We live in a world full of imperfections, but we can let God mend that part for us to make the world ideal for us!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Even though God is our Savior, salvation of the world absolutely depends upon us! Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few." As God's instruments, we must work hard to spread the good news, as the time is more urgent than ever! There is no time for snoozing, none to waste. Not harvesting for God is committing a serious sin of omission. The least one could do is to pray daily for the salvation of the world.
Friday, February 24, 2017
I was at a shopping mall. You could hear the loud music playing through the sound system and see the crowd busily shopping or eating at the food court. I was also aware that God was lovingly watching over us and hoping to get some attention from us. Yet how many shoppers even turn their thoughts to him for an instant? Probably very few. This is an unfair world.
It's common to find people getting bored after retiring from work. I am retired and sometimes people ask me what I do with all my time. Besides attending Mass daily and blogging, I do not have enough time to do all the various other things I need to do. Anyhow, if you live for Christ, it's impossible to ever get bored. On the contrary, life becomes more exciting than ever – God had filled all the voids of life and made living purposeful. You are now on call, ready to serve the Lord when he calls you, and he does need as many servants as possible to help him save the world! It's a big task that comes with a big reward.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5.38-48, Jesus certainly raised the bar high in teaching his disciples about retaliation and love of enemies. He concluded by asking them to be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect ~ it had to be a great honor to receive such a classy calling from the Lord. And certainly he wishes to honor each one of us thus too.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
I woke up early in the morning and it was still dark outside. Again, I felt that I was not alone and it was the existence of my creator that matters most and only to my existence. Therefore, my relationship with my creator becomes the crux of my existence.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
Communion experience. The famous fresco painting The Creation of Adam done by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel shows God about to touch Adam to give him life. Anyhow, as I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it was also a moment of creation when God imparted a new spiritual life on me. Such is the power of the Blessed Sacrament.
[Dear readers, as I'll be on the road for the next two weeks, please check back next month for new postings. God be with you all!]
Sunday, February 12, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus taught his disciples about the law and a host of other subjects, and he was demanding. I love the Lord for being merciful and demanding at the same time. If he is only merciful, then we don't even need to be good to be saved. On the other hand, if he is only demanding, then who can possibly be good enough to be saved? Being both gives the perfect balance and I rejoice in that.
An unclean heart is not a peaceful heart. To experience peace, one must first reconcile oneself to God and ask for his forgiveness. The souls in heaven are happy because their hearts are clean as God had intended them to be from the beginning.
Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all you strength, and with all your mind." The only way for us to achieve this is to surrender ourselves totally to God so that he may transform our heart, our being, our strength, and our mind to his heart's content. What a beautiful event it would be!
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Netflix just released the new series Abstract: The Art of Design. You can watch the trailer on YouTube. Being artistic in nature, I knew I would enjoy watching it. But before finishing watching the first two parts of this eight-part series, I also knew that living for Christ is so much more fulfilling and superior than living for any of the arts or, for that matter, anything else. True, many artists are happy doing what they are doing, but they shortchange themselves for not knowing that what they pursue is perishable in the end! Leaving your mark on the world is far from storing up treasures in heaven. It is vision going beyond this brief life that is needed to make living truly meaning and fulfilling.
Friday, February 10, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus healed a deaf man who had a speech impediment and ordered the people who brought the man to him not to tell anyone. Of course, Jesus had done so many other even greater wondrous deeds. So we have a Lord with infinite power, yet zero ego. Relative to him, we have zero power, but a huge ego. No wonder we are not free and happy, for we are phonies!
I did not know my son's friend who passed away (read my last post), but I did pray hard for him, for I heard from my son that he was a decent person. Of course, I don't know where his soul is now, but I trust in the great mercy of my Lord. I recall the story that St. Therese of Lisieux prayed hard for a notorious criminal named Henri Pranzini who had been sentenced to die at the guillotine. After the execution, she read in the paper how when he was about to be beheaded, he turned, took hold of the crucifix the priest was holding out to him and kissed the sacred wounds three times. This further reminds me of one of the thieves crucified along with Jesus who begged Jesus to remember him when he enters into his kingdom. And the Lord promised that he would be in paradise with him that day.
On January 27, I mentioned in a post that a friend of my son was in danger of losing his life at a medical center. Yesterday he passed away. He was only 57 and his death was thought to be caused by a flu virus. As I have said, all of us are just passing through. Therefore, we should live a detached life. This does not mean that we do not enjoy life anymore; it only means that we enjoy life in the proper, free manner. See yourself as one journeying through earth back to God your creator. Along the way, there are many things that are not sinful to enjoy, but you move on, no lingering, just enjoying them along the way. This is living in freedom, with the sole aim of returning to God to enjoy him alone for all eternity. Getting attached to earthly enjoyment can totally thwart you from attaining your greatest possible enjoyment.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, a Greek woman begged Jesus to drive an unclean spirit out of her daughter. Jesus tested her faith and she passed, and the demon went out of the daughter. Our faith is important to us, for it is needed for God to save us. Faith is basically obedience to God and a strong, unswerving, unwavering faith is a beautiful thing. God looks at our heart, but tests our faith. With a clean heart and a solid faith, we are well equipped for returning to God.
Reading 1 at Mass had started with the story of creation from Genesis. Today we heard the creation of the woman. It seems that if you believe that God has made you, you would instinctively want to find and get to know him as a child would his/her natural parents. But often the distractions of the world deaden that instinct. Know that this instinct, apart from the conscience, is God-given. Anyway, also know that God is ready and eager to get reacquainted with us, for he had know us from the very beginning.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Looking back, I see knowing Jesus as the greatest awakening of my life, a spiritual breakthrough. I did not realize this at the beginning, but the more I got to know the Lord, the more this became clear to me. And I anticipate that he will keep amazing me even a lot more! Without him, I would be lost in a lost world. With him, everything has turned "topsy-turvy" in the most beautiful, glorious way.
Many older folks fall and are never the same again afterwards. Even if no bones are broken, recovery could take a long time. What they (myself included) should do to always be aware of the steps they take, the surface they walk on, and the surroundings. If it is dark, turn on the light or don't go there if you can't see. And don't be rushed by anything. Patience and calmness are needed. But for all of us, there is more to watch out for. We should be aware that we do not sin in thoughts, words, and deeds. Sinning is much more serious than falling physically. While the latter affects us only in this life, the former determines our existence for all eternity.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Christians have been sharing these one-liners via email. They are well written and some of them even make you chuckle.
- Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
- Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.
- It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
- The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close... & fleas!
- When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.
- Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on the front door forever.
- Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
- We're called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
- God himself doesn't propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
- Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
- Peace starts with a smile.
- Be ye fishers of men. You catch 'em – He'll clean 'em.
- Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
- Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
- Forbidden fruits create many jams.
- God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
- God loves everyone, but probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over 'religious nuts.'
- God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
- He who angers you, controls you!
- If God is your copilot, swap seats!
- The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
- The will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
- We don't change the message, the message changes us.
- You can tell how big a person is by what it take to discourage him/her.
- The best mathematical equation: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given. 😇
Communion thoughts. In today's Gospel reading from Mark 6, wherever the people heard Jesus was, they brought in the sick and begged him that the sick might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed. Recall that in Matthew 9, the woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touch the tassel on his cloak and said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured," and she was cured for her faith. Now, receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is much more than touching the tassel on his cloak. Surely, if you believe and say to yourself, "If only I can receive the Blessed Sacrament, my soul shall be healed," receive it and you soul will be healed.
We must choose to live in God or not. To not live in God is easy, you simply live in the world. Only by following Christ can you live beyond the influence of the world. God always uplifts us by taking away our sins, while the world continually weighs us down with more sins. If you are weary of living in the world, it's time to turn to Christ who calls all who labor and are burdened to go to him and he will give you rest (Matthew 11.28).
As I woke up very early in the quiet of this morning, I acutely heard ringing in my ears ~ perhaps it's age-related. My thought was that I wouldn't mind losing my hearing, but one thing I do not ever want to lose is hearing the voice of the Lord. By that I don't mean actually hearing his voice audibly ~ I only mean that I hear it in my heart. By the way, one sign that your heart hears his voice is the possession of an extremely sharp (sensitive) conscience.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
In today's 2nd reading from 1 Corinthians 2 at Mass, Paul advised his brothers and sisters to rest their faith not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Later we find in 1 Corinthians 3.19: "The Wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God." The fact that our world is in such disarray by believing in its own wisdom is indisputable proof that Paul was right. Bluntly put, when we think we don't need God to guide us, we are doomed. Only by humbly acknowledging our total dependence upon him shall we be lifted out of our wretched condition. Our best wisdom is to know that we are foolish without God.
We all tend to believe in what we hope to be true and disbelieve what we hope to be false. When Dr. Scott Hahn and many other Protestant ministers first found that the Catholic Church might be the original church Jesus had established upon Peter, they all wished that it wasn't true and hoped hard that some learned Protestants would prove that they were right. When none were able to, they all converted and came home. A current example is given by those who support Trump and those who are against him. The former believe in everything that Trump does, while the latter bash whatever he does. When it comes to accepting Christ, those who hope that he is not the truth for whatever reason just avoid confronting him. So the Lord does not stand a chance if we do not start out being neutral. To be objective and openminded is absolutely necessary in seeking the truth, for otherwise you cut off any possible benefits you might receive, treating yourself unfairly from the very beginning.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
The news of the deaths of so many people unknown to us around the globe, well-known personalities, and our personal friends and acquaintances hits us right and left continuously. In general, you hear about when and how they died, at what age, etc., but where did the souls go? We may not know, but it must be our concern. After all, the soul is the most important part of our being. If you love God, you must make saving souls your top priority.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 6, a vast crowd from all the towns went after Jesus, even rushing to the place where they knew he and the Apostles would show up. Maybe they were impressed by the miracles they had witnessed him perform. We chase after Jesus too. Perhaps not for curiosity or entertainment, but for more selfish reasons. At some point, we must think about giving part of ourselves to him if we ever wish to develop a meaningful relationship with him (see my last post). The breakthrough is reached when you give all of yourself to him ~ this sets you free from the past, putting you on the course to union with him.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Today's Gospel reading from Mark 6 told about the death of John the Baptist. Briefly, King Herod at his own birthday banquet was so delighted by the performance of a dance by his own daughter that he swore he would grant her whatever she asks of him. She asked her mother Herodias what she should ask for. Herodias replied with "the head of John the Baptist," since she harbored a grudge against him and wanted him dead. The girl made the request and Herod was forced to keep his oath made before all the guests and ordered the beheading. It was a gruesome story. My thoughts turned to the killing and dismembering of the unborn in our abortion mills. These are equally gruesome acts, performed on a massive scale. (For a true horror story, read about Kermit Gosnell online. This former abortion-provider, having been convicted of killing infants that were born alive had been sentenced to life imprisonment. But it's the Supreme Court which legalized abortion in the first place. To rule legally that terminating the life of an infant outside the womb is wrong, but doing it inside the womb is OK, is ironic and done without any kind of conscience or even common sense.) Lord, please rescue us!
Thursday, February 2, 2017
The more you focus upon Jesus, the more you are free! This is true because Jesus was the one who took all our sins, placed them upon himself, and died for our salvation. If he could do all that, certainly he can free you from any kind of bondage. As a matter of fact, he has already freed you – you only need to realize it!
We first came into the world to live. Then we find Christ and die in him. We are reborn and begin to live a new life in him. We die again and leave the world. Finally, we live with Christ in heaven for all eternity. Have you gone beyond the first stage?
you and God doing the same thing to each other ~ you love him and he loves you; you trust him and he trusts you; you agree with him and he agrees with you; you listen to him and he listens to you; you serve him and he serves you; you exalt him and he exalts you . . . you dwell in him and he dwells in you.
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Response from Psalm 24: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!" It is pure joy to hear "It is the Lord!" We should recognize this in all things that happen to us and at all times, and God will bless us abundantly.
If you love Jesus, the best possible disposition for you to assume is to put your trust in him and not be concerned about how he is going to guide you nor what he is going to say to your heart, just letting him love you. To trust is to have faith, and nothing pleases the Lord more than having great faith in him.
When we submit ourselves to God, we do not become his slaves or puppets. In fact, we get liberated from ourselves! This is what all who are not with Christ yet need to know. Each of us is a unique being created by God of individuality with a particular disposition, so the Lord leads and shapes each of us in the way that suits and would benefit us spiritually the most. The result is that we become like myriad flowers, looking all different, but equally beautiful before God.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The BBC's series on Planet Earth narrated by Sir David Attenborough is excellent, for it presents astounding footages on the various features of the earth such as mountains, caves, deserts, jungles, etc., with their amazing wildlife. It is nature at its best. While watching one episode, I saw how "unnatural" humans were, as if they shouldn't even belong on earth. We are the creatures that have turned our world into a mess, causing vast destruction of our environment and mass suffering among fellow humans. It was clear to me that the cause of it all was our rebellion against God, and the reality of original sin dawned on me. [Good news: The series Planet Earth II has come out.]
When Jesus was on earth, his disciples saw him, heard him, and spoke with him. Now almost 2,000 years later, we do not see him visibly, but the relationship can be just as intimate. He is with us exactly as he was with his early disciples. We now even have the Holy Spirit and can attain union with him through the Holy Eucharist. He still speaks to our hearts and we speak to him through prayer. God will never abandon us. He is close to us until we distance ourselves from him.