Friday, March 24, 2006

EWTN - Eternal Word Television Network

EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network

I left Houston early Friday, March 25, 2006 for San Antonio to attend the EWTN 25th Anniversary Family Celebrations. San Antonio, Texas is one of four cities chosen by EWTN to host its 25th Anniversary celebrations.

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to see how he uses the Eternal Word Television Network to touch souls everywhere in the world. Touched by this work, I signed up as an EWTN Media missionary. I committed myself to spreading the good word about EWTN ministry of evangelization.

I returned to my home in Houston, Sunday afternoon. During my absence, there was no Blog from the Friday I left for San Antonio to Sunday when I returned home.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pearl of Great Value

Pearl of Great Value

“The kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.” (Matthew 13:45)

When I reflected on the above passage in 1996, I made the following entry in my journal:
“For years I have searched for the holy grail of God’s will for my life.  I was determined to find my definite major purpose in life that could engage my whole being.  I found this idea in the Enterprise.  In order to buy “this pearl of great value,’ I am prepared to pay the ultimate price.  I look with coolness at the liquidation of material things which I acquired and valued over the years.  This is part of the price I am paying for the Enterprise – “this pearl of great value.”  I am also prepared to pay the price in effort, perseverance, hard work and “begin again.”

Today 2006, I am still paying the price in effort and perseverance to hold on to Jesus, “this fine pearl of great value.”

“The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

They Slapped Him

They Slapped Him!

“Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe.  They kept coming up to him and saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ and they slapped him in the face.” (John 19: 1-3)

In this scene, we see Jesus scourged, crowned with thorns, insulted and slapped.  All in one scene.  He suffered severe physical and mental injuries.  Contemplation of the passion of the Christ has converted many people to Jesus.  Jesus in suffering humbly, patiently and innocently is showing us a powerful example.  “See how much I suffered for you.”  And then he challenges us, “Can you not stay with me for 30 minutes?”

Lord Jesus, you suffered so much just to show how much you love us.  Help us to appreciate this and to trust you completely in everything.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My own Cross

My own Cross

“They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out to the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle.” (John 19:17)

Jesus carried his own cross to Golgotha.  The cross is the mark of the Christian.  We often think of prosperity, good health, and well-being as marks of God’s blessings and approval.  But the New Testament (Covenant) is clear that it is the cross that is the mark of blessings and God’s approval.  The cross is at the heart of the New Covenant/Testament.  “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14).  The Holy Spirit revealed the wisdom of the cross to St. Paul through personal experience and revelation.  

Jesus carried his own cross to Golgotha.  He wants his followers to carry their own crosses everyday and follow him.  Ten years ago when I reflected on John 19:17, I was carrying a heavy cross and I wrote this:  “What are my crosses today?  They are those unpleasant circumstances, events or conditions that I have not chosen.  Today, I have not chosen to be unwell, broke, bereft of tools, no electricity or roads.  If I bear each of these situations cheerfully and with fortitude, then I ill be obeying Christ by carrying my own cross and following him.  The word of God says that it is not possible for me to carry my cross cheerfully and with fortitude unless Christ helps me.”  

Today, my situation has changed dramatically but I do not want to forget the lessons of the cross.  Woe betides me if I do.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bearing witness to the truth

Bearing witness to the truth

“Yes, I am a king.  I was born for this, I came into the world for this:  to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of the truth listen to my voice.”  (John 18: 37)

I find that Jesus makes a great statement of purpose in the above scripture.  He is a king whose purpose in life is to bear witness to the truth.  Pilate asked Jesus:  “What is the truth?”  He did not wait for the answer.  But we know the answer.  “I am the truth, the way and the life,” said Jesus in another occasion.  

Jesus is king.  But where does he reign?  “My kingdom is not of this world,” he says.  Jesus reigns in the hearts, minds and souls of believers.  He reigns in the Church.  In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask:  “Thy kingdom come.”  We ask God the Father to hasten the reign of Jesus in every heart and soul.  

Jesus came to bear witness to the truth about God, myself, the Church and the world.  Because I have a spark of the truth in me, I listen to Jesus.  

Lord Jesus, help me to share in your ministry of bearing witness to the truth.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Did I not see you with Jesus?

Did I not see you with Jesus?

“As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him, ‘Aren’t you another of his disciples?’  He denied it saying, ‘I am not.’  One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, ‘didn’t I see you in the garden with him?’  Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.”
  (John 18: 25 – 27)

Everything in the Scriptures is written to instruct us.  What lesson is the above incident teaching me?  The lesson is very plain:  How the mighty can fall!  If it is possible for Peter who had been so close to Jesus to fall, who can be spared?  Is the Holy Spirit not right when he spoke through Paul that we should work out our salvation in fear and trembling?  We gain strength and victory only through Jesus.  Cut off from him, we wither.  There is nothing we can do by ourselves.  A curious question is:  Did the grace of Christ abandon Peter on this occasion in order to teach him a lesson in humility or did Peter reject grace?  I recall the black Saturday of June 1974 in Lusaka.  On that occasion, I had an analogous experience to Peter’s.  The difference is that Peter recovered immediately.  It took me a longtime to recover.  Lord Jesus, I thank you for calling me back.  Grant me deep trust in you and humility as I work out my salvation in fear and trembling.