Saturday, February 22, 2014

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

God and the law

Matthew 5:38-48 

The readings reflect a strict observance of the law.

But I don't think this is simply about the law.   Rather it is about God who is the author of the law.  God made the law to reveal His heart - he doesn't want everyone to die because of selfishness.  The law is about God.

The law is about Jesus, the Son of God who perfected the law in himself.  He is teaching us the law of love, "Love one another as I have loved you."  Now the law seemed stricter, but it made more sense because the guiding post of the law is love; and love is perfect only in Jesus.

Finally, in Jeremiah 31, 33: "The law shall be written in your hearts."  The Holy Spirit which is poured on the apostles on Pentecost is the same Holy Spirit guiding us right this very moment.  Thus we shall know how to live the law because it is planted deeply in our hearts.

If we think we're already following the law, why do we rebel against God, thinking that our plans are better?  If we think we know Jesus, why don't we make our daily sacrifices to save others?  If the law is written in our hearts, why are we not united as one Church?  It's simply because we haven't loved God enough.

Let us remember, every observance of the law should always lead us to a deeper, closer relationship with the Author of the Law, God, in Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.  This should be enough to change our lives from selfishness to self-giving.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Follow the law

Matthew 5:17-37

What law have we followed lately?  The rules of the road?  Paying taxes?  Just wages?

What does the law do?  It gives order to many.  If all follow the law, there will be order.

What is God's law?  God's law is a covenant in the Old Testament that gives life and order to the entire community called the God's people.

God's law is in Jesus in the New Testament, called the law of love "Love one another as I have loved you."  If we follow this law, surely love will flow everywhere.

Jesus gave us a mission, a command, "Proclaim the Good News to all; make disciples of all nations."  If we follow Jesus' command, many will follow him and the whole world will be saved.  That's how important following God's law is; many will be saved.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Salt and light

Matthew 5:13-16

I would just like to reflect on faith and action.  St. James the greater said, "Faith without works is dead."  How does active faith translate into action?

The readings point out to the incarnation of faith in concrete actions, "If you share bread to others ... your light will shine."

Jesus further described the images of a fruitful disciple - he is "the salt of the earth" and the "light of the world."  What a colorful, lively world this could have been.

With the poverty and corruption pervading all around us, we can only question ourselves, "What happened to our faith?"  Why doesn't it translate into concrete action?  Remember, St. James put it simply, "Faith without works is dead."

I would like to follow the challenges posed by the bishops regarding the Year of the Laity, for they teach us how to put faith into action.  There are three things, that we should work on:

First, know the faith.  Know the fundamentals of faith not separated from life.  Learn from the 10 commandments and the precepts of the Church.

Second, live the faith.  The document says, "Make your faith bear on your day-to-day decisions and activities."  In everything we do, faith is always at work.

Finally, build communities of faith.  Learn to form relationships that is formed by God's word, sanctified by the sacraments, and committed to transform lives, public and private.

Learn to see the concrete Jesus walking upon the earth and blessing it through our sacrifices and actions.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Presentation of the Lord

Called to be signs of contraction

Luke 2:22-40

The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives the explanation on the Presentation of Jesus: 

"The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord.216 With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior-the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel", but also "a sign that is spoken against". The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples"." (CCC, 529)

We can reflect on three things:

1. Jesus as first born offered to the Lord - consecrate the very born, the very first offering.  It puts our lives immediately on track when we think immediately of God and offer our first and best gifts to Him.

2.  Light - of Jesus as manifested in Simeon and Ana.  We who are offered to God are called to radiate the light of God and His reason to the world espousing darkness and sin; 

3. A sign of contradiction - that all of our actions to the smallest detail account for the rise and fall of our children; thus

Always think about God and serve Him well and be the cause of salvation of all peoples starting from our families.