Thursday, May 26, 2011

God's Message For Me Today

Dear lois,

Happy, happy Birthday!
On this same day some years ago, God brought into the world a wonderful child destined to love and be loved and do great things. Never forget your destiny. Never forget who you are!

Never lose sight of Jesus this Thursday.



"God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith." – Acts 15:9
When Protestant friends realize I'm a devout Catholic, they pepper me with a barrage of preaching. While I do try to answer their relentless questions, I have to admit that my knowledge only goes so far.
My failure to answer convincingly burned a fierce desire in me to know more, to help me express my passion and defend the Church that propagated Jesus' teachings from two millennia ago.
So I read. I asked questions. I prayed. But the more I learned, the more I realized that the knowledge may make me better at answering questions, but it doesn't necessarily make me a better Christian.
No matter how much I studied, it is the message of God's all encompassing love that moves me. It transformed my desire to defend and win debates into a yearning to show God's love and mercy to others. It made me judge my brothers less and led me to see God's image and likeness in everyone, even if they are of a different religion or opinion.
What a wonderful world it would be if we could all stop bickering and just remain in His love!Cecil Lim (
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." (St. Francis of Assisi)
Lord, may everything I do shine the light of Christ and decrease the darkness.

God's plan for His people is dynamic and just because it began in a particular way is no guarantee that there will be no developments later on. This is true of any organization that wants to survive generational change. The basic tenets of our faith will not change but the structures and even the ideologies that support these tenets can and must change with the times.
Acts 15:7-21
7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, "My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they." 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they had fallen silent, James responded, "My brothers, listen to me. 14 Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written: 16 'After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, 17 so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, 18 known from of old.' 19 It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."
Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 10
R: Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 10 Say among the nations the LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. (R)
This text is very commonly used as the Gospel for weddings as it speaks of the reciprocal nature of love. It also teaches us that love is an empowering reality – when we know we are loved by someone this can empower us to love, not just that person, but others as well. Love is an empowering reality, indeed it may well be the most empowering reality in the world as love can conquer even death as Jesus demonstrates through His Passion and the Father through raising Jesus from the dead.
R: Alleluia, alleluia
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.
R: Alleluia, alleluia
John 15:9-11
9 Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete."
Ester C-7
my reflections
think: Love is an empowering reality

The year 2009 was memorable, but not in a good sense. Our country was visited by twin typhoons that ravaged a big portion of the Philippine archipelago. The live media coverage of the hapless —and slowly growing hopeless — residents of the affected areas where water seemed to have simply surged in hours, threatening so many lives, was simply heart-rending. The live calls for help from panicking people atop roofs was too much to bear for someone like me who lived so many miles and so many hours away from the Philippines.
I felt so helpless. I wanted to do something on my end, but there was, of course, nothing I could do except pray. As I watched in horror, all I could utter to myself was, "It could have been me. It could have been anyone of us who were then on high and dry ground. It just so happened that we were someplace else."
What I felt then, was not so much sympathy as empathy — the capacity to stand in the shoes of another human being; the ability to feel "for" others and understand up to some point what they are going through. In a very real sense, I felt that "there, but for the grace of God, go I."
The disciples had to go through some kind of soul searching in this regard. For some time, they didn't quite know how to deal with converts who were not formerly practicing Jews but Gentiles. One group believed they should all go through the rituals prescribed for Jews, but another group thought otherwise. The voice of Peter shines out in today's passage — the voice of empathy and compassion. He basically told his hearers, "they have been saved through the grace of the Lord in the same way that we are." The capacity for empathy is something we all could have more of. Given the so many tragedies and catastrophes that happen in many places all over the world, we can grow callous and indifferent to all that we see. But empathy is born of a common understanding of this reality: We were all saved through the grace of the Lord. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
Reflection Question:
How do I treat the people who seem to be living without God in their lives? Is it with scorn or with empathy?
Lord, grant me a compassionate heart so I may be able to respond to people and situations as You would want me to. Amen.
St. Mariana de Paredes, pray for us.