Listening to the voice of God through examining the voice of conscience deep inside of our heart.

Monday of the Fourth week of Easter

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 10:1-10

Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.

But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.

But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, Amen. I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.

All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.

I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.

A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy, I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Reflection

In our lives, we could hear lots of things whether good or not so good and it influences our regular basis. Often times we can talk ourselves into believing that the many “voices” or influences that we encounter on a daily basis could change us in just a single second or sometimes it does not really affect us depending on how we handle ourselves in that particular voices or influences. We are pressured by the voice of the media, pop culture, love of money, a desire for recognition and so much more. These are a powerful influence and, whether we want to believe it or not, they do affect us.

The Gospel above gives us insight into this internal struggle in that it contrasts the voice of the Shepherd with the voice of a stranger. The sheep are easily taught and conditioned. They learn the voice of their shepherd because it was common practice for the shepherd to regularly speak to their sheep. Once the sheep became used to the shepherd’s voice, they would turn and follow him when he called.

So it is with us too. We will follow the voice of that which we are most familiar.  Whatever it is that we immerse ourselves in each and every day will grow on us and draw us, even unknowingly, to follow.

This begs the question, “What are you most familiar with?” Ideally, we spend sufficient time in God’s Word, learning His language, tone, and voice. Ideally, we dedicate some portion of our day, every day, to silent contemplation of God. As we do this, we build a habit of hearing Him speak and we become comfortable with and comforted by His voice.

Once this habit is established in us, it will be much easier to go about our busy day hearing God whenever He chooses to speak. We will immediately recognize it is Him who calls and we will follow Him.

Reflect, today, upon that which calls to you the loudest. Don’t let the many other voices in our world drown out God’s voice. Instead, prepare yourself for the moments He chooses to speak. And when He does speak, let that voice grab your attention so that you can follow.

Source: Catholic Daily Reflection App.

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Jesus Christ is Lord! What does it mean?

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Phil 2:5-11

5Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Personal Reflection

Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ possesses divine nature with all its prerogatives. But he does not interpret and live this transcendent reality as a sign of power, of greatness, and of dominion. Instead, He takes the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Christ does not use his being equal to God, his glorious dignity and his power as an instrument of triumph, a sign of distance, expression of crushing supremacy. On the contrary, He empties himself, immersing himself without reserve in the miserable and weak human condition.

Source: Catholic News Agency

God has come into human form and there’s no doubt about him especially reading this Bible verse above. Jesus comes in meekness and humility, as the Messianic King who offers victory and peace to his people. That victory and peace would be secured in the cross and resurrection which would soon take place at the time of Passover. What was the purpose of God to come in the world? Jesus Christ came to bring us the kingdom of God which give us salvation from hell. It is to save us and to have eternal salvation. Was it important to God that we have salvation? Yes! Because He loves us so much that He even gave us His only begotten Son who died on the cross. He is the true King who offers peace, joy, and everlasting life for those who accept his kingship. For those who believe in Him may have eternal life and live together with Him and his angels in paradise. Does the King of glory find a welcome entry in your heart and home? Do your walls echo with the praise of his glory?

Source: Laudate App.

 

Light And Salt of the World

Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 3:14-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil.

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Reflection

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he prophesied that his death on the cross would bring healing and forgiveness and a “New birth in the Spirit” and eternal life. Jesus explains to Nicodemus that the “Son of Man” must be lifted up to bring the power and authority of God’s kingdom to bear on the earth. The title, “Son of Man” came from the prophet Daniel who describes a vision he received of the Anointed Messiah King who was sent from heaven to rule over the earth. (Daniel 7:13-14) Traditionally when kings began to reign they were literally lifted up and enthroned above the people. Jesus explains to Nicodemus that he will be lifted up on the cross at Calvary. Jesus died for his claim to be the only begotten Son sent by the Father in Heaven to redeem, heal and reconcile his people with God.

How do we know, beyond a doubt, that God truly loves us and wants us to be united with him forever? Simple as you know it. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. God proved his love for us by giving us the best he had to offer – his only begotten Son who freely gave himself as an offering to god for our sake and as the atoning sacrifice for our sin and the sin of the world.

On the other hand, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him. We are saved by grace through faith. Jesus saved us especially by the grace of His death and resurrection. We are being saved by this good news at this very moment if we hold fast to it. Yet salvation is not only a past and present reality, it is future. For if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The one who believes in the Gospel and accepts baptism will be saved. Thus, if we have been baptized into Jesus and in His resurrection, we have been saved. We are being saved at this moment if we are being faithful to our baptismal promises. We will be saved from sin, death, hell, and Satan and save for final victory, perfect love heavenly peace, and eternal life, if we continue to live our Baptisms by resisting temptations, repenting from our sins, and obeying the Lord in all things.

Source: Laudate App.

But how about those people who do not know Jesus Christ or those people who belong to the other group of religion or those people who do not even know there’s God are they saved also? Well, we could say that they will be saved as long as they believe that through good works and being responsible for their life as a person they can be saved. Actually, it’s not necessary that all or every one of us should be Catholics. In my view of point Catholics are the light and the salt of the world. Meaning Catholics should let their light shine to others. Becoming light and salt makes the world more beautiful in the eye of God.

Answered Prayer, God Answered my Supplications!

God answers our prayer in a mysterious way, the way you couldn’t even understand how He shows us his love and mercy.

I’ve been praying for my family since I transferred to Italy, to help them in their daily lives in the Philippines especially I couldn’t help them even I am an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) who try to gain a penny to support them because I still dealing with my own problem or dilemma abroad. I could not tell it but what is certain I am having a problem financially here because I lost my job since 2014. And there was another story behind this, for now, I couldn’t tell it.

But in spite of all, I never give up to pray hoping some powerful entity will hear me and that’s it. I proved to myself that there is Somebody out of this world listening to my supplications. It doesn’t mean we can’t see or touch by our senses, there’s Nobody there. It’s a question of the faithfulness of a man through his Creator. I am sure of it and what this Somebody asks of us is showing our faith in Him. And Jesus asked it from us. We must trust him because it is his requirements. He requires us to trust him that’s why it’s called faith.

From here on my place, I still pray for my family and God shows his mercy to me. I call it answered prayer perhaps a miracle from God. The cycle of prayer by two people is powerful as Jesus said for those people two or many gather together in his name whatever is it He is there. Don’t make me wrong about this. I am far from my family but we have the same intentions as my parents and brother and sister. I can form a cycle of prayer even we were afar to each other. And I believe on this. Whatever we ask full of faith we will receive it. I guarantee this because it already happens to me. God loves us so much that one prayer of his people He can’t avoid it to answer. We just need to be faithful in return.

When I call my mother this day, she told me a good news and little by little I understand that this is it, God made this a miracle for us. He answers our prayer. I have prayed to God to help us with a financial support and my mother got a job at a local church in my town. After that, our parish priest even I don’t know him yet, (I could tell in this case, a scholarship something like that) he will give an allowance to go to the university our little sister. I couldn’t stop praising God by answering our prayer. He is awesome God. That’s why I promise to myself I will not stop praising Him and remain faithful to my promise to Him that I will spend my life praying for the poor soul.

Love God and Your Neighbors

Third Sunday of Lent

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 2:13-25

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

It’s quite normal to desire the best of the best for our beloved, no, we even desire better for them. We put ourselves and long for the best for the sake of our beloved. This is called love.

From the time we were born little by little we learned to love from our parents who took care of us when we were just little kids. But this love was nurture when we encountered Jesus who for the sake of a friend could lay his life. We learned that laying once very essence is the greatest love of all.

I’m not a father yet or maybe a priest to be called father perhaps you could call me brother Jay. I tell you these because even though the title father is not fitting to me yet, I could understand the feeling of being a father, the pain, the suffering and the happiness and everything he endures. When you are a father you could do a lot of things for the sake of your son or daughter.  As a father, you are willing to sacrifice something for the sake of your beloved. And it’s also the same to Jesus and he proved it that the greatest love is laying once very essence. He nailed and proved it on the cross. I can say that the greatest teacher of love is Jesus and those people who practice the true meaning of love or those people who imitate Jesus. Today, we can see the different attitude of Christ in the Holy Gospel, Third Sunday of Lent.

We can see the wrath of Jesus against those people who make the Holy Temple a marketplace. We often say that anger was a sin or one of the capital sins of the seven capital sins but the anger of Jesus towards them were the result of compassion and love to his Heavenly Father and to the people. This is the act of love of Christ toward us and Jesus knows what’s the best for us.

The affection he felt for the temple of his Father was a sign of great love to God the Father and for the people. Jesus, on his part, he is trying to cleanse the temple from sins of the people. The temple was understood as the dwelling place of God among his people. Jesus’ dramatic cleansing of the temple was seen by his disciples as a prophetic sign of God’s work to purify and restore true worship and holiness among his people. Being purified and restore friendship with God is the best for us and Jesus knows that it is the best for us. As it is said that the body of a human is the temple of Holy Spirit which Jesus trying to tell when he was asked by the Jewish leaders. Thus the temple must be cleansed from evil. The human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and as Jesus arrived he wants it to be cleaned and purified from sins and evils.

From Moses to Jesus, God spoke how we should love Him as a Father of all things. During that time, God handed the Ten Commandments to Moses and when Jesus time came, Jesus summaries the Ten Commandments in two, the love of God and the love of our neighbors.We should love one another as God loves us all. And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 Isn’t just and right to give what is due to our Father in heaven, the love he always longs for us, his people?

God has the figure of being a father because of Jesus, his son and through Jesus, we become sons of God and we have salvation. As Children of God through Christ, God himself shown his fatherly or fraternal love to us by sending his beloved son so that we learn from him. He offers redemption and salvation by believing through His beloved son, Jesus Christ, and in return, God wants our love, faith, and fidelity to Him. Why not love one another as Jesus taught us?