Monday, January 11, 2016

Hope in the word of life and love

God speaks with precision and ever remains faithful to His unerring Word.  The Holy Bible is filled with the divine message, especially the Words of the Son of God, Jesus, that touch and penetrate the heart, and are applicable to different situations in life.

The sixth chapter of John uncovers Jesus as speaking the words of ‘spirit and life’ (cf. Jn. 6:63).  He assures Peter that “Whoever comes to me I shall not turn away” (Jn. 6:37), while Peter, moved by the Spirit, discloses his utter trust in the Master, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:66).

Jesus reminds his disciples to “be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many” (Mt. 20:28).  What a timely reminder for the candidates running for public office, to put authentic service of the massive poor sector of society above one’s self-interest.  Jesus the Leader claims only His intimate, undying care for his flock – “I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father.  Because of this, I give my life for my sheep. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep” (Jn.10:14-15).

Let this spark hope and strength for each person, and each family of our nation that we may be ‘the people chosen as God’s inheritance’ (cf. Ps. 33:12), thereby being ‘the good soil who heard the word, understood it, and bore fruit a hundred, sixty, or thirty times more’ (Mt. 13:23).  With certitude shall our hearts be freed from all worry and anxiety. “Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God, and all these things will also be given to you.  Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Mt. 6:33-34).  It will be Jesus leading us to bear fruit in love as His true disciples, so that in the end, He will say, “By this will everyone know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:35)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

No fear of God

God surely wants us to fearlessly trust in Him and face the challenges of a fast secularizing world.. challenges meant to strengthen our Faith as lived by taught by the Son of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and all the heroic saints who followed in the divine footsteps.

I recall the psychologist I had read about many years ago, Dr. Alexander Cannon, M.C., Ph.D., D.P.M., who wrote in his book ‘Powers That Be’ that “the lion takes its fierceness from your fear: walk up to him and he will run from you; run away from him and he will run after you.”  I compare this to life’s trials that give us strength if we turn away from fear and face them bravely, as the same book suggests: ‘face a situation fearlessly and there is no situation to be faced.’

Even prayer beckons the person who turns to God on his knees to surrender totally to the divine will and entrust the events to His loving providence.  Power that seemingly was lost is restored by the overwhelming faith strategy, so to say.  Like a staircase we climb, one step after the other, there’s a solution to every problem prodded by our faith in God.  Because faith is a sign of bravery, while despair is like falling into thehands of Satan.  “All things are possible to one who believes” (Mk. 9:22).

May this new year solidify our maturity, based on trust in God which makes a person fearlessly face problems in life,while growing in the selfless love of Jesus.  Maturity vis-à-vis our Faith and Love will earnestly guide us to let go of our fears and focus on perfecting a love-union with the Creator.  “There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear” (1 Jn. 4:18).