Friday, March 29, 2013

Effective Prayer of Petition

"In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence." ( Hebrews 5:7)

How did Jesus pray?
 * With loud cries
 * With tears
* With supplications
* With deep reverence

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I trust the Holy Spirit

"The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
release to the prisoners"  (Isaiah 61: 1)

The Spirit of the Lord can help me:

Preach the good news
Bind up the brokenhearted
Proclaim liberty to the captives
Release the prisoners

Most Holy and Adorable Spirit, I trust in you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My first Chrism Mass

I was at the Sacred Heart Cathedral downtown at 6.15 pm on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 for my first Chrism Mass.  It started at about 6.45 pm.  I was lucky to find a seat where the Maryanne Jurica and her 2 daughters and Mary Anne and son Julian were sitting.  The Mass not surprisingly was beautiful and emotionally charged.  I came to perceive for the first time why the Church calls the Mass a "Celebration."  It is indeed like a giant party.  When the procession of the deacons, priests, bishops, KC knights and altar servers moved slowly to the Altar.  Everybody stood up, not facing the Altar but facing the procession, with different liturgical vestments according to the ecclesial order.  I found myself watching more of the congregation than the procession.  There appeared almost an ecstatic joy  on the faces I saw.  Even kids were on tiptoes to catch the action.  Faces lit up when they see a priest or  deacon they recognize.  My face lit up too when I saw Deacons ES, JK, DJ from STM. It lit up again when I saw Msgr Bill Young.

 I came to perceive that perhaps God intended the Mass to be a huge family party.  The Celebration of the Mass involves the whole of the human persona.  The eyes are feasted as the colorful procession moved to the Altar.  The ears are tingled by beautiful choral music; the nostrils sniff pleasant incense.  At the appropriate time, the family lines up and march to the Altar to feed on the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ who is the Host of the party and the Food at the same time.   I thank God for the feast and the insight I got into His plan for the Mass.  One thing I also observed was that most people were dressed for a big celebration.  There were relatively few casuals.  The tone seemed to have been set by the rich liturgical vestments.  It is only a loving, gracious and generous Father that will say to His family: "Work for 6 days and take one day to celebrate a party.  The bill is on me."

The Power of the Cross

"Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20: 28)

Jesus Christ did not come to have servants but to be a servant.  He came to teach us the power of service and the power of the cross.

The power of the cross lifts us above all circumstances.  To accept God's will always and everywhere is to live in the power of the cross.  When you accept your cross, you obtain your crown.  When you embrace your thorns, you receive your triumphs.  Accept God's plan for your life and you live in the power of the cross.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The word of God is the sword of the spirit

"He made my mouth like a sharp-edged sword,
concealed me, shielded by his hand.
He made me a sharpened arrow,
in his quiver he hid me."  (Isaiah 49: 2)

The word of God is the sword of the spirit.(Ephesians 6: 17)  Morning after morning, my Teacher opens my ear to hear the word. (Isaiah 50: 4)  He uses His word to train my hand for battle and my fingers for war. (Psalm 18: 35)

Scripture captures the great mystery of the word of God in the passages below:

"Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty."  (Revelation 19: 15)

"But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked."  (Isaiah 11: 4)

"Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart."  (Hebrews 4: 12)

"Is not my word like fire—oracle of the LORD—
like a hammer shattering rock?" (Jeremiah 23: 29)

"For this reason I struck them down through the prophets,
I killed them by the words of my mouth;
my judgment shines forth like the light."  (Hosea 6: 5)

Monday, March 25, 2013

My heart does not fear

"Though an army encamp against me,
my heart does not fear;
Though war be waged against me,
even then do I trust."  (Psalm 27: 3)

The Lord Himself is a firewall around me.  Therefore, I do not fear.

"For though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit appears on the vine,
Though the yield of the olive fails
and the terraces produce no nourishment,
Though the flocks disappear from the fold
and there is no herd in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD
and exult in my saving God."  (Habakkuk 3: 17 - 18)\

I will rise above all circumstances.  I understand that times and seasons are God's appointment.  Jesus Christ is the Lord of history.  My destiny is in His hands.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4: 6 - 7)

"Fear is useless; what is needed is trust." (Luke 8: 50, Mark 5: 36)

"What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8: 31)

If Jesus Christ is with me, then the mission is accomplished.

"No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us." (Romans 8: 37)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Avoiding ADL, Anxieties of Daily Life

“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”  (Matthew 26: 42)

The fruit of the mystery of Jesus' prayer in His Agony in the Garden is to learn how to surrender to the will of the Father exactly the way Jesus did. I am reminded of this great prayer for serenity:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen."
There is a divine necessity that certain things must happen in our lives, be they joy or sorrow, health or sickness, poverty or riches.  Times and seasons are God's appointments.  The secret of contentment and living free from ADL, Anxieties of Daily Life is to know where you are on the continuum of times and seasons.  What cannot be changed must be accepted.  What can be changed must be altered with the grace of God.
"Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  (Luke 24: 26)
As this divine necessity applies to the Messiah, so does it to everyone of us. Amen!