Friday, April 21, 2006

He Prayed in a lonely place

He Prayed in a lonely place

“In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went of to a lonely place and prayed there.”  (Mark 1: 35)  

Christ teaches us about prayer by word and example.  These are some of the elements:  
He got up early to pray.
He went to his closet to pray.
He prayed with simple words.

It has been noted by many writers including Documents of Vatican Council II that Christ’s actions are commentary on his words and vice-versa.  What Christ did, he taught.  In the Wisdom books, the Holy Spirit advises us to rise early and commune with God.  Jesus taught that we pray in our closet, far from the madding crowd.  Pray with simplicity because you are talking to a Father who already knows what you need and wants to give it to you, he taught.  

Peter speaking of Cornelius in Acts 10: 4, says, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity and is ready to answer you.”  May God be pleased with our prayers and our works of mercy and answer our prayers.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jesus heals

Jesus heals

“That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils.  The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils.”  (Mark 1: 32 – 34)

Jesus heals the sick every time and everywhere.  Jesus still casts out devils.  When I reflected on this scripture in 1996, I was broken in body and had not worked for over a year because of ill health.  I wrote in my journal:

“Jesus can heal me permanently body, soul and mind.  Lord Jesus, I believe this with my whole heart.  But what is the mind of Christ for me with regard to my condition?  I thank Jesus that through his grace, I have gained a major victory over sickness or pain.  I know that ill health can never prevent me from fulfilling God’s mission for me.  Another thing that Jesus has done for me with regard to my health is to provide me the drugs that I need.  Thank you Jesus for all of these blessings.  I have learned from my condition the following lessons:
  1. Jesus can heal us.

  2. We must be healed of our fear of illness.

  3. Doctors and medicine can be part of the healing process of Jesus.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No Condition is Permanent

No Condition is Permanent

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

“No condition is permanent.”  For most of October 1996, I meditated on this truth.  Today, I have a better understanding of it.  It is a healing truth that could lighten any distressing circumstance.  It is a terrible lie to believe that any situation whether adverse or positive is permanent.  

Nothing is permanent in life.  Everything is passing away.  Delays are not permanent; they are temporary.  Obstacles and disappointments are not permanent; they are temporary.  There is no crisis that does not have a beginning or an end.  The good life, dulce vita is not a permanent state.  There are interludes in every distressing circumstance.  Jesus had two periods of severe and explicit temptations in his earthly life.  One lasted for 40 days and the other for about 24 hours.

My circumstances today in 2006 could not have been more different than it was in 1996 when I meditated on Ecclesiastes 3:1 for about one month.  I was in a  prolonged desert experience.  After nine months of being in the desert, I was weighed down by all sorts of problems and began to think that my circumstances could not change.  But one day, I received a word of God that changed my perspective entirely.  That word concerned the need to wait for the Lord.  I took the advice.  The rest is history.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ABC of Mercy

ABC of Mercy

“Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway.  He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up.  And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.”  (Mark 1: 30-31)

Jesus wants us to call upon him in every trial, trouble and temptation.  Listen to what he tells you and do it.

Often we want to be heroic in our trials and even in sickness.  Or we decide that the sickness is a minor one and does not merit the attention of Jesus.  But Jesus wants a full and trusting relationship with us.  The ABC of Divine Mercy means:

  • A  -  Ask for Mercy

  • B  -  Be Merciful

  • C  -  Completely trust in Jesus

Lord Jesus, thank you for the lesson today.  I too want to involve you fully in my life.  Teach me how to do it.  Teach me also how to see my pains and trials through your eyes.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Christ will come again!

Christ will come again!

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said.  “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He is not here – he has been raised!  Look, here is the place where they put him.  Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you:  there you will see him, just as he told you.’  So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified.  They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.”  (Mark 16: 6 – 8)

Paraphrasing what the angel said to the women:  ‘Don’t be afraid to see me here.  Don’t be surprised that the body of Jesus is not here.  He has been raised from the dead as he foretold.  Go and give the news to his disciples.’   Inspite of these assurances, the women were ‘distressed and terrified.”  They were ‘afraid.’  Why did they manifest this reaction instead of joy and a sense of triumph?  Is it possible that this development caught them unawares?  They forgot the message of Jesus that he would be crucified but would rise again on the third day.  

What message of Jesus are we in danger of forgetting today?  “Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again!

“Now go and give this message to his disciples.”  “Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is Alive!

He is Alive!

“Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead. The disciples then went home again.” (John 20: 9)

We witness in this scene the first encounter of the Apostles Peter and John with the mystery of the resurrection. The tomb is empty. Jesus is no longer among the dead. But where is he?

There are a number of lessons from today’s scripture. First, seek Jesus among the living. Jesus now lives on in his brothers and sisters. He can only be recognized today by faith. The Body of Christ is composed of many people but is in fact one. Everyday millions of hosts are consecrated all over the world to be the one Body of Christ.

Faith helps us to recognize Jesus in his various modes of appearance: white, yellow, black, short, tall, fat, slim, etc. This is the mystery of the truth: “Jesus is alive, forever he is alive. Amen!”

Lord Jesus, thank you for your word today. Grant me the grace to come to recognize you in every believing man. Amen.