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Hardened Heart

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081718.cfm) reminds me that there are a lot of consequences for having a hardened heart towards God. 

Divorce is a sensitive topic. Currently, the Philippines is one of the few countries who still do not allow divorce. We see in the gospel that divorce, even in the time of Jesus and Moses, was a sensitive topic. However, when Jesus explained that divorce should not be allowed, he also mentioned that not everyone would be able to understand it.

Maybe in this particular situation, Jesus was referring to the teaching about divorce or the vocation of married life – that not everyone is for it, that not everyone can accept it. However, I believe that this is true in other aspects of our faith as well. Not everyone can accept it.

Not everyone accept God's teachings. 
There are a lot of things hard to accept. It is hard to accept that we should surrender our lives to God and die of ourselves because we want to be in control of our lives…
Recent posts

Ungrateful

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081618.cfm) reminds me that I should never be ungrateful and forget all God has done for me. 

Forgive and forget. This is a very common saying, but very hard to actually do. Yes, easier said than done. So, just how important is it to forgive? Aside from today’s gospel, we can look at the Lord’s prayer, the prayer that Jesus himself taught us, and see how important it is to forgive…

“..Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us…”
This means we should first forgive others before we ask God to forgive us. We should first give forgiveness before we receive it. Not forgiving others is like saying that we do not need and do not ask God’s forgiveness. Not forgiving others is like telling God that we love ourselves more than we love him... That we focus more on our hurts and pains rather than His goodness, blessings, and commandment. Yes, it is that important.
Then reading the gospel, we may feel angry at the servant. Nakaka…

Lifted High

As we celebrate Mama Mary's Assumption into heaven, the WORDtoday (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081518-day-mass.cfm) reminds me how God loves to lift up the humble.

Humility is not thinking of less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.

God loves each and every one of us. All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made - into the image and likeness of God. This is why there is no reason for us to think less of ourselves. There is no reason to look down on ourselves. However, we are called to be humble - to think of ourselves less, to think of our desires and comfort less, and think of others, and most especially God more.
Mary did not have it easy. From the start, she made a bold leap of faith. She surrendered to God even if saying yes to be the mother of Jesus was not going to be easy. This showed her humility - dying of herself and stepping out of her comfort zone as she served God, as she surrendered to God. In the gospel we see her serving Elizabeth despite her sit…

Sweet to the Mouth

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081418.cfm) inspires me to work on my faith until God's words become sweet to my mouth and my soul. 

Children generally like sweets. Candies, chocolates, cakes, ice cream – these are happy food for children. I remember the lyrics of a song by 50 cent – “I love you like a fat kid love cake.” And even for a lot of adult people like me, these are comfort food until now – food we don’t really want to eat because of the calories that make us gain unwanted weight, but when stressed or tired, generally make us feel happy. Comfort food. Reward food. Happy food. This is how we should feel about God's words. 
In the first reading, we see how sweet God’s word is to the mouth.
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it.
It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”
I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it.
In my mouth…

Good Example

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081318.cfm) reminds me that I should be a good example to others. 

When we have idols or people we look up to, how they act affect us. When we see athletes, leaders or celebrities doing great things outside the court or in real life, helping others and living up to our expectations on why we look up to them, we feel inspired. However, when we see them involved in scandals and issues, we feel disappointed. This is probably what Jesus was thinking in the gospel. 
In the gospel, we see that Jesus, being the Son of God, was supposed to be exempted from paying temple tax. The temple is his Father's house, so there is no need to pay taxes. However, just so he may not offend others, he pays this tax. Some say that this is not just because he wants to avoid issues with authorities, but more to be a good example for those looking up to him and following him. He does not want them to mistake his not paying tax as a revolt against the tem…

Obedience

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081218.cfm) reminds me how important obedience to God is. 

When we hear the word obedience, we usually associate it to a subordinate following the orders of the superior. Oftentimes, that order is beneficial to the superior, not the subordinate doing it. This is why obedience is not something people are excited about. However, we see in the readings that this is not the same with God.

Obedience to God will always be beneficial to us.

In the first reading, we see Elijah obeying God through the angel. He wanted to rest and die. He was already very tired, but when he was told to eat and continue on his journey, he obeyed. The food he ate helped him and gave him energy for the journey. In the gospel, we see the benefits of obeying God, of accepting Jesus. We see how we can continue doing what he wants us to. When we do not have energy, God is there. He gives us the bread of life – one that we need and will benefit us. The one that will …