The Seed

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

In the parable of the Kingdom, because His Word is the only powerful force in this world that brings salvation, He makes us realize that real strength comes from within. Any power or aid to power coming from outside the person, organization or nation is only temporary. Aid to a person’s need, unless he’s incapacitated, will soon end, for only he and his God-given capacities can create an impact that will last. Aid to an organization to develop itself will soon end so that its members will progress and realize its vision. Aid to a nation will have to end, or it will lose its independence and its ability to develop its own potentials.

The parable of Jesus shows us His power in our growth as Christians:

  1. The power of the seed. No one has any power over a seed to grow unless placed in proper conditions, usually in the ground, (unless grown in a laboratory). No matter how small, it explodes silently from within and brings about life that makes it useful. The Word of God planted in the hearts of men cannot but burst forth to the world in order for the world to recognize its Creator, thus give life not only to one person but to all in the Kingdom of God.
  2. The power of the tree trunk. Jesus says, Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing (Jn 15:4-5).
  3. The power of the fruit. The fruit manifests the nature of the tree. Jesus says, By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit…. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. (Mt 7:16-20).
  4. The power of the land. The earth is a very quiet and ever accepting of all creation. It does not complain. It is not arrogant. It only receives whatever is given, and makes use of it to generate power and life, whatever it is, moss, weeds, trees, worms, crickets, etc. And many have walked this land/earth to proclaim the Kingdom of God:                                      a) By faith and for the sake of the kingdom, Abraham walked to the land of Moriah to sacrifice his son to the Lord and received the promise of fatherhood in faith of all believers;                                                                                                                                              b) By faith and for the sake of the kingdom, Mary accepted the words of the Angel to be the Mother of God. She walked to the land of Judah to visit her cousin Elizabeth to proclaim God’s visit to His people;                                                                                                       c) By faith and for the sake of the Kingdom, Joseph walked with Mary to Bethlehem to register and providentially witnessed the birth of the Savior of the world;             d) By faith and for the sake of the Kingdom, the Apostles and many missionaries walked many lands to preach and proclaim God’s Kingdom;                                                             e) By faith and for the sake of the kingdom, many who seek peace tread paths to their relatives, friends and neighbors to bring forgiveness, show compassion or perform works of charity and mercy;                                                                                                       f) By faith and for the sake of the Kingdom, we strive to be faithful to the commands of God as we walk in this “valley of tears” to the Promised Land in Heaven where He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away” (Rev 21:4). In many situations of love and life, we tread the land of our hearts for God’s love to grow and His Kingdom to spread, to receive God’s light, and for His children to bear fruit, fruit that will last. So the Holy Father announced the Year of the Faith from October 2012 so that God’s Kingdom would grow.

Thus, when we work, we acquire its discipline and participate in God’s creation of His Kingdom for the good of all. When we study, we acquire its discipline, so that we can develop our intellect and be prepared to teach in word and in deed the presence and the glory of God. When we pray, we acquire its discipline and are able to listen to the Holy Spirit and allow God to work in and through us so as to live according to His Will. When we respect and are obedient to legitimate authority and relationships, we reflect the life of Jesus who was obedient to His Father and sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. When we do works of charity, we bring the compassion of the Lord who served His people instead of being served, and proclaim His presence in the Church and in our families. When we teach and make disciples of all nations, we obey His command, and as we celebrate the Eucharist, we come as a Church to the table of the Lord and to proclaim His death and resurrection until He comes again. With Mother Mary may we come to serve Jesus more faithfully everyday.

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Build Up Your Neighbor

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. If it is not pulled backwards in the bow, it will not fly to hit the target. So, let us go back a little bit. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the tree that was forbidden them to eat; and at that very moment that they ate, they realized that they had done something wrong. Because of that, they did not want to see God or be seen by God. Why? Because a disobedient sinner cannot face God at any time.

We cannot just seek to satisfy temporally the desire of our eyes, for the eyes are the window of the heart, or the cravings of our heart, for the heart is the tabernacle of the Most High, or the urges of our bodies, for our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. All things are directed for the good of all to build faith and hope in men and women to grow in the spirit of gratitude, and directed always for the greater glory of God (cf. 2Cor 4:15).

Now we shoot the arrow bullseye on our target for Christian living: obedience to the will of God. Jesus would then say: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mk 3:33-35). Christian life is not about material things, for they perish. It is not a matter of convenience because the latter is temporary. It is not about personal preferences that we can even lose the sense of sin, for it is God’s preference and command to obey Him, to love one another and to serve the needy.

We have a saying: Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas. Unsuccessful people see the problems, and think and dwell on them. Successful people see the problems and think of solutions. The former is a drain and burden to their companions, the latter, advantage and benefit to his companions, and uplifting to leadership in the group.

So, to be great and successful Christians we have to know ourselves, control ourselves and give ourselves for others for their good and for the greater glory of God. How? By a life of generosity, attitude of humility (thinking of others as greater than you are), and a life of purpose that actually gives energy to ourselves and to others.

In your relationship with others, build them up, be slow to bring up your own agenda, slow to moralize on every statement and situation, and allow them to express themselves in words and in deeds. Then, the Lord will not ask you, “Where are you,” for you are in Him, just as the others are in him, and we are one in Him and because of Him. Be kind and understanding, put yourself in the shoes of the other person; and the patience that maybe too elusive will follow you all the days of your life.

When somebody​ makes a suggestion or makes a statement, unless it is explicitly morally wrong, don’t immediately disagree. Consider it. Think about it. Discuss it with somebody, if necessary. There’s always something good in suggestions. When you disagree immediately, you bar yourself from further communication. That makes you a close-minded person, and open only for things that soothe you. Always think that the other person has different background and experience. Say you’ll consider it. To consider does not necessarily mean you like it or you don’t like it. Remember, you don’t have the monopoly of information, knowledge, and experience. Treat people with the dignity of having intellect. Then you can practice the humility and gentleness of accepting people as they are.

Consider now the way of light: Accept as a blessing whatever comes your way in the knowledge that nothing ever happens without God’s concurrence. Avoid duplicity in thought or in word, for such deception is a deadly snare.

Share with your neighbor whatever you have, and do not say of anything, this is mine. If you both share an imperishable treasure, how much more must you share what is perishable. Do not be hasty in speech; the mouth is a deadly snare. For your soul’s good, make every effort to live chastely. Do not hold out your hand for what you can get, only to withdraw it when it comes to giving. Cherish as the apple of your eye anyone who speaks to you of the word of the Lord (from a letter attributed to Barnabas, The Way of Light).

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Jesus, the Gift of the Father

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (B)

It is inspiring that the Israelites proclaimed, All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do” (cf. Ex24:7). But we know they did not follow through with this. Nevertheless this proclamation really was rooted on the following:

a) God’s love is immeasurable. God initiated this relationship of obedience with His people to show them that He loved them and so they would remain in Him. The Israelites could not take any credit on what they had, on what they could do and on what they were, because everything was God’s blessing to them as a people. Only in obedience as a people to God could they worship and love Him. And obedience to God was their only course to enter the Promised Land.

 b) God’s graciousness is unquestionable. God was humble enough to come to a renewed relationship with a sinful people. Despite the unworthiness of the offering of animals, God accepted them in the hope that His people would open their hearts and remain faithful to Him. His humility was His gift to them so that they would not be lost forever.

 c) God’s fidelity is unsurpassable. He was so generous to forgive the transgressions of the Israelites, and granted them back the privilege to be His people, which they lost repeatedly by worshipping other gods, for as the Psalms tell us: the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Ps 145:8).

 On our part, we learn the following:

a) Obedience and humility are God’s gifts to us for our salvation. We look up to Jesus who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8). St. Paul exhorts us to remain obedient and work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to be blameless and innocent and to shine like lights in the world.

 b) God’s humility in sending His Son to us is His gift to us, in order that we will not be lost forever due to our sins. In our responsibilities and relationships we proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior, for if we only talk about it, we are like sounding cymbals. St. John says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil” (Jn 3:17-19).

 c) God possesses everything and does not need anything, nor can we pay Him for anything. He only wants to share His joy and blessings with His children. He even sent His Son to redeem us from the evil one. Our fidelity to God rests on our obedience to His commands and on faithfulness to our work and our relationships. St. Paul in his letter to Titus says, “They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:2-7).

 The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ will have meaning only in the understanding that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and living tabernacles of the Lord. As we receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, let us commit ourselves to become His living tabernacles that will open to His people the only begotten Son of God from whom flow rivers of blessings and graces in our words and actions. From the celebration of the Eucharist we bring Jesus to all we meet, in our responsibilities and in our relationships. With Mary, who was the first tabernacle of the living God, let us become more conscious of the presence of Jesus in us, let us “pray without ceasing,” avoid harsh words that sadden the Holy Spirit, work for the promotion of peace and development, and foster an environment of love filled with God’s graces.

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Children of God, the Blessed Trinity

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (B)

Moses confronted the Israelites with the questions: “Did anything so great ever happen before?… Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation?” (Dt 4:32 ff). There certainly was no other God than the God of Israel.

We also ask ourselves similar questions. What great things happened to you today? Is there any other god who can lead you to your situation now? Your condition now should be able to proclaim that God is working. And today is a very important day of your life because you are alive. In other words, if you believe that what you did yesterday was better than today, you have not done much today. If you think that your past was more exciting and blessed, you have not been grateful enough. For husbands and wives: if you think you were happier in your early years of marriage, you have not grown in love. For children: if you think you were happier in your childhood, you have not been grateful and have not matured. For workers: if you think your past work was better, you only have earned, but have not grown in love for work. For friends: if you think your past friends were better, you have not built on them and have not contributed to the growth of friendship now. The Israelites were always tempted to worship other gods because they wanted to do what the pagans did. Their faith has not matured despite the signs God performed for them. Moses proclaimed: “This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other” (Dt 4:39).

Today we may have eradicated the gods of the pagans of olden times, but we have created modern time gods, like money, power, influence, pleasure, technology, progress, etc. We also have tried to eliminate God from our lives by acting like gods. We have disregarded His commandments. We have robbed Him of His authority and leadership. We have abused and misused freedom, His gift of life and the environment. We have despised the poor and the needy. We have not been grateful enough for the gifts we have received from Him, taking all the credit for what we have done.

St. Paul teaches us the following:

  1. “You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
    but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” (Rom 8:15). We will notice that on Resurrection Day, the first thing that Jesus did to His disciples was to appear in their midst and gave them His Holy Spirit to dispel their fear of the Jews. Jesus returned to them the confidence that they were chosen. We are also chosen to be with Him.
  2. “We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Rom 8:16-17). In the story of the Prodigal Son, the merciful father never thought of his son as prodigal or abandoned. The father longed for him and received him back with open arms and heart. Despite our sinfulness, God never gives up on us. Jesus, our inheritance, always awaits us.
  3. “We are children of God…. if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16-17). Suffering will always be part of our life. We experience the suffering of pain and sickness and become helpless, and only in God do we trust. We experience the suffering of humiliation for our faith, for people’s rights and for the sake of peace, and only in God do we look for protection. We also experience the suffering of loss of freedom and rights because of people’s greed for power and wealth, and we can only count on the power of God for deliverance.

Suffering with Jesus is our way to God and to holiness. It is suffering with obedience to the will of God that will gain us its saving effect. And the Holy Spirit gives us the fortitude to bear all these in Jesus for the glory of God.

From this we may learn of the gift and life of the Blessed Trinity for us:

  1. a) God gives. He gives us the world to live in. He gives us His Son and the Holy Spirit to make us His children. He also gives us the responsibility to share His life with everyone.
  2. b) God saves. He allowed Jesus to suffer for us so that by the value of His obedience we may be acceptable to His Father. God makes Himself the Rock of our salvation from which flow a never-ending river of graces for us.
  3. c) God sends. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt28:19-20). He does not only send, but also gives us His Holy Spirit as assurance that He will be with us till the end of time.

In the Eucharist we receive not only Jesus but the Blessed Trinity. God blesses us with the fullness of His life, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to make us all one in mind, one in spirit, one in Christ’s body, one in our ministry and one in His love.

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The Breath of Peace

Pentecost Sunday (B)

 There are different ways people join groups:

a) Leaders of tribal people make blood compact so that their tribes may become friends, protect one another, be able to marry from the other tribe peacefully and be at peace with everyone;

 b) Neophytes of some fraternities have to suffer beatings and other forms of physical pain for the enjoyment of their leaders and the older members so that they (neophytes) can join them, be protected from other groups and remain friends, supposedly for life;

 c) In a foreign country, persons of the same culture and belief tend to get along and become friends;

 d) In the social sphere, people of the same interest and aspiration tend to get along.

However, St. Paul tells us that “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” (1 Cor 12:13). We did not have to cut our skin to make a blood compact with God, in fact, it was Jesus who suffered lashes for our sake. We did not have to suffer beating, in fact it was Jesus who suffered beatings and carried the cross, so that we could be protected from the evil one and become heirs of His Kingdom. Jesus came down into the world so that by His death we can have life. On top of these, Jesus sacrificed Himself to be our Bread of Life in the Eucharist. Our friendship with God is a blood compact, but with the Blood of Jesus. It is also a beating of our hearts in repentance for our sins against Him and against our neighbor. Our baptism in the Church is a baptism of water and the Holy Spirit to wash away our sins and the sins of the world, so that we can become worthy children of God.

 In our Gospel today, Jesus does three very significant actions:

1st, despite closed doors, Jesus comes in the midst of the Apostles and says, “Peace be with you.” In the midst of their fears, fear of the Jews, fear of disowning Jesus, fear of their incompetence, Jesus came to them, and in all probability, Jesus was there with them all the time.

We have our own fears: fear of economic breakdown, fear of our social disorder, fear of violence, fear of wars and calamities, fear of political oppression, fear of the evil one, and many others. But we know that Jesus is always present. Many times we do not recognize Him or probably we have driven Him away because of our sins. Many times we ignore Him. Yet He is always there. And He can break through the barriers that we have set up due to our pride and negligence in our responsibilities.

2nd, with another greeting of Peace, He gives the Holy Spirit to His disciples. With His peace in their hearts, they now could bring His peace to all and could proclaim that Jesus has risen from the dead.

The Spirit of God is given to us in the sacraments, initially at Baptism and at Confirmation. God’s Spirit is also present in all who strive to seek Him and earnestly work for the common good. He is given to us and lives in us, so that we can strive to seek God and to do good for His Glory and for the good of all. Because the Spirit of God is given to us, all the days of our lives are, or at least should be, joyful days of the Resurrection and Pentecost. St. Basil writes: “The power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but He gives Himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith” (from the treatise On the Holy Spirit).

3rd, He breathed on the Apostles and gave them the power to forgive and to retain sins. In creation, when God breathed into the nostrils of the clay that He formed, man became alive, created in His own image and likeness to share in the joy of His Kingdom.

We are also sent. We cannot simply remain in our comfort zones. Jesus sends us to the whole world to be His witnesses, to preach His life and make disciples of all nations. He wants peace to reign in our hearts through the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, from which we receive the mercy of God, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the Bread from Heaven for the life of the world.

With Mary, who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and became the Mother of Jesus, let us ask God to fill us also with His Spirit. Let us also ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in the ways of Jesus. As we pray at the consecration of the bread and wine that the Holy Spirit come upon the gifts, we also pray that He comes into our hearts and consecrate us to be His faithful witnesses in our responsibilities and relationships.

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The Hope To Pursue

Ascension of the Lord (B)

Today’s world situates us in one or more of the following: first, in a world of high technology, where our capabilities and our time are spent, and we become willing subjects of its fast pace; second, in situations of war and violence, calamities and misfortune, where, despite our weakness and incapacities, we do what we can, and entrust our lives to fate; and third, in situations where everything seems well provided for, and all we have to do is follow the directions of the influential and the knowledgeable.

However, in his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul teaches us that in Jesus we have a great hope, immeasurable riches and unparalleled power.

 1. “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened that you may know what the hope is that belongs to his call” (Eph 1:18). This hope is Jesus Himself in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. His call is His constant invitation “to be holy as the Father is holy.” Thus we respond to His invitation to live in union with Him in our responsibilities and relationships.

2. “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened that you may know…. the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones….” (Eph 1:18b). This wealth of glory is Jesus Himself and all the virtues that we possess in His name. He is the inheritance of the Kingdom promised by the Father to those who remain faithful to Him.

3. “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened that you may know…. the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe” (Eph 1:18a&19). This power is Jesus Himself and all the accompanying signs that are made manifest in those who proclaim His Name and who live according to His commands. This power has the greatness that no creature or technology can surpass; it is the Power against evil and sin; it is the Power against mediocrity and indifference. He is the Power from whom all authority, capacity and competence are derived.

The Ascension of the Lord brings out the truth of our Christianity and our humanity. On one hand, Jesus came to the world, lived among us, suffered, died and rose again from the dead. On the other hand, because of the Life of Jesus in us, life here on earth is not meaningless, we understand the meaning of our endeavors and of suffering and we have joyful hope in the life to come. A letter to Diognetius reveals that Christians

live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens…. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven….

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life.

In Jesus, poverty is our way to being filled with God’s riches. With open hands and hearts He can fill us with His wealth and His power. In Jesus, wealth of virtues is our way to holiness and to His Kingdom. In Jesus, the greatness of His power is the strength in our weakness and our shield against evil and sin.

In union with the apostles, who were promised signs that would accompany their faith, we can also expel the demons of hatred, anger, lust, arrogance and indifference, and bring peace. In the midst of hatred and envy, we can also speak the language of compassion and sacrifice. We can also pick up the serpents of loneliness and depression, harsh judgment and persecution, and proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus with joy and gratitude. We can also drink the poison of criticism and mistreatment, and bring forgiveness and hope. We can also lay compassionate hands on the lonely, the misguided, the ignorant, and the needy, and open up their hearts to joyful hope. We can also extend our hands where there is much anxiety and conflict, so that divisions are healed and emotions calm down.

Thus, the Ascension of the Lord will not just be for us an event to remember, but a life to be lived and a hope to pursue. The Eucharist presents to us a life of hope that saves, a hope that is realized only in Jesus, and a celebration that we proclaim for the life of the world.

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Messengers of Hope

Sixth Sunday of Easter (B)

1. We are messengers of hope. Wars, calamities, poverty, economic crises, family and personal problems, anxieties, etc., can obscure the horizon of hope and can bring despair, frustration, anger and situations of demoralization. In situations like these, we can either dwell badly on the discouraging present situation or continue to be fully dedicated to our responsibilities and relationships in the hope of a brighter tomorrow. The Church always proclaims hope for all; and our Holy Father, in his travels, always brings and proclaims the hope that only Christ can give. In the midst of all the difficulties in life, we have Christ as our hope, and as His faithful disciples, we are messengers of hope in this world.

In his homily delivered in the Greek-Melkite Cathedral of St. George in Amman, Jordan on May 9, 2009, Pope Benedict said,

we set out to lead people from the desert towards the place of life, towards the Lord who gives us life in abundance…. your presence in this society is a marvelous sign of the hope that defines us as Christian…. That hope reaches far beyond the confines of our own Christian communities…. Yet, with your eyes firmly fixed on Christ, the light that dispels all evil, restores lost innocence, and humbles earthly pride, you will sustain a magnificent vision of hope for all those you meet and serve.

2. We are friends of God. A friend is one who manifests concern and love towards his neighbor. A person who does not show signs of love and visible acts of concern may be one who loves himself only, does things for selfish interest and does not know God. St. John tells us: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love” (1Jn 4:7-8). In line with this, St. John also urges us: “let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (1Jn3:18).

When we wish to visit a friend, a sick person, an elderly, a poor neighbor or a group of needy children, the first thing that we ask ourselves is: what can I bring? What can I give? There are many things that we can do or afford to give: food, clothing or assist them in education, throw a party and promise them a few things. But the best thing that we can actually do is to bring them into close friendship with Jesus. Sincerely in our hearts, we can visit the sick, comfort the afflicted and the dying, teach the ignorant regarding moral values and godly ways, admonish sinners and other works of mercy and bring people to Jesus and to the Church.

This is what Peter did to the household of Cornelius. Peter brought that pagan household to belief in and friendship with Jesus. We live in a world of paganism, where many people do not want to work in the presence of God, where people want to eliminate God in their lives, or where people just disregard God. In our actions and relationships, we can consciously lead people to friendship with God. We can talk less of ourselves and our achievements and reflect and talk more of the wonders and blessings of God in peoples’ lives. We can be less cynical and judgmental of others so we can bring courage and love to the weak, the discouraged and the exploited. We can try to be less distracted by worldly things so we can spend a little extra time in study, in prayer and in church activities.

3. Pope Benedict XVI, in his address at the Regina Pacis Center in Amman, Jordan on May 8, 2009, said:

Prayer is hope in action…. we come into loving contact with the one God, the universal Creator, and in so doing we come to realize the futility of human divisions and prejudices and we sense the wondrous possibilities that open up before us when our hearts are converted to God’s truth, to his design for each of us and our world…. In our own trials, and standing alongside others in their struggles, we glimpse the essence of our humanity, we become, as it were, more human. And we come to learn that, on another plane, even hearts hardened by cynicism or injustice or unwillingness to forgive are never beyond the reach of God, can always be opened to a new way of being, a vision of peace.

The Eucharist makes us grace-filled messengers of hope in this world. Let us ask God to make us His worthy friends as we try to make our world a place where Jesus is Lord and Savior for all.

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