May 22, 2024

If we remain constant in our ways and we don’t level up to the divine realities, we will never understand the ways of God.
We continue our pondering on the realities of the worldly and the heavenly to remind us of a higher life we will all must end up to.
Isaiah 55:8-9 is relevant, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the Earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
Here is a doable and practical advice which we can try, but in trying to make it a good habit, let us always find time to listen to God through prayers and meditations. St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the other saints are proof that it is effective and efficient. St. Therese’ profound listening to the Word of God in her meditation was able to know God deeply and share her knowledge about God through her writings.
Equality for men but equity for the divine. Revenge for men but forgiveness for the divine. Generosity is unfair for man but joy for the divine. Punishment, condemnation, and death for criminals but conversion for the divine.
We will remain in our earthly standard if we don’t allow our soul to be fed by the word and love of God. Let us not wait until we come face-to-face with God in the next life to understand the difference of earthly life and heavenly life, and eternal damnation and eternal life,
The Book of Prophet Ezekiel 18:25-28 will surely stir our heart and our way of understanding things.
Thus says the Lord: You say, “The Lord’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? But if he turns from wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
God is the author of life and he must be the ultimate end. God provides all the necessary spiritual gifts to manage our life on Earth. He provides as well the law, the counselors, the conscience to guide us. It is therefore our correct decision to choose life, choose faith, and choose eternal life. Psalm 25:4 underlines it, “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.”
St. Paul exhorted the Philippians and he exhorts our generation today. “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his interests, but also for those of others.” Again in the eyes of man, we must work first for ourselves, for our personal benefit and profit eventually we become selfish, greedy, and rude.
In the divine realm, we look at the good of others first and for the common good before the self. If we do, we are selfless and we tend to long for God and communicate with him. Selfishness is the attitude of the human and selflessness for the divine. Getting used to selflessness is getting used in the life of heaven.
With the encouragement of St. Paul, we must appreciate more spiritual gifts over earthly gifts. It is easier to share our time, treasure, and talent when we are in the level of the divine.
The work in the church is called ministry and the people serving are ministers. It is a ministry because each one is entrusted a particular work impelled by volunteerism and joy. Church work is not an obligation but a responsibility. If we work because of obligation, we will be burned out, stressed, tired, and unhappy. If we treat our work in the church as responsibility, we will enjoy working despite the difficulty.
We listen to the late Bishop Francisco Claver, SJ who kept reminding us before to strive for social justice and spiritual gifts.
His pieces of advice are still relevant. When vocabularies such as committees, clients, business, legalities, laws, and profit become the language of the church and we get highly oriented to it, we diminish the richness of ministry, voluntary service, initiative, spiritual creativity, and the sense of the divine.
Bishop Claver had all the opportunity to do business in the church with all his wealthy links and connections but he opted to remain a humble servant of the Lord, to uphold the ministry, to live voluntary service that encourages more volunteers, to live the sense of the divine, and practice the sense of active participation.
When money and payment become the motivation in the services, it will eventually kill creativity, initiative, and volunteerism of people in the church. Let us be inspired by the truth that God provides the needs of those who cling to him and those who work not counting the cost.
There was once a Basic Ecclesial Community that started to pay somebody to clean the church. With all the good intentions to maintain a clean church, they hired a lady. One day, the community that used to clean and keep the church orderly was gone because somebody is being paid for the church services.
Let us be reminded that our unpaid and unrewarded services here on Earth are openings of God’s grace and blessings to enter the doors and windows at home.
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