My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. – 2 Cor 12:9

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Many a time as we walk, we trip and fall down. The feeling of pain keeps us down on the dirt, feeling afraid of what might happen when we try to get up. A lot of questions will resound in our head. Will we be a laughing stock, will our knees be strong enough to get us up again or once again, will we fall down? The many questions delay our trying to stand up again. The staying down is further lengthened when we are carrying so much on our back, in our hands, and around us. The support we seek is more and we fear further, wondering if there will be anyone who is kind enough to help us. The worst thing that can happen is when the least expected people extend their hands to us and we refuse, and we continue to try to get up on our own. We are afraid to show that we are weak. We are in fact afraid to acknowledge our weaknesses, and that is what keeps us from attaining the strength that is being offered by Christ, our Saviour.

Whenever we seek counsel or guidance we look everywhere except to the source of all wisdom. We rely on our own strength, our own will and our own might. Only when we face difficulties do we realize that we are never strong enough for this life of the flesh. One way or another, we feel that despite our strength, there is something that we are lacking, something burns inside us making us question what is it that we are missing out. Brothers and Sisters, I believe that what is it is Grace – God’s Grace.

You see when we are given God’s Grace, we attain something that unbelievers can never even think about. They think they’ve all got their lives figured out but believe you me, they’re the most thirsty around. What is grace by definition? It is courteous goodwill. In Christian belief, it is “The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings”. And St. Peter tell us what God told him as he tries to dislodge the cross that he’s bearing, the thorn in his flesh –

7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the arevelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!

  8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

And in reply, God revealed to him the power of His grace. It is beautiful to think that when we are weak, we are strong and as you read 2 Corinthians Chapter 12, we get to understand further the capacity if what we can endure by God’s grace. Indeed, it is very difficult to surpass the pain we are feeling when we keep focusing on ourselves. We cannot accept what people say because we keep trying to prove that we are mighty, we are flawless and we are greater than whoever is telling us off.

It is a daily struggle, a daily battle that we go through in our life. So always remember to tap into the source of all your strength, the source of the better you. Yes, you may fall into a pit of insanity, but always remember that if you call on the name of the Lord, you will be saved. Be of good cheer my brothers and sisters, and be merry.

Let the spirit of God’s love be upon us all wherever we may go. Remember that as we acknowledge our weakness, we boast of Christ’s strength already being with us. Our strengths we possess now are the result of constant acknowledgement of our weakness, seeking the perfection that God offers. As mere humans, we cannot be perfect, but we can try. We can try over and over again, and in God’s grace, we will attain just so.

Have a blessed weekend!

God bless!

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Dependence on God – Matthew 6: 33


“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides”

Seeking is not easy when we ourselves don’t know what is it that we are looking for nor do we know exactly how to find it. We always come to the question as to how do we find what we cannot see. How do we ensure that we are indeed seeking God in the right way? How do we assert each of our intentions are good and pure in its motivation?

We must always remember that being humans we are prone to seeking our own kingdom, the increase and the exultation of the kingdom we establish through the riches we obtained. We then create in ourselves the royal treatments we ought to receive from our fellow servants of God. If not that, we tend to worry so much about everything even the the most unnecessary aspect of our lives. We worry about the daily things as to what to eat, what to wear and how to live with only $100 for the rest of the month.

We always come to the point where we seek more than we should need. We then re-create our entire being to suit the lifestyle that we seek to achieve. To those of us who are rich with the monies we achieve through our works here on earth, we tend to want more, growing greedy by hoarding of wealth. To those of us who are poor and seek to be rich, we trade our life entirely and our whole principles doing our best to attain the earthly riches that can be made available to us.

So then we should always seek God’s grace when trying to seek for His divinity. It is not easy, but it is not difficult. We need only ask to be guided by the Holy Spirit to be shown the way to Him because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life to God the Father. We must always keep in mind that we need to lay prostrate on the ground He walks on and offer up to Him all our inadequacy and our iniquities that creates  the barriers on the path to God’s kingdom.

If we all stand strong, each one of us will be able to hold hand-in-hand to get there. We will be able to create a new form of generation able to call on the Father through His’ Kingdom’s gate and His Holy Son will be eager and quick to say to HIM that He knows us, and that we have places already made in His Kingdom.

Let us continue to pray for one another and live as how God would want us to live, to love as how God would want us to love, and to pray as how God wants us to pray. And that is according to how Jesus came to do all that we need to imitate.

Have a good sleep! Good night.

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee – (Luke 1:28)

Catholics do not worship Mary. Our devotion to Mary is based from the Bible.

We do not pray to Mary like we worship God, instead, we ask Mary to pray for us and with us to God the Almighty. Mary and the other Saints are like friends of ours. They pray for us for as these holy men and women are so dear to God. We honour Mary as the Our Mother, the Mother that bore Our Saviour in the Womb.

Let me quote the Gospel of John

“He turns and sees Mary his mother, and all the love she had in her heart went out to him. He then looks to John and back to Mary and says, “Woman, behold your son, ” then looking at John, he says, “Behold your mother” (John 19: 26-27). “

Jesus tells Mary to behold John as her Son and tells John to behold Mary, his Mother. Jesus wants us to have this woman as our Mother for she is full of grace. See Gospel of Luke 1: 28.

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women” Luke 1:28

When Mary was visiting her Cousin Elizabeth, see Luke 1:39-56, She says “Why is this granted to me that the mother of my lord should come to me? “

Luke 1:39-56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is he fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

I’ve protestant christian friends who told me that even Mary needs a saviour quoting: “and my spirit exulted in God my savior”. Yeap. but you are only seeing one phrase in the passage. Allow me to quote the entire passage of Luke 1:46-55

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever. (Luke 1:46-55)

In our prayers, we have the “Hail Mary” and you would notice this would never show anything that Catholics pray to Mary and this is a fact, we have never worshipped mary througout the centuries since Jesus’ time.

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You.
Blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

It is always a prayer for us, just like you asking your friends to pray for you to God the almighty Father, the Holy Trinity.

You might ask me why did we call Mary, the Mother of God. Yes indeed we call Mary the Mother of God. This can be explained in simple terms. Is Jesus, God? Is Jesus the only God that we should worship. Yes, absolutely. If Jesus is God and Jesus is the Son of Mary, is Mary not the Mother of God? The term Mother of God do not literally mean that she is God’s Mother, which makes her someone higher than God. This is not true. The term Mother of God is to exalt the special status and the fact that Christ has given her to us. Mary is so pure a human that God has chosen her for himself to be reincarnated through the spotless womb of Mary.

Corpus Christi, One Body Many Parts – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though are many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit”

It was a beautiful Tridentine mass that I’ve attended recently last Sunday. I attended it with my fellow Ignite members, and two of our friends from Emmaus, another Young Adult Charismatic Group from St. Mary’s of the Angels. It’s a beautiful but yes, complicated Latin mass. But with focused devotion to the blessedness of God, we pulled through.

The reason why I specifically talked about my youth group’s recent activity as Corpus Christi, was just as it is supposed to mean – we are one, one with Christ.

Each of us may represent different parts of the body, our functions will differ from the other, our capabilities completely dissimilar to our fellow brothers and sisters. And you know what? That is the beauty of it all.

Being different is the key. Being able to accept each others’ differences and allow spaces in one another’s lives in order that our bits and pieces together can form Corpus Christi as we come into a group focused on the same devotion in Christ.

What makes it more beautiful is the common understanding, the common love and common view, and no other way but the commonalities we share –  that is the love of God and the reliance on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This perspective doesn’t just go along with youth groups in your Church, but also in your everyday life, with colleagues and neighbors, and most importantly, your family.

Many times we learn the hard way that whatever form of union – be it family, groups, friendships, relationships – that is not God-centered will find it very difficult to cultivate and nurture Christ-like faithfulness, to form the holy body of Christ.

“”He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” – Matthew 12:30 / Luke 11:23

How then do we know know if it is build on the rock, that is Christ? By its fruit of course.

So brothers and sisters, I hope that you continue to cherish your relationships with your family, friends and loved ones. Corpus Christi, for me, doesn’t just consists of my church families with Ignite, but it extends to my colleagues, friends of other religions and of course, most importantly, my family.

This becomes one of the burning reason why I try my best to make sure that I am of good relations with my mother, father and siblings. Because the most important body of Christ is our families. And so what becomes our family, becomes a very important body of Christ in our lives.

So keep loving, and keep growing, in your families – either by blood or by Christ. Amen.

To God be the Glory – Mark 12:17

‘So Jesus replied to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” They were utterly amazed.’

Jesus is but a man in body but in deity, He’s everything. In Mind, Body and Soul, He is God. And His divinity supersedes all the intelligence of man. Even the Pharisees and Herodians who came to ensnare him as He preach to the people, were never on par with His divine wisdom. In full detail, the bible outlines Jesus’ views on the earthly obligations of the people:

(Scripture taken from Mark 12:13-17 – Paying Taxes to the Emperor. Translation: New American Bible St. Joseph Edition)

‘They sent some Pharisees and Herodians to him to ensnare Him in His Speech. They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy He said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at. They brought one to Him and He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to Him, “Caesar’s” So Jesus replied to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” They were utterly amazed.’

It was never God’s intention to call the world to a political revolt nor a physical salvation to lead to freedom as to what most Jews believed the Messiah should do for them. It is the salvation of souls that Jesus came to do as “His Father’s business”. The Jews have been wonderfully blessed because they are the chosen lot (by God) to be saved, however with their denial of Jesus, salvation will hardly be found by them (or whoever denies Jesus. For whoever do so will too be denied the inheritance that God provides). That’s why as we are, being Gentiles, are called Children of God because we go under the banner of Christ, the banner of love and the God’s beloved. As we call ourselves Christians, we must continuously pave the way to the path that Jesus wants us to go, by doing every little good we can muster.

This verse also proves the point why we should never use the excuse of serving God or doing God’s work to excuse ourselves from our personal obligation as a citizen of a country or a member of the family. God sees us in different ways, He goes to a personal level with us. He sees through the hypocrisy because He himself has been with hypocrites, and Himself been executed by them. It is a sad reality how many of our brothers and sisters will try to excuse themselves from their obligations in due reason of “God”.

Even myself, I fall in this credulous nature by which I readily believe that my intentions are good, excusing myself from the little things like chores because I want to be with God, and pray to Him. Then I realize that this is a partial praise I do for Him. So as it is, whether I like it or not, my obligations to my family is what I work for and live for at the moment. And many of us who are working, we work for the money and hardly any more for prevalent reasons as to why we do. We fall into the trap of repaying more to “Caesar what belongs to Caesar” and hardly to “God what belongs to God”. We find that we give more to Caesar what we ought to have given to God (primarily our family).

My faults? Having too high of telephone or credit card bills, that I give more of my monthly income to bills than to church for their poor and needy. Also, the time I should spend with my siblings to catechize them gets compromised because I entangle myself with so much activities.

My Church activities also becomes both a blessing and a fault to me at one point of my time in service. Why?
I fail to spend quality time with my family, and I realize that if it’s not work I’m busy with, it’s Church. So how did I turn it around? I pray for more time, and as it is I discern further the various aspects where I can serve smartly – to my best, and availability.

Brothers and sisters, those of you who are laden with providing more for “Caesar” than to God. you have to find the time, or free some time. Not just for your family and friends even, but for yourself. Take into consideration the times in the morning and in the evening, where you can set aside time as little as 5 minutes to pray.

Praying is one of the best way we can give to God. And it is through prayers that we are strengthened. Some of us who have been praying consistently will find that we have nothing more to ask from Him, or we now see how we need not ask from Him more than He has already provided. I urge you, brothers and sisters, that you use it to pray for others. Start with your family members, and of course the souls of your loved ones who may have recently depart from our world. Keep them in your prayers because when their time in purgatory ends, there in the midst of God are them, praying for you.

I hope that you will not cease trying to give to God what is His. And that is you. Give yourself to Him by doing His Will and by praying. Brothers and sisters, we are but human beings, no deity like what of Jesus because we are merely creations of God. Yet, in the eyes of God we are His Children. I hope that one step at a time, we can progress to the kingdom of God, slowly yes but surely. Amen.

Jesus is the bread of Life – John 6:51

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.”

Jesus calls himself the bread of Life. But why bread? Why does Jesus use “bread” to describe himself? Jesus wants us to know that he came down for the multitude. Bread is the staple food at that time and it’s available at almost every household. Jesus choose to make himself available to all who wants to come near him. Our God, is a loving God!

In the old testament, we have the old priest Melchizedek offering bread and wine. And Jesus in the new testament is the foreshadowing of Melchizedek. Jesus is the eternal High Priest! At the scene of the last supper, Jesus offered himself as bread and wine, so he’s both the Priest and the victim, the offering.

Matthew 26:26-28: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

If you’ve realised, Jesus didn’t tell his disciples, “This represents my body” but he said, “This IS my Body”. Doubt not, that at every Holy Mass, when the priest utters the words of consecration, it turns into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist!). The Jews doubted. In John 6:52, they said: “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”.

AND GUESS WHAT JESUS CHRIST REPLIED?

“Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” John 6:53-56

Jesus clarified to us all that the bread that was broken is his flesh and wine poured out for all is his blood. When else do Jesus have to clarify about what he said? =)

Treasure in Heaven – Matthew 6: 19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither month nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be”

The main deliberation I have with this scripture has got to be the last verse (21): “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” I find that nowadays, in this day and age, we come to the point where our hearts seem to point us to more things temporal. Whatever it is we FEEL like is right, we automatically decide that it is what our hearts are telling us to do.

Alas, many a time it is not so.

I realize that the best way to consult what is our hearts’ desire is to know what God desires for us to do. Therefore, in order to do just that, we need to call upon His Guidance through prayer. God dwells in us through faith and through faith we submit to His Will as how we pray in the Lord’s prayer.

God desires for us to do good. That’s why Jesus tells us to store for ourselves treasures in heaven. To do good automatically create for us bank accounts in heaven, instead of just creating goodwill between us and our brothers and sisters here on earth. Because most times we find ourselves mistreated still despite the good things we do for others. So being a just God,

He takes all the good we do and put them in those accounts, especially those gone unnoticed or the praises we sincerely don’t take credit for, but gives back to God in praise.

Being Christians, we understand that the only real way to attain these treasures is when we do good, when we treat right our brothers and sisters, submitting to God, the Father. By which, it is through the fulfilment of the 2 Greatest Commandment Jesus passed on to us – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbour as thyself” – Matthew 22:37-40.

It’s beautiful how Jesus came to sum up 10 Commandments into 2 Greatest Ones.

In totality, the deity of Jesus implores us to love God in order that we mount up heavenly treasures. For it is true that where our treasure is, there also will our hearts be.

A famous saint, my patron Saint Anthony de Padua, give a eulogy accordingly to this verse for a very wealthy man who passed on. He called the man a ‘miser’ and a ‘usurer’. Yes, in front of the man’s family and friends.

To back himself up, St Anthony told them in response to their anger, “Go and see his chest and you will find the heart”. They took the dare.

Yes they found his heart in his chest, but in this case, it is the treasure chest (not his bodily chest) where the rich man stored his jewels and riches.

To ensure the credibility of this miracle, they got a surgeon to open up the man’s chest and true enough, it is not there!

God lives in us, in our hearts and our hearts as God created us is meant to be in our bodily chests. This analogy will instill a need to understand that our greatest treasure should be God.

Our greatest treasure is within ourselves. Let us be as we are called to be, “For God’s temple is holy, and you are that Temple” (1 Cor 3:17). And thus to be holy, or to at least attempt to be holy, we start by doing something good each day.

Do not belittle the small good things you do, because just as how each cents contribute to a dollars, small things that are good amounts to heavenly treasures.

So brothers and sisters, let us put our hearts to God because He is the greatest treasure we can ever attain.

One step at a time, we can create for ourselves the treasures we can always hope to have… and that is… GOD.

Have a good night.

The Gentle Mastery of Christ – Matthew 11:28-30

 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Tuesday nights are set aside for Charismatic Prayer Meeting (CPC), an evening of invoking the Holy Spirit, singing praise and worshipping the Lord God Almighty as we come together as a community. Earlier in the evening (21st June 2011), Bro. Aleson was chosen to do the Breaking of the Word. And the above scriptures I’ve shared is as to what he has shared, and what we reflected on and discussed as a group during the evening of bible sharing.

So let me share with you my testimony in relation to this scripture:

Jesus is that one Man, who is all wonderful and magnificent in His words and actions. We sometimes question how could He say that His burden is light and His yoke easy. As per what my members shared earlier with regards to this scripture. The group try to understand what do Jesus really mean by that. He is the perfect mortal, God in deity but human in all its limitation. Yet, despite the will of God for the salvation of men, He embraced His cross willingly, lovingly and despite being tempted to ask His Father who is in Heaven to let this cup pass him by, He let HIS will be done. We all understood that perhaps why Jesus felt his burden was easy was due to his fixed attention to God Almighty, and the motivation of God’s love of His children.

As to the best I understand, I feel that Jesus had to go through this ordeal in order that we can stop thinking how big our problem is or how severe our suffering may be, in case we may use it to gain glory for ourselves. If we compare it to what Jesus willingly suffered, emptied of His Godliness, stripped to complete humility of being God yet human in all its limitation, and instead of invoking the legions of angels readily available for Him, He took up His cross like a man, accepting every spit, every whipping and every verbal abuse all His suppressors hurled at him.

And why did He allowed that? To save us from our sin, and free us from all forms of suffering.

In my opinion, it is important for us to always remember that whatever we are going through now, is nothing to what He has gone through, and that all that was needed in order to take up our crosses bravely, is to ensure that we centralize our thoughts to God. For this is how Jesus managed to endure all that was done to Him – “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” He invites. It’s not easy to learn from Him, no joke, but it’s the constant tries that we do that keeps us closer to God. No matter how many times we fail, we get up, try again and renew our commitment to God.

We must always put to mind that God is our creator. He knows our needs, and the number of hairs on our head (Matt 10:30). What makes us so sure He doesn’t already know when, how, why we will fall? But due to the free will He has given us, He will just watch how and what are we going to do, in order to renew and recommit ourselves again to God.

So Jesus invites us to learn to be meek and humble, for that is what make His yoke easy and His burdens light. I see slowly how meekness helps; we accept suffering easily because we submit to the will of God and being humble keeps us at peace because humility begins by not expecting more than what we need to live by daily. (Once again, NO JOKE, it’s not easy)

“Lowering our expectations doesn’t mean compromising and belittling our capabilities, it just means that we are able to accept lowliness despite the promise of eternal glory.”
– Mary Jean

Let me conclude by the following quote for reflection:

“Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”
— Mother Teresa

So brothers and sisters in Christ, would you be willing to receive this Holy Kiss?

+ God Bless +