“Oh, that today you would hear his voice; Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah.”
Mt 13: 24-30 November 14, 2015
The seeds of terror, fear, and sorrow from the enemy are being planted with the seeds of peace, courage, and joy from God. Trying to rob us of these fruits from the Holy Spirit, we believers (Catholics and Christians alike) should stand together more firmly for the cause and teachings of Jesus.
Now more than ever, we are being reminded of who we are – whom we belong to. Although the enemy is doing its best to distract our gaze on Jesus by making it difficult for us to practice our faith and enjoy its fruits, let us rejoice as it is giving us all the more reason to be steadfast in our claim. Let us shout out a holy cry, “Lord, we are Yours!”
Let us not give in to what the enemy wants of us and how it wants us to feel towards showing our faith in Jesus.
Being financially challenged can sometimes lead to surprise blessings. That’s what happened to my family this All Saints Day. I couldn’t resist the invitation of the church to let the children dress up as saints during the All Saints Day mass. At the same time, I didn’t know where to get the resources to buy or even put together something to make a costume for even one of my kids to do so. With the guidance of the spirit, I was led to know and admire this particular woman.
As a Catholic, I have known some saints who lived heroic lives standing up and fighting for their faith. Most of them wore long, robe-type, gown-like garments from centuries ago. Until I came across the name Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. She is a modern day saint, wearing the kind of clothes we wear nowadays, with profession some women of our time have, and married with children. An ordinary woman with an extra ordinary kind of love, which she acknowledged as “a beautiful sentiment God has put into the souls of men and women.” I am glad to have known you Saint Gianna, during this time of my financial difficulty. Through you, God did not only save me from having an out-of-the-budget expense. Moreover, with your life story, He also blessed me with the knowledge and belief that living a saintly life is still possible in our present generation. Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, I invoke you, please pray for us.
“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.”
I have always had a hard time fulfilling these words of Jesus in my life. So many questions, whys and hows. Why will He give me my family, my husband, my children, the roof on my head, this country, etc, if He wants me to give them all up? After carefully reading the gospel over and over asking the Lord for His wisdom, new revelation came to me. Everything that i have, came from Him. Each one of those blessings in my life has a purpose. And all of those for only one reason. HIM – that He may be glorified! I felt His gentle voice tell me offer them up to me (give them up for the sake of His name), that they too may be blessed beyond what i can imagine. Can anyone count hundred times more blessings from God? How about for eternity?
Prayer: Lord, help me to give all that i am and all that I receive from You back to You. That You may bless them with Your mighty hands.
Luke 22: 53
…..”but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”
It is never easy to be a Christian. For to be called such will mean persecutions, abandoning ones preference, leaving the old life. The practice of Christianity is putting on white garments. The garments of praise, of purity. Sometimes, God allows us to go through fire not just to test our faith but that all impurities may be peeled off. Those are the times when darkness seems to reign. The good news is, it reigns for a while, for after that process comes the awesome newness in us.
As I reflect more on this verse, I felt the Lord ask me, “When do you see the light shine its brightest? Is it not when it is in darkness?” God lets us around darkness that we may see Him and follow Him more closely.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to keep my eyes on You, that I may not see the darkness that covers me but Your light that shines through.
Being leaders doesn’t mean we run the lives of our members. It doesn’t always mean they are the only ones who get something out of us. It’s two way. As in any relationship, it takes two to make it work. Looking at the past households we had up until now, I am grateful to God for inspiring our family to keep serving Him through the couples and through the families we’ve met and had special connections with. They bring out the good in us. And that’s how they serve us. That’s how important their roles are to the character development of their leaders. Members help in making their leaders truly realize that they are servants first and foremost. Because how else will they learn to serve if they didn’t see it from someone they need to follow.
Prayer: Lord, help us to receive Your grace that will make us the kind of servants You have intended for us to be.
I had seven pregnancies. However, one did not progress. Looking at how my kids are growing up and how God has been using them to fulfill His purpose, i am now wondering what and how could that lost pregnancy have been. Would it had led to us having our first boy, making us have two instead of one? Or another girl? Which ever, i feel that even that brief moment of life within me was able to fulfill its purpose. It made me realize how precious life is. It made me cherish these children living with me right now. They are not perfect, they will never be. But i know they were placed in our family for special reason…. they are the perfect gifts to bless our marriage.