Friday, February 1, 2013

Mustard Seed

 Mk 4: 26-34
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

# # #

I woke up today feeling so refreshed. I've just finished all my heavy school work since last week. :)
This will be a brand new day for me. To start little things for bigger goals in my life. Step-by-step I will conquer all. Believe that in all small things I do, a bigger outcome will come through. :) Be a mustard seed today.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Look with Action"

Gospel: Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that

they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 


I remember during college on my third year as a Statistics student we had a reporting assignment. Everyone in the class will be given only the topic title during the first meeting among the different Statistical Tools. Our only job is to find or make three examples that will suit the topic, make a presentation, and present it to the class for us to be graded. I found it hard to look and make an example because I did not understand the topic assigned to me. But then again, at the end of the academic year, I really thanked God for the success of my presentation.

Lately, I realized that if we don’t look and work for the topic given to us probably we will have no knowledge right now on the different Statistical Tools. Perhaps, this is the message of the Lord in today’s Gospel. Jesus uses parables that other people cannot understand. In the words of Jesus, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.’ ” has affirmed me. Just like the unfamiliar topic given to me back then,  we need to look and work for our salvation.

Again, the Lord reminded us that His words are clear to us if we don’t allow ourselves to be on the path of rocks and thorns. How can we understand God’s message if we dwell in this kind of place? Would God's word even make sense at all when we live for worldly things, not rooted in God, and allow Satan to come and corrupt this precious life God has given us?

God wants us to grow in His good soil. In His words, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” telling us to seek Him and do some action that will allow ourselves to be in good soil.

Amen Ba Yun? J

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Faith of a Family

Gospel: Mark 3:31-35. 
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers (and your sisters) are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and (my) brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

The faith of a family in each other should be built on unshakeable ground. It would require the faith of a family to be one with Jesus in doing God’s will. Jesus claims us as His brother, sister and mother so that we would have faith in Him and allow God’s will to be done.

Sadly, that kind of faith is now seldom found in families. Wives doubt the love of their husbands for them (vice versa). Brothers and sisters turn against each other in rivalry of greater shares of inheritance. However, that would be looking through a microscope.

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity of witnessing a young married couple in church with their infant daughter. Oh, how she was pampered. Both parents must have big dreams for her. God bless her and God bless their family.  Also, I witnessed an old couple going to church together, holding hands as they sing the Lord’s Prayer. What a lovely sight. Their children must be grown-ups now building their own families. You see, this is the picture of a family built in Christ. The young couple has faith that their daughter would grow up good and the old couple must have kept their faith in each other through the years to have grown old together.

A mother would always open the door to her children no matter how messed up they have been hoping for a change. A brother will always have his brother’s back and his sister’s defender and sister will always be a comforting presence to her family believing their siblings have done no wrong. That is the faith of a family. That is the kind of faith Jesus wants from us. The kind of faith that never shakes no matter what.

Judge the judge

Mk 3: 22-30
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
“By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” 

# # #

It is indeed sad to think that we tend to judge others when we see something unusual in them. We judge them when they are not part of a group or simply out of our league. Stereotyping is common among the youth today for the youth is a peer-searching group of society.

Friends, we are all one in this community. We are all Christians. Why do we have to fight and go against our brothers? Funny how it seems like 'Jesus is fighting Jesus' in our modern day. 

Let us allow ourselves to communicate with Him. I know and I believe that this chaos is not the will of our Lord. :)