Saturday, May 27, 2006

Who do you say I am?

Who do you say I am?

“Tell me Emmanuel, who do you say I am?”  (Mark 8: 29)
Lord, I believe you are:
  • My Lord and my God

  • My Good Shepherd

  • My King and my Boss

  • My Guide and my Protector

  • My Friend and my Companion

  • The Truth and the Way

  • My Life and my Resurrection

  • The Bread  of life

  • True God and True Man

  • The Son of God

  • My Brother

  • You are all that I want and all that I need.
These are some of the things I believe you are to  me.  I believe everything you say about yourself in the Scripture.  I believe everything the Scripture says about you.  I believe that you are truly present in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament.  I believe you will bless me today and forever.  Amen!

Friday, May 26, 2006

God's Ways

God’s Ways
“Can you see anything?”  The man looked up and said, ‘Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking about.”  Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes.  This time the eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly.”  (Mark 8: 23 – 25)

God’s ways are mysterious.  Why did Jesus not heal this man instantly?  “Who can explain God’s decisions?  Who can understand his ways?” (Romans 11: 33)  God accomplishes everything he wants.  

I too I am in need of both physical and spiritual healing.  I would prefer instant cure but I have learned today to respect God’s wisdom and power.  I will control my natural tendency to question God’s motives.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Trust Me

Trust Me
“Why are you discussing about not having any bread?  Don’t  you know or understand yet?  Are your minds so dull?  You have eyes – can’t you see?  You have ears – can’t you hear?  Don’t you remember when I broke the 5 loaves for 5000 people?  How many basket full of leftover pieces did you take up?” (Mark 8: 19 – 19)

Jesus communicates to me by means of  words and deeds.  Just as any loving relationship, there are special words I love to hear from him all the time.  These are for example:  Deuteronomy 31:3, Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 29: 11, Acts 5: 38, Revelations 3:8.  These words are music to my ears anytime, anywhere and anyplace.  Christ also communicates to me through inspirations from other people.   Jesus is asking me today, “You have ears – can’t you hear?”  Lord I hear and I thank you for what you are saying.  Open my ears that I can hear more.  

Jesus communicates to me also through deeds.  These deeds are like gifts of one friend to another.  He gives me private time to visit with him every day.   He offers me a constant place at his breakfast table every day.  He asks me again today, “You have eyes – can’t you see?”  Lord I see and I like what I see.  Open my eyes that I can see more clearly.

Jesus wants me to trust him completely in everything and not to worry about “not having any bread.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Heart

The Heart
“There is nothing that goes into a person from the outside which can make him ritually unclean…. It is what comes out a person that makes him unclean.  For from the inside, from a person’s heart, come the evil ideas which lead him to do immoral things, to rob, kill, commit adultery, be greedy, and do all sorts of evil things: deceit, indecency, jealousy, slander, pride and folly – all these evil things come from inside a person and make him unclean. “  (Mark 7: 14 – 23)
I have known for a longtime that correct thought is the key to correct action.  Positive thinking makes for positive results.  I have not always appreciated the truth of the opposite statement.  Evil thoughts lead to evil action.  Before a robbery can be executed, the idea of robbery existed in the mind.  Before adultery, the mind has entertained the idea of adultery.  
How does one keep the heart and mind clean?  The heart is like a tender garden.  Watch it with care so that wild weeds have no opportunity to grow.  Stop the idea that is likely to lead to evil from getting to the heart.  Refuse to fertilize it through repeated thought.  Reject the idea immediately.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Human Rules

Human Rules

“Jesus answered them, “How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!  You are hypocrites, just as he wrote:  These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me.
It is not use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were God’s command!
‘You put aside God’s command and obey human teachings.”
And Jesus continued, ‘You have a clever way of rejecting God’s law in order to uphold your own teaching.”  (Mark 7: 6 – 9)

Today in the year 2006, the Body of Christ is splintered into probably 40,000 parts!  Each part claims to know the truth.  No part admits to teaching human rules and obeying human teachings.

Yesterday, I read a very interesting article from Christianity Today.  The author of the article, a “well-known scholar” had just seen one of the earliest manuscripts of the Didache, a first century catechetical work instructing the early Christians on Baptism, the Eucharist, Penance and Church hierarchy.  Our scholar was excited by what he discovered and he compares many church practices today with those of the first Christians.  

If we compare the practices of the early Church with what those of many churches today, one cannot escape the conclusion that many churches are teaching human rules and obeying human teachings.  It reminds me of Cardinal Newman’s famous saying that to know history is to cease to be protestant.

Monday, May 22, 2006



“And everywhere Jesus went, to villages, towns, or farms, people would take those who are ill to the market places and beg him to let them at least touch the edge of his cloak; and all who touched it were made well.” (Mark 6: 54)

We see in the above passage people’s great and irrepressible desire for good physical health.  I see this desire everywhere today.  People in this story had come to recognize in Jesus direct source for instant help.  I notice here a mysterious phenomenon:  great desire seems to bring with it faith.  Intense desire that has become desperate reaches out for whatever help or promise of help is near.  No wonder the rich, the healthy, and the self-satisfied work so hard at faith.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”

I too, I am in need of healing.  Am I desperate enough to get what I need?  The people in today’s scripture believe that if they could touch the edge of the cloak of Jesus, they would be made whole.  I believe that in the Eucharist, I meet Jesus fully present.  In the Eucharist, I do not touch just the hem of his garment, I  become one with him in communion.  I cling to Jesus.  Why am I not healed?  May be I am not desperate enough to be healed.  May be I do not ask.  

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Time to Die

A Time to Die

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.  He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” (John 15: 1-3)

There are times and seasons in life. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  There is a time to be born and a time to die says Qoheleth in the same chapter.  The time to die corresponds to the negative period in our lives.  This period brings the type of pain which refines us for the purpose of making us richer in the true treasures of life.  

1995 to the end of 1996 was a time of dying for me.  During this period which I call my desert experience, I developed the concept of the 6 war zones.  They are:

  1. Family

  2. Health

  3. Money

  4. Job

  5. Tools

  6. Food

In the desert, I was chastened and pruned on each of the above and on all of them at the same time.  Before my desert experience, I had seen the 6 war zones through the eyes of flesh.  I had a world-view which is different from the mind of Christ.  I saw life as one uninterrupted pleasure and happiness for anyone who is a child of God.  I did not understand the notion of the Christian cross nor was I prepared to accept it.  My desert experience changed my world-view completely.  Today, I try to put on the mind of Christ on each of the items in the 6 war zones.  “What is the mind of Christ on money for me?”  I walk by the light that I receive on this question on everything that concerns money.  

Thank you Jesus for the desert experience.