Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hope does not disappoint

"And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans5: 5)

The Navarre Bible Commentary has the following commentary on the above text:

"The love which St. Paul speaks of here, at one and the same time, God's love for us – manifested in his sending the Holy Spirit – and the love which God places in our soul to enable us to love him. The Second Council of Orange, quoting St. Augustine, explains this as follows: "To love God is entirely a gift of God. He, without being loved, loves us and enabled us to love him. We were loved when we were still displeasing to him, so that we might be given something whereby we might please him. So it is that the Spirit of the Father and the Son, whom we love with the Father and the Son, pours charity into our hearts"

Friday, February 01, 2008

Meribah and Massah

"Oh that today you would hear his voice: 'Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works." (Psalm 95: 8-9)

Meribah and Massah are types and shadows of testing ground in the desert. Some spots in the desert are harsher than others. In your desert, transition experience, watch out for the Meribah and the Massah. No matter how tough the situation, listen to what God is saying to you. Harden not your heart.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is the Lord with us or not?

"In those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?' ….'Is the Lord in our midst or not?'" (Exodus 17: 3-7)

Why did the Lord allow the people to be very thirsty without providing them water? God was testing them. The desert experience was essentially a period of training and testing for the people. But at Massah and Meribah, the people turned the table and tested God. If God was genuinely with them, he would surely have provided them with water. We too tend to equate God's presence in our lives with his gifts. If I have everything I need here and now, it means that God is with me. But when I experience delays, disappointments and obstacles, I ask: "Is the Lord with me or not?" The message of Exodus 17: 3-7 is that God is always with his people in thick or thin.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lent is a good time

"God of all compassion, Father of all goodness, to heal the wounds our sins and selfishness bring upon us, you bid us turn to fasting, prayer and sharing with our brothers. We acknowledge our sinfulness, our guilt is ever before us; when our weakness causes discouragement, let your compassion fill us with hope and lead us thru a Lent of repentance to the beauty of Easter Joy." (Mass Prayer in Lent)

The Church always sees God as Father of all goodness and God of compassion. Whenever I read of God's infinite mercy and goodness, it brings joy to my heart. At a time of great challenges, these perennial and healing truths are refuge and stronghold for me. Today is one such occasion. I am in great need to know intimately God's perfect love for me. Scripture says that "Perfect love drives out fear." I want God's perfect love for me to drive out the fear I feel on a project.

The above prayer promises that God heals the wounds that our sins and selfishness bring upon us by bidding us turn to fasting, prayer and sharing our resources with our brothers. Lent is a favorable time for doing this. During this holy period of self-denial, we are guaranteed that our prayers will be heard. Finally, we are told that God does not want us to be discouraged by our weaknesses. Lent is a good time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Overcome evil by good

"Father, you have taught us to overcome our sins by prayer, fasting and works of mercy. When we are discouraged by our weakness, give us confidence in your love ….." (Mass Opening Prayer in Lent)

Lex orandi, lex credendi. We believe that we can overcome our sins by prayer, fasting and good works of mercy. Lord, teach me the truth of this.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Promise and the Fulfillment

"I will prove my holiness through you …. I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins. I will give you a new spirit within you, says the Lord." (Ezekiel 36: 23-26)

This is a great promise. Let it be done to me, Father, according to your word.

Through Baptism, God poured clean water over us and washed away our sins. Through the sacrament of Reconciliation, he continues to maintain us free from sin and the attachment to sin. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like a house-cleaning agent.

God's promise to give us a new spirit was first fulfilled at Pentecost and then at our Confirmation.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lost and Found

"But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found." (Luke 15: 32)

God our Father is a merciful, compassionate, long-suffering, faithful, omnipotent and great God who desires the lost to be found and the dead to sin to come to life of grace.