Friday, November 11, 2016

To be near God is my happiness, to place my hope in God the Lord.

"It will lead to your giving testimony."   (Luke 21:  13 NABRE)

Have you ever seen adversity as opportunity in disguise?  Jesus says that when you are arrested for being a Christian,  it will open a door to your bearing witness.

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

"I will be a witness to You in the world O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, Alleluia! " (Psalm 18:50;  22 :23 RM)

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

"Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers, especially for strangers."  (3 John 5 NABRE)

The Church in America exhorts the faithful to support strangers, that is, immigrants in our midst.  It reminds all of us that we are all children of immigrants.  Our forebears came to America either as economic refugees or fleeing from religious persecution.  As you were welcomed, welcome others.

If you are kind to the "strangers"  among us, they will testify to your love before God.  (3 John 6)  "Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey."  (3 John 6)

"I was a stranger and you welcomed me."  (Matthew 25 : 35)
Consider some famous immigrants in history:  Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

May our life be always directed by Your Holy Spirit whether in tribulation or in prosperity.

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

What can be the signs that you may be working over time to preserve your life?  Do you have excessive concern for your health, job and money?  Do you postpone the things of God till tomorrow or later?

Watch out.  You may be working too hard to preserve a life that is ebbing every second.  

May neither death nor life separate us from the love of Christ.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Where to look for King Jesus.

"The Kingdom of God is among you."   (Luke 17: 21 NABRE)

In truth, the Kingdom of God is already here and now.  In the fullness of time, the Kingdom of God will be manifested in its fullest glory.  How is the Kingdom of God here and now?  Where is it?  Jesus Christ is the King.  Wherever He is, there is His reign.  He reigns already in every heart, mind and soul that welcomes Him.

How do you know if King Jesus is the Lord of your heart, mind and soul?  Peace, joy, contentment, etc are a few of the signs of His presence.   All these will transcend material circumstances and will surpass all understanding.  (Philippians 4: 7)

When you seek first King Jesus and His manner of doing right, He promises to provide all your needs.  (Matthew 6 : 33)

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The River of God flows through the Sanctuary of the living God.

"Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them."  (Ezekiel 47: 12 NIV)

Ezekiel describes a vision of the future Church of God in Chapter 47. What in fact is the Church? 
The Church is the People of God.
The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Church is the Body of Christ.
The Church is the Bride of Christ.

We can now understand why Christ says that the gate of hell shall never prevail against the Church.  (Matthew 16: 17 - 19l

What is the life principle of the Church?  Ezekiel describes it as the water from the Sanctuary which flow from it.  This water is the Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit is the life principle of the Church.  In the Creed, He is called the Lord and Giver of life.

Come O Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Your faithful.  Come and kindle in us the fire of Your love.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and fed in security.

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  (Psalm 37: 4)

How does a child take delight in her mother?  When I was a kid, I enjoyed visiting my mother's shop on my way from school.  I was rewarded with cookies and peanuts which I still enjoy to this day.   I dashed in and out of the kitchen to the displeasure of my sisters when my mom prepared meals.  Reward: little pieces of meat and fish.

It is good to take delight in the LORD.  The rewards are higher and varied: peace, faith, understanding and presence.

King David took delight in the LORD through prayer, worship, psalms and songs.  He meditated often on the word of God.  The Lord called David "a man after my heart" (1 Samuel 13: 14) and forgave David his sins.

"The Lord makes firm the steps
 of the one who delights in him;
 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."  (Psalm 37: 23 -  24)

Temptations and Scandalon

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2016, whose website is located at Meditation: What's the driving force in your life? Jesus speaks of two forces at work in our lives - the power of the temptation to sin and cause harm and the power of faith to overcome obstacles and difficulties that stand in the way of loving God and our neighbor. The Greek word fortemptation (scandalon) is the same as the English wordscandal. The original meaning of scandal is a trap or a stumbling block which causes one to trip and fall. The scriptures warn us about the snare or enticement to go astray and to do what is evil.Keep me from the trap which they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers! (Psalm 141:9) Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling (1 John 2:10).  Jesus commands us to not give bad example or lead others into sin The Jews held that it was an unforgivable sin to teach another to sin. If we teach another to sin, he or she in turn may teach still another, until a train of sin is set in motion with no foreseeable end. Jesus warns his disciples of the terrible responsibility that they must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith. The power of faith for overcoming obstacles While Jesus warns against the danger of giving bad example and causing scandal, he also demonstrates the power of faith for overcoming obstacles and temptation to sin. What did Jesus mean when he said that our faith can move treesand mountains as well (see Matthew17:20; Mark 11:23)? The term "mountain remover" was used for someone who could solve great problems and difficulties.  The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in expectant faith Don't we often encounter challenges and difficulties which seem beyond our power to handle? What appears impossible to human power is possible to those who believe in God's power. Faith is a gift freely given by God to help us know God personally, to understand his truth, and to live in the power of his love. God expects more from us than we can simply do by ourselves. That is why Jesus gives us the gift and power of the Holy Spirit who helps us to grow strong in  faith, persevere in hope, and endure in love.  Faith in God is the key for removing obstacles and difficulties which keep us from doing his will. We belong to God and our lives are no longer our own. Our joy and privilege is to follow the Lord Jesus and to serve in the power of his love and goodness. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to work in and through us for his glory. For our faith to be effective it must be linked with trust and with obedience - an  active submission to God and a willingness to do whatever he commands. Do you trust in the grace and strength which God freely gives to help us resist temptation and to overcome obstacles in doing his will? "Lord Jesus, you give us victory over the destructive forces of sin and harmful desires that keep us from doing your will. Give me the strength to always choose what is good and to reject what is wrong. May your love rule my heart that I may forgive those who cause me harm and guide those who need your help." The following reflection is courtesy of Presentation Ministries (c) 2016. Their website is located at   SCANDAL-LESS   "Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones." —Luke 17:1-2   People listen to us partly because of what we say and mostly because of our credibility and integrity. Therefore, the devil tries to promote and publicize scandals in the Church so as to ruin our credibility and thereby set up obstacles in the way of communicating the Gospel. To keep scandals, hypocrisy, and sin to a minimum, we should: do all we can so that our leaders are irreproachable and blameless (Ti 1:6, 7),"encourage men to follow sound doctrine and...refute those who contradict it" (Ti 1:9),be on our guard (Lk 17:3),repent (Lk 17:4), especially of gossiping,apologize,correct our brothers and sisters who sin (Lk 17:3),repeatedly forgive our brothers and sisters who sin (Lk 17:4), andpray for our faith to be increased (Lk 17:5). The messengers of the Gospel have often concealed rather than revealed the truth and love of Jesus. Let us obey the Lord and restore the Church's credibility, integrity, and effectiveness in evangelizing the world.   Prayer: Father, give purity and power to the Church.Promise: "In his teaching he must hold fast to the authentic message." —Ti 1:9 Praise: The sexual scandals in the Catholic Church prevented Clair from converting until she saw that the Sacrament of Confession was God working through His priests.       Rescript: In accord with theCode of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur("Permission to Publish") forOne Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2016 through November 30, 2016. †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 31, 2016.   The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimaturagree with the contents, opinions, or statements

Sunday, November 06, 2016

To be forgiven and to receive favors from God, you must learn to forgive.

"If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him."  (Luke 17: 3 AMP)

Brother here means also sister, father, mother, children, wife, neighbor, stranger.  Sin means all actions against the  Commandments, brotherly love, gossips, calumny, etc.  Forgiveness means letting go of a hurt completely, no revenge, no grudges, no shunning, etc.

There are two core messages in the entire Bible that affects our salvation and life after death:
#1. Repentance /Conversion
#2. Forgiveness

If they seem impossible, ask for grace and mercy.  All things are possible for God. (Mark 10: 27)