One concept that appeals to many Christians today is the notion of being authentic. By authentic I mean being Christian in a way which reflects the reality of the gospel. We want to be authentic Christians who are members of authentic churches pursuing authentic ministry. Yet what does this really look like? 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 paints a portrait that reveals Christian authenticity from several aspects.
Preparation. A word that comes with many negative connotations, especially when we ourselves have to deal with it. Why? Preparation often means much waiting and hard work. When an exam is coming up, it requires hours of studying, sitting and learning. Preparation. If a Christmas party is being held at your house, you will need to commit to hours of cleaning, planning and cooking. Preparation. We do it because we know that only those who are willing to sacrifice will reap the rewards of their hard labor.
Why me? That’s the first question that I asked when I was discerned to write this article for the Covenant News. I was really surprised and hesitant. For the past 15 years, I always refused invitations from every BLD relative and friend to join this community. I was always afraid to speak up, pray in front of other people, or open up about myself. I knew that I would need to share about deep, personal things from my life experiences. I felt like I was the worst speaker and writer in our ME class. So, why me?
“I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not, so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none besides me.” (Is 45:5-6)
The readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary time proclaim God, the creator of all things, as the sovereign ruler of the universe. This is our Christian belief. Our titles, authority and responsibility rest in Him. He is the source of all authority, in our homes, churches, workplace and our governments (God-ordained structures and authority). “There is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.” (Rom 13:1)
In Luke 12:4-5, Jesus makes it crystal clear whom to fear: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.” It is our soul that is at stake. Satan knows that God gave us free will. He tries to use this against us by deceiving us and appealing to our pride.
“‘The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?” (Lk 11:39-40)
Our Lord Jesus was addressing the Pharisees of His time as hypocrites, because they led apparently clean lives outside but were greedy and self-indulgent on the inside.
There were 19 candidates who answered the call to attend the Aspirants Retreat on October 10-12, 2014 at CYO in Kearny, NJ with Fr. Paul Lehman as the Retreat Master. Our sharers P. Calingo, E. Lucero, A. de Castro, M. Camacho, and C. Claricia, truly inspired the aspirants, with the collaborative support of the Praise Ministry, Technical Ministry and Witness and Coach Development Ministry.
“The Lord said to her in reply, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’” (Lk 10:41-42)
It is not difficult to get lost in the daily distractions of life, the restless churning of our everyday routines: meals to cook, bills to pay, floors to mop, errands to run...the list goes on and on. If you are like me, a usual day would start with the alarm going off at around 5:00 am. From there, each minute is carefully calculated for every task and chore I have set out to do for that day.
With the beginning of the month of October, the Church invites us to the devotion of the Holy Rosary. As beautiful as this devotion is, I personally find it difficult to recite the Hail Maries and keep my mind focused on the mysteries rather than battling distracting thoughts. After all, the rosary is a summary of the principal mysteries of our Christian faith. A method I use when saying the rosary privately, which can also be used in communal recitation, is to interrupt each Hail Mary with a phrase that reminds us of the mystery we should be reflecting on. For instance for the first joyful mystery after saying “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus” add a phrase like “who was conceived by the Holy Spirit”, and finish the hail Mary as usual. Similarly during the second decade ad something like “who visited Elizabeth”, etc. We thus connect the mystery by focusing each Hail Mary on that event in the life of Jesus or Mary.
In the latest BLD Newark LSS, held this past weekend at Divine Mercy Parish in Rahway, New Jersey, LOVE once again filled the hearts of everyone who was there – lambs, shepherds, as well as auxies. Good feelings permeated the entire weekend.
Adding to the victories claimed during the weekend was the LSS emcee’s own return from months of intensive chemotherapy. Vino Guiang, originally scheduled to be the coordinator for the LSS last April, found out last Friday afternoon, that his cancer is in remission…. Yes indeed, God is good all the time!
To nurture and promote the love of the Gospel of Christ.