THE COMPLEXITY OF DISCERNMENT AND JUDGMENT The greatest pitfall in making judgment is prejudice and fear. In our judgments most of us are coloured by our past experiences, bad or good. Negative experiences make us negative towards new situations. Positive experiences make us willing to trust and be more receptive. More often than not it is our fear of the future that makes us judge in a certain way. How, then, do we overcome our prejudices in rendering judgment?
THE LOSS OF FEAR OF GOD AS THE CAUSE OF AMORALITY The loss of the sense of sin is due to the fact that modern man has total disregard for God. As a consequence, he has no respect for the dignity of human life. A healthy fear of God will lead us to value what is truly good and right. It will give us wisdom and right judgment since we see everything from the perspective of God, of truth and of the ultimate end. Such fear keeps us humble and obedient to His Word, relying on His power and grace.
THE GIFT OF GOD A child is a gift from God given to the parents so that they can offer their child for the greater good of the Church, for society and humanity. The child is called to be a joy and life-giver. He has a mission and vocation in the world. He is given for the service of God and humanity. In other words, the child is a gift of God, first and foremost to the parents, but always for the greater good of humanity. Through the child’s service, the world would be a better place.
BEATING WITH THE HEART OF JESUS Our task on earth is to support each other along this pilgrimage of life, to make this world a better place, to give encouragement and assistance to each other. In healing others, we heal ourselves! When we do that then the love of God will fill our hearts. Most of all, in reaching out to others in love and compassion, we see the face of God and live.
THE JEALOUSY OF GOD What does the bible mean when it says God is jealous? By applying this word, “jealousy” to God, are we not depreciating His divine attributes as perfect, self-sufficient, free in love, unconditional and pure giving? So why do we say that God is a jealous God if He is not jealous like us? If God is jealous over us, it is for our sake so that we might not harm ourselves by betraying our love for Him and turning to things that do not last or cannot bring real happiness. In other words, God is jealous not because we worship other gods and idols but because by so doing, we hurt ourselves.
PASSION AND MOTIVATION Happiness in life is dependent on the state of mind and heart more than the external realities. In order to live happily and be fulfilled in life, we need to have a passion for something. We need to be driven by some goals in life. What is motivating our passion in life?
BE PERFECT IN GIVING When we give, the question should not be, “how much should I give?” This is a secondary question. The primary question is “have I given myself to God completely?” Only when we have done so, may we then ask the secondary question, “how much should I give” in the context of our limited resources and responsibility towards those under our charge. But we still have not arrived at the heart and depth of giving. True giving is when we forgive our enemies and love them.
TALL ORDER It is one thing to call ourselves the servants of God and another thing to be one. Many of us do not reflect the compassionate love and mercy of Christ. The scripture readings today provide us the high expectations required of God’s servants. At the end of the day, we do not rely on ourselves to be worthy servants of God, but we rely on His grace which is promised to us.
VIATICUM – FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY A Christian faithful who is on the way back to the Eternal Home in heaven would need to receive strength for the journey. Today, as we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, let us ask ourselves how the Eucharist is food for our journey, not only for those who are dying but also for us all who are in this long journey to the Father. How can we be strengthened just by eating of His body and blood?
ADOLESCENTS IN FAITH Growth in holiness is likened to a young man in his adolescence. Those who are in the stage are often confused. They are searching for their identity. They are not exactly adults but they are no longer children. They want independence and freedom. At the same time, they do not know how to handle freedom very well. We, too, in our spiritual life will also go through this roller coaster. This is the frustrating part of wanting to be good. What is important to realize is that God does not expect us to achieve perfection overnight.