Because we are at the complete mercy of God, the most sensible, intelligent, and logical thing for us to do is to abandon ourselves completely to God. The proof is in the peace and freedom you receive.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Reviewing what I lack spiritually, I see that I need to see Christ in everyone more. Of course, making any resolution on my own will not amount to anything if I do not let the Lord help me adhere to it. Looking at it this way, the most fundamental resolution is clearly to surrender ourselves to God in all things.
The first 18 verses of the Gospel John were read at today's morning Mass on this last day of the year 2018 of our Lord. The words are earthshaking, soul-shaking. I shall reproduce verses 1-5 and most of verses 10-14 below.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God . . . . And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.
As the year ends, it is fitting to review how it all happened at the beginning.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Saturday, December 29, 2018
I realize that in glorifying the Lord, we mush temper our zeal so as not to interfere with his time table. There is a delicate balance here to achieve. We can sense that by making sure that our ego does not take part and listening quietly to the voice of the Lord in our heart. Seeking union with God is the way to go.
All of us came from God and will have to answer to him alone – not to you, me, or anyone else – in the end. This should teach us not to ever judge others or get over-concerned about their salvation. What is proper for us to do is to pray for each other with all our heart and leave it all to God.
Friday, December 28, 2018
To let God draw us deep into him is the same as letting him enter deep into us, as either way results in union. Since the Lord longs to become one with us, it is inconceivable that he would refuse our invitation for him to enter us. The ball is now in our court.
Communion experience. I trembled upon approaching the Lord to receive him, not because I fear him, for he loves me, nor because I fear the evil one, for he absolutely has no power over me when I am with the Lord; I trembled because the Most Holy One was about to enter me, still a most wretched sinner.
Today is the Feast of Holy Innocents. Evil is real. King Herod, attempting to destroy the child Jesus, the prophesied king of the Jews, ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under. Today's Response from Psalm 124: Our soul has ben rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare. Has your soul already been snared by the evil one? Is it in danger of being snared by him? We must be aware that evil snares are all around us at all times, so that if we do not remain vigilant and watchful, we can easily lose our soul.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
It may be difficult to believe in Christ, but it is practically impossible to prove that he never existed, that he never told the truth, or that he never rose from the dead. To believe in him only requires stopping playing God yourself, but people choose to ignore and not to resolve this issue as long as possible. So we see that Christ has to be our Lord and God. Then he must come again to judge us or our whole existence would be meaningless. Whether his Second Coming will happen in our lifetime or not, we must be ready for it, and this is my final point.
We all have our own shortcomings, but God can heal us spiritually, fill our hearts with joy, and make us whole so that we no longer see them as obstacles. In fact, they now make us even more dependent upon him in all things. The Lord always completes us where we fall short.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Communion experience. The Lord is holy and can make us holy. The Lord is perfect and can make us perfect. The Lord is also eternal and can give us eternal life. Desire all these things and they are yours. Desire to be like him and he'll fulfill you desire by becoming one with you.
Today is the Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr. As he was being stoned to death, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Before Jesus breathed his last on the cross, he cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit." As disciples of Christ, we must also be ready and willing to entrust our spirit to God's care, even if we are not under any threat of death.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Once you are in union with God, his values are yours and you see the world as he sees it. The people of our generation are now like kids keeping themselves entertained with whatever they can find, not knowing what they are doing nor where they are going. Unavoidably, some of them become badly spoiled and start to bully and beat up on others, creating chaos and disorder throughout the world.
I attended the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Mass yesterday. I never saw my church this packed. The adjacent ministry center had to be used to offer a second Mass for those who could not fit into the main church. The spacious parking lots were full of parked cars overflowing onto unpaved areas and the roads. And there was another Vigil Mass scheduled for 7 p.m. later too. Would that all regular Sunday Masses get flooded like this! I felt sad for those Catholics who only show up at Christmas and Easter times. I was at the ministry center and the crowd there was relatively quiet, not in any celebratory mood. All this somewhat dampened my Christmas spirits. Back to praying hard.
Monday, December 24, 2018
You may cast many things out of your life or treat something lightly in your life, but there is one you must never shut the door on and must, in fact, take most seriously – that is the God of Christ. He has come, is here with us, and will come again. A most blessed Christmas to you all!
Photography, music, and mathematics have been my favorite subjects. I enjoy talking about them, but you do not often meet people who share the same interest. Now, my greatest joy is to talk about Jesus, for he has given me the greatest joy in my life, but meeting people who are excited about him is even rarer.
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Being human, our thoughts dart around involuntarily, even in our dream. But as long as our intention remains pure, we commit no sin. Therefore, be rooted in the Lord, be one with him, so that no evil, impure, or inappropriate thought will ever cross your mind, then you'll be OK with the Lord, for he is most understanding.
Time belongs absolutely to God too. Our time on earth is simply borrowed time from God. We sense only the present instant, but for the eternal God, time stands still with the past, the present, and the future all rolled into one. Therefore, it would be utter folly to think that we can escape from God for a single moment.
Everything comes from the Lord God our creator. When we create something, we simply make something out of what has already been created. And we do not own anything either. It is important to realize that everything belongs to God, including ourselves. So it is outrageous and even outlandish to think that we do not need God anymore. In today's 1st reading from 1 Samuel 1, Hannah, the mother of Samson, dedicated her son to the Lord. It would be entirely proper for us to consecrate ourselves, our families, and all that we have to God, acknowledging that he is the creator to whom we belong. Then order will be restored in the universe.
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Probably John 3.16 is the best known verse of the New Testament: "God so loved the world that he gave his own Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life." God is infinitely deep and profound, yet he reveals his love for us in such a simple straight way. Are we so dense that we don't even get it? I think it's more that we do not really want to get it.
Let God initiate all your thoughts, words, and actions, and you'll experience great peace. As long as we still rebel against the Lord, there will be no peace within our hearts. This is how he has made us! It only shows how much he loves us and wants us to return to him to enjoy his holy presence for ever.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
It is critical that we realize God and Evil are engaged in a spiritual warfare fighting for our very soul. Without this awareness, we are likely to make many wrong life decisions at the risk of losing our soul. We simply cannot remain as bystanders. This is another wakeup call for all.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
I have said we Christians do too much talking and not enough listening to God. So I also see that we tend to start a lot of things before we get any clear signal from God. Our intention may be good, but we can get ahead of the Holy Spirit and end up wasting much of our valuable time. Unless we face some urgent issue, the Lord does not rush us; he will let us know what to do at the right time. To be patient and to trust in him are what we need to learn.
I watched Ben Shapiro interviewing Bishop Robert Barron on his show and realized that many intellectuals came to know God through studying philosophy, theology, and writings of saints who happened to be great intellectuals. I know each of us Gods leads to him via an individual path. In my own case, the spiritual growth of the past decade or so began after I opened myself up to God, asking no questions, but trusting. And he responded by speaking to me directly from my heart, revealing himself to me in the most intimate way. I really think I have discovered the best way to know God – the childlike approach.
Monday, December 17, 2018
Communion experience. Jesus is the light of the world. When I open myself up to him, he makes me see everything in and about me, and at the same time I come to understand and know him intimately. This experience is eyeopening, exhilarating, and endearing. Once you have tasted him, you would want to become one with him for ever. The Lord is that beautiful!
At every Mass, we ask God to have mercy on us and to grant us peace. Of both mercy and peace, the Lord, being love, has an infinite supply to deliver to us. As Christians, we are sustained by his mercy and peace. Knowing this keeps us humble. Without his mercy, we would be doomed. And peace is what he wishes us the most to have. Seek union with him and all his peace will be yours.
As surely as the righteous will be rewarded, those who are evil will be punished. Our conscience tells us that if good and evil are the same or if there is no heaven or hell, life would be completely meaningless. You may not see the purpose of life yet, but to see without a doubt that life is meaningless when you mind is clear and are not under emotional stress is not possible.
Today's Gospel reading from Matthew gave us the genealogy of Jesus. The total number of generations from Abraham to David is 14; from David to the Babylonian exile, 14; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, 14. All of us can be traced back to Adam and Eve, but what is amazing is that through Christ we are now directly the adopted sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
John 18.36: Jesus answered (to Pontius Pilate), "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." We who follow the Lord must also realize that we belong to his kingdom and not to this world. Therefore, we won't be troubled when things go against us in this world, knowing that we'll be dwelling in the Father's kingdom later for all eternity.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
On November 8, I posted the story of Roy Schoeman to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared. At one point, he asked her what her favorite prayer was. Her answer: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." This is one of the short prayers we recite right after daily Mass at my church. Today I also realize that these are the exact words inscribed on the front side of the Miraculous Medal, a medal I've been wearing around my neck for decades. If you do not know anything about this medal, you can find its extraordinary story online. Briefly, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, at the time a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity, Paris, in 1830. She instructed Catherine to have the medal struck, paving the way for the Church to declare officially the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary 24 years later. The Blessed Mother told Catherine that those who wear the medal would receive great graces. I believed and still believe in that. The fact that I can know our Lord so intimately today is certainly one of those great graces. I love my Holy Mother, the most beautiful human being God has ever created. (A footnote. You can still see the chair Mary sat in while conversing with Catherine at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 140 Rue du Bac, Paris. St. Catherine's incorrupt body can be seen displayed there as well.)
Saturday, December 15, 2018
We cannot be happy if we only get to be happy for a short time. All things of the world pass, so there is no point in attaching yourself to any of them. I think of the tsunami that hit Japan suddenly 7 years ago which destroyed so many lives, homes, and buildings. Recently, the whole town of Paradise just 80 miles north of here burned to the ground and practically all the residents became homeless in no time. If we ever have another world war, the extent of destruction of lives and properties would be impossible to estimate. Therefore, get yourself detached from all things of the world and seek eternal security and happiness in heaven, then you'll be truly happy now and forever. No "here today, gone tomorrow"; we demand "here today and here forever"!
Friday, December 14, 2018
When you are in union with Christ, you and the Lord share the same joys and sorrows. So carrying a burden in your heart for his sake is simply being with him carrying that burden. This is why for us, his yoke is easy and his burden light (Matthew 11.30). What a blessing it is to experience the same joys and sorrows with the Lord!
How often do you think of God? Do you ever think about him? How often do you think of yourself? Do you care a lot more about yourself than about God? These questions help us realize how much we know God. The quickest way to know God is to surrender ourselves to him to let him be the center of our life. And he will set us free to enjoy fully our new freedom in him.
Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 11, in speaking to the crowds about John the Baptist, Jesus said, "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'" This reminds me of the fake news media in this country. They no longer report news objectively; they would twist facts, accentuate the negative, or spread outright lies to spin the public to hate someone they dislike, such as President Donald Trump right now. In general, double standard and hypocrisy exist in many of our nation's places. You have to be totally ignorant of God to not sense the fierce ongoing war between good and evil.
We must never remain complacent when our soul is Satan's target in his war waged against God. This is why the Lord wants us to remain alert and be vigilant at all times. Not doing anything bad is not good enough – we must do every little bit we can to help our Lord. Don't commit any sin of omission. And our reward will be great in heaven.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
This is our God, the God of Christ. He is universal because he loves every single one of us and wishes that all of us would enter heaven to live happily forever with him. He is personal because he would have died to redeem you even if you were the only one existing. He is so personal that he wishes to be your soulmate even now while you are on earth.
Today is the Memorial of St. Lucy. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus said to the crowds: "Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he." So we can say that the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than the greatest on earth. 1 Corinthians 1.25: The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. We humans forget that God who created us is infinitely greater, wiser, and stronger than us finite creatures. Any finite number compared to infinity is essentially zero. Unfortunately, there are many of us who think that they are smart enough not to need God anymore, unaware that they are exhibiting utter foolishness. Know that the smartness of the world is dumbness in the eyes of God.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Be clear about it, we are all engaged in the spiritual warfare between God and Satan. As a matter of fact, this warfare is all about battling for our souls. Unknowingly, you may already have been held hostage by Satan, but those who are fighting evil know that they are fighting for God. The polarization between good and evil has never been so clear. From here on, I can only see that the battle intensifies, as our last days diminish. Rampant sins are causing so much misery around the world. I won't be surprised that major disasters will hit and civil wars break out in the various prosperous countries. It was the Middle East first, possibly Europe next and America soon. If Christians are no longer listening to their God, it is a bad sign. The great joy I feel in the Lord is mixed with the great sorrow I feel for the world, but God is my refuge from whom I seek help and consolation.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Gospel reading from Luke 1 tells us that Mary, pregnant with Jesus, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, and when she greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and the infant in her womb (John the Baptist) leaped for joy. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we would also feel great joy upon hearing the Lord speaking to us or merely at the thought of him. Therefore, rejoice if you have such joy, for the Holy Spirit dwells within you.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
I lament that so many people worship so many false gods nowadays: glamor of the celebrities, name-brand merchandise, luxury cars, smart technology, etc. – summarily, vanity and mammon. But they cannot save you. In fact, they will ruin your soul. How blind and foolish today's generation is!
Sinning is a complete waste of time. So you get your way, do you really feel good about it? Even if you get some pleasure out of it, how long will that last? Anything you contemplate that will make you feel guilty or regret later is not worth doing. If you sin and hurt others, your sin can be serious. And if you sin and cause others to leave God, your sin is now deadly serious. Above all, know that however you sin, you hurt and sadden your heavenly Father the most.
I used to sleep late and get up late every morning for many years. Then I was able to change all that by going to bed early and rising early the next morning everyday. I used to sit with my legs crossed most of the time. Then I realized that I really shouldn't do that sitting in a church pew during Mass, and I was able to change that too. Now I actually feel better sitting anywhere without crossing my legs. The point I am getting at is that many of our sins are also habitual and you can change your habit to stop committing them again.
Monday, December 10, 2018
Christ our Savior has already come, making it clear that we can have life in him forever. Once we know that our soul is safe in him and our body will pass away anyway, there is truly nothing left for us to fear. Let the Lord remove all your sins first and then all your fears.
It strikes me that the fact that God can forgive our sins is a big deal. Because if you are stuck with sins, you simply won't be able to get into heaven! In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Jesus forgives the sins of a paralytic for having faith in him. Anyhow, the sure way is to repent of your sins and ask the Lord to forgive you. Having God cleanse you spiritually is more amazing than having him heal you physically. For only he can do this, and it's a request with which he'll always gladly comply.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Communion experience. I received the greatest possible gift on earth, the Lord himself. By the way, a Eucharistic miracle just occurred in Buffalo, NY. This is not the first miracle of it kind. I personally saw one Host which once bled and is now preserved in Betania, Venezuela. You can google and find others preserved around the world. Unfortunately, the bishops in Buffalo for inexplicable reasons to me, instead of investigating the phenomenon and preserving it for the faithful to witness, ordered the Host to be disposed of. Fortunately, you can still see some of the images caught before it was disposed of on this part of Raymond Arroyo's latest World Over report.
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Gospel reading from Luke 1, the angel Gabriel came to Nazareth to announce the birth of Jesus to Mary, informing her that the child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born through her. Mary's final response was: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." That last line shows Mary's perfect obedience to God. In fact, it begs for God's will be done. This is a prayer we can learn quickly to say at any time to get ourselves ready to do God's will.
In Matthew 7.21, Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." How can you be sure that your name is written in heaven? If you are not quite sure, then it's probably not written there. If you truly love the Lord and are trying to do God's will in all things and not even concerned about whether your name is written in heaven or not, you certainly will enter the kingdom of heaven. How many of us belong to this group? Perhaps not the majority. The word "remnant church" comes to my mind. It is made up of "leftovers," those who remain within the Body of Christ after all the others have left or are only loosely tied to it now.
Friday, December 7, 2018
Have you really thought about that Jesus can set us free? Well, he can free us from being self-centered and from our own ego; he can free us from feeling anxious and worrying; he can lighten all our burdens for us to carry easily and turn our sufferings into joy; he can remove all shackles that keep us from approaching him; he can remove all our sins and even our desire to sin; he can fill our heart with peace and joy; he removes our fear of death and makes us look forward to meeting him in heaven; and he can makes us live in bliss for all eternity. That last freedom alone is good enough for me.
"The love of money is the root of all evils" – 1 Timothy 6.10. More fundamentally, it's our rebelliousness against God that has made our world so chaotic and disordered. On this tiny planet in this vast universe, billions of us all try to play God, concerned only about our own happiness on earth and not realizing that we'll soon pass away and face judgment. It's quite a pitiful sight. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to play God here so as to see that we are the only creatures who are capable of sinning and are messing up things in the universe.
Faith is a gift from God. You can receive this most precious divine gift by opening up your heart to the Lord. How strong a faith you receive depends upon how wide you open up your heart. Do you know that as you open up your heart to God, the narrow entrance gate to heaven for you opens wider too?
God is love, so he loves us. Because of this tremendous love, he is most lovely and we fall in love with him. It is this love that can bring us inner peace and unite us to him as one. Surrender to God to let this love engulf you and you'll be lovely to him.
If we acknowledge Jesus before others, he will acknowledge us before the heavenly Father. If we deny him before others, he will deny us before the heavenly Father. (Matthew 10.32-33.) If we trust in the Lord, he will trust in us. If we glorify him, he will glorify us.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
I watched about 3/4 of Fr. Mark Goring's testimony on how he came to know God on YouTube. Some of his experiences were similar to mine, so I am prompted to reiterate what I have said in the past again, for I think the message is important. Knowing God is simple to understand. God has done all the preparatory work and is waiting for your move. He has even knocked on your door before, but you did not hear him. What is essential is that you must leave your heart open – the wider the better. If you seek God and expect him to hear from him, but if your heart is closed, he's not going to barge in. Of course, there are exceptions. In the case of St. Paul, even when was persecuting Christians, Jesus called him directly to be his Apostle to the Gentiles. Roy Schoeman whose testimony I recently posted is another case. But for most of us, the fast and sure way to know God is to open your heart and invite God to enter. The wider you open yourself, the sooner you'll experience him. This is to show that you are humble and sincere in seeking him. If you keep God out, he's going to keep you out, or said perhaps more accurately, you'll keep yourself out by your own choice.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus tells us how we must build our house on a solid foundation so that it will not collapse when the rain falls, the floods come, and the winds blow and buffet it, by listening to his words and acting on them. Of all the battles, the battle for the soul is the one that matters the most to us. And Christ is the only rock we can set our house on to safeguard our souls – there is no alternative.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
In today's Gospel's reading from Matthew 15, Jesus healed many people: he made the lame walk, the blind see, the deformed whole, and the mute speak. Then he multiplied seven loaves of bread and a few fish more than enough to feed over four thousand people. For me, this is certainly the Lord who can also take away all my sins just as easily.
Today's entrance antiphon from Habakkuk 2: The Lord will come and he will not delay. He will illumine what is hidden in darkness and reveal himself to all the nations. I personally am completely satisfied with what Jesus has revealed to us that to know him is to know God the Father and that we can have eternal life if we believe and follow him.
Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Naturally, anyone who does not go after Jesus is not obligated to deny himself. Nevertheless, he still has crosses created by other sinners and himself. But for those who are in union with the Lord, they only need to deal with the crosses created by others because they no longer go against God's will, and all crosses become light and even joyous to carry.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
I feel the weight in my heart when I see how evil has infiltrated governments, societies, companies, organizations, businesses, news media, entertainment industry, academic institutions, and yes, even churches, all around the world. Corruption is widespread. I lament the fact that the public is generally not aware of the fierce spiritual warfare the evil one is waging against God to snatch souls away from him, and that many Christians no longer show zeal in following Christ. So I am happy to have found Fr. Mark Goring's short video "Demon Over Patient's Bed." He puts the points across better than I ever can. There are many other good talks by Fr. Mark online you can check out.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 10, Jesus said, "All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." So the Father and the Son know each other, and the Son reveals the Father to his chosen ones. As a result, we also get to know the Son. It is through Jesus that we get to know both God the Father and God the Son.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Today is the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier. The Communion antiphon (Matthew 10.27) reads: What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the rooftops, says the Lord. I feel particularly our intimacy with the Lord – he speaks to our hearts quietly in private and what we hear is so endearing and compelling that it would be impossible for us not to want to proclaim aloud to the world. This is the fire the Holy Spirit ignites in us. We now live within the Lord entirely.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Most people are not ready to die yet. If you are a Christian and do not wish to die yet because you still want to take care some unfinished business or see some event happen in your lifetime, you don't have a good reason. For death is God calling you. If you do not wish to die yet because you are afraid, that is an honest good reason. Now you can make amends for all the sins you have committed against God and be ready to face the Lord in peace.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus said to his disciples, "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man." Like death, facing the Lord is unavoidable, but most of the people in the world are still not fully awake. Many would wish that they had not been born when that day arrives.
Friday, November 30, 2018
We all seem to be aware that we are not free because we are attached to many people and things in this world. So how can we become free? Well, normally, we regard ourselves to be more important than everyone or everything else. Therefore, if we can get detached from ourselves, we'll be detached from all other things too. This happens when we abandon ourselves to God and become attached to him alone.
If Jesus is truly a joy in your heart, you will want to talk about him as much as you can, because talking about him would be a joy in itself. If you truly know Jesus, it would be impossible not to think about him all the time, for he is that beautiful and exciting to know. If he is your life, you will want to talk about him more than anything else. If he has done wonders to you, you will want to share that with everyone. Everything passes except him. Know him well to let him become your greatest joy.
Today is Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle. When Jesus saw him and his brother Peter fishing at the Sea of Galilee, he said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. When we are called to follow Christ, we are receiving the highest possible honor. Being called by the Lord is proof that he loves you. He is letting you know that your name is written in heaven. If you remain faithful, your reward will be nothing short of eternal happiness.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
At a small group gathering at church yesterday, the subject of finding a spiritual director came up. True that there are times we are not sure how to proceed spiritually, so having a director to give you advice can be helpful. But to find a director who is wise, knowledgeable, and just right for you is not always easy. Now I do think that having a personal spiritual director is a luxury. The best way is to go straight to Jesus, who is most holy and knows everything about you. The Apostles had only Jesus to guide them. If you seek union with him, you will hear him speaking directly to you in your heart.
I know that many of you have watched the video I posted on 11/8/18. Roy Schoeman, a Jewish Harvard professor, tells how he became a Catholic. I listened to some of his other talks on YouTube and realized that Catholicism is really the modern form of Judaism. You see, when a Jew recognizes that Christ is the true Messiah as prophesied, he is fulfilled or completed, not having to give up anything he learned before. So spiritually, I can now say that I belong to Judaism too.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus tells about the coming persecution. He says, "They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives." We might not face persecutions as severe as those mentioned by Jesus above, but we do suffer and carry the various crosses of life in serving him – these are forms of persecution because of his name too. May we persevere till the very end, for our reward will be great in heaven.
Some people want to get all things done perfectly and others are a lot sloppier in whatever they do. You can say that not everyone is a perfectionist. But I do see that God has made us all perfectionists in this way – we can never be completely happy until we can be happy forever.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
As you know, God's ways are high above our ways and his thoughts high above ours. We live a very limited time and see only what's happening at the moment, whereas the Lord knows all of the past and the future, and things have been evolving according to his plan since our creation. When we see someone dies unexpectedly at a relatively young age, we see it as a tragedy. What if the soul of the deceased goes directly to heaven? And when we see someone who has lived to a ripe old age and is still going strong, we envy him and consider him lucky. What if later he dies and does not make heaven? Only God knows what is going on. We need to focus upon following the Lord alone and not dwell upon things we do not really know.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Both "Only God can change us" and "Only we can change ourselves" are correct. "Only we can change ourselves" means we are the only ones who can initiate the change by permitting God to enter us. From this point on, God is now the only one who can make and complete the change in us.
I get mixed feelings about Jesus' Second Coming. Of course, for the sheep Jesus will take with him, we shall naturally rejoice. Then what about the goats that's going to be left behind forever? You can't help feeling sad about them, but again, they were the ones who made the Lord sad for not loving him. So I believe that our joy would overwhelm any sadness we feel. After all, that's the time the Lord will wipe every tear from our eyes.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into treasury and a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." Again, the intention behind our action is what counts. It boils down how much we truly love the Lord.
Each one of us is a unique creature of God. We all have different dispositions, temperaments, talents, upbringings, etc. The Lord, knowing it all, puts us who love him on different paths to perform tasks for our maximum spiritual benefit and his greatest glory. Whether we are poor or rich, erudite or uneducated, adroit or clumsy, shy or outgoing, mystical or not . . . the Lord knows exactly how to lead us on. In my own case, I have a pretty simple mind, always trying to simplify things to go straight to the point. God, accordingly, makes everything simple for me to understand and follow. Whoever and wherever you are, serve the Lord faithfully with patience as he leads you through life.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Today is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In the second reading from Revelation 1, the Lord God says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty." For those who already follow Jesus, this must have been their greatest awakening or revelation. But for others, especially those who are power hungry and proud, it remains their greatest stumbling block. The world divides because of the Lord.
People do not want Christ in their lives because they want to feel free to do whatever they want to do. Unknowingly and foolishly, they instantly lock themselves inside a cage they have built for themselves. Meanwhile, those who follow Christ is enjoying complete freedom in his infinite space, doing exactly what they wish to do, the will of God.
Going through life, we all get emotionally hurt or suppressed from time to time. And when we can't take it anymore, we get angry or out of control in some way. Certainly, talking to someone or getting counseling somewhere can help, but none has the power to heal himself or anyone else. The only one who can heal all our wounds and hurts is the Lord God our creator. Naturally, you must ask for help from him first to let him enter before he can heal you. Unfortunately, many with too much pride just do not believe in the Lord, and they continue to suffer.
Friday, November 23, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 19, we read that while Jesus was teaching in the temple area every day, the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were seeking to put him to death. This scene is familiar today when you see politicians of one party seeking to bring down the leader of their opposition party no matter how much good he or she is doing.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
When Jesus shows up unexpected upon his Second Coming, would you like to be caught thinking about how you dislike someone, or speaking unkindly to a member of your family, or checking out an impure website online? If your answer is no, no, no, then be holy and do not sin in thoughts, words, or deeds.
We wonder why God does not crush all evil and bring peace to the world. Let us remember two things. First, God has already done his part paving the way to salvation for us. Now it's time for us to respond. Don't you see that if we all turn to the Lord and obey him, there will be instant peace in the world? Secondly, read this response from Jesus to Pontius Pilate during his trial: "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. Bt as it is, my kingdom is not here." You get the idea. The Lord's chief wish is to have us join his kingdom so as to have life eternal. Any peace he can bring to us on earth who do not change our hearts will be short-lived and imperfect.
Christ loves us so much that he wants to possess all of us. Our perfect reaction should be to want to possess all of him. In practice, we would just let him possess all of us and he becomes ours in the process. Now we have perfect union this side of heaven!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 17, Jesus cleansed ten lepers and only one of the ten returned, fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Jesus told him that his faith had saved him. In many other cases of healing, Jesus had said the same thing. It strikes me that to have faith in the Lord is the most important step we can take. There are many others things we need to do afterwards, but to have faith in him is the key step to take to be saved.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful that I'll get to eat turkey, ham, yams, etc., but I am most thankful that we have a Heavenly Father who is infinitely patient with us. We parents know exactly how we feel when our children do not love us anymore, rebel against us, or leave us, wanting to have nothing to do with us. When we cannot handle it anymore, we just cut off our relationships with them. Now, our Father loves us more than any of us could possibly love our children, and billions of us ignore him, but he still patiently waits, never wanting to punish us and hoping that we'll turn to him like the prodigal son one day. This is the loving, patient Father I am thankful for.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
These thoughts came to me this morning as I was having some breakfast. It would be enjoyable to sip coffee or tea and listen to some nice music in the background. Certainly, there are numerous other nice things to enjoy in life. This in fact is exactly what everyone in the world is seeking in order to live a happier life. The shocking realization is that all these things are passing, ourselves included, and we absolutely cannot build anything solid upon any of them. The only rock we can build and depend upon is the eternal Lord God. It is only in him that we'll find happiness, satisfaction, and enjoyment that never end. Again, he has made us this way. Discover the Lord and you discover yourself as well.
Looking at the other major religions other than Christianity, I see the following. At one extreme we have a religion that's easygoing – it does not pressure you in any way, which means you can join or leave freely at any time. And at the other extreme, we have one that forces you to join and would not tolerate anyone who disagrees with its teachings. As for Christianity (which I won't call another religion, for it is the truth to me) it respects our free will and never forces it teachings on us. It simply proclaims the truth and spells out the commitment you need to make for the sake of your salvation. The decision is entirely up to you. When you voluntarily decide to follow Christ, your faith truly becomes a meaningful thing. I see the perfect balance and fairness to us here. That is why I see Christianity to be the truth.
Why don't people believe in Jesus readily? I find the answer in Isaiah 55. It's because God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are his ways ours; and as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. This is the natural gap between the creator and his creatures. So the fact that people have difficulty accepting Jesus only bolsters the reality that he is God.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
When Catholics go to confession, depending upon the nature of the sin, they can feel embarrassed confessing it before the priest. This is good, for the next time they are tempted to commit a sin they know would make them feel embarrassed in confession, they can stop right there and then from committing that sin.
Communion experience. I loved it when the Lord let me see all my faults. It's good to see what he sees, to know his thoughts, and to learn his ways. One particular insight worth mentioning is that he made me see that he alone is the judge all things. Therefore, we need to be 100% humble and can remain in peace, knowing that God will set everyone and everything in its right place at judgment time.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Looking at the various non-Christian religions, I notice the following: (1) People conjure up various gods, (2) a human being started a religion with all teachings originating from him, or (3) a human being claimed that he knew God so that we must follow him. In all cases, God remains unknown to us or his image has been tainted by a human being. All you need to do is to look at how God was presented to us: predictable, with God thinking and acting like many of us. Now, how refreshing it is to look at Christ. He revealed God to be love. To demonstrate that, he came into the world and died, carrying all our sins so that we might be saved. And he is mighty while being meek and humble. No one could have expected God to be like that! So here is God, revealing purely himself as only he can. This has to be the true God, the one to be trusted!
You can avoid Christ by trying not to even think about him, but do you know that you can also let him embrace you, set you free, give you inner peace, fill you with joy now and forever? And, by the way, there is no limit as to how deep you can enter his space and enjoy his love. It's all up to you.
To be Christ-centered is to be with him and to include him in everything we do, that is, we become inseparable from him. This is the way to live the Christian life. We can figure out how to get close to him, how to love him, how to serve him better or how to grow spiritually on our own, but this is not the smart way to go. The smart way is go straight to him, open yourself up to him, and give yourself over to him entirely, then he will teach you and do the work for you. I don't mean that you don't do a thing anymore; the main thing you do now is to go all out to be with him and to know him. And with you, he'll help you do all other things.
Sunday, November 18, 2018
In Mark 11.24, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." Therefore, we should pray hard, never doubting the outcome. Similarly, when we show our love for our neighbor, we are not concerned about how that person might react. Putting it "coldly," our job is to trust in the Lord single-mindedly and not care about anything else.
For those who love the Lord, things will turn out better than they could ever have expected in the end. On the other hand, for those who hate the Lord, things will turn out worse than they could ever have expected in the end. It's most enjoyable surprise or horrific shock.
Matthew 16.25: Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it, says the Lord. It is clear that anyone who lives a completely self-centered life will not be able to save his eternal life. It all comes down to how much you love.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Yesterday I turned on EWTN and caught a priest commenting on the Pharisees who believed that Jesus drove out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. The speaker was most eloquent. In fact, he had so much to say that after listening to him talking nonstop for 5 minutes or so, I lost my interest. I see the prime goal for all Christians is to be drawn into Christ to become like him. Therefore, we must focus upon the Lord, zeroing in on him to capture him in order to become one with him. But he already wants us, so to capture him becomes in reality to let him capture us, which means that we must open and abandon ourselves to him. This is the direct and fast way to possess God. Otherwise, all our effort amounts to beating around the bush. Relating to Christianity or Christ, there are so many publications and blogs out there. They deal with topics that are interesting, educational, or useful in some way. Many conferences and retreats have their own themes to follow. Speakers are often dynamic and uplifting, motivating you to love God even more. Unfortunately, I have not heard anyone telling us to abandon or surrender ourselves completely to God first. Perhaps it's because the speaker hasn't totally abandoned himself to God yet. Then I see that even if you do not know how to swim, you can still advise people that swimming is good exercise and knowing how to swim can save lives. I think another reason people do not talk about total abandonment to God is that they think it's for the saints only. This is making a big mistake, for it amounts to telling God that he cannot make you a saint, meaning in effect that you don't believe that nothing is impossible with him anymore. To think that way is to stifle the Holy Spirit. Know that God can even turn a pebble into a saint and that most great saints were like us or worse before they became saints. Challenge our infinite loving God, for he is more than competent to meet our challenges. Better yet, go before him and declare from your very heart: "Lord, I am all yours."
Friday, November 16, 2018
On November 28, 2016, I posted "Abortion Horrendous." I have just updated and amplified it into a video which you can now watch on YouTube. You can also go on YouTube directly by typing in "Magnitude of Abortion." If you are with me, please spread this video to as many as possible. God bless you.
In today's Gospel from Luke 17, Jesus talked about the day he would be revealed. The most poignant lines to me are verses 34 & 35: "I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; on will be taken, the other left." I am not sure which is better, to be taken or to be left, but it strikes me hard to realize that the breakup between the two will be final and forever, not to mention the breakup from the Lord for one of the two! May this reading (verses 26-37) be a warning be to all of us, especially those who do not think much about their eternity.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Jesus wants us to stay alert, for we do not know when he will come again. But while we are waiting, we must be aware of the fierce ongoing spiritual battle that's being waged by all the evil forces against God. You may look around and see beautiful neighborhoods, buildings, trees, etc., but if you think everything is fine and do not remain vigilant, your children and grandchildren will likely suffer. Looking within my own country, you have a political party that has no qualms about killing the unborn at any stage of their development. Abroad, there is a religion that wants to wipe out all Christians and others who do not share its faith. Christians, while continuing to love all others, must pray hard for their enemies, and themselves too, for they need to grow a lot stronger in the Lord and be prepared to suffer for him if they ever wish to triumph in this spiritual battle.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
There are many good rules of life we can follow, some broader and some more specific. Another one came to my mind: Forget about yourself and everything and everyone else in this world, and serve God alone wholeheartedly, and you'll go far (as far as heaven).
Communion experience. Today's Psalm reading came from Psalm 23. "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." This first verse described exactly how I felt, for to have God is to have all our wishes fulfilled. Anyone who wants more than God has to be outlandishly out of his mind.
During the consecration of the bread and wine at Mass, when I heard the priest say the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: "Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this this is my body which will be given up for you" and "Take this, all of you, and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me," joy filled my heart, hard to believe that the Lord favors me so much.
In the Gospels, we read that many were awed by the mighty deeds Jesus performed and the authority with which he spoke to them, and they became afraid to ask him questions. Should we also be afraid of him in the same way. I think not. This is because we now know who he truly is and how he loves us. Unless you are an unrepentant sinner, we can rush toward him and throw ourselves in his arms with all our whole being and get the warmest loving welcome from him – this I can assure you. This is just the beginning. It only gets better and better as you abandon yourself more and more to him!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 17, ten lepers begged Jesus to have pity on them. Jesus asked them to go show themselves to the priests. As they were going, they were cleansed. But only one of the ten returned and fell at the the feet of Jesus to thank him. Jesus said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." I believe what means the most to the Lord and counts for us is that we sincerely believe in him, even though we know we can never be perfect. This is so much better than being a believer outwardly but with no sincerity within our heart.
The ego is always in us. We can starve it, not pay any attention to it, etc., but it tends to rear its ugly head every chance it gets. Even when we are serving God, we remind ourselves that we are doing something good. In Luke 17.10, Jesus described the attitude a servant should assume by saying, "When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" The best way to "kill" the ego is to let the Lord fill you to the fullest so that you will be occupied with him alone.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Communion experience. Our relationship with Christ once established is forever. We are loved by him forever. He'll guard our soul always. We'll have eternal life with him forever. He understands us always. We can trust in him forever. He is perfect for us as passing creatures in this passing world.
Monday, November 12, 2018
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Before the Lord God, we must realize that we are nothing, smaller than a dust particle in the universe, sinful and full of pride. Then to the Lord, we are his most precious children he would sacrifice his own Son to save so that we might have eternal life – we are everything to him! The question is "Do you want to remain to be nothing or become everything to God?"
When we meet God after we die, we'll be shown in a flash what we've done and failed to do on earth so that we would understand why we receive the final judgment given to us. It would be smart for us to review our past on our own now and correct our course if necessary. Start storing up treasures in heaven now to avoid facing the biggest possible shock of your whole existence.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
I realized two things today, one happy and one sad. The happy one first: Everything Jesus said in the scriptures was spoken out of love. He might sound harsh and demanding at times, but they were uttered out of love too! The sad realization: So many of the beautiful things man have created in the world seem rather pathetic, for their works were all created for their own glory. My comment would be in the vein of Jesus' prayer from the cross, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."
The Lord God understands our human nature and weaknesses well. As long as our intention is good and sincere, he tolerates our childishness, fears, or even our stupidities, for his love overlooks all our faults and shortcomings. But we can do much better than that! Submit yourself to him and seek to be holy like him, and you'll get all the help you need from him.
To put our faith in God means to wait patiently for him to prompt us, lead us, and guide us. Getting anxious about what we can do for him is rushing ahead of the Holy Spirit. The Lord knows our intention to serve him and will show the way in his time. We simply follow and not question when he reveals the whole plan to us or just the next single little step for us to take.
You've heard said that we should live each day as if it is the first day of our life. This is good, for it makes us look forward to discovering new things every day. Then it's also been said that we should live as if today is the last day of our life. This is better, for now we are being farsighted. Unfortunately though, many miss the point and start to enjoy the pleasures of the world as much as they can. Personally, I see that the best way for us is to live as if the Second Coming of Christ is going to happen anytime now, which is true. This is being most realistic. Realizing this, we can still continue to store up treasures in heaven in the meantime.
Friday, November 9, 2018
I have tried hard to come up with a drain connecting the pipe on the house to the underground pipe. Previous installations had never lasted long. Finally, I stumbled upon a downspout extender that could work with some modification. I tested it and I was right! It was a good feeling that I solved the problem satisfactorily. I thought of how happy we and God would feel when he succeeds in making us perfect.
God has an amazing way of answering prayers. When my heart is burdened and I pray to him, I have no idea how he is going to help me. But help does come at the appropriate time in an unexpected way. His latest response to me came when I was listening to a talk online on a subject totally unrelated to my issue, yet what I heard illuminated me. It's a matter of correcting my perception to see the overall picture and it took someone else to make me see it. Our God is full of delightful surprises, making my journey of following him truly exciting.
I had enjoyed doing many things in life. Listening to good music whether it be classical, jazz, vocals, or other instrumentals was one big enjoyment. Driving a sports car on a winding road was also fun. And there were others. Now I no longer get carried away by any of these things, so you might think that I have no more fun in life. Certainly, all the things remain the same; what had happened was that Christ had become so dazzling and attractive that everything else just faded away, you might say. It's like the shining sun standing out more than anything else you can see. I finally realized that no created thing can be more beautiful than its creator. Being with my Lord is now my greatest enjoyment, and fun.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
This is the amazing, beautiful testimony of Roy Schoeman which I just came across unexpectedly on YouTube. I know there is a purpose here for me. May you profit from watching it. (A footnote. Roy is the author of the book Salvation is from the Jews and also published the book Honey from the Rock, a compilation of stories by 16 Jews who have found the sweetness of Christ.)
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 15, Jesus told the Pharisees and scribes the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. He let them know that "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who have no need of repentance, and there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents." It shows how incredibly important we are to God our Father and how necessary it is for us to repent! If you haven't repented yet, the whole heaven is waiting to cheer for you. So get off your high horse and stop being a kill-joy.
This morning's entrance antiphon from Psalm 38: Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation! This is the timely prayer for me to hear. Since the Lord is the infinite wellspring of anything we need, we can derive infinite strength from him. Be weak in God and he'll make your strong. Be in union with him and he'll fight all the battles for you.
I have come to see that if you know the Lord well, you'll see and understand clearly what life and this world is all about. If you don't see good against evil going on at all times and that the soul lives on forever and will face final judgment after we die, then you are essentially living in darkness. Christ is the only shining light that can make us see and understand the reality and truth. But tragically, many are so lost that instead of seeing themselves as obstacles in God's way, they do not see him at all or even see him as an obstacle in their way. How I wish that they realize that there is not a time in life that we don't need to repent of our sins.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
My spirit gets depressed when I see so many people in the world suffering persecution and injustice. Then I see how Christ suffered the worst persecution and injustice of all and the best good news came out of it – our salvation! My spirit now is uplifted, seeing Christ as our bright hope. We must never forget that God is our light and salvation (Psalm 27:1).
From time to time, I have to give up doing certain things I enjoy doing because of old age or other reasons; but the Lord compensates me by letting me feel even more joy in him. Seeing how the world is becoming so godless in so many ways often places a heavy burden on my heart. Again, I find relief and consolation in Christ the Lord. We can decide to fight all the problems on our own our whole life, and then die. What do we accomplish then? It becomes crystal clear to me that the best and right way for us to live is trust fully in God, obey him in all things, and grow holier each day. (Obviously, God has no use for anyone unholy.) As one of the lines of Mother Teresa's poem "Do It Anyway" reads: For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus tells the parable of the great feast. In the story, a man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. But one by one, those invited all began to excuse themselves. We see the same phenomenon today. Christ is patiently waiting, hoping that anyone would even glance in his direction, yet people do not pay the slightest attention to him. I truly feel sorry for the Lord, although I know that he would want me to feel more sorry for them. My message is this: To be fair to the Lord, if you ignore him, you should at the least examine yourself to know what your true reason is.
Paul wrote in today's first reading, Philippians 2.5-11 – Brothers and sisters: Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, 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 death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We too should empty ourselves so that we may obey and serve the Lord humbly with all our heart. Then God will also exalt us. It is absolutely appropriate for us to want the Lord to exalt us, for this is his wish. And it is also appropriate for us to desire to go to heaven, for nothing pleases the Lord more than our wanting to be with him forever.
Monday, November 5, 2018
God knows us so well that he has devised the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist ingeniously. In confession, when you hear the priest absolve your sins, you know that they are being absolved. In receiving the Holy Eucharist, the physical contact just makes you realize that the Lord is inviting you to spiritual union with him.
Here's the very reason. We lose peace because things do not always turn out the way we want them to turn out. We are in effect spoiled, rebellious children of God, not letting him be our Lord. It come down to the lack of humility. Don't expect to enter God's kingdom when you are still full of pride.
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Today's readings at Mass were all about loving the Lord, the first of all the commandments. It is true that we shall all be measured by how much we love him. If we do not surrender ourselves totally to God, we shall always fall short of loving him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, an with all our strength. It stands to reason that if we can give ourselves up to God, then we can give everything else up to God too, and we thus become free.
I want to be able to play the piano well; but physically, I lack the necessary facility. Now with memory getting weaker and finger joints less flexible, the goal becomes even more difficult to reach. I used to play basketball and table tennis quite well, but there were always others who played better. I was pretty good in mathematics too, again I sensed that some others just thought and caught on faster. What I want to say is that we all have our physical or intellectual limitations. We are finite, period. But there is one thing that can be infinite with us, that is on opening ourselves up to God. When we do open ourselves up, the infinite God enters to do what he pleases, and there will be no limit to how holy he can make us! This is truly exciting when we see that we can grow spiritually as much as we desire.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Today's Gospel reading came from Luke 14. Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. Noticing how the invited guests were choosing the places of honor at the table, he told them a parable. The moral of the story is that "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Therefore, let's humble ourselves until we forget that we even exist, then the Lord will exalt us to his level, that is, he'll truly be with us and in us. This is living happily ever after! To give God the Father joy is to be joy-filled ourselves.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Communion experience. We all know that home sweet home feeling, especially after you've been away for some time. Once you know the Lord intimately, you'll know that your true home is where he is and that you'll have the greatest home sweet home feeling when you return to him. This time you'll get a most warm and joyful welcome too, from the Lord himself. After I received Jesus this morning, I was filled with sweet joy and felt that I was almost home.
Today is All Souls Day. In the Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said, "This is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day." For those who follow Christ faithfully, it's good is to know that their salvation and resurrection are assured, as the Lord can only speak the truth.
The fear of God can be good or bad. It is bad if you know that you have sinned and you try to hide from God, while your sins remain. It is good if you know that you have sinned, but are aware that God knows all your sins and decide to confess them to get them removed by him. Turn your bad fear into good fear and you'll be filled with joy.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
If you find something unique in the world that you can greatly treasure, you'll want to keep it for yourself entirely for your own enjoyment. Christ is the only object that is different. After you find him to be your greatest treasure and satisfaction of your life, you'll want to share him with everyone else, for the joy is that great! It just shows that he has the profound power to free you and transform you into a selfless being – this is how amazing our God is! Pity the one who does not know him to have such life-changing power.
The Lord is thorough with us – he wants to save our souls for all eternity! He never gives up on us and will always remain faithful to us, for he loves us. All we need to do to let him be my Lord and everything is accomplished for him and for us! Don't you see?
Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5 was Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, giving us the Beatitudes. The 6th, 7th, and 8th Beatitudes also made up the Communion antiphon. Here they are.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blesses are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Just these three declarations of blessedness alone show how we are to live and what our rewards will be. We must be solely concerned about living for the sake of God and not about whether we go against the world or not.
1 John 3.2 from Reading 2: We are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. My thought was that for the Christian, it just gets better and better with the very best coming at the very end.
On this All Saints day, the Gospel acclamation came from Matthew 11.28: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. I know all about this rest. It is not physical and goes beyond temporary mental relief – it is enjoying permanent spiritual peace, knowing that the Lord has settled your eternal destiny. How can you not rest in joy when the Lord has now removed your most urgent concern about your existence?
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
How do you deal with God, the God of Christ? You either submit yourself to him or you don't. If you think clearly, you'll see clearly that submitting yourself to him is the logical choice. You try it and experience peace, freedom, and joy, confirming that you've made the right choice. (Should you choose not to submit yourself to God, your will never receive any such positive confirmation.)
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, someone asked Jesus, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" Jesus did not answer the question directly, but made it clear that the gate through which we must enter to be saved is narrow and that many would not be strong enough to enter through it. He said that the evildoers would one day find the door locked and hear the Lord say to them, "I do not know you. Depart from me." When they found themselves cast out of the kingdom of God, there would be wailing and grinding of teeth.
We do not know who will or will not be saved for sure, but this much we know: Hell exists and will not be empty. Therefore, know God as intimately as possible now to avoid being cast out later. It's such a serious matter that we must absolutely pay serious attention.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
This is today's Gospel reading from Luke 13: Jesus said, "What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches." Again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened."
This tells me that the kingdom of God is to let God completely fill us so that we bear fruit to the max. This is to be in union with him. When we let God do whatever he wishes with us, we are free! And the kingdom of God now belongs to us.
Monday, October 29, 2018
Since God is greater than us, for he is our creator, we are incapable of proving that he exists; only he can prove to us that he is real by revealing himself to us. This is exactly what happens when we surrender and open ourselves up to him. As a corollary, I can say that our eternal destiny is also totally dependent upon how each of us responds to his love and mercy. In the final analysis, it's always between you and God. (Read Mother Teresa's "Do It Anyway" poem.)
Many prominent world leaders and figures attribute their success to never quitting on what they wish to accomplish. This dominant spirit is laudable, for it does increase anyone's chances of success. My thought is that if you never quit believing in Christ with all your heart, you will be 100%-sure rewarded with eternal life, for the Lord is 100% trustworthy.
Sunday, October 28, 2018
When I was very young, my grandfather already started telling me some of the rules of life he had learned which he thought would benefit me too in my life. As I grew up, I began to learn many more rules from my own life experiences. Later, after I came to know Christ, I had to discard or modify many of them. I now see one rule that a Christian must follow, that is, no matter what I contemplate doing, it must be according to God's will. Naturally, I am excluding the usual routine chores; I am talking about the more unusual ideas that pop into my mind. It is easy to brush God aside and follow your own intention. Therefore, the rule is to make sure that whatever we attempt to do, we are prompted by the Holy Spirit. The sign that we are following God's will is that we'll have inner peace.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus tells the need to repent and to bear fruit to be assured of salvation. So, essentially we have three requirements to fulfill: accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, repent, and bear fruit. Actually, if we fulfill the first requirement faithfully, the other two will automatically be fulfilled too. But there are Christians who slack off and think that their sins are OK, thus putting off repentance, and easily fall into living a more self-centered life, no longer bearing any fruit for the Lord. Their salvation is now no longer assured. It comes down to following the Lord closely to remain vigilant.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Thursday, October 25, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus announced that he had come to establish not peace, but rather division, on earth. But Jesus is the prince of peace, so any division could only be caused by whether we accept and believe in him or not, as we all exercise our free will. The truth remains the same, and it is because he is the truth that this division matters gravely to both him and us. (Know that the devil aims to get us divided among ourselves.)