Monday, August 29, 2022

Vipera | A Viper

"But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects." — Acts 28:5 (NIV) 

Today’s passage has Paul landing in an island called Malta and being welcomed with a fire. A viper attached itself into Paul’s hands and after shaking it off, Paul did not fall ill. 

These events tell me that there will be a lot of events and occurrences that will happen as we perform the duties set out by the Lord for us. There will be some huge milestones, and just the same, and in between, a lot of mundane tasks that have to be fulfilled throughout the days. Through these all, people around us will think various things, and sadly sometimes they will judge us. Just as Paul was judged from being a murderer as the viper attached itself to him, to being a god later on for not having been affected by the viper’s bite. 

We should not let either the grandness of things, the boring and mundane, or even what other people say about us deter us from what we need to do, and from doing our purpose. Let us focus on what God asks us to do and let’s just do it with love and clarity. This is exactly what Paul did in Malta and even went on healing the father of the chief. 

There will be a lot of distractions in this world, let’s stay faithful to our purpose, and always let God lead the way. God bless you, my friends.

Reflection on Acts 28:1-10 by Blessie Sto Tomas 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Ad Terram | Land safely

"...In this way everyone reached land safely." — Acts 27:44 (NIV) 

Reflecting on this beautiful account of how Paul and the ship's entire crew were saved by the power of God through the shipwreck, reminded me of how God's Grace had pulled me out of the shipwreck of my own journeys. My own failed health, an acute right-brain stroke in 2005, and the shipwreck of a failed marriage in 2007. 

It also reminded me of Jesus' Authority over the storm, when the disciples thought they were going to die in a fierce storm. "And he said to them, 'Why are you afraid, you of little faith?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'" (Matt 8:26-27).

Through the countless storms that our Almighty God had allowed to blow through my life, I've learned truly Jesus is King above the floods, and has reigned even through the storm-tossed seasons in my life. I thank Jesus for His Presence and Love through the fiercest storms and crises in my life.

I will close my sharing with this beautiful worship "Still" by Hillsong. Amen.



Hide me now

Under Your wings

Cover me

Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with You above the storm

Father, You are King over the flood

I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul

In Christ alone

Know His power

In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with you above the storm

Father, You are King over the flood

And I will be still, know You are God

You are my God

I will be still, Lord

Source: LyricFind (shortened)

Songwriters: Reuben Morgan

Still lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

YouTube Link:

Reflection on Acts 27:13-44 by Chris Tan

Monday, August 22, 2022

Centurio | Wisdom despised

"But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship."— Acts 27:11 


More than half of the today's passage, Luke tells us about the difficult journey to Rome, Italy. Paul and others were sailing slowly because of the bad weather (v.9).  He had perceived that the journey would be dangerous for the ship and their life. But the centurion didn’t listen to Paul, the prisoner, who perhaps was not educated enough, not smart enough, not wise enough. He rather believed the decision of the pilot and the owner of the ship, who perhaps had more knowledge and experience about the sea, the weather and the journey. In the next passage, the ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind. Finally, they were shipwrecked off the coast of Malta.

This passage reflects our lives. Sometimes we have a difficulty in life, which is not yet a storm. Instead of listening to the man of God, or finding the voice of God, we would lean on the advice of the expert and make decisions that lead us to the stormy journey.

Brothers and sisters, what should we do if we are in difficult situations? 
Seek God first and have a relation with Him (Proverb 1:7). When we are in relationship with God, we could discern the voice of God (John 10:27). God talks through Jesus, prayers, verses or passages of the bible, friends, books, his creations, the least of brothers and sisters of God, and/or experts who are led by God. God talks through combination of these things.  

The centurion, in our passage, clearly had no relationship with God Almighty. He could not discern the voice of God and preferred to follow the decision of the experts who were not led by God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” – Proverb 1:7.

Reflection on Acts 27:1-11 by Veralin Uneputty
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Nihil Morte Dignum | Unworthy of Death

"This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment." — Acts 26:31 (ESV) 

Today’s reading is a continuation of the moment when Apostle Paul defends himself in front of King (Herod) Agrippa against the Jews’ accusation. He was explaining his journey from being a Pharisee then a Christian prosecutor all the way to a repented man who met Jesus himself and became His witness and servant to all the Jews and the Gentiles for the sake of their salvation (Acts 26:2-23). 

Having listened to what Paul explained, the King left the place but he told the Governor and other government officer who were present there that, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment” (v.31). Somehow Agrippa was touched by Paul’s testimony but he just didn’t want to surrender (v.28) and he shifted the responsibility to the Cesar as Paul had appealed to (v.32).

Apostle Paul’s experience reflects his master, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is unbelievable, that although His purpose to come into the world is to save the humankind from sin, and do nothing but all good, all noble, all about the truth, yet the world hated and killed Jesus. No wonder God the Father exalts Him to the highest place and gives Him the name that is above every name and expects every creature to bow down and worship Jesus as the Lord for the glory of the Father (Phil 2:9-11).

Every true Christian will one way or another face the same treatment because the servant is not greater than his Master (John 15:20). When there’s nothing we do deserve hatred, even death and imprisonment, remember what Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The question is, are we truly the servants of Jesus Christ? Is He our only true Master? 

Reflection on Acts 26:24-32 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Exsurge | Get up

"Now get up and stand on your feet..." — Acts 26:16 (NIV)

In this passage, we read about the moment when God appointed Paul to become His servant and told him to stop the prosecution of people who believed and followed Jesus. The part that stood out to me the most was the part of Jesus' reply to Paul's question: “Who are you, Lord?”

First, God told Paul who He was. He gave Paul His name and emphasized that He was the one Paul was persecuting. After Paul learned that, he probably thought that he is going to die now because he was persecuting God Himself and he was going against the Lord and His people. But something completely different happens. God told Paul to get up and stand on his feet, He lifted Paul up from the ground and gave him a task. God appoints Paul as His servant and as a witness of God's mercy and endless love for His children. At that moment God also assured him that He would take care of him. 

The task is difficult but with God by your side, everything is possible. This shows how great our God is. When He gives us tasks or allows us to be in a difficult situation, we can be sure that as long as we have Him with us, we will be safe. If He gives us a task, He doesn't expect us to do everything on our own, He asks us to trust in Him, that He will guide and protect us. Sometimes we forget that we have God by our side and we try to complete a difficult task or find a way out of the difficult situation by ourselves, which leads to hardships, frustrations, and to hopelessness.

Let's never forget that we always have our God who is with us and gives us strength to get through anything, even if it seems impossible. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

Reflection on Acts 26:12-23 by Natalia Kowalska
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Pro temet ipso | For himself

"Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You have permission to speak for yourself.'" — Acts 26:1 (NIV)

Dear brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, 

In todays passage we listen to the defense of St. Paul in front of King Agrippa. St. Paul claims that he is a born Jew and a strict follower of religion and a Pharisee. He also tells that he was part of the persecutions against Christians. The king Agrippa and audience is listening patiently to the defense of St. Paul. When I was reflecting on this passage I got few reflections.

You may not be accepted by your own people even if you are doing good sometimes. In the case of St. Paul it is the Jewish people who wanted to get him killed. Another reflection is from the side of St. Paul that once you know the truth and your mission in life or your calling in life then nothing can stop you. For this mission you are willing to go to any extreme even to the extent of sacrificing your life like St. Paul.  Sometimes when you do your mission which is according to the will of God you may be left alone or may feel lonely. There won't be others to defend you. You will have to make your own defense. 

Even if you feel lonely or left alone make sure that you always lean on to the most sacred heart of Mother Mary and she will for sure lead you to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is my experience in life. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the place of solace at the same time you can draw all your energy from there. The Heart of Jesus is filled with love and mercy. St. Paul had placed himself in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Paul was able to say even if I die it is a gain for me so that he can meet Jesus soon in Heaven. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Amen. 

Reflection on Acts 26:1-11 by Fr. George Joseph SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)