Saturday, July 28, 2007

Word of God - More Precious than Gold

"The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver peices."
(Psalm 119: 72).

The word of God is life to our soul and body. It is more precious than all the gold and silver in the world. How do we know for certain that God's word is more precious than silver and gold? We know because if God says so, then it is true. We also see everyday the power of God's word to transform ordinary humans into extraordinary beings. There are abundant proofs from the lives of many people living around us. The heroic lives of those who had gone before us are recognized and many of them had been declared saints, ie our models and example. The life-changing principles in the Bible invite us to test and prove to our selves their vitality.

To discover the gold and silver in the word of God, read it as a personal letter. Read the word in order to act on its principles and so obtain what it promises.

How Apply the Word of God to your Problem:

1. Define the problem.

2. State two or more key words that are contained in your problem.

3. Get a Bible Concordance and list all the references to your keywords.

4. Take your Bible and write out all the references that bear directly on the problem.

Focus on a number of texts that apply directly to you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to apply the scripture.

This is step is critical: Understand what the scripture is saying to your actual situation. If you are not satisfied with the answer that you are getting, keep working on it until you are enlightened.

Believe the Bible text that God has revealed as answer to your problem. Belief may not come automatically. Like Peter, you can say again and again: "Lord I believe; increase my faith."

When you get a clear idea on concrete steps to take to solve your problem, act without hesitation. If you are not sure, wait until you get this clear signal. This is the most important step. "Faith that is firm is also patient." (Isaiah 28:16)

See books on: The Word of God

Friday, July 27, 2007

Be Prepared

"You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house" (Luke 12:39).

How would you react if you know for certain that you will be robbed next Monday at 4.00pm? Would you allow anyone to break into your house and rob you? One of the things that attracted me to the Boy Scouts as a young boy was their motto. I later learned of their reputation for courage. My expectations were not disappointed because as a Boy Scout, I learned one principle of courage that has remained with me till today. "BE PREPARED" is not just the motto of the Boy's Scout but may well be one of the most valuable principles of courage. I have always admired men of courage. As a kid growing up, I was deeply fascinated by the stories of Samson in the Bible. David's exploits with lions as a shepherd boy still captivate me. Jesus teaches that the way to be courageous is to be prepared and vigilant. (Luke 12:39).

I had often wondered whether I will ever be a man of courage like Samson, David and Winston Churchill. For a great part of my life, I had believed that courageous men are born and not made. One mid-September night, faced with a life and death situation, I discovered the power of Joshua 1:9 and similar scriptures to imbue us with courage when we need it most. “I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” Then I learned that the word of God makes us strong and courageous. To be prepared is to be ready with an appropriate word of God as answer to the event that demands courage. An example is what St Paul wrote to Timothy: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control”. (2 Timothy 1:7)

As Jesus Christ taught, we must be constantly vigilant with the word of God so that no situation can take us by surprise.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

St. Josemaira

"The Lord has sworn an oath and he will not retract; you are a priest forever, in the line of Melchisedech" (Psalm 110:4)

God chose St. José Maria Escriva as the instrument to found Opus Dei. Opus Dei is an enabling way of holiness in daily work and in the fulfillment of the ordinary duties of a Christian. José Maria taught that we can turn all the circumstances and events of our lives into opportunities to love and serve God and the Church. That is to say, we can come to trust divine providence in every circumstance of our life. We can do this because of who we are: children of God. A thorough understanding of what he called divine affiliation will change our entire perspective. His teachings inspire a life of joy and simplicity with faith and love. Many lay people all over the world follow this teaching enthusiastically today.

St. José Maria Escriva de Balaguer was born in Spain on 9 January 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood on 28 March 1925. He cherished the priesthood and like Melchisedech, he is a priest forever.

During his life, St. José Maria criss-crossed the world several times, giving many seminars and interviews. He wrote many books and speeches, all for the growth of Opus Dei and today the body has about 85,000 members in 80 countries. José Maria died in Rome on 26 June 1975. Pope John Paul II canonized him a saint on the 6th of October, 2002.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finding the good Job

"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. .... In vain you rise early and go late to rest, toiling for the bread you eat; he supplies the needs of those he loves.(Psalm 127: 1-2)

Finding, keeping and progressing in a good job constitute one of life's great blessings. A good job means many wonderful things in life. It means personal prosperity: a nice home, new cars and vacations. It allows you to give your children great opportunities in life. A good job signifies winning respect, leadership, being admired by people in your social life and business circles. With a good job, you enjoy maximum freedom: freedom from worries, fears, frustrations and failure. A good job means self-esteem. As you optimize your potentials, you discover more happiness and satisfaction from life. You are proud that you are able to do more for people who depend on you.

Everybody wants a good job. We all want the best that life can offer us. Getting that good job is like building a house. The Bible teaches us to build on rock so that the house can stand storms and tempests. God is the architect and the master builder of our jobs, our families and in fact of our lives. He has the blue print. Let us trust Him. "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain(Psalm 127: 1)

Read:The Richest Man in Babylon

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Gospel of St. John

"I was born and came into the world for this one purpose, to speak about the truth." (John 18:37)

The Gospel of St John is the outcome of a theological reflection on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the beginning of the book to the end, we see the author's faith shining through every verse. We meet Jesus in the Gospel as the Lamb of God. Jesus is also presented as the truth, the way, the life, the bread of life, etc.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Cross as a Magnate

"And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself" (John 12:32).

Christ promised to draw all men to Himself when he was lifted up. His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven completed the salvation of all mankind. The way is now open for Christ to lead all men to heaven.

Christ draws us to Himself. The attraction we have for Him and our love for Him are His gifts to us. When Christ was lifted up, He sent the Holy Spirit whose work is to draw all men to Christ. His graces are ever present, ever active in all of us. Our duty is to cooperate with Him. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ through the Word of God and through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

O Holy Spirit, we have heard your word. We thank you for it. We believe it. You are drawing us closer to Christ everyday. We believe in your loving presence in us. We love you. We surrender ourselves totally to you so that your grace may triumph in us. You can make us holy if you want or indeed whatever you want. We are all yours. Amen.

See: Navarre Bible: St John

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Grain of Wheat

"Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest" (John 12:24).

Just as a wheat grain must die on the ground before it yields a rich harvest, so must we die to old selves before we can yield a rich harvest of good works. Dying to our old selves means abandoning totally our old world ideas on key areas of life: family, health, money, job, tools and food. When these old ideas are flushed out, we replace them with Christ's ideas. The Christ-centered new ideas will influence a new way of seeing things and a new way of behaving.

But the process of dying, any dying is very painful. Christ compared the dying process to a woman in child-birth. She groans and cries because her time of trial has come. But then, the test is for a short time and she experiences the joy of suckling a new baby. Anyone who loves his life so much to want to keep his old self intact will lose it. Hating one's life means hating one's Christ-less ideas. Christ's ideas renew us and make new persons of us.

Lord Jesus, show us how to die to ourselves everyday.

See: Navarre Bible: St John