Saturday, January 13, 2018

Behold the Lamb of God. Behold your Savior!

“Behold, the Lamb of God.” (John 1: 36).

You may consider the lamb as little animal for sacrifice. Do not forget that Jesus was born in the manger where lambs for sacrifices were born. (Cf Luke 2: 6).

When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he announced enthusiastically, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

Which of this would describe how you may introduce Jesus to your friends:
#1. Behold my Savior and Redeemer.
#2.  Behold the King of Israel.
#3.   Behold the carpenter from Nazareth.
#4. Behold the Great Rabbi.
#5. Behold the Son of God and Son of Mary.

Decide today who Jesus is for you.

Friday, January 12, 2018

I desire mercy and loving-kindness and not sacrifice.

"Jesus heard this and said to them [that], “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  (Mark 2:  16 - 17).

The above conversation took place between Jesus and the Pharisees in the house of Matthew, the tax collector who would become the Evangelist.

We read in the same passage:
"While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him."  (Mark 2: 15).

What do you think?
The Church is a 5-star hotel for saints.
The Church is a hospital for sinners.

Let us consider a few Scriptures on the Mercy of God:

" For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."  (Hosea 6: 6).

"Blessed are the merciful: for  they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5: 7).

"But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’  you would not have condemned the guiltless." (Matthew 12: 7).

The word Mercy is found in the Bible countless times.  Abba Father Himself is described as the "Father of mercy and God of all consolation."  (2 Corinthians 1: 3).  I like this so much that I use it every morning when I invoke Abba Father for His blessings for the day.

In the Heart of Jesus, we find abundant mercy waiting for everyone.  To receive mercy is as simple as ABC:
+Ask for Mercy.
+Be Merciful.
+Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

We don't want to be exceptional. We want a king.

"We too must be like all the nations, with a king to rule us, lead us in warfare, and fight our battles.”   (1 Samuel 8: 20).

In the above passage, Israel rejects their eternal destiny: to be an exceptional, a people unique to God. It was a most uncomfortable place to be.  It is like asking you to sit in the front row during the Sunday Mass.  God wanted a people peculiar to Himself. The people wanted just to be like their neighbors.  The pastor's kid does not want anybody to recognize him as such.

"And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.' This is the message you must give to the people of Israel."  (Exodus 19: 6;  Revelation 1: 6).

Thanks but No Sir.  We just want to be like our neighbors.

The Church is an exceptional People. Yet, we like to compromise with the world on:
* Divorce
* Abortion
* Same sex marriage
* Sunday Observance

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will."  (Romans  12: 2).

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jesus touched the leper and then healed him.

"A leper came to him [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”  The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean."  (Mark 1: 40 - 42).

Jesus touched this leper and then healed him.

A friend of mine who had a medical emergency and was taken to the Emergency Room in a large city. During his 9 hours wait to see a doctor, he mingled with the downtrodden, the homeless, the deranged, etc.  The experience changed him.  Like Jesus, he felt he had touched the "leper".  Have you touched the leper?

The Church reminds us of many opportunities to touch the "leper" through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy:

Corporal Works of Mercy:
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the homeless
5. Visit the sick
6. Visit the imprisoned
7. Bury the dead

"Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”  (Mark 1:  41).

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

How Jesus prays.

"Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed."  (Mark 1: 35).

Let us consider Jesus habit of Prayer:

Jesus prays:
#1. At a Sacred Time (Probably 5 am).
#2. In a Sacred Place (Deserted Place).
#3. With a Sacred Intention (Conversing with the Father).

The above 3 habits of Sacred Time, Sacred Place and Sacred Intention are the Best Practice in Christian tradition in Prayer. They are 3 habits of the saints.

Don’t allow anybody to deceive you with the falsehood that you are not a morning person. My good friend who is not a "morning person" works for a multinational company that operates 24 hours. He is always ready to jump out of bed any time they call to go to work.  But if it is to get up early for prayer or Church, you are quickly reminded  that he is not a "morning person".

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."  (Romans  12: 2).

Monday, January 08, 2018

This is a new teaching with authority.

"Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.  (Mark 1: 21).

Jesus as a good and practicing Jew who observed all the Law of Moses especially those that deal with Sabbath observance.  His disagreement with the teachers of the Law gave Him the opportunity to enlarge the Law and bring out the true intentions of God with regard to the Sabbath. Jesus did not come to abolish the Sabbath. The Sabbath transferred to Sunday in the Christian era to celebrate in perpetuity the Resurrection of Jesus the Redeemer.

How faithful are you with your Sunday observance?  Do you know that next to the New Law of Love, KEEP HOLY THE LORD’S DAY may be the most important Law in the Book.  How can you love unless the Holy Spirit of love lives in you. How are you refreshed with the Holy Spirit except through His word and worship in community on Sundays?
Beware of creating your own rules.

"The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes."  (Mark 1: 22).

Jesus taught the word of God with disarming simplicity.  He did not attend the Rabbinic school of the type of Rabbi Gamaliel. He was anointed with Holy Spirit to teach.
You too can receive the same anointing.  Teachers are needed in the Church. Jesus is hiring every day.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The Baptism of the Lord Jesus.

"After the Lord was baptized, the heavens were opened,
and the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and the voice of the Father thundered:
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."  (Cf Matthew 3: 16 - 17).

Today is the Feast of Baptism of the Lord, the end of the Christmas Season.

"I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”  (Mark 1: 8).

"So they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit.... Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6: 5, 8).

On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord we reflect briefly on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Abundant life (Cf John 10: 10).
He is the Principal Agent in the Evangelization ministry of the Church.
He is the Source of inspiration and power.

Do you want to be on fire like St Stephen? Then pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Pray for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.  It shall be given to you.