Saturday, February 09, 2019

Much toiling and little result.

“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” (Luke 5: 5).

Simon and his partners toiled all night but caught nothing. These are seasoned fishermen. Where are you in your profession?  If you toil much and accomplish little or nothing, it may be time for stocktaking.

Jesus knows your Next Step. Trust Him to lead and guide you as He did to Simon Peter, James and John. If you do whatever He tells you, you will have lifelong fulfilling employment and assured of life eternal.

Friday, February 08, 2019

May the God of Peace bless you with abundant Peace.

"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord,  furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen."  (Hebrews 13: 20 - 21).

Brothers and sisters, let us claim this blessing in the name of Jesus. May He Jesus, the Great Shepherd give us the grace to do always His will.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need." (Psalm 23: 1).

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Can you trust God with your money?

"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”  Thus we may say with confidence:
“The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5 - 6).

The devil sows fears, worries and doubts in our hearts.  "If you trust God about money, you will be poor, homeless and starve," the liar whispers. The ancient monster, Father of lies, repeats every day the game plan he used against Adam and Eve in Paradise.  He urged them not to trust God implying that God is a liar.

Do you trust God when He says to you: "I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Faith is to trust completely in the promises of God.

Jesus Christ, the night before He died, gave us His Body and Blood as a sign of the New Covenant.  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."  (Luke 22: 20).  Has Jesus been faithful to this Covenant?  Every single day for the past 2000 years, everywhere, every day all over the world He offers the Bread of life to those who believe.   Just as Jesus was faithful to the Covenant yesterday, He is faithful today.  He will be faithful tomorrow.

Rest in His faithfulness with regard to money and all your needs.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Don't be weighed down by clutter and bagages.

"He [Jesus] summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts." (Mark 6: 7 - 8).

The Gospel of today presents us a challenge to examine our lifestyle to see if clutter and bagages are hindering the penetration of the Good News and make us ineffectual disciples.  Jesus never teaches a lesson He never lived Himself.  Like the Beatitudes which is a portrait of Himself, the evangelical poverty and simplicity Jesus prescribed to His disciples is what they see every day in His life among them.

Poverty like disease and ignorance frightens many people. But the fear is altogether irrational if we consider a few salient points:

#1.  Jesus, our Leader and Captain is without doubt the best in our human race. If it is good for Him, it should be good for us.

#2.  God knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

#3.  Who owns all the gold, silver, diamond, oceans, lands, etc if not God.

#4.  God asks:  "Is anything too marvelous for me to do for you?"  (Cf Genesis 18: 14).

Jesus knows that the greatest asset of the disciple is faith and complete trust in Him.  If a disciple is armed with this, he needs nothing more. It was therefore necessary to train His disciples at the outset of their ministry in this great truth.

"Fear is useless. All that is needed is trust."  (Mark 5:  36).

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Endure your trials as discipline.

"Endure your trials as “discipline”.  (Hebrews 12: 7).

It was one Sunday morning at the 10 am Mass that I heard the above Scripture from the Altar.  I was in the midst of the most severe desert experience of my life. I had lost everything including health.  As I listened on, I heard this:

"For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?" (v 7).  Is God saying that He is my Father?  Is my crisis therefore not divine retribution but training?  Then came the closing argument for me:

"If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards." 
(Hebrews 12: 8).

Indeed I had been without discipline for many years.  I welcomed this word of God into my heart with faith.  I went home, found the passage in my Bible and read and re-read it that blessed Sunday. What returns shall I make to the Lord for the wonderful thing He did for me on this Sunday?

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust.
"But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him.  And his justice toward children’s children among those who keep his covenant." (Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18).

God is good all the time is not an empty slogan. It is a most profound truth.

Monday, February 04, 2019

The Feast of St Agatha, Patron Saint of Breast Cancer.

"Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith."  (Hebrews 12: 1 - 2).

Today is the feast of St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.  Agatha was martyred in the 3rd century under the persecution of Emperor Decius. Her cult was very popular from ancient times. She is the patron saint of breast cancer, sterility and rape victims amongst others.

Agatha is one of the "cloud of witnesses" urging us to run to win the Christian race that Jesus Christ our Leader set before us.  We Christians have today many challenges facing us in our Journey of Faith. But let's face it honestly. Unlike Agatha and so many other saints, "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood." (Hebrews 12: 4).

Disregard the negative and futile messages of the world and listen to Jesus who tells us:  "Fear is useless. All that is needed is trust."  (Mark 5:  36).

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Men and women who conquered the world through faith.

"By faith they conquered kingdoms."  (Heb 11: 33).

Who are these who conquered kingdoms and did mighty deeds by faith?  They are:  "Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the prophets."  (Hebrews 11: 32).

These mighty ones also through faith:  "closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders."
(Hebrews 11: 33 - 34).

Not just men did valiant deeds through faith but also women:  "Women received back their dead through resurrection.
Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection."  (Hebrews 11: 35).

Friends, through trusting in God and His promises, these men and women were able to accomplish impossible things.  Jesus spoke a great deal about the power of faith.  Again and again, He said that if we believe, we can move mountains. Nothing will be impossible for us if we have even a mustard seed size faith.

The Hebrews who were suffering severe persecution when the Letter to the Hebrews was written needed such message.  How about us? Look at the state of the world. We too need the strong medicine of Faith and Hope and Love.

"Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord." (Psalm 31: 25).