BLESSINGS FOLLOWING ON FROM BLESSINGS Lk 8:16-18

Sometimes it is difficult to accept the way in which others might seem to be wealthier or more endowed intellectually or more blessed than we seem to be. If we are sensible about this we will realize that there are certain things in life that we just cannot change! Or can we change them?

The most important thing that we have in this life is our relationship with God. Everything else pales into complete and utter insignificance in comparison to our relationship with Jesus. With this in mind, we do have the power to change many of the things in our life for the better! Maybe it is not ‘to the better’ in the sense that the world might understand this concept, but it is ‘to the better’ in regards our journey towards eternal life. The latter is far more important than the former.

The person whose faith is truly alive will be constantly experiencing a drawing deeper into relationship with God. The deeper we go with God, the less the ways and priorities of the world will seem important to us. In fact, some of the saints became so engrossed in their relationship with God that they would forget to eat, […]

By |September 19th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BEING A GOOD STEWARD OF OUR GOODS Lk 16:1-13

There is a big difference between being a steward of the wealth that God has blessed us with and with being beholden to that very same wealth. In the former we are in control of all of our actions. In the latter, wealth or the desire for it is the controlling force in our actions. The Gospel today asks us to examine where we stand on these matters. It is important for us to be honest with ourselves here as if we are not, that is just the opening that the devil is seeking in order to deflect us from the path of true discipleship and lead us into a position where it is money or mammon rather than God that is the focus of our lives.

Jesus tells us a story about a man who knows how to get what he wants in this life, however, he has forgotten about the life to follow, that is, eternal life. He may well be successful in obtaining everything that he wants here and now, but what about eternal life. How will all the things of the world benefit him then? This is a crucial concept that we must grasp early in life […]

By |September 18th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

PARDOXICAL SIGN OF VICTORY Jn 3:13-17

St Paul leaves us in no doubt as to the centrality of the cross of Jesus as a central symbol of the Christian faith. The Gospel today from John supports this point of view. John links the cross with the healing power of the bronze serpent in the Old Testament. Here we are given a sense of the power of the cross to save. Just as those who looked upon the bronze serpent were healed of the poisonous snakebite, so those who look upon the cross of Jesus and surrender to its work in their lives through faith, will be saved from their sins.

The cross of Jesus at first sight looks like a defeat for Jesus! However, when we see that Jesus has been raised from the dead by the Father, we realise that the cross is not a defeat but in fact the instrument of final victory over sin. Because the cross is the instrument of victory over sin it becomes the universal symbol of Christianity.

The cross is the Way of Salvation for all who believe. The cross is the only Path to Eternal Life for all people. The cross is at the heart of the Christian faith – […]

By |September 14th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

AN UNUSUAL EXAMPLE OF FAIT Lk 7:1-10

The Story of the healing of the centurion’s servant is quite amazing in that the centurion, a Roman citizen would not have been a Jew! So here we have the Gospel writer using as an example a situation that is quite unusual! Surely he could have found examples of miraculous healings where the recipient of the healing was a Jew! What is Luke trying to say to us through this healing?

The words of the centurion give us a clue. He refuses to allow Jesus to come to his house and the reason that he gives is that he trusts fully the authority of Jesus and if He, Jesus, will only say the word, he knows that his servant will be cured! This is an incredible act of faith on the part of the centurion. It is here that we can learn something about faith.

Faith is not dependent upon your heritage! Just because your mother and father are people of faith is no guarantee that you will be one as well. The central aspect of faith is whether or not we are willing to place our lives under the authority of God and live according to His will. The centurion knows […]

By |September 12th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BUILT TO LAST Lk 6:43-49

The other day I was walking along a beach in Zambales and I saw a house being built right at the high tide mark on the beach. It struck me as quite a silly place to build a house because, not only would the waves of a storm threaten its foundations, it was also built right beside the bank of a stream that emptied into the sea which was already causing erosion problems with the foundations on that side of the house. I very much doubt that the house will survive too many typhoon seasons!

Sometimes it seems that we do not make sensible decisions about where and how to build our houses. This is not only the case with houses, but it also seems to ring true regarding the foundation of our spiritual lives as well. Too often as a priest I come across people who have built their spirituality around a particular experience, or set of experiences, that are slowly fading away and taking their faith with it. The only way to build a faith that will endure the test of time is to build it upon a solid commitment to Jesus! Without this it will be destined to […]

By |September 10th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

BEING A RESPONSIBLE LEADER Lk 6:39-42

St James warns those who aspire to teach others that they will be judged with greater severity (C.f 3:1). Similarly Jesus warns us that those who lead others astray would be better off if they were thrown into the lake with a millstone tied around their neck! (C.f. Mt 18:6) It is therefore very important to be sure that we are on the right path if we are going to lead others along that same path!

In the Gospel today, Jesus exhorts us not to point out the splinter in another’s eye when we have a plank in our own eye. He is clearly exhorting those who desire to lead to first be sure that they can see and know where they are going themselves. Sometimes I think it would be better for us all if we spent a little more time allowing the Spirit of God to lead us, (after all He is an infallible guide), rather than insisting that we already know the way. Even leaders must in turn be led by another!

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit for many reasons. One of them was for Him to be our guide and to lead us to all that is […]

By |September 9th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

GOD IS FAITHFUL 1 Cor.1.1-9

In the day and age of advanced communications, I think we tend to lose something of the personal touch of a handwritten letter. Even when I am writing letters to folks back home it can be computer typed! Although some correspondents remain “old fashioned”, I will respond to them through written communication. When one writes a letter, it seems more expressive since they are sharing something of themselves. Isn’t it a joy to receive letter in the mail? A brother priest of mine receives letters from his mother every month without fail, still written by hand with the personal touch.
In the New Testament, we have a series of letters written by Paul, the great missionary and apostle to the Gentiles. He writes very personally, expressing his love and concern for the churches. These letters were read aloud as the people gathered to hear the news from their friend. Sometimes the letters were full of challenging comments; it depended on what they needed to hear! These letters make good reading and prayerful reflection even today.  Sometimes we can pass them by as times of the past. However, they can be very good practice for daily Christian living. Take one of his […]

By |August 25th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

WOE TO THE PHARISEE! Mtt. 23.13-20

I do not think I would have like to have been a Pharisee that day! Jesus is reprimanding and saying some very challenging words to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a religious group in the time of Jesus, among many others. They were strict in rules and regulations and declared themselves faithful followers of the Law of Moses, the Torah (first five books of the bible). They were very religious people, devout and God fearing. Yet the problem is that they were legal in their living out these rules. Their interpretations were strict and very demanding to follow. Here we see Jesus challenge them for their seemingly outward piety yet legalistic hearts.
Matthew records seven woes given by Jesus to the Pharisees. They make it hard for people to enter the Kingdom of God because of the strict guidelines in adherence to the Law of Moses. They were very zealous in their evangelistic efforts, yet, horrendous to their converts. Jesus challenges their hypocrisy, envy, rigidity and formality.
Externalism and Legalism seem to be the name of the game when it came to the Pharisees. Their interpretation of the Law and its upkeep were legally interpreted by the letter rather than the spirit
I […]

By |August 22nd, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

WHY INVOKE THE IMAGE OF JONAH? Mt 12:38-42

 

Most scholars agree that there is at least an element of the apocryphal in the story of Jonah and the whale – is it really possible for a whale to consume a person and then spew them out on the shore at a later date? Well, regardless of the veracity of this story, Jesus uses it to make a point during his ministry and the point is precisely to emphasise that no matter how fantastic the story of Jonah and the whale is, even more amazing is the reality the people are experiencing in the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God into their lives through the miracles and preaching of Jesus.

The wisdom of Solomon is not apocryphal and it drew visits from royalty coming from east and west. The wisdom of God is being manifest in the words of Jesus in a way that is far greater than through Solomon. Fort example, Jesus actually speaks the forgiveness of sins of those who repent. The forgiveness of sins is part of the wisdom of God for our salvation. Yes, I say wisdom, because only through the reasoning of God could anyone have arrived at the plan of salvation that Jesus implements. […]

By |July 18th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

LIVING A TRULY BALANCED LIFE Lk 10:38-42

It is important when we reflect upon this story of Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha that we remember to place it in context. Jesus is not telling us that serving a visitor in one’s home is a bad thing to do. He is simply saying that there is a time to serve and a time to just sit and reflect upon life. We need to find the right balance between the two! I think we all know at least one person who tends to hide behind busyness in order to avoid having to relate to the people in his or her life. This is what Jesus is addressing. We must find time in our lives to serve those around us; we must also find the time to simply be with them and to enjoy one another’s company. This is the essence of human relationships.

We live in a world that rewards activism and industriousness to the point that we tend to forget about the need for silence. I was reading a book the other day and one of the points it was making is that, generally speaking, people today lack silence in their lives and thus are unable to reflect […]

By |July 17th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments