Thursday, December 30, 2021

Mihi Testes | My Witnesses

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8 (NIV) 

The words of the Lord Jesus above were said before He was taken up into Heaven. It was when He had finished a tremendously severe suffering - He died but rose in three days to redeem and secure places in the kingdom of God for those who believe in Him (v.3).

Jesus said for His disciples at that time that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came and become His witnesses to the ends of the earth (v.8). And they did. With the power of the Holy Spirit they became Jesus Christ’s witnesses, bold and clear, everywhere they could go.

How about us, the Christians in this era. Christians mostly come to church but that’s it. We are shy even hesitate to express our gratitude to the Lord in front of others. There are so many of us live so comfortably without any urge to witness about Christ or Christianity.  Let alone to confess that we are sinful and need God’s intervention. Many times we neglect the whisper of the Holy Spirit.

Being a witness of Christ is seen not only in our deeds but also in our words. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:10, NIV). Often we are nice to others, but only a few of us want to talk or write witnessing how great Jesus is. As a Christian, what hinders you from proclaiming Christ and His work? 

May God help us all. Amen.

Reflection on Acts 1:1-8 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, December 27, 2021

Benedictio Christi | Blessing of Christ

"I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ." — Romans 15: 29 

Reflecting on the beautiful exhortations by St. Paul, to the church in Rome, each of us have been richly blessed by God through Christ. It's our God-given duty as sons and daughters of the God of Blessings to be a blessing in our communities and families, so that His Name be glorified on earth. Just as God had promised to Abram in the Old Testament when He made a binding Promise which was ultimately fulfilled by the first coming of Christ over 2000 years ago. First to the tribe of Israel and subsequently through the apostolic commissioning of His apostles to bring the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. It was beautifully foretold by prophet Isaiah 600 years before Christ's Immaculate Conception through a young Virgin Mary, and confirmed in our Lord's own Words:

"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:2-3)

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

Jesus said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."  (John 8:58)

He not just says that He existed before Abraham existed 2000 years ago. He also calls himself 'I am', which is the name of God, and Immanuel or Emmanuel, in Isaiah 7 also has the meaning of "God with us".

Considering God's great revelations of His Salvific Plan through Christ Jesus, how can I as a son of God, and co-heir with Christ Jesus in His glorious inheritance keep this beautiful Promise and Gift to myself and not share it with others who have yet to see His Light? This is the true meaning of Christmas, that God gave His One and only Son for our sins and the penalty of sin, which is death, and it's not just about the gifts exchange or lavish feasting.

My question to all of us here as beloved and blessed brothers & sisters-in-Christ, how can I help to refresh other believers and bear the love of Christ to those who are suffering and pining for God's Light in this Christmas season and the new year ahead with untold challenges from the dreaded Covid-19 virus and its mutations?

Just as St. Paul wrote in verses 32-33, "so that I may come to you with joy, by God's will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all". Amen.

I will close with this beautiful Hymn – O Holy Night


Verse 1

O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior's birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

'Til He appears and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born

O night, O Holy night, O night divine!


Verse 2

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming

Here come the Wise Men from Orient land

The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger

In all our trials born to be our friend

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger

Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

Behold your King; before Him lowly bend


Verse 3

Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His Gospel is Peace

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother

And in His name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we

Let all within us Praise His Holy name

Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!

His power and glory evermore proclaim

His power and glory evermore proclaim

Reflection on Romans 15:22-33 by Chris Tan

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Abundetis in spe | Abound in hope

"So that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" — Romans 15:13 (ESV).

Photo by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Christmas is coming. For us Christians, it is a special day each year. Christmas means hope. We know that Christmas starts with the power of the Holy Spirit. Blessed Mary received divine grace. She believed that the word of God was true and real. She abounded in faith, hope, and love. In her body the Word became flesh.

Thus all the Gentiles could recognize their Lord in the little child who was born in Bethlehem. All the people who met him rejoiced and extolled him. All the weak and sinful people experienced peace in their hearts.

We are also able to open our hearts to the coming of Jesus Christ. Especially now during Christmas time of 2021 in our concrete reality and circumstances. We do need hope, peace, and love which flourished in the life of the holy family in Bethlehem. We do long for God's truthfulness in the world of distrust, hate, and anxiety. 

Let us welcome one another in the spirit of Christmas. Let us understand that the promises of God are precious and certain. Let us glorify God for his mercy towards humanity. For God the Father keeps sending his holy angels who announce hope, peace, and love. As Christians, we ought to praise the Lord among our sisters and brothers. We are to sing to his holy name. "May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in sharing the Christmas" (v. 13). 



Reflection on Romans 15:7-13 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, December 20, 2021

Firmiores | Strong to bear

"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." — Romans 15:1 (NIV)


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Not all Christians have the same faith growth. Some have slow spiritual growth, some grow fast. Some really believe in what they believe, some don't. There are people who have understood the doctrine or the Bible seriously, some have not. Paul exhorts the Romans that "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves'" (Roman 15:1 - NIV). This means that those of us who really believe in what we believe must be patient with the problems or objections of people who are not very sure of what they believe, or who are weak in faith.

Paul also forbade the Romans, not to seek their own pleasure, but on the contrary, they had to please others. Of course not to be a "people pleaser", but the aim is for the good of the people, so that they are more and more built in faith. We do not please others to compromise our faith and truth, but to build up weaker Christians to return to the true teaching. We should do this because Jesus did it.

Jesus Christ Himself did not come into the world to seek His own pleasure. Remember He had been in the garden praying for the Father " not my will but your will" (Luke 22:42). He was willing to take the risk.  He was willing to be humiliated, tortured, die and rise so that our faith in God will be fulfilled and not be in vain. He sacrificed Himself to bear our weaknesses. Christ has become an example for God's people by bearing the reproaches that peoples throw at the Father so that they will repent. We as His children must bear the weakness/objection of the hearts of other Christians so that those whose faith is weak may be strengthened through our teaching in faith and love. Are we ready to be used by God to strengthen those who are weak in faith?



Reflection on Romans 15:1-6 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Quicquam | Owe Nothing

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law " — Romans 13:8 (NIV)


Paul's meaning here is not "no debt". Paul himself in the previous verse said, "Give to everyone what you owe them" (Rm 13:7 - NIV).  Paul's point here is that love is our debt to others. No matter how much we have paid for it, we still have to do it. That's our debt. A wife takes care of her husband who is sick, no matter how many times she has done it. It is a debt she "has to pay". It is an embodiment of the promise she made before the altar during the Holy Matrimony: "To be faithful in health and in sickness, in gain and in misfortune."

We owe love to others, not because they gave something to us first. Absolutely not. We owe each other because God has given us His love. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." ( 1 Jn 3:16). So God's love should underlie every act that we do. Love fulfills the law. We should do good deeds to someone not out of compulsion, or because it is obligatory to do. We do that out of love. May we always owe love to each other. May love always be our basis in doing our obligations and loving each other. Amen.


 Reflection on Romans 13:8-10 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Subdita sit | Subject to the authorities

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established..."  — Romans 13:1-7 

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash


Reflecting on the introductory line by St. Paul, our earthly authorities too are subject to the Sovereignty of God. Rebellion against our God-appointed earthly authority is rebellion against God. Our LORD Jesus Christ knew this godly principle when He set the example during His unfair trial by Pontius Pilate. Even though He knew that the charges brought against Him by the Jewish religious leaders were false with an intention to kill Him, He obediently allowed Himself to be sentenced to death by Crucifixion, knowing that this was part of the Father’s Plan to save broken humanity - by His inglorious Death on the Cross, glorious Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven, in order to nail our sins unto the Cross, and set us free from the wages of sin, which is death. 

Similarly, as a follower of Christ, while I am aware of my  rights as a son of God, I am also keenly aware that I’m subject to the governing laws in Singapore and will deserve any punishment the law requires if I blatantly choose to live as a law breaker here, and such lawless behaviour does not please God as He is the One Who appoints godly leaders on earth.

So as long as I’m living as a citizen on earth, obeying earthly authority is also obeying God, because truly I was once a law breaker apart from God, but thanks be to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, I am set free from the wages of sin, which is death.

I will close with this beautiful Hymn - How Deep The Father’s Love For Us


How deep the Father's love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One


Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished


I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

Reflection on Romans 13:1-7 by Chris Tan

Benedicite | Live in harmony

"Live in harmony with one another..." —Romans 12:16a (NIV) 

Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.
This verse encapsulates what Jesus taught as he lived His life here on earth – love and kindness. We are taught to look at people who hurt us with love and kindness, not an eye for an eye. I often wonder – how is that possible? Only by the grace of God. We are but humans and we react and get affected. But with God, everything is possible. We can bring our hurts at His feet, be filled by His love and let this same Love that comes from the ultimate Source overflow to others – that we may bless those who persecute us, bless and not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Empathy, this verse reminds me of empathy, and how important it is to be emphatic to our neighbors. Joining family or friends in what they feel validates their emotions and will make them feel seen. Though it is important that big emotions are processed internally, there is such a strong sense of community if you know your friends and family are united with you as you rejoice and as you mourn.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. I love how the bible has always been practical in its teachings. And yet again in these verses, the Lord gives us guidance how to live with others, with community. With these verses, I can really feel that God wants us to live with community, to nurture relationships. We are not meant to be alone. At the same time, it also speaks to me of balance – not to associate with people of low position, but in the same breath, we are also asked not to be proud and conceited.
Truly, the Word of God, guides.

Reflection on Romans 12:14-16 by  Blessie Sto Tomas
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, December 3, 2021

Sine Simulatione | Without Hypocrisy

"Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good." — Romans 12:9 (NASB) 

Photo by Adnan Khan on Unsplash

Love can be fake. Not every good deed we receive from others is based on love. Even we ourselves can do something nice and yet it doesn’t come from our sincere hearts. The Lord Jesus, in teaching about prayer, gave an example of a man who responds to his friend’s need of bread because he doesn’t want this friend to bother him more. “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need” (Luke 11:8, NIV). Friendship is not a guarantee to expect a sincere love.

Apostle Paul says that love must be free of hypocrisy (v.9). That we need to examine ourselves. I like the NLT version of Today’s passage (v.9-11): “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”

There is a relation between serving the Lord Jesus enthusiastically with our genuine love towards others. Zeal for Jesus in our hearts will enable us to love sincerely. Because even God the Father will come and live in our hearts. Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). With God making our hearts His home, we can be sure of a genuine love far from hypocrisy.

But God cannot live in this following condition. Paul's advance instruction was, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.” (v.13, NLT). Sincerity loves people more than money. This is a very good test, because often we are willing to help with our time and skill but not with our financial assets. We should not underestimate this aspect. Money often comes between us and others. Because love of money & possessions a lot of relationships break up.  Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt 6:24, NIV). The Bible gives us the story of Ananias & Sapphira to show hypocrisy covered by so-called generous heart.

Who occupies our hearts? Can God make your heart His home? Let’s examine ourselves more and more. Amen.


Reflection on Romans 12:9-13 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Unum Corpus | One Body

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ”  Romans 12:5.


A woman with a man form "one body" and thus they achieve the deepest communion. The Catholic Church calls such a union holy sacrament. Moreover, the Holy Bible begins with a description of such communion in Eden (Gen 1:28). Also, the ancient Greeks knew that a human person looks for the missing part. Yet, the modern world, especially in the West, focuses on individualism. So, we learn to act on our own. We forget that we live in a community to cooperate and embrace one another. 

Apostle Paul reminds us that we are "members one of another". It happens in the case of close friends who decide to trust each other. Sometimes they can come from different backgrounds and places. But by the grace of God, they feel the unity of their minds and souls. They rejoice in the Lord who created them and let them meet. The communion between people grows "in proportion to their faith" (v. 6).

We can ask ourselves: Is it possible to start a deep connection between people in this world? The answer is: yes, it is possible. Can we achieve this by ourselves? Rather not. We need the gift of grace. We have to stop acting in an egoistic way. We must love more than to think about getting profit. True happiness is serving other people. Yes, Jesus Christ, can live in you as well if only you forget yourself for the sake of others. Are you ready for such love which makes you one with your beloved one?



Reflection on Romans 12:3-8 by Józef Trzebuniak.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, November 29, 2021

Hostia Vivens | A Living Sacrifice

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship." — Rom 12: 1 

Reflecting on the beautiful written appeal in Verse 1 above by St. Paul to the newly converted believers in Rome, reminded me of the verses from Romans 12:2, 9-18 - carefully selected and read by James, younger brother of Kate Middleton on her wedding to Prince William, the second in line to the British throne:
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds."
And included: 
"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord."

As the Hebrew writer had written in his appeal to all believers in Hebrews 10:23 to hold unswervingly to the faithful promise of God. Or the appeal of Moses to the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 10:20 to fear God, serve Him, hold fast and take their oaths in His name.

In his appeal to New Testament believers in Corinth, St. Paul urged all believers to put on the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16:

"The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, 'Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?'
But we have the mind of Christ."

Therefore, we are urged to put on Christ in our daily words, actions, and deeds, and to die to our old sinful selves with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is why personally, I love this quote by Oscar Wilder from his paperback novel - A Woman of No Significance, which gives me hope as a sinner struggling with my sinful nature. "The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

I will close with this classic hymn penned by a former slave trader who gave up his sinful slave trade and laid down his life to serve the LORD.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.

Reflection on Romans 12:1-2 by Chris Tan

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Secundum Electionem | Chosen by Grace

“So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace”  — Romans 11:5 (ESV) 


Photo by Daan Stevens from Pexels

Romans 11 comes after Romans 10 which describes the Israelites’ stubbornness to receive Christ as their way to Salvation. Although they had a zeal for God, they sought to establish their own way and did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God which Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom 10:2-4). They still held on to Moses’ teaching about the righteousness by law, that whoever does the law will live by it (Rom 10:5).

The Israelites were so hard to accept the grace of God in Christ. God said, ‘I have spread out My hands all day long to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (Rom 10:21). We meet people who have heard about Jesus’ love and sacrifice to save those who believe in Him but they just do not want to. They trust their own knowledge of how salvation should be obtained. They abandon the amazing Grace.

In Today’s passage, Paul shows us that although the Israelites were rebellious – killed God’s prophets, turned down His altars, and chased to kill Elijah, God still had the elect ones for Himself, the faithful ones whom he chose separately. These people did not bow down to worship Baal (v.3-4).

The same happens today, there is a remnant, chosen by grace (v.5). He spares a group of people who are loyal to Him. However, it’s interesting that these people are not chosen because of their work but simply because of God’s grace – His undeserved kindness (v.5, NLT). Israel was seeking the favor of God in their own way but they did not obtain it. God even hardened them so it would be difficult for them to see the Truth (v.7-8), until they realize and claim it for themselves (Rom 11:11).

Are you part of the chosen ones? Please be very careful with this privilege. It’s not because of us – do not boast, but also it gives an indescribable relief that He knows our weaknesses, still, He chooses us.  Let’s truly honor and exalt Jesus Christ who is the Only Way to Heaven. He’s the righteousness that God the Father means. Indeed, because of the Son, we are saved. To God be all the glory. Amen.



Reflection on Romans 11:1-10 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, November 22, 2021

Verbum Christi | The Word of Christ

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." - Romans 10: 17 (NIV)


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


The ear is an organ that we often use in our daily life. We hear what people talk to us, voices from radios, televisions. We hear the sound of rain and wind. We can hear both good and bad news. During the pandemic, we hear so much sad news. Many people have lost their family and friends because of this deadly disease. It affects our inner mood. The words of other people can also affect our point of view.

"Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ" (Rom 10:17). Which material we listen more often, will dominate our minds and hearts and ultimately bear fruit through what we do. The world is scattered with many things to hear to, from the positive to the negative. It is we who determine which things we should listen to and which is good for us. This letter from Paul encourages us not to "mishear". We don't have to hear all the material. But what is most useful for our salvation, namely the word of God, that is what we must listen to first.  "Whoever has ears, let them hear" (Math 13:9, NIV).

We are not only asked to listen, but also to pass this Word of God to those around us (see Rom 10:14). So that more people will hear the word of God and more people will be saved. There won't be anything to hear unless somebody speaks. Salvation requires more than just going to the church where the gospel is preached nor just by simply listening to the word of God. It is not only about always accepting and accepting Him...but we have to share the Word with everyone. May God bless you always!



Reflection on Romans 10:14-21 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, November 19, 2021

Qui Credit | Whoever Believes

“...and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame” - Romans 9:33 (ESV) 

Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

God's grace is great for us. He just wants us to trust Him wholeheartedly without hesitation. Throughout the journey of life, we have gone through many stories and there have been many difficult events that we are able to go through because of God's love - when we believe, when we have faith. Like a child in an adult's arms, they never feel worried. They just believe that the person who is holding them is a good person even though they are not the closest ones such are their parents and siblings. They believe that even if the adults swing them here and there, they will not be harmed.

The Israelites who pursued the law because of the truth as described in verse 31, they would not come to the law because they stumbled on a stumbling stone. Jesus who was the stumbling stone of the Israelites is also our stumbling stone. Whatever we pursue in this world, if we don’t believe in God's mercy and providence, then everything will be in vain.  We are children of hope.  We should hang on to our God, our Provider, trust Him fully just like children in the arms of their parents.  So in His time we will gain what we believe.  God bless us all.

Reflection on Romans 9:30-33 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Filii Dei | Offspring

"The children of the promise are counted as offspring" — Romans 9:8. 

So many promises we made in our life. Also, others promised us many things. We made small and big promises. Actually, every day we promise something to our brothers and sisters. Besides, we make important decisions. Yet, we know very well that we are weak and fragile. The human word can be strong but often it does not last long. On the other hand, the promise of God is everlasting and powerful. If the Lord promises us something, we can be sure that we will receive it. One of such promises tells us that we are children of God. We are heirs and adoptive children to whom "belong the glory, the worship and the promises" (v. 4).  We often forget about our dignity as children of God. Because of our bad experiences in our life, we doubt also God's promises. But it should be our strength to keep the word of God in our hearts and mind. God's promise never fails.


Have you received the word of prophecy for your present and future life? Do you still believe that God has a wonderful plan for you? You need to be patient and wait for God's promise to come true. But it will happen for sure. It will become true not because of your good works. You don't need to do anything. Your duty is only to trust in God and be ready when it comes into life. You are to discover the right place and proper time of God the loving Father. He will show you how the Good News fulfills in your life. For every promise of God comes from his eternal love towards you. Respond to him with your loving heart.


Reflection on Romans 9:1-13 by Józef Trzebuniak 

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, November 12, 2021

Superamus | More than Conquerors

" all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." — Romans 8:37 (NIV) 

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

What is on our minds when hardship comes? The cause could be our own carelessness and sins. However, there are other sufferings which are caused by our decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Verse 36 says, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” As we know, to become a true follower of Jesus Christ, there must be a cross to bear, and a world to leave. When we try to save ourselves from the consequences of this decision we will never find peace, but Jesus promised a wonderful recovery for those who faithfully follow Him to the very end of their lives (Matthew 16:24-25).

The Apostle Paul himself was a great example for us of how someone changes significantly after truly receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He no longer considered Earth a precious place as he rather chose to depart from the world and be with Christ. Nevertheless, he knew he still had to work for the sake of many people who needed the Good News no matter how hard the task was (Phil 1:23-25). The truth today highlights on what sustains Paul through all the severe trials. It is love. The love of Christ enabled him to face tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword (v.35).

Sometimes we read or watch an epic love story. Maybe we experience it ourselves - where the man willingly sacrifices his comfort and even fight against anything for the sake of his lover’s happiness. Fascinated by her partner’s sacrifice and sincerity, the lady decides to follow him where ever he goes, come what may. Nothing can change her mind. It’s an analogy, of our relationship with our Heavenly Groom. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). He proved it by being all out entering the dark world to save us, His bride, from the eternal condemnation. Paul had no doubt about Jesus’ love as He chose him even when he was the most unworthy sinner (1 Cor 15:9).

Jesus did not only die for us but even is interceding for us right now at the right side of the Father (v.34). The question is, what kind of sufferings have we faced related to our faith in Jesus? To what extent have we lost our lives for His sake? Do we really understand His heart and love Him the way Paul did? If Jesus doesn’t occupy our hearts, then we will not be able to withstand any possible tribulations. Whether it is a little mock, a lonely path to choose, a severe illness, a devastating loss, let alone the ultimate one - the martyrdom.

“And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 – NLT). Let’s stay firm in our faith, for we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (v.37). Amen.


Reflection on Romans 8:31-39 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Per Patientiam Expectamus | Hope with Patience

"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." — Romans 8: 25 (ESV).
Image by zhugher from Pixabay

These verses from the book of Romans speak of the future glory, and what beautiful promises they hold.
These verses give me so much of hope in the midst of this pandemic. At this time when everything is uncertain and we don’t really know what will happen next, isn’t it comforting how we can rest on God’s promises? In verse 18, it is said, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” It speaks of so much hope to me, of so much life – first that this struggle will soon have its end. God promises it in His Word. That the fear, uncertainty and restrictions of this pandemic will have its end, eventually. And on top of that, God promises that our present difficulties does not compare to the glory we are heading to. Wow, hope, rest and peace.
As for hope, the next few verses elaborate on it further. In verse 24 and 25 – “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." I realized – yes, this is exactly what makes hope powerful. When all seems lost and nothing is going our way, it is hope we hold on to, to get us going. Hope that things will turn around and that things will change for the better. For us followers of Christ, our hope is anchored on God – and he assures us repeatedly through the Bible – He is our hope we can depend on. He has said it, and He has never gone against His word. Things will get better, if only we be patient in waiting for His promises. It is difficult, but we can always ask for the grace to help us cling onto the hope God brings.
In verse 28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Again, a promise we can hold on to. So long as we love God, we know things will work out for our good in the end, even as it doesn’t seem so at the moment.
As always, we find so much hope in God’s word. So let’s push on, dear friends. God has given His Word, and He has never failed on His promises in the past, He will never do so in the future. Hope on.

Reflection on Romans 8:18-30 by Blessie Sto Tomas
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Coheredes | Co-heirs

"And if we are children, then we are also heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ ..." — Romans 8:17 

In this reflection, I reflect on the character of a child who is innocent, cheerful, doesn't worry about anything and gives all trust and everything to their parents who love them very much. Small children, especially babies cannot tell the difference between bad and good people, they don't feel worried, they see the world from their own perspective, they seem to believe that the whole world loves them so they don't worry if there might be someone who will do something bad to them. The nature and character of a child like this, is what God wants from each of us. If we think that our parents are Lord God the Father in heaven, why should we worry?

Have we ever tried to get through a day without worries? Honestly as human, worries will always be there no matter how hard we try. Without realizing it, the worries we have will only add new diseases to our lives; namely a disease due to the psychological pressure or in the world of psychology it is called psycho somatic.  God our Father in heaven certainly doesn't want His children to be in trouble. He reminds us to have a complete trust in His providence. From now on, it would be better if we try little by little to learn to trust God who loves us very much. Surrendering all our worries to God is what He really expects from us. Are we able to fulfill God's expectations? It depends on our faith and our closeness to God.

Reflection on Romans 8:5-17 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati, SFSC
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Nihil Damnationis | No Condemnation

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." — Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

Photo by willsantt from Pexels

If you are in Jesus Christ, God will never condemn you. Condemnation came to human, through the sin of Adam, but God's free gift of justification came to us through Jesus Christ. We were under condemnation in Adam, but now we are in Christ, justified by His grace.

Jesus is God's beloved Son. God loves his Son, so he will never condemn his Son. Salvation is for those who place their faith in Christ. When we put our faith in Christ, God identifies us with His Son. So whoever lives in Christ, loved by God The Father. We were sinners, but we become a righteous person through the suffering and death of Jesus, His Son. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

This passage brings me to my childhood. It.reminds me about my relation to my dad. Whenever I made mistakes, my daddy always forgave me. Once he condemned me, but after that he hugged me. I never felt guilty before him.. Not like a criminal before the judge. He always considered me as his beloved son.

The problem is how we can be always live "in Jesus"? We can live in Christ if "we walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit" (Rom 8:4). Everyday, we struggle to do what God expects us. God speaks to us every time through His Words, through the Bible, through every single experience, through our neighbors, through our hearts, through our ups and downs. We should try to listen to His voice. When we fault, when we sin, there is always a way back to God. Everyday, even when we sin, we could stand before God as His child, not as a guilty criminal. Now we should bring our great relief every day.

If God is judging based on Jesus' righteousness, and if we live in Jesus, how could we ever be condemned?


Reflection on Romans 8:1-4 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)