Thursday, October 05, 2017

O Israel, what does your God require of you today?

"During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed:
“Justice is with the Lord, our God;
and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors, have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him.
We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God, nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us.
From the time the Lord led our ancestors out of the land of Egypt
until the present day, we have been disobedient to the Lord, our God, and only too ready to disregard his voice."  (Baruch 1: 15 - 19).

What is going on here? The Israelites had lived outside the Law for a long time.  The prophets and priests sent to them by the Lord Yahweh spoke and screamed but to deaf ears.
A wise proverb says: "Everyday for the thief but one day for the owner of the house."  When God decided to strike, it was by the way of a very long and painful exile. Consider our country here and now.

Weeks after the 9/11 event, the significance and message of the historic event was accurately discerned by many people. Then the empire struck back by means of the powerful Media. The Church was tongue-tied and could not fight back. The opportunity of a Revival riding on the back of 9/11 was lost. But our God is a God of a Second Chance.

O Israel, what does Your God require of you?
Ask for Mercy.
Be Merciful.
Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.

"Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8: 10).

The power of joy is unbelievable.  Do you know that you can have a powerful ministry of joy or cheerfulness?

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"  (Philippians 4: 4).  Joy is contagious. Spread it freely.

St Philip Neri, gifted evangelizer, also known as Apostle of Rome, founder of the the Oratorians was noted for his ministry of cheerfulness. Just by being joyful and cheerful, he attracted many souls to Christ. Joyfulness or cheerfulness is so easy to notice in people. This is why many spiritual writers have identified it as the sure mark of the Holy Spirit in a soul.

"This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength."  (Isaiah 30: 15)

So in quietness, confidence, joy and cheerfulness shall lie your strength.
Do you want to try the Joy Therapy?

"The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart." (Psalm 19: 9).
If you want Joy to permeate your personality, immerse yourself in the word of God. The Holy Spirit will notice and come with other gifts.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Francis, repair My Church.

“Why do you look sad? If you are not sick, you must be sad at heart.” (Nehemiah 2: 2).

King Artexerxes asked his page, Nehemiah the above question?
Who is Nehemiah? Nehemiah is one of the men God raised up in the Babylonian captivity to shepherd His people in their transition from slavery to freedom. Unlike Ezra the priest, Nehemiah's gift is administration or governance.

"Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!" (Psalm 42 :11 NLT).

"But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God!"  (Psalm 42: 11 TLB).

"If it please the king, send me to the city of my ancestors and I will rebuild it." (Nehemiah 2: 5).
This is Nehemiah's answer to King Artexerxes.

"How could we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten!"  (Psalm 137: 4).

Today, October 4th is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.  Jesus said to him: "Francis, repair My Church."

Monday, October 02, 2017

Jesus instructed them on what to take for the Journey.

"When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him."  (Luke 9: 51 - 52).

Where there is a Journey, there is a Destination. Biblical narratives are filled with Journeys.  Consider a few:

"Leave your country, your kindred and your father's house for a country which I shall show you." (Genesis 12: 1).

"With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses."  (Numbers 21: 4).

"But the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat or the journey will be too much for you!"  (1 Kings 19: 7).

"He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts."  (Mark 6: 8)

Our life by divine providence is a Journey. A Journey where the destination is Heaven and the Way is Jesus Himself. It is a long and hazardous Journey where the sick and feeble die on the road.  The Lord Himself has provided food for the Journey, His own Body and Blood.  "The Eucharist is food for the Journey."  (St Ignatius of Antioch).

Where are you today in your life cycle? Quo vadis?

“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (Numbers  21: 4 -  5 RM)

"Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this delay, disappointment, obstacle to offer, let it become for me like a spiritual drink for the Journey."

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The angels of the little ones behold the Face of God continually.

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."  (Matthew 18: 3 - 5)

Jesus praises the humility of a little child.  What is humility?
Just like love, humility is patient and kind.  Humility is not jealous, conceited or proud. It does not keep a record of wrongs. In short, humility is love. 💟.

St Augustine says that Humility is the queen of virtues. He added that you can still get into Heaven by breaking every Commandment in the Book. But you can never get into Heaven without Humility.

Today is the Memorial of Our Guardian Angels.

"O God, who in your unfathomable Providence are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us,
hear our supplication as we cry to you, that we may always be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever."  (Collect - Feast of the Guardian Angels).