Saturday, December 03, 2005

Everything will be destroyed!

“You see all these? I tell you solemnly, not a single stone here will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.” (Matthew 24:2)

Scripture teaches us through instruction, encouragement and warning. In the above passage, we see a clear warning on how to look upon the things that the world consider awesome and irreplaceable. Jesus says that these things will not last. This word of Christ has been vindicated throughout history. The great temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD as predicted here. The Roman Empire disappeared. The twin towers in New York disappeared. Some other wonders of the world saw their demise at the appointed time and were consigned into oblivion.

If these great structures of humanity do not last, what then is durable? The Bible teaches that what is durable and eternal is not seen by human eyes. The word of God will last forever. Love will last forever.

We have listened to the warning, what is the encouragement from the above scripture? We can see the world from a supernatural perspective. The encouragement is joy in the thought of everlasting life promised us by God. Freed from the valley of tears, we will live forever in happiness with God.

Friday, December 02, 2005

So be it!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often had I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused! So be it!” (Matthew 23: 37 – 38)

When Jesus founded his Church, he created the positions of bishops and priests to pasture his people as a shepherd pastures his flock. They are to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. We refuse to be gathered and nurtured if we reject our leaders, if we mock and tear them down constantly through criticisms. If we persist in this attitude, Jesus may say to us: ‘You refused what I have provided. So be it!” What a terrible sentence!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Love Justice & Mercy

“Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law – justice, mercy, good faith. These you should have practiced, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23: 23-24)

What are the instructions, encouragement and warnings in the above passage?
There is a clear warning against the spirit of religion; the spirit of external works which is opposed to real piety. The focus of this spirit is to get the attention and admiration of the world, not the obedience of God. The warning is clear: Avoid these things.

“What would you have us do, Lord?” - Love justice and practice mercy and good faith. Go for interior devotion.

Lord, help us to understand the difference between grace and works.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Crown of Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom; it makes peace and health to flourish.” (Sirach 1: 18)

“If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will convey her to you. For wisdom and instruction mean the fear of the Lord, and what pleases him is faithfulness and gentleness.” (Sirach 1: 26)

“Those who fear the Lord do not disdain his words, and those who love him keep his ways.” (Sirach 2: 18)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Be Steadfast in faith & Joyful in hope

“My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes. Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honored at the end of your days.
Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.” (Sirach 2: 1 – 5).

Lord, through your word, you grant us the consolation of the truth. You teach us through your word that to serve you is not a constant party. There will be ordeals and disaster will come. You encourage us to be steadfast and patient. It is true that life is full of uncertainties. You know all about these and ask us to abandon ourselves to your loving providence. This message of hope could not have come to me at a better time. Thank you for it, Lord. Grant me the grace to be steadfast in faith and joyful in hope.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Our Opinion of the Christ

“What is your opinion about the Christ?” (Matthew 22: 42)

Christ is the Son of God. He is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. According to God’s plan, he became man for our sake. One of his missions is to reveal further the nature of God to us. Christ is the Emmanuel, that is, ‘God-with-us.” He demonstrated the godly qualities that had been revealed in the Bible: goodness, mercy, compassion, holiness, purity, longsuffering, omnipotence, omni-science and truth.

The Christ suffered and was crucified on the cross so that he would free us from the dominion of Satan and make us children of God. Christ founded a Church through which he continues to save men. Today, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father.

This is the opinion of believers about the Christ. What is the implication of our faith? If the Christ is truly what we believe him to be, then we owe him adoration, love, obedience and service.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

2 Commandments

“Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. The is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbor as your self. On these 2 commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.” (Matthew 22: 37 – 40)

What are the things that the Lord commands us to love him above? Some of them are: money, job, family, tools, food and health. These are God’s generous gifts to us. How do we demonstrate that we love God more than these things? We follow God’s will for us in each of these things. What does God expect of us vis-à-vis money, job, family, tools, food and health? God expects us to depend on him totally for the provision of these needs. We show our love for God through a spirit of dependence, trust and obedience.

We must also love our neighbor as ourselves. We do to others as we would like them to do to us. Our neighbor needs family, money job, tools, food and good health just as ourselves. Since God is the supreme provider of these gifts, we trust him to provide enough for everyone. We hold in check our natural tendency for ‘dog eat dog’ type of competition.