homilies, articles, sHORT mEMOS,

NEWS, testimonials, ETC.

“Nighty-night”

Psalm 76: 5, 6: “The stouthearted were plundered; they sank into sleep; and none of the warriors could use his hands. At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse were cast into a dead sleep.” God knows how to deal with obstacles which threaten to come between you and Him. Be it nine hundred chariots, an army, a giant stone, sin, a despot, or a virus, He makes their efforts against us inutile, and draws us closer to Himself.

“Get Outta the Way!”

Matthew 28: 5b, 6a, 9a: “I know that you are looking for Jesus … He is not here, for He has risen … And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them.” The two Marys had a rather uninspiring plan that day—to look at the grave (v. 1). Jesus had a better idea; for them to see Him. If you are looking for Jesus, He will not let any little obstacle like a giant sealed rock get in your way!

“No Odds Too Great”

Judges 4: 16: “But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army fell by the edge of the sword; not even one was left.” Can a man outrun a chariot? Of course not, why else use a chariot? But in this battle with Sisera, Barak and his men actually chased down the equestrian warriors, all nine hundred of them, and destroyed them. Truly, in your battles today, no weapon formed against you shall prosper! (Isiah 54: 17).

“Power of the Resurrection”

Acts 1: 14: “These all with one mind were continuously devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Days before, the disciples could not watch with Jesus for one hour (Matthew 26: 40) Before, Jesus’ four brothers (Mark 6: 3) thought He was crazy (John 7: 5). What changed? When you see Someone has risen from the dead and experience His new life for yourself, you tend to reconsider His claims.

“Misconstrued Mission”

Matthew 27: 40: “You Who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself!” When did Jesus say He would destroy the temple? He had said, “If you destroy this temple, I will rebuild it in three days.” (John 2: 19) Jesus came to rebuild what man had destroyed, which was communion with his Creator, and to save that which was lost (Luke 19: 10). Did He succeed? Yes, right there on the cross, as He cried out, “It is finished! (John 19: 30).

“Community Lock-in”

Romans 16: 16: “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.” As St. Paul closes his letter to the Church at Rome, he sends personal greetings to twenty-two of its members and four of its households—and he had never even been to Rome, or as much as met any of them through social media! Christianity is a most communal religion, a fact that no mere virus can be allowed to change. Weren’t the first century Christians facing the Nero Virus? It didn’t stop them.

“Unsuccessful Dodge”

Matthew 27: 17: “When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ?’” Looking for a way out of an untenable situation, Pilate hit upon a seemingly brilliant solution. He offered the Jews an option so bad, they would have to choose Jesus; presuming the Jews would never go with Barabbas. And thus, His fate was sealed—the man who condemned Christ Himself. You mention it every time you say the Creed.

“Take Action!”

Psalm 55: 22: “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” David knew a life hack that perhaps Joshua forgot occasionally: God will sustain and uphold us, but we have a part in the equation. The Lord desires to carry our burdens, but we have to cast them upon Him first. Don’t assume otherwise!

“Presumption, Part II”

Joshua 9: 14: “So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.” Joshua was a great, great leader, but like every great leader, he had his human frailties. He loved a good compliment; at Ai (We’re so good, we don’t need a big army) or from the Gibeonites (We’ve heard of your greatness from far, far away). Such pride can lead to presumption, and even more heartache.

“There to Die”

Matthew 26: 64: “Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of Heaven.’” The trial was not going well for the Sanhedrin. They could only call false witnesses (vv. 69-71), and there was no valid reason to bring Jesus before Pilate. So Jesus gave them one. You see, He was not there to win justice for Himself, but to make us just before God. To do that, He had to lose the trial.

“Ill-advised Pass”

Romans 14: 1: “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgement on his opinions.” There are three things you should never pass: gas in a crowded elevator, a highway patrolman doing 120, and judgment on other people. We will not give account to God for what we see as the failures of others, but we will give account to Him for our own critical attitudes.

“Presumed Success”

Joshua 7: 3: “And they returned to Joshua and said to him, ‘Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need to go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few.’” God is good. All the time. No doubt about it. But do not let that glorious fact lure you into assuming that He will automatically work everything out for you, without you doing your part. Thirty-six men were lost because of presumption. Check in with the Lord every morning, no matter how simple you think the day’s battle might be; it could save you a lot of heartache.

“New with You”

Matthew 26: 29: “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.” One of the greatest signs of Jesus’ love for us is when He serves as host at His altar and shares His Body and Blood with us anew; not as a new sacrifice, but as a new remembrance of the Kingdom of God now among us, and of the Blood of Him “slain from the foundation of the world.” No “new normal” can ever replace our sharing that Blood in the Eucharist; so know that God will restore it to us, sooner than you think.

“True Love"

Romans 12: 9a: “Let love be without hypocrisy.” The description of love in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen is wonderful, but no more so than this one. Here is a picture of what God’s love is really all about. Meditate on these thirteen verses; live them in your daily existence. In so doing you will imitate God’s love (Ephesians 5: 1, 2), and you will be “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (v. 11)

“The Benefits of Exercise”

Romans 12: 6a: “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly.” St. Paul sounds like he’s preaching to the three slaves in Jesus’ parable of the talents we read Tuesday (although the word ‘talent’ there means a unit of money, not a skill, gift, or ability). Like the first two slaves, we should use what we have for the Lord. But what must happen before we can do that? We shall see in tomorrow’s reading.

“Wonder of Wonders”

Psalm 119: 27: “Make me understand the ways of Your precepts, so I will meditate on your wonders.” So how do we avoid the fate of that third slave? Knowledge of God’s ways won’t just pop into our heads. We must prioritize time with Him, be diligent to present ourselves to Him (2 Timothy 2: 15), and meditate on His wonders—most of all, in the words of Isaac Watts, “the wonders of His love.”

WEEKEND PRAYER

Sa panahon na ito, marami ang naghihirap, at marami ang nagugutom. Ngunit, bilang mga anak ng Diyos, dapat nating makita na kahit mukang higante ang problema sa anumang sitwasyon, mayroon at mayroong biyaya na mapupulot. Kailangan natin matutunan na magpasalamat sa kung ano ang ibinigay sa atin ng Panginoon. Tayo ay manalangin... "Nagpapasalamat po kami sa Iyo, Panginoon, dahil kami ay nakakakain araw-araw. Nawa'y matutunan naming pahalagahan ito at hindi basta-basta nalang na balewalain. Tulungan Mo sana kami na makunteto sa kung ano ang inilagay Niyo sa aming hapag-kainan at huwag nang mamili ng aming kakainin. Gabayan Niyo po kami na huwag magsayang ng pagkain, at paalalahanan kami na it

“Know Your Master”

Matthew 25: 24: “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had scattered no seed.’” Is Jesus a hard man? The biggest shortcoming of the third slave was not wickedness or laziness, but that he did not know his master. Our Christian faith must start with relationship, with knowing God, as a foundation. Then the talents can be multiplied.

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