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“Turn Around”

Matthew 4: 17: “From that time on Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’” What is repentance? Just what we’ve been reading about all week: A turning around and heading in the opposite direction. And why should we repent? Because God’s Kingdom, embodied by His ways and statutes, is already here. It’s not something to put off until the end of your life; the life is here among us to enjoy right now!

To Know God and Make Him Known

As CEC, we will not be known for its doctrine, flambouyance, size, or glamour, but for its compassionate relationships. This will be the permanent "trademark" of this local parish.

Day 47: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

The mystery hidden for ages now revealed (Col 1:26) Christ in us, the hope of glory. That is the mystery generations didn’t know and so they didn’t have the fullness of hope. Is it because it wasn’t true before? No. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. It wasn’t He who changed, it was we. Our eyes were opened. The two disciples going to Emmaus were needlessly brokenhearted the whole time they were walking with Jesus. They recognized Him only when their eyes were opened. How were they opened? Through the process of the liturgy of the word (Jesus explaining the scriptures) and the liturgy of the Eucharist (Jesus breaking bread). Two vital elements were at play: their hearts were on

“True Delight”

Psalm 37: 23: “The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delights in his way.” Again we see the principle: When you delight yourself in God and commit to His ways (vv. 4, 5) your life is established on a firm foundation. Now God delights in you because you are not fighting against His created design and order. This is the Lord’s path to joy and peace.

DEACON BEN – A MAN OF EXCELLENCE

By: Jesse Consunji “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25) This verse perfectly illustrates how Deacon Ben, who was also my Ninong, has lived his life. His selflessness was immense and incomparable, and as one of his disciples, I am grateful to have experienced and witnessed his life firsthand. Countless times, I have seen him give financial aid to those who were in need. But far more important than material blessings, Deacon Ben ministered spiritual healing and gave guidance and counselling. He was after the spiritual well-being and salvation of people—a fisher of men—hence the hashtag #DiscipleshipIsLife. This is why he has establishe

Day 46: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness Among those born of women there had not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist, Jesus said. John struggled to baptize Jesus because he knew who He was. Yet he submitted when He told him to fulfill all righteousness. Greatness is not knowing, it's obeying. It's leaning not on your own understanding but trusting in God. It’s not blind faith either, but acting on what you’re sure in your heart is His voice even it makes your mind struggle. Jesus demonstrated this as well. The Father was well-pleased in Him because He submitted to His will to the point of death on the cross. “Not My will but Yours be done” is the attitude that fulfills all r

“For Him”

Colossians 1: 16: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him." So Who is this Jesus Who seems to demand so much from us? What gives Him the right? You just read it. He’s large and in charge, and all things are for His sake, not ours. You can fight it or you can love it, because that’s how everything was created to work.

Day 45: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

The same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world, changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours (Col 1:6) God told Israel He brought them to Himself to be a holy, chosen people so that they could demonstrate His goodness to all the earth, for it is His. John the Baptist corrected the religious elite because they boasted about having Abraham for their father and thought they were better than others. Sadly, today some think they are the “elect,” that they’re in but others are out. That’s wrong. Being chosen is about being first, not exclusive; it’s about bearing godly fruit, not flaunting our spiritual pedigree and its privileges. We are holy, set apart, not to be apar

“His Ways”

Exodus 19: 5, 8: “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be My own possession among the peoples … And all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do!’” What Jethro called God’s statutes, laws, and ways, God calls covenant. And here He offers this covenant to the people and solicits their response—before He even tells them what the commandments are (That comes in the next chapter). It only goes to show that the statutes, laws, and ways are not open to negotiation. We accept God, then adjust our lives to fit His covenant, and not vice-versa.

Day 44: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

“No one who trusts in You will be disappointed” (Ps 25:3) Decades of Daily Office made me notice Psalm 25 is a Monday psalm. But only today did I notice its layout which is simple and generally true: trust in the Lord, know and obey His ways and you will have blessings ahead of troubles. In this world that is still in the process of being fully restored, we have sorrows, yet also a promise that even though they are many, the Lord delivers us out of them all. Still, the blessings far exceed them. Jesus promised that he who has left house, family or livelihood for His sake and the gospel’s will receive a hundred times as much of those things, along with persecutions. That’s in this age. But in

“Walking and Working”

Exodus 18: 20: “Teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk, and the work they are to do.” What’s the thrust of Christian life? Jethro had been priest of Midian for more than forty years, and he knew the answer: Walking and working. Basically, Christian character. How far has the contemporary Church’s ‘gospel’ strayed from these basics? And if you say, “No, it’s based on relationship,” remind yourself what Jesus’ greatest commandment (statute) was.

Third Sunday of Easter: “We Proclaim His Presence!”

Acts 2: 29-36 Psalm 116 1 Peter 1: 13-21 Luke 24: 13-35 EASTER! I do not think that it will be an overstatement to say that this is the most glorious time of the year! This Feast of Easter took all of 40 days during the Season of Lent for ourselves to get ready and it takes us 50 days to joyfully observe this Feast. We are now on day 15 of 50. We are now enjoying the benefits of the Resurrection. What is it about the Resurrection that makes it most important and significant in the life of every Christian The Resurrection is a historical fact. It is an indisputable event that really happened at a date, time and place in the course of human history. It is not a fairy tale – a “Once upon a

Day 43: Sunday Gospel Reflection

“We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” The two disciples going to Emmaus were joined by Jesus but they didn’t recognize Him. As they were walking, they related to Him about this man named Jesus who was powerful in word and good works in the sight of God and all the people and that they were (past tense) hoping He would redeem Israel. That hope died when Jesus was arrested, humiliated, tortured and killed. They didn’t understand that Jesus was actually doing something greater when He was going through His passion and death. Sometimes we believe when we see signs, wonders and blessings and we boldly pronounce our hope in God. But when adversity comes, we stop, not knowi

“Team Effort”

Exodus 17: 10: “And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.” Joshua was the ‘front-liner;’ Moses was administration; Aaron and Hur were the support from behind the scenes. Without any one of these team members the battle would have been lost, but as all did their part the battle was an “overwhelming” victory. This is the Church’s approach to battles against epidemics, rebellions, and any other type of attack from the enemy against God’s people!

Day 42: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

“Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed.” We can learn a lot from the story in Exodus 17. Amalek represents pure evil. It came and attacked Israel. Verse 16 says that because a hand is lifted up against the throne of the Lord, He will be at war against the Amalekites through the ages. As Joshua and his army fought on the frontlines, Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill to intercede in prayer. As long as Moses’ hands were up, they were winning, but whenever his hands were down, the enemy was winning. He needed Aaron and Hur to help him hold his arms steady. The Hebrew word for steady is the same word for faith. It was steady faith in God that gave Israel the victory. So

“Desirable Inheritance”

Psalm 16: 5, 6: “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Inheritance, cup, lot lines, heritage—these terms all refer to our big-picture situation, now and in the future. And, as David says here, with God, it’s all good.

Day 41: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

“You will not abandon my soul to Sheol.” Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. This is what St. Peter said in his first letter. Sometimes you are praised for doing good, but sometimes you are maligned and find yourself in Sheol-like places and situations, feeling forsaken and tending to ask God why. Peter said you are blessed either way. Because as David proclaimed, God will not abandon your soul to Sheol. In the grand scheme of things, you are always in a no-lose situation if your trust is in God. That’s why Peter continues and tells his readers not to fear or be troubled, but sanctify Ch

“Amazing Relationship”

John 15: 14: “You are My friends, if you do what I command you.” Does Jesus love everyone? Absolutely. Does He call everyone His friend? Yes—all who obey Him. It’s not that He isn’t a friend to the disobedient, for He fulfilled the requirement of friendship by dying for them (v. 13). Rather, it is the disobedient who isn’t a friend to Jesus. But what kind of friend relationship has one who loves, and another who does not? Not a very fulfilling one.

Day 40: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

“It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” When the Israelites asked about the manna (manna means “what is it?”), Moses told them it is the bread which the Lord has given them to eat. Many Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer regularly. In it is the famous line asking our Father to give us our daily bread. May it not be something we rattle through but realize it is crucial to pray every day and especially in times when we find ourselves in the wilderness, just like right now. May it also remind us to always acknowledge God as our provider, not our business, employer or the economy. Only God is constant both in ability and faithfulness to supply all our needs. If even the hairs of ou

Day 39: Spiritual Food in Quarantine

When faced with a difficult situation, the Israelites gave in to the temptation to trust in Egypt rather than God’s will. Egypt is a symbol of the world’s system. The Jews wished they had stayed there where “they had meat and ate all the food they wanted.” That’s not true. They were slaves in oppression doing hard labor and treated as scum. But temptation always deceives. The truth is that apart from Jesus, the only way to God, we have no life in us. But if we abide in Him, His joy will be in us and it will be true and full. The current pandemic rendered the whole world impotent. It should actually teach us that we cannot put our trust in anything other than God.

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