Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Experience the power of the cross

“Father, in your plan of salvation your Son Jesus Christ accepted the cross and freed us from the power of the enemy.  May we come to share the glory of his resurrection, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.”  (Opening Prayer Holy Week Wednesday)

To experience the power of the cross, accept God’s will  for your life in everything.  When you accept your cross, you obtain your crown.  Your cross may come in the form of thorns.  Embrace these thorns so that you can relish your triumphs.  God promises an excellent plan for our lives:  "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)  This plan is a made of roses and thorns.  To enjoy the best of God, accept His full plan for your life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Approach the throne of God with confidence

“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”  (Hebrews 4: 16)

Mercy and grace are waiting for us at the throne of God.  We receive as much as we dare to ask.  We receive in direct proportion to our trust and confidence.  When we come to the table hungry, we enjoy the food more.  When we come to the throne of grace hungry for mercy and grace, we receive in proportion to our hunger and trust. 

What then can prevent us from coming to the throne of grace with confidence?  When we feel no need for mercy and grace, we are like the overfed dog with another plate of food shoved before it.  The dog looks away in disgust. 

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5: 6)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Fruit of the First Sorrowful Mystery

“Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matthew 26: 42)

Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane teaches us one of the most important lessons in the Bible.  When we are ready to submit our fears, pains and future to the will of God without conditions, we win.  When we say the Rosary, we reflect on this truth in the First Sorrowful Mystery.  Our Enemy holds us in captivity through fears.  The biggest fear for everybody is the fear of death.  Christ conquered this fear for us by dying.  But before He was crucified, the first step He took towards Calvary was to submit His will unconditionally to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.   The same spirit of submission was exemplified by Daniel when he brushed aside the fear of death by answering Nebuchadnezzar in similar words:  If we live we live; if we perish, we perish.  We also see this when the Prophet Habakkuk writes:  Harvest or no harvest, food or no food, we shall praise the Lord.

Why do we dread the will of God?  I foolishly imagine that God is not for me but against me.  Even as adults, we still think of the lamp and the light that God provides for us in His Ten Commandments as constraint to our liberty.  “Thou shall keep holy the Lord’s Day” is one commandment that changed my perspective on all the other 9 commandments.  My appreciation for the Lord’s Day keeps growing.  Then one day, I asked, “Could this commandment be typical of the other nine?”   Of course, I answered after a brief reflection. 
When we are confronted by the unthinkable, it is not only safe but prudent to pray with Christ, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matthew 26: 42)