Sunday, 19 October 2014

Synod of Bishops on the Family - October 2014

In response to an article I chanced upon online...

I like what's being said here. 
I like the idea of letting the Spirit move us... Most of the time, it might be humans and our own narrow beliefs and stubborn righteousness that stand in the way of the Spirit. 
I like the idea of Jesus being firm on his stand about divorce yet spending so much time eating and drinking and reaching out to the outcast of society - the prostitutes, the tax collectors - the sinners. He meets us where we are, always patiently calling and moulding, slowly and gently. He does not shove doctrines down our throats and tell us to follow or burn in hell. He accepts what little of our lives we can give and multiplies it in ways He knows we can manage. 

If He were to mark our guilt, who would survive?!
See the faithful and loving God from the beginning of time through the old testament and onto the new... and even onto our current age. 
Here is the great need for the grace of indifference. If God were to point us in a whole new direction, are our hearts open enough, surrendered enough to listen and obey?
When Christ comes to make all things new, can we dare to let go of the old?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Life - A Journey Home

He sat on the side of my hospital bed and asked gently, "Are you ready to come home with me?"

I asked, "Go where?"

"Home... with me."

"No, I'm not ready yet... I haven't accomplished anything much at all. I haven't brought any souls to you."

He showed me a few faces to debunk my claim. But still, I said no, not yet. 

(It was definitely not a near death experience but an encounter to take into reflection.) 

And immediately, the realisation sank in. Is my life about accomplishing? Is there a quota of souls I must bring to God before I am satisfied with life? Who sets this quota? Is it me? Even if my life shall be used to direct souls back to God, is it a number game I'm playing? Is my life about accomplishing? 

It was certainly a very good realisation that will further prepare me for what is to come. Because in that realisation, I realised that no matter what I am called to do, the work is not mine but God's. Like Bl. Mother Teresa said, "I am a pencil in God's hands." 

My life shall not be about accomplishments. It shall be about being what God wants me to be; nothing more, nothing less. It is about following Him in all He wills of me, striving towards this faithfully even though there will be many times I will fall so short of a loving response to His invitations. What and how much I do and accomplish are His to decide. 

My life is a journey home to God. 
And all that matters in this journey is that I grow in greater intimacy with the One to whom I am returning.

Can you hold on to anything in this life forever?
What is your life about?

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Who is Jesus for Me?


Jesus is love and He has been to me everything that love needs and desires to be for the beloved. He is my God who desires so much for me that He wants me with Him for all eternity, who asks only that I come to know Him and to receive His love not because I deserve His love but that He is love itself and His abundance desires to share Himself with me; to share all He has and all He is with me.

In this pouring out of His infinite, unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love for me, I am drawn increasingly deeper into a relationship with Him, called increasingly to respond to His love with my love for Him. He is God who forgets His own dignity as God and comes running after me to pursue me.

In times of my unfaithfulness, Jesus’ faithful love in His graces to me softens my heart and steers me back to Him. He knows I can only be truly happy when I walk with Him. He left us with the story of the prodigal son so that in moments when my sense of unworthiness keeps Him far at a distance, I can return to the assurance that He stands waiting, looking out into the distance for me, and He cannot wait to wrap the cloak of my identity around me and restore me again as daughter of our Father. He knows I can only be my most authentic self when I live with inner freedom as the person God has made me to be.

In my anger and disappointments with others and at times, even with myself, Jesus comes as a Mediator to persuade me to relent, to understand and to forgive. He knows I will become bitter by accumulating such negativities. In my woundedness, He comes to fill me with His love and life, to comfort and heal my brokenness. His love for me desires to see me whole again and to live a life that is free from the bondage of sin, committed by others and myself.

Jesus sends people into my life to celebrate life’s joys and laughters with me. In times of trouble, He sends help through generous people, even strangers. Through the sacrament of human love that I have come to receive from family and friends, He facilitates my understanding and acceptance of His love for me. When the storms of life threaten me, He invites me to stop running away from the storms but to remain, to learn to stand strong in them with Him as my Anchor, and then to be the beacon of light that shines the way out of the storm for others. Although I am weak and paralysed by fears, Jesus strengthens me and leads me to a more mature faith in Him. His love will endure the pain of watching me struggle through the storms because He knows it is the only way for me to grow.

Though I always fall so short of loving Him, He is the Gardener who toils tirelessly in the garden of my life; overturning plot by plot, patiently planting and pruning, clearing and landscaping. This garden becomes more beautiful each time and may even be the space for others to rest in and receive goodness that will nourish their own lives. Jesus knows that my life is only worth living when it is spent for others.

Jesus is my companion through life. There is no sorrow too deep that His heart has not yet been pierced by, no joy too intense that has never caused His heart to skip a beat, no temptation too strong that He has not yet fought and overcome. He knows everything I experience and if I turn to Him, I will never be found lacking a compassionate listener who fully empathizes with what I am going through. His is the peace through the Eucharist that calms my inner turmoil, the tranquility through nature’s beauty that stills my anxious self, the joy through music that transports me closer to heaven. His is the love, which becomes my energy to love others.

Yet, even with all these and more that Jesus is to me, my response of love can only be an imperfect and incomplete one. And even knowing that this is all I can give to Him, He still continues to be everything that love would be for the beloved because being love itself, Jesus does not know how to be anything else but love.

Who is Jesus for you?