Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Purpose

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

Jesus defined His purpose on earth as bearing testimony to the truth. The truth is the business of these pages.

Jesus promises:” I have opened a door in front of you which no one can close" (Revelation 3:8). This promise is for all of us and the internet could be that door. The net provides us with a stupendous opportunity to spread and receive the healing truth of Jesus Christ.

This Blog shares personal reflections on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"Go and preach to all nations: baptize them and teach them all I have commanded you"(Matthew 28: 19-20).

MISSION STATEMENT: I learn and I communicate the Truth

Friday, August 10, 2007

"..and a sword will pierce your soul too "

" Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Look, he is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed - and a sword will pierce your soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare.'"(Luke 2: 33-35)NJB

Mary heard explicitly the prophecy of the part she was to play in the life and death of the 'suffering servant of Yahweh.' The sword which would pierce the heart of Jesus would not spare that of Mary. Mary must have repeated her words at the annunciation: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word."

The Church expounds in The Documents of Vatican II (Lumen Gentium): "When Mary presented Jesus to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed" (cf Luke 2:34-35).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jesus on Prayer

God provided us with prayer as one of the tools to help us achieve our life's purpose. Jesus' teaching on prayer is precise. What are the lessons from Jesus' teaching on prayer?

* Prayers of petition show our dependence on God as supreme provider of all good things. It is a very important subject to Jesus.

* God answers prayers.

* Jesus committed Himself that prayers in His name will be answered.

What are the conditions for appropriating Christ's promises on prayer?

1. Listen and understand what God's word is saying to your need.

2. Believe in God's promise.

3. Obey the word, i.e. act on the word.

Books on Prayer

Jesus on Prayer
"Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always find; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him." (Matthew 7: 7-9)

"Give us today our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11)

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:9)

"Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and his righteousness, and all other things will be given you as well."(Matthew 6:33)

“And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18: 19)

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for it." (Luke 11:13)

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they shall always pray and never be discouraged." (Luke 18: 1-8)

"And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer you will receive." (Matthew 21: 22)

"I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. (Mark 11:24)

"Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back." (Luke 6:38)

"Whatever you ask for in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13)

"If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14)

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it." (John 15: 7)

"The Father will give you anything you ask him in my name." (John 16:23)

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)

"When that day comes, you will ask in my name; and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you, because the Father himself loves for loving me and believing that I come from God." (John 16: 26-27)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

God's Plan

"Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you, Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

What will you do if you know for certain that God has a plan for your life? Seek it till you find the plan. God's word tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that God's plan for our welfare is a reality and that the plan is good.

Our welfare is first and foremost our spiritual welfare, that is, the eternal life that Jesus gave His life to bring us. God has a plan on how we are to obtain and enjoy this life. Our welfare also concerns our physical welfare: family, health, job, money, food and all the things we need for our life. God has a plan for each of us concerning these things.

If you are going to build a home, you need good tools for a solid foundation. If you are going to build your future, you need the best tools. God provides for our welfare through His plans. These plans are like excellent tools. We use the tools to find and achieve our purpose in life. Some of these tools are listed below. When we use these tools faithfully, God's plan of peace and prosperity for us will unfold.

· The Eucharist

· The Sacrament of Reconciliation

· Prayer

· The Word of God

· Ministry Service

· Examination of Conscience

· Spiritual Direction

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mary and Pentecost

"With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.(Acts 1: 14)

Mary was over-shadowed by the Holy Spirit at the incarnation of the Son of God. She was present with the Disciples of Christ at Pentecost. With them, she was filled again with the Holy Spirit. With this gift, Mary was led to the fullness of the truth about her Son and his mission.

Leo XIII wrote in his Encyclical, Adiutricem Populi, of September 5, 1895,"With a generous heart Mary undertook and discharged the duties of her high but laborious office, the beginnings of which were consecrated in the Cenacle. With wonderful care she nurtured the first Christians by her holy example, her authoritative counsel, her sweet consolation, her fruitful prayers. She was, in very truth, the Mother of the Church, the teacher and queen of the Apostles, to whom, besides, she confided no small part of the divine mysteries which she kept in her heart."

Monday, August 06, 2007

St. Paul

"Go and preach to all nations: baptize them and teach them all I have commanded you"(Matthew 28: 19-20).

Paul pondered the meaning of these words for his life. He understood the specific demands of Christ in calling him to be an apostle of the gentiles and responded fully to its pressures.

Paul's autobiography in his letter to the Galatians reveals the depth of his commitment.

"But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood"(Galatians 1:15-16).

PAUL: The Man

Paul, a child of Jewish parents was born a Roman citizen in Tarsus. He became a tentmaker by profession and studied under Gamaliel. Paul opposed vehemently the young Christian movement and persecuted the Christians. On his way to Damascus to arrest the Christians, he encountered Christ Jesus. This incident marked his conversion. After this event, Paul traveled to Jerusalem where he met the apostles. From there, he began his missionary journeys. He traveled to Europe and Asia Minor. He was the apostle of the gentiles and was responsible for the conversion of thousands of people. Paul wrote fourteen of the New Testament letters. Paul and Peter were arrested in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded while Peter was crucified upside down.

Sean Kelly & Rosemary Rogers in their book: SAINTS PRESERVE US! describses Paul humorously thus: "He was a convert and, like many converts, 'more Catholic than the pope.' In Paul's case, the pope was Saint Peter, with whom he frequently disagreed. Paul was God's own CEO, a motivator, an organizer, a hands-on manager, a tireless leader-by-example, a Take-Charge Guy with his eye on the Big Picture. He bought into a tiny Hebrew cult, and personally transformed it into a Multi-National, the biggest and richest in the world."

Fulton Sheen wrote in Treasure in Clay on the conversion of St Paul: "It is hard for you to kick against the goad.' In other words, 'It's no use trying to resist my grace. For a long time I have had great things in store for you. Try no longer to be a rebel. I have marked you out to be a great apostle. It is hard. I have struck you down as a rebel, but I will raise you up as a chosen vessel unto me." Paul is the patron saint of public relations and tentmakers and his feast day is June 29.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

St. Patrick

"He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 24: 5-6)

Every 17th of March is remembered as St Patrick's Day in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and many other countries. Why is this saint who was born in 386 still remembered and honored today? St Patrick is remembered in history for bringing Christianity to Ireland. He is the patron saint of Ireland, a small country with great influence in the world. Ireland is best known for its missionary spirit. St Patrick survived many hardships and achieved his life's purpose because of a spirit of strong faith and tenacity.

Patrick was abducted from his home in Kilpatrick in England at the age of sixteen and enslaved in Ireland. He worked as a herdsman for six years before he got an opportunity to escape into Gaul, modern France. There he prepared for the priesthood and was ordained a priest. After his ordination, Patrick returned to Ireland and worked for the conversion of the Irish people.

St. Patrick died in 461. March 17 is the feast of St Patrick. March 17 is also my birthday. I was born on St. Patrick’s Day in St. Patrick’s parish at a time when the feast of St. Patrick was a school holiday in my country. But I was not baptized Patrick but Emmanuel. I had often wondered why. I never had the opportunity to ask my parents before they died. Most probably the reason may be that my parents chose the name Emmanuel before I was born.

Prayer of St Patrick

Christ is with me,

Christ is before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.