Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday of the 6th week of Eastertide

What to ask our Lord

John 16:23-28

In the first reading, the Church further progressed with Apollos being taught "the Way"; i.e., the course of discipleship.

In Gospel, Jesus reaches to us in the most intimate way, showing us "the way" to the Father, "Anything you ask for from the Father, he will grant in my name."  We to need to be education as regards "the way" to the Father.

We have not asked correctly because we don't know what to ask, how to ask it, and what to expect after asking it.  Our relationship with Jesus demands "a way" by which we are to ask, not that kind by which we demand that God hears our prayers even without knowing who he is.

This is the way to ask our Lord:

First, what to ask 
Ask anything because God is the author of our entire existence.  It is just unfortunate that the evil one destroys the world God created.  Our prayer should be integrated with the intention to heal the world and make it whole again in God.

Second, how to ask it
Ask in total devotion to God, knowing he whom we are asking the gift.  Asking does not depend on what is being asked, but on the relationship between the one asking and God he is addressing his request.  Many people prioritize the intention, the gift, but not the giver of the gift.  To know the Lord is the best gift of all.

Third, what to expect after asking
God heals; he makes whole, he grants, he gives back; he makes fruitful.  What do we expect?  God grants our prayers according to His most Holy Will and our hearts "resting in Thee."  The whole experience should lead us to a deeper faith in the Lord, offering to him what we have asked, be it for the good of ourselves, others, and the rest of the community.  What do we expect?  Lead everyone to God.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)

Divine Mercy and the Church

John 20:19-31

Today, we celebrate Jesus as the Divine Mercy.  We remember the words of the prayer, "You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You, Amen."

This powerful prayer says it all about the immense love of the Father through his Son in the Holy Spirit.  It also says a lot about how we are supposed to be as a Church, the font of God's mercy for the world.

The first reading reveals a lot about the life of the early Christian communities.  We might not know it, but in promoting the Basic Ecclesial Communities, we are actually immersing ourselves not only into the life of the Church but more importantly, in the very heart of Jesus, by whose Body we are made of.

What makes the Christian community and how do we form ourselves as a genuine Christian community?

First, the faithful lived together - they were one heart and one mind.  "Comunio" or love that binds us with one another and with God makes a powerful Christian community.  We are not just churchgoers; we become brothers and sisters to one another.

Second, they devoted themselves to the teachings of the apostles - the Word of God is central to them that everything they think about and do arise from the Word of God as taught by the apostles.

Third, they met in houses for the breaking of the bread - this is not simply a church attendance ritually done.  Christ's once-in-a-lifetime sacrifice is made available to all generations through the celebration of the Eucharist.  Everything in life is reflected in the Eucharist especially the gift of self as Jesus is to us.

Fourth, the sharing of resources - It will always be a challenge to sell everything, possessions and all, and distribute them according to each and everyone's needs.  But definitely, it is possible to share oneself, time, talent, and treasure all for the benefit of the community as a way of being one with Jesus who offered his very own life for us.  Surely, no one would be found wanting if we share ourselves with others, especially the poor in our community.

Jesus reminded Thomas, "Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe."  We who haven't seen the physical Jesus, in faith would be able to say, "Christ lives; Christ's body is the Church that we belong to."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Sunday

No stopping to the resurrection

John 20:1-9

Alleluia!

We are just fresh from experiences of the rich liturgical symbolisms of the Paschal Triduum.  There is no stopping to Jesus' power; not even death could stop what he needs to do for us.

We can only be witnesses to this great event of our God.  It was two thousand years ago, yet the Church has been proclaiming his resurrection, not only each year but always and forever.  What do we announce to others?

First, that there is no stopping to Jesus in fulfilling his divine plan of salvation, the forgiveness of sins.  Death is not the option to sin; rather, forgiveness is.  We make sure that in everything we do, people rise from the grave and be given hope to live again.

Second, there is no stopping to Jesus' power over life and death and heaven and earth.  This second point to move to us to a firmer faith and trust in Jesus and not in our power or wealth.  He is still above all.

Finally, there is no stopping to the mission entrusted to us by Jesus.  Let us not forget our true mission - to proclaim Jesus' resurrection and lead others to salvation.  Politics ends only in this life.  But Jesus' reign will stay forever!

In fulfilling this mission, only then can we be regarded as childr
en of the resurrection of the Lord.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Palm Sunday

On beasts and burdens

Matthew 21:1-11
Matthew 27:11-54

It started with a well-laid plan without a single dash of coincidence.  Jesus is fulfilling his plan to save humankind from the ultimate evil, death; much worse in this case, the killing of the Son of God.

From the first gospel, Jesus marks his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy, "‘Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.’

Three reflections come to mind about Jesus' entrance to Jerusalem:

First, Jesus had a well-laid plan converted to action.  Saving humankind is not a coincidence.  We need to trust God in carrying out his plan of salvation.

Second, he rode an ass to actualize a prophesy.  The ass is a symbol of utility instead of power; it is capable of fulfilling the master's orders.  Jesus has a job to do, all for our sake. Let's ask what our mission is in this world and fulfill it like the obedient, useful servants.

Third, the donkey is a beast of burden meant to transport heavy loads.  In the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, it carries Jesus who is about to carry the sins of men and women.  It must be too hard for the animal to carry it.  But people around Jesus see the sight of him riding the mule.  Like the donkey, he is set to carry our heavy burdens of the sinful human race.

Let us enter into the Jerusalem of our lives together with Jesus who is there to carry them for us.

***

The Passion of the cross is the ultimate expression of Jesus' love for us, both friends and enemies.  For Jesus there are no enemies; we are all his enemies by every sin we commit; yet, he places upon himself the burden of our sins.  But Jesus remained steadfast in carrying all acts of violence heaped against him, all for our sake.

These are the burdens carried by Jesus:

First, our sins

Our sins make us more and more violent and detached from God.  Stop opting for the comfortable but insensitive life.  Our quest for enjoyment and self-preservation detaches us from the hurts and pains of people.

Second, the absence of God

Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"  This prayer is for him; he meant to pray this with and for us, who in being separated from God, feel abandoned and isolated.  When we feel isolated because of what we have done against God and others, this is the heaviest burden caused by sin, God's seeming absence.  Let us also cry out this prayer and so find our way back to God.

Third, the burden of loving

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in the first reading, "For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away." The non-violence in the face of extreme violence reveals the very heart of Jesus who eternally loves us, that's why he completed his offering on the cross which now serves as the sign of our faith.  It is totally based on God's love for us that we are now called to live out to our brothers and sisters by joyfully carrying their burdens because of love.

Let us enter this Holy Week with love in our hearts and journey with Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

5th Sunday of Lent

Glorifying Jesus

John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33-45 

Happy are those who are utilizing these blessed days of Lent to enter into the resurrection of their lives.  Faith is preparing us to counter all temptations, recognize the divinity of Jesus, give chance to encounter and be a witness to him.

For this last week before Palm Sunday, let us look on Martha and her journey of faith.  After giving witness to what Jesus can do she made a solemn proclamation: "You are the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the world."  Jesus also made the same proclamation of himself: "This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified."

This is the main essence of our existence: "To glorify the Son of God in all things."  But how?

First, make a solemn proclamation of Jesus by prioritizing him above all existence.  We can only do that if we know who Jesus is over and above our lives.  Make an act of faith like Martha by offering everything to him.

Second, recognize Jesus having power over all lives. "I am the resurrection and the life."  He has power over all those who die or are killed.  Our sole mission is to cause life and not death in ourselves and others.

Third, we can also partake in Jesus' power to save by unbinding people from the shackles of death.  True freedom is freedom in God, not in disordinate attachments to material things or to power.  This is the mission of our lives, to cause the salvation of others, all for the glory of God.

The final act of the glorification of Jesus is the lifting of the cross itself.  Pray to journey with him to Calvary so as to receive the resurrection of life.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

2nd Sunday of Lent

Our real selves

Matthew 17:1-9

After Abram left country and family to follow God, God promised him to be the father of a great nation.  His name was changed to "Abraham" and he did become the father of many nations.

As Jesus was transfigured in today's gospel, we pray to be transfigured according to his likeness.  We just need to enter fully into this season of Lent.  We also need to do other things:

First, prioritize Jesus.  Do something different this year.  Don't put Lent in second place.  God doesn't want to be regarded as a second priority.  Jesus says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)

Second, seek Jesus everywhere.  We are desolated by sights of violence, blood, vengeance, crime, greed, and corruption.  Where is God in all these?  Where is Jesus in my work, family, and priorities in life?  Seeking for God's will is called discernment.  It is to believe that despite all evils and sin, God is there to help free us from them.

Third, be the very face of Jesus.  Be his eyes, lips, hands, and feet.  Feel as he feels; act as he acts.  Respond in faith and be merciful at all costs.

Then we shall witness our transfigured selves in Jesus.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

1st Sunday of Lent, A

Fighting temptation

Matthew 4:1-11

Temptation is as old as time which we never seem to neutralize perfectly.  Sin is always before us, contaminating us no end.
Temptation results in sinfulness.  The only way to be strong in temptation is to follow Jesus.  There are 3 temptations we have to triumph:

First, the temptation to wealth

It is God who is our true wealth.  Wealth is not nor forever be a sign of security in the world.  It may be a passport to buying all the things we want in the world.  But it can't be our passport to heaven.

Second, the temptation to power

Jesus has power; but he would rather use it to serve. For what is our power for?  To prove our worth or give ourselves to others?

Third, the temptation to self

Pride is the mother of all sins.  Let our life stories not be about ourselves but how God transformed our lives.

Friday, February 17, 2017

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Perfect in love

Matthew 5:38-48 

Perfection in holiness is not gauged by the number of frequency we enter the church, pray the rosary, held our procession, or even donated to the church.  The readings point out the immediate fruit of holiness in mercy and compassion.

This is simply the very heart of God himself.  He created each one of us out of love.  How can he quarrel with his own creation?

Every parent is a creator: both father and mother prune their children's character to perfection.  They should do much more than just givin them money or even secure their education.   They should be capable of entering and forming their hearts to the core.  But what lies in the hearts of parents?

What God is sharing is his very own heart.  In the book of Leviticus, God enumerated all the things mankind can do for one another: not bear hatred, openly tell him his offence, and loving one another as oneself.  He doesn't want his creation to kill one another.

Jesus took it a step forward:  love the unlovable.  This is harder to bear.  Love one's enemies and pray for the persecutors; offer the other cheek, give the tunic, walk another 2 extra miles.  Aren't these contained in the very heart of Jesus who said, "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do?"  The command of Jesus is absolute:  Love one another as God loves us.

In this way, every human being becomes a true image of God: creating, correcting, forgiving.  God wants us to perfect his law already planted in our hearts, making us exactly one in him.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Transformation

Matthew 5:1-12

What makes a transformed people?

In the Book of the prophet Zephaniah, transformation occurs when people become humble, obey the commandments of God, and live out his mercy.

Does it mean we are already transformed?  No.  But we are in the process of being transformed the moment we humble ourselves and learn from God.

Jesus went a step further in the process of transformation.  It's not only in following the commandments but in possessing the very heart of God.  The Beatitudes are the keys to God's heart as he plants them in ours.

Jesus may be poor; but his wealth is his Father.  We may learn by redefining our true wealth and proclaiming our poverty before the world.

Jesus' heart is gentle; God is patient for our transformation.

Jesus' heart is totally dependent on his Father.  Only God is his joy and consolation.

Jesus is merciful; his heart is pure; his heart is filled with love.  God is pure "hesed" or mercy; there is not a tinge of any evil intention for humankind.  His intention is to connect people with one another and with his Father.

Finally, Jesus shields those who are persecuted because of how they give witness to God's justice and mercy; they mirror God's salvation.

Are we already perfect and holy?  No. Not until our hearts are transformed into the very heart of Jesus, filled with mercy and compassion for others.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Epiphany of the Lord


Light


Matthew 2:1-12

In the Solemnity of the Epiphany, there are three things that we can reflect about the light:

First, light gives direction

It signifies clarity of sight; it also gives witness to the truth.

The opposite of light is darkness.  Sinners want to dwell in the dark so their actions would not be seen.  Darkness gives way to illusions and lies while light signifies truth and brightness.

Second, light gives witness to communion

In the light people gather.  This is the way of the Church.  From the book of Isaiah, the prophet invites the people to look around; there is a great gather of people coming back home.  This is the vision of heaven.  This is a state where love dwells and families are built.  The opposite of this is individualism and separation, when the rich are separated from the poor, powerful from the powerless, the privileged and the underprivileged.

Third, light gives way to offering

The disposition of people's hearts are joyfulness and thanksgiving.  People generously offer gifts.  God resides in the hearts of people.  Mercy abounds.

The opposite is selfishness and greed.  We are back to sin.  In the dark there is no conversion.  In the light, look again, many are witnessing to the glory of Jesus.

As Christmas ends, know that the light has shown upon us.  It's time we let the light of hearts guide others, especially the children.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Mary, Mother of God

Where are we going?

Luke 2:16-21

Whenever we think of the New Year, we always think about good luck, a time of blessings and abundance  to the point of making it our annual ritual.

Perhaps this New Year, we may start with something different.  How many of us have actually pondered things over like Mary?  Before we can ask for blessings of abundance this coming year, can we ask the question, "Why is God giving me another year of life?  What does he want me to do?"

Mary, in pondering all these things in her heart, as well as pondering the baby Jesus in her arms, had the opportunity to see everything as God sees, even the future till our time today.  Mary is very much a part of our lives; thus, the title Mother of God and Mother of the Church.  She saw the whole humanity on the road to heaven.

May we reflect also on the following:

First, reflect the future of humanity

Where is humanity going with all the violence and sin around us?  Could we opt to start changing the course of the future from destruction to building up; from wounding to healing?  The theme of the Pope Francis' message for the Prayer for the World Day of Peace centers on active non-violence as the way to peace. Peaceful non-violent action is not cowardice.  It is actually working for real and authentic peace without resorting to killing or violence.  Pope Francis said, "Violence is not the cure for our broken world. Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering, because vast amounts of resources are diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world. At worst, it can lead to the death, physical and spiritual, of many people, if not of all."

Second, reflect on the meaning of our lives

Where are we actually going with all the things we are doing?  Do you think we're living meaningful lives?  Are we getting closer to God?  Perhaps we can use Pope Francis' message as he quotes Pope Emeritus Benedict, " “For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Love of one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution’” (Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 18, 2007)  Our inclination to active non-violence depends on our orientation as sons and daughters of God and therefore not prone to doing violence against our neighbors.

Third, reflect on God himself

Mary pondered all these things in her heart as she looked on Jesus, her Son.  Let us also look on Jesus.  Search through his heart and move from there.  He wants to change the world for good; are we ready to join him?  Are we ready to do God's will?  Have we understood Jesus enough?

Pope Francis' New Year message puts it:  "This is also a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities. It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost. To do so requires “the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process”.  Ultimately, a life well-lived is a life lived in God.

These are the things we can do for the coming year; how exciting our lives would be because the year would not be filled with our schedules but with God's schedule; not our wills but God's will!  It's an exciting year indeed!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Day

Jesus, Lord

Luke 2:1-14

Right this very day, Christmas day, light has shown upon us; hope is in front of us; the Child is born.  He is set to purify us and refine our ways.

Contemplating at the scene, we can just sigh in awe and wonder, letting the baby speak to us; he is using the language of love.  He reveals to us who he is.  Who is Jesus to us?

Savior

Jesus means "Savior".  God saves.  "He will save people from their sins."  (Mat. 1, 21)  We have destroyed so much life, in ourselves, in others, and in God's creation.  The more we know, live and share Christ, the more things and people will be restored as God wills them to be.

Christ

Christ means "anointed".  Jesus is the Christ because he is consecrated by God and anointed by the Holy Spirit for his redeeming mission.  Let us acknowledge our anointment in Jesus so we can also take part in the work of redemption.

Lord

By this title we recognize Jesus as the sovereign king over nature, demons, over sin, and over death, above all by his Resurrection. "His name is above every other name." (Phil. 2, 9)  Let's manifest Jesus' kingship by prioritizing him in our lives.

"swaddling clothes"

God's beloved Son is wrapped in swaddling clothes, a sign of abject human poverty.  He would not be identified with the rich, proud, and powerful.  Jesus' title as Son is manifest in his obedience to the Father.  So too our conduct in this life will be subjected to the Father's will.  "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."  (Matt. 3, 17)  Let the concern of our lives be on how to please the Father.

Let us dedicate all the time of our lives not in enriching ourselves but in getting to know who God is in Jesus Christ.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

4th Sunday of Advent, A

Fulfill the Lord's command

Matthew 1:18-24

For the fourth Sunday of Advent, the cycle is nearly complete.  All the advent candles are lit.  We are ready to receive Christ this Christmas.

In the first reading, Ahaz did not recognize the Christ; nevertheless, God himself who gave the sign: a virgin shall bear a son and she shall name him, "Immanuel", which means "God-is-with-us".

In the gospel, Joseph wanted to divorce Mary quietly so as not to put her to shame.  But the Angel Gabriel appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins."  Joseph is different from Ahaz in that he took Mary as his wife to fulfill the Lord's command.

What does it take for us to fulfill the Lord's command?

Strive to grow in faith

As it is not easy for today's generation to fulfill the Lord's command, but it is easy for people to follow the ways of the world, let us strive to grow in faith.  Faith enable us to know the language of God more than the language of the world.  Faith is nourished in the Church.

Strive to listen 

Listen not with the physical ears, but with our hearts.  Be sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit.  Know the signs of the times.  Discern.  Then we shall know where God is.

Live out

Live out what we have learned.  Put faith into action.  Then we shall see the saving works of the Lord.

Let us be like Joseph, not losing opportunity to heed God's command to take Mary as his wife.  We may lose the chance to serve Jesus.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

3rd Sunday of Advent, A


Rejoicing

Matthew 11:2-11 

"Gaudete" means rejoicing.  But what the people of this generation rejoice in?  Malls? Money? A lot of gifts and merrymaking?

We have to distinguish what is true and false rejoicing.  If we feast on what is fleeting, what serves the self, orsurely, what is evil, then that is extremely false rejoicing.  There cannot be any joy except in Jesus alone.

The gospel points out the sources of true rejoicing:

First, the poor are helped

In the gospel, it says, "The blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor;"  If we see that life in the community is flourishing - the ignorant are taught, the poor are helped, the sick are visited, those who are dead in sin are raised to life in the Spirit; that is true rejoicing.  We need to invest in these every moment of our lives.


Second, Jesus in the ordinary

Jesus asked, "What did you go out to see? ... a man wearing fine clothes?"  Only in recognizing the presence of Jesus in each one of us can we detect true rejoicing.  Even the most ordinary person can be an instrument of Jesus.

Third, Jesus above all others

In the gospel, it says, "A greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is."  We are referring to Jesus, our Lord and King, and all that He stood for; we should prioritize Him in our lives.  This also symbolizes the triumph of goodness in the world, especially the goodness that comes from Jesus, who will bring about the final d
efeat of evil.

These are the sources of true rejoicing that the world cannot supply.  These will surely lead us to the ultimate good - God himself.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Inspirations at your Fingertips!: 2nd Sunday of Advent, A

Inspirations at your Fingertips!: 2nd Sunday of Advent, A: Integrity Matthew 3:1-12  The readings for the second Sunday of Advent reflect a quality that is present in John the Baptist and of cour...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christ the King


Kingdom of Christ


Luke 23:35-43 


What is it like in the kingdom where Jesus is King and Lord of all heaven and earth?

It's like this:

The kingdom of heaven is filled with disciples.

Only disciples are allowed to enter heaven.  People who consider themselves as good and have done good works on earth may be entering heaven based on the merits of their good works.  But have they heeded God's words?  Have then done Jesus' will?  Did they pass through the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus?


Second, the kingdom of Jesus is also on earth through the Church.

The Church is icon of the Holy Trinity.  It is the body of Christ.  It lives in unity in Christ, sharing all gifts and charisms.  Did we really consider ourselves as active members of Christ's body.

Third, the kingdom of heaven is found on the passion and death of Jesus.

He fulfilled his kingship not through the crown or throne, but on the cross, a symbol of the forgiveness of sins through his passion, death, and resurrection.  Do we also embrace our crosses?  Are our crosses the means to save others?

Let the kingdom of heaven be upon us through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

33rd sunday in ordinary time, C

The problem is we don't seem to connect heaven and earth.  Heaven is future while what we have right now is earth.

But we can't delay heaven.  God is not future.  He is today.

We have to correct the notion of separation of heaven and earth:

1. kingdom of God is now, it started while we were children and it is on-going.  
2. Jesus - how much have we known him?  We need to identify with Jesus now.
3. love - not only families, but also the poor.  Love now.

This is how we connect heaven and earth.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, C

Resurrection 

Luke 20:27-38 

"Resurrection" is the theme of today's readings.  In the Book of Maccabees, the seven brothers would rather give glory to God rather than sacrifice their faith.  They believed that they would receive everlasting life.

In the gospel, Jesus took the discussion of whose wife will the widow be to another level.  "They shall not marry because they are like angels..."

Let us also take our lives to the next level.  How often do we sacrifice spiritual life for money, power, comforts of this world, or even reputation?  These do no not have any merits in heaven.  But Jesus said, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Mt. 6, 20)

What do we store in heaven?

First, focus on heavenly things.  Remember your childhood when you were asked, "Who wants to go to heaven?" And we raised our hands.  What happened after all these years?  Focus on Jesus, the king of heaven and earth.  Move out from there.

Second, our lives on earth is itself our journey to heaven.  Imagine what heaven would be like.  Live exactly like it on earth.  All saints in heaven were disciples while they were on earth.  Let's be disciples of Jesus.

Third, lead others to heaven.  By the conduct of our lives, we already know whether we are going to heaven or not.  But much more, everything that we do to our brothers and sisters account for our entrance to heaven.  Lives of faithful service will get us to heaven.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, C


Grateful heart

Luke 19:1-10 

See how God loves what is small, who is humble, and how he blesses them.

Zacchaeus is in the same predicament.  Aside from being small in statue, his dignity has fallen considering the ire of the Israelite for being a tax collector.  But Jesus called him by his first name and even invited himself to his home.  Zacchaeus was indeed grateful that he offered to pay four times the amount he stole and give half of his belongings to the poor.

These are the signs of a grateful heart:

Remorse - the sinful man realizes how much he offended God not only because he deserves just punishment but more so, he offended God who is all-good and deserving of all his love.

Amendment - the sinful man experiences how he is deeply loved by the Father despite his sinfulness that he is willing to make amends, correct all wrongs, and restore things and relationships to their proper state.

Offering - a grateful heart is an offering heart that loses all selfishness worsened by sin and releases the person from further slavery to it.  He gives his life back to God and offers his services to others.

Gratefulness is the experience of heaven itself as nothing can ever separate us from God.