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.
Monday, February 19, 2018
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.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Communion experience. In life, we have the opportunity to befriend a wide range of people from those we find almost impossible to get along with to those we instantly click with. Christ is special. Once you get to know him well, you will find that he is the perfect friend you can have the deepest meaningful relationship with, for he is trustworthy and understanding, let alone the fact he is also your God and Savior.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, Levi, a tax collector gave a banquet for Jesus in his house, a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained about Jesus' eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus said to them, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners." We are all sinners, so Jesus has come to call you and me. That means that our hope is here! Let us prepare a banquet in our heart to welcome Jesus, our Savior.
Friday, February 16, 2018
If you are not with Christ yet, but at the same time you cannot tell him that he is a total fake and dismiss him from your mind altogether, the Lord is still calling and waiting for you. It's time to turn to him to start your new life with him that will lead you to eternal happiness.
This is today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9: The disciples of John approached Jesus said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." My thoughts are that now we have the Lord with us always, we should rejoice at all times. For those in union with the Lord, he even dwells within them happily. Indeed, Christian life is permeated with Christ our pure joy.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Today's Gospel reading consists of just three verses from Luke 9: Jesus said to his disciples: "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised." Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?"
The Lord here spoke definitively as God. He knew exactly what he was going to happen to him, laid down the precise conditions of discipleship for us to save ourselves, and asked the most poignant question that should make us realize that there is life after death. Listen to him.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus teaches about almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. He let it be known that if we perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them, we have received our reward. But if we do them all in secret, the Father who sees them in secret will repay us. It shows again that any reward a hypocrite receives is short-lived and that our ego is our great enemy.
This is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. The Lord invites you to give all of yourself to him, for he loves you so much that he wants all of you to himself. During this season we are supposed to fast, be penitent, and give up things to which we are attached in preparation for Easter, so why not give all of yourself to him?
Monday, February 12, 2018
Today's short Gospel reading from Mark 8: The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seek from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation." Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore. Today's unbelievers also wish to see a sign before they would believe, so they say. I say that if they do not already believe that Jesus had healed the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the lepers, cast demons out of the possessed, raised the dead, and performed so many other miracles, including the biggest one of them all, his own Resurrection, then they are not going to believe in him even if he shows up today to do another miracle. Remember that when the great 1917 miracle of the sun took place in Fatima before tens of thousands of people, critics still tried to explain it away, saying that it must be mass hallucination or something. Once the heart has hardened, it becomes a tough nut to crack. The next time you see the Lord doing a sign in person will be at his Second Coming, then it'll be too late for us to believe in him, even if we want to.
This blog began in 2009, but it's not until late 2010 that it started to take off, and the Lord made it clear to me that through his messages, he wishes to draw all to union with him via receiving the Holy Eucharist. This has continued on for over seven and a half years. It is clear that not everyone is receptive to this message. In fact, it creates a disconnect in many cases, for union with God is too far from what they would consider. I have personally met people who told me that they did know what I was talking about and others who, seemingly content in their faith, expressed no interest in furthering their spiritual growth. On the other hand, from the small number of comments I'd received, these messages did impact these readers. The number of pageviews and followers are also indications of how popular the blog is. But to go viral is never the objective, for we are called to fight spiritual battles, to tread on rough roads if need be. As always, we merely do we are assigned to do by the Lord and trust that he will take care of the rest.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
I am happy today because I realize that we all sin and our God knows that. Should he be absent, we would spin out of control and evil would rule the world. I am also happy that the Lord is all holy, setting the example for us to follow. Otherwise, we would have no guide to show us the way. He is everything we need, our indispensable salvation!
Saturday, February 10, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 8, Jesus was moved with great pity for the great crowd that had been with him for three days and had nothing to eat. He was concerned that if he sends them away hungry to their homes, they would collapse on the way. So he took the seven loaves of bread and a few fish which his disciples had, said the blessing, multiplied them and ordered his disciples to distribute them to the crowd. I also recall that after Jesus heard that Lazarus whom he loved was ill, he still remained for two days in the place where he was before setting out for the village of Lazarus. When he arrived, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. And the Lord raised him from the dead so that all might see the glory of God and believe.
God always knows what to do and does test us constantly, while we always wish for instant results. Complete trust in the Lord is necessary. If God cannot be completed trusted, he couldn't have been God in the first place. If we were all sinless, we would be living in a perfect, predictably ordered world. Sinning throws things out of kilter so that the Lord has to deal with the chaos we have created as he sees fit without changing the goal of his overall plan. Because of this, we get confused about why things should happen this way or that way. Therefore, be holy, trust with patience, and do not question to the very end.
Friday, February 9, 2018
We have little power to change ourselves fundamentally, that is, to change our heart. We can be determined and resolve to change, then we slip once and are back to where we were. Say there is someone who gets stressed out all the time and you advise him not to let anything bother him, even suggesting that he abandon himself in God. It's good advice, but if the person does listen, nothing will happen. I advocate seeking union with God, precisely because this is the way to let God into your heart to let him change your heart inside out. This is how you become a new work of God.
Communion experience. In Matthew 9, the woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel on his cloak, saying to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured." And she was cured. Surely, receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is a thousand times more intimate than touching his cloak. Overwhelmed, I was speechless and could only exclaim in my heart "My Lord and my God!"
The mind always follows the heart. But there are times when you are strongly tempted to do something that you know is sinful, and you feel as if the mind has taken control of the heart – the truth is that you've started out with a weak heart, for a strong heart could or would have prevented all these thoughts from occurring. Therefore, let the Holy Spirit keep your heart pure and strong, and leave your mind alone.
When you are young, death is a rather remote thought and that is understandable. But what about when you are already old? The common thinking is that since you do not have much time left, you'd better do all the enjoyable things, such as traveling, while you can. There is a point here, but it's still avoiding facing death squarely. Perhaps you already have faith in God and do not worry about death anymore – that's fine. But if you do not know what's going to happen to you after death and try not to think about it, that is not good. The best course of action is to always serve God first before serving yourself, no matter what age you are at, and soon you will have the most enjoyable time of your existence.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
God pleadingly wants us to go his way and we stubbornly want to go our way. In others words, we choose to rebel rather than obey. Let those of us who have chosen to follow the Lord do their best to help him make the ending less bitter and as sweet as possible!
As we are all sinners, no one is "qualified" to judge others. It is ironic that a holy person should shy away from judging anyone, while a grave sinner readily judges everyone. Shall not we say that not judging others is a sign of holiness? Jesus tells me not to judge, period. For we have only one judge, the Lord God.
In watching the news a little bit this morning, I saw some of the high-and-mighty politicians speaking for their own agenda, perhaps sincerely or perhaps for political gain. When they appear one day before the Lord, they will realize then that they are completely at his mercy. The best policy for us is to remain humble and be prepared for our day of appearance before the Lord.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, a Greek woman begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. Jesus tested her by saying to her, "Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She replied and said to him, "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps." Then he said to her, "For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter." When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. We see and learn here that when the Lords wills something, it is done, and that faith can move God's will!
You can conjure up many gods, but there can be only one true God and he is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord God knows everything about us, his handiwork. If you do not know him, but mean to pray to him, he knows it. If you're misguided and have a false image of him but still mean to seek him, he knows that too. In other words, as long as you believe that there is only one true God and wish to know him, he will reveal himself to you. The Lord knows us before we were born. He sees what's in our hearts and understands us more than we can ourselves. It's such a blessing that we have an all-knowing God, which means that we are well looked after by him.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
We on our own are easily shackled by all the material things of the world – a simple fact. The God of Christ is the only one who can shatter all our shackles and liberate us into eternal freedom – a simple truth. Submit yourself to God to make it happen – a simple act of will.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus said to the crowd, "Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile." Jesus used such examples as evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, and folly. These all come from the unclean heart. The first order of business of loving God is to let him purify your heart and keep it clean. Then you'll be ready to love your neighbors as God loves us, for he is all pure and holy.
Matthew 5.6, one of the Beatitudes: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall have their fill. This tells me that if whatever you want is what God wants, then you shall have it. Therefore, follow God's will and you will be satisfied.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Most people love to talk. The moment Mass is over, you hear the buzz of conversations. Since the Lord God is supposed to be the most intimate one of all to us, it seems logical that we should talk to him more that to anyone else. Of course, with God, we can easily talk to him in thoughts, for he knows all our mind as well as our heart.
Christ has come to us in person 2,000 years ago. He, being God and love, is the perfect and most beautiful being there is. Therefore, worship him, adore him, praise him, love him, and listen to and learn from him directly, while following the teachings of the Holy Church. Disregard instantly anyone who claims that he or she has received new revelations about the Lord, for they are all false prophets.
Today is Memorial of Saint Miki and Companions, Martyrs. The entrance antiphon: The souls of the saints are rejoicing in heaven, the saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult with Christ for ever. Heaven is a place where you exult in joy. By contrast, hell is an abode where you wail in sorrow. What make the joy in heaven so great and the sorrow in hell so horrible is that they both continue on forever!
Monday, February 5, 2018
I just saw in the news that the Philadelphia Eagles, this year's Super Bowl champ, got back home with the trophy held high, and the excited adoring fans that had waited at the airport cheered and applauded enthusiastically. I wonder what it will be like when Jesus arrives at his next coming. I believe that there will be only wailing and no cheering. Those who are saved will be overjoyed, but at the same time they will feel great sorrow for those who will be separated from them and the Lord forever. This has been quietly going on ever since the human race fell from grace.
Ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. The Holy Spirit is the fire that can set your heart ablaze with the love of God. Be completely open to the Holy Spirit and he will reveal to you with absolute certainty that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit loves you and yearns to be one with you. And you'll never be the same person again! Those who say that God is hard to find do not know what they are talking about! The Lord is all yours if you let yourself be all his.
Today is Memorial of St. Agatha. From the Gospel reading from Mark 6, we heard that Jesus and his disciples crossed the sea to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. And as they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Recognition of Jesus drew the people to him. Do we also recognize the Lord? Of course, we do not see him today, but we certainly can get to know him most intimately. In fact, knowing him dwelling in us far exceeds recognizing him, for he is now one with us.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Our business is to let God make us holy, and this is what we need to focus upon exclusively. We need not be concerned about loving others, as that will become part of us as we grow holier. You could say that we need to love ourselves first, but not more than others. The foremost aim is to become like Christ ourselves.
There are many religions, but there is only one God, the God of Christ. This is the God who has created and knows everything about us and upon whom we depend completely for existence! And it'd be impossible for us to hide or escape from him ever. Therefore, we might as well submit ourselves willingly to him. Especially, after he has revealed through his Son how much he loves us, there is absolutely no excuse for us to ignore him anymore.
Friday, February 2, 2018
A beloved good friend just passed away and the church is getting ready to hold her funeral tomorrow. This got me thinking that we all live a relatively short life, so does how things go in our life really matter that much? We can want things go our way or God's way. To get to the point, we can choose to serve either ourselves or God. What's so beautiful about serving God is we get liberated from it! If you choose to serve yourself always, I don't have to tell you that you won't die happy, let alone how you would feel in your afterlife.
In the Gospel reading from Luke 2, When Joseph and Mary brought in the child Jesus to the temple for his presentation, Simeon, a devout and righteous man in the Holy Spirit, took the child into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant die in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation." This brings up the question if we are ready to die in peace. We do not see our Savior, but certainly we can get to know him well. This is the test: If you are not ready to leave this life yet, you certainly do not know him well yet.
Today is Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Response came from Psalm 24: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord. Anytime we recognize that it is the Lord, our heart should leap with joy. For it the Lord who loves us, who has redeemed us from sin, who wants to us to return to him in heaven, who is sustaining our life at this moment, who yearns to be one with us, who wishes to free us by forgiving my sins to make us clean, who can give us peace and joy, and so on and on. Let us recognize our amazing Lord and rejoice in him with great thanksgiving.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
It is most helpful to be aware that Jesus dwells in your heart, serving as your personal guide. But it is equally helpful to be aware that you dwell in him, serving as your protector. Nevertheless, to be in each other is to be one in union, with benefits galore.
Communion experience. R.I.P. is the abbreviation for "rest in peace," usually found on gravestones or in obituaries. But why wait until you are dead to rest in peace? Why not start resting in the Lord now? After receiving Holy Communion, I experienced profound peace when I rested in Christ.
This morning at Mass after the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, we all said the memorial acclamation: "Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free." I realized that God had already set us free! The door for leaving our prison is wide open. So do we want to remain where we are or step right out into freedom?
A sinner seeking union with God is analogous to a patient with a tumor seeking surgery. A sinner who prays hard and resolves not to sin again on his own is analogous to the tumor patient who eats right and rests enough, hoping that the tumor will go away. The sinner who seeks union with God to resolve his problem with sin is analogous to the tumor patient who goes to the surgeon to get his tumor removed. For the sinner it is a case of how much he chooses to depend upon himself or God.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 6, the mission of the Twelve began. Jesus sent them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. It struck me that we could ask the Lord to give us authority while serving him. With authority we can more effectively spread the good news and witness for him with great courage and confidence.
Deciding to follow Jesus is only the beginning of a new exciting journey. It is in seeking union with him that the most exciting part of the journey begins. That is because you find out that the Lord can actually transform you step by step into a new creature, taking away your desire to sin and your struggle to become holy. You finally stop rebelling against him to let him do all the work to form you. It's a eureka moment, although it could take a while to get there, depending upon how readily you submit yourself to him. (Seeking union with God is the same as opening yourself up to God, putting all your trust in God, or abandoning yourself in God.)