November 16, 2019
Living the faith has its challenges. Being disciples of Jesus has its crosses.
By the time Luke wrote down this Gospel, the first generation of disciples have suffered persecution and martyrdom as Jesus had told them.
They must have remembered what he had said to them. They also experienced throughout their lives, in moments of peace and moments of suffering, his promise to remain with them.
May their faith and perseverance inspire us to remember and trust in Jesus’ promise.
Image source: www.agnusday.org
November 9, 2019
God is God of the living
Every culture has multiple euphemisms for death. One religious example is to say that someone is “with God.”
This kind of euphemism has its place since death is never easy to cope with, and news of death is difficult to convey. It is also the reality that we do not know God fully in this life.
Yet, Jesus assures us, “God is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
I already belong to God in this life. So are my neighbors.
How does this reality that Jesus teaches us guide the way I live my earthly life? How does it shape the way I treat others?
November 2, 2019
Jesus tells Zaccheaus, “I must stay at your house.”
By using “must,” Jesus expresses a sense of obligation  , or rather, the reason of his coming among us – “to seek and to save what was lost.” It is the obligation of the Father’s plan and of Jesus’ love for sinners.
Some people find it hard to accept God’s plan of salvation. They “grumble” that Jesus makes himself a guest at the house of a sinner.
So great is Jesus’ love for us sinners that he makes it his obligation to be our guest.
 “In Luke, the verb dei (“must”) is used to convey divine necessity – that is, what Jesus must do in fulfillment of God’s plan” (Pablo Gadenz, The Gospel of Luke, Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Academic, p. 75).
Image source: Zacchaeus by Niels Larsen Stevns, en.wikipedia.org
October 26, 2019
“Their Own Righteousness”
“Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness.”
Most of us have probably found ourselves the Pharisee in this parable.
He lists the good things that he has done. And they are good.
But we must know that when we rely solely on our own “righteousness,” sooner or later, we will fall. Righteousness is God’s gracious gift. It’s free, not earned. God alone is righteous. Our righteousness comes from God.
Therefore, it is a mistake thinking that we can be righteous by our good deeds or achievements. Our “own righteousness” could make us so proud that we think we have no need for God. It could also throw us into despair when we realize that our achievements just won’t cut it.
October 19, 2019
October 12, 2019
Sometimes we do things out of a sense of obligation, or when asked, requested, or commanded. That’s the case of the 9 lepers. And they receive what they ask - healing.
Other times, we act out of love or a sense of gratitude. That’s the case of the Samaritan.
Maybe I should ask myself what motivates me in my religious practices, and ultimately my relationship with God.
October 5, 2019
Our Vocation, Our Mission, Our Privilege
In this Gospel passage, Jesus speaks of commands. The question is then, “What has Jesus commanded us?”
At the end of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus commands the disciples to be witnesses of his life, crucifixion, and resurrection.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus commands his followers “to love one another as I have loved you.”
We should treat these commands as privileges. Jesus does not treat us as servants. We, sinners, have been given the privilege of being witnesses and bearers of God’s love and salvation.