Friday, March 15, 2013

7,000 promises

GOSPEL JN 7:1-2,10,25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come. 


 New Pope for our mother Church!

I happened to research about the background of our new pope. My first impression? Heart-lifting, grateful, amazed, inspired, awestruck. :) Our Pope himself gives promise on the crisis our Church is facing right now. One of it maybe secularism. And the faith of the youth that is deteriorating may be one of the most evident on my environment.
Are you in a youth crisis???

Friends, my fellow youth faithfuls, it is really easy to confront our crisis. Just follow three simple steps.
First, Determine the reason
Ask yourself this vital question: 'What is the reason behind the crisis?'
It may be experiences on the part of your family, peer pressure, immoral trends.
Second, Determine the result
Ask: 'What can I learn from this?' Every crisis is an opportunity to enlarge our perspective, sharpen our skills, and develop our character.
Third, Determine our response
Ask: 'What is the best way to respond to crisis?' Regardless of what you do. You should confront the problem, confess your part, and claim God's promise.

'Did you know that there are over 7,000 promises of God in the Bible to help you?'

 If you are having difficulty identifying the reason for a crisis, try praying about it.:)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

Gospel: John 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews: 

“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them,

“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”

My Father

          Currently, I am with a project manager who urges us to call her by name or by any name we are comfortable with rather than affixing "Ma'am" or "Miss" to her first name. At first, it was weird and difficult to all of us addressing her that way. Mainly because it feels like we're already denying her of the respect she deserves. But she's the one encouraging us to do so. She even dated each of us for a deeper personal conversation.

          To be comfortable. That's my project manager's reason. To eliminate the feeling of fear, shyness, awkwardness or any negative feelings that would affect or even inhibit us from expressing ourselves whenever we'll have conversation, personal or work-related matters. She wants us to feel comfortable talking to her just like how much we are comfortable talking with our close friends. The respect was still there, but truly, we're like talking to a boss and a friend all at the same time.

          And personally, I comfortably call my project manager "'Nay".

          People in Jesus times followed and adored God because of fear. They saw God as a powerful entity.  A merciless "boss". A monster that is so fast in executing punishments to those who disobey Him and His commandments. Thus they followed and talked to Him gently, with the right and pleasing words, with fear in their heart, while shaking on their knees. In effect, they can't anymore tell God the content and the state of their heart. People who longed for forgiveness that time felt hopeless. They thought God hated them so much, and that He will not, in any means, forgive them. The relationship between man and God seems so distant and superficial. A relationship built more on fear, and not anymore on love.

          In today's gospel, Jesus is urging us to call our God our Father, a loving Father. Jesus manifested it by addressing God his Father. Not because he wanted to be equal with God, but because he wants to demonstrate to us that God desires us to be His' children, and that He is pleased when we call Him our Father.

          God wants us to be comfortable with Him. God wants us to be close to Him. So close that the need of embracing us will be easy for Him. God wants us to look upon Him as someone who is compassionate enough and is willing to listen and do everything for the good of His children. God wants to establish an intimate relationship with us. God wants us to treat Him just like how Jesus treated Him. God wants to be a loving Father to us.

          He never wanted to be a boss to us. He wants us to accept Him as our Father.

          Be comfortable.
          From this day onward, when you pray and talk to Him, be His child. Don't hesitate calling Him "My Father".

          Allow yourself to have an intimate relationship with Him.

Is At Work Until Now

          Yet, we might ask:
          If God desires to be a loving Father to us, then why does He allow trials and challenges to come our way? Why is it that everytime we commit sin, it seems that He's punishing us for something wrong we've done?

          Just like our earthly father would discipline us to correct our character and attitude, so is our Father in heaven who loves us more and desires the best for us. (Hebrews 12:5-13)

          Our Father in heaven is at work. Our Father is training us to crawl, to walk, to stumble, and to stand up. Just like our fathers when we're still babies who let us stumble, fall flat-faced to ground, and let us cry aloud so we could learn how to balance our self and walk. Our Father in heaven will allow trials and challenges to happen, for us to cry hard-brave, to learn, to grow, to be wise, and to be strong in dealing with life.

          One thing is for sure, like an earthly father who is ready to dive and catch his child, so is our Heavenly Father ready to help us, lift us up, and embrace us when we fall.

          Our Heavenly Father is still at work. Endure and trust our Father. If you find yourself imperfect, stumbling, falling, struggling amidst the storm, and hurting, don't lose your focus, collect yourself, and know for certain that God is not yet finished with us, and is still in progress working, molding and perfecting us.

          Allow our Heavenly Father to mold and perfect us.

So I Am At Work

          Have you ever experienced teaching a toddler, like for instance, your younger sibling, where no matter how passionate you teach him, he's just not learning? And this is because he's not interested to learn what you're teaching him. He doesn't care and he won't cooperate. Yet, patiently, you still teach him.

          And sometimes we are like toddlers. We're not interested. We do not want to be taught. And we don't want to learn.
          But our Heavenly Father is patiently teaching us as well.
          He is untiringly and patiently teaching us things we need to learn no matter how hard it is for Him to deal with us.

          Our Heavenly Father wants us to have interest on things He's teaching us. He wants us to cooperate with Him. If He disciplines us, it's just because He wants us to learn from our mistakes. If He sends trials and challenges, it's just because He wants us to learn some more.

          Don't grow bitter because He disciplines you, but grow better instead.

          Don't give up when you stumble and when trials come your way, but stand up strong and keep in mind that our Father in heaven is always ready to back us up and sustain us whatever we need along the way.

          Everyday God is working in us. Teaching us. Training us. Molding us. Strengthening us. Nurturing us. Making us stronger. Wiser. Braver. And better each day. Like Jesus.

          And He's calling us to cooperate - like what Jesus did.

          Are you not excited that one day, our Heavenly Father will use you - to perform miracles, preaching and healing His people - like Jesus?

          Allow yourself to cooperate with the works of our Heavenly Father in us and in the life of other people.


          My Father, thank you for calling me as your beloved child through your Son Jesus Christ. May I always acknowledge your works, including the trials, hardships, and challenges in my life and be always grateful for them. Because I know that through them, You're molding me into someone you want me to be, someone who is brave, strong and wise. Someone like your Son Jesus Christ. May I always be responsive to your every call. May I always have the willingness to cooperate with Your works not only in my life but also in the life of others.

          With a trusting heart, and in Jesus name, to You, My Father, I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pick Up Your Sleeping Mat

Gospel, John 5: 1-3, 5-6

After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem next to the Sheep Pool there is a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five porticos; and under these were crowds of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed.

One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years, and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in that condition for a long time, he said, 'Do you want to be well again?'

'Sir,' replied the sick man, 'I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets down there before me.'

Jesus said, 'Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around.'

The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and started to walk around. Now that day happened to be the Sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, 'It is the Sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat.'

He replied, 'But the man who cured me told me, "Pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around." '

They asked, 'Who is the man who said to you, "Pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around"? '

The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared, as the place was crowded.

After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, 'Now you are well again, do not sin any more, or something worse may happen to you.'

The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him. It was because he did things like this on the Sabbath that the Jews began to harass Jesus.

"Pick up your sleeping mat and walk."

Where are you right now? At the library? Internet Shop? Boarding house? Your house? Canteen? Office? On your bed? Restaurant with free wifi?

Today's gospel reminds us that no matter where we are right now, God wants us to pick or fix up our own sleeping mat and walk. And when I say "sleeping mat," I am referring to our own worries, problems and all. And when I say "walk," I am referring to the act of spreading, shouting and proclaiming His greatness, His victories, His mighty, His love for us unto the world.

Just as Jesus Christ healed the old man who is paralyzed for 38 years, He has also healed and saved us from our sins and problems which paralyzed and prevented us not to be grateful for how many years also. God wants us now to be braver as much as we can.

Be brave. Be healed. Pick up your own "sleeping mat." Stand firm with faith. Walk. Proclaim His love. :)