Thursday, March 31, 2022

Gratia Domini | The Grace of God

"On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of Lord Jesus, just as they will." — Acts 15:11 (NRSV)

As we all know that St. Paul is called the Apostle of the gentiles, when he was proclaiming the good news in Antioch, there arose a discussion as to whether the gentiles need to be circumcised like that of Jews, to be saved. St. Paul and Barnabas along with a few others were sent to Jerusalem to discuss this matter with St. Peter and the rest of the Apostles. There were many arguments among them both for and against. St. Peter said that all will be saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus and not by keeping the law of Moses alone and therefore circumcision was not a requirement. Earlier when St. Peter had preached, the Holy Spirit descended upon all including the gentiles. This clearly shows that God doesn't show any partiality.

When we look in the world we see many religions worshiping many different gods. But we being the Christians we know that only Jesus Christ is the true God. He is the truth, the way and the life. But among us Christians we have differences and many arguments, which often create division than unity. We need to learn from the early leaders of the church like St. Peter, St. Paul and St. James. They worked for one common goal and that is to establish the Kingdom of God and indeed they succeeded. Even though they had many different opinions, arguments, temperaments, different ways of doing the mission work but still they co operated with each other and appreciated each other rather than condemning and ridiculing.

However, do we do the same or most often do we create division? Are we able to appreciate each other and co operate with each other rather than condemning and not encouraging?  Let us allow those good people who want to do good works and let us not stop them, even if we are more educated or in power or rich. We are called for one thing to do in this life and that is to believe and trust in Jesus Christ by worshiping Him and glorifying Him through our lives.


Reflection on Acts 15:1-21  by Fr. George Joseph SVD 

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Evangelizantes | Continue to Preach

"and there they continued to preach the gospel." — Acts 14:7 (ESV) 

Image by Tep Ro from Pixabay

Our reflection is taken from the Acts of the Apostles which telling us about the courage of Apostles Paul and Barnabas in proclaiming the word of God to the Greeks and the Jews. In carrying out their missionary duties, of course there were risks they had to bear because not all the people accepted them. Some people received the good news with happiness, but some received it with jealousy, anger and hatred. Most of the apostles of Jesus were not only unsupported by those who hated them but also were slandered, threatened with torture and even put to death. Facing those realities, they who were filled with the Holy Spirit, fully believed in God's protection and keep walking forward.

In daily life, we find that not everyone supports our works, service and struggles. Sometimes without realizing it, our closest friends or family who we think could be asked for advice, suddenly turn out to be secretly jealous of the success of our work. They then try to slander and stab us in the back.

Faced with people like this, our first reaction must be surprised because we didn't expect it. However, we should not give up on the situation but surrender completely to God. As long as what we are fighting for does not deviate from the real path, then we do not need to be afraid of anyone who dares to destroy us. For God always be with the people who are treated unfairly and who are weak.

Reflection on Acts 14:1-7 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Qui credit | Who has faith

"Everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free" Acts 13:39 (CEV).

Every day we listen to many people, news, stories, etc. Thousands and thousands of words. More and more information. We choose what is important and select it. At the same time, we speak a lot, make fun, give lectures, sermons, advice to others. What impact do our talks have? How much do we speak about Jesus? Usually, we do it only during our prayers in the church. But in real life, it's not much. 

From the story of Apostles Paul and Barnabas in Antioch, we learn how to behave and preach the Gospel. We can see that even in our communities and groups of believers there are some who come and go. There are people who are not devoted and focused on the divine Word. Even we often involve ourselves in many other things except Jesus Christ. So today Paul teaches us all who worship God, to listen and pay attention.  

A friend of mine told me during breakfast that he does not watch television before going to bed. Because he cannot sleep well after listening to all the comments of people. And he is right. In the morning and in the evening Christians have to listen to Jesus. Not other people's opinions. Besides, our whole history should be about Jesus. We are to recognize him in every important decision and event of our life. As believers, we are aware that Jesus never leaves us alone. If we feel lonely, it usually means we forget about the Son of God. But if we tell everyone in the world to turn back to God and be followers of Jesus, we become apostles of the Promised One. First, we are to listen and pay attention to the Word of God. We should know exactly who Jesus is. We need to understand the words of the prophets and evangelists. 

We are friends of God and Jesus can forgive our sins and weaknesses. In Jesus' name, we can be set free. This is the Good News that everyone wants to listen to nowadays. May our message about the Lord spread all over the world. May all the people become happy, peaceful, and filled with the Holy Spirit.


Reflection on Acts 13:13-52 by Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here).

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Herodes | Herod

"Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last." — Acts 12:23 (ESV) 

Our reflection is from the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12:19b-25, which tells about the story of King Herod who killed his soldiers just because he did not find Peter. Due to his arrogance, after some time God himself took his life. Herod envied a lot because Peter was Jesus’ disciple and he was telling the good news about the kingdom of God that was Jesus Himself.  

The sins of envy, pride and greed are the most dangerous poisons for our lives. God gave us talents according to our abilities. The talents given should be developed for the good of others. If you are doing nothing, evils are happy to tease you again and again.  They would not easily give up before they could have you follow them.  Herod wanted to rule the kingdom for the rest of his life, that’s why he hated Jesus and His followers so much.

Out of envy and jealousy, Herod sacrificed the lives of so many babies in Israel, as well as soldiers and many others innocent Israelites. Herod did not acknowledge the existence and power of God, and so he never felt peace during his life. Even though all his needs were fulfilled, there was always something lacking, so he never stopped looking for and even killing so many people to be able to get what he wanted. 

Let's reflect and try to look at ourselves, maybe sometimes we are like Herod who was never satisfies with what God has given us in our lives? If so, it's never too late to stop chasing wealth, positions, reputations and fame because if one day we die, we will return to the dust. In front of death and God’s power, not a single treasure we should be proud of.

Reflection on Acts 12:19-25 by  Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Sine Intermissione | Earnest Prayer

"So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church." — Acts 12:5 (ESV) 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

People who always draw closer to God will be led by the spirit of God to get out of every problem they face. Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, was a disciple who knew Jesus very well. He followed Jesus since the first time he was called on the shore of the Sea of Galilee until Jesus died on the cross. Even though he denied Jesus three times in public, his heart did not slow down to proclaim the salvation from God after he experienced Jesus who lived, died and rose again. On this faith, he dared to testify about Jesus Christ. However, he was captured by Herod and put in prison. While in prison and guarded by soldiers, God sent an angel to save and free him from death.

Prison is a symbol of a limited freedom. We are often imprisoned by past traumatic experiences, the problems we face today, and anxieties about the future. However, through Peter's experiences, we believe that when we surrender to God, God will free us from that imprisoned situation. God will help us see life's problems more clearly and open the eyes of our hearts to see a way out.

When I was a kid, my mother was very sick. My father struggled so that my mother would be able to recover. The doctor diagnosed that her illness was quite severe and needed an intensive care. In the midst of a situation like this, my parents only surrender to God. They pray every day while trying to buy herbal medicines from the hospitals. Finally, the miracle came and my mother was healed. To this day, my mother is still alive and well. Nevertheless, they did not forget God. Praying every day becomes a routine that cannot be eliminated until now.

God will help those who draw closer to Him. His mercy liberates. May we also always draw closer to God, surrender all our problems and always be grateful for everything that happens in our lives.

Reflection on Acts 12:1-19 by Fr. Aris Mada, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022


"...and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts." — Acts 11:22-23 (NIV) 

Dear brothers and sisters,

We've already met Barnabas. He was the one who helped Saul to be accepted by the Church in Jerusalem (Acts 9:22-28). Barnabas was not even a member of the twelve apostles or the seven deacons elected by the church. However, he was an active, capable and trusted servant. You don't need a title or position to serve God and His congregation.

When the prophet Agabus foretold that there would be a great famine, the congregation gathered  something together to donate to the church in Judea (v. 29). This is very interesting. When they knew there was going to be a famine, they did not gather food for themselves only, but also to donate. How worthy it is to bear the name "Christian"(v. 26), which means followers of Christ. They care about other congregations more than their own lives.

The church will develop if all parties take part and are willing to sacrifice for the life of the church. We cooperate with God. God is working, blessing and empowering (v. 21). We see that not only God works but human agency is also important. There are congregations whose job is to provide spiritual guidance, others to organize social welfare. Whoever we are, God wants us to do something for the Church with all our hearts, strength, and mind. If God asks us to be His instruments, will we do it?



Reflection on Acts 11:19-30 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, March 14, 2022

Eadem Gratia | The Same Gift

“So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”— Acts 11:17 (NIV)


Peter was rebuked by the believers in Judea as they heard that he went to an uncircumcised man’s house and ate together with them (v.2-3). So Peter told them about the vision he got – that God told him to eat any impure animals which God had made clean (v.9). These animals represent the Gentiles who are made clean or sanctified by the grace of God and receive the same atonement in Christ Jesus just like the Jews who believe.

This passage shows how loving our God is. In the beginning the Good News was given to the Jews only. Unfortunately not many of them opened their hearts and welcomed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. However, for those who believed at that time, they saw it as a privilege. And it is. Because to believe is the work of God not men. It’s a gift from God (v.17).

Those believers then, Verse 18 says, had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life." It is a relief for all of us that God loves any nations in the world. Most importantly, He knows how weak we all are. That we ultimately need this precious gift. The gift of repentance.

To repent is a first step before we accept Jesus Christ in our hearts. Before Peter visited Cornelius, the Italian Cohort, Cornelius had shown a repentant life – a humble submissive life towards God. He feared Him, gave alms generously and prayed continually to God (Acts 10:2).

Do we show the same lifestyle? Let’s praise The Lord. It’s the sign of God's work in our open hearts. 

Reflection on Acts 11:1-18 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Omnium Dominus | Lord of All

"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all." — Acts 10:36 (NIV) 

I love how today’s gospel showed how encompassing and all-inclusive God’s love is. How comforting it is to be loved by God who sees behind colors, labels and other standards of the world. 

What impresses me most about the verse for today is how the Holy Spirit descends upon the seemingly unworthy, and traditionally set aside. This is the God we love and worship, He sees us for all that who we are, and yet lovingly embraces us still. This is a God who doesn’t deny our past but promises to be with us for days to come, just like the prophets who heard His Word back then. He is the same then, as He is now.

He blesses us with the Holy Spirit to make us feel loved, and that we may act upon His purpose for us. No one who encounters God and experiences His love is left unchanged. His love is as powerful as such that can love us through our shortcomings and can love us through our liberation from these shortcomings. He lets the Holy Spirit descend upon those who listen to His Word that we may spread His love more.

Let yourself feel God’s love today, and let it change you. Let it change you in ways God has planned and let His love shine through you today. God bless you, my friends.

Reflection on Acts 10:23-48 by Blessie Sto Tomas 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Deus purificavit | God has cleansed

"What God has made clean, you must not call profane." —Acts 10:15 (NRSV) 

Reflecting on this fascinating encounter with God, happening after St. Luke's account of Saul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus, as well as the miraculous healings that Peter was able to perform in Lydda & Joppa, it was obvious that Peter was a changed man, filled with the Holy Spirit, and a fiery preacher who preached fearlessly to thousands. Yet God who looks deep into the heart of man could identify remnants of Jewish kosher practices that might have blocked his ministry to save souls in the Name of Jesus. 

Three times the vision of the unclean food and the voice of God spoke to him, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane" (v. 15-16). In Scripture, when something is mentioned 3 times consecutively, it is an important message from the LORD. It's like how the visions of Seraphim circling the Throne in Heaven are described in both Isaiah Chapter 6 and St. John's Book of Revelation Chapter 4, as proclaiming "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD GOD Almighty…" 

Related to the vision Peter saw, Jesus had taught in Matthew 15:18-20 (NRSV), "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile."

In summary, true holiness is not marked by vain human efforts, but a surrendered soul in obeying the Father's Will and this too is a Grace of God - a circumcision of the heart to beat with the Father's Heartbeat, a heart surrendered unto Jesus, for His glory and purpose, a heart that is at rest, carried in the Shepherd's Arm. Therefore, obeying God's Will is infinitely more important than following vain human traditions that does not bring about transformation nor conviction in sinful human hearts.

I will end my short reflection with the beautiful old hymn, sung by Audrey Assad. 
"Holy, Holy, Holy"

Holy, holy, holy
Lord, God Almighty
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee

Holy, holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy
Though the darkness hide Thee
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see

Only Thou art holy; 
there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity

Holy, holy, holy
Lord, God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea

Holy, holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons blessed Trinity

Lyrics and video from YouTube:

Reflection on Acts 10:9-23 by Chris Tan

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Deprecans Deum | Praying to God

"Cornelius was always praying to God" Acts 10:2 (CEV).


All have certain duties and obligations. We get busy with many things in our families, communities, and in our companies. This is a chance for us Christians to keep doing everything as religious people. It means always praying to God. Wherever we are, whatever we do, in our free time and during our job, a Christian is a person of constant prayer.

Besides we are to worship God in any circumstances. We do not need to wait for a comfortable time during Sunday service. Also in ordinary service at home and at work, we ought to keep praying for the world. We are to put an impact on other people and make them follow Christ. We can manage it not by force but by example. As Christians, we should imitate Jesus and help our brothers and sisters. We are to support not only with money but much more with our prayers. 

Thus, we live in communion with angels and saints. If we open our hearts to God's word, we will recognize his voice deep in our souls. We can get surprised how God the Father works miracles in our lives. For our Lord hears our prayers especially when they come from the sincere and humble heart. We will know which decisions to make because we will be acting according to the Holy Spirit. 


Reflection on Acts 10:1-8 by Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here).

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Sanat Iesus | Jesus heals

"Peter said to him, 'Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!' And immediately he got up." — Acts 9:34 (NRSV)

                   Photo by Alexander Wendt from Pexels

In this passage we have two episodes of healing done to two different people by St. Peter. The first one is Aeneas who was bedridden for eight years and the second one is a girl called Tabitha. Both of them were in a helpless situation because the man was paralyzed and the girl was dead. In this situation God is making use of his disciple St. Peter, who is filled with the Holy spirit to heal both of them. St. Peter knows that he can't do it by himself or with his power and so he does it in the name of Jesus.

Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, in our lives too we become sick not only physically but even spiritually. We live in darkness and not in light. Most often in such desperate moments we don't know what to do and whom to depend on. But the Word of God makes it very clear to us not to lose hope. Even at the moment of our death Jesus Christ can work wonders and miracles in our lives. As children of God we are never to lose our hope but in deep humility trust in God. We have a God who is at our reach when we call him. We have our angels guarding us. But most often we are not realizing it and continue to live in darkness, sin and sickness.  

Here we have  a role model to follow, St. Peter, who knelt down and prayed. St. Peter had that confidence and trust in God. What about us? Yes, dear brothers and sisters let us not lose track of Christ who is our light and guide.

Reflection on Acts 9: 32-43 by Fr. George Joseph, SVD 

(Listen to the Podcast here)