Saturday, April 27, 2013

5th Sunday of Easter, C

Old or new?

John 13:31-33,34-35

As children of the resurrection, let us always hope to be new, not old.  We cannot stay old in this world.
Though our bodies are turning old, there is always something new to look forward to.
Same is true with faith; it cannot remain old.  A renewed faith leads us to new life with the Lord.  Now tell me, is your faith old or new?
These are the marks of the old faith: heaven is far off until we die.  In the renewed faith, heaven is right here and right now; but it is also in the process of becoming.  We cannot delay heaven in the afterlife. 
Second, religion cannot be a personal private affair.  Rather, everything that we do affects others.  Either we cause the salvation or downfall of others.  But we cannot treat religion as a private affair.  God is not a private god but a God of all peoples!
Third, faith cannot simply be trimmed to "religious affairs".  Faith encompasses everything.  Imagine a politician without any soul.  But a person who possesses a lively faith would also be an honest leader.  Key word linked to this is "love".  A person who loves God above all else loves his neighbors.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

3rd Sunday of Easter

Do you love me?

  John 21:1-19

After all the resurrection accounts and the work of the apostles as fruits of the Holy Spirit, we now go back to our original experience to Jesus.  "Do you really love me?"

What do these words really mean?

"Minamahal mo ba ako?"

These words will continue impinging in our hearts, hitting us to the core, "Do you love me?"

When a person will confront us with these words, the most basic of all questions would be, "Have you really known me enough to love me?"

Being a Christian is not simply about doing good or avoiding evil.  Being a Christian will help us be confronted if in the first place we really know Christ more than we know ourselves.  Can we really claim that we know more about Jesus than we know our husbands or wives, our children, and even our very selves?  Know Christ and we shall know who we are.

Do you love me?  Do you love me more than all the others, even the people we love?  Loving is deeper than knowing.  Loving entails involving our very being, our deepest hopes, desires, and even the freest of our wills.  Is that space reserved only for Jesus?  Remember, loving Jesus means knowing that it was Jesus who loved me first and continues to love me more than other people can love me.  Now answer, Do you love Jesus more than all others?

Do you love me?  This third question will help us to love everyone and everything Jesus loves - the poor, life, sacrifice, self-giving.  "Do you love me?"  tells us to configure the love in our hearts according to his very own heart, causing our actions to be molded according to his actions.  This last phase entails the giving of the total self in conformity to the heart of the Lover.  And he wants us to feed his flock, his sheep.

Finally, go back and reflect on the words, "Obedience to God comes before obedience to men".  These words come from one who is committed to love, adore, and serve only Jesus.  That person is truly in love.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

2nd Sunday of Easter, C

Divine Mercy

John 20:19-31

There are two experiences of the resurrection, first, the empty tomb, and second, of Jesus' appearance to the disciples. His wants us to have a firsthand experience of the resurrection.

In the readings, the presence of the Lord is manifested in the works of mercy of the apostles. It is simply Jesus’ work for he is full of gentleness and compassion.  Hence, this Sunday is also known as the Divine Mercy Sunday.

What are the marks of the mercy of God? Jesus' revelation to Sis. Faustina goes as follows:

First, “Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy.” The condition of peace in the world is simply through the mercy of God, not in the absence of war.

Second, mercy starts in feeling with the other, most specially, the suffering, and the intense desire to bring life to them.  “I feel tremendous pain when I see the sufferings of my neighbours. All my neighbours’ sufferings reverberate in my own heart; I carry their anguish in my heart in such a way that it even physically destroys me. I would like all their sorrows to fall upon me, in order to relieve my neighbour.” 

Third, the mercy of God finds its fulfillment in relying totally on Jesus to resurrect us from our sufferings and death, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

These are the marks of true mercy; and only then can we attain true peace God wishes us to have.