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.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
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.
We all enjoy being appreciated and loved by others, then why not redirect this desire to letting God appreciate and love you? God is ever ready; you only need to allow him to do it. Other people can only inflate your ego, but when God does it, he humbles and exalts you at the same time and your heart will rejoice.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
1. We get unhappy when things don't go the way we want.
2. We notice only what we do not have, but don't appreciate what we already have.
3. We go over in our mind what we have said or done before others, concerned about our own image.
Only by immersing ourselves in God can we let go of our ego. Therefore, be wide open to God to let him enter to displace your ego.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
If we love God, we'll get to heaven. Another way of looking at it: we love God to get heaven-ready. Many people today do not feel good because they do not know that they can be heaven-ready. I am letting all know here and now that all you need to do is to love and follow Christ to get heaven-ready and feel good.
God does not judge us until we have lived our life fully; that is, the door to our salvation is always open as long as we are alive on earth. If we are highly critical of anyone still living without mercy, we sin against God who has commanded us not to judge others. [Note. Judging involves forming an opinion, but forming an opinion may not be judging. It becomes judging only when we form our opinion without love or pity.]
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Is life worth living? If your answer is no, you do not know Christ yet. Once you know him well, the answer would be a resounding yes. Just as the Resurrection of Christ brought new hope to his followers and new life to the church, knowing Christ rejuvenates his believers and makes their life meaningful and worth living.
Most people believe that God exists, but they do not know who he is. Christians believe that Jesus is God, but they may not know him well. To be sure, it's how well you know the Lord that matters. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus likened the Kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in a field or a pearl of great price. Once you find it, you would want to sell all that you have and buy that field or pearl. If you truly believe in Christ, you would want to go all out to get to know him. There will always be things you don't get to do or complete in life, but do be sure that you get to know Christ as intimately as possible before you die.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Today's Communion antiphon, John 15.16: It was not you who chose me but I who chose you and appointed you to gather fruit, fruit that will last. When Jesus chooses us, he call us. If we are to hear him, we must remain open to him. How can you let the sunshine and fresh air in if you do not draw the curtains and open the window? Putting it bluntly, to shut the Lord out is to commit spiritual suicide.
From Jesus' explanation of the parable of the weeds to his disciples in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, it was clear that hell exists and would not be empty. That was somewhat chilling, but it's a good wakeup call for all. Good seed and weeds, children of the Kingdom and children of the Evil One, evildoers and the righteous, being thrown into the fiery furnace or shining like the sun in the Kingdom of the Father . . . these were all mentioned, helping us to make the right choices while we still have time.
Even good friends can be unkind sometimes, for they are not perfect. But God is alway good to us – he watches over us, listens to us, wants to speak to our hearts, forgive our sins, inspire, uplift and refresh us, and last but not least, to make us happy forever in heaven. What could possibly be your reason for not embracing and loving him?