Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.
June 30, 2018 Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 8:5-17
"I am not worthy to have you under my roof." (cf. Mt 8:8)
In today's Gospel, Jesus was asked by an army captain to heal his servant who is terribly sick. The captain did not expect such an immediate and generous gesture; he did not expect that Jesus would go to his house. He gave an example by expressing the faith and trust that he has for Jesus. He told Jesus: “Lord, I am not worthy to have You under my roof, just say a word and my servant will be cured.” (cf. Mt 8:8)
With so many doubts, distractions (social media, fake news), alternatives, instant solutions, and shortcuts, do we still know where to go or who to call? Do we allow Jesus to enter into our hearts? Do we welcome Him as how we welcome a friend or a family member to our home?
Today’s gospel invites us to let Jesus feel our warm welcome as we let Him enter our hearts.
June 29, 2018 Friday
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
“Who do you say that I am?” (cf. Mt 16:15)
In today's gospel Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (cf. Mt 16:13) They answered that some says He is John the Baptist, for others Elijah or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Then Jesus asked them who is He for them.
Who is Jesus for us? Our answer to this question depends on how we let Jesus work in our lives. It is a personal question. But this question isn't only about the identity of Jesus but also of our own identity. Who do we say Jesus is also identifies us.
In today’s gospel, Peter earned his identity as the rock on whom the Church is built as he believed that Jesus is the Son of God - surrendering his own will to Jesus, giving his commitment and declaring his faith to the One he follows.
Jesus invites us to be like Peter. May we give our commitment in knowing Jesus personally and knowing our identity as children of God.
June 28, 2018 Thursday
Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
Can you practice what you preach?
In today's gospel, Jesus talks about people who listen to His word and act according to it.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, reminds us that it is not enough just to listen to His teaching; we also have to put them into practice. Neither the prayer we profess nor our religion can bring us to heaven, only the faith we practice in obedience to God's will and our faith in following Jesus can save us and bring us to the kingdom of God.
It is in our obedience in doing the will of God that we build our lives on a solid foundation.
June 27, 2018 Wednesday
Gospel: Matthew 7: 15-20
Do people see Christ in you?
Today's Gospel speaks about false prophets who speak about God but didn't bear good fruits. How about us as Christians, what fruit do we bear?
I've found one of Mahatma Gandhi's statements about Christians very strong. He said, "If Christians would really live according to the teaching of the Christ, as a found in the bible, all of India would be Christian today."
The world needs more imitators of Christ. Do we truly imitate Christ as we live? Are we true witnesses of faith?
Today, Jesus invites us to live as he lived, do what he did, and love as he loved so that others may also find the path that leads them into eternal life.
June 26, 2018 Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
"Come with me into life."
Jesus, in today's Gospel, talks about the narrow road that will lead us to life. The narrow road may not be the easiest way but it is the only way into reaching eternal life and there are no shortcuts.
It may seem so long or so narrow or it may seem so impossible to journey, but Jesus invites us today to take the road that would lead us into life.
Come with Jesus into life.
June 25, 2018 Monday
Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
In today's gospel, Jesus speaks about how our judgements reciprocate. It is about how we judge others that we also are being judged. Do we easily condemn the shortcomings of others? Are we quick to see the sins they make?
Jesus invites us to see our lives clearly, looking at our own lives, our own sins before we judge others. We should see, address, confess, and forsake our sins out of our reverence to God, doing it consistently. Our lives should be an evidence of our own repentance of sin by addressing our own sins and shortcomings first. We are also called to address and "encourage our brothers and sisters to take off their old lives and put on the new--growing in holiness out of reverence to God.
Anyone can find the dirt on someone; be the one who finds the gold.
June 24,2018 - Sunday
Gospel - Lk1:57-66,80
What will this child be?
Elizabeth was advance in years . Zechariah was at the temple when an angel foretold him of this surprisingly great gift! Elizabeth will bear him a son! In his disbelief the angel struck Zechariah and told him that he will remain silent until the child is born. At the time of his circumcision, the child was named “John."
People wondered about John the Baptist - “what will this child be?” Though the people were confused with the event after naming the child contrary to customs, yet they believed that the hand of God was upon the child.
No matter how much they protect and provide for their children, parents would often wonder how their children will turn out. With high hopes and dreams along with fears and anxieties, about how they will cope with their life . Engaged Parents are important in the formative years of their children. Parents matter in drawing the children to God.
So today we take the opportunity to honor, pray, thank and bless all parents who shaped us into what we have become. Use them Lord in whatever way to lead all children to you who is the source of all gifts and love. Amen!
June 23,2018- Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
Fulfillment of the Law
God’s laws were given to guide and lead us towards loving him with all our heart and mind. However, through out history these had been “misquoted and misapplied"--translated into a mass of rules! Jesus did not speak against the law itself but against the abuses and excesses to which it had been subjected (ref John 1:17). The so called experts of the law telling others what should be done but missed the central point of God’s law.
More than the law itself, these passages points out about christian committment and obedience to the scriptures. How are you yourself doing at obeying God? He seek not literal compliance, rather peaks into the transformed hearts of each believers which is the original purpose of the law. Thus, it is possible to agree to the teachings of the law yet fail to live it out . It calls for a radical transformation resulting to being “born again” which enables one to live as a disciple. In the end, we will be judged by our response to God’s Word.
Let us pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gift of understanding of these truths and fortitude to live it out. Amen!
June 22, 2018 - Friday
Gospel - Mt 6:19-23
Where is your treasure?
"What is your ambition?" - my boss would often ask. Impulse reply typically would be, “I want to be successfull.” But, what then is success? What do you value the most? If you want to know what you value reflect on where you spend your time, talent and treasure.
Jesus tells his disciples how important it is that we seriously assess what is valuable in life - “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth ... but store up treasures in heaven."
Remember the story of the rich young man? He was put to test to know what he valued most. He chose his earthly riches and went away sorrowful.
Fame, fortune, power does not complete us. We now know that from recent famous celebreties who just ended their life despite all treasures. On the other hand is faith, hope and love. The greatest of all is love. That is what we ought to aspire for. And what a better way to find it than by directing our gaze to the source himself - God, who is love.
June 21,2017 - Thursday
Gospel - Mt 6:7-15
Isn't it wonderful being able to speak to God and to call him "our Father?" He can’t wait to hear our voice! Yes, we have this relationship with the God who made you and me, to whom we speak through prayer. But how do we ought to pray?
We pray to God as our Father. Knowing that it means we are loved! That we can come to him just as we are. Burst into him wherever, whenever. For God it’s always a delight to hear from us!
We are to pray to honor God, to know his purpose in our life and for his people - “your will be done," so that his love may reach to the ends of the earth.
To enable this, we are to depend on God for all that we need, one day at a time. Which is contrary to the self-sufficient, forward looking culture that most of us live. Prayer invites us to trust him, for he knows our needs way before we ask. Acknowledging our vulnerabilities, we ask for forgivess too. In this way, we are set free from our past and afresh to face what lies ahead. Such comforting assurance ! Our security comes from knowing that our Father, Emmanuel - God, is always with us!