In John 21, when Jesus signified by what kind of death Peter would glorify God, he said to him, "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 no want to go." It is true that when we grow old, we'll have to depend upon others to do various things for us. But the Lord is always present and will be the only one left at the end able to help us. The time to start relying upon him is now, not after we've grown old or when we are dying.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus praised the Father for having hidden many things from the wise and the learned and having revealed them to the childlike. We can remember our childhood joy when we were free to play most of the time with not a thing to worry about, having our parents taking care of everything for us. If we become childlike to God, we shall experience such carefree joy. And that joy shall make us forget about wanting to sin again.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
It is Jesus who can make us see the truth, think right, see right, and act right. He is the exact guide and teacher mankind needs. And he'll even reward anyone with everlasting life who follows and learns from him. Yet, so few of us take him seriously. What's going on? Think about it.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus reproached the towns that were not repentant, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, and warned that they would suffer consequences on the day of judgment. Why is it so hard for so many to repent? To be saved, one must realize that (1) he is a sinner, (2) hell exists, and (3) God loves him and wishes to save him. Then it's time to repent. If one's mind is clear and heart willing, he can accomplish all these things in a few seconds. Putting off repenting is putting the soul at great risk.
Your future is certain when you know Christ and follow him. Otherwise, your life is a cliffhanger, for you do now know how it's going to end. I could also say that life without Christ is like hanging off a cliff – you may fall off it if you are not careful. Maybe you think that you are being brave, but I'd rather choose to go with Christ to be wise.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Communion experience. I inherited the original sin through no fault of mine, and God took care of that by sending his Son to us to proclaim the good news of salvation. In Holy Communion, I was completely reconciled to the Lord, my original sin no longer a barrier.
God can quench all your thirst, fulfill your innermost desires, and fill the empty voids of your life. God can soothe your heart and heal your soul. You can never get tired of enjoying God. Replace "God" with "the world" in the statements above and none of them remains true anymore. God is someone you can never love enough, while the world is something you cannot possibly love.
This morning the first thought that came to my mind was Luke 12.51 in which Jesus said to his Apostles, "Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." It so happened that the reading at Mass from Matthew 10 was on that same saying: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword." And later in Matthew 25, speaking about the final judgment, Jesus said to his disciples, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." The division finalized.
So this is the reality of life. Having inherited the original sin from our ancestors, we all became sinners. Then God loved us so much that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. The division comes about when we do not all believe in the Son. The ball is in our court.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
My country, like many others around the world, has been declining morally for the last half a century or so. From the spiritual point of view, you can say that Satan has sneaked up upon us step by step until the society and quite a sizable minority have become practically godless. Overall the large majority, being civilized and more gentle, has remained rather silent, while the other side makes loud noises and resorts to attacking anyone who does not go along with them violently. Let's say that the spiritual warfare going on now is rather intense and fearsome. But I do see hope ahead, as the Lord God always crushes his enemies and protects his own people at critical times. When that happens, the godless ones will become even more vicious – so expect and be prepared for facing worse persecution ahead. This is the time to submit ourselves to the Lord to grow strong spiritually.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Once you have found that God is exactly what your soul needs to complete your existence, you experience so much joy and freedom that every worldly thing just becomes secondary, peripheral, or downright irrelevant. This is how you become detached to all things except God, the way it should be. Shouldn't we be attached to the one who lovingly created us the most?
In today's reading from Matthew 10, Jesus said to his Apostles, "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father." This is fair enough and is line with what Jesus taught earlier, known to us now as the Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." We can easily make that into "Do to God as you would have him do to you." Now you know exactly how to make God treat you nicely.
To be a servant is not a bad thing. In fact, to be a servant of God is best thing you can possibly do. A faithful servant of God is free from serving himself and is thus free. Besides, he is now a friend of Jesus. Moreover, God exalts all his humble servants and will reward them with eternal life. Therefore, serving God has to be our most satisfying and noblest profession.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Just knowing Jesus is not good enough; you must bring him down to the most personal level. He is the one who has died for you to save you, shouldn't you at the least get to know him as well as possible? He's the one who can take complete care of you if you'd let him – shouldn't you get to know him most intimately? I would recommend that you seek union with him – this is possible, for it is exactly what he desires from us, you.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 10, Jesus sent his Apostles to proclaim the kingdom of heaven at hand. I am sure they simply proclaimed what they'd heard from the Lord, their personal experiences. I still feel this is the way to spread the good news. Theology, debates, abstract teaching have never worked effectively. To evangelize the world, we need to know the Lord, experience him, and live him, then we'll be ready to convert others through giving testimonies and by example.
The world is full of attractions and distractions to keep you away from paying any attention to God. If you are aware of this, you should see through all the fun, pleasure, excitement, glamor, and razzle-dazzle you encounter to see if you are being drawn away from God or not. Unless you already know the Lord to some degree, your soul is in constant danger of being ruined by Satan. I am dead serious in saying this, for I am aware that we are the very ones God and the evil forces are fighting for. It is absolutely critical that we know that God loves us, then we'll be saved.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
No one ever forced me to believe. No one ever indoctrinated me. No one ever brainwashed me. I was free to make own decisions at all times. I didn't talk to anyone during my search, only read books both for and against God on my own. I remained objective, sincere, and came to believe in him. Gradually I opened myself up more and more and God started to speak to me in my heart. And finally, I came to know him most intimately (with the aid of receiving the Holy Eucharist). It all came about naturally and I now believe in him without a tinge of doubt. It's all God's doing. Bless him.
The current #WalkAway campaign is having huge crowds of people leaving liberalism and more specifically, the Democratic Party. Brandon Straka, founder of the movement, posted his first video just a little over a month ago and already over 5 million people have watched it on Facebook and YouTube. All kinds of people are now posting their own #WalkAway stories. Some walk away from everything. What I want to caution is that, do all the walking away you want but never walk away from God. Here is the link to Straka's six-minute video on YouTube in case your haven't seen it and are interested in watching.
There are many things we do not understand about God. Let's face it, as creatures, we cannot possibly understand more than what God has allowed us to know. Sometimes we notice what seems to be a minor contradiction in the Bible or just have a lot of questions about God, and we simply stop looking for him. This is no good reason when you can find overwhelming evidence that God did come to us, die for our sins, and rise from the dead. Don't let tripping over a small fallen branch stop you from exploring the whole forest.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
What's the link between between these two subjects? In Matthew 18, Jesus said, "Whoever causes one of these little children who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they come."
If Jesus value little children so much, surely terminating them before they were born has to be a most grave sin, and the pro-abortion lot will have their woe coming if they do not repent. Fake media surely cause others to sin by feeding them untruths, and will receive the woe coming from God. One important rule to follow: Never cause sin.
Monday, July 9, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9, Jesus healed a woman with a severe hemorrhage and revived an official's daughter everyone thought had died. We pray to God directly or in the name of Christ for others to be healed, but Jesus healed others directly by command. In fact, he always taught others and performed miracles with great authority – there is not another person like him in mankind's entire history. He is unique as God alone is unique.
Hypocrisy is the result of having an ego. The prime examples are the Pharisees and scribes as singled out by Christ in his days. Today, we have our politicians, just as bad or even worse. There are also eloquent Christian preachers and ministers who attract large followings. The fact that some of them still have a big ego shows up when they profit greatly from their work or, in the case of Catholic priests, refuse to submit themselves to their superiors. When I see that, all their preaching just seems to be so much hot air. Ego and humility cannot coexist. Hypocrisy comes from the lack of humility. Any religion that does not teach you to be humble cannot be genuine. Broadly speaking, if we do not follow Christ, we remain hypocrites!
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Today the Lord placed Luke 12.51-51 in my heart. Jesus said to his disciples, "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter against her mother-in-law." Jesus is the one by whom we'll be judged – either we are with him or we are against him, for he is the truth. This division remains to this day. It is temporary in this life, but if we do not heed him, it becomes an eternal chasm between you and God. Do not let this happen to you! Do not let it happen! Do not let it happen!
Communion revelation. Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is ours. When we follow Jesus, his Father becomes our Father. And Jesus enters us in Holy Communion and we are one with him. It's such a humbling and glorious experience to know that the Triune God dwells with us and in us and that we are set for eternity!
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Communion revelation. It's not just anyone entering me; it's the Lord, my creator the infinite God, entering me, a finite mortal, filling me with himself and making me immortal! It's hard to get over this! Like St. Thomas overwhelmed, all I could say was "My Lord and my God." No words could express how incredible my God is.
You take your spiritual journey by yourself and the road is bumpy. Then you take it through the roof by surrendering yourself to God altogether, and your journey becomes smooth and easy. Not only you let God lead the way, you now let him carry you too!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9, the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus why they and the Pharisees fasted much, but his disciples did not. Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?" Indeed, when Jesus is with us, how can we not be joyful? That Jesus is a joy is most misunderstood by many. They think that the Lord would take away all their joys on earth if they submit themselves to him. On the contrary, the joy of knowing him not only delights the senses, but also satisfies the heart and soul. All other joys pass, while the joy of Jesus lasts forever!
Friday, July 6, 2018
Thursday, July 5, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9, people brought to Jesus a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." To show that he had authority to forgive sins, he said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He rose and went home. This question rose in my mind: Are my sins forgiven? This is a key question each of us must ask because it deals with a business we must finish before we die or face possibly dire consequences.
You can have a genius IQ, great intelligence, and a superior knowledge base but do not know God, then all you have means nothing. The wise one believes in and follows God, irrespective of everything else. At the end, he is the one to receive the reward from God. Clearly, to be wise is better than being brilliant anytime.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
We must trust in God to do all things for us. Going back into history, who would have known that Communism would collapse one day? It did happen (the Blessed Mother actually predicted the birth of Communism and its eventual collapse when she appeared at Fatima in 1917). Something like turning a whole country around away from corruption and hypocrisy seems like an almost impossible task, but if we pray hard and remain faithful, God will deliver what we ask for in time. Therefore, rely upon the Lord to accomplish all things for us, large and small.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, at the request of two demoniacs, Jesus drove the demons out of them and sent the demons into a herd of swine some distance away. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. When they came to the town, they reported everything. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, but when they saw him they begged him to leave their district. People keep Jesus away because they do not truly know him and therefore are afraid of him. For anyone who wishes to know him, he must get to know him first with an open mind. Then the beautiful day will come when he can't help but fall in love with the Lord.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
It is easy to live mainly for ourselves and, if there's any time left, do something for the sake of God. This is a disorder. The proper, orderly way to live is to make serving God your top priority and all else secondary. The key to making this happen is surrendering yourself to God. How much you can reverse this situation depends upon how completely you surrender yourself. If God is unavoidable, then so is surrendering to him.
We want to be perfect for God, but we fall short constantly. Do not let this bother you, for the very reason you wish to be perfect is because you are imperfect and you love God. And to God, intention is what matters the most. Trust in him all along and you'll definitely become less and less imperfect.
Once you have believed in the Lord, you must proceed to get to know him as well as possible. This is opening yourself up to him until it becomes completely comfortable for him to dwell within your heart. Now, blessed once more are those who have believed and achieved union with the Lord.
Today is the Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle. From John 29, we heard read that after Thomas saw the mark of the nails in Jesus hands and put his finger into the nailmarks and put his hand into his side, he believed that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. The most beautiful faith is to believe without question like a child. This makes blessed living!
Monday, July 2, 2018
In Luke 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones." The converse may be false, for a person trustworthy in great matters may not care about very small matters. To be perfect, we must be trustworthy in all matters.
To possess the Lord, you need look for him so that you may hear his call, and then have the humility to yield to him once you've heard his voice – a two-step process. The trouble with most of the Christians today is that they have not yet completed the second step, for they still carry on their daily living as usual, not even making any eye contact with him, so to speak; whereas they should be aware of his holy loving presence at all times.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, a disciple of Jesus who would follow him said to him, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But Jesus answered him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead." In Luke 9, another would-be follower said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home. Jesus said to him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." Wow, but I think you get his point. We are to be detached from everything of the world, follow him, and never look back. The Lord absolutely deserves our undivided devotion. He was revealing to us the sure way of entering his kingdom. He should be our foremost (and only) choice to follow.
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Stop, think, and realize that heaven is absolutely within your reach. In fact, it is the ardent desire of our creator and Father that we all enter heaven to dwell in his house for all eternity. Again, to make it happen you don't need to strive hard on your own; simply follow Jesus the Christ and he'll do all the lifting. Now, turn your life into a great joy!
Jesus said, "You cannot make a single hair white or black" (Matthew 5.36). Nor can we make our faith ten times stronger. We must let God do the work. To have faith in God is not to tell ourselves to believe in him more. It is being fully aware that the Lord already knows our needs and we only need to trust in him once and not to worry about it anymore.