Saturday, May 18, 2019

As I have loved you, so you shall love one another.

 "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." (John 13: 34).

Sunday of the 5th week of Easter. Short Gospel but powerful message. Jesus gives us a new commandment. Actually, the only thing that is new here is: "As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." This is what makes it tough and very challenging. When Jesus taught in His sermons on the mountain: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect," we thought this is a hyperbole. Now Jesus commands: "As I have loved you, so you also should love one another."

How has Jesus loved you and me? Let us search the Scriptures.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
"It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  
"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7).

In 1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7, we see the attributes of love.
This is how Jesus loves you and me. Is this how you love yourself? Your neighbor?

Friday, May 17, 2019

The truth of God's word has the power to make you free.

“If you keep and obey My Word, then you are My followers for sure. You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” (John 8: 31-32 NLV).

Saturday of the 4th week of Easter. We have two great Scriptures to delight and feed us from today's Liturgy. In the Gospel Acclamation, Jesus promises that if we truly stick to His word, that is His teaching in the Gospels and obey them, then we are guaranteed to have and enjoy true freedom and victory over sin, falsehood, deceit of riches, Hollywood fame, gambling and other types of disorders and addictions of modern life. Let us unpack the conditions for this great promise for this promise is absolutely true and worthy of trust.

#1 Make the word of God your home. Feed on it every day. Strive to understand its meaning for your life. Like the farmer, you need patience before you reap the fruits.

#2 You must obey the word. The Holy Spirit will help you to do this. The Holy Spirit works through the Sacraments especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The more you use these wonderful medicines of immortality, the more you see the fruits of Salvation in your life.

To tell you the truth, the promises below from the Gospel of today are for those who fulfill the conditions of John 8: 31-32 above.

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.  And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." (John 14: 12 - 14)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Have trust in Me as you trust the Father.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." (John 14: 1).

Friday of the 4th week of Easter. Just hours before Jesus was to proceed to Gethsemane to begin His passion, He appealed to His disciples to trust Him as they trust already His Father whom they know as Yahweh. The Father and Jesus are one as He had taught them. Again, He said what they had heard Him say often: "Do not be afraid."

We too struggle with all types of fears: family discord, health issues, financial problems, joblessness, etc. Fear is useless. What we need is trust. St Teresa of Avila gives us this verse about trusting God:

. "Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices."  (St Teresa of Avila)

"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).

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The pledge of God to David and to us.

“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him, that my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong.” (Psalm 89: 21 - 22).

Thursday of the 4th week of Easter. As the solemnity of Pentecost draws near, we are tantalized by every word, every sound that points to the Holy Spirit. Our Scripture today comes from the Responsorial Psalm 89. David is one of my great heroes in the Bible. God anointed David copiously with the Holy Spirit thereby guaranteeing his success come what may.

What do you say of this pledge of God to David below?

“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior." (Psalm 89: 25 & 27).

My Father in Heaven, how good it is to know that You are my Father and that I am Your child!
Father, I believe in Your love for me.
Yes, 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! Thank You Abba Father.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I am the Light of the world.

"I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness." (John 12: 46).

Wednesday of the 4th week of Easter. I came into the world as light. The opposite of light is darkness. The great truth of John 12: 46 is how to get this light? Belief! How to have eternal life here and now? Belief! Belief in what? Jesus!

Belief in Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God. Born of the Virgin Mary. Belief in Jesus who suffered and died in accordance with the Scriptures. Belief in Jesus who rose from the dead on the third day and appeared to His disciples. He ascended into Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to start the Church.

If you believe these propositions, you are already in the light. Abide in the light. Let your little light grow and grow and shine and shine.

"I will bear witness to You in the world O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of Your name among my brothers and sisters.  (Cf Psalm 17: 50 ; 21:23).

"I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life." (John 8: 12).

Monday, May 13, 2019

I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.

"It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit,
fruit that will last, alleluia." (John 15: 16).

Tuesday in the 4th week of Easter. Today is the feast of St Matthias, Apostle. Here is what we know about Matthias:
"After the Ascension of our Lord, St Peter proposed that the disciples select an apostle to take the place of Judas. The choice was Matthias. He worked for the faith in Palastine, and later was stoned to death." [about 64 AD] (Roman Missal).

Why was Matthias chosen?
"It is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us,  beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 1: 21 - 22).

Matthias pre-qualified because he belonged to the band of the original disciples. He knew the ministry of John the Baptist. He was an eye witness to the Ascension of the Lord. So Matthias was fully qualified to bear witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. When the apostles prayed over Matthias and Joseph, the Holy Spirit indicated that His choice was Matthias.

Do you believe that you too are chosen, called and anointed to bear witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus by your daily walk with Jesus? Be open and discern your call. Trust Jesus to equip you fully for whatever mission He has for you.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Holy Spirit, the Abundant life leads the Church to the fullness of truth.

"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10).

Monday of the 4th week of Easter. We have a while to go in the Easter Season before the joyous festivity of Pentecost Sunday. We have started to hear the echos of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgical Readings.

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, not a solemnity but a simple feast celebrated worldwide because of the significance of the message of Fatima. What does Fatima mean to Christians and why does it matter? First, Fatima is in the domain of private revelation. Nobody is obligated to believe the message. But because the Church approves the apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Fatima in 1917, and very importantly because the Church gives it a place in its solemn liturgy, it makes sense to pay attention to it.

What is the message of Fatima?
"The message of Fatima includes a call to conversion of heart, repentance from sin and a dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, shown especially by praying the Rosary." (Roman Missal, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13).

"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10). Abundant life promised by Jesus in John 10: 10 is the Holy Spirit which amongst other blessings leads the Church to the fullness of truth.