Monday, June 29, 2020

Baptizati in Christum Iesum (Rom. 6:3)

Yesterday my little niece was baptized in Poland. Her parents and the whole family were glad because a new child became a member of the Church. The new life has started when we were baptized in Christ Jesus. 
The Apostle Paul explains that when we are baptized, we die to the earthly life and began a new spiritual life. Do we still remember this fact in our daily life?
Obviously, we would like to live a new life in Christ. Every morning when we wake up and make the sign of the cross we remind ourselves that we live and die in Jesus Christ. For human beings, earthly life is so important. They want to enjoy seeing their children and grandchildren. Very often they wish each other to live a happy and long life. 
However, from the first moment of our life, we are to remember that our life on earth is only for a moment. We are invited to live forever in the heavenly Kindom. Do we really trust and believe that our true life is going to start in heaven with God? 
Jesus Christ is the Lord of life and death. Similarly, we are to overcome death. We are to know that death and sin have no power over us if we are united with Christ. 
May Jesus live in our hearts. May our Lord make us defeat the power of death and sin. We pray to start a new life and be alive in the Holy Spirit. Let us rediscover the grace of the sacrament of baptism. Let us rejoice that we are sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus. We live through him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Sicut credidisti (Mt. 8:13)

I focus on the great faith of the Centurion.  There are events in life that happen out of our control.  Sometimes we do not even imagine if something will happen to us or something will happen to one of our loved ones.  All of a sudden, someone we love can have an accident or we can experience hard times in our lives.  This situation, at that moment, can make us closer to the gate of desperation and crisis of faith.  Today’s gospel tells us about how Centurion’s faith and hope in Jesus, Son of God who at that time was known as the Son of a poor carpenter, Joseph. 

That Centurion’s great faith abandoned all worries, pains, uncertainty to Jesus. We should humble ourselves to be able to reach God’s compassion. We should become like a little child who casts everything to Jesus.  If we love our significant ones so much, we must believe that God loves him/her more than us.  He cares for us more than anyone else.  Each one of us has been given mission during our lifetime here on the earth.  Let us nurture our faith in God and let us cast everything to Him; all our worries and pains.  Be sure He will take care of us.  

Sr. Yanti Purnawati, SFSC

Orans Dominum (1 Sam. 1:26)

In the first reading, the readers know that Hannah is Elkanah's wife. Hannah had no children. As a result,  this situation made her so sad. Even her rival, Peninnah,  Elkanah's other wife, provoked her sore; to make her fret. So, one day Hannah stood near the doorpost of the Lord's temple and started praying to the Lord with her lips.  Her voice was inaudible and she was weeping uncontrollably. While she was acting like that, Eli,  the priest, sitting in his chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple thought she was drunk.

This morning, I found an empty glass on my table containing ants. These ants were still alive, but they couldn't come out from the glass because the surface of the glass is too sly.  I was wondering, why did they come into it if they couldn't come out? I thought that maybe they just thought about what they needed and neglected about the risk. But, after that, I let them out to have another chance of a better life.

Both of these stories are quite similar but they have a different focus. The ants were stuck in the glass because they just focused to get foods or drinks from the bottom of the glass. But, Hannah was presumed drunk by Eli the priest because she focused on praying to God, standing near the Lord's temple, moving her lips but inaudible, and weeping uncontrollably.

Our focus is a crucial matter. When we are doing something or anything, what are in our mind or act? What are actually our motivations and our focus? Is it for our self-fulfillment? Are we doing and thinking because of the Lord and for the Lord only to glorify Him? This morning, I would like to remind us to start our day and come to think about our motivation and our focus on our plan this whole day. Therefore, let us pray that the Holy Spirit leads us in our way and set our mind to our Master, Jesus Christ.

By Yulius Telaumbanua, Indonesia.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Domine, Domine (Mt 7:21)

A good child usually wants to do the will of his parents. Similarly, a good Christian is eager to fulfill the will of the heavenly Father. The problem is to know precisely what the will of God is. Obviously, there are big decisions and the simplest ones. However, the crucial thing is to know what you are supposed to do in accordance with the will of God. There are tasks and duties which you are going to accomplish. There are people who depend on you and they also need your attention. Nevertheless, your most important task is to listen to God's voice carefully. 
Every day your loving Father reminds you that you are his beloved child. If you hear God speak to you in this way, you are settled on the rock. You are strong enough to overcome the bad circumstances and all sorts of difficulties in your life. Moreover, you do not fall because you know your dignity as a precious child of God. You are a wise person if you follow the gentle voice in your soul which comes from the Holy Spirit. 
Maybe you are tired and exhausted by all your struggles and fights you have already faced. Maybe you just need to let God speak to your heart. You can be sure that just one word which comes from the mouth of Jesus can make a miracle in you and in the relations with your friends. 
Ask the Spirit of God to open the ears and eyes of your soul, so you could hear and see Jesus Christ. He is always present at your side. Especially, when you are crying and struggling. He wants to encourage you. Let him be your companion and best friend all the time. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ab utero (Is. 49:1)

Dear brothers and sisters,

I want to reflect our meditation in three messages for us. 

First, remember God in any situation and look at all the events that occur in this life through God’s eyes. Life is a long journey and we experience many things. Every place and situation that we get through or every spot that we stop just for taking a breath, bring us to our experience of joyfulness or sorrow, hope or desperation, failure, or success. It reminds us on what Moses said to Israel when Israel starved in the wilderness, “Remember the long road by which Yahweh your God led you for forty years in the desert, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart -- whether you would keep his commandments or not,” (Deuteronomy 8:2). It seems to be grateful to God in every situation of our life. 

Second, entrust our lives to God because He has sacrificed Himself for us. Naturally, we are born to believe other people. We slowly learn to trust them through their sacrifices. For example, when we are babies, we believe our parents one hundred percent to nurture our life, teach us how to walk and how to speak. Another example, we eat every day for living because there are invisible hands that hold it. Rice and vegetables come from farmers. Fish are caught by fishermen. These items can arrive at home because the traders distribute it. After that parents or people will cook it and we believe that the food we consume is good. Our human trust directs us to believe something who creates and rules heaven and earth. As Christian, it is God the Father who gives Jesus Christ His son to sacrifice his body and blood for our salvation. 

Third, why do we believe in God? It is because we are fragile. However, before we believe in God, God has first believed in us even before we are born into the world, He has known us, He calls us since we are in the womb (Isaiah, 49:1). Our coming into the world has a purpose as God says to the Isaiah that is I shall make you be a light to the nations so that God’s salvation may stretch to the isolated parts of the earth. In God’s eye, we are valuable. Like a fragile thing must be kept, God takes care of us so we do not get damaged. Our fragility as a human being as well as Christians, need strength from God, the source of our life. 

 By Fr Aris Mada, SVD

Tempus pariendi (Lk. 1:57)

Every 24th of June, Catholics usually celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist. Holy Gospel tells us about the joyful moment when John was born and also how his father Zechariah gave a name to John. He was named  John/ Yohan, which in Hebrew means “God is gracious”.  And indeed, God was gracious to John’s parents by giving them a child in their old age. They could not bear child, but with God’s blessing, they were worthy to become parents of a great prophet of God. John is unique among God’s prophets because when he was in his mother’s womb, he gave witness to Jesus already as the Son of God by leaping at the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb.

John became a great prophet of God because of his humility and fidelity in carrying out the mission of God that God had entrusted to him. We could see his humility clearly when some people thought that he was the Messiah,  he right away clarified that he was just a man who prepared the way for the Messiah. 

On this red-letter day, the day of Nativity of John the Baptist; we ask God to bless us so that we can have humility like St. John the Baptist. Also,  we may have a joyful heart in bearing witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord. Keep in our mind that every day and every time, God is always gracious to us. Amen.

By Fr Risco Batbual, SVD

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Venite ad me (Mt. 11:28)

Christ is our example. God doesn’t give us an “out” in times of weariness and exhaustion. When He was cursed, He blessed. When needy crowds pressed in relentlessly, He made Himself available. When they were hungry, He fed them. When they needed correction, He lovingly but boldly gave it to them. When they hurt Him, He forgave them. When He needed sleep, He pressed on. When He suffered, He kept the eternal picture in mind. He kept you and me in mind.
Our burdens may feel anything but light today. God is not trying to make light of our circumstances. He wants us to see our circumstances through His light. We are not helpless or forgotten in our times of need. Jesus knows the number of hairs on your head. Why would He take such care to count them if they were not precious to Him? Don’t allow an hour to go by before taking your cares to Jesus. Because the Bible is our Daily Bread, we become malnourished spiritually if we neglect it. Spending time with the Lord refreshes our spirits and strengthens us to face both our trials and our triggers.
If we feel triggered by the weariness and exhaustion of our circumstances, we won’t be able to combat our anger and frustration until we lay our burden down at the feet of Jesus. Jesus asks us to learn from Him. To take note of how gentle and humble He is. In the same way that our angry reactions typically spark even bigger angry reactions in our friends, neighbors, spouses, parents, or maybe boss. Jesus’ gentle and humble spirit rubs off on us, producing a supernatural steadiness of heart and mind.
As we give our weariness to the Lord, His gentleness becomes our gentleness. His humility is reflected in our own. As we grow in character, exhaustion gives way to strength upon strength, equipping us with the ability to overcome the temptation to lash out in frustration.
The followers of Christ never have to operate on empty or be quick to anger. We are promised the fruit of supernatural strength and given an example in the person of Jesus Christ.
The heart filled with godly character has very little room for angry reactions. Let’s accept the invitation to “come” to the Lord and find rest for our souls by demonstrating gentleness and humility in our daily life.
By Martha, Brisbane.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Non timebo (Ps 56:12).

“Do not be afraid” and “fear no one” are the phrases that summerize the central message of the Gospel reading. When the Apostles worried about the future, Christ encouraged them, “Don’t be afraid. I am with you always.” The disciples, of course, had reason to be afraid. Yet Jesus says to them not to be.
Jesus teaches us that God is a caring God, compassionate, and forgiving. And God is on our side. Our attitude to life can agree with the psalmist who says, “In God I trust – I shall not fear” (Ps 56:1).
Fear of God is a biblical concept that is often misunderstood.  It does not mean that we should be afraid of God. The word “fear” means “awe”. It means that we should respect God, reverence God, and be more concerned with fulfilling the Law of God than with the way others might treat us.
The Pandemic has entered the world’s community from within nature itself. Maybe in time, myths will be created about how exactly it occurred. We live these days with its consequences, even deaths. The virus has modified the behavior of many of us. There will come a saving vaccine for us someday. 
Jesus also says, “do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul”. This is reassuring for those who are dying or for those of us who have lost loved ones. Even if this virus kills our bodies, our souls have eternal life.

“Do not be afraid,” Christ said and still says. Christ is not for the fearless but for those who must control their fears. During this uncertain time of the pandemic, this is a message we need to hear. It is very relevant for us today. We fear the possibility of catching Covid-19; we fear the financial consequences of this prolonged lockdown. We might even fear of losing our jobs, our livelihoods. But still, Jesus tells us not to be afraid. He tells us that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s knowledge. He knows us so well that he knows how many hairs we have on our heads. So, he says, “do not be afraid” we are worth more than many sparrows.
Jesus once said to his friends, “what is not possible with us is possible with God”. We follow Christ best when we realize that the Gospel ideal is beyond the reach of our own strength. It is then that we can lean on him and build on the strength of the Lord who is always on our side.
Let us pray that we might not fear the future. We pray and hope that we can create the future God wants for us all the people. Let us not give in to fear but be Christians who are hopeful and joyful today and always.

By Fr Rajesh, India. 

Nolite iudicare (Mt. 7:1)

All of us live in a somewhat judgmental society. If we fail in some way to meet society’s convention, people will directly point out our failures and it is also easier for us to look for others’ mistakes. ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged’. Jesus seems to be suggesting that when we judge others, we are leaving ourselves open to God’s judgment. Jesus may be implying that when we judge someone, we are doing something that only God can do. We simply do not have the insight into others to judge them fairly or justly. Also, our own perception of others is restricted because of our own failings. This seems to be the point of the humorous image uses of someone with a plank in their eye trying to take a splinter out of someone else’s eye. Because of all kinds of prejudices and failings in ourselves, we don’t see clearly enough to make a sound judgment of others. There is a line in the Jewish Scriptures, ‘the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’. In John’s gospel, Jesus said, ‘He himself knew what was in everyone”. Jesus is considered unique in this regard. No one else knows what is in everyone. Our limited insight into others, arising partly out of our own failings, should make us slow to judge others. Saint Paul was true to the teaching of Jesus in this matter of judging others. He says in his first letter to the Corinthians, ‘Do not pronounce judgment, before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and disclose the purposes of the heart’. Only the Lord can disclose the purposes of the human heart; we can never get inside the heart of another. It is clear from the gospel reading that Jesus wants us to work on our own failings before focusing unreasonably on the failings of others. ‘Take the plank out of your own eye first’. There is enough there to be going on with, for most of us. We need to be in touch with our own humanity before we can comment on humanity on others, and, it is probably true to say that the more we know ourselves the less inclined we will be to judge or accuse others.
By Sr Mary, CM.

Sanctificatio vestra (1 Thes. 4:3)

The way we walk and live according to our Lord’s word is a good indication of how well we please Him. What is God’s will for us His children? He is pleased by our constant sanctification which is a continuous search for purity in our whole being, spirit, soul, and body. First of all, we must recognize that there is an omnipotent God, so the fear of God is the first step to our sanctification and the search to please Him alone. To search to please Him means that we are interested in pleasing His heart and that means diligently searching His Holly Word to know what steps we must take to reach it.
We can find an extensive list of things that we must reject or avoid in our lives to keep our souls of sin against God. In summary, we must reject all work of darkness and all fruit of the flesh that only brings death and damnation. If we try to do so by our own effort and strength, we will be on the verge of complete failure because the word of the Lord says that we can do nothing outside of Him. When trials and bad times come to our lives, the first and last resource of help must be our Lord and Savior who experienced in His own flesh and human nature all kind of temptations without failing, hence He understands our human condition and is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
Whether we are going through moments of joy or difficulty, we must remember that it is God's will that we give thanks at all times, that we pray for each other without ceasing and that we do not lose the joy of our salvation that is in Christ Jesus, our savior. His plans for us are perfect and of goodness at all times, Glory be to the Lord, His mercies are forever!
By Nydia Flores, US. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Appendit corda Dominus (Prov. 21:2)

Living in the world, people tend to pursue their worldly happiness rather than heavenly happiness because this happiness has its lure that can directly attract and stimulate humans’ senses.  This can be clearly seen in so many pieces of evidence that show the people’s worldly curiosity like a shopping center, mall, tourists’ destinations, hotels, bars, movies, and many more.  Many things can be done by a man in finding this-worldly happiness and comfortable life. It will be very dangerous to satisfy this greed. People with this hedonistic spirit can destroy other people mentally and physically and can make them fall into misery. The world is constantly serving all of humankind's wicked and evil desires. Cheating becomes their flaming spirit to ruin other people. This horrifying spirit is making the world older and older when they start to destruct flora and fauna which at the same time they are destroying this planet. Climate change, as a result of that spiritual conduct, is now showing its "bullet". Many people are now experiencing the bad impact of natural disasters.

 Deciding to be the children of God needs a strong desire for consistency. The only power that weakens the spirit of following God is the bliss of momentary pleasure or temporary pleasure. Even there is a typhoon, we have no reason to be afraid of it. We need to convince ourselves that we have our God, Jesus Christ who is in control. Letting Him work the rest that we can’t do and He will do.  Let Him control the rest that we can’t do including facing those who think that they are powerful and can deceive us. So many of them are walking around us every day. But Jesus will never let them take control of us.  Hold tightly to His teaching, His hands, even though it seems impossible but everything is possible with Him.  There will be hope forever.

Two years ago, I started my chemo for treating my breast cancer stadium 3b.  I was very sad thinking about the very high cost that my family couldn't afford these treatments. For every 3 weeks, we had to spend about 40 million for a year. There were 18 times of treatment. God understood our crying heart after my daughter and I visited BPJS main office in Jakarta in vain.  To make the long story short, finally, all the treatments were perfectly done. God gave us everything we needed by answering our continuous prayer and bringing all of our burden in Him. All the needs were paid in cash and in time. Glory be to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit!!!

By Ceisy, Indonesia.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Nos diligimus (1 Jn. 4:19)

 “If love dwells in you, you have no enemy on earth”. This quotation, written by St Ephrem the Syrian, is meaningful and is not a piece of cake to put into practice as humans’ relation has its twists there and here.  People say that cultivating successfully and flourishing in relationships with other people is both an art and a long life process. 
The quotation by St Ephrem the Syrian hit the nail on head amidst my disappointment. I was hurt by a person that I consider as a friend. This message is totally lit as sometimes when I am over the moon, I might only read this message without further deliberation but when I am down, I could deeply resonate with the message. I believe each of us has ever experienced the moments that we are hurt by our closed ones. No one is immune to this situation. 
The psychologists and motivators have proposed so many methods and techniques on how to deal with other people. But, if we take a close look at these, the spirit behind all these teachings is to put ourselves as the center of everything. Unfortunately, all these things do not work well as humans are limited and our sins have corrupted our capacity to love God and people unconditionally. If we rely on ourselves, we will miserably fail.  
This verse should help us as the sons and daughters of God to build a good rapport with other people. God himself has demonstrated the true act of love by sending his begotten son dying on the cross. This deed shows one of God’s quality/identity that is love.  If we proclaim that we are Imago Dei, God’s image, we should live like He did. We are instructed to love people including the person who hurts us. Jesus prefers to keep loving us despite the fact that he knows that His love will not always be in return.    
When my friend had hurt me, I was tempted to feed up my ego by going away and shutting down all possible contact that I have with this friend without further discussion and reconciliation. And I would definitely end up being alone and lonely and I will never finish cooking up this issue in the future.  I will experience the same thing over and over If I don’t learn how to deal with this. Above all, the Word of God helped me to try to put myself on this friend’s shoes, find good things that this friend said, and talk about this issue with this friend. This was not easy as I had been reluctant to get interacted with people and I had lost my energy.  Again, the Word of God reminds me of being a son and daughter of God is not merely about His grace, blessings, and eternal life. Being a child of God means to readily suffer and bear the cross; doing uneasy and uncomfortable things out of my comfort zone.  Doing things that I don’t want to do and doing things that might be impossible for me to do. The grace of a child of God means to have the blessing to suffer with Him as Jesus has completed the hardest part and won the fiercest battle.  

By Deisyi, Indonesia.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Ubi est Deus Eliae (2 Kgs 2:14)

When I discovered this text and read this verse, I admired for Elisha’s faithfulness to Elijah. Although Elijah asked Elisha not to follow him to the Jordan Elisha kept following Elijah by his wonderful commitment by saying, “As Yahweh lives and as you live, I will not leave you”. More than commitment, this is a vow. As an oath, Elisha performed his faithfulness until they were separating which Elijah lifted to heaven. 

Elisha’s words to Elijah reminded me when I had made my perpetual vow a couple of years ago. I committed to following Jesus as a religious one. It means this decision has consequences. I have promised God to follow Him on my entire life and God requires me to show my commitment. 

As a religious one, I learn much from many couples about faithfulness. Faithfulness is the way to holiness. Pope Francis in the year 2015 for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, gave canonization to a couple from France. This couple names Louis and Zelie Martin, parents from Santa Therese of Lisieux. 


I am glad to see many families live peacefully, love each other, and they can maintain their relationship until they die. Undeniably, there are so many challenges to be faithful. Like an ark, wave, and wind of problems toss onto the family. Yet, they can get through it until death does them part. 

It is our prayer that may God give mercy of fidelity to religious people and Catholic families. Hence, their lives witness  God’s mercy and loyalty. 

Fr. Aris Mada, SVD

Ora Patrem tuum (Mt. 6:6).

Trust is crucial in our life. We learn to trust from the first days on the earth. We trust if we are loved by parents. We trust if we are accepted by friends. We can trust in our superiors who support us rather than punish us. Similarly, we learn to trust in God. For sure our trust in the heavenly Father depends on our past experiences. 
Jesus Christ comes to the world as the beloved Son of the Father. During his life, he teaches his disciples to trust in him and as a result to trust in God. From Gospel, we get to know that it is a very long process to make disciples trust. Jesus shows his disciples how to pray not only using words but also doing deeds. His words are true. What Jesus says, he does. In this way day by day, month by month, year by year the apostles learn to trust in God, the Father. 
Jesus Christ was the best teacher of trust because he trusted himself. His prayer was a conversation with the Father, not a monologue. He spoke with his Father and he listened to him. In the New Testament, there are some answers which the Father gave to his Son. One of the well-known is: "You are my beloved Son".
If we really trust in such words, we are able to accept everything in our life. While praying, we are invited to listen. Maybe we talk too much and think that we know what is good for us. Maybe we forget to listen carefully. 
Let us stand before God as his beloved children. As humble servants who wait for God's words. Let us receive the word of God and fulfill them always with trust and love in the heart.   

By Jozef Trzebuniak SVD.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Cum orabis (Mt. 6:6)

Jesus talks about three pillars or three pious deeds that can help us – every Christian to become mature in our spiritual life. These three pious deeds are almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.  If we exercise Almsgiving, prayer, and fasting properly, these will bring us closer to God. It is obviously seen in this passage that Jesus reminds us of the wrong motive of some people who exercised these three pious deeds. These three pious deeds are supposed to put us on the right path to become closer to God, our Father. Almsgiving will free us from our detachment to our belongings or our possessions so that we can help the needy. Fasting will remind us that we always need God and we are always hungry for God.  Prayer will help us to have good communication with God. In our prayer, we can find the will of God for us.

My brothers and sisters, let us be honest and genuine in our spiritual life. We have to make sure that we practice almsgiving, fasting, and prayer with our pure motive to become closer to God. Do not become a hypocritical person because a hypocrite wants to draw people’s attention and wants to be seen as superior to others. Please kindly bear in our mind, when we perform these practices in order to get humans’ approval, these practices will not enormously benefit us.

By Risco Batbual, SVD

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Fidelis Dominus (2 Thes. 3:3)

Where have you seen God's faithfulness in your own life?  God's faithfulness can be vividly depicted in each of us in every stage of our lives. For example, for married people, it can be seen when their marriage is restored. For someone who decides to be a single, God's faithfulness may fill the void of her/his loneliness.  God's faithfulness may be delivering us from sins and kindly providing our needs. There are so many little or even big things that we can see God's faithfulness.
When I face a problem, sometimes, I feel that it is all about me and I start to blame myself. I can't see where God is and I feel alone. It is difficult to believe even a close friend but I finally realized that I am not alone. I have God who is closer than I know. I can tell all my feelings to Him. I learned from my loneliness that I should trust that God is faithful. I learned God's faithfulness when I had fallen and He cares enough to catch me.
If we found ourselves sometimes in a season of doubt, just remember about the story of Peter when he doubted Jesus. He had seen how faithful God was as written in the story that God immediately pulled Peter out the water and lifted him into the boat. We can always stand on God's faithfulness anytime in the situation we need Him.  So whatever we are facing, God is faithful today and forever.
Thank God for His faithfulness to me and please continue to strengthen me in Your presence.
By Martha, Brisbane.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Non resistere malo (Mt. 5:39)

Today’s Gospel reading is a reminder of our constant call to love one another.  “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn and offer the other.”  This is not a common practice in our society. We see on TV shows, movies, the news, and even in real life, people getting revenge or serving up payback for someone’s wrongdoing.  Jesus is telling us, not to treat evil with evil, but rather with love. It was the way of Jesus. He lived and died to overcome evil with good. This is easier said than done.  While we often say to ourselves, “Okay, I’m not going to do the same thing that has been done to me,” when we have been treated badly. It becomes even more difficult when we first hand experience that situation.  When we are hurt; physically or emotionally, our first instinct is to inflict the same pain onto the other person.  This is the devil working in our lives, but it is a call out from God to love continually.  This does not mean to love when things are going well or when someone loves you.  It means to love ALWAYS. 
It is not easy to remain good in the face of evil, to be loving in the face of hatred, to be faithful in the face of unfaithfulness, to remain just in the face of injustice done to us, to be peacemakers in the face of violence done to us. We cannot live in this way drawing on our own strength and resources alone. We need God’s strength, God’s resources, God’s Spirit because such a way of life is the fruit of God’s Spirit at work within us.”  When you get into an argument with someone or someone has hurt you, imagine Jesus is standing before you.  You would not hit Jesus, or speak bad words toward  Jesus, but that is what we do when our actions and words stem from evil and not love.  Let us use the image of Jesus to draw ourselves into prayer and a state of love and peace.  
By Sr Mary CM, Jogjakarta.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Ex hoc pane (Jn. 6:51)

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ, Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which we normally call Corpus Christi. Happy Feast Day to you all.

Corpus Christi is a day in honor of the Eucharist, a day for contemplative focus on the gift that Christ has given us. This is a special feast day, which the Church asks us to reflect on the fundamental mystery of our faith, the greatest of all the sacraments, which is Christ Himself, the Holy Eucharist.
We read in the first reading how the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Were they so hard-hearted that God tested them for more than a generation?  We’re not even 40 weeks into this pandemic here and already the signs of strain are evident.  God fed the Israelites; he gave them manna and water. He provided the sustenance they needed to continue their journey.
As we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we reflect on how we are given the sustenance we need on our journey in Holy Communion. It is beyond doubt that the Eucharist abounds with layers of rich meaning. As we continue to go through this terrible global crisis, we are not able to be physically present at Mass; but we can still participate in the Mass and we can receive Spiritual Communion.  Thanks be to God!
We come to the table and bring ourselves; and God finds us just as we are.  Just as he changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, he can change us if we are humble enough, ready enough, open enough to receive him.
The Eucharist has all the power of issues that affects life and death. The Eucharist is celebrated by real people in the midst of everything that makes up our human existence.
No wonder the Eucharist is often described as the awesome mystery, the layers and layers of rich meaning are indeed precious gifts to us. The Eucharist makes us become, what we receive.
As Pope Francis so beautifully puts it, this is medicine for the sick and all of us need medicine for our journey.
May we today and everyday ‘revere the sacred mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood’, and may these have their full effect in us and through us.
By Father Rajesh, UK.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Filii Dei sumus (1 Jn. 3:2)

We have been granted a great privilege to be called God’s children. We didn’t acquire that title because any extraordinary work we have done by ourselves, in fact, nothing we could do would be worthy enough to win it. It is by grace, kindness, and the greatest love of all that we were bought and redeemed by Christ's precious sacrifice for all humanity past and present sins. The Righteous suffered once to bring us near to God. Now, we are to partake in a royal family, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, so we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). He is our light, he is the source of our happiness, great joy and real freedom.

The word of God says that God’s plan for His creation was to be one in His image and likeness, then sin came and interfere in that direct and perfect communion that Adam and Eve had with God Father. They lost their original nature as living spirits. Death and corrupted human nature began. That was not the plan for us, the plan is still to be like our Father is! We’ve been predestined to be in his image and likeness, we are His masterpiece.

In order to recover what we have been called to be it is important to evolve in His knowledge and experience the power of the living Gospel in our lives. The first and most important step is to recognize our Lord Jesus Christ as our unique and only Savior, then grow in the knowledge of his word and will for us through Bible study, and seek to make our self die so that He grows day after day in us.

We can still recover what was lost in the garden, a perfect and uninterrupted communion. Are you aware that His return to the date of love for his beloved one (the Church) is very close? What is the image that you will show when He shall appear? Are you prepared to see Him as He is? What He will find in you?

By Nydia Flores

Creati in Christo Iesu (Eph. 2:10)

A song from Indonesia entitled, “ Aku Bukan Boneka”  (I am not A Doll) has gone viral on You-tube in the last few days. Everyone around me, even my students, shared this video too. I think it is going viral because the song is commercial (easy to sing) and the singer is entertaining.

This song made me think more about the meaning of it. So, this verse popped up “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. We knew that we were created by God’s hands as stated in Gen. 1:27 with His image (Imago Dei). God created us not like a robot or a doll as depicted in this song to be alike and do the same thing. God created us with wellbeing so we can praise the Lord sincerely.

Adam and Eve fell because they had been tempted by the Evil. As a result, we inherit this sinful nature and become a doll of evil. But praise the Lord, He sent His mighty Son to save us all by sacrificing Himself on that cross. So we are now not a robot or a doll of the evil, but precious things and become the apple of His eyes (Deut. 32:10). Praise the Lord for that.

Sometimes, these days, we are not fully aware of the trick of evil and become his doll again. We oftentimes don’t realize that evil has taken control of us. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord (Ps. 16:8) and set our mind to Him by filling our mind with reading the scriptures daily and thinking of Him only. So, He will always be our guide and set us free from evil. May God Bless us all. Amen.

By YuliusTelaumbanua

Friday, June 12, 2020

Ad imaginem suam (Gen. 1:27)

I think each of us is familiar with the use of mirrors as it is oftentimes utilized by us in many ways. Most of the time, it is used to project how we dress up, how we beam, how we walk, and many more.  I even utilize it for rehearsing how to do public speaking or learning languages. What will happen if the mirror falls and it is shattered into pieces? Can it still function as it is supposed to be? It mostly can’t any longer!

How often in our lives, we look in the broken mirror to judge who we are? What is the broken mirror? It is the way we perceive and view ourselves and the way other people view ourselves. Our past bitter traumatic experiences have lots to do with our self-images.  These undeniably have shaped the way we think and make out ourselves. We can discern like we are not sufficiently good enough in the eyes of others. We are insufficiently lack of confidence and we become an attention seeker; to always look for others’ approval in everything that we do. We are thirsty for compliments and praises. Deep down, we feel profoundly insecure. If we heavily rely on the way people think and feel about us, it is an endless exhausting bumpy journey.

The way people view us is seriously limited and conditioned as they have their very own values and choices toward something. God’s word reminds us that the best mirror to look up about ourselves is God’s Himself because God made us.  God created us at first to be Imago Dei, the image of God. We are priceless not because of all things that we have but because we are created in Him and He died on the Cross for us. He died to suffer for our heart-broken, sins, and insecurity.  Grace alone enables us to have this sweet promise.  It is not by our good deeds and hard effort.  When we experience a deep and intimate personal relationship with Him, we surely feel loved and precious. Jesus is the best mirror that someone can have. Jesus, Jesus, what do you think of me?

By Deisyi, Indonesia.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Unum corpus multi sumus (1 Cor. 10:17)

We are looking for beauty, truth, and goodness. We are waiting for love, peace, and happiness. We engage ourselves in relationships. Nonetheless, we feel that we are lacking something. Something is missing. Deep inside our soul is eager for God. 
Do people, things, experiences fulfill or satisfy this desire? Probably not because even if we get everything we want, we still miss something. 
Apostle Paul explains that as human beings we need communion with Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. We are capable of achieving this spiritual union in the Church. Especially when we receive holy sacraments, namely Body and Blood of Christ. As long as we are on the earth, we cannot see God face to face. However, we feel God among us and in our hearts. Although we are One Body in Christ, we experience the difference between us. 
Let's partake in Christ and become one with him. Let's pray for each other so we could have a share in the Kingdom of God.

By Józef Trzebuniak SVD

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Iota unum (Mt 5:18)

We often listen to these words of Jesus today: “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.” We can ask ourselves, “Why did Jesus  tell these words to his disciples and to all of us, his disciples in this present time?” I would like to say that through his words today, Jesus wants to confirm that He comes for the  salvation of all humanity.In the time of old, God gave His Law and His words for the salvation of His people through  all His prophets. But now,God speaks to all humanity for their salvation through His only Son, the long-awaited Messiah – Jesus Christ. Jesus does not abolish the Law and the Prophets, because the  Law and the Prophets are meant for the salvation of all people.Jesus comes to renew these Law and Prophets because some persons and groups  try to twist the Word of God for their own benefit. And Jesus fulfills His own words through His death and resurrection, in order to show the compassionate heart of God for the salvation of all humanity.

We are called to listen and obey the word of God by our words and deeds.And if we do these, we will be considered great in the Kingdom of God. Jesus has come to fulfill the promise of God to save us by showing how to follow and obey the Word of God. May we strive to be faithful to the Word of God, so that we will become good children of God and real disciples of Jesus; and we will be considered great in the Kingdom of God. Amen.

By Risco Batbual, SVD

Dominus ipse est Deus! (1 Kings 18:39)

In the old testament, God made people of Israel as a chosen nation. God made them went out from the oppression of Egypt and guided them to enter the promised land. Nevertheless, they were often unfaithful and devoted to the other gods.

Elijah was one of the big prophets who had been sent by God to realise Israel that they should return to God as a one God for them. Hence, there were no other gods besides God from Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob. What Elijah did was recognising the people of Israel to admit God as their Lord.

Learning from people of Israel, sins separate us from God and unfaithful is a sin that we often do. We are doing it through our actions and words. Sometimes, we say we believe in God but our heart is far from Him. Nevertheless, God always loves us and accepts us although we are sinners. God has never abandoned us even though we are unfaithful to Him. He is calling us every day and waiting for our response.

Let us purify our hearts and make the decision again to believe and love God with our whole heart. He wants us to become faithful disciples and use us to spread the good news. There are so many people who lost love and hope, and they need God’s grace through us.

Our selves are the best gift for others. By giving ourselves for others, we and all people can glorify and praise God’s name that He is the only God.   

By  Aris Mada, SVD

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Inclina aurem tuam (Ps 17:6)

Psalm 17: 6 says: “I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words”.
It is important to deal with any form of stress or anxiety. David wrote this because he was anxious. We need to trust that God listens to us when we pray or cry out to Him.
Every stage of life has something to be anxious about. We think that if we only get to the next stage, it will alleviate the stress, but that is rarely the case. Yes, there are some smoother moments than others, but anxiety is part of the human experience. God uses it as a tool to show us that we were made for Heaven, and that we need Him.

God wants to teach us to grow in our faith through anxiety; to learn to trust and walk in strength with Him. 
Are you stuck with your fears and anxiety, or are you truly giving them to the Lord? I have ever gone through numerous times when I do feeling that God is silent. After praying, I still feel like the same before praying. I am still anxious and dread and I have had those times. Maybe I will have them again. 

Sometimes, I think probably I am not faithful but I keep coming to cry out to God. If you have been in these situations keep coming to God and never stop to cry out to Him because it is a part of the Christian experience.
Remember don’t give up because the fact is He does listen. Not only does He listen, but He already knows what we are going through.
Today through your anxiety, trust deeper in your faith realizing that God does listen.
Have a blessed day all. 

By Martha, Australia.