I remember when I was going to receive the sacrament of confirmation. I was excited and thrilled. I was the youth version walking down the aisle, more like a preview to getting married. I remember the emphasis on what clothes to wear and how grand a party we will have after mass. It was an atmosphere of celebration and festivity, but largely limited to superficiality. As I reflect back, I feel that in this whole focus of inviting people for the party and deciding on what food I should serve, just to ensure that they do not gossip about how stingy we are, I missed out on a very important point – that I was going to encounter Jesus. Continue reading
This isn’t a new topic at all for many of us. Many of us struggle in this area of trying to submit to people above us, especially when we believe that we are (supposedly) much better than the person who is in authority.
How much does authority mean in a community like ours? Is it relevant at all? Isn’t each one of us guided by the Holy Spirit? Can I not bank on the years of experience that I have serving God in different places to be able to take a call and challenge the call of the leader? Continue reading
We may not be satisfied with the fruit we are bearing but many of us would come up with excuses as to why we can’t be more fruitful, why we don’t have enough time and how our weaknesses keep getting in the way. While God understands our frailty, He is fully aware that we are not limited by it. Instead He shows us our way of holiness.
It may seem difficult, even impossible, to live a Holy life but the truth is:
“For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 25-26 )
Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit and said that it is good that He goes so that the Spirit would come and dwell within man (John 16:7). Jesus wants us to have the Holy Spirit within us, rather than just know about Him, or for Him to act without our involvement. Whether we have had a physical “experience” of the Holy Spirit or not, if we have been baptized, God has already poured His Spirit into us and He will not abandon us. When the Spirit dwells in us, He gives us the “pledge” or “first fruits” of our inheritance: the very life of the Holy Trinity, which is to love as “God [has] loved us. This love is the source of the new life in Christ, made possible because we have received “power” from the Holy Spirit . Because we are God’s children, by the power of the Spirit, we can bear much fruit (the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control ). Continue reading
Studying the Bible as the word of God
The main purpose of reading the word of God is namely, to have eternal life. In the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus, the eternal Word of the Father, says,
“I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).
St. Ignatius of Loyola says,
“Study in order to save souls.”
Our main purpose of studying the bible is not to simply master it but to follow it closely and to serve it whole heartedly. Continue reading