I got this from today's gospel reflection, God's message for me c/o Kerygma Family or KFam. I really love the message and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you love this message too.
I must confess that sometimes I watch the two reality shows on primetime TV, Pinoy Big Brother and Pinoy Dream Academy. I try to draw out some true-to-life examples to spice my homilies a bit.
As I reflect on the first reading and the Gospel for today (Genesis 11:1-9 and Mark 8:14-9:1), the acronym PDA keeps on flashing in my mind. In the light of both readings, PDA may stand for three other things.
PDA may mean PLEASE DON’T ASPIRE. This is the warning sounded to us by the first reading. While there are things we may guiltlessly aspire for, there are also those we simply must never dream about. When something is either directly against God or incongruent to God’s ways, we should heed the warning: Please Don’t Aspire.
PDA may also stand for PUT DREAMS ASIDE. We may have good dreams, even holy ones, but sometimes — and to the confusion of our very limited human minds — God asks us to put those good and holy dreams aside. Our identity as Christians puts the mystery of the cross right at the very center of our life. Our cross can take the excruciating form of putting our dreams aside so that other’s dream and, ultimately, God’s dream may come true. It is another way of dying to ourselves — the essence of today’s Gospel.
Finally, PDA may also mean PLEASE DREAM AGAIN. It is not bad to have dreams, even big, ambitious dreams, provided that they or the means to achieve them are not evil. Dream. Dream. Dream. God wants us to dream with Him, not apart from Him; to dream and work for it, not apart from Him but always in Him, with Him, and through Him. And when we fail, we should pick up our dreams and dream again. PDA — Please Dream Again or, better yet, Please Dream Always. Fr. Bobby Titco
P – Pray. It teaches you what to dream for and how to make it come true.
D – Discern. It tells you when God needs you to put your dreams aside.
A – Act. Don’t just dream. Wake up and make your dream come true!
Educate my dreams, O Lord. Teach me what to dream and how to make it come true. Christify my dreams, O Lord. Help me dream as You dream: ready to sacrifice myself for others when needed. Grant my dreams, O Lord. Bless my initiative and sustain me in my efforts in cooperating with Your grace to make my dreams come true. Amen.
Blessed William Harrington, pray for us.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I want to cry tears of joy because learning from the Father about love is like learning from a virtuoso. He's the penultimate expert on giving love. He doesn't even demand anything from us in return. He just wants us to be the best we can be and love one another. I keep forgetting about the new commandments. There were two after all. Love God above all and love one another as we love ourselves. This kind of gives me some pause because the way I've been acting lately, with the childish pouting and occasional lashing out against myself or my family and yes, even against Jesus and Mama Mary is alarming. But then as the night ends and a new day dawns I am filled with hope once more. Sometimes though I just wish I no longer had to sleep. That way I could serve more and do more and give more and save more.
Save more what? I wish I could say souls. I've been too preoccupied with saving money that I forgot my real purpose -- to serve God above all through my family and neighbors. That's the best way of showing love for our Creator, our God who never gives up on any of us, no matter how wicked me may become, no matter what path we choose, no matter where we end up -- in the gutter or worse. He's always there, gently guiding us, slowly prodding us on, miraculously touching our lives to make us realize that we were born to love and that we are stronger than we think we are.
I also realized that obedience truly is the key to our salvation. Had Adam and Eve obeyed the instructions of God our Father while they were still in Paradise, we would have avoided the whole mess and stain of original sin. Good thing we have our baptism to erase that sin but somehow as we grow older, we start fighting our destiny, which is Heaven, of course. And little by little we build walls, we wear masks, we hide from our Lord and Saviour, forgetting that He became one of us simply to save us from our sins. He who was without sin carried the world on his shoulders -- our cross -- without any qualms, without complaints. Worse, He was nailed to that same cross, tortured purely out of love. I see no greater gift than that. I hear this voice in my head now "How Deep the Father's Love for us... and The Father turns His face away" as Jesus was nailed on the cross and died there for our salvation.
This instils in me a sense of urgency, a reason for living and serving, which I hope will continue to spur me on to action day after day. I’ve always heard that indifference and apathy is worse than hatred. Now I understand why. There is such a thin line that separates love from hatred that not caring at all is the worst thing that could happen to a person. Because not caring means you’re no longer involved and you no longer want to be. You don’t give a care what others are going through and for me that is worse than any evil or wicked thing the enemy has planted here on earth.
Obedience is the key to our salvation. I can back that up with the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Imagine if she had refused God’s offer to be the mother of Jesus Christ, where would we be now? What would her Immaculate Conception have been for? This story plagues me to this day because I was once a rebel and I guess I’ll always have that in me. The complainer in me tells me it’s so hard to be obedient but one thing, no, someone makes me get up each morning wanting to be humble and patient and pure and wholly obedient to the Father’s will. And that is Mama Mary.
That’s why each night as I pray the Rosary, my mind wanders, I think about her life here on earth and I am filled with this longing to know more. As I pray my nightly prayers, I am reminded of the ultimate example of obedience – that of a Father to His Son – our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His Yes to the Father was a total act of oblation, surrender and overflowing love not just for our Heavenly Father but for all of us. He loved us that much – He was willing to surrender His life for us. He stretched out His arms, which the Roman soldiers broke, and died the death of a condemned man. Everyone ridiculed Him. Even the enemy took advantage. Little did He know that God had a plan for us that was beyond anyone’s comprehension. And I sure am glad to have Jesus on my side. I can’t say this enough. We are all blessed to have Jesus with us and in us and working through us. With His Holy Spirit to guide us, how can we go wrong?
Yes, we still sin, so do I. We are human after all. But the message I got tonight from watching my favourite show (Glee) is this. God became human to save us. Why should we turn away from that infinitely awesome grace and love? Doesn’t it make more sense to accept this free gift that’s on the table, available for everyone. God wants all of us to go to Heaven so who are we to refuse His offer. I believe in God and I trust Him infinitely. But I know that I am still disobedient in some areas of my life.
Total surrender is what I’m longing for and yet I can barely get through resignation of spirit. I hope this makes sense. My point is that I am still holding on to some parts of my life, particularly my Grandma and material possessions tend to keep me distracted. But as my favourite song says, we are already forgiven. As my friend told me, we are already saved. What more could I ask for?
How about you? How far have you gone in your relationship with Jesus? Are you enjoying your journey as a pilgrim here on earth or are you desperately seeking to be reconnected with our Saviour. My favourite preacher once said, it is good to be needy and desperate, especially when it comes to God. I read this on the Bible somewhere, I’m not sure what book or passage but I’m sure that God wants us to need Him – to have faith like a child. I hope you’ll share your story and bless us with your experiences and wisdom too. Take care and be blessed with much love!
It's true, God is awesome. He's the best giver who can never be outdone when it comes to giving. He gives and gives and gives. And no matter how much we try to give back in return, He is never outdone. Do you notice a pattern here? I did and I do now. God's grace and love is infinite. Mere mortals like us will never unravel His mystery and I'm cool with that. I'm so grateful right now, my chest is swelling with all the Thank You Lord that I want to shout out.
But now I have to bid you all Nyt Nyt and rest. Remember, the power of Gratitude is awesome. Our God is an Awesome God. I'm so glad to have Jesus with me and my loved ones every step of the way. I hope you have Him by your side too. No matter what happens, I know I will always be in love with life. Thank you Jesus!