Thursday, July 30, 2020

In domum figuli (Jer 18:3)

Prophets were people who listened to the word of God carefully. Their ears were attentive to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah was one of them. When he heard the message, he followed the orders of the Lord. 
The Lord told him that human life is similar to potter's clay. How fragile is this life? Today one lives and tomorrow one can die. When we think about it, we feel depressed and sorry. But the good news is that all of us are in the potter's hands. The potter is our Lord who is working on us continually. He never gives up. He is always ready to start afresh and work on us again. 
We just need to let the Holy Spirit work in our souls. For sure, miracles could happen in our lives if only we allow God to lead us. 
The problem starts if we forget about our relationship with the Lord and try to live on our own. Then our life can be broken easily. 
This new day, let us give thanks to the Lord for the gift of life. Let us open our souls for the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us invite the almighty to renew our whole being, body and mind, emotions, and thoughts. May God cleanse us from our weaknesses, sins, diseases, and all kinds of wounds. 
We do believe that the is powerful and mighty. Overall, he is our Creator. We do trust in his words as prophet Jeremiah. Accordingly, we ask God to take us in his arms, embrace us with his grace, and make miracles in our lives. We beg him in Jesus' name. Amen. 

By Fr. Józef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sicut sol in regno (Mt. 13:43)

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

Dominus exaudivit (Ps. 34:18)

If we believe in Jesus, feeling joy should be our default position.
The Bible talks a lot about sadness too—it doesn’t try to minimize it or sweep it away with saccharine phrases. King David much wrote about his sadness in Book of Psalm.
I am trying to tell you that you don’t have to feel bad for feel sad if you’re a Christian because even Jesus was racked with sadness at times in the Bible. But we have to remember that God also says His mercies are new every morning—even the times when you don’t want to get out of bed. With every sunrise, God gives us another blank sheet of paper and invites us to fill it up with things that make us come alive.
All of us experience negative emotions from time to time and some of us were born with an extra dose of them because of our genes.
Let people around us be sad if they need to be or go ahead and be sad yourself if you need to. Then find your way back to hope but if you’ve lost your way, find someone who is trustful and who you can trust to share your sadness. Find someone who will reach out to you the way God reaches out to all of us—fiercely and without stopping until He’s got us wrapped in a hug.
If you know someone who is trapped by their hurts, go to them, don't wait too long. And if you’re the one hurting, be sad, but don’t get stuck. Find someone to travel the path with you. You’ll know you’ve found the right person if they don’t try to fix you but they’ll just want to be with you on the way to Jesus. Amen. God bless us.

By Marta Kamaludin.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Refugium et virtus (Ps. 46:2)

We should be very grateful to have a guarantee for safety, peacefulness, happiness  and joyfulness by surrendering our life in God's promise. We have no need to worry about things. This is a perfect thing needed by all people in the world. It is really comforting.
Facing of this Covid 19 pandemic era, all people are challenged and tested to keep holding the promise. We are seeing many people's fear, anxiety, sadness, and tears. But, we have to be grateful for the promise by understanding the story of a grain mustard seed and Heavenly Kingdom. I believe all of us still have a faith that expresses our love and belief to our  Lord, our Father in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit even it is only as big as the seed’s size, a tiny one. But we still can get the salvation and we can still  experience God's strength, almightiness, and even miracles in our life.
Having a tiny faith is a treasure. It has the power to pump itself to become huge. To keep persistently living in God and to keep doing things in His way  are defined as a faith, a treasure that we can get for free. Only one word that can tie this intimate and great relationship; the word of 'believe' and it is the fundamental requirement mentioned in John 3 :16. Praise God, He is really great..
One of the expressions believing our Lord is about our responsibility as ordered Matthew 22: 39, the great commandment of law. It is seemingly easy to be understood.  Loving God  is loving ourselves and other people as well. Keep alert by preventing ourselves from Corona virus desease 19 is part of our commitment to believe and love our Lord. Keep staying healthy and happy, keep washing our hands, and keep making a distance with others are part of our responsibities and part of our wisdom and faith as ordered in our source of life in the Holy Gospel. Doing these things persistently grow our resignation and hope in Him and there are  blessings and  salvation awaiting. Experiencing God's almightiness, God's miracle and God's love is by doing persistently His commandments  and teachings.  Amen.

Ceisy N. Wuntu.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Regnum caelorum (Mt. 4:17)

The Kingdom of God was always in the mind of Jesus. We are given three parables in our Gospel today (Mt. 13:44-52). These parables are about the hidden treasure, the pearl, and the dragnet. When we talk about parables, Biblical scholars would say that they talk about the Kingdom of God, what it is all about, and how it comes about.
In the Old Testament, the Kingdom of God refers to the provident and protective kingship of God over the chosen people. The fruit of this Kingdom is a whole moral order of peace, justice, and mercy.
In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is near at hand (Mt. 4:17). So he called for conversion and repentance and for watchfulness. He also said that the Kingdom of God was for everyone.
If you ask me what my own definition of the Kingdom of God is, I would admit to you that I would refer to the teachings of the Church. It is when we accept and do God’s will  and promote the values of God’s Kingdom: truth, justice, love, and peace. If these values rule our lives, it means that God’s Kingdom is reigning in our hearts, in our community and society.
But take a look around us. Can we say that God’s Kingdom reigns in the hearts and minds of people? We can say ‘ Yes and No.’ How can we realize this Kingdom in our lives?
For me, it is very simple. I will give you some practical guidelines for a Christian: share your Time, Talent and Treasure to the needy, Love more simply, offer hospitality, support the bereaved, admonish the sinner, spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God, counsel the doubtful, comfort the lonely, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, free your heart from hatred, free your mind from worry, expect less and live simply, and pray for the living and the dead.
These are very simple and very practical things.
These deeds are not impossible to practice and let us do them joyfully.

By Fr. Rajesh Minz, UK.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Vester minister (Mt. 20:26)

“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.

 By Sr. Yanti Purnawati, SFSC.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Caritatem volo (Ho. 6:6).

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

Ex Deo nati (Jn. 1:13)

"But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn 1:12-13).

What would you do if you were handled a great gift that just for you to decide when to open it? Would you store it in a safe place and wait for a special occasion to open it? Maybe wait one week, month or year? How about waiting 5, 10, 15 years or your whole life? Or will you unwrap it immediately? The second option sounds better, right? Well, it is a decision that is up to each person.
The holy scripture tells us different ways about a precious truth. It is about one of the greatest gifts that are offered by our Heavenly Father and within reach to all of those who are brave enough to follow a different path, to those who are called to be different, to make a difference in this world and impact other lives through preaching and expansion of the gospel. This path, of course, is not as popular as those offered by this world that only leads to paths of doom, damnation, and death. The gift of adoption as sons and daughters of the almighty and eternal living God is a great privilege that brings earthy and eternal benefits but also duties. The amazing part of this is that we didn’t have to do any extraordinary things to achieve it. The only requirement involves a two-step- process: to believe and to receive our Lord Jesus Christ as the only and sufficient savior of our lives, the owner of our lives, and our beloved one. It is not by human will, but God's goodness and mercy to those who humiliate their hearts upon him.
Do not delay anymore your decision to unwrap the greatest gift of all, to take part of an eternal family, exercise your faith, surrender your will to the Lord. He loves you deeply and is waiting for your arms wide open for a rebirth and a novelty life in Him.

By Nydia Flores, US.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Semen in agro (Mt. 13:24)

Every living creature longs for the rain which provides fertility and freshness. Like rain, God brings peace to the world and to humans. Sin has separated God and humans forever and ever and Jesus is a sign of peace. Jesus comes to pay off human’s sins and to re-tie the covenant between God and man. With the ransom of Jesus Christ, humans owe God even though God has never demanded humans to pay for it because Jesus Christ lived and died once to redeem for the sins of mankind and lift up people to be children of God. On the contrary, we are like soil on a roadside that receives the seed of God's Word but our faith is quickly eroded by external temptations. In addition, we are like rocky ground whose hearts are hard to accept God's word. Humans are also like soil full of thorns squeezed by worldly anxieties. God expects us to be like fertile soil where God's word flourishes and produces abundant fruit.
God also invites us to be the seeds of the living word of God. A seed contains the potential to grow and suffer. Rooted in the Word of God means we are ready to suffer for the sake of others and to grow to reach the glory of God. In oneself, there is potential for good spiritual fruit but selfishness keeps us from growing spiritually. Thus, we need God’s grace to help us get rid of our selfishness and listen to God’s willing. 
Lord God, we realize we are not enough in trusting You. We pray, increase our faith, Amen. 
By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Mulier, quid ploras? (Jn. 20:13)

Every July 22nd, Catholic Church universally celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the disciple of the Lord. Jesus had cast out seven demons from her and she was among the last who accompanied Jesus until the end of crucifixion. God also gave the great blessing for her, she was chosen to be the first witness to our Lord’s resurrection and the first missionary of the Good News.
We can raise a question here, why did Mary get such a great blessing? I can say that Mary Magdalene got this great blessing because her love for Jesus was so great and deep. And because of her great love, she could recognize Jesus when Jesus called her at the tomb. Her love made her able to see the presence of the Lord.
We can ask ourselves, how intense is my love for Jesus? We should ask this question because as disciples of Jesus we are often not aware of the Lord’s presence in our lives. We only realize His presence and believe in Him after experiencing His mercy and His great love. We should be ashamed of this wrong deed and asking for the Lord’s forgiveness because he always loves us but we don’t show our identity as His real disciples.  Now, we have to follow a good example of St. Mary Magdalene to love God with all our hearts. With great love for God, we will always see His presence and recognize His great blessing for us. God is always with us and never leaves us alone.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Pasce populum tuum (Mich. 7:14)

All of us need a leader, a teacher, a person who will introduce us to the world. On our own, we failed so many times, made the wrong decisions, got into trouble. When we are children, it is enough to learn from our parents and teachers. However, while we grow up, we see that not all people can be trusted. Even sometimes we stop to trust ourselves. 
For that reason, we need a special leader who is our Lord, Jesus Christ. Only he can lead us to the green pastures and to the forests with meadowland where we find rest and peace. Because of our bad experiences and other difficulties, we can live like in a prison. Perhaps we have the freedom and do what we want, but deep inside we feel imprisoned and captured by the power of darkness. If we realize this fact, we are able to look for a light who is our Lord, Jesus Christ. Only he can grant us to see wonders. 
Jesus has the power to change the circumstances, but he can do much more. He lets us come out of our inner prison. He makes us live as free people, men, and women, and rejoice in the Holy Spirit. No one else can take fault away nor pardon crime. Only our Lord does not cherish anger forever but delights in showing mercy. Therefore, we ask Jesus to have pity on us once more. We pray him to throw our sins to the bottom of the sea. 
Let us pray: Please, Jesus, grant us your faithfulness and mercy. We would like to praise you and worship you as free children of God. We acknowledge you as our Leader, and Teacher and Master. In the same Spirit, we choose you as our Lord now and forever and ever. Amen.  

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Signum videre (Mt. 12:38)

The Gospel portrays an encounter between the religious leaders and Jesus.  They want a sign as proof that Jesus truly is the Messiah.  Jesus tells them that the only sign they will be given will be His own rising three days after His death.  He implies that those who are open to the message of GOD will not need such a sign for they will have heard Jesus’ message and responded accordingly. 
I am reminded today that I am a sinner and also a holy person.  I have fallen short of being on target with the Lord Jesus. I have sinned. There is nothing I can do to make up for my sinfulness.  Forgiveness is a gift from GOD.  I cannot earn that gift.  I can ask for it, but I cannot do anything to make up for my sinfulness.  I can believe the words which Jesus spoke about GOD’s forgiveness, especially flowing from Jesus’ great sign of His death and resurrection.  Once I have been touched by the promises of salvation coming from the merciful and forgiving love of the Lord Jesus, I can only respond by living a more upright life.  I should want to live a righteous life, not because that will make up for my sinfulness, but because it shows that I have accepted the gift of GOD’s forgiveness and I want to be in relationship with the forgiving Lord Jesus.  I have been sinful, but I have been justified by a loving GOD through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. 
We are invited to follow Jesus wherever He leads us. We should serve Him by being of service to His disciples. We have been given the sign of the saving power of GOD as we reflect on the death and the rising of Jesus.  Thus we should respond by doing right, loving Goodness, and walking humbly with our GOD. 
The personal question/action for today:  Am I like the religious leaders in the Gospel, asking for a sign from GOD?  Which aspect of triple request do I find most difficult to practice:  To do right (act justly); to love GOoDness (love tenderly), or walk humbly with GOD?  What can I do today to be more attentive to that particular aspect of my life with GOD?  How can I demonstrate to others the importance of acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with GOD?

By Sr. Mary, CM.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Virtus in infirmitate (2 Cor. 12:9)

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.

Triginta et octo annos (Jn. 5:5)

We are asked now to reflect the condition of a man living in infirmity in such a very long time... hundreds of efforts and contemplations as well or even thousands... could ever be possibly done by him to live live happily and joyfully... experience by experience have surely taught him a lot stimulating his hope, his eagerness, and his decision.... it is not an easy spiritual journey for him facing day by day his the difficult opportunity he will have to be the first to get him to be in the pool of Bethesda to have the miracle.... but finally, he finds it at the end !! easily, respectfully and gracefully when he is asked by A stranger and then he tells to Him, the great Healer of him frankly and sincerely about his hope...
A quiet contemplation to trace his feeling and experience journey appears to be an answer to understand the strength of the man who deserves to receive the miracle and of course the eternal thing to be understood here is the strength of him from the endurance in surrender... 38 years is a big deal to wait for the angel to come....and the difficulty to have the help to bring him in the pool and hope of help, of worthiness result in endurance in surrender....our Christ who is Love, not only bring him in the pool but instantly heals him... God who knows this endurance in surrender comes and speaks gently "will thou be made whole ?"God who loves all people also gives him the love, need of him and surely need of us.... even when the man doesn't ask Him to heal him because the man doesn't know... God knows that he needs love and help ... so never hesitate of asking everything you need... just ask Him and you will have a heavenly hope as the man's and feel the hope that can emerge and there is a strength to stand strong together with our God in every challenge of our life waiting for love and help from Him... Halleluja!

By Ceisy Nita Wuntu, Paniki Atas.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dilexit Deus mundum (Jn. 3:16)

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".

L-O-V-E consists of four letters and one word that is really familiar and very close to our hearts.  How do you define love? People say that love is not only a noun but it is a verb. Maybe this true story taken from the Human of New York can define what love is.
There was a daughter who really admired her dad so much and described him as the best dad ever. He was a dad that everyone would like to have as their own dad. Someone who never complained, cooked for the family, never got mad, was always there for her, and much more. He was described by his daughter as the gentlest person in the world. He lived to be 96 years old and not once in his life did this daughter question that he was her father. The truth only came out after her dad's death, when her son decided to get a DNA test. Her mom cheated on his dad and got pregnant; that was her.  And that the dad had decided to forgive her mother. And to raise her as his daughter. And to take the secret to his grave, because he didn’t want to hurt his daughter. “This fact didn’t change my amazing childhood”, said the daughter. It didn’t change my relationship with my father furthermore, she said. Denise, her aunt, told her that she had been there when her parents came home from the hospital. She watched her father carry her in the house. And she said she’ll never forget the look on my dad's face. She’d never seen him so happy in his entire life.”
I think we see eye to eye that the man, the dad, has a gold heart as wide as ocean who can love and forgive. He has performed what love is. And I think there are so many other inspiring love stories that we have ever read, observed, and experienced in our daily life.  Love comes in some types; sexual love in couples/partners (eros), love as friends (philia), and familial love (storge).  Apart from these three types of love, there is another type of love. This type of love, agape, is the love of God to his people and the greatest love of all.  The love enables Him to keep loving us despite the fact that He knows that we will not always return His great love as much as He loves us.  His hope never dismisses for His people. One day these people, we, will receive His love and will return His love. He is not afraid of loving us. He does not choose an easy and comfortable thing for Him. He chooses to love us even though He is hurt and dies on the cross. 
How can someone experience this greatest love? There are four basic principles that can explain this. The first principle, God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. Second, but, why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life. Third, Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. The fourth principle, it is not enough just to know these. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. The moment you received Christ by faith, as an act of the will, many things happened, including the following: Christ came into your life, your sins were forgiven, you became a child of God, you received eternal life and you began the great adventure for which God created you.
What a true love that Jesus has for us; a love that gives us an abundance, a fulfilling and eternal life. This should be the anchor of our faith in our ups and downs and in our relationship with other people; the time when we feel that we are a failure, the time when we feel worried, the time when we are sinful, the time when we are in our peak of success, the time when things seem to be perfect and fine, the time when we are hurt and in deep pain, the time when we are in the battle, the time when our emotional needs are not fulfilled, the time when we are misunderstood, the time when we are underestimated, the time when we are betrayed, the time when we are hopeless, the time when we are tied up with things, and in many more occasions.
Shall we faithfully keep loving God and other people on every occasion of our life? 
“Take me deeper, deeper in love with You. Deeper than I've ever been before. I just want to love You more and more”. This lyric of a song should resonate with our deepest prayer and long to keep our eyes to the prize; to this mission.

By Deisyi, Indonesia.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Venite ad me (Mt. 11:28)

When we are sick, we need to rest. After work, we want to relax. It's obvious and natural. We know this process very well. However, we sometimes forget that not only our body can be exhausted but also our soul. We pay attention and check the temperature of our body. But how to take care of our soul? How to know that our inner part is in need?
Jesus invites us to come to him and wants to help us. For sure we cannot live without him. Moreover, we are not able to understand ourselves without Christ properly. For that reason, we ought to be close to Jesus. We often labour and are overburdened. We look for the rest in the Holy Spirit. 
And Jesus does not teach us that we should give up. He does not tell us lies. On the contrary, he says: "Take your cross and follow me. Yes, you can. I will give you strength. On your own, you will probably fall down. But if you become humble and gentle in your heart, you will find rest for your soul".
When your soul is similar to Jesus' soul, you are the strongest. Your power does not come from you, but from your heavenly Father. From this moment, everything happens to be easy. 
You are a child of God. The beloved child who is always in God's hands. You are never alone. Jesus Christ lives in you and the Holy Spirit abides in you. So you are to praise the Lord, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only in him you will find resting place for your whole being - for your body and your soul. 

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak SVD. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Filius revelare (Mt. 11:27)

Humility is the key to understand the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Isaiah describes beautifully about humility in 10: 15, “Does the ax claim more credit than the man who wields it, or the saw more strength than the man who handles it? As though a staff controlled those who raise it, or the club could raise what is not made of wood!” Moreover, in the Gospel, Matthew 11:27, Jesus Christ is humbler before His Father. Jesus knows from whom He has come to the world and all people that Father has entrusted Him to lead.
Humility is about the ability to listen by heart. When Jesus Christ came to the world and spread the kingdom of God, Jesus in his meditation recognized that the wise men rejected him and simple people received him. Jesus in Matthew 11:25 said, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children”.
The question is why the learned and the clever cannot understand about salvation that comes from God and simple people can easily accept Him and His teaching about the Kingdom of God? The answer is that the wise men receive Jesus’s teaching with their intellectual arrogance and simple people accept Jesus by their heart. Simple people can listen by heart to understand the mystery of the Kingdom of God. The heart is home to the Word of the Lord. Those who keep only the Word of the Lord in their head cannot comprehend why Jesus comes to the world to spread the good news.
Intellect and faith are like two wings that bring us to enter the Kingdom of God. To accept the gospel, on one hand, we need human thought and on the other hand, we need trust. Those who deny faith can be falling to rationalization and those who deny intellect can be falling into believing something blindly and immerse in believing the wrong truth. Therefore, reasoning helps us to understand our faith. On the other hand, we need faith, for we cannot explain many things or we can say it is a mystery.
Jesus’ presence and the Kingdom of God can be understood if we welcome Him in our hearts. It can happen if every man chooses a humble way to personally experience God’s presence in his or her daily life. We pray may God open our hearts to be more understanding about God’s presence in Jesus Christ and let the word of the Lord dwelt in us.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD

Humilis corde (Mt. 11:29)

In Today’s Gospel, we heard that Jesus expressed his gratitude to the Father. From this expression of gratitude, we understand that if we want to become good disciples of Jesus and real children of God, we should have humility. God does not need a clever person, but God needs a humble person because the humble ones could listen to the Word of God and they could cooperate with God in doing the work that was entrusted to them.
Nowadays, men have the temptation to defeat God and keep God away from their lives. Even, men create their own gods and rely on them. With all machines and tools that are created by them, men think that they can manage everything. And because of that, men become so arrogant before God. But when men believe in their own power, God always shows that He has more power than all men.
We must understand that God will always reveal himself only to those who are humble and faithful. Those who are arrogant and too proud will not find God in their lives. And if we do not have the humility that means that we are not disciples of Jesus and true children of God. Keep in our mind that those who are always grateful and humble before their God and Creator will be saved. Amen, – 
By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Scientes bonum et malum (Gen. 3:5)

“You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Gen. 3:4-6).
“God isn’t good. He can’t be trusted. And He’s holding out on us”. The origin of sin started with those lies. Certainly, this deception continues today. And if that’s not bad enough, like in Eve's case, our natural cravings join forces with these lies! All this deception is needed so that Satan could try to separate us from God.
How about us? How many times have we been overpowered by the lust of our eyes and our limited understanding?
Living connected to God’s voice means that we follow his instructions and recognize him. We give him glory, thanks, and praise for each moment because he is with us! This holy connection means that we desperately place our trust in God in every circumstance. Also, we shut our ears and eyes from all that would deceive our hearts and minds.
We don’t have to be afraid of missing the “good stuff” because we wait for eternal rewards. And, we know our God is truly the only Good Stuff! He is our All in All, our Sufficient One.
Hopefully, this sharing reminds us that all of us belong to God and we do not trust Satan's words. May God bless us.

By Marta Kamaludin.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Non pacem sed gladium (Mt. 10:34)

The opening saying of Jesus in today’s gospel reading might strike us as strange, ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth; it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword’. Jesus recognizes that His presence on earth will be divisive; some will welcome him and others will reject him and those who reject him will persecute those who welcome him. He goes on to elaborate on how we can welcome him. He says to those he sends out as his followers, ‘anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me’. All of us who have been baptized are always being sent out by Jesus as His mirror. In welcoming each other, we are welcoming Jesus, and in welcoming Jesus we are welcoming God the Father. Jesus identifies himself very closely with each one of his followers, to such an extent that how we relate to each other determines how we relate to him. Even the smallest act of kindness to another disciple of Jesus, such as the giving of a cup of cold water, will not go unnoticed by the Lord. The Lord whom we are to prefer more than even our closest family members nonetheless comes to us in and through each other. The ground which we share with our fellow pilgrims is a holy ground, sacred space, where the Lord is present.
By Sr. Mary, CM.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Qui seminat (Mt. 13:3)

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.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Persecutionem patientur (2 Tim. 3:12)

The very big question is who  persecutes and who is being persecuted.
There are so many life expressions come into being from  man's everyday experiences, and time has tested them all. The popular one is that " you don't need to throw away the bitter one and to swallow immediately the sweet one". One should think twice to understand this expression for usually people will choose the sweet one rather than the bitter one.... this is children's fave. When a choice is given to them about two houses ; one is luxurious and the other is a simple and big enough for each of their family.... they will spontaniously choose the luxurious one.... this of children choice is possibly very much affected by visual attraction and or the physical attraction .... this also could be possibly elderly demeanour. The choice is not wrong but the effect can possibly make them unhappy, discomfort and suffering. A luxurious one must be expensive.... how can one afford that.... one should work very hard and when he is insisting on he will be possibly sacrificing many things; time, family, friends and many more, until he commits sins... God's words teach us to follow Him, doing everything He expects from us to do.... following Him, can make us joyful and peaceful under pressure ... that's a miracle when our bad mood facing the persecusion can suddenly turn to joyfulness and peacefulness of the children of our Lord Jesus Christ.....
To be children of the Lord Jesus Christ is not an easy task because we have to avoid all the earthly temptation. We are asked to gracefully understand that the persecution which we experience from others is something normal... The Scripture teaches us to persistently maintain and to follow the teaching of our God... Although in persecutions, we need to face them with dignity. Earthly enjoyment is not our destination.... God wants to save us for eternal life. Following Him is our blessing and peace, and satisfaction. The Heavenly Kingdom that we can experience or sense even in the world. God can make us experience the Heavenly Kingdom now and give us eternal life.

By Ceisy Wuntu.

Benedictio Domini (Ps. 129:8)

Israel felt suffocation since "they were young" because of the hatred of the wicked people who tried to destroy them. Wherever God's people stand, they got more suffering than people who didn't know God. Sometimes their suffering was long and made God's people felt suffocated. But we should acknowledge that when the hatred of the wicked people tried to destroy Israel, they never achieved it. Moreover, God's people became stronger and spread all over the world. So, be patient in suffocation.
God puts a limit on our suffering. God knows his people and wants to reduce suffering. So it will never exceed our ability. God uses suffering to make his people come back to him. And when the wicked does too much against his people, God will act and free the suffering from the wicked clutches.
In sum, God is just. He will stop the enemies and make them ashamed, and eventually, they will step back. Because God always remembers his own people.

By Yulius Telaumbanua, Indonesia.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Ad maxillas suas (Ho. 11:4)

Each of us thirsts for love. Although there are many needs and desires in the heart of people, it is love which makes them feel fulfilled and satisfied. We cannot live without love from our parents, friends, and other people. Without love, our life becomes too difficult and we get depressed. But even if we do not experience enough love from other people, we are loved by God our heavenly Father.
We often look for love but not in the right place. We engage ourselves in so many activities and try to do many things. Eventually, we get disappointed and we sometimes do not even know why.
The crucial thing in love is to let be loved by the Lord. We are to allow him to take us in his arms. We are to abide with him and experience on our own how great is his love towards us. Jesus Christ wants to lead us with reins of kindness and with leading-strings of love. He loves to embrace us like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek. The Son of God wishes to send the gift of the Holy One as spiritual food for our soul.
Are we ready to accept such enormous love from the Father? Do we need anything else besides the love of Christ? Dear sisters and brothers, for sure it is much more than we can imagine. The Holy One God in our midst.
Let us rejoice in the Holy Spirit today and every day. As the Blessed Mary rejoiced while she conceived by the divine grace.
We are really beloved children of God who are to live in love and in order to love.

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.