Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Sacrifice of Praise

"He that offers praise as a sacrifice glories me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." (Psalm 50: 23)

What is a sacrifice of praise? A sacrifice of praise is the sacrifice of thanksgiving. It is the Eucharist, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, renewed daily at Mass. Why is this sacrifice the most pleasing to God? This is because in the sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus Christ is the priest, the Lamb of God and the altar of sacrifice. Everything is pure and perfect and this is why a sacrifice of Thanksgiving (Eucharist) honors God more than any other.

Friday, January 04, 2008


"If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead – for Yahweh's mouth has spoken." (Isaiah 1: 19-20)

Obedience to God's law brings peace, prosperity and security.

In the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, we ask God for the gift on an obedient heart. We ask Mary, the obedient handmaid of the Lord to intercede for us so that we may grow in obedience.

Father, I am willing to obey. Bend my will to your law. Create in me a new spirit.

Rebellion brings fear, pain, poverty and insecurity.

The life of David proves the truth of Isaiah 1: 19-20. When David obeyed, God was with him and for him. When he disobeyed God, he ate the bread of wrath and drank the water of bitterness.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Protect Your Church

"Lord, watch over your Church, and guide it with your unfailing love. Protect us from what could harm us and lead us to what will save us. Help us always, for without you we are bound to fail……" (Mass Prayer in Lent)

In the above prayer, the Church bares its soul to God and says it as she feels and believes it to be. Let us look at the components of the prayer.

Church: Ekklesia, sacred assembly, people of God. Jesus Christ says that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is there.

"Guide your Church with your unfailing love" - It is very comforting to know that God's love cannot fail. It is not like human love which is constrained by the weakness of flesh and blood.

"Protect us from what could harm us" These could be: false prophets, heretical ideas, associations, books, movies, places, media programs, entertainments, food, etc.

"Lead us to what will save us" There are: the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Word of God, Prayer, Ministry, etc.

"Help us always" – Help us right here, right now and every time and every place.

"Without you, we are bound to fail" – God is the source of all inspiration, power and success.

The constituent parts of this prayer flow from scripture. Lex orandi, lex credendi. The rule of prayer is the rule of belief. What does the Church believe? Watch her lips as she prays.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pagan Obsession

"Father of mercy, hear our prayer. May the grace of this mystery prevent us from becoming absorbed in material things ……." (Mass Prayer in Lent)

How comforting it is to be reminded that our God is Father of mercy. We know that he hears our prayer because Jesus has taught us so. But what we don't fully appreciate is how quickly and how deeply we can be absorbed by the material culture surrounding us. The antidote to his evil is ever present and accessible: the Eucharist, the great mystery of our faith.

The Eucharist is the great mystery that delivers us from pagan obsession with:

  • What to eat and what to drink
  • What to wear
  • Where to live
  • Money

As frequent Communion delivers us from all the above, it transforms our heart and mind to seek God's kingdom and justice everywhere and every time.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Be Compassionate

"Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6: 36-37)

Your word, Lord, is spirit and life.

Holy Spirit, come and help me to understand these words.

Make me compassionate. Teach me not to judge, criticize and condemn. Teach me to be forgiving. Amen.

The ABC of Mercy:

A – Ask for mercy

B – Be merciful

C – Completely trust Jesus for mercy

Monday, December 31, 2007

Redemption from sin2

"O my Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and show faithful love towards those who love you and who observed your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and rulings and turned away from them." (Daniel 9: 4-5)

In the Lent of 1999, I confided the reflection below to my journal on the above scripture.

"Paraphrase what God is saying to me in the above text:

I am the Lord, your God. I am great and to be feared. I keep the covenant and show faithful love to those who love me and who observe my commandments. You have sinned, you have done wrong, you have acted wickedly, you have betrayed my commandments and rulings and turned away from them.

Lesson: I started the first of March with great excitement about my forthcoming birthday on the 17th of the month. This is going to be a special birthday – a jubilee. I asked God for blessings and birthday gifts. In his word to me in Psalm 26: 11- 12, "But I walk without blame; redeem me, be gracious to me! My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless he Lord," and in Daniel 9: 4 – 10, God is saying to me that the greatest gift is redemption from sin.

God's greatest gift to us in Christ Jesus is redemption from sin. Sin deprives us of divine filiation. Freedom from sin means living in grace. This is God's greatest gift to man. When we live in grace, in divine filiation, then all things are ours. We discover and feel the truth of Christ's word in Matthew 6: 33-34:

"Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own."

Seek first redemption and then all things are yours. This has been the consistent message of this Lent. Break the cycle of sin, slavery and suffering through the abundant grace of God at this season. This is also the means of getting what you want in life.

"Praise and honor to you Lord Jesus Christ. Your words, Lord, are spirit and life; you have the message of eternal life." (John 6: 63, 68)

Christ's words become spirit and life to me when I act on them in obedience of faith.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Redemption from sin

"God our Father, teach us to find new life through penance. Keep us from sin, and help us live by your commandments of love …. " (Mass Prayer in Lent)

During Lent, we find new life through penance. We ask God to keep us from sin. Sin is the enemy of our relationship with God. If through God's mercy, we are free from sin, then we can always call God our Father. Redemption is redemption from sin so that we can live with the confidence of adopted children of God.

"Redeem me, and have mercy on me; my foot is set on the right path, I worship you in the great assembly." (Psalm 26: 11-12)