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Know and love Him more

The story is told about two elderly men who were in the elevator together. When their eyes met, one of them said: “I know you. I think I know you … Ah, I can’t remember, but, was it you, or was it your brother who died?!”

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In today’s gospel (MK.8, 27-35), Jesus asked how people knew Him. “Who do people say that I am?” He was asking how or who people perceived Him to be. But beyond that, He was asking the disciples, as He asks you and me today how we know Him, personally. “But who do you say that I am?”

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If you want to know about somebody or anybody these days, Facebook can conveniently take care of that. But if you really want to get to know someone, you have to personally take care of that. In other words, if you really want to get to know God, you can’t just be a bystander or an observer. You have to make your personal journey to Him.

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Our personal journey to God’s heart is nontransferable. We cannot delegate it to others to do it for us. It is also non-negotiable. We cannot say, we are so busy working for Him, but do not spend time and really get to know Him.

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By the way, our journey to God’s heart is not indefinite. There is an expiry date. When we die, the journey ends. The final accounting takes place, and that will decide whether we will end up in God’s heart full of gladness without end, or go somewhere else, full of misery, without end.

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We journey to God’s heart differently. We may take different routes, with different pace, with different ways, even with different creed, or beliefs. Whatever, let us not forget that there is a way, there is a truth, there is a life bigger than us that continuously lights us. There is something or someone greater than ourselves.

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If we really know Jesus, we must know and accept the cross in our lives. Suffering, persecution, deprivations, and even death is part of true discipleship. Without these, we are just in for a free ride. He tells us again today: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”

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“Get behind me, Satan!” This is the rebuke Jesus used, and we should also use on ourselves when we end up “thinking not as God does but as human beings do.” Let this be our rebuke especially to people who continue to lie, cheat, and steal from the poor and the suffering these days!

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Sept. 14 is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Let us take heart and be filled with hope that whatever crosses we carry now will lead us to triumph and victory. Suffering has become meaningful and redemptive because of our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection. Don’t focus on the cross. Focus on the Lord Jesus on the cross. Focus on your Lord, not on your load.

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Sept. 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mama Mary had a doctorate in sorrow and suffering, summa cum laude! Yet her whole life was a one big song: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Magnificat! She made the Lord bigger than her sorrows and sufferings, and that is why she was joyful through it all.

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Think about this: “A year ago, you did not know today; you did not know how you’d make it here, but you made it here; by grace you made it here.” (Morgan Harper Nichols)

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During this pandemic, there are a lot we do not know about what the future holds for us. But let us continue to trust in Him who holds the future in His hands, and who has us in His heart. One with you in hope and in prayer.

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, help us to really know and love You more. Amen!

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