If you ever have the slightest desire to be perfect (holy), know that it comes from the Lord. Rejoice, for it is his wish that you do become perfect (holy) and he can fulfill your desire completely. What a perfect opportunity to open up to the Lord to make both you and him very happy!
Saturday, August 31, 2019
Today we heard the parable of the talents read from Matthew 25. The lesson was that to everyone who has, more will be given and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. We must not be lazy, but work diligently to bear fruit for the Lord. This is a lesson for all, both the laity and the Church hierarchy.
Friday, August 30, 2019
Today's Gospel reading is the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25. The foolish ones who were not ready when the bridegroom arrived were locked out of the wedding feast. They knocked on the door to want to get in, but the Lord replied, "Amen, I say to you, I do not know you." It shows that there is no excuse for not taking God seriously. Either you pay attention or you don't. If you don't, do not expect that you'll get a second chance if you miss the boat. I wouldn't count on having the opportunity to repent of your sins just before you die either, for you could lose your mind before then, die unexpectedly, or die in sleep. Anyway, be ready now and at all times.
From today's entrance antiphon, Psalm 86, a prayer of David: Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. David considered himself to be the servant who trusted in the Lord. The Apostle John referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. As for me, I see myself as a little child whom the Lord loves to teach.
There is a nice short video on YouTube showing seven Chinese ladies who are good friends with each other. Even though they all have families, they decided to build a nice house for them to meet and dine and have tea together in order to enjoy each other's company. People everywhere want to do something nice for themselves. But I do feel sorry for all of them, for in their short sojourn on earth, they seek only temporary happiness for themselves, not finding the true God who alone can make them happy so much more and forever. We who know the Lord bear the responsibility of spreading the gospel as far and wide as possible.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
People have always been smart and intelligent. The fact that we have advanced science and technology today does not mean that we are smarter – we simply have been taking advantage of all the knowledge acquired and discoveries made during all the past generations. Now, when it comes to becoming holy, we are not inferior to anyone of the past either. You do not need to depend upon the saints of the past to become saints. God is just as accessible today as he was yesterday. Anyone can attain union with God if he or she will open up to him. To be a saint,you only need God!
About two years ago, I unexpectedly hurt my left shoulder when I was pressing some weight, the same amount I had been using for a long time, at a gym. And I have not fully recovered from that yet. I know that God can heal it instantly if he so wishes. But apparently, he wants me to let it be. Now I see this as a thorn in my flesh and intend to let this weakness make me rely on him even more.
After John the Baptist learned that Jesus was also baptizing and everyone was going to him, he said to all, "He must increase; and I must decrease." Seek union with God so that Christ might increase to 100% and you decrease to zero. Then you'll be like him!
Today is the memorial of St. John the Baptist. The Gospel reading came from Mark 6. Herod the king feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. He was also fascinated by John and liked to listen to him. Nevertheless, he had John beheaded because he did not want to break the oaths he made to his daughter before all the guests. Here is a case of shoving aside your conscience to do what makes you look good before others. I still remember how I did bad things to my sisters to hurt them when I was young. We need the Lord to clean up our consciences or we'll become more and more sinful. Seek union with God and he'll make your conscience razor sharp.
Léon Bloy, the French novelist and a fervent Catholic convert wrote, "The only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint." I think I understand this. Not to become a saint is a great tragedy because there is so much you can gain and have when you become a saint! Being a saint is to be in union with God. To be a saint is to enjoy freedom and peace in God and receive great joy from him. To be a saint is to be in perfect harmony with your loving Father and creator. To be a saint is to gain the Lord and everything he has becomes yours! Relatively speaking, falling short of becoming a saint is indeed tragic.
On August 20, I posted "God's Surprise Response." Here it is in a shortened version.
"Recently my wife underwent kidney stone surgery. She had a stent placed in her ureter to prevent any blockage of the urine flow. Five days later, she lost urinary control completely and developed a high fever accompanied by shaking chills. I rushed her to emergency and she was diagnosed with severe sepsis attributed to an infection. After 3 days, the illness was brought under control, but the stent was to remain in her for another 10-14 days. When a nurse's aid came to prepare her for discharge from the hospital, she discovered the string that's attached to the stent. Ignorant of what it was, she started pulling on it and the stent started coming out. Of course, the hospital staff were all alarmed, but the doctors had no choice but to have it pulled out completely. Unexpectedly, after it came out my wife instantly regained her urinary control. With temperature close to normal and continuing taking her antibiotic, she should be fine soon. I wouldn't be surprised if the stent had caused the infection in the first place. Anyhow, it seemed that the Lord allowed this mistake to happen and turned it into a blessing. A most pleasant surprise."
Why do I repost this again? Well, I found out from my wife this morning that the name of the nurse's aid was Blessing!
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Communion experience. As the priest consecrated the bread and wine, I knew they were going to be transformed into the flesh and blood of our Lord. For me, this invisible mystical transformation is even more impactful than the visible stunning transfiguration of the Lord on Mt. Tabor. I was compelled to ask who am I that he should find worthy to receive him!
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus continued to denounce the scribes and Pharisees for being hypocrites. He said to them, "You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth." Ouch! The people of today are no different. Anytime you see someone who wants to appear beautiful on the outside in the eyes of the world, you can be sure that he or she is hiding something on the inside.