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Walking by faith: Called to God’s kingdom

We can lean on God without any fear of becoming too dependent. As we grow in God’s life of grace, God is there to lead and support us each step of the way.

 

God prepared the way for Jesus by sending John the Baptist. John was a prophet, someone called to speak God’s message to humans.

 

We meet God and share in God’s grace through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Through the waters of Baptism, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become children of God. Sacraments are our celebrations of God’s presence in our lives. God choses each one of us without any merit on our part. God’s gift of grace cannot be earned. God gives grace to us freely out of love of us. The gift of the Holy Spirit helps us trust completely in God’s plan for us and cooperate with it.

 

We are not always ready to cooperate with God’s plan. When we put ourselves at the centre of our lives, the Spirit of God is squeezed into a small corner. God’s Spirit leads us to pray even when it seems that words will not come. The Spirit shows us God’s love even when we have turned away from it. God’s Spirit helps us become s holy people.

 

We cannot see God’s Holy Spirit, though we can see the results of the Spirit’s work.

 

God’s grace is available throughout our journey of faith.

 

The people Jesus blesses are living signs of God’s kingdom. True happiness can be found only by seeking righteousness, the attitude of being in the right relationship in God’s kingdom.

 

We see ourselves and others as made in God’s image. We are children of God, and we have the love of God as well as many other blessings. The beatitudes help remind us of our attitude, our way of thinking, and our way of living in relationship in the kingdom of God.

 

When we become the best we can be, we become who God calls us to be. We want to be best selves because that is part of God’s plan for us. God calls us to do good, and virtue helps us respond to God’s call.

 

God will give us the gift of wisdom, from which all other virtues flow.

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Walking in Faith: Signs of God’s Love

Throughout our faith journey there are signs that point to God’s presence in our lives. These signs are everywhere so that we do not miss coming to know, love, and serve God. Each sign is a revelation-that is, each is a part of the gradual process through which we come to know God. God shows us the way because he loves us.

 

Stop being blind to the signs of God’s love. Look at nature and how God takes care of it. Open yourself to God’s love. Trust in God. If you depend on God instead of trying to do everything by yourself, you will have what you really need.

 

God has given us many other gifts. God’s love and goodness also shine through in nature, for instance. Our family and friends are the closest living signs pointing to God. They show us every day that God is the source of everything that is good in life.

 

Catholics firmly believe that God, who is the source of all that is good in the world, does not cause evil. Evil, the opposite of God’s good plan for creation, comes about as a result of sin. We were created to share in God’s goodness and love. Our choice to turn away from God’s invitation is called sin. Sin does not come from God. The first humans chose to disobey, to turn away from God. Because of sin, our relationships with God, with ourselves, and with others suffer. Sin and the suffering that goes with it can blind our hearts, minds, and senses, so that we cannot see the signs of God’s goodness and beauty.

 

Even though sin and evil exist, there are many signs of God’s love in creation. All encourage us to reflect on what is good and beautiful in the world and to seek happiness in God, the giver of all god gifts.

 

Whenever we gather together to pray and to work, we believe that God is with us.

 

As believers, we want to be in touch with God and to be touched by God.

 

Some people did not see God in Jesus. They doubted that Jesus came from God.

 

By sending Jesus to heal and save us, God answered the question “Where are you, God?” Jesus is the perfect image of God. He shows God’s love for us fully and completely. In fact, the name Emmanuel, which is used to describe Jesus, means “God is with us.” Jesus made God present and alive among the people of our world. In his life of ministry, Jesus set out to love, create, and forgive-to show that God is with us. Faith is the power that enables us to believe that God is with us. Faith also helps us respond to God’s presence in our lives. Washed and reborn in the waters of Baptism, we become children of God and members of the Body of Christ. We come to know God through creation and through the Bible. We see God in Jesus.

 

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Get to know Jesus and get to be free

Love and truth are God’s two main qualities.

We want to know who Jesus is, but he asks us what our inner dispositions are: because we will gain nothing through finding him unless we are disposed to submit ourselves to him.

God creates, this means first of all that God puts order. He organizes the world and gives meaning to our existence. His work is completed with the creation of humanity.

We are created in God’s image and of course, to respond to God. But love has first place in God’s plan and the long evolution of sexuality has been its preparation.

Because God is not subject to time, God lives in that permanent fillness which we call eternity and in which there is no before or after, no duration, no fatigue and no boredom.

God is the one who always gives first. Jesus will offer us rest; he will give us the bread of life and give himself as the friend. Allow yourselves to be conquered by the love of the Lord who is forming you even more than you can imagine.

Jesus brings the living water, which is God’s gift to us, his children: the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit; whom we receive, helps us worship God according to the truth.

God does not need the words of our prayers, but looks for simplicity, beauty and nobility in our spirit. The Spirit of God cannot be communicated except to those who seek the truth and live according to truth in a world of deception.

Each one of us is in some way the samaritan woman. Those who really seek the truth recognize it when it is presented to them.

We must first believe in the messenger of God.

The heart of prayer in the church is the mass wherein we thank God for the salvation of the world through the death and resurrection of Christ.

People, confused, are easily fooled propaganda and ideologies. People in every century have foretold the impending end of the world.

The Spirit helps the believers and inspires their prayer so that it may be heard. The Spirit enables us to understand and interpret Jesus’ words throughout all time.

This is the time to be reconciled with family members and neighbors, to let go of resentments. Since we are sinners, our salvation is worked out through suffering and through the cross.

Our desires and our prayers are powerful because we have come to the center from which God directs the forces saving humankind: because we work for eternity; our names are already written in heaven.

To evangelize does not mean to try to sell the Gospel but rather to prove its power to heal people from their demons. Stop being environs of famous people, kings and prophets of the past.

To pray is to take the time to listen, to meditate in silence on the work of God, it is to slow our desires, so as to pray attention only to God, secretly present, and slip into his will.

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A disciplined nature is required to be a disciple

No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look and down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
The value of prayer does not lie in the quantity of words and the mere repetition of formulas, as if accomplishing a task. The value of prayer lies chiefly in our inner attitude of faith and love of God. To pray is not to talk much, but to surrender our lives into God’s loving hands.
When we forgive someone who asks for forgiveness, we are not doing that person a favour, nor do we deserve any credit for doing it; we actually free ourselves from some rancor or hatred that is poisoning us.
Fasting is unworthy when done to obtain human approval rather than God’s. When we are bright-eyed this signifies generosity, while to be dark-eyed signifies meanness.
Jesus affirms that money is a false god, because it offers happiness and security for the future, but robs us of our only riches, that is, the present time. Caught up in making money, we are unable to live truly and freely; we neglect our personal growth and family life, keep silent before evil and lie.
We must choose between serving and being served, sacrificing ourselves for others or taking advantage of them. At this time we need to be reconciled with family members and neighbours and to let go of resentments. Since we are sinners, our salvation is worked out through suffering and through the cross.
Our desires and our prayers are powerful because we have come to the center from which God directs the forces saving humankind: because we work for eternity; our names are already written in heaven.
To evangelize does not mean to try to sell the Gospel but rather to prove its power to heal people from their demons. We must stop being envious of famous people, kings and prophets of the past.
To pray is to take the time to listen, to meditate in silence on the work of God, it is to slow our desires, so as to pay attention only to God, secretly present, and slip into his well.
Let us ask Jesus to help us to live a life for others out of the love we have for him.

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Let us live in the awesomeness of God

Our Almighty God does not rush us. He patiently waits for us. Sometimes, he takes us into the desert (actually and figuratively), so we can discover or rediscover how awesome and important he is to our lives.
He is always calling us to come into his fold, but he does not rush us or manipulate us. He always has a mission for us but it is up to us to discover and come to terms with what that mission is. Whatever our mission for God is, he assures us that said mission would be a fulfillment for us. He gives us the tools we need to understand our mission and waits and guides us in the ways how our mission will fully possess us.
Through God we came into existence and our dependence should lie on him alone. Without him we are nothing and we need him for our survival.
In him we have freedom and he activity and continuously frees us from whatever bondages hold us down. He calls us to be persons who live in truth, in him, for he is the ultimate truth. He create the world and gave it to us; not to exploit, but to care for responsibly.
There are some people who believe that to be a true Christian requires over zealous gestures, such as lying prostrate on the ground, speaking in tongues or the constant loud shouts of “Alleluia” and “Praise the Lord.” Don’t get me wrong, these are indeed good actions. But not everyone is blessed with these graces. Worshipping God takes many forms, the above examples are some ways. But quietly approaching God in a quiet corner is also worshipping God and a sign of a true Christian. Worshipping God should be a freeing experience, not something that is forced. Through our experience and encounter with God we should be strengthened in turn to go out and free others.
To be free entails more than material help or political change. Sometimes not even prayer is sufficient because the key ingredient is missing. That key ingredient is God. He does not just want words or action but a complete conversion of our hearts towards him. That is how we will a live salvation history.
God would not be God if he did not care about those who still do not know him. He continues to save his people day by day especially those who are on the margins on society, those seeking liberty. To seek salvation is not suppose to be seen as a mere washing of soul but as the restoration of the human person holistically.
Therefore we are to seek God’s grace, his power to heal our spirit, to help us to believe and resonate with this truth, so that we express his love in real and spontaneous ways. When we receive God’s garce we will live his truth and blossom on earth.
Jesus encourages us to reap what is good and we can only do that if we sow what is good. Reaping and sowing goodness allows us to enjoy the fruits of God’s kingdom such as social peace, justice and happiness.
Not because we are made in God’s image means we automatically will enjoy his fruits. Our humanness make us faulter and so to enjoy God’s goodness requires sincere and contemplative actions on our part. Accepting God means accepting his rules and abiding by them so his plan for our lives can be fulfilled.
The Spirit of God gives life to us and if signs of the spirit acting in our lives cannot be seen, then saying that Jesus lives within us is quite contradictory. The Bible as the word of God helps us to recognize how God speaks to us and how he helps us to achieve our goals individually and collectively.
As Christians we can alienate ourselves from our communities. Yes we should live lives separate from a worldly one, but shutting ourselves away from each other is not the answer. Remember we are interdependent on each other and through interacting with each other we discover new meanings to our lives.
God created us in love and he wants all of us to love him back. Because he loves us he constantly saving us and yet some of us refuse to get to know him. Our intellect as human beings continue to show God’s amazing power. Our creativeness which we receive from him continues to impress us. But our genuiness should not make us build attachments here in this world for we will leave all behind at the moment of death.
Some of us are so unsettled in our belief that we ruin and flutter from one congregaton to the next. We will only be settled like the woman at the well when we drink from the well of Christ, the living water himself who is the Rock of Salvation.
Let us open our hearts to the will of God and be dazzled by his amazing and undying love for us.

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Do we seek companionship with our Almighty God

Throughout our lives we are expected to proclaim the salvation power of Almighty God. Though we are his sons and daughters, if we are not actively seeking his graces, in humanness we will die just humans and the glorious resurrection will not be ours. All our works are meaningless and useless if they do not come from or serve the purposes of God.

God created us with free will giving us the power to choose to follow good or bad and right from wrong. To be able to use our free will correctly we need to ask God for the wisdom to discern such choices. The road is presented before us, but which path to take is only given to us by the direction of God.

The creation story in Genesis tells us that God created us male and female, man and woman. Our creation was not just to satisfy sexual desires or to produce offspring, but as a means of unity. He created us male and female so that we might come together in the bond of love by giving of ourselves to each other in sacrifice and shared happiness.

God made us in his image and likeness. Therefore to look at each other is to see a representation of God. We all have it within us to express God’s image and likeness for we are all a gift and we all receive his Spirit. He created us very good and over and over he has expressed his unwavering love for us. He gives order to the whole creation and his giving of his Son to us expresses to us how important we are in his plan.

We are blessed from the very beginning of creation. He blessed us and told us to be fruitful and multiply. He told his messengers, servants, prophets to issue blessings on each other and their followers. Each blessing has a purpose and unique to each individual, yet when we come together us a whole a holistic world is possible.

In the bond and sacrament of matrimony we the human couple are presented as the authentic image of God. For no marriage can be fruitful without God. God is love and we have to love him first before we can love anyone else. In him we live for eternity. By giving of ourselves to each other in the bond of love we join in the mystery of Christ where he calls himself the bridegroom and we his bride.

Let us thank God for always being our companion and for all those persons he has given to us to share our lives and our love.

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Watch and pray: We must be ready for the coming of the master
December 24, 2017
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Be alert and watch; for you don’t know when the time will come. (Mark 13:33, CCB)

The faithful God will not fail you after calling you to his fellowship with his Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9, CCB)

As sons and daughters of God we are made in his image and likeness. God loves so much so that he gave us his Son As a sacrifice in order to bring us glory. Through Christ, God saves us and Through this salvation we share in the inheritance of the kingdom of God.

Don’t let yourselves be shaped by the world where you live, but rather be transformed Through the renewal of your mind. You must discern the will of God: what is good, what pleases, what is perfect. (Romans 12:2, CCB)

God does not want us to just live our lives by following rules. He want us to live a life that is meditative, understanding and filled with discovery of the will of God in all areas and situations in our lives. Jesus Christ gave his life, his body to us and for us. He suffered pain for us so that we may not be burdened by suffering. He gives us his body so that we may put all our woes on him.

He consecrated his body for us so that when we allow him into our lives we too become consecrated vessels. We are descendants of the twelve tribe of Israel, the people of God, chosen to be holy. Jesus felt the pain of death and bore it humbly, a sign and example, that we too should do the same.

Being humble is challenging As many times we feel the need to respond and act on everything that comes our way. But the Bible proves to us that God acts mysteriously in our lives, encouraging and teaching us on the way to act, and also punishing us when it is needed. There are many times when all hope and justice seems to have disappeared from the earth. However, looking at Jesus’ trial and condemnation to death we realize that There is not much difference to what is happening to many Christian militants and martyrs now. Jesus, through he is the Son of God, was and is hated by many people, and so are we who are children of God and live a Christ like life.

We are to call upon God for the grace to live in his Spirit, to believe in his way and to walk in his truth. We are to express love and make our faith blossom on earth.

Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it. (Matthew 6:20, CCB)

Prayer is not about how many words we say or how well we repeat a Prayer.  It should not be a to do list. Prayer is about our inner disposition, our attitude, faith and love of God. We don’t need to talk much when we pray instead we are to surrender our lives in God’s loving hands.

Jesus taught us about forgiveness. He says we are to forgive those who asks for forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about doing a person a favour and it is not about receiving or giving credit. Instead it is about freeing ourselves from the hatred that has been poisoning us. We must embody generosity instead of meanness.

Jesus also teaches us about money emphazing that it is a false God. It offers happiness and security but robs us of our presence. When we are caught up in making money, we are unable to truly live and to be truly free. Our personal growth is neglected, our family life is neglected,  and we participate in evil doing.

To do your will is my delight, O God, for your law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:9, CCB)

God is all about love and truth. There are his two main qualities. To know him means knowing Jesus and submitting ourselves to him.

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As Christians we are to love God because doing so is essential
December 20, 2017
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Loving God or to love God seems to be a simple command, yet it is challenging. We try our very best to love God completely but there are moments when we fail to do so. It is only when we have God’s Spirit in our hearts working then we will become faithful to his commands. God is at work every day in us making us perfect in his love. We should never be afraid to ask him for help is to be more faithful in his love.

Our humanness causes us to look for love all over the place. This should not be as love is always close to us in the person of God himself. When we seek love elsewhere we are bound to be confused. But love in the Lord is clear and real and can be shared with everyone even our enemies. If we do not love God then we cannot truly be able to love and sacrifice for others. Love is more than a feeling, it involves actions that flows from our connection with God.

Though many say we cannot see God, as Christians we are to see God in our fellow brothers and sisters. We must embody compassion and empathy so we can connect with others in love. Many people expect Christians to perform or live grandiosely and miraculously, but miracles can be as small as kindness, compassion and forgiveness. That’s how we show love, that how we show we are sharing God’s love. This is the faithful testimony we show use to evangelize. By loving others we show that God is not dead but truly alive.

On our own we fail to love God. But accepting him as our Almighty and opening ourselves to receive his love will surely change our attitude. His word in the scripture remind us all the time that his love will never stop.

He makes sacrifice for us slowly can’t we make sacrifice for him? We need to stop thinking of sacrifice as hardship, but a delight that comes from God with the purpose to bring us closer to him in love. God calls us to receive his love so we can pass it on to others who are in need of love and understanding of the sacrifice which God makes for us.

We learn how to love from Jesus whose ministry was filled with love. The disciples witnessed Jesus’ love first hand and were given the command to pass on such teachings and actions to their followers, meaning us. Th Holy Scriptures, since the beginning of time is filled with the love of God. We then are to study and take what we have learned and turn them into action by living our God’s love in our spoken words and being good examples to each other.

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You have to know God in order to love him and he wants us to know him
December 14, 2017
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Many times we try to prove to God that we are truly his disciples and to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is at times worse that its intended intentions because it makes us more busy and our faith and closeness to our Saviour Jesus Christ is over exploited and becomes a sham for saving face. However if we truly know God and all his saving mercies and graces, then witnessing becomes not about what we do but about whom we love. We can do all the good works in the world, it all means nothing if there is no connection to our Lord and Saviour. Sometimes to get to know God requires us to be still and this stillness will lead us to a deeper knowledge of him who blesses us with many graces.

As Christians we are bound to face difficulties and contentions on our journey in getting to know God. But we can face these obstacles bravely by embracing the wonder and awe of God found in his great works of creation which surround us. He gave us salvation through his son Jesus Christ and he is the one whom we should allow to be the head and leader of our lives.

God is the liberator as history as proven. He continues to liberate those who have been oppressed even to this day. He continues to free us from sin and lead us to love. Since he rescues us why don’t we get to know him more intimately? We should draw closer and closer to him everyday so we can enjoy all the blessings he has for us.

Knowing God only happens if we know who Jesus is. We get to the Father through his son. If we know the son, we know the Father. Jesus helps us to understand the Father and his love and when we trust in Jesus, we trust in the Father.

God will take up residence in our hearts when we act according to his word. Sometimes our failures make us doubt him but we should never despair for even though we doubt, he never fails or leaves us. The apostle Paul always encourages us to live a devout life to our Lord because he has given us his Spirit to dwell within us. This Spirit empowers us and strengthens us to live a holy life.

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With love comes responsibility: They go together
December 11, 2017
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Just like there is no mercy without justice, there is no love without responsibility. Love is a word that is easy to say but doing it is a whole lot harder. For to truly love someone we must be responsible. For it is through this responsibility that we express love correctly.

There are different types of love and each has their own specific requirements and responsibilities. However, the bottom line and underlying meaning of love is that we must not treat people as merely as means to an end. This is what we refer to as using people and this is not love. When we treat people as a means to an end we doing violence to the other person, an expression of abuse. Violence is not just physical, it is sexual, financial, oral/vocal, even spiritual. None of these are expressions of love and should never be done.

love is demanding, just like anything worthwhile. It requires time, treasure and talent, and we all have the capacity to love. The purpose of love is to unify person and not just intimately/sexually, as this is only one way. As we are all meant to love, we are all meant to be close to a other in varying capacities.

To truly love someone is come to the fullest realization of all our hidden possibilities and talent. Our creativity is heightened and expressed. To truly love is to be generous, and this generosity is directed by the essence of good. If love is expressed by just merely pleasure or sexual enjoyment then it is not being directed by the essence of good. It will not be binding and wont unify people for long. That is why we are encouraged to verify and examine our love with our intended responsibly before we declare it out loud. This is a wise decision and should be followed. There is too many loose love around resulting in a broken society. Everyone wants to know that their love is affirmed and once it is not, alienation occurs.

To love is to desire good and desiring good is desiring God, for God himself is Good. Love is the greatest gift of all, the greatest of all actions. That is why we should ask for the grace which will assist us in coming to the fullest realization of our love and how to share this love with others. For it is grace that gives us the power to walk the path of love with each other.

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