Each one of us is a unique creature of God. We all have different dispositions, temperaments, talents, upbringings, etc. The Lord, knowing it all, puts us who love him on different paths to perform tasks for our maximum spiritual benefit and his greatest glory. Whether we are poor or rich, erudite or uneducated, adroit or clumsy, shy or outgoing, mystical or not . . . the Lord knows exactly how to lead us on. In my own case, I have a pretty simple mind, always trying to simplify things to go straight to the point. God, accordingly, makes everything simple for me to understand and follow. Whoever and wherever you are, serve the Lord faithfully with patience as he leads you through life.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Today is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In the second reading from Revelation 1, the Lord God says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty." For those who already follow Jesus, this must have been their greatest awakening or revelation. But for others, especially those who are power hungry and proud, it remains their greatest stumbling block. The world divides because of the Lord.
People do not want Christ in their lives because they want to feel free to do whatever they want to do. Unknowingly and foolishly, they instantly lock themselves inside a cage they have built for themselves. Meanwhile, those who follow Christ is enjoying complete freedom in his infinite space, doing exactly what they wish to do, the will of God.
Going through life, we all get emotionally hurt or suppressed from time to time. And when we can't take it anymore, we get angry or out of control in some way. Certainly, talking to someone or getting counseling somewhere can help, but none has the power to heal himself or anyone else. The only one who can heal all our wounds and hurts is the Lord God our creator. Naturally, you must ask for help from him first to let him enter before he can heal you. Unfortunately, many with too much pride just do not believe in the Lord, and they continue to suffer.
Friday, November 23, 2018
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 19, we read that while Jesus was teaching in the temple area every day, the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were seeking to put him to death. This scene is familiar today when you see politicians of one party seeking to bring down the leader of their opposition party no matter how much good he or she is doing.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
When Jesus shows up unexpected upon his Second Coming, would you like to be caught thinking about how you dislike someone, or speaking unkindly to a member of your family, or checking out an impure website online? If your answer is no, no, no, then be holy and do not sin in thoughts, words, or deeds.
We wonder why God does not crush all evil and bring peace to the world. Let us remember two things. First, God has already done his part paving the way to salvation for us. Now it's time for us to respond. Don't you see that if we all turn to the Lord and obey him, there will be instant peace in the world? Secondly, read this response from Jesus to Pontius Pilate during his trial: "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. Bt as it is, my kingdom is not here." You get the idea. The Lord's chief wish is to have us join his kingdom so as to have life eternal. Any peace he can bring to us on earth who do not change our hearts will be short-lived and imperfect.
Christ loves us so much that he wants to possess all of us. Our perfect reaction should be to want to possess all of him. In practice, we would just let him possess all of us and he becomes ours in the process. Now we have perfect union this side of heaven!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 17, Jesus cleansed ten lepers and only one of the ten returned, fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Jesus told him that his faith had saved him. In many other cases of healing, Jesus had said the same thing. It strikes me that to have faith in the Lord is the most important step we can take. There are many others things we need to do afterwards, but to have faith in him is the key step to take to be saved.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful that I'll get to eat turkey, ham, yams, etc., but I am most thankful that we have a Heavenly Father who is infinitely patient with us. We parents know exactly how we feel when our children do not love us anymore, rebel against us, or leave us, wanting to have nothing to do with us. When we cannot handle it anymore, we just cut off our relationships with them. Now, our Father loves us more than any of us could possibly love our children, and billions of us ignore him, but he still patiently waits, never wanting to punish us and hoping that we'll turn to him like the prodigal son one day. This is the loving, patient Father I am thankful for.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
These thoughts came to me this morning as I was having some breakfast. It would be enjoyable to sip coffee or tea and listen to some nice music in the background. Certainly, there are numerous other nice things to enjoy in life. This in fact is exactly what everyone in the world is seeking in order to live a happier life. The shocking realization is that all these things are passing, ourselves included, and we absolutely cannot build anything solid upon any of them. The only rock we can build and depend upon is the eternal Lord God. It is only in him that we'll find happiness, satisfaction, and enjoyment that never end. Again, he has made us this way. Discover the Lord and you discover yourself as well.
Looking at the other major religions other than Christianity, I see the following. At one extreme we have a religion that's easygoing – it does not pressure you in any way, which means you can join or leave freely at any time. And at the other extreme, we have one that forces you to join and would not tolerate anyone who disagrees with its teachings. As for Christianity (which I won't call another religion, for it is the truth to me) it respects our free will and never forces it teachings on us. It simply proclaims the truth and spells out the commitment you need to make for the sake of your salvation. The decision is entirely up to you. When you voluntarily decide to follow Christ, your faith truly becomes a meaningful thing. I see the perfect balance and fairness to us here. That is why I see Christianity to be the truth.
Why don't people believe in Jesus readily? I find the answer in Isaiah 55. It's because God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are his ways ours; and as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. This is the natural gap between the creator and his creatures. So the fact that people have difficulty accepting Jesus only bolsters the reality that he is God.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
When Catholics go to confession, depending upon the nature of the sin, they can feel embarrassed confessing it before the priest. This is good, for the next time they are tempted to commit a sin they know would make them feel embarrassed in confession, they can stop right there and then from committing that sin.
Communion experience. I loved it when the Lord let me see all my faults. It's good to see what he sees, to know his thoughts, and to learn his ways. One particular insight worth mentioning is that he made me see that he alone is the judge all things. Therefore, we need to be 100% humble and can remain in peace, knowing that God will set everyone and everything in its right place at judgment time.