Saturday, October 31, 2015

Solemnity of All Saints

What makes a saint?

Matthew 5:1-12 

The most common notion is that saints are those who lived lived of grace here on earth and are now enjoying the bliss of heaven.

But from the readings, it is evident that saints are not just saints because they're already in heaven.  Sainthood marks our whole lives here on earth.  We are already saints-in-process.

What makes a saint here on earth?  First, we become saints because we are washed by the blood of the Lamb, not because we did good deeds on earth but by our intimate knowledge and relationship with Jesus.  It is he who cleanses us each day and washes away our sins through the offering of his life.  Life is getting to know Jesus each day.

Second, we don't delay being saints in the afterlife.  Notice the gospel: every action has a consequence.  The gospel talks about being poor in spirit, of being merciful, of being peacemakers and persecuted, and so on.  These are not the actions in heaven but here on earth.  Now, Imagine the consequence of our every action if it runs counter to the beatitudes - the times when we wallow in our riches and power, every time we evade our sorrows, when we are more preoccupied with our comforts and reputation, or when we compromise our God's values.  Dread every moment when we forget to live life with Jesus.

But if we are conscious of every moment we do things because we rely totally on God, when God becomes our only joy, and we suffer persecution because of him, think what God will do to us in this life till the next.

Remember, saints are saints not just because they are in heaven.  Sainthood already becomes of us while we are on earth.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B

Removing blindness through faith

Mark 10:46-52

The account from the book of the prophet Jeremiah talks about a people going back to fold of God.  They shall experience once again how God comforts them and provides for them.

But how can we experience this when our focus is not on God?  We need to pray for faith to enable us to see again God who loves us and whom we love.

How do we experience the life of faith?  Know that it is God who opens us to the world of faith.  He planted it in our hearts.  Faith opens our world to God's world.  We might be blind, but there are still many avenues where God can communicate to us: through hearing, speaking ... all through others.  Even through people God can communicate to us.  Can we see God in them?

Second, faith enables us to engage in a loving dialogue with God.  "What do you want me to do for you ... I would like to see again..."  Through faith, our hearts meet.

Third, faith enables us to experience again God's consoling presence.  This is indeed Good News for the poor, the blind, the lame, the pregnant women.   Have we extended our love for them?

The essence of life is seeing God in this world through us and others.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The servant

Mark 10:35-45

What is servanthood?  The image of a servant is Jesus himself who embraced suffering to save us and offer us back to the Father.

There are three marks of servant as reflected it the first reading:

First, a servant is God-sent if he uses his servanthood for the atonement of sins.  We too can offer each moment of sacrifice for the same intention.

A servant also does the master's will.  Our lives should be a reflection of what the Lord wants, nothing more or less.

Third, the servant's is always fruitful in good works.

Servanthood happens in this life when we plant the seeds of the Good News and nourish it.