Communion experience. I attended Vigil Mass today. Possessing only a finite mind, I could not comprehend how the elements of bread and wine consecrated in the Eucharist could change into the body and blood of the Lord, yet I could believe without a doubt that it did happen. This is having faith: we do not comprehend, yet believe. This is how we finite beings connect with the infinite God. We are to depend upon him in all things.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
In today's Gospel reading of the parable of the lost son from Luke 15, you'd understand why the the older son got angry if you read what he said to the father after his lost younger brother had returned. Here it is: "Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf." He was jealous. This is normal human reaction. But the Lord can perfect us. I have mentioned that God is the greatest psychiatrist there is and that remains true. Once we have him, we have the best we can possibly have, and we no longer admire, envy, or get jealous about anyone anymore. Finally we are set free by the truth and become like the Lord himself. So you can say that God is our secret formula, our perfect corrector, or our ultimate defender.
Luke 15:21 is today's Gospel acclamation. This is what the lost son in the parable of the lost son said to his father upon his return: "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you." This is all we need to say to our heavenly Father to get back in his good graces. Why should it be so difficult for us to say it? God awaits to hear from us. Say it and the whole heaven rejoices! Nothing can be more heartening than knowing that you've made heaven happy!
We have Catholics in union with the Lord; they obey his every will and don't ever wish to offend him in the slightest; then we have those who are Catholics in name only. They are anti-life and pro-same-sex-marriage and spread lies. In fact, many of them are holding top positions in our government now! They are today's Pharisee and scribes. At the same time, the Church is facing a similar division internally, causing many to leave the faith. But I know this will pass, for Jesus had already told us that the gates of the netherworld should not prevail against his church. For the time being, I am crying more for those who have betrayed our Lord than my country or my church, as the Lord's most ardent wish is to save all souls!
Friday, March 5, 2021
As an aficionado of piano music, I used to attend various piano festivals and events. Once, I attended a weekend workshop in Portland, Oregon, not too far from my home here in California. I was going to learn about a method of playing the piano that would minimize the risk of injuring your hands. To buy the whole set of videotapes, it would cost around $800, as I recall. After watching many sample videos and listening to a number of lectures, I pretty much learned what the technique is all about. There were basically three principles you need to know, which I could explain and demonstrate easily in a few minutes. We often spend way too much time and effort trying to reach a certain goal, not realizing that we can get there faster and more surely another way. For example,
We all wish to grow closer to the Lord, but many people are not going about doing it the right way. They attend many conferences. workshops, Bible studies, and retreats, listen to many speakers, and read a lot of books. Why not go directly to the Lord to get to know him? The Lord is instantly accessible to you at any time, no matter where you are. Communicating with him is easier and faster than any modern mode of communication. When you open yourself up to him, he's ready to reveal himself to you. Then you start learning everything from him directly. To strengthen your personal relationship with him, you don't need to go through other fellow humans anymore. They can only help you know more about the Lord. Only the Lord himself can draw you to make you know him. Seeking him without focusing mainly upon him is a waste of time. Head straight for the Lord who wishes to be one with you!
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Today's Gospel reading from Luke 16 tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. After both the rich man and the poor Lazarus died, Lazarus was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man landed in the netherworld and suffered torment in flames. The rich man saw Abraham with Lazarus at this side. He cried out to Abraham for help. Abraham replied, "My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from going from our side to yours or from your side to ours." So what we think is good during our lifetime may actually be bad if that's all the comfort we are going to get. Aim for receiving what's truly good all in your next life. No instant gratification! It comes down to choosing what's only good for now or what'll be good forever later. It should be a no-brainer.
In today's first reading from Jeremiah 17, The LORD says, "I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds." God knows our mind and heart and our ways and deeds thoroughly. We are completely transparent to him! Don't ever think for a moment that you can hide or escape from him. He knows exactly what your are thinking and what's in your heart at any time. Your ways and your deeds are shaping your own destiny every moment of your life. Knowing this could be a joy to some or a terror to others. Hopefully, once you realize how omnipotent God truly is, you would rejoice!
Today I feel happy that God not only knows but also understands all my needs and good desires. This is a joy, for I need not be anxious about anything anymore. The Lord shall meet all my needs and fulfill all my desires as he sees fit. We are to follow him always, not the other way around. Ask and still follow is OK, but know the Lord first so that you'll know what to ask is best.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
I have quoted this saying of St. Augustine many times: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." This is so very true. I'd like to go beyond a bit and say "The more we surrender ourselves to God, the more we become like him." God is meant to be our refuge and perfector!
We get discouraged when we see that evil has taken over the world; you can feel the oppression. Now, God deals with every single soul. If you rebel against him, you'll get separated from him for eternity. Whether we have one evildoer or a billion of them, they will all be "taken care of" in the end. That sounds good, but it's most tragic. For God the Father loves all of them and the loss of one soul to him is as sad as losing all of them. For the sake of loving our Father, we must do our utmost to save as many souls as possible. That's why judging others is wrong, for it stops the flow of mercy from us. So hate the sin and not the sinner. Our sole business is to live for and to please God the Father alone, not to play God for an instant.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Americans are not good at saving money. Most people live from paycheck to paycheck. They make money and spend it fast for instant gratification. When a spouse, usually the husband, dies, often nothing's left for the wife to live on. I have witnessed so many cases like that. All this makes me wonder—if you don't know how to prepare yourself well to live a life on earth, how are you going to prepare yourself to live a life in heaven? It's a great feeling to know that you are ready to meet God your Father anytime without fear. In fact, you should yearn for that day. To prepare for that day, you need to know the Lord intimately to the point that you are one with him on earth. When you become inseparable from him, you are ready.
Do God's will first. Everything else can wait. People often rationalize what they're doing by saying that God has given them this talent, so they must keep on doing it. It sounds right on the surface. They also want to justify making a lot of money by saying that with more money, they can help others more. There is truth here too, but it might not be their prime motivation. Anyway, to do God's will is to do his will without any interference on our part. If he tells you to go ahead to make more money or do whatever else specifically, you go ahead. It's listening to him only and not at all to yourself. You must be totally in tune with him to remain in obedience. This is the challenge and a joy. Let the Lord truly be your Lord and you'll have peace and be amply rewarded in the end.
Not only God's love and mercy are infinite, so is his patience. Most of us live for years. If you live till 80, you'll have 29.200 days. Assuming that you sleep 8 hours each day, the number of your waking hours comes to 467,200. Assuming that you won't fully understand and know how to make a decision to accept Christ the first ten years of your life, you'll still have 408,800 hours left for you to turn to Christ. Are you going to waste all those hours not even considering him? The Lord has done his part and now simply awaits in patience. You may still get that last dying moment to repent and save yourself, but that's taking an awfully big risk.
Monday, March 1, 2021
It's easy to admire or envy others who seem to be more fortunate and have a lot more than you in so many ways. And you start to feel sorry yourself and become unhappy. This shows that you do not know the true God of Christ yet. Christ himself was despised, looked down, ridiculed, laughed at, insulted, stripped of his garments, scourged, and even put to death, yet he never complained. If you have him, everything the heavenly Father has is now yours. You'll feel so content and thankful, realizing that you are the luckiest and most loved creature in the universe, just now awaiting your return to your Father. Those who have the world are to be pitied, not admired or envied. Know Christ and you'll know the truth and be set free! Good thoughts to start off this new month of March, 2021.