Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finding God Amidst the Earthquake Rubble

Yesterday morning, parts of Visayas and Mindanao have been hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Photos have been flying around Facebook and Twitter about how the old and historic churches have collapsed and the impact of the damage on homes and properties

We've been seeing a lot of #prayForBohol, #prayForCebu and #prayForVisayas hashtags which in a way is okay, I guess. As a predominantly Catholic/Christian country, it really warms my heart to find that at least people still believe in God, and that they know that God can do anything (though only remembering God when you need something is not really okay and is not the subject of this post). And at least we still not have lost our bayanihan trait and our sense of humanity to be worried for the people who are affected of such a devastating calamity

One post in Facebook really stood out, and I wish I could directly quote the person who said it, but when I saw it, my friend said it was just a repost. Anyway, I am amazed at the level of faith this person have.

"Churches were destroyed because God was so busy protecting our homes. He forgot to save His."
When I read this, I smiled and I literally wanted to shout out of joy. The post was very positive, so full of love and gratitude for God, so full of faith!

I wish all of us have this kind of relationship with God, this so much trust in Him. Not asking for what we need, but thanking and glorifying Him for what he's done for us.

Disclaimer: I do not own the photos in this post. I have grabbed them from various facebook posts and websites

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Something Much Better than Walking Dead

I see that a lot of my friends in facebook are all eagerly sharing that they watched/watching/will watch the new episode of Walking Dead. I understand how they feel. I also have my own favorite TV series that I watch out for.

I don't know what prompted me to post this on facebook even though I might get flak for posting it:


I see a lot who are very happy because #WalkingDead [is airing again] .

I hope that everyone is as enthusiastic when they hear/read/watch the good news.

If I think about it carefully.. Jesus is more awesome. He's not just a dead person walking...

He rose from the dead!
#RoseFromTheDead #Conquered Death

I don't mean that they shouldn't be enthusiastic about tv shows and the undead, Hey, I love zombies too! I just hope that we all have (yes, myself included) the same enthusiasm for Christ and His stories, to the point that we share them with everyone we know, so that we can inspire and win more souls for Him.

Come to think of it, why not make a series about Jesus. Not just some documentary that only a few people watch. Make it interesting for everyone. The stories in the Bible are awesome, and it would be cool if someone would turn them into movies so that people who don't like to read can still enjoy them. Hmm... it seems that I have added another item to my to do list.

Daily Reading: Denunciation of the Pharisees - Lk 11:37-41

October 15, 2013
Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, virgin and doctor of the Church
28th Tuesday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Denunciation of the Pharisees
Lk 11:37:41

After [Jesus] had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside to the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you

My Reflection
This gospel reflects what I've been working on myself for the past years. I've been active in the church for 6 years now, and I try my best to be a good person, but I know that I have my short comings and that sometimes, I forget how to behave and act as Jesus did in times of trial.
There are times when I hide from the people I am with in church because they might see who I am outside of service. I'm like a cup that's clean on the outside but rotten on the inside.

With God's  help, I was slowly able to overcome this. It's a slow and very difficult process, but I know God is with me, and that I can overcome this obstacle. He sent me good people to help me transform into a better Christian. Just like the Pharisee, all I needed was a wake-up call of what I have been doing wrong.

Nothing's wrong with being rotten inside, as long as you take steps to clean yourself up, to make yourself worthy of Christ's love. Everyone starts out as a sinner. Repentance is what's important. 

There are times that I tumble and I go back to being the bad old me, but as soon as I realize this, I pray for forgiveness and try to correct my actions. I know that God loves me despite my lapses in judgement, and I want to deserve that unconditional love by changing for the better.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Daily Reading: The Demand For A Sign - Lk 11:29-32

October 14, 2013
Feast of St. Callistus |, pope and martyr
28th Monday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: The Demand For A Sign
Lk 11:29-32

As the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, “People of the present time are evil people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon. The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah’s preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah.”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Daily Reading: The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers - 17:11-19

August 13, 2013
Indigenous People Sunday
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Reading: The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers
Lk 17:11-19

As [Jesus] continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met (him). They stood at a distance from Him and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

My Reflection
How many times have I heard people say that we should be thankful for what we have and what we receive. I took this to heart, and as much as possible, I thank God even for the littlest things. Arriving on time at work. When I find a pedicab to ride on the way out of the subdivision. I guess it takes practice to thank him for everything, and I admit, even I forget to thank Him sometimes. But when I do, I really am grateful. I acknowledge the fact that everything I am enjoying now is because God willed it to be.

When I think about it, why do we forget to thank God for the blessings that we receive? Not even God, most of the time we forget to thank people who help us. I think this is because we feel that we're entitled to what we received. We feel like we deserve it and it was supposed to be given to us, so we don't need to thank anybody for giving us what is due to us, which is actually an incorrect mindset.

If we go back to last Sunday's Gospel (The Attitude of a Servant), we're not actually entitled to anything. We are mere servants of God, and yet he treats us with love and compassion. How many of us will treat our household help the way God treats us? Do we give our household help luxuries? Do we give them expensive clothing, classy food? No we don't. And yet these are paid workers, not even servants, unlike us who are the Lord's servants. We're not entitled to anything, he's giving us what we need and what we want and most of the time we forget to say thank you.

Sometimes, I think God also thinks the same way as humans. When we do something for someone, and they say thank you, we feel happy and appreciated, and when that someone asks for help again, we do not hesitate to help. I think it's the same principle with God. The more we thank Him, the more blessings we receive. I am living proof of this. God has NEVER turned me down. I always get what I want, or something better. ALWAYS. I think it's probably because I try my best to express my gratitude.

Why not try to make it a habit to thank God. Start when you ask for something. Wait for it to be done and then thank God for it as soon as it happens. I know that will put a smile on God's face!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Daily Reading: True Blessedness - Lk 11:27-28

August 12, 2013
Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar
27th Saturday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Reading: True Blessedness
Lk 11:27-28
While [Jesus] was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

My Reflection
I love that in this gospel, Jesus tells us that we can also be blessed, as Mary was blessed. She's blessed not because she's the Mother of Jesus, but because she chose to obey God's word.

How good it is to know that we too can experience the grace of being blessed, just by keeping and living the word of God. We have a lot of ways to hear and know of God's word. We can attend mass, read the bible and join in catholic groups. But it doesn't stop there. We should take these words to heart and follow them. Hearing is not enough. We should listen to God's call and live as He wants us to. This is the path to blessedness, to heaven.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jesus is Weakest When Your Faith is Strongest.

Like most of us, when people we love ask us of something, we find it hard to say "No". It pains us to turn them away when they need us. In a similar manner, when we ask Jesus earnestly, and with great faith, He give us what is due.