Saturday, March 03, 2018

How awesome is this place. It is the House of God.

“Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”  (John 2: 16).

We see Jesus displaying righteous anger when He witnessed unrighteous activities inside the Temple.  How far are you prepared to go to defend the sacredness of the House of God.  Many people are prepared to show some spirited zeal to defend the honor of their mother.  What would you do if you see someone in your parish drinking beer with a chalice?

Let us remind ourselves what the Bible says about the House of God:

"He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."  (Genesis 28: 17).

"They are to make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.  According to all that I show you regarding the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of its furnishings, so you are to make it." (Exodus 25: 8 - 9).

"Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."  (Exodus 40: 35).

"And he said to them, “It is written:
"My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of thieves.”  (Matthew 21: 13).

Jesus has left us an example of how to honor the House of God.  Watch out for an opportunity to do the same.

Friday, March 02, 2018

I have sinned.

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”  (Luke 15: 18 - 19).

On Saturday, March 3rd, Day 18 of Lent 2018, the Scriptures invite us to know the most merciful Heart of God the Father and to come to Him with confidence to ask for mercy.

"Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy,
And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our iniquities? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins."  (Micah 7: 18 - 19).

God will show us wonderful signs of His love and mercy during Lent 2018.

What is our response?

"Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts, Who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills, Who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with mercy and compassion."  (Psalm 103: 1 - 3).

Glory to You, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

They sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver.

"They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver."  (Genesis 37: 28).

Who do you know that was sold for thirty pieces of silver?  (Matthew 26: 15).

What do you know about Divine Providence?

"Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end." (CCC 322).

"Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures. To human beings God grants the ability to cooperate freely with his PLANS." (CCC 323).

"The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal LIFE."  (CCC 324).

Many years after Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, Joseph confirmed the mysterious and powerful providence of God:

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."  (Genesis 50: 20).

"When the LORD called down a famine on the land and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them, Joseph, sold as a slave."  (Psalm 105: 16 - 17).

"Father in Heaven, the hand of your loving kindness powerfully yet gently guides all the moment of our day. Go before us in a pilgrimage of life, anticipate our needs and prevent our falling.  Send your spirit to unite us in faith that sharing in your service we may rejoice in your presence. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.  Amen."

First Friday in March

First Friday in March, 2018.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 3rd month of the year 2018, we look at Promise #3.

#3.  I will console them in all their troubles.

In Promise #3, Jesus does not promise a trouble free life.  "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  (John 16: 33 ).
Troubles are opportunity to trust Jesus more. "I promise to be your strength in proportion to the trust you place on Me."

Remind the Lord often of these promises.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of March, 2018.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How do you make your leaves stay green?

"This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from  the  Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land."  (Jeremiah 17: 5 - 6)

Where is your security?

The Bible warns us not to put our trust in human beings or in princes or in horses and chariots (tanks, fighter bombers, etc), or bank accounts and investments. (Cf Psalm 118: 8; 146: 3)

On Day 16 of 40 of Lent 2018, the word of God asks us: Who do you trust?

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit."  (Jeremiah 17: 5 - 8 NLT)

Lord direct our hearts to Yourself.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Why should anybody choose to suffer and die for a cause that is a lie?

"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).

Today is Wednesday, February 28, Day 15 of 40 in Lent 2018.

Jesus said the above to his disciples in the earshot of the mother of the sons of Zebedee who had just requested the most prestigious positions in Jesus' cabinet for her two boys.  “You do not know what you are asking." Jesus told the lady.  My Kingdom will be very different from that of Herod, Nebuchadnezzar or Augustus Caesar.  There will be a lot of blood, suffering and death in what I am setting up.

You who desire to follow Jesus, do you know what you wish? (Matthew 20: 21).  “You do not know what you are asking."  (Matthew 20: 22).  Do you? Have you counted the cost of discipleship?

The 2016  movie, "Silence" by Martin Scorsese is the story of three young Jesuit missionaries who traveled to Japan from Europe in the 17th century to evangelize the Japanese. They foresaw clearly that they would be martyred.  They eventually made many converts to Christianity.  What impressed me most in the movie is that they did not hide the cost of discipleship to their young Japanese Christian family.  Most of these Christians with the three young missionaries paid the ultimate price for their faith in Jesus.  Their persecutors taunted them with the cruel irony that the only answer to expect from their Jesus was SILENCE!

Who will leave a comfortable life to embrace a missionary life in a far flung foreign country and culture?  If the Promise of Jesus is not true, there will be no missionaries, no Church.

"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).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Practice what you teach.

"The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore observe and obey what they teach you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they teach."(Matthew 23: 2-3)

Reading leads to forgetfulness. Practice leads to remembrance. The disciples were to imitate Jesus and teach their new converts to practice the faith. Practice grows faith and leads to experiential knowledge.

"But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 19).

Lord, help us to believe Your word; to teach what we believe and to practice what we teach.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Learn a very simple way to forgive.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven."  (Luke 6: 37).

Which is easier for you? Not to judge or condemn? How about  forgiving those who offend you?

It does seem that to forgive an offense is the toughest for most people.  I tumbled into a pure grace of how to forgive and to forgive.

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5: 44).

When I was in the corporate world, I took a secured loan to build a personal home. I had no experience about building.  I found a contractor and gave him 50% of the money.  He dug the foundation, laid a few blocks and disappeared with the money. I was devasted. What do I do? Prosecute him?  Ask friends at Police Headquarters to deal ruthlessly with him?   A tiny voice told me to leave him alone and pray for him.  I took the advice and prayed for him daily until the house was finished 6 months later.

On another occasion, three senior managers in the company I worked for many years conspired against me and had me fired. The same voice asked me to pray for them. I prayed for them by name for about 5 years before the pain was completely gone.  I have used the same tool of prayer again and again and it works.  Once you receive an offense, start immediately to pray for the person. Continue praying for the offender until you feel that you are healed.

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."