Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Way the Truth and the Life

The Way, the Truth and the Life

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Nobody can come to the Father except through me.”  (John 14: 6-7)

Jesus is my Way.  He is my Truth and he is my Life.  What does this mean to me today?

A way leads to somewhere.  If life is a journey, what is my destination?   My whole life is  a journey to the Father.  All the circumstances and events have been arranged to lead to one destination:  the Father.  How is Jesus my Way to the Father?  His life and teachings form the highway to the Father.  They are also the light that light up this highway.

Jesus is my Truth.  A truth is.  A truth is reality.  What is the truth of life?  Ask Jesus.  He knows.  What is the truth about my situation today?  Ask Jesus.  He knows.  Man yearns for truth.  St. Augustine says that God has made us for himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in God, the ultimate being and truth.

Jesus is my life.  The true life is eternal life.  We receive the beginning of this life in baptism.  We grow in this life through the sacraments.  Sacraments are actions of Jesus Christ instituted to impart grace and eternal life to us.

Lord Jesus, I believe you are my Way, my Truth and my Life.  Help me to grow in the understanding of this truth.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Troubled Waters

Troubled Waters

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God still, and trust in me.  there are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you.” (John 14: 1 – 2).

In 1996, when I reflected on the above scripture, I wrote in my journal:
“This is a very appropriate scripture for my mood now.  My heart is troubled by many things.  Last night, I slept very little; my body was raked by fever and I was disturbed by mosquitoes.  Blessing informed me before I went to bed that there was nothing to eat in the house.  Money is running low.  The car is immobilized in the drive way.  I have no job.  Despite all these, Jesus is saying to me: “Do not let your heart be troubled.”  O Holy Spirit, how do I remain calm in these troubled waters?  If I trust Jesus, should I not trust his words?  If Jesus who sees my situation clearer than myself , tells me to be calm and not to worry, I should believe him.  I realize that there are two voices speaking to me at this moment:  the evil one trying to paint a lurid and hopeless picture of my situation and Jesus whose instructions are clear and simple – “Do not let your heart be troubled.  Trust in God still, and trust in me.”  Trust in God’s disposal of events.

As I reflect on the above journal entry in 2006, ten years later, I thank the Lord for his faithfulness.  I survived the hardship of the period.  On the other hand, I marveled that I am able to forget such incidents.  How much comfort I would have in troubled times if I remember such incidents?

O Holy Spirit, recall to my mind memories of God’s wonderful deeds in my life.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The 4-Way Test

The 4-Way Test

“I give you a new commandment:  love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”  (John 13: 34 – 35)

In the last three years of corporate world experience, I joined the Rotary International Club.  We met every week for fellowship and followed a set ritual which reminds one of the Church’s liturgy.  One of the rituals that was observed every week was the recitation of the four-way test:
  • Is it fair to all concerned?

  • Will it build good and better friendship?

  • Is it the truth?

  • Is it beneficial to all concerned?

Jesus tells his disciples “just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.”  If I can apply the four-way test in my dealings with people today, I will begin to obey the words of Jesus.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Washing Feet

Washing Feet

“You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am.  If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each others’ feet.  I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.”  (John 13: 13 – 15)

Christ is teaching me through the above incidence humility and the spirit of service.  How do I apply this lesson here and now?  My home, the Church, my workplace is my training ground, my laboratory to practice this lesson.  Through the circumstances of everyday life, God is training me and saving me.  How do I wash the feet of my brethren today?  What concrete services should I render them that will amount to the washing of feet?  

The Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth was an opportunity for service.  Mary anticipated Elizabeth’s needs and fulfilled them.   In the home of Elizabeth, Mary must have performed many washing of feet.  Jesus is asking me today to anticipate the humble needs of  my sisters and brothers and do something about them.  

Thank you for the lesson Jesus.  I accept your teaching and I am disposed to follow it.  I need your grace to live these principles today.  Give me your grace.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Love as I love you

Love as I love you

“I give you a new commandment:  love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”  (John 13: 34 – 35)

Jesus wants me to “love one another just as he has loved me.”  So his love for me is the standard that I will use for others.  It does presuppose that I know this standard.  How does Jesus love me?  How do I feel his love in my daily life?

I feel Christ’s presence and love through the activities of the Holy Spirit in me.  I enjoy steady peace and tranquility.  And I appreciate this very much.  I also have joy and consolation in my heart most of the time.  During the day, I experience light and guidance on numerous occasions.  These light and guidance come to me as practical wisdom, telling me how to achieve certain results.  When I follow the guidance, the consequence is always pleasing and I recognize the source of the idea.

The Holy Spirit also gives me a lot of encouragement when my mood is low.  This he does through uplifting scripture passages or through exciting relevant happy memories of victories in similar situations in the past.  There is also the gift of patience.  This is one of the gifts I cherish very much in my present situation.  Scriptures are given me on the need to be patient and biblical models of patience like Abraham are suggested to me.  Christ also shows his love for me through answers to my prayers and provision of my daily needs.

Now Jesus is saying to me to do all the above for others.  Am I able to do this?  The crucial question is:  am I willing to do it?  Yes, Lord if you will supply the grace.  In my daily interaction with people, I will try to be aware of the depth of Christ’s love for me and how he wants me to respond to this love.  I will try to lighten people’s burden and not make them heavier.  I will spread joy and peace and not sorrow.  I will counsel patience and faith.  I will do all these because this is how Jesus loves me.  Help me Jesus.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Belief in the Light

Belief in the Light

“I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark anymore.”  (John 12; 46)

Christ is the light of the world.  He spoke of faith in him as key to a relationship and benefit of the light.  What does belief in Jesus mean to me today?  When Christ spoke of belief in him to the people, how would the people listening to him understand him?  They would understand him in the context of the scriptures as claiming to be the awaited Messiah.  The scriptures had foretold the coming of the Messiah and shown his mission and end in some detail.  The audience of Jesus could ask themselves:  “What does the word of God say about the Christ?  Does this man before us fulfill that brief?”

Belief in Jesus means belief in the word of God about him.  For me today, that word is larger than what Christ’s audience knew.  Christ has extended the word of God through the New Testament.  I know more about Christ than his hearers in the first century.  I have the New Testament.  I also have the evidence of 2000 years of continuous witness to Jesus.  Does this put my faith on fire?  Lord Jesus, grant me a burning faith.  

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lifting up

Lifting up

“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself.”  (John 12: 32)

Christ promises to draw all men to himself when he is lifted up.  His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven complete the work of salvation of mankind.  This is the meaning of the “lifting up.”

It is Christ that draws me to himself.  The attraction I have for him and my love for him are his gifts to me.  When Christ was lifted up, he sent the Holy Spirit whose work is to draw all men to Christ.

The Pulpit Commentary writes that “Christ declared that the attraction of the cross would be mightier than all the fascination of the prince of this world.”

O Holy Spirit, draw us closer to Jesus.  Amen.