all sinners, no one has the right to think that some of us deserve to be loved more and others less.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." Of course, the Lord knows each one of us thoroughly and is pleased with those who have no duplicity. To have no duplicity is to be genuine and honest always – no longer presenting ourselves differently to different people in order to gain recognition, earn approval, or to benefit ourselves in some other way. What people see is what we are. A synonym for "duplicity" is "hypocrisy." Know that duplicity invariably robs us of our inner peace.
Today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle. The Gospel was read from John 1. Philip already knew that Jesus was the one about whom Moses and the prophets wrote. He took Nathaniel to see Jesus and Nathaniel too recognized that Jesus is the Son of God, the King of Israel. If you also realize that Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior, know that God has chosen you! Therefore, rejoice.
God always hears us, but if our faith is weak, he cannot perform miracles for us. If we put all our trust in him, then we hear him also and wonderful things start to happen. For our spiritual life to come alive, mutual trust must be present and it's up to us to supply the missing part.
As I was praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary today, I meditated upon the Passion of Christ. He suffered agony in the garden, was scourged at the pillar, crowed with thorns, forced to carry his own cross, and got crucified. He even prayed for those who did all these things to him. It dawned on me that here was a complete demonstration of what he taught: "Offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well," "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5.39, 44), and more. Yes, the Lord truly meant everything he said to us. Another reason he can be trusted.
As I age, I become more aware that my days on earth are numbered. Hence, I abandon myself even more in the Lord. Come what may and I'll be ready. It's of such comfort to know that my Father will take care of me for all eternity. There's no shirking back, only looking forward to meeting my beloved Savior.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard to his disciples. A landowner hired laborers to work in his vineyard at various times of the day and gave all of them the same pay in the evening. Those who had worked longer hours were not happy. The owner replied to one of them, "My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my money? Are you envious because I am generous?" Jesus again made the point that many "who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Here are my thoughts. God is ready to give all of us eternal life at the end. Are we to grumble that he is not being fair? Once you are in heaven, are you still going to complain to God that some others you see up there had not worked as hard as you did in serving him on earth? There is no place in heaven for anyone who still harbors envy. So, be content with whatever you receive from the Lord and mind your own business. If God cannot please you, you won't ever be happy anywhere.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
God can do so many things for us. He can forgive our sins. He can save us and lead us to heaven. He can guide us and teach us. And he can ultimately become our most intimate friend and one with us. All these things we can desire and they are ours. In the parable of the lost son, the father said to the son who was always with him, "Everything I have is yours." Let us wake up to the reality that we are so blessed and in such a dream position to gain everything from God our most loving Father.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Today has been a big day for many Americans, for they got to see a total eclipse. I have seen an eclipse at least twice before, so I am not that excited. Besides, where I live, we only got to see a partial one. Now that we know astronomy, eclipse is a totally natural phenomenon. I am more amazed by the fact that we alway see the same side of the moon and that after so many years (millions and millions?) the moon still goes around our earth and our earth around the sun regularly. It seems that this would be impossible if the universe did start out with a big bang with its parts flying violently in all directions. Also, how did all those parts get to be so round? (I am going to ask God when I see him later.) Anyway, to see a supernatural miracle of the sun, read about the one that appeared at Fatima where Mary appeared to three children. It was truly awesome and showed the mighty power of God.
People go to a bar to drink, take a luxury cruise, seek any kind of fun, or just sleep or walk aimlessly to forget their problems, but such escapes from reality are only temporary. The advantage the Christian has is that because he already knows the reality of God, he doesn't need to escape from anything anymore. He is a secure person, knowing exactly where he is heading. With faith, he takes facing all his problems in stride. Wouldn't you rather be a Christian too?
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, from the advice Jesus gave to a rich young man, we see that observing all the commandments may make you holy, but if you wish to be perfect, Jesus advised the young man to sell what he had and give to the poor, and then go follow him. The young man went away sad, for he had many possessions. Attachment to material goods is the greatest, common obstacle that blocks us from following Christ with all our heart. We are not free as long as we cannot let them go. It may not be practical to get rid of all your material stuff, but at least if you are called by God to do so, you should be willing to comply.
We all seek God. People worship the sun, nature, animals, mythical gods, self-proclaimed deities, or various idols they have created for themselves. Even atheists have their own god – they simply make themselves into gods to proclaim that God does not exist. What is important is that we worship the true God, our creator and beloved Father.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
God is our creator, Lord, Savior, Father, brother, friend, guardian, spiritual guide, confidant, and even servant. We worship, praise, and adore him, beg for his mercy, and at times argue, bargain, or laugh with him, even retorting to him, and he doesn't mind. This absolutely special, beautiful, and delightful relationship is only possible with our God, the God of Christ. And I most treasure and enjoy it.
Sin hurts God. Every time we sin, we betray the Father and sadden him greatly by being unappreciative of his greatest love for us. Then sin hurts us, the sinners. It becomes a burden on our heart, robbing us of inner peace and impairing our health. More importantly, sin can weigh us down to the point that we lose God for all eternity. To get our sins removed by God is absolutely the thing we most urgently need to do in this life.
Friday, August 18, 2017
At the end, Jesus will put all his enemies under his feet, destroying the last enemy, death. Everything will be subjected to him. (1 Corinthians 15.) John wrote about Jesus: "He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be." (John 1.3). Jesus himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14.6). This is our great and awesome Lord. This morning he made me see that when we subject ourselves to him, we shall experience a special peace, the peace of being in perfect harmony with God.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Communion time thoughts. One popular bumper sticker reads: Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. No matter how bad we are, the God of Christ is always ready to forgive us. That is, as long as we are still living on earth, God will always give us a second chance, which means that the hope for our salvation will always be there. This is what God's infinite mercy is all about. And this is what makes Christianity unique and wonderful.
The lesson from today's Gospel from Matthew 18 is very clear. We must be merciful to others as our heavenly Father is merciful to us, and always forgive those who have sinned against us. This is following the example of Christ the Lord and is what must distinguish his followers. Whatever we do to others, we must let love reign, overriding all other negative feelings. If we want God to be forgiving to us always, then we must likewise be forgiving always.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
We bestow all kinds of honors on people in this world. Does it really matter? Do you even care? We erect statues to honor past heroes who might be suffering in hell now. In the case the honor bestowed results in boosting the ego of the honoree, then it acts more like a curse than a blessing. The Church also honors saints by canonizing them. This serves to inspire others to love God more by following their examples. As far as the saints are concerned, who only wish to follow God's will, being officially declared saints is not going to thrill them in anyway.
Conclusions. The world bestows honors mostly for vainglory. In the presence of God, no one deserves to be honored. When we honor someone, we must do it for the sake of glorifying God. Not to forget, if God has called you to serve him, you have already received the highest possible honor, an honor that humbles you to boot.
John 15.5: At the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." What Jesus meant was that without him we cannot be fruitful for God's sake. We can perform good deeds, but without him we are still stuck with our sins. In fact, to be good is not good enough, for Jesus wants us to be perfect as the heavenly Father – definitely we need his help here.
Today's Response to verses read from Psalm 66 at Mass: Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire. Normally, we ask God to fill us with peace and joy, but asking for fire is entirely appropriate. His fire can consume all our sins, purify our souls, and ignite our zeal to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature as Christ had commissioned his disciples before he ascended into heaven.
Christians do not confess sins to God for the following reasons: (1) They have not sinned (which is impossible). (2) They have not sinned seriously (most likely due to a dull conscience). (3) They are afraid and put off facing God (which is being most foolish). Realities: (1) We all sin, so we are unclean. (2) As long as we remain unclean, we are not with God. (3) Away from God, we cannot enter heaven. Therefore, deal with sin, our greatest destructive enemy, before anything else.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
As I am now living on earth, I am free to choose whatever I want to do. You don't even need to think about this, for you know it and take it for granted. Then I suddenly realize that after this life is over, where I end up will be completely determined by God – I won't have any say at all! But, should I be chosen by God to live forever with him, I shall have my new and even greater freedom in him.
Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 2nd reading from 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes that at the end, Jesus must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet, including the destruction of death. This is serious talk we must not casually brush aside. Either Paul knows what he is talking about or it's all baloney. The same goes for all of what Jesus has said. To not pay attention to him is to dismiss God who has created you and now wants to save you. We must listen up and give him the most serious consideration.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Let's face it – changing ourselves fundamentally is one of the most difficult things we face. It's kind of like trying to find our eyeglasses without them. God is the only one who can get the job done, for he is our creator and a higher power. But we need to cast aside our pride to make it happen, and this is a hurdle for many of us.
It's in the news that the suspect in the killing or a woman near a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, just two days ago, has been arrested and charged. People do not realize that when they sin against society or mankind, they sin against God first of all. Getting punished for your sins by going to prison or even being sentenced to death is one thing; while being cast into hell is quite another, being infinitely more serious. Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." (Matthew 10:28.) You are safe only when your soul is safe!
What is interesting but not surprising is that even though I have not visually seen nor audibly heard Jesus, yet in my heart I know him better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, I know him intimately, since I receive him into me every day at Mass. Again, this is all his doing, the doing of the Holy Spirit, for the Lord is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
When you look for God, do not expect to find him externally in any fashion, but feel for him in your heart. At today's Mass, I heard the 1st reading from 1 Kings 19. The Lord told Elijah to go outside of his cave and stand on the mountain, for he would be passing by. A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire, again the Lord was not in it. Finally, there came a tiny whispering sound and Elijah knew it was the Lord passing by. So when you look for God, listen for his whispering to you in your heart. It is the heart that God wants to speak to, to win, to purify, and to transform, for he knows that we always follow our hearts. Give your heart to God and you'll never ever go wrong.
The world just doesn't take the loving God, our creator and Father, seriously. It is most tragic that people do not realize how that would affect their eternal destiny. I'll always remember poignantly Jesus' saying in Matthew 26: 24. With Judas in his mind, he said, "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." We are already born, so let's take God seriously by heeding the word of Christ.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Every time we pray the Our Father, we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. Do you realize that sometimes when there is no temptation around, we actually look for or create temptation for ourselves? For example, fantasizing for our own entertainment. Succumbing to temptation is straying from God and always makes us lose our inner peace. We can reconcile with God again, but why leave him in the first place?
We may not gossip, but the same nature prompts us to peek at what others are doing. This may not do anyone harm, but it could affect your own soul, for to be overcurious about others is to divert your attention on God. Essentially, we should learn to mind our own business only.
Sometimes we do things just for self-improvement, fun, or recreation, and wonder if we are serving God. The important thing is that whenever it becomes clear that you need to do something to serve God, you must put aside whatever you are doing or enjoying and respond to God's prompting or calling without delay.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Picture that we face myriad roads for us to choose to travel on. All the roads except one look alluring, for they are wide, flat, nicely paved and lined with all kinds of attractions along both sides, and you see big crowds already going down each. It seems that any of these roads will lead you to more fun, although you are not sure what you'll find at the end. The road that is different intrigues you, for it's the only one that seems narrow, steep, barren, and somewhat deserted. Although you hardly see anyone traveling on it, you do suspect that you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find at the end.
Well, the attractive roads are the roads that lead you straight into the world, while the unattractive one is the one to God. The reasons that you do not see many people on the road to God are that not many chose to take it and that those who had gone ahead had already been picked up and transported fast and comfortably to God.
Reality. Seeing is deceiving and the world lures us and blinds us from seeing God.
God does not wish that we believe in him for miracles alone. Nevertheless, he has been performing them from the beginning of time to the present day. The greatest miracle for me has to be the Incarnation of Christ, which is the Son of God descending from heaven to become man for us and for our salvation. His Resurrection that followed has to be the next greatest one. By the way, Christianity is distinguished from all other religions by its abundant miracles.
Today is the memorial of Saint Clare. At church before Mass began, I had the intense desire to know God more by having him reveal his thoughts and ways to me. Naturally, as my creator, he already knows all about me and he has infinite things to show me too. I can see that in heaven we'll have a great time getting to know the Lord thoroughly.
Recently, someone I know bought a luxury home for over $4 million in an exclusive neighborood. Another relative of one of my relatives is on the verge of becoming very wealthy, for his IT business is becoming widely popular. So what am I going to do? First, I wish them both well and pray for their souls as I always do for all souls. Then, I will continue holding onto Christ who grants me his heavenly peace. The eternal Lord is infinitely more precious than all the perishable riches of the world put together. I totally hear Jesus when he said to his disciples in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 15: 21-28, Jesus tested a Canaanite woman's faith; she passed and won the Lord's heart. Every difficulty, hardship we encounter in life is a test that comes from God. Instead of getting upset and complaining about it, we should put our faith in God, remain humble always, then we'll invariably pass the test and come out stronger in faith and closer in our union with God. See every test as an opportunity for us to store up treasures in heaven.
The faithful servant of Christ takes advantage of every opportunity to serve God. He does not pick or choose only what he prefers to do nor ignore the small things. He can be trusted in every respect and is willing to let the heavenly Father make him as perfect as possible. And he knows that no order is too large for God.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Today is the Memorial of St. Dominic. The Gospel reading from Matthew 14 tells that the disciples of Jesus in a boat saw the Lord walking on water toward them. Peter also wanted to try, but after he got out of the boat and began to walk toward Jesus, he became frightened and began to sink. Jesus caught him and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" The lesson to me here is that we should never doubt the Lord. Have full confidence in God is such a beautiful thing! If God cannot be trusted fully, then life would not be worth living.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Saving the soul of a person saves that person for all eternity. Saving the life of a person only gives him another chance to find salvation, in case he is not a believer in Christ yet. To love someone, we need to be concerned about the soul beyond this life, which is what made the Lord come into the world. Therefore, as Christians, we must make saving souls our foremost priority.