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Sunday’s (June 21, 2015) Gospel: The Calming Of A Storm At Sea – Mk 4:35-41

“WHO THEN IS THIS WHOM EVEN THE WIND AND SEA OBEY?”

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus established that He is the Master of all Creation; that He is the Almighty One, and only the Almighty One can demand creation to follow His every command.

QUIET! BE STILL!

These three small but powerful words clearly bring to our attention that even if we may think that God is asleep or lacking in concentration to our predicament, all we need do is holler and He will be there. Our call should not be one of skepticism or fright: As He asked His disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Our tonality, as we “shout out” should always have the confidence and the belief that He is there to help us and bring us to a state of calm.

WHAT? WE WORRY?

Setting up conditional happiness, success or other outcomes leads to ever-increasing negative feelings. But setting up dual happiness — happiness for both now and later — allows for good moments at any time. Dr. Spencer Johnson, best-selling co-author of “The One Minute Manager,” has advised people to live in the present without allowing negative attitudes to fester.

A setback is only one moment in time. It ends. The next moment is up to you. “Make that next moment one of learning and the growth will happen by and of itself. Before we know it, we will be where we wanted to be from the start,” Johnson emphasized.

Living, especially during these days, involves two areas: the things we can control and the things we can’t. Don’t worry about what we can’t control.

WORRYING IS A TOTAL WASTE OF ENERGY.

Train our focus on the future. It is something we can have power over. But don’t fret about it either. Move it. Manage it. What about the present? It’s in our hands. Live it the way we want to live it. Bring it to where we will be happiest even in challenging times such as today. Stay focused on what we want to happen, and we will attract exactly what we want.

Goals can be set. Positive experiences can be sought. Good news can be created. We just have to focus unfailingly on the picture, and to have trust in God. Happiness, after all, consists in getting what we desire and desiring what we have.

Let us avoid spending so much time worrying about the future, and learn to “be still” — to WAIT ON THE FATHER, OUR LORD. Why be terrified when we believe that God is by our side. As we weather the storms of our lives we must patiently and graciously wait for the Lord, and find the markers of the direction that He wants us to take — the path that can bring stillness and serenity to our souls.

OUR PRAYER:

Dear Lord, be with us in our journey, teach us to how to be quiet and to be still. Hold our hands when we are fearful; Fortify our trust in Your care. May You reinforce us with the wisdom to make the right decisions every time. Thank you for your unending presence and undying love. Amen.

Key Takeaway In This Sunday’s (June 14, 2014) Gospel: Parables Of The Seed – Mk 4:26 -34

“This is how it is with the reign of God. A farmer scatters seed on the ground, goes to bed, and gets up day after day. Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without the farmer knowing how it happens. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.” (Mark 4.26-28)

This Sunday’s Gospel is made up of two short parables that use the everyday occurrences in the lives of people.

Both narratives mirror people’s familiarity in planting seeds, and how the seeds develop into full-grown plants, but to us how a seed becomes a mature plant continues to be a mystery.

An acorn grows to a full oak tree because somebody waters, fertilizes, and nurtures it with love and care.

The Gospel also reminds us of the “WOMB TO TOMB” or “CRADLE TO GRAVE ” concept —- the cycle of life. How we take care of others, or how we are taken care of by others — in every stage of life — defines how we turn out as people.

Sowing, growing and developing a seed, just like giving birth to, nurturing and improving a human being is a test of our patience, love, hope and faith. The patience in how we give nutrients to those we care for so they may grow big, healthy and strong; the love to make them robust and compassionate, so they in turn may be able to extend the love and care to others; the faith that they will develop and expand to become something that is enormously noble and inclusive to showcase God’s great work in them, and the hope that everything will turn out right.

“PATIENCE is the art of caring slowly,” John Ciardi said. It can’t be acquired overnight. We need time and the willpower to make it grow. Patience is genius. As Gorge-Louis Leclerc de Buffon declared, “Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on … hold fast … hold out.” Our authentic blessings often manifest to us in the form of hurts, defeats and disappointments, but if we have patience we will see these in proper perspectives.

God understands our hurts, defeats and disappointments. He loves us dearly. He is always present to hearten our hearts and help us appreciate that He’s enough for all of our needs. When we accept this LOVE as an unqualified reality in our life, our worrying will stop.

“FAITH is to believe what we do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what we believe,” Saint Augustine proclaimed, and quickly added, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on us.” Thus, our sowing, nurturing — from birth to death — must be guided with an unquestionable trust in Him.

When we have HOPE, we can make the present moment less hard to carry, because we trust that tomorrow will be an improved version of today. Bill Keane stated, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

OUR PRAYER:

Dear Lord, may we constantly have an ample supply of patience, love, faith and hope that we may be able to understand Your mysterious ways, as we help in sowing, nurturing and expanding the seed of Your affection and compassion. Amen.

If you found a wallet, would you make an effort to return it to the owner? And how?
SM City Iloilo CR Attendant Generose Comoda of ABLE Janitorial Services once again showed that the value of honesty is deeply instilled in her.
At about 1:30 PM last May 11, 2015, Generose found an unattended bag in one of the CR cubicles which to her surprise, contains a bundle of cash. She immediately reported the matter to the CRS department and turned over the bag and money amounting to Php 172,863.
The owner, who happens to be a senior citizen, was able to retrieve the items on the same day after inquiring and undergoing verification at the CRS Office. She was very thankful to Generose and the SM Management for having trustworthy and honest personnel.
This is not the first time that Comoda has proven her honesty and integrity while at work.

Key Takeaway In This Sunday’s (June 7, 2015) Gospel:

The Lord’s Supper – Mark 14:12- 16, 22-26

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Take this; this is my body…this is my blood”

We are what we eat. To be physically fit and healthy we need to eat good food that will have positive influence on the state of our physical and mental health. We will not consider sending out our kids to school without letting them eat the appropriate food. We will not go to any type of battle if our stomach is not filled with the nutrients that will fortify us. It we eat bad food the effect can be equally bad. Garbage in, garbage out.

We need bodily food for bodily strength, as much as we need spiritual food for spiritual strength. The words of the Bible, as well as the bread and wine turned into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, are our spiritual food — the basics that sustain the divine side of our lives.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi — Latin for Body of Christ — the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Going to mass will not be complete if we do not eat of His Flesh and drink of His Blood. Partaking of the Eucharist — a unique precept in our Catholic belief — gives us the distinct opportunity to authentically remember the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord and likewise afford us the grace — the mystical nourishment that will serve as ammunition for our spiritual battles.

The Eucharist is also the mystery of our faith and our unassailable commitment to see Christ in everyone, considering that we are all the dwelling places of the Lord. He lives in all of us so we must treat each other with the kind of love, honor and respect that we with give to our Lord.

OUR PRAYER:

O Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for giving us Your precious Body and Blood to be our meat, bread and drink. Grant that through our frequent meet up with You in the Holy Eucharist, we may be strengthened in mind and body to do Your holy will. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on us. Amen.

The Faith Of God

Without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), so our relationship with the Lord is dependent on it. Faith is what brings the things God has provided for us from the spiritual realm into the physical realm (Heb. 11:1). Our faith is the victory that enables us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Everything the Lord does for us is accessed through faith.

Yet there is much confusion about faith today just as there has always been. It’s like having a computer and knowing its potential but not having a clue how to use it. Many of us know how frustrating that is. The Bible is our manual with detailed instructions, but just like in the natural, few people take the time to really study it. They are impatient and want to do it on their own. They may reach some level of success, but to really be proficient, they have to read the book.

One of the areas about faith that gives people the most trouble is the concept that we have to acquire more faith and that some people have much faith, while others have virtually none. We spend a lot of effort, like a dog chasing its tail, trying to get something we already have. Every born-again Christian already has the same quality and quantity of faith that Jesus has. That’s awesome!

In Ephesians 2:8, Paul says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” It’s God’s grace that saves us, but not His grace alone. If that were so, then everyone would be saved because God’s grace has come to all men (Tit. 2:11).

We have to put faith in God’s grace, but the faith that we use isn’t our own human faith. This verse says that faith is the gift of God.

There is a human faith that is inherent within every human being, and there is a supernatural faith of God that only comes to those who receive the good news.

Human faith can only believe what it can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel; it’s limited to the five senses. Using natural human faith, we can sit in a chair we’ve never sat in and believe it will hold us up. We fly in airplanes when we don’t fully understand how they work, and we don’t know the pilot, but we trust that everything will be okay. That takes human faith, which God gave to every person.

What if I asked you to sit in a chair you couldn’t see? Or what if the chair was missing one of its legs and was falling over? You wouldn’t sit in a chair like that with human faith. Would you fly in a plane if you could see that the engine was falling off or the tires were flat? Your senses would forbid it.

Yet when it comes to God, we have to believe things that we cannot see. You haven’t seen God or the devil. You haven’t seen heaven or hell. You haven’t seen sin; therefore, you wouldn’t know what you would look like if your sins were taken away. However, you have to believe in all these things to be born again. How can you believe in things you can’t see? The answer is that you can’t believe in invisible things with human faith. You need God’s supernatural faith.

Romans 4:17 says, “God … calleth those things which be not as though they were.” God’s faith goes beyond sight. God’s faith operates supernaturally, beyond the limitations of our natural faith.

The context of this verse from Romans speaks about how God supernaturally blessed Abram and Sarai with a child in their old age. Abram was 100 and Sarai was 91 when Isaac was born. The year before Isaac’s birth, when Abram still did not have a child by his wife, God told them the child was coming, and He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. Abram meant “high father,” but Abraham means, “to be populous, father of a multitude.” God changed Abram’s name and called him the father of a multitude before it came to pass. Romans 4:17 explains this action by saying that “God calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

When the Lord created the universe, Genesis 1:3 tells us that He created light on the first day but didn’t create the sun, moon, and stars until the fourth day of creation (Gen. 1:14-19). The Lord called light into being first and four days later created a source for the light to come from. That’s not the way natural man does things. We are limited, but God calls things that are not as though they were. That’s supernatural.

That’s the kind of faith we have to use to receive salvation. We have to believe in God, whom we have not seen, and believe that our sins are forgiven, which we cannot prove by natural means. It takes God’s supernatural faith to receive salvation. Where do we get it from? We get it from God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We access God’s faith through His Word.

When we hear God’s Word, the Holy Spirit empowers it, and if we receive the truth, God’s supernatural faith enters us. We were so destitute that we couldn’t even believe the good news on our own. God had to make His kind of faith available to us so that we could believe in Him and receive His salvation. We were saved by using God’s supernatural faith to receive His grace.

Once we receive God’s supernatural faith at salvation, it doesn’t leave us. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, FAITH, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (emphasis mine). Faith becomes a permanent part of our born-again spirits. We sometimes use the God kind of faith that’s present in our spirits and other times we don’t.The truth is, it is always present. There is no lack of faith within any true Christian. There is just a lack of knowing and using what God has already given us.

Romans 12:3 says, “God hath dealt to every man THE measure of faith” (emphasis mine). God didn’t give us different measures of faith; we all received THE measure of faith. If I were serving soup to a lot of people, and if I used the same ladle to dish it out, then that ladle would be THE measure. Everyone would get the same amount of soup because I would use the same measure. That’s the way it is with God’s faith. He only used one measure. All born-again Christians received the same amount of faith.

That’s what the Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:1; “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The Greek word that was translated “like precious” in this verse is “isotimos,” which means “of equal value or honor.” We have the same faith that Peter used when he raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42) and when he made people whole by touching them with just his shadow (Acts 5:15).

We also have the same faith that Paul had. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Paul did not say that he lived by faith IN the Son of God but by the faith OF the Son of God. The measure of faith that Paul had was the same measure that Jesus had. It was Jesus’ faith. If there is only one measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), then we also have the faith of Jesus.

We have the same quantity and quality of faith that Jesus has; therefore, we can do the same works that Jesus did, if we receive this truth and begin to use what we have (John 14:12). Because many Christians have not understood this, they have spent their time asking for faith or for more faith. How is God going to answer a prayer like that?

If I gave you my Bible and then you turned around and asked me for my Bible, what could I do? I would probably stand there in silence while I tried to figure out what was wrong with you. That’s the reason there isn’t an answer when we beseech the Lord for more faith. We already have the same faith Jesus has.

Our Lord did say that He had never seen such great faith as the centurion manifested (Matt. 8:10), and He also spoke of His disciple’s little faith (Matt. 8:26), but He was speaking about how much faith He saw. None of us use all the faith we’ve been given.

In that sense, some do have more faith than others, but technically, it is more faith that is being exhibited or that is functional. We all have been given THE measure of faith.

This is a major truth that will totally change your attitude and the results that your faith produces. Most people don’t doubt that faith works. They just doubt that they have enough faith to get the job done. If Satan can blind you to this truth, then he can keep you from using the faith you have. Understanding this truth will radically change things.

Philemon 1:6 says, “hat the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Notice that Paul isn’t praying that Philemon will get something more from the Lord. He was praying that his faith would begin to work as he acknowledged what he already had. The word “acknowledge” means, “to admit, recognize, or report the receipt of.” You can only acknowledge something that you already have. We already have the faith of God, and it will begin to work when we acknowledge this.

The more you know about faith and how it works, the better it will work for you. If all you knew was that you have the same faith Jesus has, then that would remove hopelessness and motivate you. People would eventually see results if they just kept trying, but they give up easily because they believe they don’t have what it takes. That is not true. The Lord has given us everything we need, including all the faith we need. We just need to acknowledge what we have and begin to learn the laws that govern the operation of God’s faith.

By Andrew Wommack

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 1.18.04 AM

Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore go, 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 things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

– Matthew 28:18-20

Mother’s Day Prayer

DREAMWALKER_05
I said a Mother’s Day prayer for you
to thank the Lord above
for blessing me with a lifetime
of your tenderhearted love.
I thanked God for the caring
you’ve shown me through the years,
for the closeness we’ve enjoyed
in time of laughter and of tears.
And so, I thank you from the heart
for all you’ve done for me
and I bless the Lord for giving me
the best mother there could be!

-Author Unknown

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