Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Templum Dei | Temple of God

“Because we are the temple of the living God” - 2 Cor 6:16


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

This Word of God reminds us of the sanctity of our bodies, hearts and souls because we were formed or created by God in His own image and likeness. Many of us do not realize that our bodies are God's temples. Evil deeds, drunkenness and various kinds of heresy and idolatry take us far away from God. Often we don't even realize that our sins are piling up and we need to go for a confession. But precisely at times like that, usually we are convinced by the devil that we haven't sinned much and so it's okay not to confess. On the other hand, the devil laughs because it makes him freer to control us if we do follow and obey him.

Facing hardships and difficulties in today’s world, there are temptations in the midst of so much suffering due to the global pandemic. The choice is in our hands, we are the one who will determine the welfare of our souls after our death. If we realize that we are the temple of the living God, surely we will never make a wrong choice for the welfare of our souls in the eternity. May God bless our intentions.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 7:4 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati, SFSC 

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Deus Efficit | God Prepares

"God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit." – 2 Cor 5:5 (NLT)

Photo by Andry Roby on Unsplash

Did you ever experience fear of death or dying? If you did, you are not alone, even David, the King of Israel and the man who after God’s own heart, sometimes was afraid of dying (Psalm 55:4). Or did you ever worry about end-of-life issues? For example, some people fear that they will be a burden to others in their final years or the sufferings that will be experienced by their loved ones, such as spouses, children and parents after they’re gone.

In Paul the Apostle’s 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, he reminded the Corinthian Christians and us modern Christians, that our earthly life – that is our body to be precise – is like a tent (Tabernacle). We move from one goal to another to fulfill God’s mission. And when the mission is accomplished, this tent will be destroyed. It is not our home. Our home is in the afterlife in heaven (v.1). So that all the wealth, all the physical appearances, and all material assets are mortal. On the other hand, the suffering, groaning, and burdens are mortal as well. Sufferings, etc., are consequences of living in the mortal tent.

In 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Paul was not seeking death, but he was contented to accept it. He wasn’t worried nor disturbed by it. What could be the cause of his confidence? Because Paul wrote in v.5, God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit – NLT. God works us out. He makes us fit and prepares us by a course of training until the faith grows stronger. God sent His Spirit to us in advance, to guide us and to help us.

According to my experience, God has trained me in some steps:

1. Setting my priorities in order (Exodus 20:3, NLT).

“You must not have any other god but me”

Sometimes in my life, I was worried about being separated from my child and husband for the rest of my life and was anxious because of those troubling thoughts. During those times that God was training me, He led me away from my loved ones, for a season. During my contemplation, I learned to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10) and He is in control. I also learned to let everyone and everything I loved in God’s hand. Since then, I have learned to be careful not to let anyone in my life become more important or be set at a priority higher than my relationship with God.

2. Making me holy and whole as an image of God (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, MSG)

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, makes you holy and whole, puts you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keeps you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”

Only the broken can be made whole. There is no mistake, scar, flaw, discrepancy, failure, or sin that is too much for Him to handle or make Him stay away from me. He accepted me in all of my brokenness. God also used my pain, suffering, and brokenness to draw me close to Him. One step at a time, God helped me to find and patch the missing puzzle pieces of my soul. In order that I learned to stop struggling with being accepted by others and started feeling confident in who I am. The Holy Spirit leads me to be holy because God is holy. God had put me together – my spirit, soul, and body. I am whole and holy and fit for the coming of Jesus Christ.

3. Making me content (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV)

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the secret to being content in any and every situation. He gives me the strength to do all things. Being content is the first and foremost step to help us in accepting our mortality. What am I supposed to do to feel contented? By identifying my values in life, and it is found in prioritizing my relationship with God in life (see step 1). Therefore, I know my driving force is to please Him and glorify Him in whatever I do and in all situations (see step 2).

Dear brothers and sisters,

Be confident in facing whatever happens in this earthly life, even if it will lead us to our own death. "For God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit" – 2 Corinthians 5:5 NLT.

God bless you.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 by Veralin Uneputty 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Multa Patientia | Great Endurance

"Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;"— 2 Cor 6:4

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Reflecting on my personal life journey, as the youngest boy with 3 older sisters, raised in a traditional Chinese family where boys are favored over girls, I can be brutally honest in saying that I had a reasonably carefree life growing up, compared with my 3 older sisters, receiving a lion's share of our parents' love and love of my older siblings too. As a result, I became a self-centered young boy, with frequent temper tantrums and generally avoided any form of hardship in life, including avoiding doing the school assignments or studying for tests and exams, in my immature and darkened mind, which had yet to encounter the Holy Presence of the Living God. I pursued any form of human philosophy or beliefs that promised a short-cut to success or wealth and often relied on short-cuts to achieve my fleeting goals of achieving a good degree, finding a beautiful life partner, blazing a successful career path, and ruthlessly stepped on anyone or anything just to get my way done. To be brutally honest, I wasn't a very pleasant person to be around or be married to, but my darkened mind kept blaming others for the troubles I landed myself in as a result of foolish choices.

But the ever-living and Almighty God knew the exact remedy for this Hell-bent soul and permitted a life-threatening medical emergency, an acute right-brain stroke at the age of 33 (the same age that the Son of God was Crucified), to make me take a necessary pause in my young adulthood's relentless pursuit of fleeting trophies. It was the Circuit Breaker in my brain that changed my trajectory in life, to finally recognize that Jesus is the Son of God, and was even adopted into His Divine Family with a common Loving ABBA Father in Heaven. Becoming a Christian didn't miraculously transform my character, as I was still that self-centered young man with an aversion to pain, and even raised angry fists to Heaven, accusing our Heavenly Father of bringing misery into my life, when they were the consequences of poor choices I had made in life.

However, that single Salvific Act of Grace by God had irrevocably altered my eternal destiny, from a Hell-bound and tormented soul, to a child of God, whom God deems as fit to dine at His Royal Banquet in Heaven. So that today, I can join St. Paul in declaring, "as God's co-workers, we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain… as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger... " (2 Cor 6:1, 4-5).
I learn to embrace the hardships our Almighty God permitted, including a mental health issue (clinical depression), a physical disability (noticeable limp in my steps), or any other trials to come, as part of His Divine remedies to purify my heart, mind and soul to be fit for Heaven. Amen. 

I will close with this beautiful hymn penned by Horatio Gates Spafford (1828-1888), "It Is Well With My Soul", over the heart-breaking spot where 4 of his beloved daughters had sunk to the bottom of the sea together with the ill-fated passengers of the Ville du Havre.

Verse 1
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll:
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well, it is well,
With my soul, with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Verse 2
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


Verse 3
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.


Verse 4
And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Reflection on 2 Corinthians 6:1-11 by Chris Tan 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Legationem Fungimur | Christ's Ambassadors

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'" – 2 Cor 5:20 (NLT)

Photo by Simon Tullstedt from FreeImages

A long time ago at my church, a preacher shared his experience in teaching the grace of God we have in Christ to an unbeliever. The man wanted to learn the salvation in Christ as he had an intention to marry his Christian girlfriend. The preacher told him, that whoever wants to obtain the salvation from God needs to believe in Jesus Christ. The man made a conclusion that a person just had to mention believing in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Then he said, “Oh so to have salvation in Christ is cheap, easy!” The preacher responded, “It is cheap, but definitely not gimcrack.” It is given freely, but only when the person really appreciates the love of Christ who gave His life willingly to bear the wrath of God and died on the cross for the atonement of the man's sins. Salvation in Christ must have a personal meaning to everyone who receives it. That is when the sinner becomes a true believer and no longer lives for himself but it is Christ who lives in him.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (v.21). Someone asked me once, “If humans’ salvation was initiated by God the Father, why did Jesus Christ get all the fame for that?” It is because He was the One who had to endure everything; He was the One who went through so much torture and humiliation from sinners and died for their sake. It must be very painful for the Father to see His Son suffered so much, that is why there is no way to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6).

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'” (v.20). Today’s passage reminds us that Christ’s love controls us. As believers in Christ we are supposed to have a new life. He died for us, and we die for our old life (v.14-15). How far can we compare our old life to our life now?  Are we the ambassadors of Christ? Can the unbelievers see Christ in us?

May God help us. Amen. 

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

In manifestatione veritatis | Setting forth the truth

"Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God" - 2 Cor 4:2 (NIV)

We cannot hide from God. God knows everything - such as what our intentions are in serving God or whether we really live according to His word. God is able to see our seriousness to be faithful.  The Apostle Paul said in this passage, "we give ourselves up to be considered by all before God" that means he could account for his words and his life before God.

This attitude shown by Paul that what God said was also what Paul preached, is an example for us to be honest as servants of God who are ready to be tested . There was no bad intention to falsify or use God's Word for his worldly interests. As well as us,  let us be people who want to submit to the authority of God's Word, that we are ready to be tested, and that what God says is what we live in this life. We want to be ready to be a witness of the Word of God. 

God's Word is the basis, foundation and guide of our lives. It is not merely words and teachings, but Paul reminds us that it is the Light of God's glory that will shine on our lives.  God's Word is a sign of His presence. When we live in His Word, it means we live together with God.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Scripta in cordibus | Written on Hearts

"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts" — 2 Corinthians 3:2.

It's high time to give thanks to our Lord who has allowed us to build a community. We keep sharing the Scriptures and enrich one another. When I started this project many years ago, I didn't think that it would flourish. But with the grace of God, it did. For that reason, I am very grateful to you who write your reflections.

It is the divine Word that makes us united in Spirit. Each of us is a precious gift and treasure. You not only strengthen the faith of our community members but you also strengthen many other people who read and listen to our reflections. Moreover, every month we gather together and share the Good News.

Yes, it is true that you are a letter from Christ. Each of us has a special role to enrich the community of the Church of Christ. We are faithful in our ministry. And the Spirit of the living God is working in our hearts. We know and understand this fact.

We have a human heart that needs love, truth, trust, and hope. And our Bible Sharing Group has this purpose to make us feel at home with our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. I do have this confidence and pray for you all. Let us be missionaries of the divine Word in the world which loses faith. God made us competent as ministers of the Spirit in the love of the divine Word. May God bless us all. Amen. 

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 2:1-6 by Józef Trzebuniak.
(Listen to the Podcast here

Si Dominus | If The Lord Permits

"For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. " — 1 Corinthians 16:7 (NIV)

In the last chapter of Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, he wrote about his plans to visit the them (v.5-9). We notice Paul made plans but held them loosely. He submitted his plan to God. Being redirected many times by the Holy Spirit (Act 16:6-12), Paul knew it well that his mission was from God, but his plan was his own. He was stubborn on the mission, but flexible on the details.

Each of us has a mission/purpose/calling from God which will be accomplished when we die. In the meantime, we set short-term plans to fulfil the mission, like making a trajectory of life. 

Our God is a glorious Planner, so that as an image of God, we are planners as well. However as an image of God, our plans should be congruence with His plans and His can overrules ours. Paul knew it. He submitted his plan to God’s will. It was like Jesus when He was about to be crucified, saying “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV). Being flexible in our plan means we submit to God’s plan. When we are flexible for the details, God will take care of it perfectly.

Yes, it is easier to be said than done. We often know our missions, we make short-term plans, but at some point, we think we are getting nowhere. Then we get frustrated and question our mission. Actually, it’s not about the mission. It is us who keep sabotaging our mission by being inflexible to God’s plan, such as asking “what if” for every opportunity that is not in line with our thought or putting additional alternatives to what God has given us in the first place or trying to help God, like Abraham did, etc. Yes, we are being inflexible here.

Therefore brothers and sisters, let’s consider opportunities and grab ones according to God’s guidance through the Bible, Holy Spirit, Godly people, abilities/gifts/talents, signs of circumstances (Is it go or no-go?). Let’s make a choice and let the Lord guide us through it. Maybe He will redirect us, or ask us to stay for a while in some point. Just enjoy the process and the circumstances. Just be flexible.

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose" (Ephesians 2:10, NIV). God bless you 🙏

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 16:1-12 by Veralin Uneputty 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Donavi | Forgive

"The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow"  —2 Cor 2:6-7

For today’s verses, I want to zone in the verses about Forgiveness. I have always had problems with forgiving people that has really wronged me. I have always justified my anger and felt that the other person deserves my revenge or even just coldness from me.
I am happy that God has convicted me thus far. Forgiveness is a supernatural act, I have to ask the Lord to grant me the grace to forgive. And as always, grace delivers. Aren’t we only too lucky that God is so generous with this gift? And I may be right, sometimes people deserve our ire – but don’t we all make mistakes at certain points? And yet even so, God forgives us every single time. No sin is so bad that God cannot forgive. God is so generous of His Mercy to spare us from punishment we deserve. It is in this realization that if God Himself extends me mercy, if God Himself can forgive me, then who am I not to forgive others? If I, who may not be worthy of such grace, is generously granted forgiveness, I cannot help but just extend the same graciousness to others.  
Today, I pray that may we always have the humility to ask for forgiveness for our sins and with the same humility, may we also always ask the grace to forgive others as well. May we never forget how God has forgiven us for our mistakes and shortcomings, and may we always remember to extend the same graciousness to others. It is a divine call, and let it be another opportunity to invite God into our hearts and into out lives that we may be prompted to do what is right, and to do what is gracious. Let the verses for today remind us of forgiveness.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 2:1-17 by Blessie Sto Tomas 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, August 13, 2021

Est In Illo | Yes In Christ

"But instead in Him there is only 'Yes' because Christ is Yes to all the promises of God..." — 2 Cor 1:20 

For Christ there is only " Yes" to all kinds of hopes and requests. Since His birth, Jesus had shown his sincerity in carrying out the Father's will by willingly becoming a human like us and was born from the womb of the Virgin Mary. As the son of God, of course Jesus had free will to be able to choose a Yes or a No to the will of His Father. However, because of His great love for us, without hesitation He answered "Yes" to that choice, which could be a difficult decision for us. Because of His choice, sufferings and pain became his daily food but He endured and was faithful to His calling.

As His people, Jesus' example should be imitated. Having a wide heart in helping everyone in need - without expecting anything in return - is a kind of Yes too that we should do in our today's world. Our world is suffering from a global pandemic that none of us knows when it will come to an end. Around us, there are people who are waiting for an answer, a Yes to all their hopes and prayers. Let's try to be angels that are willing to help them in their difficult moments. God bless us.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Possimus | So that we may be able

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" — 2 Cor 1:3-4 (ESV)

Photo by laura adai on Unsplash

Looking back on the past 16 years of journeying with the LORD, I can declare today with the benefit of hindsight and much Grace from a merciful God and loving Father, that I finally have a glimpse of what the writer of Hebrews had written in Hebrews 4:14-16: "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need".
I am eternally grateful for the fiery trials that He had permitted in my life, that I can now use these difficult experiences to share and bring comfort to those who are suffering from various forms of mental health challenges.

It would be a blatant lie, if I claimed that I experienced a miraculous transformation the moment I had invited Jesus into my heart as personal Saviour and LORD. I was bitter and even furious at God when He didn't answer my prayers then, to heal my broken marriage, my broken mind and heart too. As I look back on those dark and tormenting years of battling sinful addictions and debilitating clinical depression, which brought me into the deep dark pits of suicidal thoughts and even being hospitalised in a mental institution, I finally see the infinite wisdom of our loving Abba Father whose Heart was to mould my character into the likeness of His Son. 

He is using my difficult past struggles and experiences to bring the message of Hope and Recovery to various members of the PSALT Care community, where I am privileged to serve with an amazing team of loving colleagues and friends. I thank God for this beautiful ministry as a mental health advocate and opportunities to share testimonies of how His Grace had brought me out of a very dark place into His wonderful light all for His Glory.

If I hadn't battled with my own clinical depression and general anxiety disorder all these years, I wouldn't be able to comfort those who are experiencing these tough battles in their lives presently. Only because of these fiery trials in life I can join St. Paul in declaring "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (Verses 3-4). I will close with the words from 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 left 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

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

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Stuart Townend (13312)
How Deep the Father's Love for Us lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd.

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 by Chris Tan 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Cognoscite | Acknowledge Such Men

"For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men." — 1 Cor 16:18 (NKJV) 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Daily, we have our own burdens, hardships, maybe sickness, difficult even failure relationships, while at the same time demanding jobs to earn something and with the pandemic everything seems even harder than before. We need encouragement, support, getting refreshed even some rest.

We come to church whether offline or online to listen to the sermon. We want to hear God’s Word through His servants, the pastors or the priests. We need an insight, a direction, a suggestion, a consolation even a rebuke to straighten our ways. The shepherds of our churches must have thought of each person of their congregation – distinguishing every one with their needs, bringing them in their private prayers and preparing a variety of sermons to reveal the wisdom of God through the fickleness of life.

Sometimes, we expect so much from our church leaders. We want to be noticed, prioritized, visited, served, respected, loved, encouraged - the list can go on. Day or night, these men of God must be ready whenever the congregation needs. They don’t have a fixed schedule nor a possibility to negotiate their salary regarding overtime work. They are available all the time. I could hardly hear a pastor’s excuse not to serve in a ministry because he is tired. Fortunately churches start to give a vacation to their leaders. But more often these shepherds are still available for private consultations, prayers and so on during their vacation.

Apostle Paul in today’s reading reminds us to acknowledge such men who work hard devoting themselves to the ministry (Verse 15). He noticed the people who had helped him through his journey doing the work of Christ. He wrote how Titus’ presence comforted him and his friends (2 Cor 7:6), how he appreciated Onesiphorus who refreshed his heart over and over as he did not leave Paul and was not ashamed at all to visit Paul in jail (2 Tim 1:16-17), and he asked people in Philippi to honor Epaphroditus who had risked his life to help Paul (Phil 2:30). Paul also appreciated Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus for the encouragement they brought to Paul and the help others may not be willing to do (Verse 17).

Do we notice, appreciate and support our leaders who work hard in the ministry we are involved in? Paul asks us to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion (Verse 16). There are other people also who are not necessarily the leaders of a church or ministry but they comfort us, help with anything they have and even encourage the leaders to keep going. Do we notice and appreciate such people? Paul said, “For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.” (Verse 18).

Even our great Apostle Paul who got the direct mandate from our Lord Jesus Christ needed encouragement and emotional support many times from his fellow God's people. So we need one another in a ministry. Let's appreciate, support, and encourage one another to continue serving the Lord despite any difficult and complicated matters we may encounter in our daily lives. May God help and strengthen us all. Amen.

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 16: 13-24 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, August 6, 2021

Deo Gratias | Not In Vain

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." — 1 Cor 15:58 (NIV) 

Photo by Fardin Khan on Unsplash

There are many things that men try to achieve as signs of living well in this life, and they include worldly pursuits like wealth, professional success, and prosperity. These are noble goals in life that require hard work, however, we can also see that many have fallen into temptation by their single-minded pursuit of such worldly goals, and some may even try to find ways and means to justify their personal greed and insatiable appetite for these perishable things. As a result, feelings of gratitude are ignored and it becomes almost impossible to satisfy the thirst for such worldly goods and achievements. St. Paul in his letter reminds us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” What St. Paul is highlighting to us is that all earthly possessions, be it our wealth, professional status, popularity, or other earthly delights, can’t qualify us for Heaven, and when the Day of the Lord comes, all of our earthly possessions will be stripped away from us.

Our Lord Jesus, before leaving His disciples, shared an important insight into Heaven’s treasures awaiting us, when He said that He was going to the Father to prepare a place for each of us. He alone can satisfy all that we need in this life and the afterlife too, truly lasting happiness that the world can’t give. 

St. Paul also reminds us to adopt a steadfast attitude in life that is always “firm, steadfast, fully devoted to the work of the Lord knowing that in the Lord, our labor is not in vain.” We’re reminded to use all our resources, ideas, talents, to persevere in doing good, and carry out works of mercy such as visiting and comforting the sick, feeding and quenching the hunger and thirst of the needy, helping to clothe the naked, providing hospitality to strangers and visiting those in prison. These are the essential things that we strive to pursue as long as we have a single breath on earth, lest we return to our Father in Heaven, and He might say that He does not know us. 

Therefore, there is no need to do great things, but to carry out the simplest tasks with sincerity and love. Thus, happiness is the blessing that the Lord bestows upon each of us in different ways. However, one must be able to share his or her mercy with those in need unconditionally. A person must be discerning to the prompting of the Lord in order to see clearly what he or she can do in service to others and truly experience a joyful life on earth and in the life to come.

God bless us. 🙏

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 by Sr. Maria Venidora SND
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Surgit In Incorruptione | Raised Imperishable

"So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable" - 1 Cor 15:42 (NIV) 

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

This morning when I combed my hair, I found some white hair on my head. Yes. I'm getting old. Gradually, all my hair will be all white. The physical body will age. 

Paul explains the Christian faith in the resurrection of the body with two parables:

Firstly, Paul explains that the resurrection of the spiritual body is like sowing a seed, but what grows is a plant. The resurrection of the dead is sown in destruction, but raised in immortality. Sown in weakness, raised in strength.

Secondly, Paul describes that the natural body is the same as the first Adam who came from the dust of the ground - it is physical. The spiritual body is the last Adam from heaven, spiritual and life-giving. We have put on the natural form, but we will also wear the form of the heavenly one, the spiritual body.

So even though our physical body is more damaged, our spiritual life may continue to be renewed. We will be resurrected as new people in Christ. This resurrection is a gift of salvation from God.

This hope should encourage us to be more active in serving God. The Bible says that we must watch and develop talents for the purpose of welcoming the Lord's return. Lord Jesus will come. God bless.

Reflections on 1 Corinthians 15:36-49 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.
(Listen to the Podcast here)