If we want to excel in anything we do in this world, we must work hard. To get better grades in school, to be a better pianist, to make your garden more beautiful . . . all require time, energy, and gumption. But when it comes to becoming holy, it doesn't work that way, even if you're so determined that you grit your teeth and tell yourself a thousand times each day to be holy. In fact, you should do just the opposite. That is, you drop all your guard and relax in the Lord as to let him do all the work for you, for only he can take away your sins and heal your soul to make you holy.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus continued to teach his disciples; this time, about loving their enemies. Yes, he wanted them to be perfect as the heavenly Father is. We all know right from wrong if we are courageous enough to sweep aside our emotions and pride, and examine our conscience objectively. Then we must follow our conscience, not our feelings, to show the Lord that we aim to be perfect as he had commanded.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Since our life began at a certain time in this world, we are all finite beings. It dawned on me that this is why we have trouble perceiving infinity. When scientists searched for how the universe began, they came up with the big bang theory which had a beginning. But what came before that? When I was a little kid, I wondered if I would ever run into a wall if I kept flying into the sky. If I did hit one, then what'd be on the other side? I gave up. You see, our mind is incapable of dealing with things that are infinite. Since God by definition has no beginning and no end, we with the finite mind have trouble in believing in his existence. Naturally, if you were God, infinity would be the norm. I hope I have hit on something that can help you believe in God more readily.
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 5, Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with your tunic, hand him your cloak a well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles." If it sounds like Jesus wants us to be less human, that's because he wants us to be like him. Basically, the Lord wants us not to let anyone who bothers us bother us. Losing our peace only shows that we still have not trusted in or surrender ourselves to him completely yet.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Today's Gospel reading came from Mark 4. Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds. Once it's sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade. This parable presents a beautiful picture to me. We humans are small like the mustard seed. When we allow God to do all the work through us, we accomplish mighty deeds in his glory.
God does not always answer our prayers right away. As we wait, we tend to get discouraged and lose heart. That's human nature, right? Then I see that God wants us to learn patience and have complete faith in him, that is, to be less human and more like him. The Lord is infinitely patient and never gets anxious or lose peace. Christ always advised his disciples not to be anxious and wished them peace. Therefore, pray hard and let God work all things out. Total abandonment in God is the way to go. No more anxieties nor loss of inner peace!
Today is Father's day. To me, there is only one true father and he is God the Father who created all of us. On earth each of us has his own father and many of us become father ourselves too. But when we go before God, we are all equal as his children. That is why I say that we have only one true father.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 5. Jesus told his disciples not to swear at all. And that they should let their 'Yes' mean 'Yes' and 'No' mean 'No,' and anything more is from the evil one. It is easy not to be aware of what comes from the evil one and what comes from God. A sharpened conscience is what we need, and we get that as we grow more in union with the Lord.
Life is more battling God than battling Satan. When Satan tempts us, we do not experience any direct threat, for he is tricky. With God, we always feel whether we should obey or go our own way. So you can say that life is all about whether you let God win or not. We become perfect when we let the Lord win each time, and the reward is most satisfying – we receive peace, freedom, and joy, contrary to what we'd expected. When we let God win, we win big too!
Friday, June 15, 2018
Ecclesiastes 3.1: There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. Beginning with "a time to give birth, and a time to die," the author provides 13 more lines of examples. Let's realize that certainly there is an appropriate time for us to detach ourselves from the world and give ourselves completely over to God.
Communion experience. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist calmed my entire being. During those moments in which the Lord was being absorbed by me, I was completely worry free. And I realized that in heaven, I would be worry free forever.
Most teachings we learn from the world are self-centered without consideration of God's will. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus wants to us to do better by going beyond what we have heard that it was said. In fact, he wants us to be perfect. His ways are based upon love exclusively. Because our love is not great enough, our ways fall short of what he wishes. Now that we know his teachings, we know how we should live to be perfect before God. Since we cannot become perfect by ourselves, here is a calling for us to put our trust in God completely.
In today's first reading from 1 Kings, when Elijah went on the mountain to wait for the Lord to pass by, there was a strong and heavy wind, followed by an earthquake, and then a fire, but Elijah did not find the Lord in any of them. Finally, he heard a light silent sound through which the voice of the Lord came. To hear the Lord speak to us, we must get away from the constant bustle and hustle of the world at times to acquire some quietude for ourselves. Believe me, if you truly want to hear his voice, you will hear it in your heart. Get in touch with him first and eventually, you'll be ready to ask him to come to dwell within you. Life without our loving God is not worth living.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Today is the memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, venerated as the Patron Saint of lost articles. In my past, I have lost things many times. After praying for his help, I always recover what I've lost, sometimes in an unexpected way. I ask the saint to intercede for my other intentions too.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Jesus said, "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" My similar question: "What profit is there for one to indulge in some temporary sinful pleasures on earth and lose his chance to enjoy eternal peace and joy in heaven?" So be smart.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus wants us to be the light of the world. The world is sick, filled with venom and filth, and only the pure light of Christ shines as a refreshing beacon among us. Let us be pure enough to reflect his light to dispel as much darkness around us as we can.
The Gospels tell about so many miracles Jesus performed, including his own Resurrection and Ascension. If you don't believe in them, is it because you don't believe that they ever happened? Without any solid proof, I don't believe anyone would have the guts to so believe, for it amounts to writing off the person Jesus altogether. Most likely, nonbelievers put off facing the reality of Jesus because of the sinful state they're in – further indicating that he is God who will be our judge.
I am thinking about Christianity again today. Since I believe that it is the truth, I am reluctant to call it a religion. If you do consider it to be a religion, then it is a most remarkable one indeed. God turned out to be love and actually sent his Son to earth to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life. This is pretty incredible and has the power to transform our lives to become holy saints – a most beautiful revelation to us from our loving creator. Things all work out, for that's how God has made us. Be amazed and believe, and be amazed even more. The truth is an immense joy!
Monday, June 11, 2018
Jesus and the Father are in each other. Jesus is the Son of God the Father, and they are one. You know Jesus and you know God. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, why do we dismiss Jesus because he came to us 2,000 years ago? Time does not alter the truth, since the truth remain true forever. Today as in the days of Christ, those who do not believe in him choose not to believe in him, not because he is not our Lord and Savior. By our choice, we set our own destiny. I wish I could say bon voyage to all.
When those in our family lose their faith in God, we feel the heavy burden on our hearts, compelling us to pray for them. If we have deep faith in God, we should realize that they are in God's hands; and therefore, we should detach ourselves from them and focus upon God alone. In Luke 1, Jesus sends 72 disciples in pairs to every town and place he intends to visit – to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand. Whatever town they enter that welcomes them, they are to eat and drink what's offered to them. Whatever town they enter that does not receive them, they are to leave and even shake off the dust that clings to their feet. This shows clearly that we are to do our part and leave the outcome to God. Remain meek and humble and trust that God will lighten our burden, and we'll find rest (Matthew 11.29).
Sunday, June 10, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus spoke to the big crowd that gathered around him. His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. But he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" Looking around at those seated in a circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." That was a radical saying. It's the Lord revealing his ways and his thoughts.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
There has been a number of suicides of well-known personalities in the news. How I wish I had the opportunity to let them know that God loved them so much that he had died for them so that they might live forever! This has to be the best possible news for all of us ever! One cannot truly appreciate and enjoy life until he knows Christ.
June 7. An obituary usually gives a biographical sketch of the deceased. How many people learn how much about the deceased really doesn't make any difference to that departed soul anymore. What matters is whether that soul has gone to God or Not. Never forget that we have the power to chart our course after death before we die.
June 5. Evolution and creation are separate things. It is my personal belief that we could not have evolved from some apelike creatures, since we are the only ones that were made in the image of God. The fact that we can conceive and get to know God is proof for me.
June 5. There are so many magnificent cathedrals, basilicas, and churches built all around the world that draw vast numbers of visitors to admire their history and architecture. But I dare say that there are not many who actually get drawn closer to God afterwards. People built churches to glorify God; unfortunately, they can take the limelight away from him. For those who want to see the splendor of God, you don't even need to go inside a church. Just go to the Lord directly to seek and desire union with him and he'll reveal all his glory to you in person. The focus should always be on the Lord inside or outside any church.
June 3. It was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Gospel reading from Mark 14 tells how Jesus instructed his disciples to prepare for him to eat the Passover. It shows how the Lord could arrange things to happen as he had wished. At the Last Supper, he gave us the most perfect gift, his own Body and Blood, which can make us perfect. When I received Holy Communion, it was the most beautiful feeling to know that by giving in to his love, I become one with him.
June 2. Attended Vigil Mass at a beautiful church, Saints Peter and Paul. The Lord made me feel his great love for the poor. Of course, he loves every single one of us the same, but you feel his love more when you think about the poor, much like light becoming more prominent against darkness. Feeling how the Lord feels is a great joy!
June 2. Yesterday I ate lunch at a food court packed with crowds and you could hear the noisy talking filling the whole place to the hilt. I knew all that would pass. Today I was resting in the pew of a magnificent basilica, experiencing quiet and peace. This would pass too, but the soul got refreshed.
May 31. If you have some solitude and time, it can be spiritual beneficial to review your own life as a movie. Acting as the film critic and judge, what do you think of your life? This would be a good time to correct your course if necessary to make sure that your story will end happily!
May 30. As I was traveling, I saw these quotations at one hostel: (1) Keep your seeker spirit alive. (2) Bring your curious self here. (3) Seek the weird, the cool, and the random. (4) Lose yourself, then find your way. And at one public library, a quote from the famous poet, T. S. Eliot: The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man. If these are the best quotes we can come up without involving God, then we are in a pretty sad state.