Stay Alert and Be Prepared

Jesus’ exhortations to stay awake and be prepared (cf. MT 24:42,44) ought to be sweet music to a Christian’s ears. The King’s forewarning of His pending coming is a courteous declaration that allows us to make the proper spiritual arrangement in our lives to being good and to welcome him when He returns.

To those who abide by these exhortations, to stay awake and be prepared, these words inspire hope, not fear. They become words of mercy, not threats; pillars for eternal peace, not doom.

The uncertainty of the timing could unsettle some. Jesus does not tell us how long we should stay alert or prepare for His arrival. That is because not even He knows the time, only His Father does (cf. MK 13:32).

As Christians we know, nevertheless, that the time will come sooner or later. That ought to be good news for us. Why? Because we know well in advance what we must do to be in proper relationship with Jesus. This means that He ought to be the number one priority in our lives. Jesus should be the center of our lives. What does that mean exactly? It means that all we do should have Jesus in mind as the beginning, middle, and end. It does not mean that nothing else is important, but that everything is within the context of Jesus and His Father’s divine plan.

On this, the first week of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Messiah, let’s take a moment to reflect on how our lives conform to what Jesus expects. Properly discerned, alertness and preparedness will discourage unwelcome thieves and grant access to the King who provides the true meaning of the holiday season.

May God bless you!

 

—Inspired be the first Sunday of Advent readings

The Good Seed

Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted (Matthew 15:13).

This scripture in today’s gospel (MT 15:1-2, 10-14) reminds me of the parable of the weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). God only plants good seed, but the enemy plants weeds among them. However, when is harvest time, his laborers will “first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning, but gather the wheat into the barn” (Matthew 13:30).

In this world, there will always be weeds among the wheat; war and peace, love and hate, good and evil. Their coexistent is humanity’s imperfection exposed. However, God’s perfection through Jesus’ divinity will free us from the weeds in our lives as today’s psalm reassure us: “The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die” (Psalm 102:20-21).

God loves us as a gardener loves his most precious flower. This may be difficult to believe because of the many heartbreaks we have experienced in our lives. As the prophet Jeremiah tell us “All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you” (Jeremiah 30:14). We can be relieved that God is more than a short-lived love. He is our heavenly Father.

— God, I give my heart to you this day; may you will it to please you.–

The Gift of Knowledge

The Novena of the Holy Spirit continues today with the petition to receive the gift of Knowledge: to open our hearts and minds to know our Father.

It is impossible to know a person when we make no effort to interact with them. Fruitful relationships are built in knowing each other. The same is true with God. If we want to know God, we have to make an effort to get to know him.

The gift of Knowledge empowers us to use our hearts, minds, and social faculties to seek and find God. Through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we fall in love with him. Through the study of the Scriptures, Tradition, and teachings of the Church, we open our minds to his Word. Finally, through our interaction with others, we witness and experience his love for us.

May the Holy Spirit bless us with the gift of Knowledge today and always.

Have a blessed day!!!

The Gift of Piety

On this the third day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we ask for the gift of Piety: total devotion and obedience to God.

As the adopted children of God, we ought to hope to imitate Jesus Christ’s example of obedience to the Father: “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38)

Of course, to imitate Jesus’s piety is to be willing to go beyond prayer. It means to give alms and to fast; to care for those in need and to seek detachment from the earthly desires that enslave us:

If we imitate our Lord Jesus, he will lift us up just like his Father lifted him up: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40)

Have a blessed day!!!