Saturday, March 29, 2014

4th Sunday of Lent, A

Seeing as God sees 

John 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38


In the reading from the book of Samuel, the prophet Samuel is to choose from among Jesse's sons.  "God does not see through the outward appearance; the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Sam 16, 6 - 7)

In the gospel, Jesus explicitly states, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

It is hard to proceed with further reflection on light and blindness unless we fully realize we are not the light; that we cannot produce this light no matter how hard we try.  We are blind; and only through Jesus that we can see.

As this point in our Lenten preparations, we should be able to see as Jesus sees things.  Realize three things:

1. There could not be any source of happiness except in God alone.  Let us stop relying on wealth as the source of our happiness.
2. There could not be any fulfillment in this life except in serving Him and doing His will.  Let us stop relying on comforts and luxury as the source of our happiness.
3.  There could not be any joy except in seeing heaven, God's presence and reign here on earth.  Let us stop believing that we can control all things.

We are not the light.  But with Jesus we can truly see!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

3rd Sunday of Lent, A

Thirst for living water

John 4:5-42


What is it that distinguishes ordinary water with living water?

1. Ordinary water satisfies only for a time; living water satisfies us for all eternity.
2. Ordinary water satisfies a few; living water affects many and all.
3. Ordinary water is simply water for the body; living water is based on truth.  Eventually, it is Jesus that all generations benefit and have life.

In order to receive living water, we need to start our journey of encountering Jesus.

Encountering Jesus on a daily basis enables us to experience metanoia, a radical change of self to being like the Beloved, Jesus Christ himself.

Third, metanioa enables us to become evangelizers, changing the world for good and leading people to communion with God through Jesus in the Spirit.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent, A

Transfigured to be disciples of Jesus

Matthew 17:1-9

The blocks in striving to know God were removed last week when we confronted temptations.

For this second week, we are invited to see Jesus in his grandeur and majesty.  But Jesus also invites us to see ourselves who we really are.

In the first reading, God promised Abraham, "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing."

If Abram had not taken the Lord's words seriously, he wouldn't have been the father of many nations.

We too have our our promises; are we ready to receive them or day in and day out, we have said "no" to the Lord?

In the gospel, Jesus is the direct image of the Father, "This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him."  

Who are we?  What is our transformed selves?  We are disciples-in-process.

I have used the marks of a true Church to describe the qualities of a true disciple:

1. One - the disciple-in-process unites himself totally to God and his children; to the Church that God loves;
2. Catholic - the disciple-in-process speaks God's language, a language that changes the hearts of all people.  His actions are sources of salvation for the least, last , and lost; 
3. Holy - the disciple aligns himself in the holiness of Jesus and strives to purify all his intentions to conform to Jesus; 
4.  Apostolic - the disciple is sent on a mission to transfigure the world according to the image of the Jesus.

Remember these words from Lumen Gentium that marks the transformation of a Christian: Christ's disciples are to conform themselves to him until he is formed in them (cf. Gal 4:19). "For this reason we, who have been made like to him, who have died with him and risen with him, are taken up into the mysteries of his life, until we reign together with him" (LG 7 § 4).


Saturday, March 08, 2014

1st Sunday of Lent, A

Temptations

Matthew 4:1-11


Why are we tempted?

Jesus was also tempted. It is not the temptation that causes sin; it is what we do after the temptation.

Temptation is the desire to do something bad or unwise.

Much of it has something to do with what makes us human: desire.  The desire that could be used entirely to serve God now is used for things other than love of God.

For the first week of Lent, we need to reflect what keeps us away from God and come back to him.

First, the temptation to turn the stone to bread is the temptation to survive on material things and not on the love of God.  Jesus' answer: poverty of spirit.

Second, the temptation to power.  Jesus' answer: humiliation for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

Third, the temptation to pride.  Jesus' answer: humility and total trust in God.

Temptations will still come.  But blessed is he who proclaims his poverty, embraces humiliation, and exults God above all things.  He is ready to experience the love of God.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Don't worry; follow God

Matthew 6:24-34

Before we enter into the Lenten season, let us remember that we are going there simply because God loves.  He wants to straighten up things.

He wants us to cooperate.  He wants us not to worry about things.  Things will take care of themselves.  He wants us not be too preoccupied with money.

Remember these two people:  who will prosper, the one who is preoccupied with his life or one who is preoccupied with serving and pleasing God?  The latter will end up more responsible because he loves the Lord and is a faithful steward while the other is greedy and selfish.

God wants us to reflect us the same love he has for us, that is why Isaiah mentions the love of a mother to her baby.

So, as we enter the Lenten season, let us remember these three things:

1.  We will be immersing ourselves in God's love.
2.  We will imitate God's love by offering our lives to him.
3.  We shall see the Lord in our daily struggles to offer our lives to him by serving others unreservedly.