MIRACLES AND PREACHING In the final analysis, the purpose of miracles and preaching is to lead a person to the Lord. Healing miracles do not always happen. Otherwise, we would live for eternity on this earth. Those of us who are healed will one day fall sick again. More importantly, salvation is not just the body but also the soul, the entire being. It is to live the life of Christ in love.
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MISSION OF BUILDING A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH What is your hope for the world tomorrow? What is your dream? The problem is that most of us are either happy to drift along in life, or we have small dreams only. Today’s scripture readings urge us to dream BIG. John saw “a new heaven and a new earth”. “(God) will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness.” “Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them.” How can we realize this vision that God has for humanity and creation?
DESIRE TO SEE GOD Deep within every man is the desire to see God, even if he does not acknowledge the reality of God or believe in Him. But how can we see the Father if not in Jesus because the Father is pure Spirit? Indeed, Jesus wants us to have more than just an encounter with God in Spirit. He wants us to encounter His Father in His very being. What is needed for us is to believe. Faith in Jesus is the required response to seeing the Father in Him. But how does one know He has faith in Christ?
CALMING OUR TROUBLED HEARTS THROUGH FAITH IN GOD’S WISDOM “Jesus said to the disciples: 'Do not let your hearts be troubled.’” How can we not be troubled when we see so much evil and selfishness in the world and in ourselves? What is the key to overcoming our troubled hearts?
SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY We are called to represent our Lord. Just as the Father sent the Son and we are sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit, we must remain humble and cooperative in the service of the kingdom. We are called to do His will and not ours. Each one of us must seize whatever opportunities the Lord gives to us. There are many such occasions when the Lord opens the door for us to reach out and to announce His name. In all these occasions, the Lord is giving us access to touch people’s lives. Are we ready to seize the opportunity to witness to the Lord?
AN EVANGELIZING OR A MISSIONARY CHURCH The mission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore is to build a vibrant, evangelizing and missionary Church. Very often, the words, “evangelizing” and “missionary” are used interchangeably, so much so that we fail to understand the nuances of these two words. If we are not clear of the subtle difference or emphasis between these two words, then how can we ever be focused on our mission? What differentiates the work of evangelization and mission?
THE IMPORTANCE OF APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION One of the most important acts of the early Church was to appoint someone to replace Judas so that the College of the Twelve Apostles could be maintained. The Book of Psalms says: “Let someone else take his office.” (cf Ps 109:8) This explains why the Catholic Church insists on the importance of the Apostolic College as a guarantee of succession. Apostolic succession is necessary to ensure that the apostolic faith is passed on from generation to generation. Thus, it is important that one who is chosen to be an apostle must know Jesus personally so that he could be an authentic witness to His resurrection. What process do we adopt for appointing apostles?
WHO IS THE TRUE SHEPHERD? The shepherd is the one who leads and walks before His people. He not only shows the way but he walks the way. He is a good mentor and leader not just by his words but by his life. He lives with his people and journeys with them in good times and in bad. There are many people who claim to be able to give us life, peace, love and happiness. But do they really give us life? Do they really lead us to the world that we really want, where there is peace, harmony, unity and progress for all?
FISHERS OF MEN AND SHEPHERDS OF SHEEP There is no doubt that we need shepherds to look after and feed the lambs and sheep. But it is not enough simply to be shepherds of our sheep and lambs; we must be like St Paul, be fishers of men. We must go out and catch the fish beyond our boundaries.
INTOLERABLE DOCTRINES Many Catholics are not happy with the Church’s teaching. Indeed, some of the teachings of the Church which are based on scriptures are difficult to accept logically. Unless we have faith in Jesus as the Son of God, there is no reason why we should believe in Him or accept the Bible as the Word of God. How can we arrive at faith in Christ as the Son of the Living God? How can we see the Risen Lord today?