6 June 2019

The Last Prayer

Two men had indulged in evil all their lives. They had now come to the end. In a short time, they will appear before their Creator for judgement.

This was their last opportunity to speak to Jesus and request whatever they desired.

The first man was not sorry for the evil deeds he had done. He had no interest in Jesus; he only asked him to spare him from death. He desired to return to his former manner of life and continue to enjoy the pleasures this world can offer.

Jesus did not answer him. The man died and he was eternally lost.

The heart of the other man, conscious of his guilt, was gripped by the fear of God. He believed that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the King who will reign forever. He wanted to be with Jesus even though the people nearby were insulting and ridiculing him. So he requested Jesus to remember him.

Jesus granted his request. Today he is enjoying the King in paradise.

This is the story of the two criminals who were crucified along with Jesus. This is also my story and your story. For we too have sinned against the Almighty; we have broken God's law; we are criminals in His eyes. We too stand on the brink of eternity to face judgement. We too must choose between sin and repentance, and between this present evil world and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friend, what is your choice? What is your heart's desire? What will you ask Jesus?

28 May 2019

The Apostles' Power to Forgive

The Lord Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness for sinners by his death on the cross. How would Jesus' sacrifice be of any benefit to us if the story of Calvary remains unknown?

When the risen Saviour appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, he entrusted them with an important mission. He commissioned them to make known God’s mercy to the world, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what he told them: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld” (John 20:23).

The Lord, who alone has the prerogative to forgive sins, gave to the disciples the responsibility to forgive! How was this to be done? What was the role of the apostles and disciples in this regard? The correct answer is not to be found in human opinion or church tradition, but in the very Word of God. The same Scripture which teaches that the disciples forgave sins also informs us how this was actually done. It leaves nothing open or to our imagination.

1 May 2019

The Holy Trinity

The word ‘Trinity’ is derived from two Latin words, tres, three, and unitas, one). It is used in Christian theology to express essential biblical truths about God, namely: (1) the unity of God; (2) the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God; (3) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct Persons.

One God

Our belief in one God is fundamental; Christianity is a monotheistic religion. The Old and New Testaments both assert the unity of God: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!’ (Deut 6:4); ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God’ (Isa 44:6); ‘There is one God, and there is no other but He’ (Mark 12:32).

1 April 2019

The Penitential Act

I would like to make two observations about the penitential act at the beginning of the Mass when the priest leads the congregation to pray:

“I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.”