Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Presence of Jesus

“But he said to them, ‘It is I.  Do not be afraid.’  They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.”  (John 6: 20 – 21)

As soon as the disciples discerned the presence of Jesus, they realized that they have arrived where a little while ago, they wondered if they would ever make it.  So it is in all our struggles in life.  When we become aware that Jesus is with us and for us, we know that all is well.  If Jesus is with us, the task is accomplished.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Consolation of the truth

The three scriptures below are the consolation of the truth from today's Mass reading - Second Friday of Easter

  1. "So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him." (Acts 5: 38 - 39) 
  2. "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? \ One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple. / I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!" (Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14)
  3. "When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do." (John 6: 5 - 6)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Many are the trials of the saints

“Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the Lord delivers him.”  (Psalm 34: 20)

Why are the saints not spared the troubles of life?  Why do they seem to have more problems in the areas of the 7-War Zones:  health, family, money, job, tools, food, and future?  This is a perplexing question.  Although Psalm 34:20 tells us that the Lord eventually delivers His holy ones from all troubles, the Psalm does not tell us why He allows them to go through the experience in the first place.   The Letter of St. James 1: 2-4  under the heading of “The Value of Trials and Temptation” gives us an acceptable answer:

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  (James 1: 2-4) (NABRE)

Trials are the preordained means through which the Lord imparts to us the strength to persevere.  Without perseverance, nobody can make it to heaven.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  (2 Corinthians 12: 9)
"I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me." (Philippians 4: 12 - 13)

Note that St. Paul says in Philippians 4: 13, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.”   The strength comes through perseverance in trials. 

The dictionary defines perseverance thus: 
1.        Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. , especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2.       Theol.  Continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Perseverance in trials is necessary for eternal salvation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Lord delivered me from my fears

“I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look for him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”  (Psalm 34: 4-5)

The Lord is delivering me from my fears, worries and doubts.  At first, I thought that this is a once and for all deliverance.  But I am finding out in this Easter season that it is a progressive deliverance.   Deliverance come as and when needed; it comes as and when we ask for it.  Deliverance comes in proportion to the trust we place on the Deliverer, Jesus.

In the desert, the Israelites were commanded to gather the manna they needed just for one day.  “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer.  Learning to live one day at a time is the best way to live.   Blessings and challenges are distributed day by day.   “So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself.  Each day has troubles enough of its own.”  (Matthew 6:34)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Continual Guidance 4

"Then the LORD will guide you always and satisfy your thirst in parched places, will give strength to your bones And you shall be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58:11)

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

"The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. 2 In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; 3 he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me." (Psalm 23: 1-4)