Saturday, August 25, 2018

Do you also want to leave?

"Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  (John 6: 67).

Today thousands are leaving the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of the Eucharist and heading to New Age, Yoga, Eastern Mystery Religions, so-called non-denominational churches but in reality denominational churches of the pastors.

There is no surprise about all this because "Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him."  (John 6: 64).

But those sanctified with faith by the Holy Spirit will respond like Peter: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”  (John 6: 68 - 69).

I too have come to know and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  I raise up my hand and declare with Joshua:
“If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  (Joshua 24: 15).

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Matthew 12: 30).

Friday, August 24, 2018

Practice what you preach.

"They preach but they do not practice."  (Matthew 23: 3).

Jesus tackles a key problem of the scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel of today.  He is not castigating the necessary work of all preachers, evangelists, teachers of the word, catechists, parents etc.  His message is pointed and can be understood by a child.  When you practice what you preach, your message is so much authentic and effective.  No missionary dares overlook this lesson.  The people you evangelize are watching you closely. They have one question in their minds:  "Is he real?"

Let us consider some of the things we teach and preach that we should practice:
Faith, patience, kindness, goodness, humility, chastity, mercy, etc.  All these are qualities of Jesus.

How do we practice Mercy for example?  Remember the ABC of Mercy?
Ask for Mercy.
Be Merciful.
Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

Sounds simple? Yes indeed. God Never refuses Mercy to anyone who asks.  Remember the steward who owes his master over $100 million and could not repay him?  The Master [Jesus] said to the servant:
"You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to." (Matthew 18: 32).
No matter how much debt/sin we have, God is willing to forgive us everything, always and everywhere.
He wants us to be merciful to people who owes us much less.

So brothers and sisters,
Believe what you hear/read from the word of God.
Teach what you believe.
Practice what you teach.
And you will hear from the Master:
"Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy."  (Matthew 25: 21).

Thursday, August 23, 2018

My Eyes are always on you.

"Jesus answered [Nathaniel] and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”  (John 1: 48).

The astonished Nathaniel exclaimed that whoever could do this is the Son of God and the King of Israel.  But we Christians, sons and daughters of God know that Jesus is aware of where we are this moment and every moment.  He knows our thoughts and our desires.  He is aware of all our predicaments, our needs right to minutest one. David writes in the Psalms that we cannot hide from God. (Cf Psalm 139: 7 - 12). Don't even try.

Aren't you super delighted to know that the all-pervasive Big Eye of God is following you everywhere.  All for your good and not for your disaster. (Cf Jeremiah 29: 11).  He who promised "Behold I am with you always" (Matthew 28: 20) can never deceive nor be deceived.  He urges you to cast all your cares on Him and promises to sustain you because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5: 7). He is worthy of your trust.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Everything is ready. Come on to the party.

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son."  (Matthew 22: 2).

Remember that the Church is the seed of the Kingdom of God on earth.  Remember too that the wedding feast is the image of the Eucharist and the King here is Jesus.

The King cries out: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast." (Matthew 22: 4).

A heart felt invitation is issued to the friends of the King.  See what happens:

"Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.  The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them."  (Matthew 22: 5 - 6).

Not only did many of the invited guests reject the invitation contemptuously but to add grave insult to injury, some guests mistreated the messengers and killed them. The chosen and invited guests have proved themselves very unworthy of the great honor done to them.

Sunday is the day Christians are asked to leave work and worldly past times and come and worship the Lord.  How sad it is to read that less than 30% accept the invitation. What is going on?

"Many are invited, but few are chosen.”  (Matthew 22: 14).
Lord Jesus, help us to be the ones who are chosen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Queen stands at Your right hand..

"O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children.
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 on the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary).

The Church celebrates today the feast of Mary as Queen of Heaven and earth.

Jesus in His public ministry talked about the Kingdom of God more than any other subject. Indeed, in the great prayer, Our Father, Jesus inserted "Thy Kingdom Come!" A reminder that the key desire of His heart should be ours too.

Why did Jesus crown His Mother Queen?  Jesus is the King of the Universe. Where there is a king, there is a kingdom. Where there is a kingdom, there are subjects, laws and needs. Jesus is not just a King but also our able High Priest, who intercedes for us constantly before the throne of His Father. Mary is Queen to intercede before His Son Jesus and to give us confidence to approach the throne of grace and mercy.  In fact, the saints in Heaven enjoy all the promised blessings of Paradise while at the same time interceding for their loved ones on earth.  This does not diminish the status of Jesus Christ as our great High Priest. Jesus is not jealous of our role as intercessors. It is His gracious Will.

Mary, Mother and Queen pray for us.

Monday, August 20, 2018

You will receive a hundred times more.

"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."  (Matthew 19: 29).

What have you given up for Jesus?
What price have you paid for discipleship? What daily sacrifices do you make as a follower of Jesus?

The promise made by Jesus in Matthew 19: 29 is exciting.  What is your response?

People who are generous in responding to the invitation of Jesus experience true peace and security, joy and fulfillment.  They begin to relish the delights of eternal right here and right now.

"Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich so that by his poverty you might become rich."  (2 Corinthians 8: 9).

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Impossible to love God and mammon.

"When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions."  (Matthew 19: 22).

What did the rich young man heard that caused him such emotional turmoil?

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  (Matthew 19: 21).

Being rich and having many possessions is not bad.  What is rebuked here is having attachment to anything.  It is a sin against the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me."  (Exodus 20: 3). Any unhealthy love for any creature is considered idolatry.

What are you attached to?
Money, possessions, comfort, dog?
"For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."  (Matthew 6: 21).

Jesus also warned us:  "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you."  (John 6: 27).

What shall you do to be free of attachment to creatures?  Ask Abba Father to prune you gently.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.  He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit."  (John 15: 1 - 2).

Blessed are they who are pruned of their attachments, they shall yield abundant fruits for the Kingdom of God. O God, You made us for Yourself, may our heart be restless until it rests in You.  Amen.