Saturday, February 24, 2018

This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.

“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.”  (Genesis 22: 1 -  2).

Abraham did not merit the title, Father of Faith just by being a friend of God.  He underwent in his life one severe test after another. And he passed every one.

"I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”  (Genesis 22: 12).

The Scriptures the Holy Spirit offers us daily during the 40 days of Lent are full of stories of men and women that accomplished prodigious feats through faith.  Biographies and teaching by examples are powerful features of  divine pedagogy.

"In your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”  (Genesis 22:  17).

One man's obedience could be the cause of great blessings to millions.  Abraham is one example.  The Blessed Virgin Mary by her obedience undid the knots tied by Eve's disobedience. (Cf Genesis 3: 15).

In the Transfiguration, God urged us to listen attentively to His Son Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12: 2).
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  (Mark 9:  2 - 10).

The beloved Son then gives us this great lesson:

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (Matthew 6: 33).
This is true!

"God our Father, you bid us listen to your Son, the well-behaved. Nourish our hearts on your word,
purify the eyes of our mind, and fill us with joy at the vision of your glory.
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. Amen."

Friday, February 23, 2018

You are God’s treasured possessions.

"And today the LORD is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you; and provided you keep all his commandments, he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God, as he promised.”  (Deuteronomy 26: 18 - 19).

Who are we?
+ God's very own people
+ Special treasure
+ God's treasured possessions
+ Holy people

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."  (1 Peter 2: 9).

How do we Christians live up to such high ideals?

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  (Acts 1: 8).

The Holy Spirit is our hope.  Not just in being Christians but in acting as Christians.

"I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.  But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law."  (Galatians 5: 16 - 18).

Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ, Wisdom of God the Father!
"Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6: 2).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The sinner cannot leave his sin without the initiative and grace of God.

"As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but rather that he turn back and live."  (Ezekiel 33: 11).

Today is Friday, in the first Week of Lent 2018, Day 10 of 40.

The sacred word today is heavy on the theme of metanoia.  Metanoia means conversion, a deep change of heart and a firm decision to return to God.  St Ignatius Loyola,  said that a sinner cannot leave his sin and return to God without the initiative and  grace of God.

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."  (Philippians 2: 13).

“Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
‘Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert, where your ancestors tested and tried me and saw my works for forty years."  (Hebrews 3: 8 -  10).

Meribah was the desert place of testing, the combat zone between God and His people.  God tested the people to see if they had an obedient heart.   The people tried God by their obstinacy.  There ensued a battle of two strong wills.

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions."  (Psalm 51: 3).

“In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."  (2 Corinthians 6: 2).

10 days gone already in Lent 2018!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

You are Christ the Son. You are Peter the Rock.

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  (Matthew 16: 18).

Today is the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.  Chair here means Cathedra, a symbol of Authority of Peter and his successors as supreme Pastor and Teacher of the Church.  Why does the Pope have this Authority?  Because it is the will and plan of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church.

Is the Pope a perfect man?
"But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”  (Luke 22: 32 NLT).

What is the core responsibility of the Petrine Ministry?
"After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him."  (John 21: 15).

"Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied: You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church."  (Matthew 16: 16, 18).

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The word of God came to Jonah a second time.

"The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”  (Jonah 3: 1 - 2)

The word came to me too a second time.  The Parable of the Sower reminds me of the time when the word of God came to me the first time.

"The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit."  (Matthew 13: 22).

In between the first and second call of Jonah, what happened?
Jonah underwent purification through hardship.  In the belly of the whale, he was thoroughly refined and dazzled by the illumination of divine truths.

Do you hear any call to serve God? Do not be afraid. Do not harden your heart.  To serve the Lord is to reign.  He who calls you is faithful.  He will anoint you, qualify you and equip you with all the wherewithal for the job.  All that is required of the sower is to scatter the seed.  How the seed grows is not his business. God takes care of the rest.

Monday, February 19, 2018

I believe that You are a Father to me at every moment of my life.

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him."  (Matthew 6: 8).

Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent, Day 7 of 40 of Lent 2018. Consider  these truths of the Christian faith:
+ God knows everything.
+ God is able
+ God is willing
+ God is your Father
+ The Father knows exactly what we need and when we need it.
Why does this matter?  Because eternal life is knowing the Father, the One true God and Jesus Christ His Only Son. (John 17: 3).

"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."  (Hebrews 4: 16).

How about a little self-talk like this:
#1. I believe that You are a Father to me at every moment of my life, and that I am Your Child!
I believe that You love me with an infinite love!

#2.  I believe that You are watching over me night and day and that not a hair falls from my head without Your permission!

#3.  I believe that, in Your infinite Wisdom, You know better than I what is good for me.
I believe that, in Your infinite power, You can bring good even out of evil.

Abba Father, grant us through the discipline of Lent that we may learn to moderate our earthly desires and learn to love the things of heaven. Amen.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

You did it for them. In fact you were doing it for Me.

"Amen, I say to you:
Whatever you did for one of the least of my brethren,
you did it for me, says the Lord.
Come, you blessed of my Father,
receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  (Matthew 25: 40, 34 RM).

These are some of the least of the brethren of Jesus:
+ Homeless
+ Hungry
+ Refugees
+ Imprisoned
+ Sick

The reward of ministering to them is huge.
"Come, you blessed of my Father,
receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  (Matthew 25: 34).

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”  (Leviticus 19: 18).

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." (John 13: 17)