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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 29,2012

He rises from the ashes
 
“When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your salvation is near.” – Luke 21:28
 
Stephen had the Midas touch. At 40, every business he opened made him richer many times over. His obsession was to be a multimillionaire. He had a staff of thousands — mostly underpaid. He bribed his way so as not to pay the right taxes. He diluted his products so he could earn more.
On the eve of his 45th birthday, Stephen felt his chest constrict. With glazed eyes, he was rushed to the hospital. But to the amazement of doctors, Stephen recovered from a massive heart attack.
After two months of rest and recovery, Stephen went to office with a to-do list. He ordered his accountant to increase all his employees’ salaries by 30 percent across the board. He signed a memo giving mid-year bonuses and 13th month pays from that day onwards. He set his business aright.
It turned out that while Stephen was on the brink of death, his life flashed before him. At the same time, he saw a great fire consuming his body with people thrashing him to death.
Thank God he saw that he was about to be destroyed. Stephen rose above his evil ways and was saved. Chelle Crisanto (ellehcmaria@yahoo.com)
29
REFLECTION:
“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
 
Lord, I am nothing before You. In You I shall live. With You I shall prosper. Lead me, Lord, that others may see You in everything I do.
 
Servant of God John of Montecorvino, pray for us

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 28,2012


STANDING FIRM
 
“Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a single hair from your heads will be lost. Stand firm and you will save yourselves.” – Luke 21:17-19
 
Stephen, a classmate of ours back in high school, was a religious and straight guy who would rather be called names than join some schoolmates in gallivanting, drinking, smoking, gambling and hanging out. As such, he was always misunderstood as some kind of a nerd or weirdo. But despite the many negative comments and forms of ridicules hurled upon him, he stood firm and remained steadfast in his convictions and principles.
During our school’s grand alumni homecoming, Stephen was awarded as the “Most Outstanding Alumnus.” He was the guest speaker in that event. His speech made us all proud of him as we witnessed fellow alumni listening intently, nodding in agreement and realizing many things as he spoke. A good guy that he has always been, Stephen has stood firm on what he believed in, despite the contradictions and ridicule he endured. Dr. Henry L. Yu (henrio_md@yahoo.com)
28
REFLECTION:
We are in this world to follow Christ and become what He wants us to be. Often, things are easier said than done, that’s why we need God’s grace.
 
Father, strengthen and help us to stand firm on what we believe in — to do only what is right in accordance with Your commandments.
 
St. James of Marche, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 27,2012


FEARLESS
 
“Don’t be afraid when you hear of wars and revolutions, such things must happen first, but they do not mean that the end is near.” – Luke 21:9
 
I remember watching the movie 2012. During the week it was shown in the cinemas in 2009, there was a lot of talk going around about the possibilities of doomsday. I recall that there were documentaries coming out on TV and it even became the topic of homilies during the Mass. Well, if you’re alive and reading this reflection today, that means it was all untrue.
Many of us are scared of death, or the end of the world, because we are not ready. We don’t have to wait for the world to end to accept God into our lives. His kingdom resides in us if we invite Him in. “The Kingdom of God is near, repent and believe in the Good News (Mark 1:15).”
The best way to live is to live for Christ. Then there will be nothing to fear, not even death. Or the end of the world. Kirby Llaban (kirbyllaban@gmail.com)
27
REFLECTION:
If you knew that you only had one day to live, how would you spend the next 24 hours?
 
Lord, I invite You into my life. May Your kingdom reign in my heart and soul. Make me fearless in facing life, knowing that You are my Savior. Amen.
 
St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, pray for us.
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

God Whispers - November 26,2012

Oftentimes, it doesn’t take much to do good to others. A hug, a smile, an encouraging word can go a long way.
Good morning,
God
 
P.S. What’s stopping you. Go out there and do it!

God Whispers - November 25,2012

What can you do today to help someone fulfill his or her dream? When you sow goodness in someone else’s life, you will reap this in your own.
 
Crazy for you,
God
 
P.S. Whatever you do to the least of My brothers, you do it

God Whispers - November 24,2012

Do you want to be successful in life? Focus, focus, focus. Be good in one thing. Be a master of one skill and make that your special gift to the world.
 
Dedicated to your success,
God
 
P.S. When you have a strength, you also have a weakness. And that’s okay. Focus on your strength.

Daily Bible Reflections - November 26,2012


tale of three brothers
 
“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:3-4
 
There were once three brothers who lived on a farm owned by the youngest one. However, because his brothers had no land of their own, he allowed them to stay with him and share in the labor.
Every morning, he would wake up earlier than the other two and he would be first on the fields to sow the seeds or harvest the fruits of their work. He would also be the last to come home and he took care of cleaning up after dinner before retiring to bed. And when the time would come to count their earnings, the youngest brother would divide the profit — 40 percent to the eldest, 40 percent to the middle one and whatever was left, he would keep for himself.
Close relatives saw what was happening and scolded him. “Why do you allow your brothers to take advantage of you? It’s unfair.” His reply was simple. “Being generous forces me to work hard every day and that attitude has helped our farm thrive. How is it not fair? Instead of one being the richest, now all three of us are wealthy and content. That is fairness to me.” Eleanore Lee (elyo.lee@gmail.com)
26
REFLECTION:
Do you only give what you do not need or do you give out of your want?
 
Lord, remind me that there is no justice when I have everything and everyone else around me has nothing.
 
St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections - November 25,2012


king of our life
 
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
 
During a college retreat, the speaker asked me, “What do you live for?”
“I live for God,” I answered, showing off.
“Why?” she asked. My brain froze. I stood dazed and gave an answer that, to this day, I don’t know where it came from.
“Miss,” I said, “I live for God because it’s pointless to live for anything else. If you live for power, you live in fear. That is no life. If you live for money, it slips from your hand like water. If you live for pleasure, you exchange your soul for what is fleeting. If you live for someone else, what happens if they die or leave you? So, I live for God because He does not make me live in fear, or forsake me, He does not slip from my hands and He does not die or leave me.”
When Jesus says He is the Alpha and the Omega, He declares a truth crucial for our lives — we are nothing without Him. Every area of our being must therefore be for Him. Otherwise, what do we call Him King of our lives for? Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)
25
REFLECTION:
What do you live for? Who rules over your life?
 
Lord, help me to lift up every area of my life in consecration to You. Forgive me for forgetting sometimes that I can’t do this alone. All the hurt, joys, pain, struggle, and triumphs that turn me into who I am, I lift up to You, my King.
 
St. Columban, pray for us. Solemnity of the Christ the King
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 23,2012


BLESSINGS TURNED SOUR
 
“So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and I ate it and it tasted sweet as honey, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour.” – Revelation 10:10
 
I longed to serve God more and the opportunity fell on my lap like an answered prayer. I was invited to join the choir, and I’ve never been happier singing my heart out during Mass.
But as the years passed, we kept losing members. At last, the time arrived when I was the only one left standing in front of a microphone with no one to play the organ or guitar. My dream had turned into my worst nightmare!
Haven’t we all experienced this? At some point, you wish you’d never married your dream man. Maybe you’re slaving over your dream job. Or the child you had such high hopes for becomes a disappointment.
When that happens, it’s easy to give up and tell God it was never part of the plan. But that’s a selfish way to treat God’s blessings. So I closed my eyes, and sang in my not-so-perfect voice. As the welcome voices of the parishioners joined in the singing and filled my ears, I prayed for the grace to keep going, even when the conditions no longer suited me.
His faith and love continue to see me through. Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)
23
REFLECTION:
“Make sure that you let God’s grace work in your souls by accepting whatever He gives you, and giving Him whatever He takes from you.” (Bl. Mother Teresa)
 
Lord, please make us steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and untiring in love all the days of our life.
 
St. Clement I, pope and martyr, pray for us.
 
 

God Whispers - November 23,2012

The world teaches you to look out for yourself. To take what you can. To get before others get it from you. But in My economy, the one who has the most, is the one who has given the most.
 
Always generous,
God
 
P.S. Remember, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 22,2012


The wailing Wall
 
He came closer to the city , and… wept over it, saying, ”If you only knew today what is needed for peace!… The time will come when your enemies will surround you… because you did not recognize the time when God came to save you.” – Luke 19: 41-44
 
I prayed to be assigned to the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. One of my soul dreams was to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. By land, you can reach Israel from there in eight hours. In April 1995, I got re-assigned from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi to this second oldest civilization.
God answered my prayer in the Holy Week of 1997. As soon as I crossed the border to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, I felt goosebumps on my skin. I felt so blessed to be walking the paths that Christ Himself walked when He came to save us. My tears came unbidden.
One of the places I visited was the Wailing Wall. It is there that letters from pilgrims are left in the crevices of the destroyed walls asking for God’s replies to myriads of human concerns. It is also a sacred place for our kindred Jews, a reminder to them of God’s unbroken bond with the Jewish people in spite of the catastrophes which had befallen them. God repeatedly comes to save us. If we would only reach out to Him and listen to His guidance, we would be spared from much of our weeping. Grace Princesa (grprincesa@yahoo.com)
22
REFLECTION:
God’s guidance often spares us from unnecessary tears and pain.
 
Lord, may I never miss the moments when You extend Your saving and loving hands in times of temptations and distress to keep us from crying.
 
St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

God Whispers - November 22,2012

Do you believe there is more joy in giving than in receiving? Today I want you to experience that joy. Be generous to others and make it a habit.
 
Giver of every good thing,
God
 
P.S. Are you a giver or a taker?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

God Whispers - November 21,2012

 
Growing up, you may have gone through horrific pain — a pain that I never intended you to have. But it was a pain that shaped you in a way that made you stronger, better, and wiser.
 
Blessing you,
God
 
P.S. What pain have you gone through? Your purpose is connected to your pain.
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 20,2012


Rally for Christ
 
Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16
 
When I was accepted at the University of the Philippines for my college education, my parents’ first reminder to me was never to join a protest rally. I was not a big fan of rallies so I assured them that it was never going to happen.
But there came a time when I was compelled to make a stand and join a rally because the issue would have a direct effect on my scholarship. I was afraid that I would lose my grant. I felt I needed to be heard instead of being indifferent.
Christian life is not just about being a nice person, a responsible family man, a model citizen or a reliable employee. It’s not just about showing up at church at certain times and being active in our Charismatic communities.
Christianity is supposed to be a way of life that, at some point, we also need to defend and make a stand on moral and social issues that are contrary to the teachings of Christ. We do not need to go out into the streets to be heard, but we must always be ready to make a stand when our faith beliefs are compromised. Jane Gonzales-Rauch (mgr516@gmail.com)
20
REFLECTION:
When situations arise that I have to declare my commitment to the Lord, am I bold in professing my faith?
 
Dear Jesus, may You and Your teachings be at the core of who I am and all I do. Amen.
 
St. Edmund Rich, pray for us.
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

God Whispers - November 19,2012

Have you seen those shows where they restore old things and make them look brand new? When I work on you and your situation, you come out better than you were before.
 
Master Restorer,
God
 
P.S. If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Daily Bible Reflections - November 19,2012


WOMAN OF FAITH
 
“Your faith has saved you. – Luke 18:42
 
My friend Chary is such a simple woman yet she stands out as a woman of great faith. Chary is a hopeful cancer patient. She’s been struggling with this sickness since 2007. Shewas at her worst condition in 2009. There’s fluid in her lungs and abdomen. Nodules come and go. She goes in and out of the hospital. Yet, through all these, Chary has remained faithful to our God, believing that far greater things are in store for her.
Every month that she undergoes treatment, she would text us to pray with her. She remains strong in the midst of fighting against the ill effects of her 40 cycles of chemotherapy. She remains calm as she faces a long list of medical expenses. And she remains to be a loving wife, mother and friend despite her sickness.
Chary has caused her family and all of us who love her to clasp our hands in prayer and to remain faithful and hopeful. On December 11, 2010, our Creator rewarded Chary’s faith and granted her complete healing when He called her home.
You and I have our share of life’s difficulties. Yet despite all that, we have the power to still make life beautiful and fruitful by remaining faithful to our big God. Sol Saura (sol_saura@yahoo.com)
19
REFLECTION:
What difficulties are you struggling with right now? Keep walking with faith in your heart.
 
Lord, as we travel life’s road, may we keep believing that You will never abandon us.
 
St. Agnes of Assisi, pray for us.
 

Daily Bible Reflections - November 18,2012


POINTING THE WAY
 
But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendour of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever. – Daniel 12:3
 
In the olden times, sailors looked to the stars to navigate their ships. Even today, the North Star is used when one doesn’t have a compass. And the three wise men were also guided by a star that led them to the baby Jesus.
Stars point the way. They don’t just shine for themselves. But when people call you a “star” in show business, it usually means you shine for yourself. You get the glory. You’re in the limelight. The word “star complex” was actually born because of celebrities who were difficult to deal with — demanding, snobbish, high and mighty.
I know a different kind of star. His name is Bo Sanchez. No matter where we go, people recognize him. He’s popular, visible and well loved. But he doesn’t shine for himself. He’s one of the most humble persons I know. He gives the glory back to God. And he always puts others ahead of himself. Through his actions, he points to Jesus.
And more often than not, people who encounter Bo in a personal way will say, “I see the Lord in him.”
I want to be a star, too. That kind of star. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
18
REFLECTION:
Do your actions point the way to Jesus?
 
Lord, may there be more of You and less of me.
 
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.
 

Daily Bible Reflections - November 17,2012


THE PERSISTENT CHILD
 
“Will not God then do justice to his chosen who call out to him day and night?” – Luke 18:7
 
When my teenage daughter asks permission for something and I’d say no, she would repeatedly, continually and incessantly, say, “Please, Mom” until I’d eventually give in.
It was after one of our “tougher-than-ahostage- crisis” negotiation that the parable of the persistent widow came to mind. I understood what the judge meant when he said that he might as well give in before she drove him crazy with her persistence. But what became crystal clear to me was when Jesus said, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” That’s when I decided to talk to my daughter.
I told her that when she pleads her case until I change my mind, it’s like she doesn’t trust my judgment as a mother who knows what’s best for her. If she believes that I love her, then she should trust that I desire only what’s best for her. That ended our arm twisting episodes.
God tells us to pray unceasingly. But our prayer should always give way to His will. We can only give in to someone whom we trust and love. When everything in our life is falling apart and our prayers seem to go unheard, it’s time to pray, “Lord, I surrender.” Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)
17
REFLECTION:
Prayer is the way to align yourself with God’s will, not to get what you want.
 
Abba Father, teach me to trust in You with all of my heart, that I may not lean on my own understanding.
 
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious, pray for us.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 16,2012


THE BIGGEST LOSER
 
“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.” – Luke 17:33
 
Have you seen or heard about the show, The Biggest Loser?
Overweight contestants vie to lose weight. The one who loses the most pounds win the prize!
Great title. Great concept.
This somehow applies to spirituality too.
You want to win big?
Learn to lose big!
Lose yourself and serve others more.
Lose your pride and ego and forgive.
And ask for forgiveness more.
Lose your judgments and biases and be more accepting of others.
Lose your enemies. Win them as friends.
Because losing can oftentimes lead to the biggest rewards!
Jesus lost His life on the cross.
And we gained our eternal reward.
Lose now.
Win big! Alvin Barcelona (alvinbarcelona@gmail.com)
16
REFLECTION:
When you lose at something, do you see the delayed and bigger rewards ahead? Lose something today that will cause others to win more.
 
Father in heaven, I pray for self-discipline and selflessness to delay my gratification for the true, bigger and more lasting rewards You have for me. Amen.
 
St. Margaret of Scotland, pray for us.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

God Whispers - November 14,2012

Oftentimes you may not understand why things happen as they do. That's because you don’t see things from My vantage point. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.
Looking out for you,
God

P.S. My eyes shine brighter than 10,000 suns and I see everything.

Daily Bible Reflections - November 15,2012


THE KINGDOM COMES
 
“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” – Luke 17:20-21
 
Earthquakes in countries all over the world. Tsunamis in the Pacific. Nuclear meltdowns in Japan. Civil war in Libya. It seems like the world is coming to an end. Could this be what the apocalyptic writers were referring to?
For the tens of thousands who perished in the calamities, yes, it was the end. They were going about their usual business. Cleaning house. Catching flights. Working on their computers. Sailing in the sea. They didn’t realize that death was just a quake, a wave, a blast away.
Oh, I believe that the complete final destruction of the world as spoken of in Revelations will happen. When that happens, there will be no doubt that the kingdom of God is in our midst.
But in the meantime, let’s not forget that Jesus is King. Let our hearts be His throne where He sits supreme. Let our lives be His kingdom here on earth. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
15
REFLECTION:
Today is the day of salvation! Accept Jesus in your life today.
 
Jesus, we enthrone You in our lives.
 
St. Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 14,2012


MISS MANNERS
 
“Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” – Luke 17:18
 
I have a friend whose constant expression is “Salamat sa Diyos!” (Thanks be to God!) For every little blessing, she says those words. An insightful person, she gives thanks to God for blessings in disguise.
Her attitude did not change as she met great difficulties and trials when she migrated to the United States. She made some serious mistakes, such as marrying the wrong guy, but through it all her gratitude to God never wavered.
Early in our friendship, I thought she was just “Miss Manners.” But through the years, I saw how gratefulness is a constant value in her life. Until now, when she calls me for updates on her life in the US, her sentences are peppered with “Salamat sa Diyos.”
And then I realized that, yes, she is truly a blessed person. But more than that, her gratefulness has attracted so much more blessings in her life.
Gratitude opens our hearts to receive more. Like the Samaritan in the Gospel, my friend is one blessing magnet that I want to emulate.Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)
14
REFLECTION:
How grateful are you?
 
Lord, may I learn to be grateful to You — in good times and bad.
 
St. Dyfrig, bishop, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God Whispers - November 12,2012

Your past influences affects and disturbs your future. But it doesn’t define your future. What defines your future is your response to your past.
 
Healing you,
God
 
P.S. Come to Me now and seek My power. I will transform what was meant to curse you into a blessing.

God Whispers - November 11,2012

Stop focusing on things that are going wrong in your life. Look instead at the innumerable things that are going right.
 
At work in you,
God
 
P.S. When you count your blessings, they multiply in your sight.

God Whispers - November 10,2012

Isn’t it annoying when you’re talking to someone but he or she is preoccupied and only pretending to listen? That never happens to you when you pray to Me. Because you always have My ear.
Listening,
God
 
P.S. I always hear you when you call.

Daily Bible Reflections - November 13,2012


My After-Mission Prayer
 
“We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” – Luke 17:10
 
It’s been many years now that I’ve used the verse above as my prayer after I’ve served. Why? They say that the most urgent of all missions is the proclamation of the Gospel.  Yet it is one that is filled with many pitfalls and temptations. I call them the 3 Gs: Glory, Gold and Girls (if you’re a lady preacher, G stands for Guys).
Glory, because many start out as servants and end up as “superstars.” Gold, because many start out with the Pearl of Great Price in their hearts and end up with the price of more pearls in their pockets. And Girls (or Guys) because many start out with “my brothers and sisters” and end with “my raving fans.” That is why my after-mission prayer is a surefire put-yourfeet- back-on-the-ground formula:
After I come from each mission field: May I still be ready to wait on Your table;
May I not be so assuming as to want Your gratefulness; And when I’ve done everything I was told to do, May I humbly say and pray in my heart: I’m an unworthy servant; I’ve only done my part. Amen. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
13
REFLECTION:
What G has been a recurring temptation to you?
 
Let me remember, Lord, that You oppose the proud but bestowed grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).
 
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, pray for us.
 

Daily Bible Reflections - November 12,2012


NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
 
“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” – Luke 17:1
 
“Leave her alone. That’s what she wants to do,” said my teenage niece, butting in as I was scolding my other younger niece for a misdeed. I became furious when I heard that.
It’s unfortunate that there are children of this generation who think that way — that no one should mind them because it’s their life anyway. They do not realize that whatever it is they do or say will affect the people around them. They equate a reprimand with meddling, but that is not the case.
English poet John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself... any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” But how many of us are constantly aware that we are responsible for our neighbor?
We are one another’s guardians of truth and goodness, much as we are all God-appointed stewards of the earth. When we see a child, a good friend, a brother, a sister, or even a parent going the wrong way, let us care enough to pull them back to the path of righteousness in the best way possible. In the same way, let’s be open to correction. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
 
REFLECTION:
Have you ever let someone you know get away with a misdeed? Why?
 
Father, help me become a light to others.
 
St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections - November 11,2012


LEAP OF FAITH
 
She left and did as Elijah had said. – 1 Kings 17:15
 
I panicked when I got a 2.25 midterm grade in P.E. I needed to have at least a final grade of 2.0 to maintain my academic scholarship. I told my P.E. teacher about my concern. She said, “Just play a good game in the finals.”
Our final exam was a practical one. I was doomed, I thought. My P.E. was volleyball and every time the ball flew to my direction, I would run or duck in fear. But my friends patiently taught me how to serve and hit the ball. I soon conquered my fear of the ball and also learned to enjoy the game. I got a final grade of 1.75.
The widow of Zarepath thought she was preparing her last meal. Despite her fear, she trusted Elijah and gave to him all she had to eat. The word of God given by Elijah came true. There was food every day for the prophet, for the widow and her son. According to a Bible footnote, “Every miracle begins with an act of obedience. We may not see the solution until we take the first step of faith.”
Are you still waiting for a miracle to happen in your life? Maybe you just have to take that leap of faith. Then you will see God’s miracle unfold right before your eyes. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
 
REFLECTION:
Looking for a solution to your problem? Don’t search far and wide. The answer may just be right under your nose.
 
Lord, help me to realize that I am part of the solution to my problem. Deliver me from the habit of entrusting everything to You and not taking action, even those that I have control of.
 
St. Martin of Tours, bishop, pray for us.
 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - November 9,2012


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
 
purifying FIRE
 
So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. – John 2:15
 
My kitchen faucet leaked again and I had to pick up my plumber Alex from his house at the squatters area. To my surprise, what used to be a colony of rusty shanties, muddy corridors and putrid air, was now a pleasant community with widened roads, decent concrete houses and clean surroundings.
Before I even asked, Alex explained, “The city mayor had always wanted to improve the living conditions of the people here. But they wouldn’t allow clearing works that would sweep through their illegal structures. This prevented infrastructure and community development for so long. Then an accidental fire swept though the entire colony, forcibly cleaning the whole area. Suddenly, the government, NGOs and other well-meaning groups had free access to build their gift to the people. Thanks to the raging fire! It drove away all that had been hindering the blessings.”
Friend, are there things — mindset, habits, sins, even relationships — that need to be driven out of your life to give way to the next level blessing? God doesn’t bring the fire, but in His mercy allows it for our good. Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)
9
REFLECTION:
Let Christ’s refining fire burn away everything that stands in the way of His purposes for your life.
 
Jesus, I surrender all that clutters and pushes out the blessings from my life. Help me drive them all away to make space for Your perfect gift.
 
St. Benignus, pray for us.
 

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