Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Feast Day Holy Family – Jesus, Mary & Joseph

Happy Feast Day Holy Family – Jesus, Mary & Joseph

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary & Joseph. I wish to express my love and gratitude to them in the best way I know how. They are a source of inspiration and strength. I gaze at their loving faces and I long to be just like them – humble, patient and pure and wholly obedient to the Father’s will. They are my guide and I hope they will be yours too. I firmly believe that Love is alive in our hearts. We just need gentle reminders that God’s love is perfect and infinite. He loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t look at our mistakes; He sees the goodness in us because we are His creation. He loves us.

I can only imagine the courage and strength it must have taken Jesus, Mary & Joseph to overcome all their hardships right from the beginning. Jesus, the King of Kings, was threatened even before He was born. St. Joseph & the Blessed Virgin Mary had to flee in a life and death situation even while she was in labor. Glorious was the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Kings and Angels and Shepherds came to bear witness. Yet they had to keep running and hiding until Herod died. Even then they couldn’t go back to their home. But then I guess that was the Father’s will too. This will always be a mystery to me and I would never want to unravel this because when I meet our Creator, I am hoping that I may be able to ask Him one day about this.

Home, Love, Family – isn’t that the most basic human desire? For me it is. Food, clothing and shelter are needs. But there is a difference between having a roof above your head and having a home to call your own. They say home is where love is and our family is the most basic foundation of love. Our parents are the first people we “see” and know even before we understand what love is. So I can only imagine the kind of love that the Holy Family shared.

Our home is filled with images of the Holy Family and I am grateful to have been born in our humble home and living now in our still humble home, leaking roof and all. Some of our family members may have passed away but our happy memories will always remain in my heart. The love my grandparents shared with their children and with us, their grandchildren. The love my mama and papa shared even though they did not spend most of their lives together. Now I understand that true love does not count what is lost, true love makes people cherish the time they spent together – joys, sorrows and all. And all throughout my life, I will always look back with gratitude and happiness because God is always with us. He has never left us, not one single moment has passed by the He wasn’t there. And I am amazed at His love.

I have to say this too, I am amazed at Mama Mary’s loving guidance. Now I understand why we pray “Hail Mary full of grace...” She really is full of grace, that’s why whenever we pray the rosary we say out loud that Mama Mary was conceived without original sin. A priest said during his homily that this is why Mama Mary never sinned – God did not allow that to happen. He filled her with Grace so that sin would never taint her. And when she said “Be it done to me according to Your Word” that changed all of our lives forever. So we are also blessed because of her obedience. And St. Joseph, her husband was also humble, obedient and kind.

I now realize that it is not how big our house is – it is our family and love that makes our home just that – a home. Now I understand that sometimes we search in vain for the wrong things and the wrong people. Not knowing that the ones we’ve been searching for have been right here all along. I can honestly say that I have been blessed with such loving family who did nothing but protect me from the harsh realities of life and gave me nothing but love. And that is just the beginning. Yes, there is nothing certain about life but this much I know – we are always welcome in our Father’s kingdom and our family will always love us – flaws and all.

The Holy Family is a source of strength for me, not because they are perfect examples of love, faith, hope, obedience and strength, but because the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came down to be with us mere humans as a Son of Man. He was a King but he chose to serve – our Servant King. Jesus lives up to his Holy name – Emmanuel – God with us. So now, when I turn my head and look at their loving image, I see so much love and I feel so inspired because they are so humble yet so strong... loving, faithful and true. They make me want to serve too and learn how to love unconditionally.

And so as I’m writing this, I am in awe of our God Jesus Christ, He not only created us, He obeyed the Father’s will and came down to earth, taught us how to live a Holy life and prepare for our Heavenly destination, then suffered and died on the cross to save us. Sometimes I forget the best part His Resurrection – when He conquered death, restored our life and gave us the greatest gift of all – everlasting life. His promise that He will never leave us and that one day, He will come back to judge the living and the dead. I used to be scared of that but now I’m not. Because deep in my heart I know that God does not count our trespasses, He wants all of us to be saved, to be with Him in all His Glory.

There may be times when we feel unworthy but it is during those times when God is hard at work, gently guiding us, teaching us to love and forgive ourselves and humble ourselves before Him and others. I guess the lesson I learned this year has been a daily one. I may forget to reflect sometimes in the daily hustle and bustle of my daily life but this much I know, I will never take love for granted again because that’s the best lesson I learned -- LOVE.

My love may be imperfect but God loves me anyway and that’s enough for me. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning, excited to start my day and go to sleep at night, less lonely and less scared as each day passes by. And I have learned the best way to relax is to trust in Jesus, because He is my all – my God, my Messiah, my Lord, my King, my Boss, my Savior, my hiding place, my sanctuary but most of all, He is my Father, my Brother, my Teacher and my Friend – the best Guide I could ever ask for. Light of the world. Word of God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life – this is a WOW moment! And now I know why I keep hearing this as my spirit song “It’s all about You Jesus, it’s not about me, as if You should do things my way, You alone are God and I surrender to Your ways.”

And as we journey on in this wonderful thing we call life, I would like to share the lyrics to my favourite song right now – “Go and Sin No More.” I especially love the last part because it expresses everything I could never say out loud, because He knows! He really knows!

So now I’m counting my blessings. I may never fully understand the concept of total surrender of how to let go and let God, but this much I know, Jesus loves me and I’m passing it on – one person at a time. Thank you Jesus! J

Go and Sin No More [Extra]

You search me
You know me
You see my every move

There's nothing I could ever do
To hide myself from You
You know my thoughts, my fears and hurts
My weaknesses and my pride

You know what I am going trough
and how I feel inside

But even though You know
You will always love me
Even though You know
You'll never let me go

I don't deserve Your love
But You gave me feeling

(You will always love me even though You know...) 2x

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Greatest Gift from God

Jesus is the greatest gift that God has given the world. We cannot ask for anything greater than the gift of the Son of God as our redeemer.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16)

Make me a servant humble and meek; Lord, let me lift up those who are weak…

The Savior is born! Do you do your part as a Christian in spreading the Good News of His coming? How do you lead others to salvation?

Happy birthday, Jesus. My Lord and my Savior! Teach me to share You with my neighbors.

There is no greater or more important news that we could bring anyone than the offer of the gift of salvation. It is up to the individual if they want to accept it or not. We should do our best to convince them of the supreme worth of the gift of salvation, but ultimately the choice to receive Jesus into their lives is theirs, not ours. Let us pray that this Christmas, many more men and women will come into the knowledge and experience of Jesus’ love.

Isaiah 52:7-10
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” 8 Hark! Your watchmen raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion. 9 Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6 (3c)
R: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. (R)

Jesus is the greatest gift that God has given the world. We cannot ask for anything greater than the gift of the Son of God as our redeemer. If you can think of a better gift then please let me know as I will have to rethink my whole life strategy. I think I am safe in assuming no one will contact me for this purpose.

Hebrews 1:1-6
1 Brothers and sisters: In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; 2 in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, 3 who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word. When he had accomplished purification from sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you”? Or again: “I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me”? 6 And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world, he says: “Let all the angels of God worship him.”

The Johanine description of the birth of Jesus takes far more unraveling and explanation than we have room for here. Suffice it to say that John is speaking very deeply about the origin, or better, existence of Jesus and how and why He was sent to us. Let us recognize that there is a great deal more that we could say and leave it at that. I am sure you are all quite capable of reflecting upon this wonderful mystery yourselves.

John 1:1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. 12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ ” 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

my reflections
t h i n k : We should do our best to convince others of the supreme worth of the gift of salvation, but ultimately the choice to receive Jesus into their lives is theirs, not ours.

God’s special verse/thought for me today: Sing praises to God’s greatest gift for all of us – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the reason and meaning of my life, the reason why I live, our Father’s revelation. Jesus, you are my way, my truth and my life. Thank you Jesus. Praise you Jesus. Amen.

Thank You Lord for loving me and blessing me with such loving family and friends; for searching me and knowing me inside and out; for being my hiding place, for being the answer to all my questions; for loving me for me. Happy Birthday Lord Jesus, my Savior, my loving God, my friend. I will always love you. You are my joy and inspiration! You are awesome! J

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Letter from Jesus

A letter from Jesus

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.

During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know that, at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them; but these days, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.

Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration. I remember last year, there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.

But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.

The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my
face... when all the while I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years everyone closed their doors to me. Since I
wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.
They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything.

They were having a grand time.

To top it all off, this big fat man, all dressed in red and wearing a long white beard, entered the room
yelling Ho‐Ho‐Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa
Claus, Santa Claus" as if the party were in his honor!

At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me
and what do you know, no one hugged me.

Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me, but there was none. How would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one?

I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and nobody
remembers me.

All I want this Christmas is for you to allow me into your life.

I would like you to recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came into this world to give
my life for you; I died on the cross, to save you.

Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.

I want to share something with you. Because most people neglected to invite me to their party, I will
have my own celebration‐‐a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still
making the final arrangements.

Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to
attend; I will make a reservation for you and write your name in golden letters in my great guest book.
Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party.

Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great party.

See you soon. I Love you!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why I Will Always Remember Who Jesus Is In My Life

Hebrews 1:1-2

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.