Saturday, March 26, 2011

Give me a drink

3rd Week of Lent, cycle A

In journeying with Jesus toward the cross, we discover in the first week how weak we are and how we needed grace.  but in the second week, we are confronted with the beauty of God who now becomes our real strength.  In this third week of Lent, we are called to do something and focus our minds and hearts to serving Him.

Pope Benedict XVI reflects the third week in this way:

God in Jesus said, "Give me a drink."  Have we imagined the thirst of God?  We imagine the thirst of God in his most intense desire to reach out to us and to bring us to life in Him.  God wishes to awaken in us the same capacity to fill up that thirst by inviting us to the life of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is that living water that extinguishes our thirst for goodness, truth, and beauty.  It irrigates our restless souls; it transforms us into true worshipers, praying to the Father in Spirit and in truth.

The moment we realize this thirst of God and his passion to bring us His life, we are slowly moved to change ways, to make our lives more God-centered, and to focus all our attentions to bringing life to others.  We are the living waters of the Holy Spirit to bring life to all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The divinization of man

3rd Sunday of Lent, cycle A

The spirit of lent calls us to continue journeying with Jesus with gladness, to be with him in the face of death, and to be with Him in his resurrection.  This should lead us to the newness of life in him.

In his lenten message, Pope Benedict summarized the main message of the transfiguration as the glory of God; but it also marks the divinization of man.  Here he took the apostles up the mountain and to listen to God's voice: "This is my beloved Son."

Pope Benedict invites us to "take a distance away from the noise of daily life and be immersed in the sea of God's presence."  Through this, we discern what is good and evil, reinforcing our will to follow Jesus.  This is the start of divinization: that we commit ourselves to journey with God and learn from His ways.

Divinization also becomes possible in the face of suffering and death when we connect the woundedness of humanity with the wounds of Jesus Christ, whom we know as the one who embraced sin to save us all.  If we can discern the spiritual realities behind our suffering, know that we are one with God.

Finally, divinization reaches its fulfillment when we commit ourselves to bringing others to experience the resurrection of their lives - when the poor are fed, when the sorrowing are consoled, when the sick are visited and so forth.  We partake in the redemptive powers of Jesus Christ.

We do not just become citizens of this world; more so, we become children of heaven.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

What makes a strong faith?

Cycle A, 9th Sunday

I would be totally devastated if the words of the today's gospel would be the same words Jesus declares to me on judgment day: "I do not know you; away from me you evil doer."  It seems that he is commanding me to transcend from the usual minimum requirement of a Christian.  On the contrary, he wishes us our faith to be built on solid rock.

The Lord seems to touch the very core of our existence.  "Who is God really for us?"  If we really know God, why are we cold in serving Him?  Why do other things seem more attractive than God?  Do we really know the extent of God's love?  Knowledge of God goes beyond mere knowledge.  We HAVE enter into the mystery of His love for us.

Secondly, a strong faith entails a combination of various ingredients: from wanting to know the truth, to reason, and finally to freedom of choice to love Him back.  Do we exert all efforts to understand the core of our faith enough to commit ourselves to living it out?  Are there hindrances in the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

Thirdly, faith demands action.  Action should be consistent and persistent; always awake and never resting.  Learn from the saints; the more they grow in holiness, the more they humble themselves and proclaim their need for God.  In the end, faith demands that whatever happens, that we remain faithful, and it is all that matters.