Today is the feast of St. Andrew, Apostle. In today's Reading 1 from Romans 10, Pauls starts out with "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." We must never hesitate to proclaim that Jesus is Lord and should proclaim it as much as possible. A Christian who does not confess that Jesus is Lord for whatever reason only shows that Jesus is not his or her Lord yet. Even if you can say it, you must live to prove that you mean it. Otherwise, you are still not genuinely a Christian. To acknowledge that Jesus is Lord is acknowledge that is foremost in your life.
Monday, November 30, 2020
I have moved into my house for about 15 years or so and notice that some of fixtures and things have begun to show their age. I recall the various subcontractors I had to deal with, some were excellent and some not so good. The bad ones left me with bad memories. I know we all have had unpleasant experiences with others that can haunt us. Then I see Christ and know that he can and will liberate me from everything negative. The Lord is like a filter. When we go through him, all that is unclean, disordered, destructive, or distracting will be filtered out. He is our end and in him nothing that hurts, haunts, or enslaves us can possibly exist; we become liberated, new creatures in him! So let nothing disturb you now, but let Christ alone fill you with his peace.
Do you realize that we can connect with the Lord God our creator and savior instantly and at any time? What a wonderful grace! And that we can also repent minor sins directly to the Lord and more serious sins through the sacrament of reconciliation, and be forgiven and become all clean again? Another amazing grace! Thank you, thank you, and thank you, Father.
In Matthew 23, Jesus said, "Whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Here's the proof. When you humble yourself before the Lord, realizing that you are nothing and you need him, you open yourself up and the Lord enters you fully to dwell in you—you and the Lord are now one. This has to be highest exaltation you can possibly get from the Lord in this life. Rejoice, rejoice, and rejoice!
Sunday, November 29, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 13, Jesus told his disciples to be watchful and to be alert, for they did not know the time the Lord would come again. Jesus made it clear that he will come again, and this time to judge us. How do I know? Well, if there won't be any judgement, then we really don't need to be watchful at all. For those who have always been faithful to the Lord or are already in union with him, they are ready for anything. So this is really a warning to those who are not yet ready. Since those who do not believe that the Lord had come the first time will have no reason to believe that he will come a second time, there is no point in letting them know when the Lord will come again. Besides, keeping the time and day unknown will help separating the true believers from the true unbelievers.
In today's second reading from 1 Corinthians 1, Paul wrote, "God our Father will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." I see that our whole goal should be to become irreproachable on the day we face Christ. The way to achieve that goal is to become irreproachable now before that day arrives unless you have the magic of becoming holy instantly.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Reading 1 comes from Isaiah 63 and 64. The last verse reads, "Yet, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands." The image that we are the clay and the Father is the potter is a beautiful one. To acknowledge this is willing to let the the Lord mold and shape you to his heart's content so that you become most beautiful for him to behold.
On our own, we can never be good enough to get into heaven. But if we let God help us, the problem is no more. As Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 19:26, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible." Besides, the Lord wishes and desires that we all get into heaven.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
This is today's Gospel reading, Luke 21:34-36.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
We may not carouse or even be drunk, but may very well be anxious about something. Since the day of the Lord's coming will catch us by surprise, to be vigilant at all times is truly the appropriate advice. It would indeed be horrible to have the Lord catch you in the midst of spreading fake news, cussing at someone, committing an impure act, or doing ballot stuffing. I personally see attaining and remaining in union with the Lord as our best preparation, as you'll already have the Lord dwelling in you.
In yesterday's 1st reading from Revelation 20, the book of life was mentioned. In today's 1st reading from Revelation 22, an angel showed John the river of life-giving water, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. On either side of the river grew the tree of life. In John 11:25, Jesus Said, "I am the resurrection and the life." In John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life." So simply, God who is the source of all life is life. For us, to know the Lord is to have life eternal. It was also revealed to John that the Lord is coming soon for all his servants and that night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light. Surely it is this light that will sustains our life for all eternity.
Friday, November 27, 2020
The Gospel reading at Mass continues with readings from Revelation. Many people have tried to interpret the book Revelation and arrived at different conclusions. I am content to learn just what's clear and leave the many mysteries alone. From today's reading from Revelation 4, I learn that anyone whose name is not written in the book of life will be thrown into the pool of fire, the second death. Of course, i do not know when this will happen or exactly what the second death is all about, but I do know that I need to make sure that my name is written in the book of life. Again, I don't need to know exactly what the book of life is, but I know without a doubt that I only need to be in Christ to have my name written in it. This is good enough for me.
You have two choices after you ask for some favor from the Lord. (1) You feel unsettled, always wondering if he is going to grant you what you've asked for or not. (2) You know that the Lord has heard you and will answer your prayer, not wondering about how he's going to do it. I think the second option is much better, for it shows that you have faith and you leave the door open for God to surprise you.
We must be completely honest with God, sharing everything and hiding nothing. This is absolutely important if you truly want to know the Lord and be in total harmony with him. This is also the key to experiencing freedom in the Lord. "Honesty is the best policy" works with God too.
They lie to the American people daily and now try to steal a national election by fraud. What can you expect from anyone who has no qualms whatsoever about killing the unborn? When you rebel against the Lord, you instantly become the greatest loser in the world. Even if you gain the whole world, you still end up losing your own soul. May God have mercy on them.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus spoke about his Second Coming to his disciples. That's right, he was still living among them. He told his disciples, "When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand." We must be prepared and look forward to this day of our redemption. If we don't, what could happen to us would be unthinkable.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in USA. I thank the Lord for all he has done for us. I especially thank him for having turned everything into joy for those who follow him. The Lord has given me freedom, peace, and joy, more or less in that order; yet joy comes to my mind first whenever I think of him. It must be because freedom and peace are experienced quietly and joy can be truly overwhelming. Anyhow, the Lord is the source of our joy. The Resurrection, Ascension, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit fill us with joy. Heaven is all joy. Follow Christ and you'll have joy forever!