Saturday, July 31, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
In this verse we are invited to always put our trust in Jesus our Lord, who once lived as a human just like us. There are many events in life that involve God in solving hard times and overcoming obstacles and difficulties. When we are helpless and in despair, actually that's the time when God is very close to us, but often we ignore. Anywhere and anytime we are in difficulties, He is waiting for us to call on His name. He waits for us to surrender to His will. But often we pretend not to hear and not to feel any spiritual callings in time of crisis.
There are people who search for their gods and run away from the One True God. It leads themselves to drunkenness, narcotics and many other crimes. We were created by God, we are fragile and sinful. We are mortal beings who in time will disappear without a trace just like dust on the streets. Whether we were born as rich or poor, in a city or a village, disabled or healthy, God only wants us to trust Him and involve Him fully throughout our lives. May God bless us and give us peace. Amen.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
“Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” – 1 Cor 14:20 (NASB).
The First Corinthians Chapter 14 talks about the gift of tongues or speaking in tongues. The Apostle Paul explains that by the power of Holy Spirit, someone who has it will be talking to God only because other people will not be able to understand it, as it will all be mysterious (Verse 2). It seems like the believers in Corinth were so eager to have this special gift that Apostle Paul needed to address this issue deeper (Verse 12).
He encourages anyone who has it to pray for the ability to interpret it also. Because the person’s spirit is praying but he does not understand what he’s saying (Verse 13-14). Moreover, it does not strengthen other people who hear it (Verse 17). It strengthens the person who speaks it personally, but it is useless for the whole congregation. It’s sad that some believers, even churches, still boast on their abilities in this gift. Apostle Paul himself spoke in tongues more than others but he rather chose five understandable words to help others more than ten thousand words in an unknown language (Verse 19).
Paul used the word ‘children’ as an analogy to describe the behavior of the Corinthians towards this gift (Verse 20). They were encouraged to desire another special ability of the Spirit which is to prophesy. Because anyone who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them (Verse 3). The unbelievers or people who don’t understand will be convicted and called to account by the prophecy and it will lead them to repent and acknowledge the presence of God (Verse 24-25). On the contrary, when all people are speaking in tongues, the unbelievers or outsiders who enter will think they are insane (Verse 23).
It’s our human nature that we want to stand out from the crowd. We tend to be proud of having abilities no one or not many people possess. This would be a pitfall in a ministry. When we preach or teach or even write a reflection on scriptures like this, who exactly are we serving - the Lord, other people or our own pride? Are we still immature like children who want to show off our abilities? What do we seek when we wish for any spiritual gifts? Apostle Paul said, “…seek those that will strengthen the whole church”. May God help us all. Amen.
Reflection on 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 by Desire Litaay
(Listen to the Podcast here)
Saturday, July 17, 2021
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" — 1 Cor 13:1 (NIV).
The Corinthians were completed with many spiritual gifts. One of them was the gift of tongues. Paul reminded them that even the gift of tongues was meaningless without love. A person may speak many languages, but without love, it is meaningless, like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. It is just an empty noise. Whatever does not proceed out of love is only a noise. The apostle Paul emphasized to the Corinthians that having spiritual gifts without having love was useless. Spiritual gifts can fulfill God's will only if they are controlled by the principle of love.
People can give without love. This makes me think of how some people give money to the poor just for showing off and not out of love. They only want to show. People can teach without love. Some people could have all the faith in the world that they could move somebody's heart or literally move mountains but it means nothing without love. People can sacrifice without love. They are not moved by love, but by pride and the need to be recognized.
When I read this letter of the Apostle Paul, I was surprised because so many good values would be in vain without love. Even if people have many talents, have a willingness to sacrifice, have a gift of prophecy, and so on, all of those things are in vain if they do it without love. So what is true love really like?
The perfect model of true love is like what Jesus did for us. He still loves even though he suffers a lot. It was love that made the Lord Jesus forget to rest for the sake of healing many people. It was love that made the Lord Jesus never stop teaching even though he was rejected many times. It was love that put Jesus on the cross and in the cold tomb. He loves not for His own benefit but for love itself. Let's imitate the Lord Jesus in love.
May God bless you always.
Reflection on 1 Cor 13:1-13 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Friday, July 9, 2021
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
“For there must be divisions among you, in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” - 1 Cor 11:19
Does God really want division among His people? Of course not. God wants His people to always be united. But because of the stubbornness of our human hearts, God allowed mankind to be divided.
Basically, if anything is scattered, it will be difficult to maintain something. On the other hand, if they stick together, they will be strong even though they have been separated. Likewise, God's people, both individuals and groups, will remain strong in faith in God, if we do not separate ourselves from Jesus, who is the Source of our lives.
Sometimes we face various temptations and challenges in life, just like global pandemic of Covid 19 that still haunts us today. In uncertainty, we should remain united with God who may have his own plans behind this pandemic. The best option for us is to pray and surrender completely to God's will and power because only He alone could find the answer, why this pandemic happened. If we lose hope, we will find ourselves hopeless, restless, and sad because of many questions are still unanswered.
God doesn’t want us to lose hope. This is the time for us to prove our loyalty to Him. Stay strong in obstacles of life, so that God who is faithful will be happy to see us faithful. God bless us all.
Reflection on 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC
(Listen to the Podcast here)
Monday, July 5, 2021
Looking at Paul's admonishments to the young church in Corinth, it must be taken in the context of the culture during the time of his writing. Long hair was considered as a feminine trait of beauty, whereas men generally kept shorter hair as a sign of masculinity.
It was also written in a patriarchal era where women with a head covering were generally considered as modest and pure, whereas it was the immoral women who kept their hair loosely or unbound like the woman who had anointed Jesus with perfumed oil and wiped His feet with her unbound hair. Notice that our LORD did not condemn the sinful woman for her chequered past but rather exemplified her use of expensive perfumed oil as a form of extravagant worship that He deserved.
Similarly, I like the famous quote from Oscar Wilde, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." I too had once walked in darkness, speeding on a highway of sensual indulgences towards Hell and eternal damnation and was ignorant of the immense grace that had been poured into my life after an acute stroke. But Jesus Christ had shouted to Heaven, "It is finished!" when He gave up His life on earth for my rightful death as a sinner, forgiven by a merciful God.
And knowing that Christ is the True Head in my life, I just want to lay down my life at His Feet as a fragrant offering to Him, my LORD, and KING. By recognizing the Godhead in every man, woman and child He brings into my life, including the difficult ones who might seem a lot harder to love by my own power but only by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, can I love as Jesus does. I will close with this simple children's hymn, as a reminder of Jesus' immense love, death, and glorious resurrection for every man, child, and woman...
Jesus Loves Me (This I Know)
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me, He who died. Heaven's gates to open wide. He will wash away my sins. Let his little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me, loves me still. Though I'm very weak and ill. From his shining throne on high. Comes to watch me where I lie. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me He will stay, close beside me all the way. If I love Him when I die, He will take me home on high. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.