Saturday, January 06, 2007

Keep Holy the Lord’s Day

"Is it permitted on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill?" (Mark 3: 4)

"Lord Jesus, I look around and see a lot of things happening on the 'Sabbath'. I do not know how to interpret your commandment regarding the observance of the Sabbath. How do I know the difference between the work that means "doing good and saving life" and work that is done purely for profit or lack of trust in your promise to provide adequately for our needs? I do not know how to counsel my friends. I need your light and guidance, Lord."

I confided the above reflection to my journal exactly ten years ago in 1997. Today, I am still struggling with the issue of understanding the command of keeping the Lord's Day holy. God in his mercy has blessed me with the gift of the 'Sabbath.' I do not work on Sunday. I try to enjoy a full day of rest. Sunday is my best day of the week. But unfortunately, I cannot say the same for some of my friends. Some of these friends who also love Jesus work on Sundays. They work on Sunday because their schedule obliges them to work on Sunday or because they are self-employed and Sunday is their best day of doing business. More and more businesses are opening on Sunday. Which of these businesses open in order to "do good or save life" or just for pure greed?

Lord, give me an understanding heart for these issues. Help me not to condemn or to complain.

Friday, January 05, 2007


"Our desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same enthusiasm till the ultimate fulfillment of your hope, never growing careless, but taking as your model those who by their faith and perseverance are heirs of the promises." (Hebrews 6: 11 – 12)

"Fill me Lord, with the unsurpassable knowledge of yourself. As I know your more every day, let my love for you grow more intense and passionate. Then I will be ready to follow you everywhere."

Jesus Christ gives us a lot of aids to help us maintain our enthusiasm. These are the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, prayer, the word of God, spiritual reading and spiritual direction. He also provides us with so many sacramental like holy water. We have also a crowd of saints as model for our faith and perseverance.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

God Remembers

"God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services that you have done, and are still doing, for the holy people of God." (Hebrews 6: 10)

God remembers. He remembers every good deed we have ever done in our life. He uses this for our benefit. This truth should encourage us to continue in the way of goodness. How and when does God apply our good works to our benefit? It is a mystery but one thing is certain. It does not follow a cause and effect sequence. Where does God's mercy, that is, unmerited favor come into the picture? Which blessings are attributable to God's remembrance of "all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services that you have done, and are still doing, for the holy people of God" or purely to God's mercy?

It is obvious that goodness is rewarded in this life. It is also a fact of faith that without God we can do nothing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

He learned obedience

"During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, he learned obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 5: 7 – 10)

  • Jesus Christ, though Son of God prayed with loud cries and tears to the Father.
  • He won a hearing by his reverence.
  • He learned obedience through suffering.

Lord, teach me to pray with trust and confidence. Teach me to revere and honor you as you deserve. Teach me to accept all the delays, disappointments and obstacles in your loving providence for me today.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our Calling

"No one takes this honor on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case." (Hebrews 5: 4)

A vocation is a call from God, an appointment by God. God appoints those he chooses to share in a particular manner in the work of redemption with his son, Jesus. When we are baptized, God chooses us to be his adopted children. This is also when we receive our vocation. While some are called to the ministerial priesthood like Aaron, every baptized is called to a particular ministry.

What am I called to? I am called to be a friend and companion of Jesus. I am called to know Jesus intimately, to love him passionately and to teach men to know and love him. Am I on focus? Am I on strategy?

Monday, January 01, 2007

I waited, waited for the Lord

"Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will." (Psalm 40)

Psalm 40 expresses for me the theme of the call to service. I love the first line: "I waited, waited for the Lord; who bent down and heard my cry..."

I need patience in order to realize my vocation. Lord, teach me to wait upon you. Your word asserts that you reward patient waiting with your sure answer. I want your will for my life to be fully accomplished.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The One Thing I need

"As John watched Jesus walk by he said, 'Look! There is the Lamb of God." (John 1: 36)

Today is the last day in the Octave of Christmas. John described Jesus as the Lamb of God. Is it a coincidence that Jesus was born in a stable where sacrificial lambs were born? John pointed others to Jesus. 'Pointing to' is the work of the disciple. True disciples point people to Jesus. Jesus is the solution to all human problems. He is the light of the world. He is the truth, the way and the life. Jesus is indeed all that I need and all that I want.

Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to live this truth and to share it with others.