Thursday, July 30, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
In our reality, we find a conflict in two poles between good and bad sides symbolized by black and white, day and night, light and dark. Jesus in the Gospel utilizes wheat and darnel to describe good and bad things. The good seed will grow together with darnel. When the harvest time comes, the Son of man will send His angels to pull out the wheat and the darnel and sort them out.
We believe in a powerful God. We can imagine that if God wills, He can negate evil and let the good seed grows. But, why are there bad things in our life? God has authority. However, He gives humankind free will. By this gift, humankind can choose freely which side he or she goes through a good or a bad side. Nevertheless, God invites people to choose to become a good seed. Therefore, we can say, if the wheat and darnel grow together, we opt to walk with goodness even though badness overshadows.
It is too often that we make a bad choice in our life. We prefer to stay in the dark rather than to stay in the light. Nevertheless, our God is merciful. He accepts everyone who wants to come to Him like a Father who is glad to welcome His child. We are invited to come to God’s house, to choose and do good things in our life for the virtuous will and shine likes the sun in the Kingdom of God.
We have been baptized and we are the children of God. The light of God’s love shines upon us and He gives us free will. What is your option? Let us pray, may God pour out His Holy Spirit to guide our heart and mind to choose the best answer in our life. God bless us.
By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020
“But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own” (2 Cor. 4:7).
This passage pictured the humbleness of Apostles as they admitted their limits, weaknesses, and nothingness without God’s power. These apostles and we are nothing compared to God’s Almighty will and power. If they had been overconfident to themselves, they would have been knocked down to any kind of hardships. As a result, they will not set an example in our today’s living as they were facing many hardships like persecutions, famine, sickness, and even death. Why are we so easily distracted by our own preoccupations? Why are we so worried about our daily living and about our future? Our God is not dying; He is always in our hearts. Do not be overconfident, have confidence in Him because He could remove all our worries.
“Anyone who wants to become great among you must be the servant and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave” (Mt. 20:26-27). Nowadays we could rarely see leaders who become servants of his or her group members. On the contrary, some of them just like to be served than to serve others and everything they need should be provided on time. Jesus our great Lord, humbled Himself down to the earth just to show us examples of true service of great love. We are all leaders for each other. We could serve each other with a humble heart. To serve not to be served; to be loved as to love. With saint James whose feast we celebrate today, let us fix our eyes and mind upon Jesus, always. Peace be with you all.
Friday, July 24, 2020
The school lent me a motorbike. It is quite old but still useful. When I ride it, I really use it until the fuel is almost empty. The place to fill it is quite far from the place that I mostly visit. Last week, I ran out the fuel, I forgot to fill it, and motorbike broke down. Well, I really hated my self that time.
We all know how important the tank be always filled up. Our life is quite similar. Our life needs to be filled up with God's grace.
From the beginning, God created us, He put something special in our hearts. Thus, we desire to be in the relation to God. We will break down like that motorcycle if our life isn't filled up with His presence. We will break down if we do something against the will of God.
But actually, there is a small shop on the street that sells the fuel. It is almost in every corner of the town. The presence of God is everywhere. God is always there when we need to relate to him. He will fill our heart with the "fuel" of His love.
Mark 12:33 "And to love Him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
If we have our tank full, we could ride anywhere. Loving God and having a deep relation with Him is delightful. Why do we choose to have our hearts empty if God always is ready to fullfil them? Why do we pretend to be fine even if we are broken inside?
That "fuel" from God is totally free and we can meet Him everywhere. Let us fill our hearts with the love of God so we can enjoy without worrying our tank will be drained.
By Yulius Telaumbanua, Indonesia.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Growing up my parents taught me a cultural moral value that I continue to practice everywhere, every day, and whenever the opportunity comes. That moral value is that young people must help the elders of their community. Whenever I see any elderly person, I run to help. Because it has become the moral duty that I have to perform. However, in my first year in the US, I struggled with this moral value as I was trying to integrate myself into the community. I often ran to my elderly confreres who were trying to do something, and they often rejected my help saying: “No! thanks! I can do it.” In the end, I learned that allowing someone to help you is a sign that you are either too weak or old enough to go to a nursing home. What is going on in this story is that no one wants to recognize that he or she is weak enough to be helped. Thus, only the person who recognizes his or her weaknesses can accept the help that others are offering. How many of us are rejecting the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives? How many of us are unable to recognize that they are weak and need help? This is where I find the invitation that today's second reading is offering us. This invitation is to recognize our weaknesses and allow the Holy Spirit to help us.
Therefore, one of the main reasons that we do not pray as frequently as we should is our pride. We do not pray as fervently as we ought because we do not recognize how weak we are. If we knew ourselves to be weak, we would always come to the Lord and crying out for His strength. We fail to pray because we think that we are strong enough to handle life without God. This implies that we do not need Christ in our lives because of our strength. Jesus has nothing to do with us because we are self-sufficient.
And Jesus came for the weak, not for the strong. If we want to meet Jesus, we should go to the weak. He or she who knows his or her weaknesses knows himself or herself better. If we want to meet God who lives in us, we should discover where our weaknesses are. Hence, let us stop searching for God and search for weaknesses. Let us stop searching God’s will and search where our hearts are. “And the one who searches hearts knows what the intention of the Spirit is.” God does not confront us or condemn us for being weak. Rather, He sends His Spirit to help us in our weakness. And so, God tells, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) And enjoin our voices to that of St. Paul and say, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9b-10). In other words, anytime I boast on my strength, I am running away from God's grace. I am no longer fit to receive the help of God.
God graciously gives the Holy Spirit to help us by interceding for us in our weakness. For, “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.” (Rom. 8:26) So, the Spirit helps us by praying for us in our weakness. What an encouragement!
Also, “And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” (Rom. 8:27) This statement implies that the Spirit takes our deepest feelings and unexpressed needs to the Father, who understands everything perfectly. Hence, let us stop searching for God elsewhere and search for weaknesses. Let us stop searching for God’s will and search where our hearts are. If we find our hearts, our prayers should come from these hearts. If we find our weakness, they should become the reason for our faith in God.
This an assurance that we are not alone in our struggles. This is an affirmation that we are sons and daughters of God because God’s Spirit is in our hearts, and It constantly prays with and for us. The questions that remain to be answered individually or communally are: do I profess that I am a child of God? Do I recognize and acknowledge that God’s spirit lives in my heart? What is then my main hindrance to prayer? How can I overcome it?
By Fr. Ouwakpare Victorin Oussoi, SVD.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
We have a saying that goes this way: “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.” That even if we don’t know this particular existing law, this does not exempt us from it because we can inquire and look for information regarding this matter. Just like in our gospel today which is the parable of the sower.
This parable and other parables of Jesus are being told and retold so that His teaching will remain forever in our minds and in our hearts. So, we have no reason to say ‘No’ to Him.
Jesus was really a great preacher and teacher because He spoke in the language of the people so that the people would understand Him. He used stories, made comparisons, and used examples, all from the everyday life of the people He was speaking to.
The seed in today’s parable is the word of God and it falls on different types of ground. The sower is God Himself. Some grounds are good. Some are too thorny and too rocky and some of the ground is the footpath. These different types of ground represent different followers in the church.
The Word of God is not like ordinary information such as the weather forecast. God’s word is like rain on the earth, or like the seed. It changes things. When it is alive; it needs, like all living things an environment that will support it. It interacts: it makes possible something new, the seed dies to its life as a seed and becomes a plant and eventually is harvested.
If we allow ourselves to be nourished by prayer and by God’s word, the result is remarkable. Normally 10% is regarded as a good return on seed sown. But here Jesus promises 30, 60 or even 100%. What commercial bank today would give such a return for the investment?
Growth and healing take place when we see ourselves as God sees us.
“Lord Jesus, we pray that the soil of our lives may be very rich so that when the seed of your word falls into it, it may bear much fruit and help to bring about your kingdom on earth. Amen”
By Fr. Rajesh Minz, UK.