Sunday, December 31, 2006

The One Thing I need

"As John watched Jesus walk by he said, 'Look! There is the Lamb of God." (John 1: 36)

Today is the last day in the Octave of Christmas. John described Jesus as the Lamb of God. Is it a coincidence that Jesus was born in a stable where sacrificial lambs were born? John pointed others to Jesus. 'Pointing to' is the work of the disciple. True disciples point people to Jesus. Jesus is the solution to all human problems. He is the light of the world. He is the truth, the way and the life. Jesus is indeed all that I need and all that I want.

Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to live this truth and to share it with others.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Call of Samuel

"Samuel, Samuel!' Samuel answered, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.' Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect." (1 Samuel 3: 3 – 19)

The Call of Samuel

The Lord called Samuel thrice before he answered. God is an excellent and patient communicator.

"There is no change of mind on God's part about the gifts he has made or of his choice." (Romans 11: 29)

God has been faithful to his word in Romans 11: 29 with regard to his call to me. Not even the tragedy of sin was permitted to frustrate the call. Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Power Prayer

"Almighty and ever-present Father,

your watchful care reaches from end to end

and orders all things in such power

that even the tensions and tragedies of sin

cannot frustrate your loving plans.

Help us to embrace your will,

give us the strength to follow your call,

so that your truth may live in our hearts

and reflect peace to those who believe in your love.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord."

The Church prays thus in the Opening Prayer in the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. I call this power prayer. Consider these truths in the prayer:

  • God's plan for us is loving.
  • Nothing can frustrate this plan; not even sins.
  • We need God's help to embrace his will.
  • We need his strength to follow his call.

I rejoice in the certain knowledge that God's loving providence covers my life totally. All is well. All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Doctor of Souls

"It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I came to call not the upright but sinners." (Mark 2: 17)

Jesus Christ, our high priest is also a doctor of souls. He feels at home among sinners. He brings them healing.

The call of Levi: "Come follow me."

"I came not to call the upright but sinners."

St. Paul, St. Augustine and numerous other saints became exhibits to God's love and mercy.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Our Supreme High Priest

"Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must hold firm to our profession of faith. For the high priest we have is not incapable of feeling our weakness with us, but has been put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin. Let us, then, have no fear in approaching the throne of grace when we are in need of help." (Hebrews 4: 14 – 16)

Jesus, Son of God

Jesus, our supreme high priest

We must hold firm to our profession of faith in Jesus. This is because Jesus, the Son of God is also our supreme high priest.

What faith do I need to hold firm at this time?

  • God has a good plan for my welfare: Jeremiah 29: 11
  • God will open for me a door that nobody can close: Revelation 3: 8
  • God will never abandon me nor forsake me: Hebrews 13: 5
  • God himself will lead me across this passage: Deuteronomy 31: 3

Christ, our high priest is imminently qualified to help us because he has experienced our problems. He had great desires as a man. He too faced delays, disappointments and obstacles. So he understands how I feel about my delays, disappointments and obstacles. I should bear this in mind when I approach Christ in prayer with my needs. This insight should give me confidence when I approach the throne of grace either through prayer, his word, in the Blessed Sacrament or in the Eucharist. The Lord himself says: "Have no fear in approaching the throne of grace when in need of help."

Monday, December 25, 2006


"We received the gospel exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who did listen. We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest." (Hebrews 4: 2)

Faith leads to the possession of God's promises of:

  • Peace
  • Provision
  • Protection
  • Power
  • Purpose
  • Pardon

"Faith that is firm is also patient."

"Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest." (Hebrews 4: 11) We press forward in faith towards our final place of rest, heaven. We persevere. We persist. We never give up.

"Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'My child, your sins are forgiven ….. I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home." (Mark 2: 5)

What did Jesus see? He saw the relatives and friends of the paralytic acting out their faith. If we open our eyes, we too can see people faithing everyday.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Promise never lapses

"Let us beware, then: since the promise never lapses, none of you must think that he has come too late for the promise of entering the place of rest." (Hebrews 4:1)

God's promises never lapse. I cherish so much these promises of God to me:

  • "I will never forsake you nor abandon you." (Hebrews 13: 5)
  • "My plan for you is a future full of hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

In another passage, the Lord said: "My salvation will not be late."

So my soul, be patient. Do not be deceived by the passage of time. Everything in life happens at the time God wants it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Are you willing?

"A man suffering from a virulent skin- disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you are willing, you can cleanse me.' Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Be cleansed." (Mark 1: 40 – 41)

Today, some people with "virulent skin disease," that is, serious problems may come to us and plead, 'If you are willing, you can help me.' What will be our reaction? It sounds so simple for them to believe that all that we need to help them is "if we are willing." But in reality, that is all that we need to be Jesus to others. If we are willing, then we can ask Jesus to work through us to help people with "virulent skin disease."

The beggar who stopped Peter and John as they entered the temple, asked for alms. Peter and John were willing to help but did not have money to offer the beggar. But Jesus worked through them to heal the beggar of lameness, thereby delivering a greater benefit than money.

Lord Jesus, open our hearts to your grace so that we can be willing to stretch out our hands in your name to heal.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Encourage one another

"Everyday, as long as today lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we have been granted a share with Christ only if we keep the grasp of our first confidence firm to the end." (Hebrews 3: 13 – 14)

Encourage one another. We look around, near and far, we see many people that are discouraged. They are failing: morally, financially or maybe physically. Failure of any type tends to bring discouragement. And that is when there is the greatest danger of falling into the "lure of sin." The Holy Spirit asks us in Hebrews 3: 13 – 14 to watch out for signs of discouragement in the people we meet. Sometimes the signs may be a sigh, a word, language, a gesture or just plain inaction.

How do we encourage the discouraged? The first step is to ask the Holy Spirit for the fitting response. It could be a word. The best word is the word of God. This is what encourages me most. One of the most encouraging things is the remembrance of what God has done for us in the past. At the period of discouragement, the memory seems to go blank on God's past favors. If offering a helping hand in housework or a ride could lift up the spirit, do it. Perhaps it is just a little cash that could make the person feel that God is still on his side, give it.

If we trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, he will show us the best response to the discouraged.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fickle hearts

"That generation sickened me and I said, 'Always fickle hearts, that cannot grasp my ways!' And then in my anger I swore that they would not enter my place of rest." (Hebrews 3: 10 – 11)

To reach God's land of rest, we must grasp his ways, listen to him every day and be constant in pursuing his will. No fickle mindedness.

The strategy is:

  • Listen to God every day
  • Little by little grasp his ways
  • Be steadfast, firm and unwavering

To enjoy God's peace, we must be decisive, consistent and predictable in seeking and serving God. This is the opposite of fickle mindedness.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Speak to me

"That is why, as the Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today! Do not harden your hearts." (Hebrews 3: 7 – 8)

Today for sure, the Holy Spirit will speak to me. He will speak to me through his word, at Mass, during prayer and study. He will speak to me at home, in the Church, on the street and at work. I will be especially alert today. I will not harden my heart. Help me God.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Heal us

"Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed and feverish, and at once they told him about her. He went in to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to serve them." (Mark 1: 30 31)

We need good health for the service of God and our neighbor. We know that God will not refuse us anything that furthers his kingdom. The Lord himself encourages us: "We can approach God with confidence in this: if we make our requests which accord with his will, he listens to us; and if we know that our requests are heard, we know that the things we ask for are ours." (1 John 5: 14 – 15)

Good health is one of the greatest blessings in life. Jesus Christ exercised his ministry of healing with great generosity. And people flocked to him because of it. "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it." (John 14: 13 – 14, Matthew 7: 7, 18: 9), so Jesus promised his disciples. Let us in confidence approach the throne of grace and ask for healing.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

School of Suffering

"It was essential that he should in this way be made completely like his brothers so that he could become a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship to God, able to expiate the sins of the people. For the suffering he himself passed through while being put to the test enables him to help others when they are being put to the test." (Hebrews 2: 17 – 18)

Jesus Christ is like us in all things but sin. I am like my brothers and sisters in everything including sin. In God's loving and merciful providence, he permitted me to know great sins in my life so that I can become "a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship to God."

Jesus Christ learned obedience and submission in the school of suffering. I thank God for Desert 95 when I started learning obedience and submission in the school of suffering. The Lord used the period to enrich my understanding and compassion for those who suffer.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Fear of death

"Since all the children share the same human nature, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could set aside him who holds the power of death, namely the devil, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death." (Hebrews 2: 14)

One of the great rewards of redemption that we can enjoy here and now is freedom from the fear of death. Man fears poverty, ill-health, joblessness, and a host of other fears. But no fear is as dreaded as death. If we can overcome the fear of death, then we can see the other fears in their true perspective. We can certainly overcome the fear of death by absorbing the truth that Jesus Christ overcame death by rising from the dead. He wants us to live free from the fear of death.

Lord Jesus, help us to overcome the fear of death so that we can live in freedom.

Friday, December 15, 2006

No Exceptions

"For in putting all things under him he made no exceptions." (Hebrews 2: 8)

  • God made no exceptions to the law that "All things serve him." (Psalm 119:91)

  • He made no exceptions to the law that "All things work together for good to them that love him." (Romans 8: 28)

  • Jesus Christ has absolute power to save us. There are no exceptions in this. Everyone is included.

What difference does this truth make to me today? I feel a sense of security when I think of the attributes of Jesus Christ: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all merciful, and all loving. He is truly God but he is also truly man.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of eternal glory.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fisher of men

"And Jesus said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you into fishers of people.' And at once they left their nets and followed him." (Mark 1: 17)

The Call and the Mission

  • The Call: Come after me
  • The Mission: You will become fishers of people

There are two parts to this invitation. The first is to follow Jesus. This is the period of discipleship. The student who is not greater than the Master is with him at all times and learns from him everything necessary for his work. The second part of the call involves mission. Now the student is fully trained to go and become fisher of men. When the fisherman is ready, the fish appears. The Master guarantees this. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1: 15)

The invitation is urgent. It is for today. Tomorrow may be too late. The window of opportunity is open here and now. The grace of God is available and abundant today.

What do I do?

  1. Watch your heart so that they do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness.
  2. Be on guard against anxieties of daily life.
  3. Be vigilant at all times.
  4. Pray at all times.

    (Luke 21: 34 – 36)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Always Faithful

"To which of the angels, then, has God said:

You are my son, today I have fathered you,


I shall be a father to him and he a son to me?" (Hebrews 1: 5)

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I am an adopted son of God. Just as Christ reflects God's qualities, I also should reflect these qualities in some measure. Which attributes of God do I reflect? Which attributes of God am I naturally drawn to? I love God's faithfulness and mercy although I do not consider myself the most faithful or merciful. But I love to think that God is semper fidelis, always faithful.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jesus is image of God

"Christ is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command." (Hebrews 1: 3)

Jesus Christ reflects God's power, wisdom, holiness and mercy. Human beings are created in the image of God and therefore reflect God's attributes in a certain degree. But Jesus Christ reflects God's qualities in the fullest measure. What difference does this truth make to my life today? It confirms me in faith that Jesus Christ is worthy of absolute trust.

Lord Jesus, help me to trust you completely today with my life.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Understanding the Faith

"Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really understand', he said, 'that God has no favorites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him." (Acts 10: 34 -35)

This remarkable confession was made by Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ for three years. Peter with James and John were in the intimate circle of Christ. Jesus Christ appointed Peter as head of the Church. He suffered severe test of faith; he failed and was rehabilitated by Jesus. He received the Holy Spirit with the other disciples and preached Jesus with power. He performed miracles. Yet Peter confesses here that he did not understand everything about the faith at the beginning. His understanding of the faith was evolving.

How about us? Is our faith growing deeper every day? We grow in the understanding of our faith through daily contact with the word of God. The Holy Spirit teaches us the elements of the faith through the word of God and through the authentic and constant teachings of the faith by the bishops or those he appoints to help him.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Signs of Anointing

"It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1: 9 – 11)

In the Baptism of Jesus, we see the Holy Spirit anointing Jesus for his mission. The Father confirms Jesus' calling by his voice of approval.

What are the signs that attest to our calling and mission?

  • The word of God
  • The presence of the Holy Spirit
  • Peace and tranquility
  • Perseverance in good works
  • Bearing trials and persecution with grace

These are some of the signs that our anointing is genuine.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

You call, you make, you give

"I, the Lord have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations ..." (Isaiah 42: 6)

Lord, this promise is too much for me to appropriate. But then, when I think that it is your calling that justifies me, I begin to have some hope. I remember the Church's prayer on the feast day of St. Ambrose which is today:

"Lord, you made St. Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle..."

Lord, it is you who calls, makes and gives all things. You have the absolute power to make me whatever you want. Lord help me to surrender completely to your providence for me, so that you can make me what you like and give me all that you have planned for me. I ask this in your name Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Calling and Mission

"No one can have anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can bear me out, I said, 'I am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent to go in front of him." (John 3: 27 – 28)

Every calling and mission comes from God. John like other great men of God was profoundly aware of his mission and calling. Am I growing in awareness of my calling and mission?

I believe that Christ has called me again to be his friend and companion. His gift to me is his friendship and he wants me to communicate my experience of him to others. Who are these "others?" I am not sent to everybody. Jesus will lead and guide me to those he wants me to minister to. I understand this concept of target group from my marketing background.

"He must grow greater, I must grow less." (John 3: 30)

If I am to succeed in my calling and my mission, Jesus must grow greater in my life everyday and I must grow lesser.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

False gods

"Children, be on your guard against false gods." (1 John 5: 20)

What are the false gods that want to take advantage of me today?

  • False information that may breed doubts about God's plan for me
  • Anxiety about job
  • Anxiety about money

Jesus warns "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap." (Luke 21:34)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Banish all doubts

"Our fearlessness towards him consists in this, that if we ask anything in accordance with his will he hears us. And if we know that he listens to whatever we ask him, we know that we already possess whatever we have asked of him." (1 John 5: 14 – 15)

The Holy Spirit enables me to pray to God with confidence. Because I ask the Holy Spirit to help me, I know that what I ask for is in accordance with God's will. The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God. I also know that I am asking for something in God's will for me when I have the grace of perseverance. Experience has taught me that I do not persevere in praying for something that is not in the will of God.

What am I asking God for today?

  • Light and guidance
  • Freedom from anxiety
  • Prosper the work of my hands
  • Strength and health
  • Protection from all evil

I believe that all the above is in accordance with God's will. I know God listens to me. So I know that I already possess everything I ask of God. I rejoice in this fact. Although the graces come like tiny seeds, they surely will grow through exercise of faith. How do I exercise faith in this matter? I start giving thanks to God for these gifts. I banish all doubts.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Jesus as personal Savior

"Sir, if you are willing you can cleanse me.' He stretched out his hand, and touched him saying, 'I am willing.' At once the skin disease left him." (Luke 5: 12 – 13)

With this healing, this former leper now experiences Jesus as a personal Savior. Jesus healed him from a terrible disease and rescued him from being a social outcast. To heal him, Jesus touched him. Scripture asks the question: "Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5: 5) How can one believe in Jesus without knowing him? This former leper can surely overcome the world based on his new found faith in Jesus. An experience of salvation in any form is an experience of the saving Jesus.

Do I know Jesus as my personal Savior? I too have experienced the saving power of Jesus in these areas of my life:

Sin, health, family, money, job, tobacco, alcohol and anger.

"Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: For he has strengthened the bars of your gates." (Psalm 147: 12 – 13)

Having saved me from many problems, the Lord did not abandon me. Through his word, sacraments, prayers and spiritual reading, the Lord continually strengthens the bars of my gates. He has granted me peace in these former warring areas of my life. Thank you Jesus.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

God’s Testimony

"If we accept the testimony of human witnesses, God's testimony is greater." (1 John 5:9)

  • We accept the testimony of human witnesses every day.

  • We accept what our doctors tell us about our health.

  • We accept what the government tells us about the state of the economy.

  • We accept weather reports.

  • We accept what advertisers tell us about their products.

From the above, it appears as if man is naturally a trusting being.

"If we accept the testimony of human witnesses, God's testimony is greater." (1 John 5:9)

God's word is worthy of greater trust because it is more certain.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.

The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple." (Psalm 19: 8)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Jesus is Ever-Present Help

"Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5: 5)

To overcome the world means:

  • To overcome sin in one's life
  • To overcome materialism
  • To overcome the sense of hopelessness and despair
  • To overcome all kinds of addiction
  • To live a victorious and free life
  • To be in harmony with God's will

The Holy Spirit is telling us in 1 John 5:5 that we can overcome the world if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe this of course and so do many. But what does it mean to believe in this context? To believe here means to experience Jesus as a personal Savior. To believe equals to know experientially. Let me paraphrase 1 John 5: 5:

You can live a victorious life aligned to God's will if only you have experienced Jesus in a personal way in your life. Psalm 111:4 says that God won renown for his wondrous deeds. In other words, no knowledge of God's wondrous deeds means no loyalty to him. What wondrous deeds have Jesus performed in your life? Without this personal testimony, your belief is only intellectual. The Holy Spirit gives us a remembrance of God's marvelous deeds in our lives.

Some examples of God's great deeds in our lives that are foundation of belief are:

  • Has Jesus ever healed you?
  • Has he saved you from any trouble?
  • Has he ever blessed you financially?
  • Has he blessed you with peace?
  • Has he blessed you with a good job?

All these are experiences of salvation. Whatever experience of salvation we had is repeatable. We gradually come to the realization that Jesus is "our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress." (Psalm 46: 2) With him by our side, "we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Spirit of the Lord

"The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord." (Luke 4: 18 – 19)

This is the mission of Jesus Christ. He found it in the text of Isaiah. Like Jesus, my identity and destiny are also defined in the Bible. I am drawn to this scripture. I find myself visiting it again and again and asking myself: 'how do I apply this text to myself here and now?' The Spirit of the Lord is also upon me. What has he anointed me for? How do I know that he has anointed me to learn about Jesus and communicate this truth to the many who are afflicted today?

Today, we see the afflicted everywhere: home, church, street and workplace and also in the media. Everywhere people are crying for relief and hope, totally unaware that the answer is in Jesus Christ. The message of Jesus Christ will set free the captives, prisoners of fear and materialism, those bound by depression and hopelessness.

Jesus opened the eyes of the blind. His message continues today to open eyes blinded by ignorance, lust and selfishness. The true oppressed of today are not merely the materially poor but even more so the spiritually poor. The materially rich but spiritually poor cannot overcome the world because they lack the faith to do so. Those who poor libations to the gods of this world multiply their sorrows. The gods of this world "only take advantage of all who love them." (Psalm 16: 2)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Amazing Promise!

"This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome, because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith." (1 John 5: 3 – 4)

Every child of God overcomes the world! Amazing promise! God promises that every one of his children can live a victorious life, right here and right now till the end. Yes indeed, we have the power within us to overcome whatever adverse situation we may face. We have this power because we trust in the wisdom and power of the all-loving and merciful God. We are also aware of the numerous witnesses to the power and faithfulness of God.

The child of God stays the course and endures to the very end fully aware that whatever God has permitted to happen to him is good for him. Our faith provides us the means to overcome the world in every situation.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Acceptable time

"In an acceptable time I heard you, on the day of salvation I helped you.' Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

When is God's acceptable time for me? When is God's day of salvation for me?

The Church believes that Lent is the acceptable time of 2 Corinthians 6:2. Lent is indeed the acceptable time of God's favor for me. I have been blessed and spiritually enriched during many Lenten seasons. Once upon a time, I was a smoker. I did everything to quit but in vain. Then just before the beginning of Lent in 1988, I decided to forego smoking on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. My intention was to fast from smoking only for that day. But God healed me from smoking from that day. The desire dried up immediately. It is a miracle I cannot forget. After this event, it took some years for me to realize that Lent is a very acceptable time for God's favors.

If we seek God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent, we can be sure that our prayers will be answered.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Do not be afraid

"He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the water they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them and said, "Courage! It is me! Don't be afraid." Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped." (Mark 6: 48 – 51)

Jesus calmed the fears of his disciples by saying to them: 'Be courageous. Do not be afraid. It is me.' In order to fight fear in our lives, we need faith and courage. We need also to be intensely aware of the presence of Jesus with us. We are not alone in that place, in those circumstances. St. Paul when he found himself abandoned by his friends in court, picked up courage when he became aware of the presence of Jesus at his side.

What am I afraid of today? Money, shelter, security, job or ill health? O Holy Spirit, please reveal to me that of which I am afraid of now so that I can pray about it. Whatever I may be afraid of here and now, I am consoled by the thought that Jesus Christ has the absolute power to help me. He is in me and near me with his perfect love and perfect solution. So I will not fear.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Perfect love drives out fear

Perfect love drives out fear

“No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us. This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit.” (1 John 4: 12 – 13)

What is the proof that I love God and my neighbor? The presence of the Holy Spirit in me is the proof.

“Love comes to perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgment fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love.” (1 John 4: 17 – 18)

Christ is the fearless One. He was not afraid of the antagonisms of his enemies. He was not afraid in his “Day of Judgment”, that is his passion and death. He was completely fearless because he is the very perfection of love.

Just as faith drives out fear, we learn that perfect love also drives out fear.

Saturday, November 25, 2006



“Write down the vision

Clearly upon the tablets,

so that one can read it readily.

For the vision still has its time,

presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;

If it delays, wait for it,

it will surely come, it will not be late.”

(Habakkuk 2: 2 – 3)

Moses wrote down the law (Exodus 24: 4; Deuteronomy 31: 9, 24)

Samuel wrote down the ordinances of the kingdom (1 Samuel 10: 25)

Jeremiah had to write his prophecy on a scroll (Jeremiah 36: 2)

Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation (Jeremiah 36: 4; 45: 1)

What is written in the law of Moses (1 Kings 2:3)

Thus it is written by the prophet (Matthew 2: 5)

Thus it is written (Luke 24: 46)

It is written (Matthew 4:4, 6, 7, 10; 21:13; Luke 2:23; 15: 15; Romans 2:4)

As it is written in the book of the prophets (Acts 7: 42)

It is written not just for his sake but for ours (Romans 4: 23 -4)

Everything written in the past is written for our sake (Romans 15:4)

(Roget’s Thesaurus of the Bible)

It appears from the above references that writing is an important medium in God’s communication with us. I find that when I write down a prayer request, I remember it for a longtime after its fulfillment. As I remember an answered prayer, my faith in God grows. Journaling has become an important part of my spiritual journey.

Friday, November 24, 2006



“Then he took the five loaves and two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared the two fish among them all.” (Mark 6: 41)

This event prefigured the Eucharist, the sacrament of love. Christ gave us his body to eat and his blood to drink.

“This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.” (1 John 4: 9 – 10)

Today I reflect on Christ’s love for me in the Eucharist. He took pity on me as he did of the hungry crowd in Mark 6: 41. He drew me near to him and fed me with his body and blood. Lord Jesus, how am I to respond to this love? What does the scripture say about my response?

Jesus loves me and shows it through the Eucharist. He says to me today that I must respond to this love by loving my brother. Lord Jesus, I am ready. Teach me.

Christ gave me his body and blood in the Eucharist. I cannot share this. Just as everybody has to eat food to gain the nourishment, so must each person eat and drink of the body and blood of Jesus Christ to gain the spiritual nourishment. But I can share the word of Jesus with others. I can pray for others. I can look out for opportunity for little service to others today.

Thursday, November 23, 2006



“Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob.” (Psalm 46: 7)

Emmanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14, 8:10; Matthew 1: 23)

The Lord is with you (Luke 1: 28)

If God is with me, it is accomplished. (Romans 8: 31)

God is with us (2 Chronicles 13: 12)

God is with you (Isaiah 45: 14)

The Lord is with us (Numbers 14: 9, 2 Chronicles 32: 8; Psalm 46: 7, 11)

God will be with you (Exodus 3: 12)

I am with you (Haggai 1:13, 2:4)

They will know that I am with them (Ezekiel 34: 30)

When we pass through the waters he will be with us (Isaiah 43: 2)

Do not be afraid, for I am with you (Isaiah 41: 10, 43: 5, Jeremiah 42:11, 46:28)

May the Lord be with you (Ruth 2: 4, 2 Samuel 14: 17, 1 Chronicle 22: 11, 16; Amos 5: 14)

May the Lord be with us (1 Kings 8: 57)

Perhaps the Lord will be with me (Joshua 14: 12)

I am always with God (Psalm 73: 23)

Son, you are always with me (Luke 15: 31)

Is not the Lord with you? (1 Chronicles 22: 18)

Is the Lord in our midst or not? (Exodus 17: 7)

(Roget’s Thesaurus of the Bible)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Great Light

The Great Light

“The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who lived in a country of shadow dark as death a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4: 16)

Jesus Christ is the great light, a light that dispels darkness in our lives. He is the light that shows us the truth about:

  • · Family
  • · Health
  • · Job
  • · Money
  • · Tools
  • · Food

When we are beset by anxiety about any of the above, we can ask: “Jesus Christ, Light of the world, show me the light about my current situation.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Asking and Receiving

Asking and Receiving

“And whatever we ask we shall receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what is acceptable to him ………Whoever keeps his commandments remains in God, and God in him. And this is the proof that he remains in us.” (1 John 3: 22 -24)

I meet again the wonderful promise of asking and receiving. This great promise is repeated several times in the New Testament in order to encourage us to ask the One who possesses all things and is generous in his gifts.

What am I asking for today?

  • · To know Christ intimately.
  • · To love him with great passion.
  • · To serve him faithfully everywhere.
  • · To be fully supported by Christ.
  • · To depend on Christ for my security.

The Holy Spirit promises through 1 John 3: 22-24 that I shall receive these gifts. I believe this and I hold to it. I am also aware that I receive these gifts as a son who does what is pleasing to his father. This attitude and behavior cause me to remain in God and God to remain in me. The presence and activities of the Holy Spirit within me is the proof of this indwelling. The Holy Spirit manifests his presence through his fruits which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self- control.” (Galatians 5: 22)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Light of Faith

Light of Faith

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2: 10 – 12)

The wise men presented gifts to the infant Jesus through Mary. This calls to mind a variant of the prayer that many of us learned as children and many still repeat everyday: “O my Jesus, I offer you through the Immaculate Heart of Mary all my prayers, desires and hopes, all my actions, temptations and sufferings, my delays, disappointments and obstacles. I offer you all my time, talent and treasure. I offer all these on every altar of the world where the Eucharist is celebrated today. I offer them for the remission of my sins and for the salvation of souls.”

The Father revealed Jesus to the nations by the guidance of a star. Faith is our guiding star in life. The light of faith is strong. We see by it. The world is constantly seeking to impose limits to our life of faith.

“Father of light, unchanging God, today you reveal to men of faith the resplendent fact of the Word made flesh. Your light is strong, your love is near; draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes, to the life where your Spirit makes all life complete. We ask this through Christ our Lord.” (Opening Prayer, Mass of the Epiphany.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Choose Life

Choose life

“I summon heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I offer you the choice of life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life and you and your descendants will live; love the Lord your God, obey him, and hold fast to him; that is life for you and length of days on the soil which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30: 19 – 20)

Life and blessing for me in the Enterprise consist in this:

· Love the Lord, my God.

· Obey him.

· Hold fast to him.

Rewards for doing the above:

· Life, success, health and prosperity.

· Security in the land.

· Divine filiation.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Glorious Light

Glorious Light

“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory.” (Isaiah 60: 1-2)

The above passage speaks of the glorious destiny of the Church. Just like Christ and John the Baptizer, the Church discovers its true identity and destiny through the Scriptures. Although the darkness of sin and error covers the earth, the Church will shine because upon her the Lord shines. Her source of light is constant and unfading. The Lord Jesus shines upon individual members of the Church too. The Church is like many lighted candles as at the Solemnity of the Easter Vigil.

Lord Jesus, shine upon me that I may reflect your light in the Church. The light that we reflect is the light of Christ. The word of God is a light to my foot. My destiny like that of the Church is to be light to the world. I read and apply the word of God and the Lord shines through me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pointing to Jesus 2

Pointing to Jesus 2

“One of the two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, “We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus.” (John 1: 40 – 41)

Andrew received the goodnews and was eager to share it with others. He started with members of his family.

The application of today’s scripture lesson for me is to try to share the spiritual insights I discover in the word of God with somebody every day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pointing to Jesus

Pointing to Jesus

“John looked towards him and said, ‘Look there is the lamb of God.’ And the 2 disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.” (John 1: 36)

Somebody (John) had to point out Jesus to others.

Lord Jesus, use me today to lead others to you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Foundation of Truth

Foundation of Truth

“Children, do not let anyone lead you astray.” (1 John 3: 7)

The Church has struggled against errors and false teachings all her life. This is not surprising because Jesus Christ gave ample warning about errors and false teachers during his earthly ministry. The history of the Church is replete with counterfeit teachers and messengers whose goal is to establish a “new teaching” different from the deposit of faith received from the apostles. Many Church Councils were called to address heresies.

How is the individual Christian protected from being led astray? We trust in the work of the Holy Spirit who leads and guides the Church to the fullness of truth. We trust in the teaching authority given to the apostles and their successors, the Bishops by Jesus Christ himself. We are encouraged by the living Tradition of the Church that has proven a bulwark of the truth.

We thank God for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church that has protected the Church from being led astray.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Lamb of God

The Lamb of God

“Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

Jesus is the Lamb that was slain in order to save the world. The slain, sacrificial Lamb became the bread of life which we eat in the Eucharist.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Price of Freedom

Price of freedom

“No one who remains in him sins, and whoever sins has neither seen him nor recognized him.” (1 John 3: 6)

Jesus promises that if I remain in him, he frees me from sin. What does freeing from sin mean? It means freedom from the compulsion of sin; freedom from the domination of a sinful life style.

How do I remain in Christ? I remain in Christ through these means of grace:

· Eucharist

· Word of God

· Confession

· Prayer

· Examination of conscience

· Spiritual reading

These are the visible means of remaining in freedom. The price of freedom is investment in eternal vigilance.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Fatal Error

“The reason why the world does not acknowledge us is that it did not acknowledge him.” (1 John 3:1)

It is fatal error for the child of God to ever seek recognition from the world. Do not crave for such recognition. The world will never give it to us as long as we commit to Jesus Christ. Know this truth once and for all. Believe what you read. Teach what you believe and practice what you teach.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sow a thought

Sow a thought

“If you know that he is upright you must recognize that everyone whose life is upright is a child of his.

You must see what love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children – which is what we are!” (1 John 2: 29 – 3:1)

Do I truly believe that I am a child of God? It is an act of great love on the part of God to make me his child. Do I fully realize what this means? Correct thought is the key to correct action. Belief empowers action. I will think differently, speak differently and behave differently today if I truly believe that I am a child of God. How do I empower myself with the powerful thought of my filial adoption?

As I reflect on the above, this thought comes to mind:

Sow a thought and you reap an action.

Sow an action and you reap a habit.

Sow a habit and you reap a character.

So a character and you reap a destiny.

Our destiny is to be children of God but there are a number of steps to the full appropriation of this gift. It starts with a thought of our divine filiation. We get the thought from the word of God. The next step is to act as if I am a child of God. Then another action. More action until it becomes a habit.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wisdom and Understanding

Wisdom and Understanding

“The Lord opened his mouth in the assembly, and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him in a robe of glory.” (Sirach 15: 5)

The above scripture was used on the feast of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazienen, both doctors of the Church.

Wisdom and understanding are gifts of God. Honor and glory come from God. The Lord himself opened the mouths of Basil and Gregory in the assembly. Both men were faithful to the anointing they received from the Holy Spirit. They witnessed to Christ in the Assembly with their gifts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Who are you?

Who are you?

“Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself? So he said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!’ (John 1: 22)

Who are you? John the Baptizer knew who he was. From the Scriptures, he was able to discern accurately his identity. I learned many years ago that we find our true identity in the Scriptures. What I find about myself in the Scriptures is troubling. I find for example this passage:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you….. To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1: 5 – 8)

I answered: ‘Lord but I do not want to be a prophet. I am satisfied with things as they are. I love my quiet private life.’

Monday, November 06, 2006

In the beginning

"Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you; as long as what you heard in the beginning remains in you, you will remain in the Son and in the Father." (1 John 2: 24)

What is the beginning for me? The beginning of a new life for me was 060195. This was the day I experienced and accepted the presence of the Holy Spirit in me. This is the day that I can truly say is the New Beginning in every sense of the word. With the awareness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I heard words from the Scriptures that were new words. The words came to a new heart to begin the formation of a new man in Christ Jesus. I thank God that what I heard in the beginning remains in me.

"But as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; since the anointing he gave you teaches you everything, and since it is true, not false, remain in him just as he has taught you." (1 John 2: 27)

I believe that I received an anointing from the Lord in 060195. This anointing gives me a strong sense of what is true doctrine, that is a type of sensus fidei. I am also very happy to realize that the anointing remains me in after over ten years. Praise the Lord!

What does the word of God mean that I do not need anyone to teach me? Where then am I to seek teaching? There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit has taught me a great deal since 060195. I believe that the Holy Spirit is warning me here about false teachers. Be on your guard against those who could mislead me by false doctrine.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Open Access

"I know about your activities. Look, I have opened in front of you a door that no one will be able to close." (Revelation 3: 8)

"I know about your activities." Christ Jesus knows all about me. He knows where I am, what I am doing and how I feel at this moment. What an awesome knowledge!

"I have opened in front of you a door that no one will be able to close." What door is Jesus talking about? Many commentaries say that the "open door' is the opportunity to proclaim the gospel. I feel in my life that Christ has given me an open access to his word. He has also given me an open access to the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament. Let me then trust in Jesus who has absolute power to save me and who started this good work in me to take it to the next level.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Call

Vocation: Called by God.

From the womb the Lord called me. (Isaiah 49: 1)

The king called those who were invited. (Matthew 22:3)

Calling them to the wedding feast (Matthew 22:9)

Many are called but few are chosen. (Matthew 22: 14)

I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. (Matthew 9: 13; Mark 2: 17; Luke 5: 32)

Those whom he predestined he called and those whom he called, he justified. (Romans 8: 30)

Called according to his purpose. (Romans 8: 28)

Not because of works but of God’s call (Romans 9: 11)

The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11: 29)

Confirm your calling and election. (2 Peter 1: 10)

Those with him are called and chosen and faithful (Revelation 17: 14)

God called through his grace (Galatians 1: 15)

He called you so to obtain the glory of our Lord. (2 Thessalonians 2: 14)

He has called us with a holy calling. (2 Timothy 1: 9)

Brethren who share in holy calling (Hebrews 3:1)

The hope of his calling (Ephesians 1: 18)

To those who are called (1 Corinthians 1: 24, Jude 1)

You are called of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1: 6)

(Roget’s Thesaurus of the Bible)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Absolute Trust

"It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through him is absolute, since he lives forever to intercede for them." (Hebrews 7: 25)

Christ's power to save is absolute. The power of Jesus is not bound by the limitations of geography or time. He has absolute power in the truest sense of the word. He is therefore worthy of absolute trust.

Every kind of faith is a gift of God. Absolute faith in Jesus Christ is a great gift of God. This is a faith that trusts Christ at all times, in every circumstance and everywhere. Lord, give me this faith!

"The principal point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of divine majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent which the Lord and not any man, set up." (Hebrews 8: 1 – 2)

Christ is the minister of the sanctuary and he is the true Tent. I want to remember this when I go to Mass.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

God fulfills His Promises

"Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not a single word has gone unfilled of the entire generous promise he made through his servant Moses." (1 Kings 8: 56)

"But Abraham never doubted. He believed God, for his faith and trust grew ever stronger, and he praised God for his blessing before it happened. He was completely sure that God was well able to do anything he promised." (Romans 4: 20 – 21) Living Bible

"And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." (Hebrews 6:15)

"Thus it was that Abraham, after patient waiting, obtained the promise." (Hebrews 6: 15)

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8: 28)

"And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans." (Romans 8: 28) Living Bible.

Two joyful lessons emerge from the above scriptures:

  1. God fulfills his promise come what may.
  2. Nothing that happens to me is insignificant. Everything that happens is part of God's plan for my life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Divine Pedagogy

The Divine Pedagogy

“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled.” (Joshua 21: 45)

“In a class at school, what the teacher says to one is intended for the information of all. And what the Almighty has done to one individual or nation is for the instruction, refreshment, consolation of all.” (Pulpit Commentary)

Monday, October 30, 2006



“Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, nor go to the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.

Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy;

God’s law they study day and night.

They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in due season;

Its leaves never wither;

Whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1: 1 – 3)

“Regard prosperity, first, as the natural consequence of acting on good advice. He who steers by God’s compass and chart is preserved from many rocks and shallows, and is most likely to reach the haven of his legitimate desire.

Regard prosperity as a promised result. He who consults omniscience is helped by omnipotence.”

(The Pulpit Commentary)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Keep up your courage

Keep up your courage

“Therefore, keep up your courage, men; I trust in God that it will turn out as I have been told.” (Acts 27: 25)

“Courage is the supreme requirement of God’s saints and strength goes with it. “Add to your faith, courage” says Peter.

Fear is the parent of every kind of vice; fear of conflict, fear of shame, fear of failure, fear that God will leave fidelity unrewarded and prayer unanswered.”

Saturday, October 28, 2006

To Faith

To faith

“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)

Isaiah said that faith that is firm is patient. Faith that is firm and is exercised can be seen. The friends of the paralytic exercised their faith and Jesus saw it.

Where do I need to exercise my faith today? What circumstances today are challenging my faith?

· Support

· Security

How do I exercise my faith on the above every day? The first thing is prayer. The second thing is to faith. I do this not on a global basis but one day at a time, one step at a time.

To Faith

To faith

“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)

Isaiah said that faith that is firm is patient. Faith that is firm and is exercised can be seen. The friends of the paralytic exercised their faith and Jesus saw it.

Where do I need to exercise my faith today? What circumstances today are challenging my faith?

· Support

· Security

How do I exercise my faith on the above every day? The first thing is prayer. The second thing is to faith. I do this not on a global basis but one day at a time, one step at a time.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Power Within

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1: 8)

We have from Christ Jesus the power and authority to be his witnesses. (Acts 1: 8) This power and authority is not limited to witnessing but extends to overcoming evils in our lives. The first step in overcoming evil is to say No unequivocally to suggestions of sin. We have the power and authority to become overcomers and winners.

About ten years ago, I prayed constantly for an entire year to feel this power and authority in my life. One day, I heard from a homily that the power and authority that I prayed for was already there but dormant, waiting to be activated. Why have I not realized this truth? How can I exercise faith in the power of Christ within me? Lord Jesus, teach me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Glorious Deeds of the Lord

Glorious Deeds of the Lord

“Declare to the generation to come the glorious deeds of the Lord and his strength and the wonders that he wrought.” (Psalm 78: 3 – 4)

After three months of the inception the Enterprise, I confided to my journal the following thoughts:

“The Lord has done glorious deeds for me in the first three months of the Enterprise:

· Daily Eucharist

· Deeper study of the word

· Prayer

· Library


· Lector

· Blessings of home

· Health

· Opus Dei

· Spiritual direction

· Friendships

The Lord did these things for me that “I too might put my trust in God, and not forget the works of God, keeping his commandments.” (Psalm 78: 7)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How to Succeed

How to succeed

“Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it; then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1: 8 – 9)

“Constantly remind the people about these laws, and you yourself must think about them every day and every night so that you will be sure to obey all of them. For only then will you succeed. Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Living Bible)

“Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it; then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” (New American Bible)

“My courage, hope of victory, and wisdom necessary for success are dependent upon my constant attention and inflexible adherence to the word of God.” (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

“The only true wisdom is that obtained from God, whether in answer to prayer, or in meditation on his law.”

“Men,” says Calvin, “never act skillfully, except in so far as they allow themselves to be ruled by the word of God.”

“The Christian warrior of today, who contends not for himself but for his master may emulate Joshua’s courage and confidence, for the same promises are his as were Joshua’s.

The Christian who would conquer in his conflict with the powers of evil must be diligent in his study of God’s word, and careful to frame his life by its precepts.”

“The great ones have gone; that which made them great remains.” Some of the great ones: Paul, Peter, John, Augustine, Ignatius, Vincent de Paul, etc.