Communion experience. I love the Lord because his love for me has made it possible. The Lord has made me for him!
Monday, April 23, 2018
In John 10, Jesus declared to all, "A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep and they know me." It strikes me that our God, the God of Christ, is most personal. You won't find another god like that anywhere else. Since there is only one true God, perhaps I should have stated that our God is more personal and caring than any other being. This is logical and as it should be, and I rejoice in it.
Today's Psalm 42 response: Athirst is my soul for the living God. Looking back, I see that I first thirsted for God because I felt the emptiness of life. Now that I have found him, I thirst for him still as he draws me. So it is that you would want even more of the one who can completely satisfy you. Such is the unique power or charm, if I may use the word, of God.
Today's entrance antiphon, Romans 6.9: Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him. Of course, being God and the creator of all life, Christ cannot possibly die. His let himself be killed on earth only because he was carrying out the Father's plan of salvation for us. As for us, we'll all die. After death, we'll either remain dead forever or be raised by Christ – the choice is ours to make here and now!
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Every sin we commit provides the opportunity for us to grow holier. Loss of inner peace is our first reminder. The worst thing you can possibly do is to ignore your past sins and continue on sinning. Thus your soul gets defiled more and more. This is evading God, a game in which you'll lose for sure. This is also playing Russian roulette with your own soul – what if you die expectedly? Of course, the right thing to do is to repent as soon as possible your sin and have the Lord make you clean again. Don't stop, for it is also the time to surrender to God more to reduce your chance of sinning again. With practice, each sin you commit will lead you to greater holiness. By the way, with more inner peace, your physical health will benefit too.
In today's first reading from Acts 4, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to leaders of the people and elders, "There is no salvation through anyone other than Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified and God raised from the dead." In the Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd and I will lay down my life for my sheep." If Jesus was good enough for Peter and John, he is certainly good enough for me.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Who wouldn't want to be set for life? Perhaps you think that the billionaires are set for life. If so, then you are being quite short-sighted. What is infinitely superior is to be set for life for all eternity, and you can be in that position by simply following Christ! Now, this has to be the best possible news of your life on earth.
Jesus prayed to the Father that those who follow him may always be one in him and the Father. In Matthew 16, Jesus said to Peter, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Sadly, the Reformation headed by Martin Luther in the 16th century led to the establishment of many Protestant churches, breaking up the Church Christ had established. Since Jesus said that the gates of the netherworld should not prevail against his church, the Catholic Church still standing today has to be that church. Unfortunately, there is still a sizable number of Protestants continually attacking the Catholic Church, believing that the Pope is the Antichrist. My question is, if that's true, when did it happen? Did it start with the Apostle Peter, the first Pope, or later? They also claim that the Catholic Church has gone stray, yet no one can tell me when and how that happened. Study the early fathers of the Church and you'll see that they believed in what Catholics believe in today. One foremost example is the belief that the Holy Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Christ. So, please find out what we truly believe in before drawing any conclusion. By the way, we do not worship Mary. Do not judge us, for we were Christians first before you split off 1,500 years later. If you believe that we are lost, then lovingly pray for us. If you judge us, then pray for yourself too. I pray that we'll always follow the Holy Spirit who wishes all Christians to be one. Last, to set your mind at ease, we Catholics are not going to hell, so don't worry about us.
What does the world teach us? The world is good at teaching us how to succeed by making more money to get rich so that we may achieve financial security, and that we can realize such dreams on our own if we try hard enough. The focus is entirely on ourselves. In other words, the world is out of touch with God. To be blunt, we live in godless societies. Where God counts, he is more or less worshipped in private and in churches only. The separation of church and state in this country succeeded in keeping God where he belongs, so to speak. This is the sad reality today.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Excerpts from today's Gospel reading from 6: Jesus said to the Jews while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. The one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever." After hearing all these sayings, can you still presume that the consecrated bread and wine Jesus gave to his disciples at the Last Supper and we receive at Mass are just ordinary bread and wine the whole time, symbolizing the Flesh and Blood of the Lord? Not a chance! (John 6 is the chapter many Protestants avoid scrutinizing.)
To get your sins forgiven, you need to accept and believe in Christ as your Savior. You might think that you are a pretty good person, and maybe you are, but that is no guarantee that you'll make heaven. Matthew 10.33: Whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father – says the Lord to the Twelve. Yes, accepting Christ does take precedence over getting your sins forgiven.
John 14.6: Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This makes perfect sense, for he is to be our sole judge and the only one who can take away our sins! It follows that there is no way we can bypass him, right?
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Peace on earth begins when you realize that in the God of Christ you can have your future secured for all eternity! No one else in history can promise you that as Christ has with such authority, backed up at the same time by mighty deeds, culminating in his own death and Resurrection. Only in him, the Prince of Peace, will one find ultimate peace.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
We know we should love God more, but we cannot accomplish this on our own, for we are finite beings. To go beyond what we can achieve, we must open ourselves to God more to let him power us. Know that the Lord wants to enter totally into our heart to help and we are at the helm of how wide to open the gate of our heart.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Anyone who focuses their attention on things of this world only is myopic. Then there are those who search for spiritual truths in the wrong places and end up with nebulous beliefs. Ram Dass is a case in point. You can find out more about him on Wikipedia. I watched the short Netflix documentary "Ram Dass, Going Home" – what he says about life, death, soul, reincarnation, etc., might be attractive to many spiritual seekers, but obviously he doesn't know what he's talking about. Only Christ has provided clear and positive answers to living our spiritual life now and forever. Start or end your search with him.
At the Last Supper, the Lord Jesus held the First Mass and instituted the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, we should take Mass most seriously. The focus of Mass should be on adoring and glorifying the Lord alone; distraction in any form, no matter how good its intention, should be considered out of place. And worshippers must realize that they are in the house of the Lord and observe silence. Can all this happen in an ordinary parish? I believe that if you do take things seriously, people will come to respect that. It's precisely because you are casual about it that people lose their seriousness too.
In Psalm 31, David writes "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." Jesus on the cross cried out "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" before breathing his last. To me, the spirit is more encompassing than either the heart or the soul. When we commend our spirit into God's hands, we entrust our totality to him. Therefore, making this commitment often should condition us for union with God.
Monday, April 16, 2018
Normally, we don't try to "bother" God with little things we can easily do on our own and only ask for his help when we feel that we need it. Today I ask myself why not ask the Lord to get involved with everything I do, big or little. It would be an excellent way of acknowledging his constant presence and showing my utter need for his companionship. It should strengthen our union of dwelling in each other. So it's doing everything for him and with him. You can never do enough for him who has given all of himself to us.
People remain in darkness because it is easier for them to keep their sins hidden than to face light and have them all exposed. They forget that God sees everything in their hearts. Sometimes avoiding facing God can be a sin too, depending upon the circumstances. Again, only God can judge that. Living in darkness is not living at all. Happy, blessed, and free is the one lives completely in the light of Christ, with nothing to hide from the Lord!
Today's Communion antiphon, John 14.27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you, says the Lord. The peace God gives us is indeed different because it affects the very soul. Since the world has no power to touch the soul, whatever it gives cannot truly be peace.
Doing good per se is good, but to make it meaningful, you must have a higher purpose. When we treat our own family members kindly, it's only natural. When we do good to strangers, it only makes us feel good. The higher purpose I am talking about is to do good for the sole purpose of pleasing God, not ourselves. This is the way to be set free and to build up lasting treasures in heaven. What Jesus has done to us is most meaningful because he died for us willingly in complete obedience to the Father. No act can be meaningful should God be kept out of the picture.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
At the end of Mass this morning, Fr. P held up a baby high to show us the one he just baptized yesterday, and the little one grinned. The whole congregation rejoiced and applauded. At that moment, I thought of those babies who did not get baptized because the parents either did not know Christ or had fallen away from their faith before their child was born. It saddened me to see this division among the children through no fault of theirs.
Again, in the Gospel reading from Luke, Jesus says to his disciples, "Everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled. Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." Somehow, at that point, the Lord made me see that there was no reason for us to be terrified of anything anymore, as everything would unfold according to his plan.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 24, the disciples recognized the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Each time at Mass, when I see the priest breaking the host, I know the Lord is letting himself be broken and distributed to each one of us, inviting us to join him in union with him.
In today's 1st reading from Acts 3, we heard Peter say to the people, "The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses." It dawned on me that since Christ was our creator, the author of life, then, of course, he cannot possibly ever remain dead! The Resurrection was unavoidable!
The Church has always held fast to and taught the Sacred Traditions rooted in Scripture, handed down by the Apostles from the very beginning. The New Testament was not comprised by the Church until almost 400 years later. Therefore, it is false to believe that the Bible is the only teaching authority you need. Just witness the the disunity and disorder among the countless Protestant denominations without the teaching magisterium of the Church. In Thessalonians 2.15, Paul writes "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by letter of ours." The Bible came out of the Church, not the other way around.
If you don't believe in Jesus, then are you prepared to say that the fact that he performed many miracles, died on the cross and rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and the Apostles and many early disciples willingly followed him only to meet death is all a big hoax? Are you also prepared to say that the over two billion Christians in the world and the great saints throughout history have all been deceived into believing in a falsehood that has been perpetuated for two millenniums?
Saturday, April 14, 2018
When the Holy Spirit fills your heart with joy to overflowing, it becomes impossible to keep it to yourself. I love the Holy Spirit, sweet and gentle, yet powerful and insuppressible. The experience of being slain in the Holy Spirit is most peaceful, yet intoxicating. The Holy Spirit is a delight!
The Son of God had come to us, revealing God's love for us to the point of dying himself on the cross for our sins so that we might be saved. And he made it clear that whoever believes in him will have eternal life. Yet so many of the world ignore him – how foolish can you be? They do not come forward to say that the good news is untrue either – how cowardly can you be? If I sounded harsh, that's because I am concerned about their souls. Jesus prayed even for those who crucified him from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." I pray that every single one of us on earth will enjoy heaven after death. What is so great about our God is that no matter how sinful you are, if you repent and ask for his forgiveness, you are right back in his bosom. Now, you are no longer a foolish coward or cowardly fool.
Friday, April 13, 2018
According to Jesus, the greatest commandment for us is to love God the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. How do we measure up? To say that we fall short miserably is not far off the mark. It shows how weak we are and how we deeply we have become entangled in the snares of the evil one. Against this, our hope rests in the infinite mercy of God. Even though we can never love God as perfectly as we should, we must try our very best. Again, I recommend seeking union with God to make everything easy. Yes, yielding ourselves to the Lord is the breakthrough we need to ensure our salvation.
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, the Jewish feast of Passover was near when Jesus saw that a large crowd was coming to him. He said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." Andrew, another disciple, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Jesus had all the people recline, about five thousand in number. Then he took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
The lesson here is clear. God does test us, knowing well what he is going to do. As a matter of fact, I see every problem we face as a test of our faith. Knowing well that God always knew what he is going to do, we might as well place our trust in him always.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Communion experience. The Lord fed me the bread from heaven! This is the very bread about which Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." – John 6.
When things go bad, you question where God is. But did you believe in him or even seek him when things were going well? God is always there with us. To his disciples, Jesus said, "Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." You ask where God is because you were never with him!
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Today's Gospel reading John 3.16-21, the first part: God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. Comment: The truth John, the Apostle, has spoken to us here should shake us to the core!
The second part: And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. Comment: Again, John has spoken the truth, the reality then and now. When John wrote the Gospel at an old age, he had fully understood who Jesus was and why he came into the world. We must give these sayings of his most seriously.
I've posted that the best way to fight temptation is to run away from it, but it is easier said than done for these two reasons. First, temptation is enjoyable – normally, we just do not walk away when we are having fun. Secondly, temptation is not a sin. When we sin, we sense the guilt and try to stop it, while temptation comes to us and does not make us feel that it is our fault, so the urge to walk away from it is not strongly present. In any case, it takes discipline to overcome temptation. Turning our attention to the Savior should be effective in getting us out of this trap.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Godlessness in our world has reached a pinnacle as far as I can see in my lifetime. Do not rule out an imminent World War III. When that happens, you would wish that you knew Christ all along. Do not remain idle. It is time to pray hard with all your heart that the Lord will save all souls and crush all evil. There is never a time we need to cry out for God's mercy more.
Monday, April 9, 2018
Most people who are religious were either raised in their religion or looked for and found one they liked. But the only valid reason for one to believe in a religion should be that it has been found to hold the whole truth, and this is how I feel about Catholicism. I watched a short travel vlog showing an American vlogger in front of a Buddhist temple in Beijing, China. Like the native worshippers, she also took some incense sticks, held them up and bowed to the big statue of Buddha in the temple. She's probably having fun or just did it for sake of the vlog. At that moment I realized how blessed I was. I knew God in person, where I was going, what actions would draw me close to God and what actions wouldn't. Life became completely clear and purposeful. This is the ideal comfortable position to be in – the very opposite of being lost.
Sunday, April 8, 2018
There is the saying, "You only get out of something what you put into it." In the case with God, the more you surrender to him, the more you are free. Moreover, since the Lord is infinitely rich, what you reap from him can be infinitely rewarding, such as being transformed by him into a new creature, holy and beautiful in his eye. Go all the way to get the most out of God.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
It is never wise to live dangerously. You may get the thrill, but you can lose your life and/or everything you have. But to ignore Christ is downright living most dangerously – not only you do not get any thrill, you can lose your soul forever!
The world looks for the most attractive contestant in a beauty pageant or the most impressive physique in a bodybuilding contest. But the Lord God looks at our heart. What is beautiful to him is a heart that's pure, clean, and obedient to his every will. Aim for inner beauty that will shine forever, not for superficial beauty that fades away rapidly.
Friday, April 6, 2018
You cannot be an good swimming teacher if you are not a proficient swimmer. And you cannot be an good driving instructor if you are not an experienced driver. Similarly, you won't be an effective evangelizer if you do not know the Lord well yourself. To know the Lord thoroughly is to surrender yourself to himself completely so that you may feel the zeal and inner fire and speak with passion and conviction. Otherwise, your message will only sound academic, dry, not-coming-from-the-heart, and lack power. To uplift others, let the Lord uplift you first. To inspire others, let him inspire you first. We should not spend so much time feeling sorry about how we fall short of loving God and trying to figure out how you should love him more. Instead, we should spend a lot more time focusing upon God's love and mercy, such great hope he has given us, and that he can actually help us overcome our sins and transform us into saints! The Holy Spirit does not like us to remain lukewarm; he wants to set our hearts on fire! Not letting ourselves go in God is stifling his Spirit.
In today's Gospel reading from John 21, the Risen Christ revealed himself to seven of his disciples yet one more time at the Sea of Tiberias. Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John the Zebedee's sons, and two others went fishing and caught nothing throughout the night. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. Then John said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.
First, John had that great it-is-the-Lord moment, followed by Peter so eager to get to his Lord. Would that everyone of us will recognize the Lord and run toward him with all his heart, casting everything else aside!
You may not pay much attention to the good news of salvation brought to you by Christ, but realize the dire consequences of rejecting it and you might just want to take it most seriously. It's like realizing the horror of hell makes one want to seek heaven. The negative can surely make the positive look attractive.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
When you look at a scene with your eyes, you see depth and everything else in 3D. But when you look at a photo of the scene, you see it in 2D only, even though you can perceive the 3rd dimension hidden in the image. If we look at Jesus merely as a historical figure, it would be like looking at him in 2D. But he is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Now see him in 3D to watch him come alive with depth.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 24, the Risen Lord appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem. He walked with them and conversed with them, even interpreting the Scriptures to them. Arriving at Emmaus, he agreed to stay with them. The whole time the two were prevented from recognizing him. Then when he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Every time we witness the breaking of the Bread at Mass, we have this it's-the-Lord moment. The apostle John recognized that it was the Lord about a hundred yards away from him at the Sea of Tiberias (John 21). It certainly is a blessed, joyous moment every Christian should experience.
In today's first reading from Acts 3, Peter cured a crippled beggar in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean. I believe that if we consciously do everything in the name of Jesus, we'll be walking with the Lord and make great spiritual progress.
Why some Christians do not feel anything about God, while others have their hearts set on fire by the Holy Spirit? It all has to do with how much you let God have your heart. When you give your heart completely to the Father, you belong to him and you are home!
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Do we have life after death? If there were no God, it would be impossible for us to know. In fact, we might not even come up with this question, if God hadn't created us in his image. It is through spiritual experiences that we come to realize that there must be life after death, that life is worth living, and that God has made us this way. Witness the Resurrection of Christ! The atheists would disagree with me because they simply block out anything spiritual. Those who remain open to God can confirm without a doubt that there is life after death because God has made them see.
In today's Gospel reading from John 20, the Risen Christ appeared to Mary of Magdala. After she recognized that it was the Lord, he said to her, "Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." These words reveal that Christ is our brother, and he and we share the same Father and the same God – awesome news that should make our hearts leap for joy!
Monday, April 2, 2018
Do you realize that not wishing to face Christ, not wanting to consider surrendering to him, and not being interested in seeking union with him are all forms of keeping the Lord at a distance? Do you also realize that the Father is patiently waiting for you to run toward him to be embraced by him!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 28, we heard read that after the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.'" Some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.' And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you our of trouble."
Instead of showing any interest in finding out exactly what had happened to Jesus, the chief priests and the elders were solely concerned about saving their own neck. They are being extremely foolish. Today news media spread fake news instead of reporting truth, and liars propagate falsehood on social media. As long as we have sinners, fools will abound.
Sunday, April 1, 2018
I've mentioned numerous times that when you are in union with God, he does all the hard work for you, and this is a huge advantage that makes your life exciting. Specifically, let him love all others through you for you. Essentially, if you obey the Lord, he honors your wishes. Thus, union is the greatest possible relationship with God our Father.
Christ is risen! Happy Easter to all! Without the Resurrection, we wouldn't be here today to pay much attention to him, let alone eagerly want to tell others about him. Honestly, Christ has absolutely made my life exciting and worth living. Without him, I'd rather die and become nothing. But this is not possible anymore, for I now belong to him forever! He is our Savior, the Savior for every one of us if you'll just let him. A simply yes from your heart will start your journey to heaven. Choose to trust and follow Christ; let him lead you every step of the way and you don't ever need to use your free will again. The more you abandon yourself to him, the smoother your journey becomes. He is our freedom, our peace, and our joy!
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Here are the various stages. (1) God created Adam and Eve. (2) Adam and Eve disobeyed God, committing the original sin. (3) We inherited the original sin. (4) God the Father out of love sent his only Son Jesus into the world to let all know how they can have eternal life. (5) Some believe in this good news and others don't, with many in-between believing to various degrees. (6) Jesus alone who knows the heart will come again to judge and take us to heaven or leave us behind.
We are at stage 5 now.
Friday, March 30, 2018
Today is Good Friday. It was on this day that Jesus completed his mission on earth, to save us from sin. And the Resurrection that followed sealed our joy! This is the greatest truth relevant to our eternal existence, but how many of us realize it and take it seriously? This is the perfect day to meditate upon the Passion of Christ and thank the Lord for his love and mercy from our soul, and eternal salvation is assured.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not neglect to read and meditate upon the four Gospels. Examine the Lord closely and be amazed by everything about him. Dismissing him as merely someone who were on our earth briefly some 2,000 years ago would be a huge mistake! Assume that he is God and Savior and you'll see everything about him fitting beautifully together. This posting is prompted by my personal experience after participating in a small group discussion at my church. We look ahead at the readings for the Mass of the following Sunday. Believe me, knowing Christ truly makes the life-and-death difference to our life!
It is easy to do what you feel like doing, especially when you see that there will be no harm done to anyone. But the Lord made me see that this is not good enough, that we need to do what he wants us to do. To follow our own is like giving in to temptation, while following the Lord is to be obedient. The fruit of obedience is holiness. Witness Jesus who was obedient even to death on a cross, and God the Father greatly exalted him. Last, being obedient becomes easy and joyous when you are one with the Lord, for now he empowers you in all that you do.
Monday, March 26, 2018
Communion thoughts. If someone dies for you in this life so that you might continue living the rest of your life, you would be most grateful to that person. Now, Jesus has died for you so that you might live on happily forever – how do you feel about it?
John F. Kennedy at his presidential inauguration in 1961 is remembered for saying "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for you country." With God, we must shift the focus away from ourselves and onto God, for he is to be our empowerment. Therefore, we are not to tell ourselves we should do this or that for God, but to ask God what he wishes us to do and empower us to do it. This is abandonment in God!
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. Reading 2 came from Philippians 2. Paul writes: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. It is pitiful that the world remains as if in a coma, oblivious to what God had undergone for the sake of saving us! Even as Christians, many if us live more or less a self-centered life. The Lenten season is a good time to weep for the whole world, preparing ourselves to be awakened and rejuvenated by the joy of Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
In Genesis 22, God tested Abraham by asking him to offer up his only son Issac as a burnt offering. Abraham obeyed. He built an altar, put wood on it, and bound Issac and put him on top of the wood on the altar. After Abraham reached out for his knife and was about to slaughter Issac, the Lord stopped him for not withholding his son from him. Now, many of us have children who have abandoned their faith in God and we parents are praying hard for them. Abraham's example should teach us to offer up our children to God also and trust that the Lord will save all of them in the end.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Today's Communion experience. We physically and mentally feel things in this world. When I receive Christ, he affects me both physically and mentally. Then John 4.24: God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth. Therefore, the Lord affects our soul on the spiritual level, working in the background, as it were. When I believe and submit myself to the Lord, he heals my soul and draws me into union with him, and this is revealed to the heart first. Through physical and mental means, let the Lord get to your soul to make it whole and perfect.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Communion thoughts. God wants to give us all the blessings we need for our spiritual growth. As receivers, we should be the like the receiver in a football game, grab the ball, hold onto it, and head straight for the goal to score. This is how enthusiastic we should be about God's gifts.
In today's Gospel reading from John 10, the Jews tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy, for their hearts were so hardened that even all the good miraculous works they witnessed meant nothing to them. A hardened heart is a foolish one, while an open heart, a wise one. Being open-hearted does not risk losing your heart; it simply lets you discern right from wrong. If what you observe is truly false, you can always reject it. On the other hand, a hardened heart is a closed, judgmental heart, already set to dismiss what might be the truth. It becomes a danger to one's own soul.
Reading the Psalms, I realize that the psalmists truly loved the Lord, for they knew that he loved and was merciful to them. I now see that the coming of Christ into the world revealed to us that God not only loved the Jews, but also all the non-Jews as well.
Everything of the world fades away. Citing one example, the vast number of PhD theses written by past brilliant scholars are now all stored away practically forgotten in college libraries. Well-known historical figures no longer seem so prominent as they were once. Christ is the only light that shall shine forever brightly before us, being the light that can dispel all darkness and transform us also into beings of light.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Communion experience. Today's Communion antiphon, Romans 8.32: God did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Yes, God has given us all things. Communion time is the perfect time to once again give ourselves to God with thanksgiving.
(1) Believer A prays hard and persistently; he asks but never abandons himself much to God. (2) By contrast, believer B yields and opens up his heart completely to God, not asking for much of anything. Which believer do you think will receive the most benefit? (Hint: The Lord seeks your abandonment and trust more than anything else.)
Once you have tasted Christ the Lord himself, you will want to shout as loud as you can to let the whole world know what a great joy he is! The Spirit of the Lord may be gentle, but let him kindle your heart and he will fill your heart with joy that's insuppressible! And the soul goes on a continuous joyride (not recklessly though).
Today's entrance antiphon, Hebrews 9.15: Christ is mediator of a new covenant so that by means of his death, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. When we inherit something, it's not because we have earned it; we receive it because of our special relationship with the benefactor. When you respond to the call the heavenly Father, you become an adopted son or daughter of his, an heir! Thus, one day you will inherit all he has to give you. That will be a day of your greatest joy. Just thinking about it should expunge all the blues from your heart.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
I see everyone of us playing chess with God. God has already made his move and is waiting you to move against him. But in this game, after you move God simply retreats, for he has already decided to let you capture him to win. So make your move now before the time set runs out.
In today's Gospel reading from John 8, Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." "Freedom" sounds like a beautiful word, but not all freedoms are good. For example, freedom of speech invariably leads to disorder and freedom to chose abortion is purely evil. All these freedoms enslave us, for they allow us to sin. Therefore, the only freedom that truly sets us free is freedom from sin. Let Jesus take our sins away and we are free. Remain as one with him and we continue to remain free.
Some thoughts following the last post on the life-or-death situation we are in. The spiritual war goes on between God and Satan, but we are really engaged in a war with ourselves. One part of us tells us to follow God and the other part, to follow ourselves – this is the fundamental struggle that goes on within us. Although God will overcome the evil one in the end, the outcome of our personal battle directly affects God's success. To not help the Lord who is on our side is to help his enemy who is also our enemy.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
A dear friend's brother just passed away. He was a most devout Catholic to his last day, but none of his children today has any faith. It shows how divided our world is, how evil has infiltrated the world. Be aware that we are right in the middle of a fierce and ferocious warfare! Every single one of us is in the battlefield. If we do not choose God to fight against evil, we shall surely die. There is not a moment to waste.
Communion thoughts. There are life experiences we always remember and cherish. Receiving Christ in the Holy Eucharist should be such an experience. After the Lord has personally entered to be consumed by you, how can you possibly walk right out of Church after Mass and instantly revert yourself to the same old you? You have passed up the most intimate prayer time you can spend with the Lord! Let every Communion draw you closer to union with him to make you more perfect and beautiful. Take the Lord seriously so that he may take you seriously.
(1) You do not know God. (2) You find Christ and believe in him. (3) You submit yourself to himself totally and attain union with him.
You are saved when you reach stage 2, but I do believe that when you advance to stage 3, you definitely reduce or possibly eliminate your time in purgatory.
In today's Gospel reading from John 8, Jesus said to the Jews, "If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." "To die in one's sins" is a horrible thought! Sins are abhorrent to God, so to be in sin is to get repelled by God. Therefore, be sure to have the Lord cleanse you of your sins at all times, for you do not know the time of your death.
John 12.32: Jesus says, "When I am lifted up from the earth; I will draw everyone to myself." Because Jesus loves us, he wants to draw everyone to him. Certainly he would want to draw us all the way to be one with him, for the Lord is always thorough, committed, total, and complete. Let him draw you and you will also receive a bonus, eternal life in heaven.
Monday, March 19, 2018
St. Paul was a persecutor of early Christians before Jesus made him an apostle to the Gentles, and his calling came rather dramatically. For most of us, the calling is gentle and subtler. If we do not wish to turn to God, we just don't get to know him. But if we are sincere in wishing to know him, he never fails to reveal himself to us. Many converts came to know God after they pray "Lord, if you really exist, reveal yourself to me." Know that God is ever ready and eager to become one with you, so open your heart wide and he is yours!
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Humans beings can be loving and kind, but it is undeniable that they are also inclined to do evil to each other. Precisely why our world is so messed up. No doubt that without God, a lost world is doomed. Fortunately, we have the light of Christ, showing us the way to eternal life. This is the hope the world needs. Now, those who believe in him will be saved forever. There is nothing else that can make such a big difference to us!
When we are physically ill and pray for healing, God may choose to heal us instantly, take his time, or leave us alone. In the last instance, we may recover naturally, remain ill, or even worsen. At any rate, God knows what's best for us. But when we are spiritually ill and pray for healing of the soul, the Lord does not delay. If you repent your sins, the cleansing is instant. Before receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, all Catholics respond by saying "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." If you truly believe, your soul shall be healed! The soul is our Father's utmost concern. It's healing is so much more urgent than healing of the body. It would be good to have both a healthy body and a clean soul, but always pray for healing of the soul first.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
If you truly wish to please God the Father, you would want all the souls, including the worst sinners in the world and your own worst enemies, whom he all loves, to be saved. Naturally, you would want to forgive everyone and not to judge anyone anymore. Seek union with God to make your will his will.
In today's Gospel reading from John 7, people discuss about the origins of the Messiah, and there is disagreement among them, and among the Pharisees too, causing divisions. Today we are still like that. We either talk about Jesus a lot or actually listening to him; we are either close-minded or open-minded to his words. We are shaping up to be goats or sheep!
When you read or watch the news daily, it is easy to be saddened by all the bad things that happen around us. Natural disasters and accidents due to human error do occur, but most bad things are caused by sin, when humans inflict evil upon fellow brothers and sisters. Anyway, we feel frustrated when we see no way of helping the victim(s) in any way. I do suggest that besides praying for them, see each bad happening as an opportunity for us to become more obedient to the Lord God. Our desire to grow holier should please him and help making amends for the sins of the world.
Friday, March 16, 2018
The video on the Shroud of Turin by Russ Breault lead me to read more about him. Here is his most interesting and captivating conversion story. It confirms my belief that if you really want to know Christ, he will come to you! A video worth watching.
I have said before that I do not ask myself if I am a conservative or a liberal – I do not think that way. I just go by what Christ has shown me. Today, it's more accurate to say that we have basically the left versus the right in America. In today's Gospel readings from John 7, the Jews were trying to arrest and kill Jesus. This reminds of what the left is doing today. Leftists are good at calling names, spreading lies, and accusing the right without facts. They are most concerned about controlling the populace so that they might hold onto power. The left has no regard for the unborn nor religious freedom. It fits the fascist mold. Hypocrisy and double standard come to my mind. The right is far from being perfect, but it's closer to being right. Follow Christ always to discern right from wrong.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Today the Lord particularly made me see the Father-son or Father-daughter relationship between him and us. It does help to see that God is truly our Father and we are his children, obedient or rebellious. We are one family. Journeying toward the Father on earth is our growing-up process. We can get corrected, disciplined, or even punished if we misbehave, but everything the Father does to us is motivated by an undying love to get us to be one with him for all eternity! Understand this and we shall remain within the family. Now we can rejoice as Paul writes in Philippians 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: Rejoice!
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
There is a great challenge we must deal with. Jesus has come and said, "I am the resurrection and the the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live." Elsewhere in the Gospels we can find similar statements promising eternal life. What God has promised is as solid as a rock and do not go away. Therefore, if you are aware of any such promise, you must deal with it's challenge ASAP, for the promise expires the moment you die.
Monday, March 12, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from John 4, after Jesus had arrived in Galilee, a royal official asked him to go to Capernaum to heal his son who was ill and near death. Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live." Later the official realized that it was exactly at the time when Jesus said, "Your son will live" that the boy began to recover. You see, the Lord constantly works for our good in the background. He never gets in our way; it is us who block him from helping us. Therefore, trust in him and let him do what he loves to do the most, helping us.
God absolutely has the power to make us all one. In fact, it is his most ardent desire that we be in union with him. The link needed is our consent. Imagine that we all belong to one loving Father and in perfect spiritual communion with each other – this would be heaven on earth!
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Communion experience. There is such great joy and profound satisfaction in telling others about Christ the Savior. For he is the one who can truly make us selfless and set us free. Such is the power of God! When God becomes your, joy, you can't wait to ascend to him.
Atheists accuse Christians of inventing their God because they need a crutch to lean on. This accusation is so ridiculous that it only shows their total ignorance of God (I am just expressing myself, not meaning to restate the obvious). The need for a crutch may be right, as I did feel the empty void in my life, but how could we Christians possibly invent God? It surely beats me! I suppose we could come up with a fictitious god to fool ourselves. In that case, we probably wouldn't feel particularly great. I must compliment the atheists for believing that we Christians are capable of all coming and working together to come up with the awesome, fantastic God we know, who has a Son named Jesus who came from heaven to us 2.000 years ago, performed miracles, and died for us to save us . . . I could go on and on. Oh yeah, we also invented the Church with all her teachings too! The fact is that when I searched for God, he came into my life and my heart – I didn't even have to hallucinate or imagine anything in my head. Well, to each his own. We'll all find out after we die. But I suppose if you are an theist, you believe that you would become nothing after death. I guess that is not bad if it turns out that you were right. What if you were wrong? I am not going to tell you. You atheists certainly do not have high expectations. All I ask is that you do not attack us, who are actually on your side, praying hard for you.
Let the Lord condition you heart, not your mind. To touch anyone's heart, you must speak from your heart, for the mind remains neither hot nor cold, while the heart can be set ablaze by the Holy Spirit. Only the heart can yearn for the Lord. Give your heart to God so that when you evangelize, people will hear his voice and not yours.
Today we had Mass celebrating the "Second Scrutiny" for the RCIA candidates. The first 41 verses of John 9 comprised the Gospel reading about the man born blind. Here is what I learned. (1) Jesus said to his disciples that the man was born blind was not because he or his parents sinned, but was so that the works of God might be made visible through him. And Jesus made the man see. Conclusion: Many things happen just so that we might witness the glory of God. (2) Some of the Pharisees could not believe that Jesus was from God. The Jews asked the parents of the healed man and then the man himself repeatedly and still could not believe in his healing. Observation: Those who have no humility do not see the truth. (3) Jesus found the man healed who now believed in him, and said to all around, "I came into the world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." Some of the Pharisees there said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains. Observation: Cool, profound response by Jesus.
My final belief: Jesus is no ordinary man; he came through as the most amazing God in every way.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
When you do God's will only, you experience total freedom, for you and God are one and whatever you want to do is exactly what he wants you to do. The freedom you experience comes from knowing that everything you do is OK with God. You may argue that if you only do God's will, there will be so many things you won't be allowed to do, how can you then experience more freedom? I'll just say that if you follow you own will, there will be so many things you won't even consider doing, so you are no better off. Either way, there is an infinite number of things we can do. But in following your own will, sooner or later you'll end up doing things that make you feel guilty and lose your peace. Now you are no longer free. Basically, it's your choice. You can do any number of things for God and feel peace or any number of things for yourself and worry about losing peace. God did give us a conscience!
Another note for Catholics. Some Catholics think of Protestants as Christians, forgetting that they are the first (original) Christians before the Bible even existed. Catholic means universal, which is appropriate for naming the Church. Unfortunately, popular use of the word "Christian" by Protestants has caused confusion.
I have posted way back that God is our greatest psychiatrist, for only he sees and understands our heart. Once you know him well, you'll see that you are whom he treasures and come to accept and be happy with yourself. You have reconciled to yourself, no longer feeling inferior to anyone. In fact, you don't ever compare yourself to others anymore. This is humility! Once you know the Lord well, you'll also never feel lonely again, for he is with you always. Then when you receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist each time, ask him to heal your soul. Now, you'll be in top mental shape, made whole by the Lord.
A message to Catholics. When your receive the Holy Eucharist, it is the Lord God, his body and blood, entering you to invite you to be one with him! He comes to you to be absorbed by you bodily and is ready and willing to be united with you spiritually also. Are you ready and willing to offer yourself to be in spiritual union with him? This is the missing link you need to provide if you truly love your Lord.
God is light and he is always present. You can correctly say that darkness exists where light is absent from the physics point of view. Spiritually speaking, we are in darkness only because we have shut our eyes so that we might not see the light of God. This is self-imposed imprisonment. To see it, we must open our eyes, turn to the Lord and ask him to liberate us. We all need to reach such a point in life if we ever hope to be saved.
Jesus said that "his words will not pass away." I realize that our sins will not pass away either, for everything we do is known to God. This may be bad news for some, but the good news is that all our sins can be forgiven when we repent and be virtually forgotten by him.
When a sinner turns to God and repents of his sins, the whole heaven rejoices. We can please God even more by offering ourselves as projects for him to work on. By letting him shape and mold us any way he wishes, we give him his greatest joy! And we too should rejoice that God, our Father, is happy with us, his children.
Friday, March 9, 2018
The first step to God is to repent your sins. Press on to achieve union with him as best you can. Always go all the way to take advantage of God's great mercy. This is the purposeful and rewarding journey the Lord intends us to take.
When you let go of your own ways and let God take over, you, who have been your own biggest obstacle, are now out of his way to liberate you. Since you no longer fight against the Lord, you become carefree and relaxed, knowing that you are on your way to your home in heaven. This is exactly the way God has wanted for you and for him.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
God gave us the free will, so he never forces us to do what we do not wish to do; he does not browbeat us. We are the ones who can choose to obey or disobey him freely. You could say that we are our own masters only in this fleeting life of ours. The wise would choose to follow the only eternal Master for now and forever.
As the First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees our freedom of speech, that right also gets abused. In the name of free speech, people attack others unjustly, spread false rumors, or even defend what is immoral and ungodly. At the same time, this freedom also fosters our pride and we end up not willing to listen to anyone anymore – the don't-tell-me-what-to-do attitude. The bottom line is this: without God, no amendment we make can solve our problems; with God, we only need to follow his commandments and we'll have peace.
Not a new message, but it still needs to be said. God has given all of himself to us, so it is time for us to given all of ourselves to him. To be lukewarm about it won't do. We must go all out, put in our best effort, and go to extremes to love him, for God can never be loved enough. And you can easily accomplish all this simply by surrendering yourself to God for him to make it happen!
Obvious to the common people today, many politicians, entertainers, celebrities, and the various news media display their blatant hypocrisy. They are motivated purely by hatred, pettiness, narrow-mindedness, self-centeredness, and huge egos. The total lack of humility has blinded them from seeing any true fact objectively. This is the result of not knowing God. I truly feel sorry for them, so I ask for your prayers for their souls.
God exists forever. He shall love us forever and has planned for us to dwell with him in paradise forever. Who would want a god who can only take care of us temporarily? Trust and follow the Lord now and you'll be happy forever later. We are so made that we can be truly happy only when we can be happy forever.
Suppose that wherever you are, Christ is right there standing or sitting next to you, and wherever you go, he walks right next to you – you would feel so elated that you don't ever want to sin again. Receiving him in the Holy Eucharist is even better – he enters you to dwell within your heart! Nothing on earth can be more beautiful than becoming one in body and spirit with your loving creator, for he has raises your existence to the highest possible level!
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Jesus teaches us to always forgive our brothers and sisters who sin against us, unconditionally. Naturally, we also sin against our brothers and sisters and the Lord wants them to forgive us too. It comes down to that not forgiving anyone is a sin and the Lord doesn't want us to commit that sin. This is certain – we'll never have peace in our hearts and in our world if we do not forgive those who offend us or only need to forgive them a limited number of times.
I believe that we have all lied at one time or another in our lifetime, not counting the white lies. It amazes me that most of us do tell the truth most of the time. This made me see that we definitely possess a conscience, which further made me see that God must have created us to know good and evil. There's not another way possible.
Monday, March 5, 2018
If we look at the stars, ponder upon the billions of galaxies out there, and look at ourselves, we begin to realize our puniness in the whole universe. Then there are times we are so overcome by things that happen to us or are going on in the world that we feel there is not a thing we can do about it. Let's change our perceptions. The Lord God who created this vast universe had already come into the world and died for our sins in order to save us for all eternity! And he can and will now help us overcome whatever overwhelms us in the world! Now that we see we are indeed most significant to God, we must never consider ourselves insignificant again.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Today we heard from Luke 15 the parable of the lost son read at Mass. This to me is the most beautiful and moving parable of Jesus. To know how much God the Father loves us, read this parable. The father in the parable expresses his true feeling when he says to the older son, who has always served him faithfully but is now angry that his lost brother is being treated better than he ever has been, "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." We were all dead and lost once, and may still be. My joy is that we have such a loving and forgiving Father that we can come to life and be home anytime we wish to return to him – he is always there waiting for us.
Friday, March 2, 2018
The battle with the self goes on. We have the two extremes: Holding tightly onto ourselves at one end and abandoning ourselves totally to God at the other. Each one of us knows where he is at. We falsely think that we are secure and free when we hold onto ourselves, taking up our defense position, but we can never be our own savior! The truth is that the more we abandon ourselves to God, the more we become secure and free in God. So, start migrating toward him.
Recently, one TV show host accused Christians of being delusional in thinking that God speaks to their hearts, while another TV commentator belittled church, family, the police, the military, and the national anthem. My great sorrow for them prevents me from laughing at their ignorance and self-importance. These hardened hearts exhibited their total lack of humility. 1 John 4.3: Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world. Today it has spread wide over our world more than ever, bringing us ever closer to our last hour.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 16.19-31, Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus told to the Pharisees bolsters the reminder of my last post. Both the rich man and poor Lazarus died. Lazarus was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man descended to the netherworld where he remained in torment. The parable makes it clear that there is heaven and there is hell, and a great chasm exists between the two abodes preventing anyone from crossing from one side to the other. Furthermore, the parable reveals that the only way to avoid ending up in the place of torment is to believe that it exists and repent now before you die. God has been telling us this all along and we need to listen to him.
In driving a car, the worst that could ever happen to you is a head-on collision. Therefore, avoid it at any cost. In your next life, the worst and absolutely most miserable thing that could ever happen to you is eternal separation from God the Father who has lovingly created you. Therefore, make sure that this will never happen to you at all costs by knowing that God loves you and believing in him with all your heart. This is my most loving advice to all.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus said to the Twelve disciples, "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many." We are so blessed to have our Master serving us! The amazing God of Christ is both our Lord and our Servant – rejoice!
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
God is more than just being within our reach; he ardently wishes that we enter to dwell in his house! God is more than merely being accessible; he yearns to take up residence in our hearts! This makes intimate union with him possible when we yield to him. This is the endearing God of Christ!
If you you do not want God in your life and wish to manage everything by yourself, then you are running away from him or believe falsely that you know more than God. Either way, you are in trouble. My advice to you is that you seriously search your heart to understand the cause and ponder upon the consequences of your decision. This is being honest with yourself. It is a good idea to face yourself first before you face God.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Communion experience. Our omnipotent and omniscient God is way beyond our comprehension. For example, how much he loves us is more than we can possibly fathom with our finite mind. In receiving the Lord today in the Holy Eucharist, obviously he entered me physically, but by faith I knew that spiritual union also took place, even though it was beyond my comprehension.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus spoke of love of enemies. He said to his disciples, "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father." If you find it hard to love your enemies, let me put aside for a moment that it was Jesus' command and ask you what you would gain from not forgiving your enemies. I can't think of anything good. In fact, I see that hate begets hate and not forgiving our enemies will only be destructive to ourselves. If you can't come up with anything either, then you must accept the Lord's counsel. Know that God is not our enemy, but loving our enemies is loving God!
Sin not only stains our soul, it also clouds our judgment, causing confusion. People are made to think that God is not always fair to us. We forget that there is life after death. You could say that life is unfair if we die and no longer exist, as some have a lot more of everything than others while on earth. Then again, if we all become nothing sooner or later, what's point of talking about being fair or unfair in our brief existence? Because the soul lives on forever, we can be sure that after God judges us, we'll see that everyone will have received fair treatment.
Revelation 3.16: Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. God does not like us to be lukewarm. A lukewarm Christian is one who takes God only half-seriously. Picture him hanging off the edge of a cliff – he risks falling all the way down. Achieve union with God will put you on solid ground, for now you are with(in) him wherever he is.
Friday, February 23, 2018
The amazing love of our Lord God is such that it can absolutely unite any two people anywhere in the world in him that they become adopted children of the same Father. Music also has the power of breaking down barriers among us so that we might live in peace on earth. Christopher O'Riley, an American classical pianist, has featured brilliant young musicians on his weekly hosted program From the Top on National Public Program for many years. Here he has six talented young immigrant musicians who came from various countries playing his composition This Land/Our Land together. It is beautiful when people can get along with each other happily. The most beautiful world, of course, would be one in which all people of the world are in union with God as one.
From today's first reading, Ezekiel 18.21-28: When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live. It is clear that stating out, no matter how virtuous or wicked we are, turning away from all our sins is what matters. And the superior way of vanquishing all sins is to seek refuge in the Lord, for where sanctity prevails, evil cannot not exist.
trying to run away or hide from God, much like trying to forget that we shall die one day. We look extra foolish for running away from One who actually loves us and wishes to save us from death. The wise recognize that there is absolutely no escape from an all-knowing God.
Jesus said that no one has greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends, and he did just that to show how much he loves us. He teaches us to be meek and humble, and he was the most meek and humble man himself. He wants us to always forgive others, and he asked the Father to forgive even those who crucified him from the cross. Follow the perfect example of our Lord and we'll be perfect.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
When I was sick in the hospital, the doctors did all they could do for me, and my family members just waited – it was God who was truly there with me. In reality, God is the only one who can be with us at all times. After I die, unless I rebel again him, I'll have him again with me always. Therefore, hold onto the Lord who will always be there for you and is all you need to have.
Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." It is the "denying yourself" that trips us up. If we can get past that first part, the rest of the way becomes smooth sailing. Again, we are our own greatest obstacle in journeying toward God. Surrender our free will to God is our only way out.
Today's is Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." If you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of living God likewise, then the heavenly Father has revealed this to you also – you've been chosen!
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Happy is the one who knows what the Lord's mission for him is. Happier is the one who puts his trust in the Lord and strives to fulfill his mission. Happiest still is he who attains union with God to let the Lord do all things through him to accomplish his mission.
Today's entrance antiphon contains part of Psalms 25.2: Let not our enemies exult over us, David prayed. As long as evil exists, we will have enemies. In fact, our worst enemies are ourselves. Thus, the way to vanquish our enemies is to submit ourselves totally to the Lord God first, then all our other enemies will no longer be able to defeat us, for we are now on God's side.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Monday, February 19, 2018
is not to land on Mars, solve the energy problem of or wipe out poverty in the world, or anything like that. Rather, it is to submit ourselves to God, our creator and loving Father. This tests our obedience or rebelliousness, and the result will determine our eternal destination.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Here is a fun video to watch. There are many such videos showing dominoes falling on YouTube. I have chosen this shorter one here and think you'll enjoy watching it. It is quite spectacular in its own way. It shows me that humans are clever, ingenious, and fun loving. I know that designs and detailed plans all had to be worked out in advance, but I am most impressed by those who must have spent hours or days to do the testing and then set up the tiles precisely where they should be. Afterwards, the show was over in just minutes. For me, getting into heaven is easier – I trust in the Lord and he does all the rest for me. Besides, the "show" never ends.
Seeking union with God is a gradual process. We were born with the self-preservation instinct and are wary of anyone who should take control of us. Of course, the Lord God is not anyone, but we do sense that he'd be more powerful than any other being. Therefore, surrendering yourself to him is not an attractive thought. Normally, in seeking his help, we start to yield to him somewhat and discover that he could indeed change us internally. This experience which always excites and amazes us can continue until we begin to realize that God is not out to control us, but to free us! The key is not to stop now, but to push on actively instead. Then in time you are able to abandon yourself totally to the Lord God and experience peace and freedom in joy. You have now been completely lifted out of your self-imposed misery!
God exists forever and our soul will too. The Lord God does not want to solve our problems temporarily and leave us alone – he who loves us wants to save us for all eternity, since he is eternal himself. Understanding this should help us appreciate what he has already done for us.