How to serve God in the temporal world

Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide John 6:16-21 This 14th day of Easter, the office of deacons was established so that the temporal needs of the poor members of the Church would be met while the apostles continue their ministry of proclaiming the Word.

In the gospel, Jesus was seen walking on the waters.

Easter is about the resurrection of the Lord, in body and spirit.  In our case we could experience the resurrection in the integration of human lives with a spirituality that comes from the power of God.  This is called secularity.  It may seem material, but we could recognize God's presence in the world and in way we conduct our temporal affairs - our work, the ways we handle our material possessions, and our preoccupation with day to day living.

Each moment calls us to recognize the immense power of the Lord as the one who gives order to our lives.  He is the one walking above the waters; he is in control of all  created things.

Second, each moment calls us to responsible s…

How to open the eyes of our faith

Easter Thursday Luke 24:35-48  We are exposed to forty days of Jesus' presence to the disciples after the Resurrection.  This is the fourth day.

Peter gave a discourse after he and John cured a lame man.  He helped deepen their understanding about Jesus and the work of salvation.  He needed to explain all these to open the eyes of their faith.

In the Gospel, Jesus appeared to the apostles.  He even proved to them that he is present in body and spirit through the eating of the food.  But like the first reading, he wanted to open the eyes of their faith to greater realities: the reality of God's love and salvation through him.

We are in need of salvation.  But existence in this world means we have to have the resources to feed our bodies with food.  Some of our brethren get stuck in the world of materialism, others hinge on power, fame, and persons for their happiness.

How do we open the eyes of faith then to the realities of Jesus?

First, realize that even the world is a manifes…

How we can increase our affections for Jesus

Easter Tuesday
John 20:11-18 We are capitalizing on Easter experiences after the Easter morn.

The people were cut to the heart when Peter explained how Jesus, the Messiah, was rejected and killed.  Three thousand people converted to the faith immediately after that.

Mary had the most intense experience of seeing the Lord immediately on that Sunday morning.  It confirmed how treated Jesus even before he suffered and died - as Master, as Lord and God, and as her Beloved.

We are inspired by concrete experiences of love, hate, joy, and sorrow.  In psychology, understanding our feelings manifests self-discovery of what we hold dear to our hearts and what we abhor.  Consequently, if we are devoid of positive feelings for the Lord, let's increase our experiences of faith, especially those that help us deepen it.

How do we increase our sentiments and affections for the Lord?

First, learn from the Master.  Treat Jesus as such - a master, a teacher, someone in authority over all.

Second, ado…

Commending one's spirit to God

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Luke 23:46 In the 5 stages of death – denial, compromise, anger, depression, and acceptance, these words of our Lord are the words we might utter after all our struggles on earth, denials, compromises, anger and depression from all sicknesses, problems, sin, and desolation. 

We humbly present to the Lord who we really are.  No more false pretenses; no more hiding.  We now utter, "Father, into your hands i commend my spirit."

What does it mean when we pray these words?  And when is the best time to say them?

First, know that Jesus is also equipped with a human spirit that gives life to his body.  We also possess the same spirit integrated in our bodies.  We need to offer our spirits to the Lord, having been created in his image and likeness, so that our every existence in this world would be a holy existence springing from a harmonious relationship between the body and the soul.

Second, the best time to commend our spir…

A true gift

Maundy Thursday John 13:1-15 We formally enter into the Paschal Mystery of our Lord, or the mystery of his passion, death, and resurrection.  We need to enter fully into this mystery and know what it means for us.   And if there's a word that would encapsulate its meaning, the word would be "gift".

As we are fond of receiving gifts, we also realize that gifts have qualities needed for them to become real gifts.  For instance, a gift has to be freely given with a joyful heart.  If it is forced because we expect to receive something, then it is not truly a gift.  The Holy Eucharist and Jesus' command of love, on the other hand, are authentic gifts from Jesus.  What constitutes a true gift?

First, a gift needs to be given in the spirit of pure, immaculate intentions, as pure as a young lamb prepared for the family during the time of Moses.  In the gospel, Jesus is Begotten Son anointed by the Father with the purest heart filled with love for all of us.

As we also celebr…

How not to be Judas

Wednesday of Holy Week Matthew 26:14-16 Holy Wednesday brings us to reflect on the moment prior to the Last Supper when Jesus again prophesied who would betray him.

The moment of salvation is near, but woe to that betrayer.  His sin is great indeed, far than any of us could think of.  He stayed with our Lord, traveled with him, heard his words, and seen his actions.   But he sold him for 30 pieces of silver after he ridiculed Mary when she poured perfume on Jesus' feet.  To sell person is a treatment of total indignity against him.  Much worse, when he asked the question, "Is it I, Rabbi?" he stripped Jesus of his title "Lord".

We betray Jesus every moment of our active liveshere on earth.  We claim we don't have time even to greet him or visit him in the church.  No wonder we don't have time to serve him.  We become like Judas when:

First, we stop listening to Jesus.  When our outlook on life is far from Jesus' outlook. When Jesus talks about sharin…

Hope in the midst of fallenness

Tuesday of Holy Week John 13:21-33,36-38 This Holy Tuesday, Satan entered into Judas who dipped bread together with Jesus and left to do what he had to do - betray Jesus.
Yet, Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in Isaiah, the One called before he was born, elected to save humankind from sin.  God's spirit is in Him.
Peter, on the other hand, though appearing concerned about who would betray Jesus, did not know that he would end up doing the same.  Jesus said, "You cannot follow" for not only Peter, but us, are not yet prepared to face the ultimate confrontation between evil and good.
In moments when we are confronted with our own weaknesses and sin, because we are not yet ready to follow Jesus, do the following:
First, stay close to Jesus.  This is simply faith, when our natural faculties to understand collide with faith, we give in to faith precisely we believe in Jesus.
Second, stay close to the light.  God promised Israel to be the "light to the nations."  Pray t…