Saturday, March 17, 2007

Oh Blessed Sunday

"God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested after all his work of creating." (Genesis 2:3)

"Thou shall keep the Sabbath day holy." This is today my best commandment. I love the weekends and especially Sundays. I cannot have enough of a Sunday. I enjoy the communal Mass with more people. I enjoy the festival atmosphere of the sacred assembly when we gather for Sunday worship. I like the more solemn nature of the Mass. I dress my best for the occasion. My Sunday meals are different, richer and tastier. I take a long walk along the Bayou. I indulge myself in a long siesta. These are some of the reasons why I love Sunday.

It was not always so. The gift of Sunday is one of the major gifts of the Holy Spirit when he called me back to the companionship of Jesus Christ. Before this, I regarded Sunday as a work free day. That means the day I don't go to the office to be bothered by the boss. Sunday was the day I could do my own thing. But my perspective on Sunday changed when I embraced the word of God. I discovered with some amazement that Sunday is God's gift to man. But because it is couched in the language of command and law, many of us miss the point. The next step in my reflection was to look at the rest of the nine commandments and wonder whether God also intended every one of them as gift for the fulfillment of man.

  • "Thou shall not steal."
  • "Thou shall not commit adultery."
  • "Honor thy father and thy mother."

Can the above commandments and the rest of them be for the enjoyment and benefit of man? The answer is a big yes. Who says so?

  • The Bible
  • The Church
  • The best of our race

And today, I believe it.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Copy of God

"God, created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them." (Genesis 1: 27)

I am created in the image of God. What is an image? I would say that an image is a visual representation of the original. The synonyms of image are: copy, picture, representation, icon, figure, likeness, illustration, reflection. It is mind boggling to think of myself as a picture, copy, icon of God. But scripture says this is who I am. Not just me, but every man and woman. What can limit the potential of man? Who can limit the potential of man? The answer to both questions is: Nothing and Nobody. The creator himself designed man for life everlasting.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Touching Jesus

"And wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were saved." (Mark 6: 56)

I thank you Jesus for your healing ministry. I have benefited from it and your healing hand sustains me every day. This is why even when I had health insurance, I knew that you are my best Doctor. I depend on you to keep me healthy enough to do the work you have allotted me every day. You have never failed in this. Even when I feel unwell and unable to work, I know that it is a downtime and I do not worry at all. Every day, you allow me to touch you in the Eucharist and as I do, you infuse new life into me. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

God created everything

"In the beginning, God created heaven and earth." (Genesis 1: 1)

God created everything and saw that everything he created was good. I have been impressed by the truth of scripture that God equipped the human mind with the ability to know him. This truth is confirmed by anthropology. Everywhere on earth, ancient man knew of the existence of God. He did not need teachers or missionaries to tell him about the creator of the universe. He looked, he saw, he observed and he believed. The Church teaches that this faith in God through his acts of creation is what makes it possible for man to accept revelation.

Thank you Lord for your goodness that you manifested everywhere in creation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

All things to all men

"Although I am not bound to anyone, I made myself the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible. To the weak I became a weak person with a view to winning the weak. I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them." (1 Corinthians 9: 22 – 23)

To paraphrase Paul: "I can glory in my weakness because through it I can be all things to all men. In the past, I tended to project a too strong a personality and it frightened and alienated people." Paul used his rich and varied background and experiences to win souls for Christ. To those who boast that they knew Jesus in the flesh and had seen him, he revealed his own credentials. To the weak who are depressed by their sins, he shows his uncomplimentary past and tells them how the grace of Jesus saved him from that fate. Biography can be a powerful tool in evangelization.

If Paul used his rich and varied background to promote Christ Jesus, so can I. I know what it is to be addicted to tobacco and alcohol. I have experienced ill health for a long period and I have also enjoyed the sweetness of complete recovery. I have been jobless for years and I have the experience of having three jobs at the same time. God's wonderful providence has permitted me to experience the ups and downs of life so that I can be all things to all men.

Lord Jesus, may your graces to me not be ineffective. Amen!

Monday, March 12, 2007

I am under compulsion

"Preaching the gospel is not a subject of a boast; I am under compulsion and have no choice. I am ruined if I do not preach it! If I do it willingly, I have my recompense; if unwillingly, I am nonetheless entrusted with a charge." (1 Corinthians 9: 16 – 19)

This is a classical statement of purpose: "I was created to do this."

My purpose is to learn and to teach. If I do this willingly, I have my recompense. Today, I try to do this willingly and with joy. Help me Lord never to boast about it.