Before this month of April ends in about 30 minutes, I want to end on a high note. There is not a thing in this world we can hold onto, ourselves included, but there is the God of Christ we can hold onto forever. This alone is enough to make life worth living and us rejoice!
Thursday, April 30, 2020
If you follow God's will, it will be done. To wish to go to heaven is precisely what God wills for you, so keeping his word and you'll be there for sure. The gate that leads to life may be narrow, but the more you yield to God, the wider it opens up for you. And when you submit yourself to him completely, it vanishes altogether. In sum, how easy your journey to God is depends entirely upon how willing you are to let him carry you.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said, "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the the one who sent me. And this is the will of he 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."
These sayings reveal some important truths. (1) Jesus did come down from heaven and is the Son of God. (2) When God calls us, we cannot possibly be rejected by him. God calls you only because he wants to save you! If you hear his call and go to him, you are "in." (3) "Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life"—these nine words are all one needs to know to live on forever in paradise!
Today is the memorial of St. Catherine of Sienna. Reading 1 from Acts 8 tells about the persecution of the Church, scattering all followers except the Apostles throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Our world is in chaos today too. In this country alone, so many voices are out there attacking others nonstop. You can't even get everyone together to agree on loving our own country, let alone believing in one God. Without faith in the one God of Christ, the world will sadly remain in chaos until the Second Coming of the Lord.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said to the crowd, "The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Again, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." I see that that Jesus had prefigured the Holy Eucharist here. As our Lord and our God, he is truly the only one who can satisfy our spiritual hunger and quench our spiritual thirst. Go to him and believe in him, and your are set for eternity.
In today's reading 1 from Acts 7, as Stephen was stoned to death at the feet of Saul (Paul), he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Now Saul was consenting to his execution. We sometimes don't mind openly or secretly that the people we consider bad or just plain don't like would meet some tragic end. But wishing ill of anyone is a sin, for God loves us all! Also, in so wishing, you have judged them. Instead, we should pray for our "enemies" as St. Stephen did. Ask the Lord to crush all evil but save all souls.
Monday, April 27, 2020
People get upset or lose peace over so many things. Know that we ourselves are not perfect, cannot be in control of all things, and are living in an imperfect sinful world. Besides, who are we to think that we should always be in control and have our ways? As Christians, God should be our only Lord. In any case, getting upset or losing peace is justifiable only if you know you might not make heaven.
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, people asked Jesus, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" He answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." God has made it simple and straight for us—we only need to believe in Jesus. It's the very opposite of taking an obstacle course. With faith, we can simply accomplish anything in his name.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
If you don't surrender yourself to God just because you don't like to hear the word "surrender," there are other ways. Beg God to have mercy on you, meaning it from your very heart, or open yourself up completely to him, and you shall accomplish the same thing.
The Smithsonian Channel has produced the TV series Aerial America showing how each state looks from the air. As you watch the episodes, you also learn about the various historical landmarks and well-known buildings and homes. I came away with a picture that people in the past fought wars, built forts, started businesses, became big and constructed huge homes . . . in general, laboring away the whole time on earth. This is like living on a plane and never getting up into space. If we can connect with God, then we are lifted out of the two-dimensional space into the third dimension. This is the move the wise make to be freed from this mundane world for ever.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Our ultimate goal is to become one with God. The greatest obstacle in my spiritual journey turns out to be ourselves. For we wish to be our own god and not want anyone else to restrict or control us, not realizing that God knows us thoroughly and is the only one who can free me from the enslavement we have imposed upon ourselves. Eventually, we know that we need God, but yielding ourselves to him is no easy task. The truth is that more you get out of God's way, the closer you become to him! I can also say that the more you let go in him, the more he is going to carry you to make your journey easy. When you surrender yourself completely to God, you become one with him and you are finally free! Following him is now effortless and a joy. The world no longer has any power over you, for you belong to him and are heaven bound. To all of you who are journeying toward the Lord, do not ever get discouraged. Know that every time you give up some of your control to him, your journey becomes easier.
You want to be receptive to God so that you may see clearly what he wishes you to do for his glory. If there are other things you want to do on your own, you should also clear them with him to see that doing them is also for his glory. This is the harder part. It means you must abandon yourself totally to the Lord. But if you can do that, you'll experience immense freedom and peace and know that you've done the right thing. Again, this is how God has made us.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
I am thinking about how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. After he received word saying that Lazarus was ill, he did not rush to him, knowing that the illness was not to end in death, but was for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified through it. He remained for two days where he was. Knowing that Lazarus had now died, he and his disciples left for Bethany, the village Lazarus was from. By then, Lazarus had been dead for four days. The two sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, both said to Jesus, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus ordered to have the stone that lay across the opening of the tomb removed and cried out in a loud vice, "Lazarus, come out!" The man came out.
The lesson I learned is that God knows what he is doing and is always a step ahead of us. So we can confidently follow him in contentment, watching his glory unfold.
Ir occurs to me that how God will judge us is absolutely brilliant. You see, we are all given our free will so that how we deal with others determines how God will deal with us. You might say that he lets us set our own standards. He will forgive us the way we forgive others. How we judge others will determine how he is going to judge us. If we do not acknowledge him, he will not acknowledge us later either. If we reject him, we'll only get ourselves rejected by him. The is a totally fair system that makes us responsible for our choices. We can't complain about it. But there is one provision there that favors us: we can repent and reset our standards anytime to make sure we'll be well treated by the Lord.