Reflections

What makes a man?

posted by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated ]

24 June 2018 ( The Nativity of St John the Baptist )

What makes a man?
There is a song about a girl who asked her mother what the future holds for her. And the mother answered, “The future’s not ours to see, whatever will be will be...” If a parent is asked to predict how his/her child will turn out to be, we’ll get all kinds of answers depending on whether the parent is an optimist or pessimist. But ultimately, how the child turns out is determined by God with human cooperation. Take the Prophet Isaiah; all he could see in himself was his failures when God had chosen him, while he was in his mother’s womb, to manifest God’s glory. Next King David; his brothers were all older and bigger than him but God pin-pointed him to be king. Then we have John the Baptist; one would think that God would have chosen a more dignified looking person than this wild-looking man who wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt to herald in Christ. If there’s a lesson to be learned, we should never underestimate ourselves or anyone else. Because we are not able to see what God sees in us.

God is in control

posted Jun 15, 2018, 3:45 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Jun 15, 2018, 3:45 AM ]

17 June 2018 ( 11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME )

God is in control
This weekend’s readings remind us to be detached from worldly values and to embrace spiritual ones. When we are worldly, we tend to trust no one but themselves. We are obsessed with wanting bigger and more. And we want to be in control of things. But all that is vanity since only God is in control of everything. Indeed, He “lays the tall tree low and raises the low tree high,” and “makes the green tree wither and makes the withered bear fruit.” Sometimes we put in effort to do something, but the result is disappointing. Or, as parents or teachers, we do our best to bring up our charges and they don’t turn out to our expectation. And we blame ourselves. God is telling us that we only need to do our best and leave Him to make all things beautiful in His time. We should avoid rating things and ranking people. And thinking in terms of “more” or “less” – but “different”. Only then will we be able to appreciate the uniqueness of each individual and truly enjoy the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.

The different levels of truth

posted Jun 8, 2018, 6:26 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Jun 8, 2018, 6:26 AM ]

10 June 2018 ( 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time )

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There is the Untruth, the Truth and the Spiritual Truth. Some people like the scribes are outright liars. They know the truth but for reasons of their own twist the facts so that black becomes white and white becomes black. Other people live basically honest and decent lives; they readily acknowledge what is right and what is true. Yet there is another level of Truth which only people of faith will be able to recognize and accept, which is the Spiritual Truth. An example of this can be seen in the gospel passage when Jesus’ friends told him his mother and his brothers were outside waiting for him. Jesus had replied 'Who are my mother and my brothers? ... Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother'. By saying that he was not denying his earthly mother. He was, in fact, revealing a higher truth that we cannot see with our eyes: that in the life to come, we will no longer belong to this earthly family but to a spiritual family headed by God himself.

The Perfect Sacrifice

posted Jun 1, 2018, 5:04 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 5:05 AM ]

3 June 2018 ( Feast of Corpus Christi )

The Perfect Sacrifice
The solemn Feast of Corpus Christi celebrates God’s love for man. Christ came to give his body and blood as an atonement for our sins, and to nourish and sustain us in the love of God. For centuries, the Jews were dominated by a succession of foreign powers. They were scattered and without a permanent home. During the time of the Old Testament, God sent Moses to deliver the Jews from captivity in the land of Egypt. Later in time, Jesus will appear on the scene to deliver man from the bondage of sin. In the earlier event, God ordered bulls to be slaughtered on the altar as a covenant of salvation He made with the Jewish people. Later Jesus, the Son of God, will overwrite this ancient ritual by shedding his own blood on the cross. The blood of bulls won for the Jews a piece of land in the Middle East called the Promised Land. Now the Body and Blood of Christ would win for mankind a more perfect and permanent prize, which is the chance to live in the eternal glory of the kingdom of God .

Holy Trinity : Model of the Family

posted May 25, 2018, 9:47 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated May 25, 2018, 9:48 AM ]

27 May 2018 ( Trinity Sunday )

Holy Trinity : Model of the Family
The great apostolic commission in the Gospel expresses the means by which we are to bring others into the family of God rooted in the Trinity whom we celebrate in today’s liturgy. Matthew’s Gospel today has a threefold implication in bringing new members into the fold, one that is pastoral: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations"; liturgical: "baptizing them"; prophetic: "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you"; and guaranteed by the Lord's closeness, until the end of time. Matthew’s text is a familiar one to all with a reference of Baptism in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when we are immersed in the Trinitarian life, we stand in solidarity between and among persons in rightly ordered relationships. The Trinity is a model for our own families living in communion with God and with others. Let us remember today and always like the Triune God we believe in we are called to build and restore what has been shattered by sin.

Come Holy Spirit

posted May 19, 2018, 6:32 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated May 19, 2018, 6:33 AM ]

20 May 2018 ( PENTECOST )

Come Holy Spirit
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles: on that day, the Church was born, the Body of Christ began to grow and develop into the fullness that must belong to it at the end of time. Pentecost marks the beginning of the work and activity of the Holy Spirit before His departure, Jesus promised that He would not leave us orphans. In His stead He would send the Paraclete, the Comforter, who would teach and remind us of all things. It is the same Holy Spirit that guides the Church on her earthly pilgrimage on earth to the perfected Church in Heaven at the end of time. The work and activity of the Holy Spirit comes in various ways, some like a powerful wind from heaven, others quiet, mysterious, secret unfolding in stages of our lives. At every moment of our lives not just at Pentecost let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. With this in mind we pray, Veni Sancte Spiritus, Come Holy Spirit!

Set Apart

posted May 11, 2018, 5:01 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated May 11, 2018, 5:01 AM ]

13 May 2018 ( 7th Sunday of Easter )
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Jesus’ high priest prayer in today’s Gospel consecrates us in the truth of God’s word for the mission of the Church- to transform this world through the temporal ordering it towards the Kingdom. Consecrated in the Truth that is Christ our Head, we are set apart from the world and because Jesus is the fullness of the Revelation who has passed on the Word to us, we are hated on by the world because of who we are as Christians. As his special possession, Jesus asks the Father “to protect them from the evil one.” Just as Jesus and His Father are One so too are we united as Christians at the table of the Lord at Mass. Set apart, we are not of this world any more than Jesus is of this world. While we are set apart, we must never act as if we were from above. We must lead those who do not know Him to seek Him through our words and actions so that they too can become His chosen ones forever.

Shared Love

posted May 4, 2018, 8:04 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated May 4, 2018, 8:05 AM ]

6 May 2018 ( 6th SUNDAY OF EASTER )
Shared Love
The readings today all speak of Love, a Love that bears fruit that is divine in origin, intent and effect. Love that bears fruit is not exhaustive in a single act or even multiple acts of expression. Instead, it grows when expressed, it is creative. Jesus tells us today that love isn’t just confined to the context of me and you, it’s also about the well-being of people around us and the world through me and you. Love requires us to give the best of ourselves to others and to each other in marriage or in any other vocation. To love is to consistently will and choose the good of the other. To your neighbor as yourself is to see their sharing in the good as constitutive of your own sharing. To love God, whose good we cannot will — as He is pure good — is to love what God loves, which, of course, is the neighbor’s good. Loved cannot be closed in on itself, it must be shared in relation to God and to others.

The Importance Of Staying Connected With Jesus

posted Apr 27, 2018, 6:35 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Apr 27, 2018, 6:36 AM ]

29 April 2018 ( 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER )
The Importance Of Staying Connected With Jesus
In the books of the Acts, the disciplines in Jerusalem found it difficult to accept Paul until Barnabas testified on Paul’s behalf that the Risen Christ had appeared to him. With the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the early church continued to grow. In the 1 st letter of St John today, he encourages us to love each other sincerely and genuinely as God’s commandment is to love. The other commandment that is most important is to believe in Christ Jesus. Unless we remain with Jesus and continue to draw our spiritual nourishment and strength from Him, we are unlikely to last long in our spiritual walk with Him. Our love and faith for Jesus will grow weak and we will become vulnerable to the attacks of the Evil One. But if we continue to allow His teachings and commandments to remain in our hearts, our prayers would be heard by Him. When our prayers and supplications are answered, it not only pleases God that His children are provided for, but His love and power is revealed to the rest of His children as well.

The Good Shepherd

posted Apr 20, 2018, 9:10 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Apr 20, 2018, 9:10 AM ]

22 April 2018 ( 4th Sunday of Easter )
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With the power bestowed by the Risen Christ, Peter healed a lame man which astounded the community. Having known the man to be lame, it was a remarkable sight for them to see him walking, jumping and praising God. Boldly and eloquently, Peter took the opportunity to witness to the crowd gathered about who Jesus really was and that He was the only One who could save us from eternal damnation. Will we ever be able to witness to the people around us in such a manner? What a stark contrast indeed from the same person who earlier denied Jesus 3 times and abandoned Him at the hour of need! In today’s Gospel, we are reminded of the divinity of the Risen Christ. On his free will and in loving unity with the Father, Jesus the Son of God became one of us and as the Good Shepherd laid down his life in atonement of our sins. Having risen from the dead, Jesus provides the leadership, guidance and graces to His servants and followers to spread the Good News and live a life worthy of His Kingdom.

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