Communion experience. I experienced profound peace in the Lord and received courage to deal with the various problems of life. The strength comes from becoming detached from the problems.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
The world in deeply divided into those who follow the God of Christ, those who neither follow nor reject him, and those who outright reject him. Since we will all be judged by Christ, it comes down to whether you believe in him or not. He is our center and reference point. There will never be another one coming who is God and loves you so much that he would save you from sin by sacrificing himself.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Communion experience. When the transfiguration of the Lord took place on Mount Tabor, we witnessed the dazzling glory of God. When we took the consecrated bread and wine that had change into the body and blood of the Lord through transubstantiation, we experienced the amazing love of God.
There are so many interesting things in this world for us to explore, discover, pursue, and learn, and most of us are doing just that. This is fine, but all this knowledge is only useful to us in our time on earth. Our priority should be as Jesus has advised his disciples to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness first. The Lord asked his disciples, "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" Here we may ask: "What profit is there for one to gain all the knowledge of the world and not know God at all?"
Sunday, October 29, 2017
If anyone should knowingly reject God, salvation for him would be difficult; but again, nothing is impossible with God. Most people who believe but not seriously might be unknowingly teetering on the brink of becoming lost forever. An any rate, we must pray for everyone. Keenly aware of the horror of being separated from God forever, I must cast aside all personal feelings and wish everyone to enter heaven. Of course, the Lord is infinitely more merciful than I, so it's logical to believe that he would want everyone saved even more! This is what all of us should realize, that God so wants us to return to him to be free and happy. If you still turn away from him, then you truly become a helpless soul.
We are unhappy because we want things turn out the way we want. So if we let things turn out the way God wants, we are off the hook and become free. Then however things turn out, we are Ok with it. In other words, the secret to freedom and peace is to let God be God, nothing more. Yes, it does go against your human nature, but your human nature tends to sin, so let God change it!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 22, Jesus gave the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." How can we possibly do so? Well, since his love is the greatest, we can ask him to let us use his love. But how are we to receive it? Answer: we be wide open to let him love us. Then his love will pour in and fill our hearts. Now we are ready to love him back.
In today's Gospel acclamation, John 14.23, Jesus said, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." This is the Lord making his promise with these endearing words to every single one of us, since he loves every single one of us. You must hear him speaking personally to you. He is our God, but specifically, he is personally your God.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
The path that leads to Christ may be steep, but it's straight, for God does not throw curves at us (pun not intended). So the straight approach becomes the best way to get to know Jesus, which is you go straight to him, open up yourself and start talking to him heart to heart. Yes, follow him like the Apostles. Any other less direct approach is beating around the bush. Do it the right way and you are with him instantly.
Today is the feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. The Gospel reading from Luke 6 tells us that the day before Jesus chose Twelve from his disciples to be named Apostles, he spent the night in prayer to God on the mountain. To me, Jesus fully showed his human nature. We did have God becoming man.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Once you know God intimately, you feel as if you already know everything. No, you do not feel superior to others, you only know that you now have sufficient knowledge that nothing else can be more essential or so exciting. Knowing God alone is sufficient for any of us. If not, you do not know him well yet.
Jesus asks us to trust in him – he is only asking for what we should do and would be good for us. Everything he tells us is for our benefit. He wants to save us so that we might live with him for all eternity in heaven, so it's unthinkable that he should ever intend to harm us. If you do not believe in him, it's because you never really understood him correctly, for your sins kept you away from him. It's time we correct our wrongs and look at the Lord with contrite hearts.
Everything we do affects God and he is just, but also most thorough. We forget things; he doesn't. Our relationship with him will be exposed, examined, and judged and we'll be put in the right place where we belong – the final settlement of our existence.
Spiritually, we must not remain stagnant, for God and his sheep are being relentless assaulted by the evil one and his followers. Science is advancing. Technology is advancing. Materialism is advancing. Atheism, immorality, godlessness, all advancing. It behooves us to grow closer and be more faithful to the Lord every day. The call to seek union with him is more urgent than ever.
God has made our way to salvation extremely simple, yet we "remake" it so complicated as to lose our way completely. This is a great tragedy we've created for ourselves. Jesus said in Matthew 18.3: Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. If you are childlike in nature, rejoice, for you are a great candidate for entering God's kingdom. Know that to not be childlike in trusting God is to not accept God as your Father.
I went to morning Mass today, parked my car, and noticed that almost all the other parishioners walking toward the church walked rather slowly, for they were older folks. Surely they were going in the right direction toward heaven. Then I thought of those who were still young, could run fast, and loved to drive fast, but were not heading the right way, at least not yet. Here's a great contrast. Shall we say that old age can be a blessing to us?
Thursday, October 26, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus said to his disciples that he had come not to establish peace on the earth, but rather division, even among the households. The Lord was letting us know that it was going to be spiritual warfare and people would either accept or reject the truth. We have the same situation today. Truth does not bend, so the only hope for peace is that we bend and accept the truth.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
If you consider the vastness of the universe containing billions and billions of stars, you sense you own smallness and are humbled. Similarly, ponder upon the awesome holiness of God and you'll sense how wretched you are and be inspired to love him even more.
There are many things to pray for in our imperfect world because we are imperfect. While praying for specific things is fine, to get to the root of all our problems, the fundamental and most comprehensive prayer has to be praying for the conversion of all sinners. If we all become faithful followers of Christ, we would have peace in our hearts and the entire world. Pray for all your needs, but always pray for all the souls for the conversion of the world.
In today's Gospel from Luke 12, Jesus again taught his disciples to be vigilante and prepared, for he would come at an hour they do not expect. Today we do not think about the Lord much, and it follows that we do not think about life after death much either. Instead, we talk about mostly things of this life, what's happening with everyone, how we plan to invest with our money, where to buy good clothing, rising food prices, and other mundane things. The most people would do is to find a burial plot for themselves now, which is missing the whole point I am trying to make. I look ahead and realize that either the greatest shock of all or the greatest joy of all will happen to anyone after death. And we must now make choices and live this life to make sure we shall not encounter the unexpected. If you decide to prepare for it, you should come out fine. If not, then you will be shocked and crushed forever.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
As I was praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, these thoughts came out of my heart. Jesus never complained or protested while undergoing extreme suffering all the way to his death on the cross. It is clear that he had a mission, which is to carry out the Father's plan of our salvation. He revealed to his disciples in advance that he was going to be killed and rise on the third day. He had to die to redeem us from our sins, for we are powerless to save ourselves. How do we react to such incredible love reaching out to us? It seems so unfair, insensitive, insensible, even cruel, that we don't care very much about what God has done for us.
If we shut the Lord out of our lives, naturally we won't get to know him. Today's response from Psalm 40: Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Therefore, if we remain open and ready to do God's will, he will reveal himself to us for us to know him most intimately. I can testify to this fact from my personal experience.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Mark 10.45: The Son of Man has come to give his life as ransom for many. We get a lot of bad news daily and some good news at times, but the coming of Jesus into the world has to be the biggest and most definitive, incredible, ever refreshing news of all times. Unlike any other happening, it is relevant to our eternal existence! Think about it.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Jesus is all mine, yet I want everyone to have him. I wish to be the one able to love him the most, yet I would rejoice if everyone else can love him more than I. It just shows that the amazing love of Christ for us can make us completely selfless. We cannot live without water or air, but we'll surely perish forever without his love!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 22, the Pharisees plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, asking, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person' status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" This is still the same trick used by government officials or common people today to test others. But the disciples of Pharisees at least got it right in their first two sentences: Jesus being always truthful and not concerned with whatever others think about him. May we have the same courage.
Today's first reading came from Isaiah 45. The LORD let it be known that "I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides me." This is unique about Christianity in which God directly communicates with his people since the beginning of Israel to this day. In Exodus 3, God said to Moses, "I am I AM." There is only one true God and he is the God of Christ.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
We make sure that our house is good condition, our body is healthy, and our worldly knowledge of what affects us is kept up-to-date, but maintaining all these things will have been wasted if we do not make sure that we are also spiritually clean. The world is so deeply immersed in itself that it's got its priorities all wrong.
Friday, October 20, 2017
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.
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. Human 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 you have become in the eyes of the world, in the end God will not ask you so much what you have done as what you have done for his sake.