Monday, September 27, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters,
One day, I was asked to celebrate a Eucharist in an orphanage community in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. This was a special moment for me as I could serve those who are marginalized. Most of them do not know who their parents are because since they were babies they were brought to this place and fostered by some religious sisters. Not only that, some of them are disabled children. After celebrating a mass, we had a wonderful moment together when we danced and sang together. I could see how happy they were in their personal circumstances. I realized how important a community that grows and brings love to one another is. Besides, to convince these members that they belong to one community and they are not alone. To make sure that these children are accepted because feeling accepted has a massive impact to grow their self-esteem as this world promotes a “throw-away culture”.
If we reflect on what Paul the apostle said in his letter in Romans 1:6, he emphasizes the community life. It means that we cannot live alone in this world, we cannot rely on ourselves for our power. We need others to complement ourselves as human beings. From others, we can learn a lot of things such as being gritty, perseverance, resilience, and commitment. Moreover, our community life must be centered on Jesus Christ. By this, we can release and let go our egoism, arrogance and self-importance to establish peace and equality then serve Jesus who is present in those who are suffering and marginalized.
Indeed, we are called to belong to Jesus. Sometimes, we feel unaccepted by our surroundings. We are removed from our family, community, or society but remember that Jesus is always with us. He never lets us walk alone. Once we belong to Jesus, he will live forever in our hearts.
Reflection on Romans 1:1-7 by Fr. Aris Mada, SVD
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
For today's verses, I want to focus more on the call for self-examination.
It is a call Paul makes on the last chapter of this book, and it is a relevant call then as much as it is now. We are given this golden opportunity for a pause – in a pandemic nonetheless. It has personally given me so much time to reflect. The world slowed down and most of us found ourselves separated from our usual routines and distractions. It is such a blessed time to self-examine, to go deep into ourselves, and hopefully find Jesus living in the depths of our hearts.
The verses today remind us that even if Jesus was crucified, He lives by God's power – the unimaginable blessing of allowing our weakness to turn for God's purpose and glory. I will always be in awe as to how God never conforms to the ways of this world and has always set the path for the truth. He sees the glory in what may the world see as weakness, and he sees life that can come from the death of Christ. His love sees us through, and I will always be in awe.
And finally, I have always sought the blessings of others upon me. There is such anointing in saying "God bless you". There is power in God's Word, and I find it strengthens further when it is said upon you – "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
I wish this upon you, brothers and sisters. Rest assured you shall be in my prayers today, and I ask the same of you – that may God be glorified as we pray for each other.