If you are smart, you should realize that if you rebel against God, you will certainly lose in the end. Not believing in him or following his will is, of course, rebelling against him. But if you do acknowledge that God did create you, you are admitting that you belong to him. When you die, you simply return to him, for judgment this time. Then it would be extremely foolish for you to rebel against him during the brief period between your birth and your death. (Note: I shall not be able to blog for the next two and a half weeks, so please check back for new postings on June 10. May God bless each and every one of you abundantly!)
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Only as a Christian you get to know God most personally. You know him by name and can even attain union with him, with him dwelling within you and fulfilling all your needs and desires. There is no feeling more beautiful than knowing your God most intimately!
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
John 14.6: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me, says the Lord. So Jesus is the only way to God. We might as well do all things through him or for his sake. First of all, let's love through him too, which is loving others with his love. This is the sure way to life everlasting!
Monday, May 21, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
We ask the Lord to send his Spirit to renew the face of the earth. The Lord is ready, but are we? We can go through the ceremony of Confirmation, but if our heart is not in it, nothing dramatic will happen. The key to preparing ourselves properly is to submit ourselves to God first. Without our submission, the hands of the Spirit are tied, so to speak. This is not talked about much probably because yielding to God is the most difficult step for anyone to take in the spiritual life, which is all about how much we let God be God. Anyhow, the Lord is readier than we are, so surrender yourself to him to let him do what you ask of him. This, in fact, is one basic principle of living the successful Christian life.
Today is Pentecost Sunday, celebrating the birthday of the Church. From the second reading of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes: In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. The Holy Spirit is indeed the one who can unify all Christians and of whom our spirits need to drink to get sanctified. If your heart is not on fire yet, ask the Holy Spirit to zap you and he'll do just that – I am speaking from personal experience. The Christian life comes alive once you are aware that the Spirit does dwell within you.
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from John 21, the Resurrected Lord revealed himself to his disciples and asked Peter three times "Do you love me?" Peter responded affirmatively each time and Jesus asked him and to feed his lambs, tend his sheep, and feed his sheep. Then Jesus said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." The Lord said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
For those whom God has chosen to follow him, he definitely has a role for each of them. We are to glorify God in the way designated by him. The Lord also knows exactly how we are going to die. I am not saying that everything is predestined to the last detail, for our free will can alter things. But every time things change, the Lord knows how that's going to affect our journey to him. In my own case, I know I am going to him, and only he knows when and how.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
We attempt to do so many things in life and easily lose our peace. Doing the will of God should be our sole goal, for this stores up treasures in heaven for us. If you are always busily doing your own things without considering the will of God, you may regret later. Time is more precious than gold, for every second you serve only yourself is a second lost forever and our time on earth is limited. I read once that when you drive an expensive sports car, you should shift its gears as if you're handling an eggshell. Time is a lot more precious than the gears of any car. Spend it wisely and you'll have eternal life!
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
After hearing today's Gospel reading from John 17, I saw that we either belong to the world or belong to God. Those who belong to the world hates those who belong to God. The distinction or separation between these two classes couldn't be any greater. Again, a mental image surfaced in my mind. I see all those who belong to the world bobbing in an ocean (the world). Many of them are practically totally immersed, while others are still afloat at various depths. Those who belong to God are being held up by him high above the ocean. So it's either you are wet or you are dry.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Communion experience. It's easy for us to build a wall around us to keep God out partially or completely. Having received the Lord, now he's become my wall. This is not a wall to keep me in, for there is only emptiness outside of it; this is more a wall to keep me safe for me to remain firmly in the Lord.
Today's Communion antiphon, John 14.26: The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of all I have told you, says the Lord. When the Holy Spirit teaches you, you don't need to think hard nor memorize anything – the lesson is right there deposited in your heart. What a delight! And whatever he teaches is always refreshing and uplifting.
God's infinite mercy is ours for the asking. He waits patiently for us to acknowledge his presence or even just a glance in his direction. And he longs to be in union with us! How do we respond? We ignore him most of the time. Some of us couldn't care less and some even claim that he is dead! Sin has blinded our eyes, poisoned our brains, and fouled our hearts. This has to be the ultimate disorder. Alas, any generation that forgets that it is at the mercy of God is indeed a lost one.
Again, I'd like to reiterate that only God has the power to fundamentally transform us by giving us a new heart. To bring about inner changes in ourselves, we can try hard on our own or seek help from fellow humans, but without involving God, any changes effected are necessarily superficial or short-lived. Since it is sin that causes us to lose inner peace and God our creator is the only one who can remove our sins and reach into our hearts, he has to be the only one who can fundamentally transform us. Naturally, it goes without saying that we must invite him to enter our hearts first before he can bring about any changes.
Today's entrance antiphon from Revelation 1: I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever, says the Lord. I have complete confidence in the one who remains alive forever. Again, it's time for rejoicing!
Monday, May 14, 2018
Two more or less related thoughts. (1) Unless you are certain that Jesus is not trustworthy, you'd better pay serious attention to all that he has said. (2) Since you do not know what might happen to you next, you'd better place yourself completely in God's hands.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
I see people with everything and people with nothing in this world. Life can be so different for different people on this earth. Then I realize that all this in such a short span of time really doesn't matter much, for everyone will enter eternity either to be with God forever or to be separated from him forever. It is the forever part that we need to be primarily concerned about.
Today we celebrated The Ascension of the Lord in my parish. Now that we know Christ is God our creator, we see that his Resurrection and Ascension just had to happen. And I have no doubt that his coming again to judge us all will have to take place also in time.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Today the Lord made me see a couple of new things. First, taking up the cross is clearly carrying a burden, but the Lord wants us to do it willingly, even lovingly, and full of hope! Look at Jesus carrying his own cross on the way to Golgotha, he suffered great agony, but he never complained or became depressed. Secondly, some of the crosses we can actually ask the Lord to take away for his glory. For example, a loved one has not opened up to Christ and you feel the heavy burden. Naturally, you pray hard for him for the glory of God; but indirectly, you are asking him to take away that cross. I now see Jesus both as a cross-bearer and a cross-remover.
Friday, May 11, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from John 16, Jesus, with his impending death and resurrection in mind, said to his disciples: "You will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything." I'd like to testify that once you attain union with the Lord, the joy of his Resurrection overcomes all your sorrows and you experience such contentment that you no longer question him about anything anymore.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
I don't consider myself a political person. But I now sense a movement that has begun among the black Americans which can potentially turn into a tidal wave, even influencing the world globally. As you know, some 95% of black American today support the Democrats, although they were all Republicans the early part of last century. (To learn about what happened, it's worth listening to some of Dinesh D'Souza's talks on YouTube.) The bright young star of this movement is Candace Owens whom you can also watch on YouTube. The goal of the movement is to make the black Americans see that they should not blindly follow what the politicians on the left (who care only about getting their votes) and the liberal media tell them – which is that they are the victims and the government will always help them. The plain fact under the rule of Democrats has been that more black families break up, go on food stamps, become unemployed, abort more babies, and die from gang violence. They are now beginning to wake up, realizing that they needn't choose to be victims, that they should not always do what they're told, and that they can think for themselves and form their own opinions. This is just the beginning, but the trend is already clear.
As Christians, we should likewise cut off listening to the world and place our entire focus upon following Jesus Christ. Let this be our new movement.
Falling in love with someone is great. Falling in love with one who is your soulmate is even better, but chances of finding a perfect soulmate on earth is nigh impossible. Now, when you seek union with God, the Lord lovingly transforms you into his perfect soulmate and you fall in love with him in the process. Therefore, union with God becomes the most fulfilling and satisfying experience you can ever have, on earth or in heaven!
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
God has created us to have him to be our center, and to obey him. Otherwise, we only create disorder and chaos in ourselves and for others. Broadly speaking, we are the ones who can mess up the whole universe. If you see this, then you should run toward him, your Father, without delay, and everything for you will turn out fine and then some. That would certainly be the best possible move of your existence.
People are so concerned about their health that they read and talk about what they should eat, how they should exercise, or even the kind of cookware safest to use. But they often forget that the most serious threat to our health are the stresses we face in life, and overconcern about our health only creates more stress. Christians overlook the fact that by abandoning themselves to God, they can actually become stress-free, thus benefiting their health greatly. God can take care of us in all things – we only need to put our faith in him.
Christians, being human, feel sorrow like anyone else, but their sorrow is always lined with joy. Once the soul has experienced the joy of knowing Christ, no sorrow can ever crush his or her spirit anymore. Sorrow normally burdens the soul, but to the Christian, all sorrows experienced for the sake of Christ are essentially sweet, for they always draw him or her closer to the Lord.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Communion thoughts. You watch the news and see everyone talking a mile a minute, nonstop, and you realize how infinitely more beautiful and peaceful it is to remain silent in union with Christ. The world is in total unrest because it does not know him. What came to my mind was what the Lord said to Martha who was anxious and worried about many things, while her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet listening to him speak: "There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." (Luke 10:42.)
In today's Gospel reading from Acts 16, we heard read that at Philippi, the crowd attacked Paul and Silas, and the magistrates had them stripped and beaten with rods. Afterwards, they threw them into prison. About midnight, there was suddenly a severe earthquake; all the doors flew open and the chains of all were pulled loose. The jailer woke up and was alarmed when he saw the prison doors wide open. He rushed in, saw Paul and Silas, and trembling with fear, fell down before them. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved." God has truly made his plan for our salvation simple, but we often make it as complicated as possible. Instead of making his way straight, we make it crooked or set up roadblocks in our own way. A tragedy in the making!
Monday, May 7, 2018
In the news today. A New York doctor who says he's done 40,000 abortions is accused of being negligent in saving the life of a mother who died after he performed an abortion on her. By the way, he charged $6,000 for the procedure. His lawyer says his client has not committed a crime and predicts that he'll end up with only months in jail when he is sentenced next month. In 2013, a Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a patient got a fatal overdose of sedatives during an abortion. He also was convicted of murder for snipping the spines of several infants born alive during the procedures.
Our justice is warped. Killing the infant within the mother's womb is OK, but not outside of it. That life begins at conception is completely ignored. God created us out of love and loved us before we were born! Without the guidance of God, mankind further strays away from his ways. It is good that we'll all be judged by him in the end.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Communion experience. When Jesus was offering his own Body and Blood to us during the consecration of the bread and the wine, he was declaring his greatest love for us. And I saw that loving and worshipping the Lord must come before anything else in life.
In today's reading 2 from 1 John 4, the Apostle talks about God's love. God wants us to love one another, because God is love and he loves us so much that he wants us to be just like him. It is this love that makes us selfless, refrains us from judging others, and draws us to him. It is the key to freedom, inner peace, and eternal life.
In today's reading 1 from Acts 10, the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on the Gentiles while Peter was still speaking to them about God's impartiality. When the Holy Spirit falls upon you, he touches your soul, making you feel your own soul too. This direct connection with God enables you to see that you were indeed made by him, a most memorable and refreshing experience.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
I am most grateful to God for having revealed so clearly his great love for us and his plan of salvation to us so that we might have eternal life in him through his Son. This has made all the difference to my existence like night and day! It has to be one of the greatest blessings.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Today is the Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles. In the Gospel reading from John 14, Jesus said to Thomas, "If you know me, you will also know my Father. Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?" We all remember the time we saw a celebrity or someone special. My wife recalls spotting President Reagan in the distance once, after he had landed at the airport in Washington, D. C. I personally saw Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and peace, also at an airport as we both lined up to board the same plane. These chance sightings we remember. Now, devout Christians know Christ well, who is no ordinary celebrity, but God himself! This is certainly something we can truly feel good and rejoice about!
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
"God is light" makes sense metaphorically. As far as we know, light travels at 186,282 miles per second and in theory nothing can travel faster than light. Well, God being the creator of light can. I am saying that when I pray, he instantly hears me. Basically, he is aware of anything happening exactly when it's happening without delay. This is expected from God who has dominion over everything.
Yes, Jesus is powerful, demanding, and won't be happy until he possesses all of us, for he loves each of us and wishes us to be happy forever. He advises us on how we should live and tells us what he expects of us, yet he respects our free will and never forces anything upon us. This is admirable, but we should also be able to see that basically, we are the ones who can make his wish of making us happy come true. If we are in the way, we should then repent and apologize to the Lord and accept his love. When God who loves us wins, we become winners too!
In today's Gospel reading reading from John 15, Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the true vine, you are the branches, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit." This is consistent with what Jesus said: "To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." If you remain in Christ, the Father will prune you so that you might bear even more fruit. This process grooms you for living a healthy and satisfying Christian life.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Yesterday I posted about the peace of Jesus. The same verse came up in today's Gospel reading from John 14. Jesus said to his disciples, "My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you." I believe that the peace Christ gives is the peace you receive after you realize that your eternally destiny is all set and that your heart is no longer troubled and afraid.
Do you have enemies? If you do, do not see them as your enemies, but realize that if they did sin against you, they have offended God. Therefore, let the Lord handle them, whom, by the way, he loves. As a matter of fact, we should let the Lord handle all our problems. That is, we deal with them according to his will. This way, we see things as he sees them and understand things as he understands them. Union with the will of God is union with God.