Friday, September 30, 2022

Liber Generationis | Genealogy of Jesus

"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham..." — Mat 1:1 (NIV) 

Dearly beloved brothers & sisters-in-Christ,

When I had first become a believer in 2005, I skimmed over the Genealogy of Jesus as I found it dry and uninteresting. A list of Jesus' ancestry through the line of Abraham, and eventually his father Joseph, whose ancestry could be traced back to King David, in fulfilment of God's Promise to King David of an eternal kingdom through his offspring. It was only through years of studying OT and NT texts that I have begun to appreciate the beauty and faithfulness of an eternal and unchanging God to a people who have disappointed or angered Him again and again. Seeing the names of men and women with chequered pasts listed in Jesus' ancestry gives me renewed hope of God's power in authoring His Story within my own chequered history.

The list includes:-
1) A serial liar (Abraham) – who lied more than once about his spousal relationship to pagan kings, and yet courageously bargained with God for the fate of a city, destined to be destroyed by God's Holy Fire, and bore a son (promised by God) in his old age, when it was humanly impossible.
2) A prostitute in Jericho (Rahab) – who helped 2 Israelite spies and gave them victory over their enemies.
3) An adulteress (Bathsheba) – who committed adultery with King David when she was married to Uriah, and gave birth to one of the wisest king in human history
4) A king who committed adultery and murdered his loyal soldier (King David) – yet was beautifully restored after his wholehearted repentance and confession upon being confronted by the prophet Nathan. 

Reading about the lives of imperfect men and women used mightily by God in writing His story, gives me hope that God truly works all things for our good, cf. Romans 8:28:

"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."

I will close my reflection with this beautiful song by Bethel Worship that sings of God's Goodness, and as King David had written so beautifully in his beloved Psalm 23:6:

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long."

Goodness of God
Verse 1
I love You Lord
Oh Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I've been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest nights
You are close like no other
I've known You as a father
I've known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God

Your goodness is running after, it's running after me
Your goodness is running after, it's running after me
With my life laid down, I'm surrendered now, I give You everything
Your goodness is running after, it's running after me

Singer: Brian and Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music
Album: Victory (Live)

Reflection on Matthew 1:1-17 by Chris Tan

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Habemus Fide | Peace through Jesus

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..." — Rom 5:1 (NIV) 

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The reading for the 23rd of September is about peace and joy - it is about the good and wonderful things God is always ready to give us whole-heartedly.

It spoke about hope. And how we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Along with this hope is the peace and joy that can come only from knowing Jesus. The peace and joy that can come only from knowing that Jesus Himself gave up His throne, His life for a sinner like me. Is there hope more powerful than knowing that even as I sin, Christ died for me? Oh what beautiful hope that brings - I may not be deserving out of my own merit, but in God’s overflowing love, He saved us and died for us. 

This life may have sufferings, sometimes even not by our own doing, but these verses remind us today that we may also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. God is with us in the joys of our celebrations, but above all God is with us even as we are slumped to the ground. Take heart, for God is our hope.

Peace, joy, hope, love. Oh praise the Lord for His grace, today and everyday of our lives.

Reflection on Romans 5:1-11 by Blessie Sto Tomas 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Gratia regnet | Grace rules

"So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful grace rules instead... resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" —Romans 5:21 (NLT) 

Photo by Jozef Trzebuniak

As one man’s sin – Adam, brings death to everyone, God doesn’t leave us alone struggling with sin and its consequences. “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous” (v.19). God steps in with his wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ. For all who receive this gift in Christ will live in triumph over sin and death (v.17).

Today I learn much about love. This passage tells us, “…But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace become more abundant” (v.20). This shows how great our God’s heart towards us. “He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:9-10).

This also answers some cynical opinions, on how unfair God is, that men must be responsible for their choices of life which lead to heaven or hell. But God doesn’t just rest in heaven, in fact, God the Father sent his own Son, the second person of the Triune God, to do the hard job. He suffered tremendously as a ransom for the sinners and for those who believe in Him will inherit an eternal life (John 3:16).

Being a perfectionist oftentimes makes me feel overwhelmed. I want to be a good person, and when I fail I feel so miserable and become so hard on myself. But this is not what the scripture tells. I am not supposed to be a perfect person, because sin ruled over all people and brought us to death. But now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (v.21). Praise be to God. His grace rules over me, enables me to have an eternal life which is not based on what I do, but on His love. He understands my imperfections, for He knows I am only dust (Psalm 103:14). It humbles me. His love encompasses my nature. It fascinates me. Now I rest all my life in His hands even want to please Him more as my gratitude. What a perfect example to follow in real life. How love wins people. 

Reflection on Romans 5:12-21 by Desire Litaay
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, September 23, 2022

Per baptismum | Through baptism

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life." — Rom 6:4 (NASB) 

Long ago I believed in Jesus and decided to walk with Him and to follow Him. But still I experience my sinful nature. I want to do good things. But my mouth speaks words without love and I sometimes I feel I have negative feelings. As a result, I regret what I did and how I behaved. I am like a bad student in God's eyes. It comes to my mind. 

Apostle Paul in the Letter to Romans Chapter 6 Verse 4 says that "we were buried with him through baptism into death" and "Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life".  Our old self was crucified with Jesus and we are no longer slaves to sin. We are freed from sin. We can live new life for Jesus. We just need to offer our whole self to Jesus, then He will be in control. Even though we keep committing sins, Jesus is taking care about it. Because we are united with Jesus, He gives us strength to do good things.

So what we have to do is not looking at our sinful old self, but focus on Jesus always. Everyday we have to realize that we are dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. We should know that Jesus lives in us, and we live in Jesus. If we offer our body to God, God is gonna use us as His instruments. We don't have to worry too much. We just need to ask Jesus and offer ourselves to God, so that God's wisdom and love will overcome our weaknesses.

Reflection on Romans 6:1-14 by Michiko Mikata 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Per Iustitiam Fidei | Righteousness from Faith

“It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith.” — Rom 4:13  

A pearl of truth and love lies in everyone's heart. This all comes out when we pray. In prayers, everybody asks the good things for themselves or for other people. In the depth of their hearts, everybody wants things to be good and true. And no one wants bad things to happen. 

One thing in this world that is constant and must be fought for, is the truth. It is not easy, for the truth or righteousness goes against humans' tendencies. Humans tend to be more inclined to deceive and manipulate themselves but they have to realize that living in truth and maintaining it are essential. That desire should be there in every human's heart. Some people dare to actualize it; others choose to be safe and silent and let the truth defeats narrow-mindedness and wrong habitude by itself.  

In the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Rome 4:13), he reminds us that it is not by Torah that Abraham receives all the grace but because of the righteousness that comes from faith. The truth is that Abraham loves God more than anything and can offer all he has to convince God. Have faith that what God has promised will be fulfilled. And Abraham has them all. We, as Christians have to live and fight for the truth because it is the sign that we believe in God. 

It’s true that when a person fights for the truth, especially with Christian embellishments, they will be rejected and hated by the ''world' because the world does not know Christ. Even so, never stop doing the right thing. We have to believe that the Spirit of God always helps us at the right time. Let’s learn from Jesus who lives in truth and righteousness. He preaches the truth but the world refuses, hates, and even kills Him. However, the Holy Spirit continues to show the truth and will always be victorious.

Reflection on Romans 4:13-25 by Sr. Maria Venidora SND
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Remissae iniquitates | Iniquities forgiven

"Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered..." — Rom 4:7  

Reflecting on the life of Abraham, who is regarded as the father of faith of 3 major monotheistic religions, (including Christianity & Judaism), it gives me great hope. Even though Abraham had faltered in his faith as an ordinary human person, including begetting a son with his wife's maidservant Hagar - in spite of God's Promise of a son by Sarah, lying about Sarah as his sister to the pagan king Abimelech and subsequently to Pharaoh of Egypt in order to gain safe passage through foreign lands, yet God had time and again proven true to His Covenant with Abraham. He preserved their lives and allowed Sarah to bear Isaac in her old age when it seemed humanly impossible, since she was past child-bearing age. 

As Jesus, the Promised Messiah (descended from the Abrahamic lineage through Isaac) many centuries later had declared, "What is impossible for mortals is possible for God." (Luke 18:27), it gives me great hope and example to trust in God's promises of healing and restoration in my life. 

I will close with this beautiful worship song by Chris Tomlin, proclaiming Jesus' Amazing Love.

Amazing Love (How Can It Be)


I'm forgiven, because You were forsaken

I'm accepted, You were condemned

I'm alive and well, Your spirit is within me

Because You died and rose again



Amazing Love, how can it be

That You my king would die for me

Amazing Love, I know it's true

It's my joy to honor You,

In all I do, I honor You



You are my King,

You are my king,

Jesus You are my King,

Jesus You are my King


Source: Invubu (

Singer: Chris Tomlin

Album: One Day Live, 2000


Reflection on Romans 4:1-12 by Chris Tan

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Doces te ipsum | Teach yourself

“- you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?...” — Rom 2:21 (NIV)

When I was ordained as a catholic diaconate, there was a ceremony in the Cathedral where the Bishop gave me the Bible and said, “Receive this gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach."

These words from the Bishop have always been in my head, especially when I am preaching. It was so hard to preach when I realized that my life was often far from what I preached. When I meditate and research the Scriptures, it is actually the Scriptures that investigate me. I am preached by my own sermon.

Many people are disappointed with Christianity because they see the actions of Christians and even God's servants as stumbling blocks. Although not all, but religious hypocrisy can make people blaspheme against God. People who are supposed to need God become rejecting God because of our deeds which are often contrary to what we teach. How many people no longer want to come to church to hear the gospel because of the behavior of the evangelicals.

“- you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?” (Rom 2:21). These words of Paul are addressed to the Jews who often boast of their knowledge and spiritual activities while their lives are far from what they teach. Paul's words are also addressed to us. When you read the Bible every day, do you apply the truth to yourself? How do you allow yourself to be taught by the Word of God?

I know many people whose lives live up to what they teach. Their words are truly meaningful and carry a powerful impact. Many people are drawn to Christ through their testimonies. May the evidence of our lives brings more and more people to Christ. Amen.

Reflection on Romans 2:17-29  by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Incredulitas | Unfaithfulness

"Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!" — Romans 3:3-4

Photo by Ben Lambert on Unsplash

Perhaps everybody has experienced a betrayal, being betrayed by someone who was very close to us. Of course it is a very painful experience. Jesus himself was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of His trusted disciple. Judas lightly kissed Jesus on the cheek for the soldiers to arrest him. There is nothing more painful than a betrayal and being treated unfaithfully. 

Recently, it has gone viral in social media and even on TV shows about cases of infidelity between husband and wife which often lead to the suffering of their children and even the death of someone who betrayed. Human beings get angry easily when betrayed even though they often betray others. It's easy to get angry because partners, friends, relatives or a family member were unfaithful even though he or she himself is also unfaithful.  As Christians, we always believe that our God is a very loyal God, a God who never cares about weaknesses and sins.

There is only one condition that He gives us, which is to trust, to believe in His mercy and grace. Try to draw closer to Him when we are trapped in the mud of sin. Every time He is always looking for His lost child, but sometimes the more He searches, the more we disappear amidst the hustle and bustle of this busy world. We only realize when we face life's difficulties where we are required to stay strong for the sake of the people we love. Sometimes God uses difficult times in our lives to let us draw closer to Him because usually at times like that many people seek Him. 

As Christians, today we celebrate the feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's get closer to the Source of love because the suffering we are facing today is not comparable to His suffering on the cross. He has taught us to faithfully carry the cross to the last drop of our blood and finally triumph over the cross as He did.

Reflection on Romans 3:1-18 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC 
 (Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Laus ex Deo | Praise from God

"You are failing to teach yourself" — Romans 2:11.

It is not difficult to teach others. For they commit sins and make mistakes. For they are sinners and wrong-doers. So everywhere and every time we tend to judge them more than ourselves. But is not the main characteristic of human beings.

The true wisdom which we learn from the letter of Paul is about humbleness. Although we are Christians by name and we live our faith, we need to take care of our behavior. We know the rules and laws but in our opinion, these requirements are for other people. Because they are the bad ones, not us.

Apostle Paul warns us not to be self-confident.  For it happens that we forget to be merciful and open-hearted when we teach our friends and relatives.  We find hundreds of reasons to bitch about someone behind their back. But we need to stop it. Since we never know what is in the heart of people. Only God the Lord can recognize the true intentions. We must remember that the most important is not flesh but spirit.

Our praise does not come from human beings but from God (v. 29). So let us be more critical of ourselves rather than of our colleagues and relatives. Let us show a good example first. We can teach much more by actions than by words. All human beings can boast of God. But it is much better to stay calm and rejoice in the Spirit than to announce everything to the whole world.


Reflection on Romans 2:12-29 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Personarum acceptio | No partiality

"For God shows no partiality." — Romans 2:11

Dear friends in Christ Jesus, this passage makes it very clear that after the end of our earthly life there will be a judgment on us by the righteous God. Earthly life is very limited and fragile. In this limited time that we live on the earth we are all given an opportunity to aim at eternal life and strive our level best to attain it. Scripture makes it very clear that each one will be rewarded according to each one's deeds. God the Father has given total freedom to His Son Jesus to judge the world. Jesus knows even our secret thoughts. So what are we trying to run away or escape from?

Trusting in the mercy of God and in the divine providence, we are all asked to live a life pleasing to God. Jesus has already shown us the way of life and we have the Holy Bible to attain eternal life. Jesus shows no partiality and it is a quality of God for in front of Him all are equal.  Let us also try to develop this quality and practice it in our day today life. 

What right have we got to pass judgment on others when we are sure to be judged? Sometimes it hurts a lot when others make judgment on us. The way you give you will receive back. So make sure you give good. As we are all sinners and fragile human beings who are sure to perish one day from this earth, let us trust in the Divine Mercy of God.



Reflection on Romans 2:1-16 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Ira Dei | God's Wrath

"For God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness." — Rom 1:18  

I think it is a very difficult passage for me personally. I felt a kind of sadness when I read it for the first time. I didn't want our God to be angry at people and I felt that it couldn't be the truth. I found the answer in this sentence: Ungodliness which is a wrong attitude toward God results in a rejection of truth.

It is easy for us to think that God revealed himself in the creation of the world, and we can see his eternal power and divine nature every day. The universe was always intended by God to show his glory to us. But unfortunately many people still suppress the truth. Saint Paul mentions that in his letter. 

Even when we are not doing anything particularly bad but just suppressing the truth of God - that is offensive to God. Suppressing is deeply offensive to God. We swap God and we worship other things instead. We worship people, things and experiences as if they are going to give us meaning and satisfaction. 

Saint Paul says God is revealing his wrath and we don't often believe what he tells us. For many years I thought that  God was love and how could he be angry? But when we think for a second if you were married and caught your spouse cheating would you be right to be angry? Or let's imagine that my son who lives with me in our flat suddenly stopped talking to me and behaved like I wasn't there. That would hurt me deeply. If you were indifferent you said it doesn't matter. 

So, love and anger can come together. God is right to be angry. It's not just we do bad things but it's that we have done the worst thing. We have rejected him. We need to answer a question: Do we really feel in our hearts the need to be right with God by faith in Jesus? Or maybe we suppress that truth?


Reflection on Romans 1:16-32 by Sylwia Stepien
(Listen to the Podcast here)