Jesus went through the horrible sufferings and death no human would want to undergo. He did it because it is the will of the Father. It shows that we must let the will of God override all other considerations. This makes discerning God's will all the more important.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Putting things in perspective. If you know that you are going to heaven to remain there forever, whatever pains, sufferings, sorrows, agonies, miseries ... you go through and experience in this short life on earth becomes practically nothing. On the other hand, if you know that your going to be separated from God for all eternity after you die, all the riches, wealth, prestige, power, fame ... you enjoy now becomes absolutely nothing.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Today's Communion antiphon based upon Jesus' words from John14 and 16: I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you again, and your heart will rejoice. To those who know the Lord well or are in union with him, they know that he has not only come, but is dwelling in their very heart.
Today's entrance antiphon based upon the words of Jesus to his disciples in Acts 1: You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you will be my witnesses, even to the ends of the earth. I see that the role of the Christian is to let the Holy Spirit empower him to become the best possible effective witness of Christ.
We who believe and trust in God are not to seek human understanding on earth, but to know and follow God's will coming from heaven. Without faith in God, human beings simply learn from and influence each other, and can never rise above themselves. In seeking to do the will of God, we enjoy private communication and spiritual communion with him. All God desires is that we follow his will in peace and he'll understand us perfectly.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Today's entrance antiphon, Acts 1.11: Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go. This was said by two men dressed in white garments who suddenly appeared beside the disciples who were looking intently at the sky after seeing Jesus being lifted up and taken from their sight by a cloud. This account of the Ascension as witnessed by many is undeniable. It's also inevitable that he who has ascended will return again.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
A message is weak if we say what we want to say, even with my best effort. It becomes strong only when we say what the Lord inspires us to say. Ego or self-centeredness has no place in spreading the good news of Christ. In fact, it has no place in anything we do. Only by entering the Lord deeply can we be freed from our ego completely.
When God decided to save us, he gave all of himself. When he gives life, he makes it eternal. His love for us is forever. The joy he gives stays with us too. When he forgives us, we are all clean. Because he loves us, he wants all (not part) of us to be his forever. We are blessed that He is most thorough.
Sad headline news from Egypt: ISIS opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians on their way to a monastery, killing at least 29, including many children. This was only the most recent in a wave of attacks on these Christians and their Church. What are we to think? Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus came to my mind. Lazarus was the poor man, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. (The rich man also died, but he went to the netherworld and suffered torment.) I have no doubt that God would take care of the souls of these children of his who were tragically slaughtered, for he knows our hearts, thoughts, words, and deeds. All of us shall be judged by him and receive exactly what we deserve in the end. We need to trust in our God no matter what happens.
Friday, May 26, 2017
God's message for salvation is straight forward and simple to understand – you do not need to explain it like rocket science, yet people do not accept it readily. So it's not the mind, but the heart that gets in the way. To overcome this barrier, we must become like a child as Jesus had indicated. What we need is humility. Without it, we won't find God, let alone know him. The most humble Christ is our example and clue. God has already yielded himself to love. It's time for us to yield to him!
Today's Communion antiphon, John 15: As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. To remain in Jesus' love to to remain in him, for he is love. There is no better place to be. In fact, this is part of the simple surefire formula for getting into heaven: Remain in Jesus and let God take care of the rest.
In today's Gospel reading from John 16, Jesus, with his departure from the world and succeeding Resurrection in mind, said to the disciples, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you." Jesus was right, for we know that once we get to heaven, our joy will make us forget all the pains and anguish we suffered on earth. Start rejoicing now if you know you are heaven bound. Do not forget that the daily Mass is a celebration of the Lord's sacrifice resulting in our salvation. [A footnote. No one will take your joy away from you: the joy God gives is a joy that stays with you forever.]
Thursday, May 25, 2017
When you let God transform you and the transformation takes place, you are amazed and can get quite excited, for something you've tried to change on your own without success God now does it effortlessly. Even though the Lord did the work, you can't help feeling that you have won! Now your relationship with him is more intimate than ever. As you continue to let God perfect you, the same thing happens again and again. You are on your way to union with him.
The most recent terrible tragedy is the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, which killed 22 and injured many more. One lesson we can learn from this is that all the more we need to look beyond this life and make settling our eternal destination our first priority. Most people do not think about it for various reasons. Only the ones who have put themselves completely in God's hands know that they will be fine no matter what happens to them.
A saint is one who loves God. A mystic is one who also loves God, knows him well and communicates directly with the Lord. Do not ever say that you cannot be a saint or a mystic, for nothing is impossible with God. It follows that you can store up treasures in heaven now, get there and inherit what God has for you later. God is your limit who has no limits. Use your brief time on earth for planning and readying yourself for eternity and God will make everything come true.
Since God is our loving creator, Father, and Savior, who can accomplish anything he wants, it would be indeed most foolish of us not to believe in, appreciate, or trust him. Not seeking union with him is falling short of taking full advantage of what he has to offer – a tragic error on our part, relatively speaking. It's like being offered a most precious pearl and you just admire and enjoy looking at it, but stop short of reaching for it to claim that it is all yours.
In today's Gospel reading from John 16, Jesus said to his disciples: "A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me." His disciples first did not know what he meant. Of course, Jesus was telling them about his coming death and resurrection. We need not to be concerned about whether we see him or not, for later he promised that he would be with them always, until the end of the age. Every time I receive the Holy Eucharist, he enters me and unites with me in the most intimate way. As long as I am still alive and breathing, I know that he is with me, for my very existence depends upon him.
It's been my experience that as long as I remain in Christ, I have inner peace. The moment I step out of him to be on my own, that peace gets disturbed. We are in the ideal state when we have Jesus at our center with us remaining in total submission to him.
Jesus draws me to him, making me see that he is the absolute indispensable center of my life. He keeps me safe, for nothing can take me away from him! And he feeds me and fills my cup with living water continuously. Remember that he's the one who would turn the left cheek to the one who strikes him on the right one, hand his cloak to someone who wants to go to law with him over his tunic, and go with anyone for two miles when pressed into service for one mile? (Matthew 5.39-41.) In the same manner, even though my faith is limited, he always gives me more than I ask for. How can I possibly not love my most generous Lord?
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Know that if you feel uneasy about abandoning yourself or just turning to God, it is not God who wants to instill fear in you. How can he when all he wishes is to love and be intimate with you as your Father? If you hesitate or feel uneasy, that's because you are resisting him, thereby generating your own fear. May this understanding clear the way for you to approach God.
In my younger days, I pushed myself as hard as I could when working out in a gym. Now, my foremost concern is not to risk any injury when I exercise, walk, or just get out of bed. Aging slows one down, but does make you turn to God more. In this way, you are wiser. At last, a dreamer turns into a realist, and that should be one best thing that ever happens to you.
When I hear the sweet voice of Jesus in my heart, I feel his presence, his love, his mercy, his gentleness, his assurance, deep joy, gratitude, consolation, and my oneness with him. He is all we need, for there is nothing greater or more satisfying than God our creator. It's time for all prodigal sons and daughters to go home.
How do you know that the Holy Spirit dwells in you? In the early days, I wasn't sure. I did not exactly expect to see a white dove or tongues of fire landing on me, but some tangible sign would surely help. Of course, you cannot see the Holy Spirit, for he works within your heart. Now I know that when you sense Christ's presence, hear him speaking to your heart, feel the urge to call on the Father, pity anyone who is suffering, can't help wanting to witness for the Lord, experience joy at the thought of God, yearn to be one with him, or . . . – all these are signs that you have the indwelling Spirit. This is the Jesus who promised that he would be with us till the end of the age.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
What impresses me about Christ is that even though he is God, he has zero ego, never boasted about his power, and always told straight the truth. We can be like that only with God's help. He is the Lord who never attempts to lord it over us.
Broadly speaking, there are only two. First of all, life is never perfect, for things do not always go right for us. In fact, for some, life can be downright miserable. It is a no-brainer that we should want to live a most happy life forever after we die. Coming right down to it, we can either accept the offer of eternal life from Christ as he promised or turn him down and end up living the most miserable life apart from him for all eternity. It's a choice between "from bad to perfect" and "from bad to worst."
Monday, May 22, 2017
Born with original sin, we can become self-centered and commit sins. On the other hand, we are capable of loving others too. There is another desire we are not always aware of: we want to feel happy. Deep down, there is an emptiness in life we want to fill, so we continually seek fun, pleasures, and security throughout our lifetime. But true happiness is never found this way until we know that we can be happy for all eternity. This is exactly why true Christians feel completely fulfilled and happy.
At Mass this morning, as the priest raised the Holy Eucharist and proclaimed to the people: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper. Of course, I had heard this thousands of times and it had always sounded fine because I accepted it. Today I heard the Lord challenging us whether we believe that Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world or not. Not thinking about it would be tantamount to rejecting the claim. So we are challenged to either accept it as true with all our heart or reject it resolutely as false. The Lord is never to be ignored.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
The most beautiful and powerful parable of all the parables of Jesus has to be The Prodigal Son. Realize that we are all prodigal sons or daughters to some degree because we all need to turn to the Father, repent, and beg for his forgiveness. Follow the example of the prodigal son and we shall likewise discover the infinite love and mercy of God and arrive at a happy ending.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Imagine everyone stuck in quicksand. How deep we have sunk depends upon the degree of our sinfulness. And Jesus our Savior can easily lift us out of the sand if only we will to listen to and follow his instructions. I could have imagined a less dire picture, but the reality of truth remains the same.
Jesus is the only shining beacon in our dark world because he is the supreme example of selfless love. He said, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" and he did just that to show that we are his beloved. He has set the highest standard so that the world may not be lost. If you do not see this, you won't find hope anywhere else.
Our world is dangerous because it is where we can lose our soul forever if we do not watch out carefully. If you love the way of the world, you've already fallen into its trap. In today's Gospel reading at Mass from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." So if the world loves you, watch out. But if it hates you on account of the name of Jesus, rejoice.
Friday, May 19, 2017
You encounter Christ, get to know him, decide to follow him, fall in love with him, abandon yourself to him to let him into your life, and now you belong to him completely. After experiencing freedom, peace, joy, and other amazing happenings, you know that you have tasted and possess the very best in the whole universe and there is nothing you lack. At this point, you learn that you have won the lottery for ten billion dollars, tax free too. And you are cool, looking and feeling just the same, for you already have the best.
In quiet solitude, it's easier for us to turn to God and sense his presence. But to be in tune with God, you need to be in a state of total abandonment in him, for a single disturbing thought coming from you, can block you from hearing his voice, thus stopping the flow of any grace coming your way.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Communion experience. I live among a lot of trees and the weather can get very hot and dry in summertime. One common concern around here is forest fire. So it did go through my mind what I should grab if I ever had to evacuate this area in a hurry. I really wouldn't know. However, during Communion today, if I had to choose one person to hold onto, that person would be Christ without the slightest doubt. Again, Jesus makes it easy for me.
We are being told to love God, to love God, to love God; but it's hard to love him if you do not really know him that well yet. Once you know him well, you wouldn't need anyone to remind you anymore. So how do we get to know God well? Simple, we do what we can and have God do the rest. Which is: we surrender ourselves to him and let him reveal himself to us or accomplish whatever we desire of him. Super neat!
In today's Gospel reading from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." Basically, Jesus is taking about union with him, what he desires.
In these weeks after Easter, the first readings at Mass have been taken from Acts. We hear how the Apostles and disciples preached the good news fearlessly and with joy. It is obvious that they had personally encountered God. So why can't we be like them, for we have the same God, the same Spirit, the same access to the Lord? We should be able to spread the gospel with the same zeal, fire, and boldness. God surely knows us and can use us effectively in the best way he sees fit.
I wake up this morning and realize that it's another day of my life. I also see that we are all walking along the road of life which will end one day and that each passing day is a step closer to the end. We may gradually see the end coming or not at all. If you already know Christ well and, in fact, long to meet him, it is a sure sign that you are on the right road. If you have no idea what awaits you or do not even look ahead, you are surely on the wrong road. Yes, there are many signs along the way and you should read them to discern which ones are trustworthy and which ones deceptive. Whether you agree with me or not, I am just sharing this personal insight.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
As I watched the priest consecrating the bread and wine during the liturgy of the Eucharist, I marveled at the selflessness and ingenuity of God. For bonding, some societies devise secret handshakes or conduct initiation, while other organizations go to the extreme of making blood pacts. But our Lord just simply gives us himself to consume under the guise of bread and wine so that we may become one with him. It has to be the most beautiful and intimate bonding on this earth.
The Lord's words in today's Gospel reading from John 15 are powerful. 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. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned." Jesus was not talking about doing things for your own sake; to be fruitful is to do what glorifies God. How to be sure that you are one of his branches? Seek to attain union with him is the assured way to go.
Aging gives us no choice but to become more and more dependent upon others. Disregard your pride and you'll see that it is a blessing. True, physically, you'll need others to help you; but spiritually, here's finally your chance to abandon yourself totally in God's hands. A great time to enjoy God to the fullest!
When we are young, we live as if we're going to live forever and God is seldom on our radar. As we age and our physical condition starts to weaken, we finally realize that death is imminent and begin to turn to God. I see this as God's mercy at work, preparing us to meet him. Would that we realize this earlier in life so that we could have lived a cleaner and more fruitful life. Anyway, happy ending is what matters now.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Many who seek God take the wrong approach. They more or less challenge God to reveal himself to them. Suppose that God is real, the proper attitude would be to humble yourself and pray that he would take pity on you and let you know of his existence and/or presence. I believe this approach will get you quick results. Of course, when you start out without faith, you're likely to do the opposite. The smart approach is definitely the humble approach, for God loves to exalt those who humble themselves.
I am aware of my own existence and you are, of yours. Each one of us is a unique creature. Without God, we are all lost souls, drifting around and not knowing where we came from and where we are going. Then we find God and realized that he is our very creator, knowing every one of us through and through, loves us and awaits our return to him. Now we are no longer lost, but living with hope and purpose. We come to know who we truly are – this is the moment of great glory for us.
In today's first reading from Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas, to strengthen the spirits of their disciples and exhort them to persevere in the faith, reminded them that it would be necessary for them to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. In reality, we undergo hardships in life whether we follow Christ or not. The difference is that when we do it for the sake of Christ, it becomes a source of joy. Being intent on glorifying God makes us forget all the hardships.
There are still people today who deny that Christ ever existed and claim that Christianity is a big religious hoax made up by a bunch of people. This is not just telling others that you ran into a Big Foot in the woods, it is saying that billions of people have been duped for two thousand years. If you have any common sense at all, you would see that deception on such a massive scale is well nigh impossible. My genuine personal experience is that when I follow Christ, he removes all my intentions to sin, including that of deceiving others. It follows that the Apostles, excluding Judas the betrayer, sincerely wanted to spread the good news of salvation with no deception. Those who make absurd claims about Christianity are clueless about the transformative power of God.
Monday, May 15, 2017
At this point, I am looking at my own faith in Christ. I felt the void in life, searched for God, found Christ, decided to put my faith in him and have lived with it ever since. It's not just Christ fulfilling my spiritual needs and I am all right now; it's so much more, as I get to know him more and more. Indeed, what I have received from him far exceeds my expections. The Lord turned out to be so beautiful that you couldn't help falling in love with him. His Holy Spirit made me realize without a doubt that he is God and made me want to become one with him. And you see clearly that the way to heaven is through him. I advise all to get to know him well to receive a most exciting life that leads to eternal happiness.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
In my charismatic renewal days, I heard and learned the song "For You Are My God" by John Foley, SJ. For me, it is one of the most beautiful soul-stirring songs. The text based upon Psalm 16 of David accurately portrays my feeling toward God. It would be the perfect joyful song to play at my funeral. Here it is.
Communion experience. To submit to Jesus is to simply rest in him, and you become one with the Lord when you have fully rested yourself in him. As one, whatever one feels, the other feels too. This most beautiful relationship is only possible with God.
Jesus died on the cross for all of us to save us, but he would have done the same, regardless of how many of us there were, are, or will be. So it is correct to say he died personally just for you or me. At Mass today, I saw that he personally instituted the Eucharist just so that I might have the opportunity to consume his flesh and blood. This Lord is our personal God, Father, Brother, consoler, redeemer, friend, servant, teacher, life guide, guardian, healer, soul purifier, deliverer of evil and many more – how blessed we are indeed!
In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be." How comforting are the words of Jesus! How comforting it is to know that he shall take us to him to be with him! If we believe in him, how can we ever let our hearts be troubled? Jesus has a big point here.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to his disciples at the Last Supper, "If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him. Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. I am in the Father and the Father is in me. The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me." These are startling statements. Since I know Jesus and am in him, I now also know the Father and am in him. Know Jesus and you know God – there is absolutely no need to know God via another human being, especially if he or she claims to be a prophet.
In Acts, we learned that the apostles rejoiced that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name Jesus. In today's reading from Acts 13, the Jews stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and left, but were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. True followers of Christ do everything for his sake. They put their trust in him entirely and rejoice, no matter what the outcome may be. There is freedom and joy in serving God, following the Holy Spirit. In complete contrast are those who want things to turn out their way, experiencing neither freedom nor joy.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Jesus went through his Passion. He endured agony, was scorned and scourged, had to carry his own cross on which he was to be nailed, and finally got crucified so that we might be saved. Naturally, all those who are fully aware that they are sinners are grateful for God's love and mercy. Since everyone basically knows that he or she is a sinner, the only reason people put off believing in Jesus has to be that they are not ready to deal with their sins yet.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
To know about Jesus is good, to read the Gospels is good, to study his teachings is good, to learn what the saints have learned from Jesus is good . . . but the best of all is to go directly to the Lord himself to get to know him (as in seeking union).
God is great because God is love, the greatest force there is. Love is the answer to world peace, inner peace, and our salvation. To seek union with God is to seek to be like him so that we might love as he loves. We must let love dominate our lives, motivating all we do. This is the way to let God exalt us to the highest level of our existence. Be with him now to be with him forever!
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Today's Communion antiphon based upon John 15.16: I have chosen you from the world and have appointed you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last, says the Lord. So Christians must know that they have been chosen and appointed by God (no small honor), then go out and bear fruit. Now their life becomes purposeful and their reward will be nothing short of eternal life.
In today's Gospel reading from John 12, as the feast of Passover approached, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He recapitulated about himself: "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me." I highlighted his words in red because their meaning is clear and are critically important for us to hear. Ignoring them is not a workable option. We must read them and make up our mind.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
It is easy to ignore or at least take less seriously events that happened a long time ago. But that would be a big mistake when considering Jesus. As the Son of God, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13.8); therefore, passing time does not invalidate or affect in the least his authenticity and truth – he is present today just as he was in the days of the Apostles.
Union is what God desires the most from us, for he loves us so much. When we attain union with God, we come to understand his ways and thoughts. Nothing can make us feel more secure and consoling than knowing that we now belong to him. And it's in intimate union with God that we become totally free. What Jesus said in today's Gospel reading from John 10 at morning Mass describes the beautiful state of belonging to God: "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."
Old age creeps up on you. You may still feel fit in your 60's, but when you get to the 70's, you can definitely feel it in your bones, joints, and movement. After that, the decline accelerates. The other thing far more dangerous that creeps up on you is sin. With the advance of science and technology, people falsely believe that mankind can do anything. The convenience and ease science and technology have brought to life make it easy for us to forget about God. Self-glorification results in godlessness. I have lived long enough to see the rapid decline of morality and indulgence in self-gratification. What creeps up unnoticed can surely sink us.
Monday, May 8, 2017
The spiritual joy one receives from the Holy Spirit is unlike any of the joys that the world gives. In fact, I would consider the latter to be only temporary happy feelings, for they do not touch the soul, while the joy of the Holy Spirit can be overwhelming in transforming it. In my charismatic renewal days 4 decades ago, all who prayed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit experienced amazing spiritual renewal and joy – we were on cloud 9! To repeat my own experiences, all unexpected, I received the gift of tears (pure joy), the yearning to know Christ which made the Gospels come alive, the urge to pray constantly, and an exuberant bubbling feeling throughout my upper body that lasted nonstop for several months. Overall, the spiritual progress was rapid as the Holy Spirit took over and made it easy. Finally, ever though I did not see the Holy Spirit, I knew (and know now) that he is God and he is real. Praise be to him forever!
Sunday, May 7, 2017
We and God are meant to come together. The Father loves us and have so much to give us. (How can one possibly turn down the offer of eternal life?) He is ever ready, waiting for our move. There will be no coming together without us. Our present life provides the great opportunity for us to stop playing God ourselves, turn to Christ, claim his promises, and start living unselfishly and wisely for him. Then after this brief life is over, we'll enjoy living in heaven for all eternity.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, many of the disciples of Jesus thought that his saying was too hard and left him. Is following Christ hard? It all depends upon your approach. On your own, you'll definitely find it hard or even impossible. But if you believe that nothing is impossible with God and let him do the work for you, it becomes super easy. Therefore, submit yourself to him, let him know of your desire, and it shall be done.
If only everyone realizes that we are all sinners before God, we would get along with each other a lot better. We would see that all sins offend God and that we are equally unclean before him. Acknowledging and repenting our sins is not only the key to salvation, but also to peace in the world.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Today being the first Friday of May, we had perhaps 60 people attending morning Mass at church. After Mass, we had Eucharistic adoration. I saw that God looked down upon us and knew every single heart there intimately. For me, that was reason enough for me to believe in him.
As finite beings, we can never fully comprehend the greatness of our infinite God. It is a given that no creature can be greater than its creator. God's beauty and perfection are all beyond our comprehension. Our only role is to believe, trust, and obey our creator who has already revealed to us that he is love.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Jesus said, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." In our world, the opposites happen. Christ, the most humble of all men, got crucified, and today's pop stars with humongous egos are worshipped by the general public. It just shows that the world hasn't changed much fundamentally. Jesus came because mankind needs salvation. He foresaw that not all would listen to him, "forcing" God to schedule a second coming of his Son to judge all of us.
Among all the prayers, I've found praying for the loved ones who are close to you most challenging, for you know them well and must make sure that your private emotions do not get in the way you place your trust in the Lord. Persistence in prayer is needed as your faith gets tested. As in all things we do, we must remember that God must come first. In fact, pleasing him alone matters.
Any appliance or machine will not work if it is not connected to a power source. For us, Christ is our power source and he is ready for us to be connected to him. Living without Christ is living with no true life in us. To get started, we must believe in him first. Then we shall receive life from him and be truly living.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
If you can not love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you mind, with all you soul, and with all your strength, the least you could (should) do is to believe that Christ has died for you so that you might live, for he is our only lifeline.
I play the piano and find that becoming holy is a lot easier than learning to play the piano well. In fact, it is easier than learning most other things. Let me explain. To learn to play the piano well, you must understand the piece you are playing, analyze its composition, and know how you wish to interpret it. Then it takes a lot of practice to learn all the notes. Even talented pianists spend up to 6 hours a day on practice. Some won't even play any work in public until they've mastered it for at least a year. You want to reach the point to be able to play the piece exactly the way you'd like to hear it played without any concern about the notes. As to becoming holy, you simply submit yourself to God. He then takes over and you place all your trust in him. The rest is up to the him, with no analyzing, no figuring out what to do, no memorization or any drudgery on your part.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
It is the coupling of authority and 'love and mercy' that distinguishes Christianity as the truth and not just another religion. No other religion can come close. (And please do not judge Christianity by the acts of some of its members, for all sinners fall short of being perfect or they wouldn't need Christ anymore.)
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said to the crowd, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." I am here to testify to you that Jesus had spoken the truth, for all my spiritual hunger and thirst have been completely fulfilled. It's only after this happens that one can start living a happy and meaningful life.
Today's response to Psalm 31 of David (verse 6a): Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. It was what Jesus cried out to the Father before he breathed his last on the cross. And this is exactly what we should be able to say to Christ as our shepherd and our God.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Do you realize that God cannot be a burden to us? If you think that he wants to control or enslave you, you've got it all wrong. The fact he has given you the free will shows that this fear is all conjured up by you in your heart and mind. In truth, God is our doorway to freedom. Once you submit yourself to him, you enter his infinite space and are free to do anything you want. The fear of God is basically caused by your rebellion against him and not by him.
Today's entrance antiphon at Mass: The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep and willingly died for his flock. Here is the supreme example of God showing his love for his children. Hampered by the original sin we carry, we need his help to respond to this love and return to him. It all comes down to straightening out our relationship with God.