Sunday, August 12, 2012

Becoming Like Jesus Christ

In this 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel, we continue with the Bread of Life Discourse of our Lord Jesus. Here, He claims to be the Bread of Life. His Bread differs from the manna given by the Father to the wandering Israelites in the desert. His Bread gives eternal life.

It is interesting to note that Jesus captures the hearts and mind of man by choosing the meal to represent the Eucharist. Food, through the bread and wine, provides a perfect analogy to the message Jesus wanted to depict. But with a twist.

We know that food, when taken, eventually becomes part of our body. Meat which provides protein gives us muscles. Rice, which provides carbohydrates and vitamin B, gives us a healthy brain and energy. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C, strengthens us against diseases. Calcium equips our bones. As the saying goes, we are what we eat!

With the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion, we are also what we eat. But in this case, it is not what we eat which becomes part of us but we become who we have received! Whenever we receive the Lord in the Eucharist, we should be transformed to Him. We are "Christianized". We possess the aroma of Jesus. We smell like Christ. In other words, we are witnesses to His values. We become living models of Christianity. We represent Christ in the community.

It means being forgiving, understanding, true, loving, obedient, etc. It is painful to see faithfuls receiving the Lord Jesus in communion but not being transformed to Him. Many wonder how a person can be so religious yet so dishonest, corrupt, unforgiving, greedy, unfaithful, etc. The transformative power of the body and blood of Jesus does not operate like a medicine where it will be effective even without the active participation of the person. No, it does not work that way. The person must be aware of the presence of Jesus in the bread received. Then, he must live the life of Jesus who he received. The transformation is spiritual. He may not have changed physically, but he should have changed spiritually.

This is the Bread of Life Jesus was talking about. Being in relation with Jesus in the Eucharist means being transformed by His Word and Body.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When We Meet God Up, close, And Personal!

Feast of Transfiguration today! Three apostles had the rare opportunity to experience Jesus' divinity in Mount Tabor! That mysterium tremendum was a very special gift with a purpose. These three will be Jesus' leaders. This experience should fortify and sustain their belief in Jesus. Though Peter still had the guts to deny the Lord Jesus thrice after confronted with the question of being one of Jesus' apostles, he lived and died in the faith. The experience certainly proves that they will still be subject to temptation and may succumb too if they will not continue to strengthen themselves in Jesus words.

Have you had a Transfiguration experience? Have you experienced Jesus' divinity?Miracles are usually what comes to mind. Miracles do happen but they are not the only experiences with God. Simple incidents, for the sensitive heart and mind, maybe Transfiguration experiences. I have heard people confess to have experienced the Lord in the Sacraments specially the powerful Sacrament of Reconciliation. To be forgiven for the sins committed is already enough reason for them to be joyful. There was even one, who, because of the joy of having been cleansed from his dreaded sins asked if it is possible not to go out of the reconciliation room anymore! That was how happy he was to have received the grace of forgiveness and how he dreads to be out of it once he goes back to life!

Another finds God up close and personal in the Eucharist. This is a sacrament which does not depend on faith. Whether you believe or not, the Lord Jesus is personally, truly, and really present in the bread and wine turned to His Body and Blood. Celebrating the mass and praying in the Adoration Chapel is always a transfiguration experience for them!

Others have that experience when they are of service; being charitable, understanding a friend, respecting people and laws, appreciating ants carry their food in preparation for a rainy day, driving a car, listening to the whizz of the wind, or even smelling the aroma of a mowed grass! God presents to us in various ways! We only have to look and see!

God is never absent. God always show Himself to us in His creation. Let us open our eyes, ears, nose, and feelings to Him! Everyday, indeed, is always a transfiguration experience with God!