Tuesday, November 11, 2008


"...not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy..." (Titus 3:5).
What did happen to the other nine who were healed?

Sometimes in life, we forget that we're merely a passenger in God's pimped out ride; the Holy Spirit is our driver. Sometimes in life, we forget that the praise and thanks that we get is only due God. Sometimes in life, we forget that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Sometimes in life, we become a part of the crowd - one of the nine who did not return to Jesus, even just to say, "Thanks dude." That's why sometimes in life, we need a reminder that we know better than that.

Sunday's readings contain "The Parable of the Talents." The talents that we receive are like our lives. The distribution of the talents according to Matthew were 5, 2, and 1. I guess you can say it's how easy our lives are. The servant who was given 5 talents is responsible for a lot of stuff; a person with 5 talents will probably go through a lot more trials (blessings) than a person with 1. A person with 1 talent probably has it made; he's not responsible for much. But no matter how many or how few trial-blessings we're given, we've been commanded to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28). That's the very first thing God said to man.

When the one leper came back to thank Jesus, he took the talent he had been given, made something more out of it (his thankfulness), and showed it to Jesus. The simplest way to double up on our talent-blessings is to give God thanks for each one of them.

Remember the Beatitudes. Jesus said, "Blessed are you WHEN they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven." Your blessing is twofold. The very moment WHEN you're put through a trial, you're immediately being blessed. AND your reward will also be great in heaven in the future. That's why in all circumstances, we really should give God thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

That's a lot of parallels I'm attempting to draw... I hope that made sense.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pro-Life Means Action

From Catholics United

The BEST way to combat abortion is to give women and families the tools they need to choose life.
Studies consistently show that when women and families have health care, jobs, education, and other essential supports they are less likely to have an abortion. In fact, more than three out of four women who obtain an abortion say that economic factors were a primary reason for doing so. Instead of helping struggling American families, our leaders have left them to fend for themselves.

Being pro-life is 1 percent talk, 99 percent ACTION.
Being pro-life is not just about what our elected leaders say they believe. It's about the things they do. During the Clinton Administration, the U.S. abortion rate declined nearly 30 percent without enacting any legal prohibitions on abortion. Under President Bush, this decline stagnated. Even the appointment of two new Supreme Court justices was unsuccessful in making any meaningful progress toward building a culture of human life. For all its talk about being pro-life, the Bush Administration has done very little to protect the unborn.

Pro-life means ALL human life - WITHOUT exceptions.
How can our leaders say they are pro-life, while starting unjustified wars, supporting the death penalty, supporting torture, opposing expanded health care for children, cutting school lunch programs, and standing by as hard-working Americans lose their jobs and retirement protections? They can't. To be pro-life is to answer a deep call to support and defend human life at all stages – from conception until death. It means caring for the unborn, for the children, for the less fortunate, and for all hard-working Americans.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will NOT end abortion in America.
All too often, what passes for an authentic pro-life agenda is a candidate's stated opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. While legal protections for the unborn are an important part of a pro-life strategy, overturning Roe v. Wade would simply let states decide whether abortion should be legal or illegal. In a post-Roe America, only a handful of states would impose penalties on those who obtain or perform abortions, and women living in these states could still go elsewhere to get an abortion. Overturning Roe cannot be seen as a substitute for policies that can work RIGHT NOW to end abortion, namely supporting women and families. Many candidates say they're pro-life. But do they really have a record to run on?

Pro-Life means action on behalf of all human life.

Brought to you by Catholics United.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
Do you ever wonder, "Why do I have to go through all this garbage in my life? I mean, I serve God, serve my community, sing his praises and all that; yet I go through so much crap!"

Because you're being blessed. Jesus says, "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."

You're building a reward in heaven... that's great. But look at the beginning of that: it's subtle, but Jesus says, "Blessed are you WHEN..." The moment your persecution begins, your blessing also begins. In fact, you're blessed now (when) and in the future (your reward will be great in Heaven).

God is good... all the time; so in all circumstances, we should give him thanks. Amen?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."

The Lord… the Lord… Have you ever seen the Lord? Have you ever touched him? Felt his touch? Smelled him? Have you ever heard the real voice of the Lord? I don't expect that God has revealed himself to all 5 of your senses. So then why do you believe in God? The Bible is telling me that the Lord, whom I've never seen, touched, tasted, felt, or heard, is supposed to be my shepherd? I shall not want?

Be honest: what do you want? Let me give you a short list of things that I want. I want to get better grades in school. I want to pay off my college loans. I want to become a Physical/Occupational Therapist. And someday, I want to have a family. I want to marry somebody who's going to be completely honest about herself, faithful, who possibly likes basketball and football, sings, maybe plays a musical instrument, preferably guitar or piano or violin. haha I sound like a personal ad. But back to what I was saying: every other Sunday for the past 3 months, we've heard Psalm 23 at Mass, but then I realize there's so much that I want, you know—and it's practical stuff. But is there a U-Haul trailing behind your hearse? Is my family going to jump in six feet deep with me when I die? Maybe if you're watching Maria Flor de Luna on the Pilipino Channel, yes, but in real life? NO!

You know, I always thought that having a girlfriend would make me happy. And I'm using that as my example because if there's one thing that I want more than anything, it's to share my life with someone special. But you know what? People come and go. Even when I've found that special someone, one of us is going to precede the other in death. People die. This life is finite; it has a distinct beginning and a distinct end. But God: God is infinite; God does not know the limits of the beginning and the end for he is the beginning and the end.
Wisdom 3:1 says, "The souls of the just [meaning, those who put their faith and hope in God] are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them."

But a God we've never seen, tasted, felt, smelled or heard? I've put my faith what is not God. I've tasted alcohol and know what drunkenness feels like. I've seen my own family members gamble away everything they've got. I've heard my friends talk as if they've got nothing, yet they're young and have more money in the bank than I've made in my entire lifetime. I smelled the aftermath – the burning flesh of the man who took his life into his own hands in the middle of UW on Red Square yesterday [October 30] afternoon. I'll tell you, I have never used all 5 senses to fully sense the Lord, but I have seen, tasted, felt, smelled, and heard all these other things; and I have found myself completely empty. I don't need to feel God to believe in him. Somebody told me "walk by faith, not by sight, and not by feelings." But if you need proof, look no further than the person next to you... or if nobody is next to you, look at yourself in the mirror. We are all living, breathing defiances of the natural laws of thermodynamics, chemistry, and physics.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy, or disorder of a system will increase over time. Every beat of our heart is in defiance of entropy. Somehow, our bodies are maintaining their structural order, and even becoming more ordered. In fact, as I tell you these things right now, your nerve terminals are splitting to create new synapses, which are responsible for new memories. There is something that obviously transcends scientific law and human reasoning. The Bible is not a scientific text, but there is truth to Jesus' statement that "with God, nothing will be impossible."

There is no way that we, ourselves, are responsible for life. "The souls of the just are in the hands of God." Our lives are in God's hands. If God, who can defy natural laws, is our shepherd, why should we ever want anything than to be with him?

I'm not saying that we don't have to work in order to earn money and buy food and pay bills. I'm not saying that God will miraculously provide me with a 4.0 in Biology without studying. But money, grades, and a girl are not above God. God is above all these things, yet close enough for us to realize that he really is working through us and sustaining life inside of us all the way down to the molecular level.

"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." People often want to know, "What is the meaning of life?" God is the meaning of life. Without God, our entropy would increase and our lives would become random and disordered and devoid of meaning. With God, there is nothing I lack; without God, I am nothing.