Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Inner Room

“When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.” Matthew 6:6

Sometimes we do not have an inner room to shut out the world and pray. We can however, find someplace where we can be alone with God, where our “inner man” or in my case “inner woman” can be fed. 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Romuald of Ravenna. He is a very good example of a man who was vigilantly praying. As a 10th century nobleman, he fell victim to youth’s follies and temptations. Then he witnessed his father, Sergius, quarrel and kill a relative in a duel. Horrified, he retreated to a Benedictine monastery to do 40 days of penance. After that, he became a monk at the Basilica of Saint Apollinare but he found the rule there too lax. Eventually, he founded some hundred monasteries of his own. Beset by worldly temptations, he always turned to prayer and taught the monks to do the same. 

“Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms – never leave it...Better to pray one psalm with devotion and compunction than a hundred with distraction.” 

I used to have such a hard time praying and reading the Bible. Five minutes was torture. But if we persevere at five minutes every day, we will find five minutes is not enough. Fishing is a good analogy. With fishing, we have to be patient, because it seems like nothing is happening. And then whoosh! We get a surprise gift! So exciting! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sow Bountifully

“...for in a severe test of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:2

God’s ways are so opposite to the world’s ways that His economy is also opposite. Although He owns everything in this world and out of it, He became poor for our sake, so that by His poverty, we become rich. In 2 Corinthians chapter 8, Paul is telling us that something supernatural occurred in the churches in Macedonia. Although the Christians there were living in the midst of much trouble and hard times, they were very generous, abounding in their giving to the work of God. 

I am sure we feel that we live in troubled and challenging times. What is God’s solution? That we look for ways to be a blessing to others, to be more generous with what we have. “Give whatever you can according to what you have. If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have.” (2 Cor 8:11-12)

“He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully.” (2 Cor. 9:6) God’s promise is that He will generously provide for all we need and we will have plenty left over to share with others. (2 Cor. 9:8) Let us stand on this promise, believe it and claim it. God’s promises are worth more than gold in the Central Bank. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Poor Yet Possessing All

“ poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things.” 2 Corinthians 6:10

Saint Paul describes himself thus and many of the saints were also poor yet enriching many; had nothing and yet possessed all things. They found the treasure that is worth more than worldly goods. Many saints gave away their wealth and chose a life of poverty in order to pursue the “higher calling”. St. Thomas Becket, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Melania the younger, were all born to great wealth, and some even nobility. They chose to turn away from all the trappings of the “good life” to have a simple life to focus on God. 

In our modern time, we saw how Mother Teresa and her missionaries, even if they had no riches of their own, were able to help so many. They cared for the abandoned, whether they were refugees or prostitutes, people with AIDS, lepers, mentally ill or street children. They opened houses for the poor and aged, day care centers and soup kitchens around the world. 

Father, show us the work we should do, where we are, with what we have. We too want to help build Your Kingdom. Mother Teresa said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

Sunday, June 16, 2019

So Much More

Jesus said to His disciples, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” John 16:12

From “The Anawim Way”, today’s meditation - -

We cannot fully understand the mystery of God, and we are arrogant if we demand that we should be able to! The Cathechism, quoting St. Augustine, tells us: “Even when He reveals Himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: ‘If you understood Him, it would not be God.’” (CCC 230)

God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This revelation of His inner self is an extraordinary gift to us. He did not have to tell us who He is. He could have left us in the darkness of ignorance. Instead, He bathed us in a light brighter than our mind can comprehend. It makes no sense to grow discouraged because the sun is too bright to look at; we can and we should delight in the beauty and the warmth of the sunlight, even though we cannot stare at the sun. When someone takes us into his confidence, sharing a deep secret, we do not complain about what he has not said. Rather, we feel deeply privileged, honored that he has trusted us with personal knowledge about himself. How much greater a privilege it is to be given personal knowledge of God. He shows extraordinary trust in us, sharing with us the deepest mystery of his inner life. Our response should be gratitude, wonder and love. - -

As I ponder these words, my mind boggles at what God has chosen to reveal to us. Jesus said there is so much more, but we cannot bear it all. I am reminded of a story about a woman watching a father putting things in a little boy’s basket at a supermarket. The woman asked the little boy, “Isn’t your basket too heavy for you?” And the little boy answers in confidence, “Oh no, my father knows exactly how much I can carry.” 

Father in heaven, thank You that You want to reveal Yourself to us. Thank You that You give us more and more of Your truth as our faith and trust in You grows. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New Creature

"If any man is in Christ he is a new creature..." 2 Corinthians 5:17

I love the story of Brian “Head” Welch of the super successful heavy metal band Korn. After founding the band in 1993, he left it in 2005, even if his band had multi-platinum albums and they were about to sign a 20 million dollar deal. He just felt like the biggest loser because he was struggling with addictions to alcohol and Meth and Xanax. But what he was most afraid of was ruining the life of his perfect “Shirley Temple” daughter the way he was screwing up his life. 

One day he found himself in church listening to a pastor in jeans. “Christ just wants to live inside of you. God is real. Speak with Him. All the bad stuff will fall away." It was exactly what Brian needed to hear. He got a Bible and started reading while he was high. He pleaded with God to help him, to free him from the pain, the addictions. "Please take these drugs from me!" He had been reading the Bible for a week, when he heard, "I love you." It was so real, it took over the high of the drugs. God convicted him of his sin and in 2 weeks, his addiction to drugs and alcohol was gone.

In 2013, he rejoined Korn after God called him back. He is able to see hare with people who would never listen to a pastor or priest about God’s love and forgiveness. Last year, he and his daughter Jennea came out with a documentary entitled, “Loud Kraft Love” about their roller coaster journey. Brian said of his daughter, “She’s an angel God sent into my world to wake me up. She raised me as I raised her. 

Yes indeed, Brian "Head" Welch, with his numerous tattoos, even one on his knuckles that reads "Jesus", is a new creation! And just like it says in 2 Corinthians 5:20, he is an ambassador for Christ where he is. We should be ambassadors for Jesus where we are! 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

“We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

I have been reading the short stories in the book “Chicken Soup for a Woman’s Soul.” One of the stories that impressed me was that of Mary Kay Ash. Like many women in the book, she had a hard childhood, a difficult time trying to earn a living, and although she made good sales for the company she worked for, it was the men who would get promoted. When her first husband divorced her, she was left with three children to support. We can say she was “afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed...” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

In 1963, after quitting from a job where women were not given the same opportunities as men, she started her own cosmetics company with $5,000.00 and her family backing her up. Her sons and her mom always said, “You can do it, Mary Kay.” They saw the gold in her earthen vessel. 

Mary Kay’s company was founded not on competition, but on the Golden Rule, on praising people to succeed and on the principle of placing faith first, family second and career third. It was a company – as Mary Kay Ash would 

say – "with heart." Mary Kay died in 2001, but what she built lives in. 

Let’s not forget we all have this treasure in earthen vessels. Sometimes adversity brings it out.  Other times we just need others to encourage us and say, “You can do it!” 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Jot and a Tittle

“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” Matthew 5:18, KJV).

 What is a jot and what in the word is a tittle? It seems as if these jots and tittles are all important. A jot, which looks like an insignificant apostrophe, is the tenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the smallest. A tittle is even smaller than a jot. It is just a pen stroke that can differentiate one Hebrew letter from another. 

Is Jesus saying that even the smallest letter of the law, and the merest pen stroke, is so significant that it will not pass away? A huge tower like the World Trade Center can crumble to nothing in a few hours. Three islands disappeared from the face of the earth in 2018. Several airplanes have gone missing with no trace at all. 

God’s Word will not disappear or change: “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). The gospel is living and active, it is not static. It changes lives: “‘The word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25). We need to let it sink into our hearts so we too will find meaning every day of our lives.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

WOYWW: You Fool!!!

I’ve been carving erasers to use on my canvas, to make marks on it. 

This is how my canvas looks now. 

“Whoever is angry with someone will be liable to judgment.” Matthew 5:22 

Jesus also said, “Whoever says, ‘You fool’, will be liable to the fires of hell.” I do not know what it is about social media, but people can get really nasty in making comments about the silliest things. I like Downton Abbey and I follow the Facebook group on all things Downton. You would think people who like Downton Abbey would be gentile, respectful of others, careful about what they say, but recently, because President Trump visited the Queen of England, Word Wars have erupted in different fronts!!!! It was absurd reading how people could insult strangers at the flimsiest of excuses! 

Prior to the Philippine elections, there was a lot of mudslinging, irrational commenting and lying. It was very tempting to join in the fray because that is what the “other side” with all its taunting, wanted. We have to remember that the “other side” is always the devil and his cohorts. Our enemy is like a prowling lion on the look out for our weaknesses. 

Come Holy Spirit! Help us to see our enemy clearly, and not fall prey to his many traps! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Let Your Light Shine!

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

This seems in contradiction to the verse in Matthew 6:3 which says, “When you give … do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”. In the verse before that, we read, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

When we were going through my father’s things after he died, we found among other things, an envelope with letters from a woman. Reading through it, she was thanking him for some contribution my father made. My sister said we should find out who she is and why daddy was helping her. So last week, we went to the address on the envelope, and met an 86 year old lady. She is very active in the Methodist church, and was a deaconess for several years. Her husband was a Pastor who had passed away some time ago. She was very effusive about the financial help my father gave for the Preacher’s Kids association, for a concert of Arnel de Pano, and even help for her own little apartment. Our visit was very rewarding for she was even a student of my grandfather, the late Bishop D.D. Alejandro, and she told us stories about him as well. 

When my mother died, several women came up to me also, telling me how my mother helped them when they needed it. She would give money to start their livelihood, or for their medicine, etc. My parents did not announce their good deeds, but certainly their light is still shining now! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Behold Your Mother

Then Jesus said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” John 19:27

How important was it to Jesus that we see Mary as our mother? So important that even when He was in pain, barely hanging on to life, Jesus says to Mary, “Woman, behold your son.” Then He assigned His mother to John, His beloved disciple. “Behold, your mother,” and the disciple took her with him into his home. 

Mary has a unique role in our salvation history. She is our mother, the mother of all the faithful. She is our example, a true and faithful disciple of the Lord, who obeyed God and embraced her calling, no matter how difficult and painful. 

She is the “woman” foreshadowed in the first Messianic prophecy in the Book of Genesis: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” (Genesis 3:15) She is the “woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12, who is victorious over the evil dragon who waits to devour her son who is destined to rule over all the nations. She is also the “woman” who asked Jesus to perform His first miracle even when He said it was not yet time. (John 2:1-11) 

Always, always, Mary will point us to Jesus. As our mother, she will always say, just as she told the servants at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” 

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Gift of Tongues

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues...” Acts 2:4

The gift of tongues or glossolalia is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is quite controversial and ironically, I just received a letter from an aunt and she wrote that she attended a Pentecostal group and when they spoke in tongues, she told them she was a Catholic and to read what St. Paul said about it. So they stopped doing so in her presence! 

Yes, St. Paul said it would better to speak to others in a language they understood than to utter tongues (1Cor.14:19). But he also said he speaks in tongues for the whole congregation (v. 18), meaning he prays for them in tongues. This is one of the least of the gifts of the Spirit, but I want to have any gift God bestows, from the least to the greatest. 

We always give Life in the Spirit seminars so that more people can experience victory in their life, and guidance. But a life in the Spirit is an ongoing thing, we can’t stop after one seminar. We gave it in our business a long time ago. All of us were just new in the Charismatic renewal and we were doing it in one crowded room in our old building. There was no space. We did not know what we were doing. But the Spirit swept in anyway. Even before we laid hands, many of our employees were falling down, even on the backs of chairs and on the floor. They also received the gift of tongues. 

Yes Lord, come in Your own special way to each one of us! This Pentecost Sunday, show qus Your presence, Your power, Your love! 

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Let Them Be

“What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” John 21:22

St. Peter was impulsive, and outspoken. In John 21, he was curious about Jesus’ plans for John. “What about him?” he asked. Jesus’ answer may be His answer to us when we complain about others escaping responsibilities, or even when we feel overwhelmed by the corruption and wrong doing around us. 

My dad was a Methodist and thought that all the processions and feasts for the saints we Catholics have is, to put it mildly, over the top. Towards his last years, he had many conversations with God. One of them concerned the what seemed to him and many others, insane, procession of the Black Nazarene in January. He would watch it with amazement on TV. Thousands of devotees walked barefoot for almost 20 hours with the 16th C black statue of Jesus while it was wheeled to the Luneta in a carroza. The streets would be so crowded with people that no cars could pass for hours. My dad asked God in his puzzlement, “What do You think of that?” And God answered him just three words. “Let them be.” Those three words always reminded him to not grumble or complain. My dad took it to mean, “That’s not your concern, it’s my concern. I love them as much as I love you. Concern yourself with your own business.” 

Like Peter, we may be curious or even judgemental about others. Some other peoples’ lives may seem too easy, or too hard. Maybe we think our neighbor needs to be taught a lesson. Maybe someone in our church group is too complacent. Maybe people in government need true conversion. Jesus says to us, “Be concerned with your own life, your own growth, your own conversion. Follow me. Let me take care of the others.” 

Friday, June 07, 2019

Do You Love Me?

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” John 21:15, 16, 17

I am reminded of the song in the movie, Fiddler on the Roof, “Do You Love Me?” 

Tevye: Do you love me?

Golde: Do I what?

Tevye: Do you love me?

Golde: Do I love you?

With our daughters getting married and this trouble in the town,

You're upset. You want out. Go inside. Go lie down. Maybe it's indigestion.

Tevye: Golde, I'm asking you a question. Do you love me?

Golde: You're a fool!

Tevye: I know. But do you love me?

Golde: Do I love you?

For twenty-five years, I've washed your clothes, Cooked your meals, cleaned your house, Given you children, milked the cow.

After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

Tevye: The first time I met you was on our wedding day. I was scared.

Golde: I was shy.

Tevye: I was nervous.

Golde: So was I.

Tevye: But my father and my father said we'd learn to love each other.

So, now I'm asking, Golde...

Tevye: Do you love me?

Golde: I'm your wife!

Tevye: I know. But do you love me?

Golde: Do I love him?

For twenty-five years, I've lived with him,

Fought with him, starved with him.

For twenty-five years, my bed is his.

If that's not love, what is?

Tevye: Then you love me?

Golde: I suppose I do.

Tevye: And I suppose I love you, too.

Together: It doesn't change a thing, but even so, After twenty-five years, it's nice to know! 

If at the end of my life, Jesus asks, “Do you love me, Patsy?” I can answer, “For all these years, I’ve tried to get to know You, I’ve spoken with You, pleaded with You, strained my ears to hear Your voice, studied Your Word, if that’s not love, what is?” 

Jesus will ask in His still, small voice that strikes at my heart, “Did you take care of my sheep?” 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Fullness of Joys

“You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever.” Psalm 16:11

Yesterday evening I was listening to someone on TEDx Talks, a lady preacher who claimed to have heard God speak to her in a fast food joint. Most of what she said I agreed with, about how God will speak to us if we ask questions, wait and listen. What I didn’t agree with is she put Christianity on par with other religions and beliefs. She was being politically correct, and she probably would not have been invited to speak in that venue if she was not of that confidence. 

We either believe Jesus is God or we don’t. If we believe He is God, then we must believe His message, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: NO MAN cometh unto the Father, but by me”. (John 14:5) In Acts 4:12, the Apostle Peter said of Jesus, "Salvation is found in NO ONE ELSE, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 

We either believe these claims from Jesus and His disciple or not. Some may say this is too narrow-minded and mean spirited, even intolerant. Is it? Jesus revealed to us a loving God, a God who wants a personal relationship with us, who wants to “show us the path to life, fullness of joys”, who calls us to repentance so we can be saved. Is there any other belief system that reveals God to us like that? 

I think God has a perfect plan for mankind. We were created in love. Just because we cannot understand His plan, and perhaps think we have a better, more equitable way, does not make it ‘false news’. The better response is to obey Him and spread the gospel, because it is of eternal importance for us and for others we can reach that we believe. We can leave all those we have no access to, the millions who have not heard the gospel, to a loving God who knows much more than we do, and who cares much more than we ever could. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Blessed to Give

I use a lot of found stuff to make marks on my painting. 

Bubble wrap. 

And here’s an old placemat I cut up. 

So far, this is what it looks like!!! 

The Lord Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

It is good to belong to a community of people who know it is more blessed to give than to receive. I have many examples of generous people. My brother-in-law once came upon a Sri Lankan missionary and his family. They were buying peanuts on the sidewalk and did not seem to have enough money for a meal. So my brother-in-law who had a meeting in Max’ Fried Chicken, invited them to Max and treated the whole family. 

Whenever there is a need, I am quite confident that if I ask for help, there are many who will respond. I posted on Facebook that the flimsy homes of the Aetas in Floridablanca were destroyed by the last earthquake, and many gave P1,000- P5,000 to help them. Every year we give 300 plus gift bags to the inmates of Quezon City Jail at Christmas time. We always have more than enough donations to make the inmates happy. The bags are packed full with shorts, t-shirts, cookies, soap, packed food, coffee, etc. 

When one member of our community fell and hit his head and the family needed so much money for the operation and procedures, we held a fund raising, and asked for things to sell. So many responded, thank God, to ease the burden of the young wife and mother. My garage and lanai was filled with things to auction and sell, clothes, books, toys, even jewelry. Then there was a young member of our community who was hit by a fast moving jeep. The outpouring of support was also very generous. The doctors held little hope for her but more than the financial help, she was surrounded by the power of prayer. She is so much better now! It is a delight to see her attending our community meetings with her big smile. I have no doubt, she is convinced that she is surrounded by love and prayers. 

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” If we want to make a good life, we have to learn to be more generous with what we have. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

A Dream and a Vision

“I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.” Acts 20:27

Saint Paul was a brave man, a man with a vision and mission and purpose. Even if he was tortured, imprisoned, beaten almost to death, he did not shrink from what he believed he had to do. There are very few of us who are like that. A little disappointment, a little detour along the way, and we may give up and say, “I did all I could. There is nothing more I can do.”  

Yesterday my family and I watched “Quezon’s Game”, a movie about Manuel Quezon, the second president of the Philippines, and how he and his poker buddies were able to save 1,200 Jews from extermination by the Nazis. How does one differentiate a statesman from a politician? Perhaps a statesman has a mission and a dream bigger than himself. He leaves a legacy where he is able to move a whole people to believe in the same good thing, and act to make it happen. Obstacles face them left and right but they don’t give up. 

We too need to have a dream and a mission and a purpose bigger than ourselves in line with what God wants us to do. That way we will certainly see God move and we can accomplish what we thought we couldn’t! 

Monday, June 03, 2019

All God’s Gifts

“And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came over them. And they were speaking in tongues and prophesying.” Acts 19:6

Many people, even Christians, do not believe that this happens today, that the Holy Spirit manifests Himself through many gifts, including but certainly not limited to the gifts of tongue and prophecy. When I was young, my family would attend many prayer rallies. Several times in our own prayer meetings we would have guests with very strong gifts of the Spirit. They would extend their hands and people would fall down, slain in the Spirit. 

We also joined several Life in the Spirit seminars. I was too interested in the crying, the different tongues and the noise in general, that no matter how long hands were laid on me, I didn’t feel anything, and nothing happened. 

But hands were imposed upon me and that meant the “Holy Spirit came upon me”. Also, one speaker told a story of a man who after being laid hands on, started speaking nonsense to fool the congregation. He then announced that he had just made up all the “tongues”. Somebody suddenly spoke up revealing, “You were speaking in my language, sir, Swahili.” 

After that night, I started making nonsense sounds all throughout the day to show God I meant business, that I really wanted this least of gifts. In the evening when I got home, I closeted myself in my room, and sat in my rocking chair, continuing to make nonsense sounds. After maybe an hour or so, I felt the sounds coming from inside me, like an uncontrollable fountain. The nonsense did not feel like nonsense anymore but genuine praise in another language. I stayed there in my room in ecstasy for I don’t know how long, drunk with heavenly wine. Then I prayed to understand, and the tongues became English for a while. 

Today, I always use tongues to praise God, to intercede, especially when I do not know what to pray for, when I am at a loss for words. God has given us this remarkable gift! Let us desire to have all the gifts God wants to give us! 

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Glorious Inheritance

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Ephesians 1:18

There are many stories of people receiving an unbelievable inheritance from a long lost relative or even a friend. Sergey Sudev received 950 million euros from an uncle he had not seen in more than 10 years! Three abandoned Peladi children inherited 100 million dollars from their estranged wealthy grandmother. Waitress Cara Wood inherited $500,000 from a regular customer she was kind to. 

Who doesn’t like stories like this? But we all have a glorious inheritance we take for granted. And that is exactly what Paul is praying for, that our eyes be opened to see more clearly the riches we have in Christ! We do not have to die to possess this glorious inheritance. We can have it here and now if we are read Jesus’ last will and testament, the Bible. He has given us all His secrets in order to possess the treasure we can possess in Him. 

Saturday, June 01, 2019

In My Name

“...whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” John 16:23b

Some time ago my sister needed a passport urgently. There was no time to go through the regular procedures. We had to ask someone with a position high up in the DFA for help. She did not have to go through calling to get an appointment, and when she reached the DFA, she was treated like a VIP, bypassing all the usual steps. All she needed to get through was that all important name. 

Jesus said in John 16 that if we asked anything of the Father in His name, He will give it. In His name. That does not mean we can ask anything and the Father will grant it. It has to be in accordance to His will. Just like if my sister asked for a diplomatic passport, it would not have been granted to her, if we ask anything outside of God’s will, it will also not be given to us. 

So what is the use of “whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you...ask and you will receive”? Some people may say it is totally useless! Of course it isn’t!!!! If we did not know the DFA consul, my sister could not have gotten her passport in time. 

We need to KNOW Jesus, His character, His promises, what He wants to do for us, what He wants us to do. We have to have Jesus as our friend not only when we need to ask for something. Then we will know what to ask for because we can ask in His name. 

Friday, May 31, 2019


“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1:43

Elizabeth, filled with the Spirit of God, marveled. Her cousin Mary had come from far away to visit her all the way into the hill country of Judah. Who was she, that the mother of our Lord would deign to find out how she was and spend some time with her? Was she that special, that significant?

Like Elizabeth, we should marvel at the truth that we are the apple of God’s eye. “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 17:8) We usually take for granted that God’s eye is upon us always. Without His attention, without His breath of life within us, we are just dust and ashes. Each one of us is special and significant. Each one of us has the imprint of God as we are created in His image and likeness. 

I heard that here in the Philippines we can have a person killed for just P5,000.00 ($96.00). It is so sad that the very people tasked to protect us, the police, are given permission to kill drug addicts and criminals by the President himself. No value is given to the lives of these all but forgotten people. But the truth is each one of them is as precious as we are to God and should be as precious to us as well. 

St. Lawrence as the archdeacon in the reign of Emperor Valerian, was ordered to turn over the treasures of the Church in three days. He quickly sold the Church’ property and distributed it to the poor, the widows and the sick. After three days, Lawrence led a crowd of poor, blind, crippled, suffering people to the door of the palace. “These are the true treasures of the Church,” he boldly proclaimed. In fury, the Emperor ordered that he be grilled on the rack that same day. 

Let us pray that we will not catch the world’s attitude of cavalierly treating the powerless and the voiceless. Sometimes animals have more rights than babies in the womb, homeless and disabled people. We should always see people through God’s eyes.