Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sowing and Reaping

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit." (Galatians 6: 7-8)

Or this translation:

"Make no mistake about this: God is not to be fooled; everyone reaps whatever he sows. If he sows in the field of his unspiritual nature, he will reap from it a harvest of corruption; but if he sows in the field of the Spirit, he will reap from it the harvest of eternal life." (Galatians 6: 7-8)

It is impossible for men to break the established divine order in nature. There is a sowing time. There is a reaping time. The reaping will be exactly the same nature as the sowing. He who sows rice will reap rice and he who sows grass will reap grass. Nobody expects a harvest of rice after sowing grass.

Lent is coming. Lent provides us a window of opportunity to sow "in the field of the spirit." God himself describes lent as a favorable time for sowing. When we seize the opportunity provided by lent to sow good spiritual seeds for forty days, God rewards us by providing us abundant spiritual harvest that lasts all through life. Twenty years ago, I decided to fast from smoking on Ash Wednesday. After Ash Wednesday, I continued the fast from smoking. After lent, the desire to smoke dried up completely in me. Ten years ago, I decided to fast from television during lent. All through lent, my television gathered dust. After lent, I resolved to fast from television every Wednesday and Friday. Today, days could go by without my switching on the television. God blessed me with the desire to sow good seeds "in the field of the spirit" at a time of favor and rewarded me with rich spiritual harvest.

Friday, February 09, 2007

God provides food for the young lion

I did not know why I suddenly felt like working in the St. Justin Martyr and St. Cyril of Alexandria area. But that was where I worked today. On my way, I stopped at St. Thomas Aquinas and took a nap. I made a few sales calls on my way to St. Justin Martyr. There, I visited briefly before going to the nearby Bishop Fiorenza park where I ate my lunch. I took Elridge to Westheimer. On Dairy Ashford, I saw Tomas of Bonanza Photos and chatted with him for some time. Tomas told me that he had not received a single call from the ad he placed with me in SCA. We talked about auto insurance costs. I advised him to try AARP.


Why does advertising work for one customer and not for another. Christ said that the Kingdom of God is like a farmer who sows a seed and then goes to bed. While he sleeps, the seed sprouts and grows. How? The farmer does not know. The seed grows to be one day a huge shrub that provides lodging and food to numerous birds. I also think of the young lion who goes to hunt. He does not know what game he would catch or even if he would catch any at all. How our efforts yield result is a mystery. What is required of us is faith and to be at our post and do our duty. Isaiah complained that his life is wasted because he could not see any result. God told him: Not so. The Prophet Habakkuk says:


"For though the fig tree blossom not

nor fruit be on the vines,

and the terraces produce not nourishment,

Though the flocks disappear from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

Yet will I rejoice in the Lord

and exult in my saving God.

God, my Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet swift as those of hinds.

and enables me to go upon the heights."

(Habakkuk 3: 17 - 19)


The Prophet Habakkuk is a deep man of faith. About faith, he wrote: "The just man, because of his faith, shall live."

What is required of us is trust in God, who provides the young lion his food and does the same for the sick and old lion.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Christ was tested

"Since Christ was himself tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are tempted." (Hebrews 2: 18)

I am tested through delays, obstacles, disappointments and temptations. Through these tests, Jesus refines and purifies me as gold and silver are purified and refined. (Malachi 3: 2) God wants me to pass the test, become stronger and help other people who are tested. Christ knows my situation. He is aware of what I am going through. I look to him for help.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Refine me

"For he will be like a refiner's fire, like fullers' alkali. He will take his seat as refiner; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness." (Malachi 3: 2 – 3)

Lord Jesus, please refine me. Purify me. Make me whole.

The Lord uses my daily life and circumstances to refine and purify me. Because I am aware of this, I make an offering of all my actions, disappointments, delays and obstacles to the Lord every day.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mustard Seed

"The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade." (Mark 4: 31)

The mustard seed of God's word is alive, potent and sharper than a two-edged sword even if it comes in a tiny form. The origin of Christianity bears witness to this truth. What started very small with a handful of men grew into the biggest shrub. Many "birds of the air" today shelter in its shade. Many women and men make a decent living from this huge shrub. The beginning of a project may be small but if that enterprise is God's will, it will grow.

When Peter and the Apostles were arraigned before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel, a leading member of the Sanhedrin prophesied: "If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. " (Acts 5: 38). The history of Christianity proved that the enterprise is from God.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Trusting God for the harvest

"This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear." (Mark 4: 26)

St. Paul taught that he who scatters much seed harvests more. We scatter seed in the Church through our ministry work. But the key idea in the above scripture is not how much we do but rather trust in God who makes "the land produce first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear." (Mark 4: 26)

What is required of me oh man?

  • To prepare well for my ministry
  • To pray for its success
  • To leave the outcome completely to God

And remembering what St. Paul said that the harvest is in direct proportion to the sowing, I ask God for the grace of generosity so that I can give more to his work and not less.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Faith guarantees blessings

"Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of realities that are unseen." (Hebrews 11:1)

What are the blessings I hope for today?

  • To know Christ, love him and serve him
  • Greater faith, patience, wisdom, humility
  • Total success of the Enterprise

Only faith can guarantee these blessings. But how? Do I believe that I can have these blessings? Yes, I do. I am therefore blessed by my faith. What I now do is to wait patiently for the realization of my hope. I wait in joyful hope.

"It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac." (Hebrews 11: 17)

"Abraham was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead." (Hebrews 11: 19)