Saturday, June 03, 2006

Be like a little child

Be like a little child

“Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all.  Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me.”  (Mark 9: 35 – 37)

In 1996 when I reflected on the above scripture, I wrote the commentary below in my journal:

“I see in today’s scripture three messages:
  1. Humility

  2. Be like a little child

  3. Love children

I am struck most by point #2, be like a little child.  Last night, a little girl, Angel aged 3 and the mom came to the house.  I was at table eating fufu.  She came to me and said:  “I want some of that.”  The protests of the mother did not discourage her.  She even allowed me to feed her in the mouth.  

Her behavior is noteworthy in a number of ways:
  • Lack of self-consciousness

  • Persistence

  • Joy

  • Gratitude

To be a friend and companion of Jesus, I must acquire these same qualities.  I must also love children so that I can understand more from them what Jesus meant about his teaching on little children.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Cross and the Wisdom of God

The Cross and the Wisdom of God

“The Son of Man will be handed over to men who will kill him.  Three days later, however, he will rise to life.”  (Mark 9:31)

O Holy Spirit, explain this scripture to me.  I see here God’s plan for our salvation, God’s loving providence for man in full operation.  The cross is God’s wisdom.  Even believers cannot comprehend this without faith.  Why should God save man through the suffering and death of Christ?  Could he not achieve this purpose through some other means?  For the unbeliever, this is rank foolishness, even stupidity.   Yet it had been ordained that Jesus Christ would rise to glory through his passion and death.  This is also the path to glory for every man and woman.

Just as God has a universal plan for our salvation through Christ, he has a particular plan of salvation for me.  if I accept and surrender to God’s wisdom and power, then I can see his plan of salvation for me.   The life of Jesus is the model and blue print for us.   It is a given therefore that my own life will involve deprivation, temptation, joy, sorrow, suffering and glorification.  

Lord Jesus, help me to accept your wisdom and power in my life.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

True Riches of Life - Faith

True Riches of Life – Faith

“Have pity on us and help us, if you possibly can!’  ‘Yes,’ said Jesus, ‘If you possibly can!  Everything is possible for the person who has faith.’  The father at once cried out, ‘I have faith but not enough.  Help me to have more!”  (Mark 9: 22 – 24)

The man’s request to Jesus is conditional:  “If you possibly can!”  Jesus started to reply sarcastically using his weak words, “If you possibly can!”  But he softens and seizes the opportunity for a teaching moment:  “Everything is possible for the person who has faith.”
How strong is my faith in Jesus?  How do I measure my faith?  You know the tree by its fruit.  I rely on Jesus for everything:  health, job, money, food, tools, peace and the success of the Enterprise.  I rely on Jesus everyday for light and guidance.  

I place my trust in God’s unfailing promise.  When I believe that God has promised me something, I pray and continue to pray until the promise is fulfilled.  But before the promise is fulfilled, having prayed, I act with confidence in the direction of my goal.  I act as if success if guaranteed because result depends on Jesus and not on me.  I know that everything is possible for God.  

Lord Jesus, I thank you for my faith today.  Lord, help me to have more faith!  

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Our Desires and God's Surpassing Love

Our Desires and God’s Surpassing Love

“Bless the Lord my soul;
Do not forget all the gifts of God,
Who pardons all your sins,
Heals all your ills,
Delivers your live from the pit,
Surrounds you with love and compassion,
Fills your days with good things;
Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Psalm 103: 2 – 5)

God’s love for me surpasses my desires and hopes.  This wonderful truth is from the opening prayers of Sunday Mass after  Pentecost.  And how true this is from my own experience!  As I reflected on the Enterprise, I could not help from wondering from time to time what to expect.  It is amazing that at this time the Holy Spirit fills me with bright memories of God’s wonderful deeds in my life.  
Personal experiences of God’s faithfulness in the past prove the truth that God’s love for us surpasses our desires and hopes.    Some of these are:
  • Awoma 68

  • Eko 70

  • Ife 74

  • Kano 78

  • London 80

  • AJS 82

  • Abidjan 84

  • Paris 85

  • AJS 91

  • QOP 92

  • Enterprise 96
God is faithful.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Step by Step

Step by Step
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!” (Romans 11: 33)

Is it possible to predict God?  Can we understand God’s ways or penetrate his motives?  Can we be so sure of our discernment without any shade of doubt?  The scriptures have a no, no, no to all the above questions.  (Romans 11: 33 – 36)  What is the implication?  Do we stop all exercises of discernment?  Certainly not.  

Awareness of God’s profound wisdom, knowledge and power  should make us truly humble, submissive and docile.  We know that God has no standard way of communicating with us.  Sometimes we pray and listen to God and we hear nothing.  Then later, at an unexpected moment he speaks to us through:
Word of God
At one time, Jesus reached me through the books of St. Josemaria and Father Anthony Paone, SJ.  The Enterprise provides me with unparallel  opportunity for spiritual and mental formation.  Through it, the Holy Spirit is leading me to truth in many areas.  I have also learned the principle of step by step direction.  My Good Shepherd is leading me one step at a time.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Mountain Top

The Mountain Top
“Teacher, how good it is that we are here.  We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Mark 9: 5)

Jesus took Peter, James and John up the mountain to show them his glory and power.  Why did he do it?  To strengthen their faith and prepare them for the coming storm.  They did not see it that way though.  For them, it was like a beautiful picnic which should continue for some time.

Jesus has allowed me to experience the Enterprise in order to show me his power and glory.  My faith has been strengthened by this miracle.  Why did Christ do this for me?   Jesus did it because this is a necessary part of the journey of my life.   He wants me to learn something very important in the Enterprise.  Just as the mountain top was not a final destination for the apostles, neither is the Enterprise my final destination.  As soon as I have mastered the intended lesson, the Lord will present the next step.  
Let it be done to me according to your plan.  Amen.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Get away from me Satan!

Get away from me, Satan!

“The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law.  He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.’  ……….  “Get away from me, satan, your thoughts don’t come from God but from man!” (Mark 8: 31 – 33)

I see Jesus, my friend and companion unfolding the details of his mission.  How do I react to it?  If  Jesus suffered much and was rejected by all the important people of his day, what can I expect?  He says to me: if you really want to be my friend and companion, don’t expect to have things easier than I did.  The servant can never be greater than the master.  

There will be people who will like to discourage me from the path marked out for me by God.  To them I will say boldly, “Get away from me, satan, your thoughts don’t come from God but from man!”  Most Holy Spirit, grant me the discernment to distinguish between the word of God and the word of man.