Thursday, July 24, 2008

wanna do something amazing?

then LOVE! (july 24 if you happen not to read this today)

once again, God (through Jeremiah), the psalmist, and Jesus are telling us not to put God in a box. God knows no limits. and brothers and sisters, GOD is LOVE. and love is not a feeling or an emotion. love is not just a word to be thrown out casually. it's not a picture of a heart. love means giving yourself freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. when a couple gets married, these four things determine whether or not you will be approved to marry in the Catholic Church. but you might be wondering, i'm not getting married now! what does this have to do with me?

Jesus didn't get married, but he gave free (John 10:18), total (John 13:1), faithful (Matthew 28:20), and fruitful (John 10:10) love.

love everybody! after all, God has only given us one kind of person to love: sinners!

love "until the end." if your love is not matched with love from another brother or sister, they can't stop you from offering up a prayer for them. it might seem like the last-ditch effort, but isn't intercession one of the most loving acts you can offer up for someone anyway?

can't stop, won't stop *dancing, dancing* haha i don't know what that song is really about. but you can't stop! here's what my good friend Rommel said that Mother Teresa says: "I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love." if your love is not returned in the way that you gave it, God will be faithful to return your love in Heaven.

this should be called ACTION! love without action is fruitless (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)! let's break down the following statement: "I LOVE YOU!"
-I is a (proper) noun (and therefore, requires capitalization)
-LOVE is a........ (are you having trouble? move on for now)
-YOU is a noun
if "I LOVE YOU" is a complete sentence, it needs a verb; an action word. and if you already have 2/3 words being nouns, LOVE is a... VERB!!!

this is why Isaiah said they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. whether it's because the Israelites didn't love God, themselves, or each other, their lack of love (verb) closed their eyes and ears.

when we don't have God=love in our lives, it's so easy to ignore the incredible plans that God has made for us. i think one of those things that i've often ignored is God's discipline. but Hebrews 12:5 says that the Lord loves those whom he disciplines. in those moments when i'm putting up my wall of pride, i'm not letting God be God.

so how does this relate to other people? well we're vessels of God's love. so sisters, guard the love in your hearts. brothers, protect your sisters' hearts as well as your own. Louis did a really good job and translating this statement (and the entire point of this message): "If you love someone you desire the best for them; Heaven. So you have to show the person that sin is bad, even if they do not see love in your words, keep in mind the final goal."

for our own purposes, we need to understand that sin is our decision to reject God=love. it closes our spiritual eyes, plugs up our spiritual ears. but when our ears and eyes are restored by God, we understand that God=love knows no limits.

-rev run hahaha

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

random bible verses

Proverbs 13:1... a wise son loves correction, but the senseless one heeds no rebuke.

Hebrews 12:5-6... "My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges."

Hebrews 12:14-16... strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. see to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, which many may become defiled, that no one be an immoral or profane person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

Jeremiah 1... (haha just look it up; it's too long to type out.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

i already said some of this

when God was helping Elijah escape from Ahab and Jezebel, God told Elijah to go out to the mountain and wait for the Lord to pass by. Elijah searched for God in the strong winds that were so powerful that they were crushing rocks, but God wasn't in the wind. Elijah looked for God in an earthquake, but God was not there. He looked in the fire, but still, God was not there. God manifested himself to Elijah in a tiny whispering sound (cf. 1 Kings 19:11-13).

God won't always give you clear and tangible signs of his presence. God is everywhere. When you feel God's air blowing on your face, drink his water, play football on his grass, drive on his earth, walk through his forests, or do anything on his earth, remember that God's fingerprint is on it. But even more than that, us human beings not only have his fingerprint, but are made in God's very image and likeness and he breathed his breath into us (Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:7).

brothers and sisters, the next time you look at someone that you don't particularly like, remember that you are staring down the face of God. we're not necessarily called to like everybody we meet, but we are called to even be able to recognize our distaste for others, love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).

brothers, the next time you look at any girl and think to yourself yo, she's so fine!, slow down, because that's not just a girl; that's one of our sisters. as a brother, it is our duty to protect her from harm, to provide any assistance that she may need, and to pastor her towards God. it is also our duty to protect our own minds from the devil's temptation to look at her lustfully, to provide ourselves with the knowledge on how to treat sisters, and to pastor ourselves to be men "after God's own heart."

our bodies are sacred. (that's a whole different book to write, but know that much for now.) we are God's vessels. if we fill our bodies with temporary thrills, those all come to an end. yes, we go through ups and downs with serving God, but in doing so, we're working for eternal life with God. alcohol, drugs, materialism, sex, food, for whatever your vice is: those are temporary highs. we can't take any of it to heaven. it doesn't mean that some of these things aren't actually good. for those 21 and up, a glass of red wine may bear healthy-heart properties. food is pretty amazing (haha i'd know!). recreational drugs are still bad no matter what.. but you get my point.

But store up for yourselves heavenly treasures, and "seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:20, 33).

i challenge all of us to be God-fearing. fear offending the man who, himself came down to earth to see just how difficult it is to live in our shoes. fear offending him because he loves us, and we would never want to do anything to get in the way of his love for us (not that anything can except for us completely rejecting it (Romans 8:37-39)).

the earth's moral standards continue to change. they seem to decline, or at least become more muddled each passing moment. but God's love never changes. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). let us really be a holy people. to be holy is literally to be "set apart." let us set ourselves apart from need of anything besides God. yes, we still have lives to live and responsibilities to take care of while we live on the earth, but remember Matthew 6:33. our earthly duties are not incompatible with God's will if we only yield to him and dedicate everything we do in this life to his glory. having fun is so ridiculously compatible with serving God. it is an honor, a privilege, and a JOY to do his work. i've never had more fun in my entire life than in these past three weeks. i really want to share this joy with everybody.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

what God sees in secret

when i read the following Bible verse, i completely concurred.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Ephesians 5:11-14

Aires said that to be holy literally means to be "set apart." as followers of God, we set ourselves apart from the rest of the world - not above it. for who am i, that i may judge another person's character? Jesus tells us that there is but one judge that we call God. yet Jesus also tells us to hold our brothers and sisters accountable for their actions. because by holding each other accountable, we have the opportunity to bring one another closer to God.

there's a fine line between telling a person that he or she is wrong versus passing undue judgment on that person. what's worse is that being able to come up with the courage to tell someone they're wrong is often the most difficult part of the process.

there are so many ways to go awry. you might receive ridicule from others. people may turn a deaf ear to you. it could go so far that you may become ostracized from that person's life or that group of friends. but pray.

when things look impossible, Jesus reminds us that there are some situations (some "demons") that will pass only if we pray persistently (cf. Mark 9:14-29).

it sucks sometimes when others don't see the amazing goodness of God that you see. it's immensely frustrating. but if we pray unceasingly, St. Paul tells us that the "affliction [that we go through while interceding for others] produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).

people often say, "if i go down, i'm taking you with me." while i don't think that's the most caring mindset, the reverse is. let us strive to lead others to holiness as we strive to set ourselves apart, no matter what the cost is to our pride; because in the end, it's all for God, and nothing to do with our glory.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mark 13:31

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31).

This world is changing. People "change." Clothing styles change. All these crazy diets come out. The economy is ever-changing. Through it all, one thing remains the same... two things, actually. Kuya Joseph from the Philippines says the Big Mac never changes (haha). But he also made the claim that God never changes.

Nothing about Him changes. Think about the consequences of that for a minute. God sent his Word to be proclaimed to all peoples. What is one of the first things we know about God?

It was only after He made man that God said anything was VERY good. God thinks we are VERY good (cf Genesis 27-31).

You can try to invent your image, but God is the only one who can truly define us. He defined us as the most beloved of His creation. He defined us as His sons and daughters. Any other definition of "myself" that is not in line with that very basic definition doesn't really matter.

Monday, July 14, 2008

overjoyed, same spirit!

oh, my GOD!!! no, that's nowhere close to using His holy name in vain. i mean that with all of my being. my God and my all, i am so blessed to know that you are God.

i am blessed because i have a family. i have so many blessings that i want to thank You for. though i am unable to enumerate them all, here are some others besides family that are on my mind:
-the Eucharist, God's real physical presence. yes, i have seen Jesus!
-Kerygma ("Jason, Franny, Warrentt... you're gonna say all their names?! hahaha!" haha he never did.. but the rest of us. you know! pero hindi ko ma-say!)
-brothers who make me want to be a better brother
-sisters who make me want to be a better brother
-CFC Youth
-BLD Youth
-being old, so that maybe i can be a vessel of God's love to pour out His love to others and influence them to do the same.
-CFC Youth JOY Conference
-every truth behind Zephaniah 3:17
-problems that He helps me to overcome through other youth.
-God's love letter to me (and to everybody else): the BIBLE... word haha
-Fr. Bryan's talk about the Eucharist
-hindi ko ma-... verb haha
-the sound guy! Kuya Rod? everybody in the sound production crew... everybody who went to Conference!
-the Corpuz dynasty who housed us for a week
-SAME SPIRIT!!! i never heard that in my life until now, but praise God for everybody having the same Spirit!
-homework... that i should be doing right now!!!