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!
Monday, November 19, 2018
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 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 vs. 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, type in Magnitude of Abortion and look for the video that shows multiple images of the Michigan football stadium. 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 over 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?