Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jesus gives us power to become the children of God

"And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us."  

"But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name."  (John 1: 14, 12)

Lord Jesus, I want to enjoy the privileges of the children of God.  I want to know the Father and do His will.  Grant me faith that overcomes the world.  Help me to accept you as you come to me everyday.  Help me never to reject the cross you have designed for me.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Do not love the things of the world

1 John 2:17

"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

The enticements of the world:
Sensual lust
Enticement for the eyes
Pretentious life

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The family can be a path to holiness

"The shepherds hastened to Bethlehem, where they found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger."  (Luke 2:16)

Eternal Father, we want to live as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in peace with you and one another.

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baptism of James

Baptism of the infant James within the 9am Mass today Saturday the Octave of Christmas.
Father TJ the Pastor of St Thomas More Church is flanked by the delighted godparents.

St Thomas More Church is family of families on Hillcroft St in Houston,  Texas.

Christ is the Light of the World

1 John 1:5

"This is the message we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you:  God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Walking in the light of the Gospel

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sanctuary of St Vincent de Paul Church in Houston, Texas

We have seen and we have heard the Mystery

"What we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ"  (1 John 1:3)

The testimony of St. John the Evangelist is an eyewitness account.  Every authentic proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior must be what we have seen and heard.  What have we seen and heard over the Advent season and Christmas?  We have seen food distributed to the poor in our parishes.  We have seen clothing and money given to the needy.  We have heard about the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of Abraham and Son of David, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

In all that we have seen and heard over the past several weeks, we have the content for our own proclamation of Jesus, the Savior of all mankind.  Lord Jesus, fill us with your Spirit and enable us to bear witness to you.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Child is born for us

"And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth."  (John 1: 14)

May the simple Joys and Peace of Christmas remain with you today and every day of 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

O Radiant Dawn, sun of justice

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
for he has visited and brought redemption to his people."  (Luke 1 : 68)

Thank  you Father for the salvation you brought us through your Son, Jesus Christ.  Father fill us with the joy and peace of His presence during this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

God is with us

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means “God is with us."  (Matthew !: 22 - 23)

The Virgin Mary, one of our race is the sign.  She is the sign that God's promise to be always with us is true, fulfilled even here and now.  Have you claimed it?  How do you claim the gift of the Emmanuel?  Ask the Father.  Ask the Virgin Mother to intercede for you.  As Mary placed her Infant Jesus in the hands of the Magi, Simeon and Anna, she would place in your hands the awesome gift of the Emmanuel.  How awesome it will be for you to know for certainty that always and everywhere Emmanuel, God-with-us is with you.

Come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

O Emmanuel, Our King and Giver of Law

"The Lord and Ruler will be coming soon, and His name will be called Emmanuel, because He will be God-with-us."  (See Isaiah 7: 14; 8:10)

O Come Emmanuel!
How do we know that Jesus is truly with us as He promised?  Because He said so.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  If Jesus is not with us, we would not have any peace.  Our problems will completely overwhelm us.  If Jesus is not with us, there will be no hope for the future.  There will be no hope of rising from illness or recovery from a serious financial crisis.  No hope of finding a new job after losing one.   It is because of His abiding presence that we can sing with joy.  It is also because of His presence that demons have not made mince meat of us.

Thank you Jesus for your presence.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Sign of Emmanuel

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel."  (Isaiah 7: 14)

King Ahaz had already decided to seek foreign against the coalition massed against Judah. The situation was not just critical but an emergency.  The prophet Isaiah appeared and told the King not to seek any foreign aid.  God had promised to help him.  For King Ahaz at this stage of the crisis, it was like a parent who had already decided that surgery was the last option for a critically sick child. If you are such a parent, what would you do if a prophet comes along to urge the surgery not to proceed because God will miraculously heal your child.  That was the situation of King Ahaz.

God realizing that Ahaz was in a difficult situation offered him an incentive to faith.

"Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as Sheol, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"  (Isaiah 7: 10 - 12)

King Ahaz refused to ask for a sign.  He had already made up his mind what to do. The Lord God was determined however to give one of the greatest signs in the Bible.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel."  (Isaiah 7: 14)

The Virgin Mary is a sign.

"And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2: 12)

The Infant Jesus wrapped in a swaddling clothes is another sign that points to the life and work of this Child.

What sign do we have today that what we believe is true?  The Catholic Church is the sign. It is the sign of the presence of Jesus in the world.  There are four marks that point to this sign always and everywhere in the world:  The Church is one; the Church is holy; the Church apostolic; the Church universal.  These four marks have always been the means of recognizing the Catholic Church everywhere.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christ our King is coming

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1: 20 21)

Joseph had three good reasons to be worried.  First, was his deep disappointment that after what he considered a prayerful discernment his choice of Mary as a wife was a failure.  Second was his deep regret with Mary herself.  Mary was reputed as the holy, chaste and wise virgin of the town.  Now, she appeared to be like everyone else.  Finally, Joseph was saddened with the  failure of divine guidance.  Divine guidance is promised in the scriptures especially for those who walk in God's ways.

Amidst such forebodings, Joseph went to bed for another restless night.  But this night was different from other nights.  It was the night of the second Annunciation.  The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and revealed that Mary was with child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And with this, the peace and faith of Joseph in God was fully restored.

It happens that in our own life, we might go through a period of severe test of faith like Joseph.  The test could be in the areas of family, finances, job, health, property and tools.  In such period, wouldn't it be wonderful to enjoy a visitation of an angel telling us that everything is alright and urging us to be patient for a little time because what is going on is a set up by God.  Alas, most of us would never enjoy any such visit by an angel.  This is because the message of God for us has been communicated in the scriptures.  Here are a few examples:

God is with us.  He is Emmanuel.(Matthew 1: 23)
"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."  (Exodus 14: 14)
"Endure your trials as 'discipline.'"  (Hebrews 12: 7)
"Be still, and know that I am God."  (Psalm 46: 10)
"Do not be afraid and do not dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's."  (2 Chronicles 20: 15)
"Not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."  (Zechariah 4: 6)

There are many such scriptures in the Bible which we can appropriate and apply to our situation.
"Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire."  (2 Peter 1: 4)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Come to us Jesus and bring us peace

"Hear the word of the LORD, you nations,
proclaim it on distant coasts, and say:
The One who scattered Israel, now gathers them;
he guards them as a shepherd his flock."  (Jeremiah 31: 10)

By divine providence, Israel was scattered as the sower scatters the seeds.  In the nations were they were scattered, they became the foundation for the sowing of the Gospel.  As harvest is gathered in due season, Israel will be gathered up by the Lord.

"I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord. I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers,alleluia!"  (Psalm 17: 50; 21: 23)

"Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you."  (Isaiah 35: 4)

Come Lord Jesus!  Come quickly!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice."

Isaiah 35:4
"Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thank you Lord for my Disappointments

http://uniqueministry.blogspot.com/2009/11/disappointment-disguise-for-blessing.html?m=1

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Interdependence

God in His immense wisdom and power could have made us independent instead of Interdependent. Each person has something to give to another in our symbiotic ecosystem. (Idea before the Blessed Sacrament)

What is my cross?

Matthew 16:24

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Rejection of the cross is rejection of Jesus Christ.

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Come Lord Jesus!

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself."  (Philippians 3: 20 - 21)

Are your eyes permanently pointed to the skies or downwards?  Jesus says:
"For where your treasure is, there also will your heart."  (Matthew 6: 21)

Our Top Prize is in heaven.  There also is our heart. We live therefore in this world as pilgrims not holding anything too tightly because we know full well that our Lord and Bridegroom shall come any time.

Come Lord Jesus!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mary's Sign

"And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God." (Luke 1: 36 - 37)

Some people receive revelations, word of knowledge and word of wisdom from God.  Some of these people claim that God confirms these communications with  signs.  My personal reaction is not to doubt.  Why should I?  I experience inspirations from God all the time.  In fact, I cannot survive without inspirations.  The inspirations make up for my lack of high intelligence quotient.

When the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the Mother of the Christ, Mary did not ask for any sign.  But God gave her a sign nevertheless.  That sign was a living person, her relative Elizabeth.  Elizabeth who desired to be a mother for most of her life was now old and her barrenness was absolute.  But God for whom nothing is impossible, infused strength and fruitfulness to Elizabeth.  Mary on hearing this would have said to herself, "If this is possible, then it is also possible for me a virgin to conceive to be a mother by the power of the Holy Spirit."

The confirmation of our signs could come from what God does for other people.  Such signs need no further communication from God.  When we receive the word or promise of God and consent to it, we look for examples of such fulfillments either from scripture, history or from our contemporary experience.  They are all signs.  Everything is scripture.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The word of God stands forever

"The grass withers, the flower wilts,
but the word of our God stands forever.”  (Isaiah 40: 8)

Your word leads to eternal life.  Teach us to love your word.

Monday, December 09, 2013

On the Occasion of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

On the Occasion of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

"I will rejoice heartily in the LORD,
my being exults in my God;
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation,
and wrapped me in a robe of justice,
Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."  (Isaiah 61: 10)


"For nothing will be impossible for God."  (Luke 1: 37)

O Most Immaculate Virgin and Mother, your Son took maximum care to adorn you with the gifts appropriate to you great Mission.  Remember us, who approach you in our distress.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Fill us with your Holy Spirit

"The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide."  (Isaiah 11: 2 - 3)

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your gifts.  Lead us, guide us and use us as you wish.  We will not rebel against your total control of our lives.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Our home is in heaven

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."  (Philippians 3: 20)

Lord Jesus, strengthen our hearts this season of Advent as we wait for you.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Teach us to love heaven

Titus 2: 12-13
"Let our lives be honest and holy in this present age, as we wait for the happiness to come when our great God reveals Himself in glory. "

May your word teach us to love heaven.  May its promise and hope guide our way on earth.

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Great Way to see life by Cardinal John Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service.  He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.

I have my mission.  I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.  He has not created me for naught.  I shall do good
     ---I shall do His work
     ---I shall be an angel of peace
     ---a preacher of truth
in my own place while not intending it, if I but keep His commandments.

Therefore I will trust Him.

Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him...

He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, he may shorten it; He knows what He is about.  He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers; He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me ---still,

He knows what He is about.


 Cardinal John Newman

Salvation comes from Jesus

"On that day it will be said:
“Indeed, this is our God; we looked to him, and he saved us!
This is the LORD to whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"  (Isaiah 25: 9)

Lord Jesus we waited for you.  At long last, you take pity and answer us.  We rejoice in hope.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me."  (Psalm 23: 4)

Lord Jesus, we hope in you.  Deliver us from all distress - all fears, all worries and all doubts. Amen!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Kingdom of God belongs to the childlike

"At that very moment he rejoiced [in] the holy Spirit and said, I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.* Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will."  (Luke 10: 21)

What does it mean to be childlike?
I am childlike when I trust your promises.
I am childlike when I live for the moment.
I am childlike when I do not take myself too seriously.
I am childlike when I am content to be carried and not to carry.

The childlike believes in miracles.  He delights in the simple manifestations of nature - rain, sunshine, snow and wind.

If the kingdom of God belongs to the childlike, I want to be childlike.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Give us faith Lord Jesus

“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.
He said to him, “I will come and cure him."  (Matthew 8: 6 - 7)

Lord Jesus, grant us the faith of the Centurion and have mercy on us and heal our sick.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Multiple Signs of the Times

"And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed."  (Romans 13: 11)

You know the time. What time? What are the signs of the times?  The season of Advent, the four weeks preparation for Christmas is a perfect time to reflect on the signs of the times.

What are the signs of this time and this season?
Extreme secularization
Shame in professing faith publicly
Persecution of Christianity in different parts of the world
Tolerance of same sex marriage
Tolerance of abortion
Profanation of the sacred character of Sunday
Hypercritical attitude towards any kind of authority
Universal availability of affordable mobile technology
Materialism

Romans 13: 11 teaches that because we know these signs, this knowledge and understanding should provoke extreme alert for all Christians.  We should be prepared for the coming of Christ anytime to take us home.

Come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our faith comes from the word of Christ

"Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ."  (Romans 17: 17)

Our action flows from what we believe.  Our belief comes from preaching and teaching the word of Christ.

"And by Your Word You will light every step.  You are ever faithful Jesus.  You are ever faithful.
You will not be shaken, God of our salvation.  You are the Rock we stand on."  (CCLI Song)

Friday, November 29, 2013

What are the signs of these times?

"In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."  (Luke 21: 31 - 33)

Jesus implies that the signs of the times can be observed with certainty.  We can interpret the signs in nature.  How can we not interpret the signs concerning our destiny.  The  implication here too is that the spiritual signs or the signs concerning our destiny can be interpreted with certainty.

We can observe the chain of secondary causes in action. For example:
Martin needs financial assistance.  Why does Martin need financial assistance?
Martin lost his job.  Why did Martin lose his job?
There was exodus of customers from his company.  Why?
A more cost-effective technology replaced the services the Martin's provided. Why?
Because of recent escalation in investment in technology.

We see how the chain of secondary causes can continue ad infinitum until they stop at the Primary Cause, God.

In religion, secondary causes also terminate with the Primary Cause, God.  This is what is called Providence.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines Divine Providence thus:  "Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end."  (CCC 321)

There could be either accident or providence.  According to the above quoted Catechism, there are no accidents.  Everything is providence.

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose."  (Romans 8: 28)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Revelation 19:9

"And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

"God our Father, from your hand we have received generous gifts so that we might learn to share our blessings in gratitude. Draw us closer to all our brothers and sisters in the family of man."

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Trust in Jesus with all your heart

"He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."   (Luke 21: 3 - 4)

As you trust Jesus, your generosity to Him grows.  You cannot undo Jesus in generosity.  He is King of kings, the Alpha and Omega. All the gold, all the silver belong to Him.  All the central banks,all the commercial banks belong to Him.  He is free to give whatever He likes to anybody.  But to His beloved, He gives the very best.  He gives the Holy Spirit.  He who has the Holy Spirit has everything.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I will praise you with all my heart

"I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will delight and rejoice in you;
I will sing hymns to your name, Most High."  (Psalm 9: 2 - 3)

Thank you Jesus for renewing your favors day by day.  Thank you for your promise of pardon, peace, power, purpose, protection, provision and presence. Thank you for that sacred space where your presence is tangible.  I will declare your wondrous deeds and share the knowledge of your name among my brothers.

I will find my delight in you O Lord and you will give me my heart's desires.  I will sing hymns to your Name for your Name is sweet and glorious.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jesus Christ is our Teacher

"And every day Jesus was teaching in the temple area."  (Luke 19: 47)

It is interesting to observe the work habit of Jesus  in the Gospel.  He is a relentless worker.  Sometimes, He had no time to eat or rest.  He worked so hard that when He got into a boat at the end of the workday, He slumped into a seat and fell soundly asleep.  On one occasion, His relatives heard about how He worked for long hours without food or rest and became concerned about his mental health.  But as hard as He worked, He was a most compassionate and selfless boss.  He thought more of the welfare of His disciples than Himself.

"He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat."  (Mark 6: 31)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You know what makes for peace

"If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes."  (Luke 19: 42)

Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace tell me what it is that makes for peace.  Or better still, give me the understanding and the power to do all that make for peace.

THE BEATITUDES

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.
 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."  (Matthew 5: 3 - 12)

This is what makes for peace of soul, heart and body and peace among men of goodwill.
"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."  (John 13: 17)
Change happens not because of what you know but because of what you do daily.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ask the Father in My Name

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you."  (John 15: 16)

"I will bear a witness to you in the world,O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, alleluia.!" (Psalm 17: 50;21: 23)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.

"But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"  (Matthew 14: 30 - 31)

How can we escape fear, worry and doubt?

When Peter saw how strong the wind was, he became frightened.  Fear entered through his eyes.  Fear, worry and doubt enter into us through our physical senses.  The first order of business in combating fear, worry and doubt is to control our senses. The best defense in this case is offense. Make a habit of feeding your mind with God's word.  Learn to pray constantly.  An army who waits until the enemy is at the city gate to start ordering the weapon needed to defend the city has already lost the war.

One lesson I loaned as a boy scout will serve me well if I remember it always is:  Be Prepared.
How can we escape fear,worry or doubt?  Bring the fear, worry or doubt to Jesus in prayer.  Remember His promises in scripture. Remember instances in your life when Christ has saved you in crisis.  Trust Him completely and cry out desperately to Him to save you. He will. After Jesus has saved you, write down the experience in your journal.  If you don't, you may forget it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

God's excellent plan for us

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

How to know the plan?
Prayer and Discernment

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Blessed be the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ask and keep asking

"Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?"  (Luke 18: 7)

God is the Guardian of my rights.  Trust Him forever!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Give us abundant life

"Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it."  (Luke 17: 33)

We have here a great paradox.  How can you lose your life by taking every sensible and possible measures to preserve and secure it?  How can you keep your life by doing the opposite of what is common sense?  Jesus reveals the answer to this paradox by His life and teaching.  He, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  By choosing to move away from Jesus in our thoughts, words and lifestyle, we move away from the life that we yearn for and that He offers.

"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."  (John 10: 10)  To be alive in Christ is to enjoy the abundant life He promises.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Give me Wisdom

Wisdom 7: 22- 23

"For in her is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Never harmful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle." (Wisdom 7: 22 - 23)

I want Wisdom.

James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

Wisdom is the one gift we can be absolutely certain of obtaining from God.  We know for sure that Wisdom is completely in His will for us.  When Solomon asked for wisdom, God said to him: "Here and now, I give you what you ask for."  How then do we pray for wisdom?

Ask for it and keep asking.
Seek for it and keep seeking.
Keep knocking on the doors of heaven till you get it. When you get it, you will say:  "I can't believe the joy!"

Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It is good to give thanks to God

"In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."  (1 Thessalonians 5: 18)

If God is always and everywhere good, if His wisdom is infinite and His love unconditional, it follows that all His actions must be loving and good.  The so-called negative and bad events in our life are not more than the disguises of God.  When we walk by faith and not by sight, we look past events and look straight to the First Cause, God.  Because we know God's attributes of love, goodness, wisdom, power, mercy, omnipresence, we know for certain that God is in control of the situation.  If knowledge of His attributes is not enough to make us to "ceasing from striving,"  we look to His promises in His word.

It is good to give thanks to God always and everywhere for His mercies last forever.

  • I believe in prayer.
  • I believe in the word of God.
  • I believe in miracle.
  • I leave the rest to God. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Lord hears the cry of the poor

"The righteous cry out, the LORD hears
and he rescues them from all their afflictions.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed."  (Psalm 34: 18 - 19)

The Lord hears the cry of the poor.  Thank you Father.

"But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner."  (Luke 18: 13)

"My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn."  (Psalm 51: 19)

"Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted."  (Matthew 5: 4)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

God strengthens our hearts through His word and the Eucharist

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word."  (2 Thessalonians 2: 16 - 17)

God loves us so much that He always and everywhere strengthens our hearts through His word and Sacraments.  Without these graces, it will be impossible for you to encourage one another or even to perform the least good deed.

To God be all the glory and honor forever and ever.  Amen!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Holy Spirit is the River of life

"Wherever it flows, the river teems with every kind of living creature; fish will abound. Where these waters flow they refresh; everything lives where the river goes."  (Ezekiel 47: 9)

Wherever the Holy Spirit flows, there is blessings and prosperity.  The Holy Spirit is Lord and give of life.  He is the River of life.  The Holy Spirit has brought untold blessings in my life. The Voice that speaks in court has helped me in some very tight situations I found myself and needed the right word.

Come Holy Spirit Come!

Friday, November 08, 2013

I will not compete with Jesus

"For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed."  (Romans 15: 18)

I know from experience that there is nothing I cannot do with the help of Christ who empowers me.  Jesus Christ has absolute power to do whatever He wants.  This power is available to those who trust Jesus, who walk in His will and who asks for it.  
 
Lord Jesus, I trust in you.  I want to trust in you with all my heart, mind and soul, I believe I walk in your will.   Help my weakness and strengthen my steps.  Grant me the power I need so that I can accomplish your purpose in my life.  I ask for this in your mighty Name Jesus.  Amen!

I will not compete with Jesus

"For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed."  (Romans 15: 18)

I know from experience that there is nothing I cannot do with the help of Christ who empowers me.  Jesus Christ has absolute power to do whatever He wants.  This power is available to those who trust Jesus, who walk in His will and who asks for it.  
 
Lord Jesus, I trust in you.  I want to trust in you with all my heart, mind and soul, I believe I walk in your will,  Help my weakness and strengthen my steps.  Grant me the power I need so that I can accomplish your purpose in my life.  I ask for this in your mighty Name Jesus.  Amen!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The One thing necessary

"One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the LORD’s house
all the days of my life,
To gaze on the LORD’s beauty,
to visit his temple."  (Psalm 27: 4)

Be joyful in hope.

"I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD, take courage;
be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!"  (Psalm 27: 13 -14)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Lord will build and guard my house

"‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’"  (Luke 14: 30)

O Lord, forbid that I should come to such a fate again.  Your word promises, "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 1: 6)

I agree and rejoice with your word in Psalm 127: 1:

"Unless the LORD build the house,
they labor in vain who build.
Unless the LORD guard the city,
in vain does the guard keep watch."

Once upon a time, I started to build but was unable to finish.  I became a laughing stock in the community.  This time, I have learned my lesson.  I want you to build my house O Lord.  I want you to watch over the house O Lord.  With you building and guarding the house I feel secure.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Pray without ceasing

"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer."  (Romans 12: 12)

Prayer is the key that unlocks hope and patience.  Prayer is so important and so powerful that our gracious and awesome Father made it a universal gift for all His children. It is the one gift that can be exercised always and everywhere.  Life is full of tribulations.  Trials come to all and sundry.  If prayer is free and the ordained means of getting so much needed help in crisis, what reason could there be for not using it.  Ignorance and pride.  I rule out ignorance because prayer is a built-in instinct for all living things.  Even the animals cry out to God for food.  See the scriptures below:

"Who provides nourishment for the raven
when its young cry out to God,
wandering about without food?"  (Job 38: 41)

God hears the young raven when they pray for their food.

"The eyes of all look hopefully to you;
you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing."  (Psalm 145: 15 - 16)

The eyes of all living things look hopefully to God for their sustenance.  We who know that God is a gracious and merciful Father rejoice in hope and endure our affliction as discipline and we are constant in prayer.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable

"For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."  (Romans 11: 29)

Which gifts?

"The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide."  (Isaiah 11: 2 - 3)

Which call?

"I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last."  (John 15: 16, 19)
"I will bear a witness to you in the world,O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers,alleluia!"  (Psalm 17: 50; 21: 23)

"To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith,
 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him,h in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ."  (2 Thessalonians 1: 11 - 12)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Lord, make us worthy of your calling

"To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith,
 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ."  (2 Thessalonians 1: 11 - 12)

Lord Jesus, this is a great intercessory prayer.  I claim it.  My desire is to be worthy of your calling and to be a powerful instrument of fulfilling your entire purpose.  I want to magnify your name everywhere.

"I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last."  (John 15: 16, 19)
"I will bear a witness to you in the world,O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers,alleluia!"  (Psalm 17: 50; 21: 23)

  • I believe in prayer.
  • I believe in the word of God.
  • I believe in miracle.
  • I leave the rest to God.


Hermann Park enjoying a gorgeous November 3 weather.

It's amazing how full the park is.  I call Hermann Park, the Paradise in Houston.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

God gracious providence provides all our needs

"The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack."  (Psalm 23: 1)


The truth that God provides all our needs in a timely manner is an idea that is found throughout  sacred scripture.  Amazingly, this is also the constant teaching of the Church from time immemorial.  Yet, ask any man on the street whether he believes that God is supplying everything he needs in a timely manner and you may notice some doubts and hesitations..

God's gracious and loving providence is expressed in this sentence of a song used frequently in  Church:

"Have you not seen All you have needed has been met by His gracious ordaining?"

"Gracious ordaining" means of course God's providence.  The first time I became aware of this thought in a worship service, I said to myself, "Wait a minute.  This isn't my experience."  As a self-employed person, I prayed desperately for jobs.  I shouted literally  to Heaven for any help to improve my finances.  These may not be the only felt needs but they were the constant ones.  How am I expected to answer honestly the question:  "Have you not seen All you have needed has been met by His gracious ordaining?"  I thought about it at the time and decided that the question like many questions about faith and religion is simply too mysterious.  I now realize that this attitude was an error.  What I should have done was to challenge God in prayer to show me how He met all my needs by His gracious ordaining.

But recently, as I read and reflect more on the subject of Prayer, I begin to get some insight on the question.  The key to understanding the question is this important teaching of Jesus:

"What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”  (Luke 11: 11 -13)


In other words, the Father knows what is good for us and that is what He provides.  I like that.  I reviewed the things I thank God for everyday, for example:  where I live, where I worship and the work  I do.  These three life essentials match my personality and my desire.  That is why I thank God for them everyday.

I then reviewed the petitions I ask for that are not "granted."   For example: more jobs and more money.  I came to see clearly that more jobs will bring more money and less time for God.  More money will bring more distractions and more conceitedness.  More distractions will lead to all types of temptation.  More money will also lead to pride.  I winced as I thought of the consequence of pride.  God detests the proud.

So how do I today answer the question: "Have you not seen All you have needed has been met by His gracious ordaining?"  Of course it is true.  I have seen all my needs provided by God.  I pray for wisdom and understanding everyday to see how God does it.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."  (Revelation 7: 14)

Are your robes washed in the Blood of the Lamb?  The robe that is made pure and white in the Blood of the Lamb is the passport to the kingdom of God.

"Washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb" means one thing:

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me."  (Matthew 5: 10 - 11)

It also means:

"“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."  (Luke 9:  23 - 24)

Jesus Christ is the Way.  His way is the way of the cross.  It is the way of suffering, pain, contradictions, delays, humiliation, disappointments, obstacles, etc.

The way of the cross passes through what is most important for every person: health, family, finances, job, tools and property, food and future.  Are you enduring persecution in any of these?

Jesus asks us to renounce ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him.  What do we renounce?  We renounce our will!  Our will stand between us and the will of God.  The will of God is supreme;  it is also our supreme good and peace.  Our will is in perpetual struggle with the will of God.  The saints who washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb had their wills broken.  They became submissive to the will of God.  Therefore, they became triumphant in the struggle against Satan and his demons.

But what is the will of God?  The will of God or His divine pleasure is revealed in His commandments.  It is also revealed in the word of God.  The will of God is also revealed to us in every event and in every moment of our life.  The will of God is also the divine Providence revealed every step every moment of our life.

The contest of our will with the will of God can be seen as the contest between truth and falsehood.  The Truth is Jesus Christ Himself.  Satan is the Father of lies.

Today is November 1.  Today the Church all over the world celebrates  the unsung heroes of the Church throughout the ages in the Feast of All Saints.  The Opening Prayer for this feast is beautiful:

"God our Father,
source of all holiness,
the work of your hands is manifest in your saints,
the beauty of your truth is reflected in their faith.
May we who aspire to have  part in their joy
be filled with the Spirit that blessed their lives,
so that having shared their faith on earth
we may also know their peace in your kingdom.
Grant this through Christ our Lord."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

If God is with us, it is accomplished.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"  (Romans 8; 31)

How beautiful is this promise O Lord my God.  How I pray to remember this always and everywhere.  What I need in every trial is the awareness of your sweet presence in me and with me. Whenever I am able to do this, the awareness of your presence has imposed calmness and steadiness on me.  Help me Lord always to realize and cherish the truth of your presence in me.

If God is with me, then it is accomplished.  Amen!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Accept what you cannot change

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose."  (Romans 8: 28)

Accept all that has happened.
Accept everything that is happening.
Cooperate with everything except with what is sinful.

"O God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen!"

" Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices."  St Teresa of Avila

"I let go of my desire for security."
"I let go of my desire for affection ."
"I let go of my desire for control ."
"I let go of my desire to change the situation ."
"I let go of my desire for perfect health ."
"I let go of my desire for perfect family harmony ."
"I let go of my desire for the perfect job."
"I surrender, I trust and I obey."
From Fr. Thomas Keating

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The certainty of hope

"For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance."  (Romans 8: 24 - 25)

Hope does not disappoint.

"I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last."  (John 15: 16, 19)
"I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord. I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, alleluia!"  (Psalm 17: 50; 21: 23)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jesus spends the night in prayer

"In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles."  (Luke 6: 12 - 13)

Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before choosing His disciples.  This teaches us the importance in the life of Jesus.  Commentators note that this is the habit of Jesus before any crisis.  He goes to a place where He could enjoy solitude.  He spends a considerable time in prayer.

I believe in prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in miracle.
I leave the rest to God.

In any crisis or need, as long as we are praying, we are winning.  The only activity that Jesus teaches us to do constantly is prayer.  We are not asked to work constantly or even to eat always but to pray constantly.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jesus Christ is the Most Trustworthy Friend

"At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.......
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth."  (2 Timothy 4: 16 - 17)

Lord Jesus, you stood by me and delivered me from the mouth of the lion because I trusted you. I trusted you because you taught me to trust you.  You taught me to trust you because I asked in prayer.  Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Spirit and the Flesh

"For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit."  (Romans 8: 5)

In Galatians 5: 19 - 21, St Paul lists the work of the flesh thus:

"Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness,
idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,
occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."  (Galatians 5: 19 - 21)

"In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."  (Galatians 5: 22 - 23)

How to cooperate with God's Providence

Accept all that has happened.
Accept everything that is happening. Cooperate with everything except with what is sinful.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ

Friday, October 25, 2013

My times and seasons are in your hands

"You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"  (Luke 12: 56)

Lord Jesus, there is nothing I yearn for more at this moment than to understand the times and seasons in my life.  You are Lord.  My destiny is in your hands.  (Psalm 31: 15)  It is said that my disappointments are your opportunity.  Let it be.  Let it be.  Let it be.  Remember your promise O Lord. "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope."  (Jeremiah 29:11)

"When I am afraid,
in you I place my trust.

I praise the word of God;
I trust in God, I do not fear.
What can mere flesh do to me?"  (Psalm 56: 4 - 5)

"This I know: God is on my side.

I praise the word of God,
I praise the word of the LORD.

In God I trust, I do not fear.
What can man do to me?"  (Psalm 56: 10 - 12)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ

"More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ."  (Philippians 3: 8)

St. Jerome said that "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ."  In other words, sacred scripture is the royal way to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ said to the Sadducees,  “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God."  No wonder the Sadducees  did not see the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

When Jesus appeared to two of His disciples on the Road to Emmaus,
"He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (Luke 24: 44 - 49) 

While sacred scripture reveals the identity of Jesus, knowledge of Jesus is not limited to the scriptures.  The living Tradition of the Church is a source of knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Jesus instituted the Sacraments as a means of dispensing the fruits of salvation.  When the Sacraments are celebrated in the Church, the Church teaches that the priest acts in Persona Christi, that is, in the Person of  Christ.  So we know Jesus Christ through His actions in the Sacraments.  We know the Lord through prayer.  In prayer, we thank Him, we praise Him, we bless Him.  We lift up our needs to Him.  We listen to His response and learn how He meets all our needs through His gracious providence.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dominion belongs to Jesus Christ

"For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace."  (Romans 6: 14)
Nothing should exercise any power over us except Jesus Christ.  We must say a firm NO to those things that struggle to control our lives.  Some of these are:  parents, spouses, children, relatives, job, money, health, property,car, food, etc.  Listen to what scripture says about these:
"They multiply their sorrowswho court other gods.Blood libations to them I will not pour out,nor will I take their names upon my lips."  (Psalm 16: 4)
Scripture teaches that those who bow down to these tin gods multiply their sorrows.  Does experience not teach us this lesson?  Scripture goes on to command that they should not be honored in any way.  No boasting about them.  They should be taken for what they are:  mere creatures.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grace and mercy drowned sin

"The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more."  (Romans 5: 21)

Grace and mercy drowned sin.  O happy fault that brought us an abundance of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  How indebted and enslaved to the evil one we were and Jesus Christ set us free from all our debt and brought us into His kingdom of light.

Praise and glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.  You are the Lamb of God and the Son of the Eternal Father.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Abraham glorified God through His faith

"He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do"  (Romans 4: 20 - 21)

Thank you Lord for teaching me a very important spiritual principle through Romans 4: 20 - 21.  You teach me that the way to magnify you is through strong faith in your promise as Abraham did.  You know Father that for a longtime I have prayed for strong faith.  More lately, I have this profound desire to glorify you by my life.  When I think of glorifying or magnifying your name, I usually thought of doing some extraordinary thing for you.  But you  teach me today that trusting completely in your word, your promises is the best and most effective way to honor you.  I am excited by this.  It sounds simple but I know it is not.  This is why I turn to you to do what I do best:  Have mercy on me and give me this gift.  When you do, I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, Alleluia.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jesus Christ is our Teacher

"But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it."  (2 Timothy 3: 14)

Lord, you have been a wonderful Teacher.  Grant me the grace to remain faithful to all that you have taught me.
I believe what I read.
I teach what I believe.
I practice what I teach.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Voice that speaks in court

"When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,g do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.
For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”  (Luke 12: 11 - 12)

Who is the Voice that speaks in court?  The Holy Spirit is the voice that speaks in court.  Have you used this Attorney?  He is highly recommended.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How beautiful upon the mountains

"How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”  (Isaiah 52: 7)

Today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.  St. Luke wrote the Gospel according to St. Luke.  It is amazing to realize that in hundreds of thousands of Masses all over the world today, this saint is remembered by millions of people. Jesus Christ promised:

"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."  (Matthew 19: 29)

Tell me any other historic figure that can lay to such a remembrance.  The feast of St. Luke occurs every year on October 18.  On this day every year, we witness the same outpouring of affection for this man who died about 2000 years ago.  It encourages my faith to see the predictions of Jesus Christ come fulfilled.

Isaiah 52: 7 is one of the many scriptures that are read in the Mass of St. Luke.

"How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the one bringing good news,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”  (Isaiah 52: 7)

St. Luke is the one with the beautiful feet who brings the good news.  The promise of Isaiah 52: 7 is not closed.  It is still open for you and for me to enjoy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

One with Christ is a majority

"Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me."  (Galatians 2: 20)

By faith I know that Christ lives in me. I no longer try to live and work as a natural man all by myself.  Everything I do now, I factor in Jesus.  One with Jesus is always a winner, a majority.  When I think of the future without Jesus, I become frightened.  But if I think of the future and think of Jesus who is always with me, I smile.  I know that nothing can ever shake Jesus.

Christ in me the hope of glory.  (Colossians 1: 27)



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My soul waits in silence

"My soul rests in God alone,
from whom comes my salvation.
God alone is my rock and salvation,
my fortress; I shall never fall."  (Psalm 62:  2 - 3)

My soul waits in God alone.  I will wait for you O God till you answer.  Make haste my God to help me. I trust in your mercy.

"“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;
your face, LORD, do I seek!"  (Psalm 27: 8)

"Wait for the LORD, take courage;
be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!"  (Psalm 27:  14)

"Surely, I wait for the LORD;
who bends down to me and hears my cry,
Draws me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the muddy clay,
Sets my feet upon rock,
steadies my steps,
And puts a new song in my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in fear
and they shall trust in the LORD."  (Psalm 40: 2 - 4)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek."  (Romans 1: 16)

Lord Jesus, help me never to be ashamed of the Gospel. Help me never to reject the challenges you send to train me. May I grow everyday in the knowledge of what you want me to do and at the same time increase in the strength to do it.  Amen!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chosen, called and anointed to lead people to the obedience of faith.

"Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles."  (Romans 1: 5)

Through Christ Jesus we too have received this tremendous calling to be apostles so that we can lead people to the obedience of faith.

The Lord choose us, called us and anointed us for this task.

"I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last."  (John 15: 16, 19)

"I will bear a witness to you in the world, O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, alleluia."  (Psalm 17: 50; 21 - 23)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."  (1 Thessalonians 5: 18)

What disappointment do I need to give thanks to God here and now?

My heart is broken by the news I got this afternoon that a dear couple, both of whom I love dearly and admire very are separated.  I call it separation because I don't believe in divorce.  God does not make mistakes.  God never fails. At the news,  I cried out, "O what a sad news on a Sunday."  For me, Sunday is the Day of the Lord; the Day of the Son.  It is a Day of joy.  Nothing should disturb the peace or joy on a Sunday.  The Day of the Resurrection.   As I grieved this news this afternoon,  I asked Jesus to place His hand on my heart and help me to be calm and think rationally. Then  I remembered the scripture verse of today:
"In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."

So I decided to give thanks for the separation of these two dear friends.  I was at their wedding.  It reminded me then of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I was also in London the Saturday the prince and princess wedded.  Now I am consoled by this word of God below:

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
 For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified."  (Romans 8: 28 - 30)

Dear friends, join me in praying for N & M.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mary is our model of hearing the word of God and observing it

"He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  (Luke 11: 28)

In this scripture verse, Jesus points to His mother as the perfect model of hearing the word of God and observing it.  Mary burst into the New Testament by her reply to the incredible message of the angel that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and become the mother of Jesus.  She replied, "“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” 

When we hear God's word in scripture and reply like Mary, "Behold I am your servant O Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."  Jesus pronounces us blessed, very happy and to be envied.

Friday, October 11, 2013

For Jesus or Against Jesus

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."  (Luke 11: 23)

Dear Jesus, I am 100% for you.  My desire is to gather with you.  Help me by your grace never by thought, word or deed to scatter what you gather.  I ask for this in your name Jesus.  Amen!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ask, Seek and Knock

"“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  (Luke 11: 9)

  • I believe in prayer
  • I believe in the word of God
  • I believe in miracle
  • I leave the rest to God


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Character of God - Gracious and Merciful

"He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first toward Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, repenting of punishment."  (Jonah 4: 2)

God our Father is gracious and merciful.

"Know that the LORD works wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD hears when I call out to him.
Tremble and sin no more;
weep bitterly within your hearts,
wail upon your beds,
Offer fitting sacrifices
and trust in the LORD."  (Psalm 4: 4 - 7)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Prioroty

"The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  (Luke 10:  41 - 42)

What are the many things we are anxious and worried about?
Health, family, money, job, homes, cars, computers, cell phones, food, future, etc.  You can add to the list.

But Jesus says:  "Only One Thing" is necessary!  What is this One Thing?  Clearly it cannot be from the above list.  Or could it be fame?  Or fortune?  Or perhaps power?  If it is fame, the Hollywood stars would have had it all.  It is certainly not fortune because we know many millionaires who are miserable.  Herod had all the power he wanted and was yet threatened by the announcement of the birth of Jesus the Christ.

So what is this One Thing?  The One Thing is the Holy Spirit in us, our hope of glory.

The One Thing that is necessary

"The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  (Luke 10:  41 - 42)

What are the many things we are anxious and worried about?
Health, family, money, job, homes, cars, computers, cell phones, food, future, etc.  You can add to the list.

But Jesus says:  "Only One Thing" is necessary!  What is this One Thing?  Clearly it cannot be from the above list.  Or could it be fame?  Or fortune?  Or perhaps power?  If it is fame, the Hollywood stars would have had it all.  It is certainly not fortune because we know many millionaires who are miserable.  Herod had all the power he wanted and was yet threatened by the announcement of the birth of Jesus the Christ.

So what is this One Thing?  The One Thing is the Holy Spirit in us, our hope of glory.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Mercy is the essential attribute of God

"Jonah prayed to the LORD, his God, from the belly of the fish:
Out of my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me;
From the womb of Sheol I cried for help,
and you heard my voice."  (Jonah 2: 2-3)

When Jonah found himself in great distress in the belly of the fish, he cried out to God in prayer.  The Lord heard his cries and delivered him from the pit. This pattern repeats throughout  scripture.  It is the cycle of the 3 S: Sin, Suffering and Salvation.  This pattern would be impossible but for the character of God.  Mercy defines the heart of God. Scripture urges us to approach the throne of grace with confidence in order to obtain mercy at our times of need.

I can bear witness to this truth that at my times of need, when I cry out to God in prayer, He always answers with His merciful deliverance.  Thank you Father for your merciful heart.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The just one shall live by faith

Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision;
Make it plain upon tablets,
so that the one who reads it may run.
For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,
a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
(Habakkuk 2: 2 - 3)

O Lord, remember this promise by which you gave me hope. I am encouraged to know that your word abides forever.  Give your servant great patience as I wait for the fulfillment of your word.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

It happened not for your destruction

Baruch 4: 5-6

" Take courage, my people!
Remember, O Israel,
6 You were sold to the nations
not for destruction;
It was because you angered God
that you were handed over to your foes."

"Endure your trials as 'discipline' " (Hebrews 12 :7)

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Friday, October 04, 2013

I wait for your word

"Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert."  (Psalm 95: 7 - 8)

Oh that today I will hear your voice Father.  I will not harden my heart.  I yearn to hear you speak to my situation.  Let your word come and lift me up.  I wait for your word.  With courage I wait for it.  I wait for it more than a watchman for daybreak.  Do not delay the sending of your word.

The "waiting" word will recognize its "owner."

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The joy of the Lord is my strength

"Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is your strength!”  (Nehemiah 8:10)

The Israelites were disheartened after hearing the word of God.  They saw as in a mirror their true selves in relation to God.  God said to them in order to uplift them:

"He continued: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is your strength!”  (Nehemiah 8: 10)

How awesome and compassionate our God is!

If they do as they are commanded, their obedience to this word of God will cause them to be renewed physically and spiritually.

How do we live this word of God today?  In whatever trial of life we may find ourselves, we can say: "I will not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is my strength!”  For God's word  urges us:

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (James 1: 2 - 4)

"Endure your trials as discipline."  (Hebrews 12: 7)

"This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice in it and be glad."  (Psalm 118:  24)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Your promises give me hope in life

"Because he clings to me I will deliver him;
because he knows my name I will set him on high.
He will call upon me and I will answer;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and give him honor.
With length of days I will satisfy him,
and fill him with my saving power."  (Psalm 91: 14 - 16)

My God, these promises are precious, sweet and beautiful.  I plan to claim everyone of them.  Here I go:

  • I cling to you like a drowning man clings to anything within reach.
  • I know your Name.  Your Name is Abba Father.  I learned your Name from your Son Jesus.  I know the Name of your Son.  His full Name is Jesus Christ.  I know the Holy Spirit.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are the Most Holy Trinity, One God in Three Persons.
  • I am often in distress: health, finances, job, tools, etc.  I call upon you for help all the time.


You now see Father why I told you that I will claim every single promise in Psalm 91: 14 - 16.  If I am presumptuous Father, forgive me.  Lead me to right standing with you so that I can claim the promises.  I love them and I want them.

Dear Father, here are some more promises in your word that I love and claim:

"Find your delight in the LORD
who will give you your heart’s desire.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will act
And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
your justice like noonday.

Be still before the LORD;
wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
nor by malicious schemers."  (Psalm 37: 4 - 7)

Your promises give me hope in life.  Treat your servant according to your mercy.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

You revealed them to the little child

"At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."  (Matthew 11: 25)

What do you like most about little children?

  • Their trust
  • Their innocence
  • Their inquisitiveness
  • Their natural purity
  • Their total dependence

Jesus calls God His Father.  We think that He relates to His Father as a little child.  The Father wants me to come to Him as a little child.


Monday, September 30, 2013

How to be successful in everything

Joshua 1:8

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."

May we find in the word of God the food of salvation & the fountain of life!

"Those that make the word of God their rule, and conscientiously walk by that rule, shall both do well and speed well; it will furnish them with the best maxims by which to order their conversation (Ps. cxi. 10); and it will entitle them to the best blessings: God shall give them the desire of their heart. " (Matthew Henry Commentary)

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Your words consoled me

"Remember your word to your servant
by which you give me hope.
This is my comfort in affliction,
your promise that gives me life."  (Psalm 119: 49 - 50)

Remember your commitment to me when I left Egypt:
"This is the commitment I made to you
when you came out of Egypt.
My spirit remains in your midst;
do not fear!"  (Haggai 2: 5)

And this was your commitment to me:
"It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.”  (Deuteronomy 31: 8)

Your promise gives me comfort in my affliction for I know that You placed your name and your word on the same level.  Your word can never fail.  This is my hope in trouble.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Lord Himself will be your firewall

"I will be an encircling wall of fire for it—oracle of the LORD—and I will be the glory in its midst.”  (Zechariah 2: 9 NABRE)

If God is for you, who can be against you?.  If God surrounds you with an impregnable firewall, who can touch you?

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths."  (Proverbs 3: 5 - 6)

Friday, September 27, 2013

The "waiting" words meet the "owner"

"Now be strong, Zerubbabel—oracle of the LORD—
be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, high priest,
Be strong, all you people of the land—oracle of the LORD—
and work! For I am with you—oracle of the LORD of hosts.

This is the commitment I made to you
when you came out of Egypt.
My spirit remains in your midst;
do not fear!"  (Haggai 2: 4 - 5)

The above word of God caused me excitement when I heard it a couple of times this morning.  I remembered what Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his book, JESUS OF NAZARETH - The Infancy Narrative.   He wrote:
"One of the characteristics of early Christian narrative is that it provides these "waiting" words with their "owner."  This connection between the "waiting" word and the recognition of its "owner," now that he has appeared, has given rise to the typically Christian approach to exegesis, which is new and yet remains utterly faithful to the original words of Scripture."
Is Haggai 2: 4 - 5 the words I have been waiting for since 1208?  Am I the owner of this rhema?  Or am I still waiting for something else?

Are you waiting for the Lord to speak to you about something?  Maybe your purpose in life?  Know for certain that there is a word of God for you.  This word is your "waiting" word.  It is waiting for the right time to manifest itself.  A Chinese proverb says:  "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."  Are you ready for your "waiting" words?  Are you getting ready?    The word of God says:
"Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."  (Romans 5:5)

When the "owner" is ready, the "waiting" words will appear.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Build My House

"Go up into the hill country;
bring timber, and build the house
that I may be pleased with it,
and that I may be glorified, says the LORD."  (Haggai 1: 8)

How do we contribute to building God's Church?

"Bring the whole tithe
into the storehouse,
That there may be food in my house.
Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts,
And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you,
and pour down upon you blessing without measure!"  (Malachi 3: 10)

Our tithe of time, talent and treasure is one way of making our contribution to the building of the kingdom.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."  (Matthew 6: 33)

When the kingdom of God becomes our Number 1 priority in life, our contribution and our stake in the Enterprise become enhanced.  The sin of the Israelites in Haggai 1: 8 is that they delayed the completion of God's Temple till they finish their homes, thus making God's kingdom a secondary priority.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jesus is the Good News!

"This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  (Mark 1: 15)
Believe in Jesus!
Jesus is the Good News!
The Good News is Jesus.
Jesus is the Good News that brings joy to the heart.  He is the first and principal cause of our pardon and peace.  He is the source of authority and power that we need everyday in our life.  He is the Alpha and Omega and therefore the source of our purpose in life.  Jesus promises us His constant presence.  He is our only and effective protection and provision for everything we need in life.

St Irenaeus wrote:  “The glory of God is man fully alive.”  Jesus Christ is that Man who is fully alive.  He shows us the potential for every man and woman.  His coming ushers in the kingdom of God. The kingdom is here and now.  It is here in the Church.  The kingdom is also here and yet to come.  It is yet to come in its fullness when Jesus Christ returns in the parousia.

To believe in Jesus and believe in the Gospel is one and the same thing.  With the heart, we believe in Him.  With our mouth, we confess the truth about Jesus.  Salvation comes from belief and confession.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My mother, my brothers and sisters

"He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”  (Luke 8: 21)

Lord Jesus, I want to hear your word and act on it.  Grant me the grace.  I desire to build my life on the rock of your word.  Help me.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock."  (Matthew 7: 24)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jesus is the Light that guides you

"Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."  (Matthew 5: 16)

What is this light?  How does it shine before others?
This light is simply the light from the Gospel.  The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ preached and taught His disciples.  This light in the mind of Christians transforms how Christians see and relate to the most important questions in life.  Some of these questions are:

  • Who is God?
  • Who is man?
  • What is the purpose of the world?
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • Why ill-health?  Why no money, job or food?
  • What does the future hold for me?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides answers (lights) to all the above questions and more.  When we navigate our daily lives with the lights provided by Jesus, who is the Light of the World, we are balanced and always joyful. Our attitude seeps into our behavior and work.  People around us notice the difference and magnify our Father in Heaven.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pray for our leaders

"First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity."  (1 Timothy 2: 1 - 2)

All power and authority come from God.  In God's mysterious plan,He shares this authority with whomever He wants.  He puts sons and daughters under the authority of their parents.  He puts nations under the authority of leaders He appoints.

It is God's command and pleasure that we pray for our leaders whether they are believers or not.  Why?  Because God has given them the power to influence critical outcomes in our lives. For example, "that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity."  When we reflect on the gruesome savagery of the Second World War, we see the wisdom of God's word.  Instead of crying, "Why did God not prevent it?", we learn from the word of God and history and make it a habit to pray for our leaders everyday.  That way, we contribute our quota to world peace.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spiritual Joy

"A spiritual joy is the greatest sign of divine grace dwelling in a soul."  (St Bonaventure)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Disappointment - His Appointment

Disappointment - His Appointment, No good thing will he withhold;
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold.  - Young (Our Daily Bread)

Is your faith being tested?

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."  (James 1: 2 -4) - Amplified Bible
Where is your faith being tested today?
Health, family, finances, job, property and tools, food, future?
Then James 1: 2 - 4 should give you at this time the consolation of the scriptures.  The consolation of the scriptures is the uplifting of our mind heart by the word of God which is true.  Without the wisdom, understanding and encouragement that comes from Sacred Scripture, it will be impossible to fight and remaining standing after the battle. 

Pursue Jesus

"Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain."  (1 Timothy 6: 6)

The profits of true religion are:
Pardon, Peace, Power, Purpose, Presence, Protection, Provision.

You can find all the promises of Jesus in the 7 P's above..

"He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?"  (Romans 8: 32)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jesus cancels the debt

"“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages* and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”  (Luke 7: 41 - 42)

Do you have any debt?  Financial or spiritual debt?  Or perhaps an addiction?
Jesus cancels the debt.

"So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free."  (John 8: 36)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who can please the world?

"They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep."  (Luke 7: 32) (NAB)

"They are like little children sitting in the marketplace, calling to one another and saying, We piped to you [playing wedding], and you did not dance; we sang dirges and wailed [playing funeral], and you did not weep."  (Luke 7: 32) - Amplified Bible

The lesson that Jesus teaches us in Luke 7: 32 is plain.  You cannot please the world.  Stop trying.  It is far easier to please God than to please the world.  Your good will and your weakness are taken into account when God looks upon you.  The world is capricious and erratic.  So, what is the conclusion?  Aim at pleasing God.  It is smarter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Times and Seasons

Times and Seasons are divine appointments.  They are not haphazard ; they are not accidents. Winter, spring, summer and autumn are not accidents.
Rainy and dry seasons are not accidents.

All times and all seasons are in the hand of Jesus Christ.

Christ yesterday and today+
The Beginning and the End+
The Alpha and the Omega+
All times belong to Him+
And all ages+
To Him be glory and power through every age forever and ever.  Amen!!!