Saturday, July 15, 2006

Scriptures Must be Fulfilled

Scriptures Must be Fulfilled

“Did you have to come with swords and clubs to capture me, as though I were an outlaw?  Day after day, I was with you teaching in the Temple, and you did not arrest me.  But the scriptures must come true.” (Mark 14: 48 – 49)

“But the scriptures must come true.”  God’s word is true and must be fulfilled.  Christ’s food is to do the will of his Father.  His Father’s will for his earthly life is spelt out in the scriptures.    Jesus delighted in the will of his Father and embraced his plan for his life.  He never opposed his Father’s will even when it is unfavorable to him.   His Father willed that he came into the world to save it through suffering and humiliation.  Since his Father is all powerful and all wise, his chosen method for saving the world is the best.

The Father also has a plan for my life.  That plan is good.  The Father’s plan for my life can also be found in the scriptures.  Lord Jesus, grant me deep faith and courage to embrace the Father’s plan for my life.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Your Will and Not Mine

Your Will and Not Mine

“The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me.  Stay here and keep watch ……. Father, my Father!  All things are possible for you.  Take this cup of suffering away from me.  Yet not what I want, but what you want ……  ‘Simon, are you asleep?  Weren’t you able to keep awake even for one hour? …..  Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14: 32 – 38)

The hour has come for Jesus to suffer.  How did he handle the situation?
  • He went to a secluded place, his “closet” and prayed.

  • It was a moment when he had to confront reality all alone.  He did not waste time being disappointed that Peter, James and John were sleeping.

  • He bared his heart to the Father.  He was afraid of what he saw coming.  But if it is his Father’s will, he will accept it.  

  • He drew strength and power from the knowledge that his suffering had been sanctioned by his Father.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Knowing Christ

Knowing Christ

“More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3: 8)

To know Christ intimately, to love him passionately and to follow him everywhere is a goal I work on everyday.  To know Christ  intimately, I must associate with him frequently through:
  • Prayer

  • Word of God

  • Sacraments:  Eucharist & Reconciliation

  • Visit to the Blessed Sacrament

  • Devotion to his Mother

  • Writing

  • Teaching

  • Spiritual Reading

To know Christ intimately is a major purpose of my life.  It is the 50% of the mission.  It is the learning component of the mission.  The other 50% deals with the communicating part of my ministry:  sharing Christ Jesus.

Lord Jesus, that I may know you and the power of your resurrection.   Amen!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Watch and Pray

Watch and Pray

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.’ ……’Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.”  (Mark 14: 27 – 30)

Why did Jesus make this prediction?  Was it to intimidate or humiliate the disciples?  No!   It was to make them prepared for what is to come.  He knows his disciples very well.  He knows the future.  The disciples did not believe him.

Jesus who knows us very well says:  “Be sober, be awake, be on your guard.  Be vigilant at all times so that you cannot be surprised.  I warn you.  The enemy is always looking for an opportunity to drag you down.  Do not give him any loop hole.”
But what are we to be watchful over?  This must be our most precious possessions, our treasures.  For the heart will always be where the treasure is.   Our treasures are:  the Holy Spirit living in us, faith, hope, love, the Eucharist, prayer, the word of God.  We watch over them through prayers.  We watch over them through using them everyday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Eucharist

The Eucharist

“While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples.  “Take it,” he said, “this is my body.”  
“Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them; and they all drank from it.  Jesus said, “This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God’s covenant.” (Mark 14: 22 – 24)

As I reflect on the above passage, I come to realize that for us, the Eucharist represents not just a great mystery but also one of the greatest acts of faith we are called upon to make.  I have the great privilege to take part a couple of times a week in the reenactment of this act in obedience to Christ.

In the Eucharist, I receive a piece of white host looking no different from what it looked like before the consecration.  It tastes and feels exactly the same before and after the consecration.  Then I receive the cup of wine, in every material way similar before and after the consecration.   Yet I believe that the host and the wine are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  

What is the authority for such an amazing confession?  The above passage, Mark 14: 22 – 24 is one.  Similar passages in Matthew and Luke is another.  A very important authority for this belief is the chapter 6 of the Gospel of St. John.  To crown it all, is the constant belief and practice of the Church in the Eucharist in the past 2000 years.   The Tradition with regard to the Eucharist is rock solid.  Is it possible that the Holy Spirit who has been promised to lead and guide the Church into all truth will deceive the Church in such an important matter?   And for so long?   If the faith and practice of the Church in this one act is an error, where do we have a guarantee of truth?

Thank you Jesus for the gift of the Eucharist.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Everything happens Just as Jesus Says

Everything happens Just as Jesus Says

“The disciples left, went to the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.”  (Mark 14: 16)
“I tell you that one of you will betray me – one who is eating with me.” (Mark 14: 18)

The message today is simple:  Believe and obey the words of Jesus.  In the above passages from Mark, Jesus predicts two events:  
What the disciples will see when they went to make plans for the last supper.
The betrayal of Judas.
The disciples found that  everything happened “just as Jesus had told them.”

Jesus makes so  many promises to me in the Scripture.  If I believe in them and act on them in obedience, will everything not happen “just as Jesus had told me?”

Lord, your word is true.  Grant me more faith and help me to act on your word.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Open Doors

Open Doors

“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Jesus to them.  They were pleased to hear what he had to say, and promised to give him money.  So Judas started looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.” (Mark 14: 10 – 11)

Love of money was the open door through which Satan tempted Judas to betray Jesus.  Peter also betrayed Jesus.  Fear of the world, fear of suffering and love of security was the open door through which Satan overcame Peter.  

All “alien gods” of whatever nature, be they money, health, family, job, tools, food or love of security and comfort could take “take advantage of us” (Psalm 16) and become open doors for the devil to enter our lives.  Complacency is also an “alien god” and therefore an open door.

What are the open doors in my life today?  O Holy Spirit reveal them to me.
Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.