Saturday, March 02, 2019

The Path to Freedom and Victory.

"The Lord became my protector.
He brought me out to a place of freedom; he saved me because he delighted in me." (Entrance Antiphon: 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Last Sunday before Lent 2019).

How did the Lord brought me to a place of freedom? 4 unforgettable steps that constitute my path to freedom /victory:
#1 Knowledge of His grace.
#2 Knowledge of mercy
#3 Prayer as a vital resource.
#4 Abandonment to Divine Providence. You may call this: Sweet Surrender.

The Lord's grace and mercy cover the 7 areas of His promises which are always available to you and me:
Pardon, Peace, Power, Purpose, Presence, Protection and Provision.

I believe in Prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in miracle.
I leave the rest to God.(Abandonment to Divine Providence).

Lent 2019 starts on Wednesday, March 6th with Ash Wednesday. Make Lent 2019 your best. Could be your last.

Friday, March 01, 2019

The little child is the face of the Kingdom of God.

"Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." (Mark 10: 15).

We know that the Kingdom of God is the life work of Jesus. He spoke incessantly of the Kingdom. Jesus teaches that this Kingdom is already among us here and now. The Church bears testimony to this truth by teaching that the Church is the seed and beginning of the Kingdom on earth. (CCC 541).

What is this Kingdom pure and simple? First, where there is a Kingdom, there must be a King. Where there is a King, there must be subjects. Where there are subjects, there must be laws. The Kingdom pure and simple is the Reign of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. Jesus reigns already in the hearts and minds of all who accept and welcome His authority.
Do we have an example of such a person? Jesus points to the little child.

The little child is the face of innocence in whom the Holy Spirit likes to dwell and play. The little child manifests the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
1. Charity
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Generosity
8. Gentleness
9. Faithfulness
10. Modesty
11. Self-control
12. Chastity

Aim to become like a little child and the Kingdom of God will be yours and all the rest as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A faithful friend is beyond price.

"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds one finds a treasure." (Sirach 6: 14).

The Bible gives us a word of wisdom on friendship. Jesus calls His disciples His friends. He is certainly a faithful friend to them even though they abandoned Him at the hour of His need. “A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17). Not when the going is good.

The two best examples of friendship from the Bible are Jonathan and David and Ruth and Naomi. Both friendships attain the lofty standard of Sirach 6: 5 - 17, our first Reading today.

"A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth." (Sirach 6: 15). No question about that. But where do you find such a friend? I know a few people who are blessed to have such friendship. A great blessing is to have your spouse as a bosom friend. Again this is not too common.

"A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds. For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself." (Sirach 6: 16 - 17).

These last two verses hold out bright hope for those of us who can't boast of great friendship today. Do you fear the Lord? Do you love the Lord? All things are possible for God. You might still meet that special friend if it is God's will for you.

"O Lord, I trust in your merciful love. My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord who has been bountiful with me."
(Psalm 12: 6).

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

First Friday in March, 2019.

Jesus promised 12 special graces and 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 2019, 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 ). Consider also:
"My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal." (Sirach 2: 1).

Troubles are opportunity to trust Jesus more. "I promise to be your strength in proportion to the trust you place on Me." The more you trust Jesus, the more He is your strength and security.

Remind the Lord often of these promises. Remind Him also of His promise to answer every prayer. (Matthew 7: 7).

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of March, 2019.

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Do not be presumptuous of forgiveness.

"Do not delay turning back to the Lord, do not put it off day after day."(Sirach 5: 7).

A week today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent 2019. Lent is the Season of abundant grace and mercy. The word of God from Sirach read today all over the world asks us to be prepared for deep metanoia (conversion) during Lent 2019.

"Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.” (Sirach 5: 5 - 6).

The Bible compares the sin of presumption to witchcraft and idolatry. (Cf 1 Samuel 15: 23)

"For suddenly his wrath will come forth; at the time of vengeance, you will perish." (Sirach 5: 7).

"Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord. He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1: 1,3 - 4)

"Accept God’s message for what it really is: God’s message, and not some human thinking." (Cf.1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

To love and cherish Lady Wisdom is to love life.

"Wisdom brings up her own sons,
and cares for those who seek her." (Sirach 4: 11).

We continue our reflection on the word of God from the Book of Sirach. In the above, we see Wisdom as personification of the adorable and awesome Spirit. And here, she is a beautiful and tender woman. A mother!

"Whoever loves her loves life, those who wait on her early will be filled with happiness.
Whoever holds her close will inherit honour, and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.
Those who serve her minister to the Holy One, and the Lord loves those who love her." (Sirach 4: 12 - 14).

How do we love, cherish and serve Lady Wisdom? Remember that Lady Wisdom is personification of the Holy Spirit.
First and foremost, you must desire her more than silver and gold. You must seek her assiduously through prayer and the study of her word. Since the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, you must come frequently to the source of living water, the Sacraments especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation where she inhabits.

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14: 6).

Monday, February 25, 2019

Prepare yourself for trials.

"My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal." (Sirach 2: 1).

Prepare yourself for trials when you choose to serve Jesus and work for His Kingdom. Unlike recruiters in the market place, the cost of discipleship is not hidden from would be Christians. The missionaries to Japan in the 16th and 17th century told the Japanese converts the same truth. When they asked what then will be their reward for choosing the Way, the answer was from the promises of Jesus that can never fail: Everlasting life of pure ecstasy. Do you believe it? Because the Japanese Christians believed it, they faced martyrdom with their missionaries.

"Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation." (Sirach 2: 4 - 5).

St Paul Miki, the Japanese Jesuit martyr along with other priests and their parishioners drew encouragement from the promises of God as they were about to be crucified and speared.

"Commit your life to the Lord, trust him and he will act.
If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord, he will grant your heart’s desire." (Psalm 37: 3 - 4).

The ultimate desire of every human being is eternal life. Heaven. It profits man absolutely nothing to possess everything in this world and lose Heaven.

Show that you desire Heaven by recounting the wonders of the Lord day by day. Rejoice in Him and be glad in His wonderful promise of Eternal Life.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Yes I believe. Increase my faith and hope and love.

"But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9: 22).

The desperate father of the boy possessed by a demon expressed his prayer for the healing of his son in fearful, doubtful unbelief. Of course, Jesus is God and everything is possible for Him but equally important in this context, "Everything is possible to one who has faith.” (Mark 9: 23).

Can you separate faith from prayer? Never! Jesus promises that if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, ask for anything in accordance with God's will and you will receive it. In asking, Never Forget that Jesus promises that if you ask, you will receive. I am amazed as to how many saints from the beginning of Christianity to our day invoke this promise in Matthew 7: 7 in their prayers of petition and intercession.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Redeemed of God, do the same. Remind Jesus of this promise in faith and leave the rest to Him.

Do not allow yourself to be robbed of the "fullness of life" which Jesus promises in John 10:10. Let us take advantage of this good news today to affirm our faith:

#1 Yes I believe, but increase in me faith, hope, and love!

#2 Teach me always to see Your love as my guide in every event in my life.

#3  Teach me to surrender myself to You like a baby in its mother’s arms.

Your faith will take root in your mind and heart as you affirm it every day.