Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is it easy to live as a Christian in today's world?

33rd Sunday in Ordinary time, cycle C
Gospel: LUKE 21 : 5 - 19

Though it seems that this is an easy question to answer, it's actually hard in truth and in fact. History will tell us that there wasn't a time when the Christian's path is smooth-sailing. Martyrs were born, the Church was subjected to political powers, secularist philosophies and materialist lifestyles. If the Master himself was subjected to every form of humiliation, then why are we choosing to live an easy life?

Living Christian lives is a really hard act to do. We may not be the martyrs who were killed in the Roman coliseum, yet everyday, our faith is tested whether we still find it as relevant as the economic survival of our families.

If in our hearts, there is none except to yearn for Christ, his teachings, and his love, then we are on the right path in our journey through life. Would we still dare call ourselves Christians? Then check if:

1. we are willing to espouse poverty and simplicity, knowing that the real treasure is in heaven;
2. we are willing to espouse purity of heart, possessing the spirituality of celibacy or single mindedness for God instead of being preoccupied with various earthly concerns;
3. we are giving up everything we want for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, to obey the Master's will, and to discern His glorious presence in daily life.

If we strive to do all these, we give witness to the real spirit of the gospel. Time will come when in the face of persecution, He will give us the "words and the wisdom that none of the opponents will be able to withstand or contradict".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Think of the future today

32nd second Sunday in Ordinary time
Year C
Gospel: Lk. 20: 27 – 38
“Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.”(36)

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were arguing whether resurrection exists or not. They turned to the Lord and asked a hypothetical question. But Jesus instead took it as an opportunity to give a catechesis on the resurrection and God’s desire to bring life to all His children. In a way, he opens the heavens and invites us to enter into His eternal home to be with him forever.

We all desire for heaven, for eternal life, and for salvation. But all these are true after we spend our lives here on earth. In the meantime, we are preoccupied of wanting to be greater and to have more. We dream of buying bigger homes, getting higher pay, buying more clothes, eventually serving ourselves and our immediate families.

We could at least connect the future with the present and not panic that our journey to heaven may be more immediate than expected. Each day we can ask this question, “Does my life today have something to do in the future, in my life with the Lord? Are my actions and decisions today leading me to being able to see Him who is my joy forever? Am I bringing my family and others, especially the poor to the knowledge of God and do I help them work their way to heaven or to freedom from slavery on earth?”

Let's ask these questions today and the Lord will guide us everyday.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Be merciful

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Gospel: Lk. 19: 1-10
"Today, salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham."

We have witnessed the Jubilee year which comes around every 50 years and is officially declared by the Holy Father as a "time of grace, peace, and justice." The Jubilee year has its roots in Jewish tradition as a new beginning, when all debts are repudiated, and the poor are given the chance to live.

The message of the Jubilee year is none other than the overwhelming mercy of God to us.

We can only hope that each day could be a time of grace and peace. But instead of grace, sin fills the world; instead of forgiveness, retaliation; instead of charity, apathy. There is a wound in every heart that keeps on bleeding; and this is brought about by selfishness. Could the overwhelming mercy of the Lord still find its way in every heart enough to transform it according to His merciful heart?

Yes, it can still be possible, if we only knew that each day is a miracle, at time for us to be agents of grace. If we realize that another day is added to our lives only because God wills it so, then we would know how to use it, not to further our greed and selfishness, but to live in love and giving.

Only mercy can heal the world. Jesus showed it to Zaccheus and he became free. It's time that we practice mercy to ourselves and others and give every person a chance to live.