by Lei Halili
Follow one of our Walk Throughers on their journey of a sleepless night and learn from Bro Jo’s reflections on God’s wisdom revealed through Lei.
BRO JO: Sis. Lei, I am blessed by your sharing. And I know that our brothers and sisters will also be blessed and encouraged by your sharing. I am putting my one-cent thought on what you have written…. All for the glory of the Lord. Please continue to write your thoughts and your reflections. Try to go through all the lesson guide questions as guide to your reflection, Because God will do His part based also on our cooperation in the journey of His wisdom and knowledge.
LEI: This reflection is relevant to our topic in tonight’s walk through (21st June, 2016) which is Set 13 of Lesson 6 – Divine Indwelling.
Usually I would be awaken from a deep sleep around 3.30 am, but this time rather than falling back to sleep until the time to wake up, I was kept awake by this uneasiness. I wasn’t feeling too well. Rather than just lie on my bed, I thought I may as well read the gospel of the day which I usually do every morning, I opened my email and read the gospel and said a short prayer… I still didn’t feel like sleeping because of this uneasiness in my body, so I opened the Good News Bible app on my phone and because I’ve always been interested in the life of the apostles after Jesus’ ascension I started reading The Acts of the Apostles. I read up to Chapter 7 where Stephen was preaching & got stoned to death by the Jews.
BRO JO: The Holy Spirit is guiding you. It is at dawn starting at about 3:00 am that He calls us to prayer, contemplation and meditation. Because it is at dawn that He makes His rounds to look for souls who are open and willing to accept His inspirations.
“Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men’s desire; he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate. For taking thought of her is the perfection of prudence, and he who for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in their ways, and meets them with all solicitude. For the first step towards discipline is a very earnest desire for her; then, care for discipline is love of her. Love means the keeping of her laws; to observe her laws is the basis for incorruptibility; and incorruptibility makes one close to God.” (Wis 6:12-19)
“Wisdom takes care of those who look for her. She raises them to greatness…. Rising early to look for her is pure joy. Anyone who obtains Wisdom will be greatly honored. Wherever he goes, the Lord will bless him…. Those who obey her will give sound judgments; those who pay attention to her have true security. Put your trust in Wisdom, and you will possess her and pass her onto your descendants. At first, Wisdom will lead you along difficult paths. She will make you so afraid that you will think you cannot go on. The discipline she demands will be tormenting, and she will put you to the test with her requirements until she trusts you completely. Then she will come to you with no delay, reveal her secrets to you, and make you happy.”
LEI: I then stopped reading and contemplated on what I had read, I was imagining the time when the apostles were preaching and propagating Christianity. I tried to imagine what it would have been like for the apostles to encourage other people, to believe that Jesus is the Messiah & that He is the Son of God. The first few chapters of the Acts are about Peter & John preaching in the temple & being persecuted by the authorities, it is also about the apostles performing miracles and how the followers & believers grew & grew to thousands. Peter was very bold to confront the high priests about the truth and what laws to follow. The apostles were blessed by the Holy Spirit upon Pentecost and propagated the faith.
BRO JO: When you feel restless and cannot sleep at night, God wants you to contemplate and meditate and to write down your reflections. This was what He and the Blessed Mother did to me. The Blessed Mother would wake me up then at about every 3:00am, and even until now. Now I know that She wants me to continue my meditation and reflections in order to guide those who want to join the mission. What we are doing is the Lord’s mission. We are only His extensions in these times. He is reaching out in time through us, to reach to every soul that we can reach out. That is why it is important to leave a legacy by training others to become apostles of these last times, and for us as well as for them to leave a legacy of their thoughts.
LEI: Although I hadn’t finished reading the whole book of the Acts of the Apostles, I could relate what I had read to one of the parts from Set 13 about the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The apostles continued the works of the legacy that Jesus Christ had left. It is through the apostles witnessing of who Jesus Christ is and how Jesus had transformed them that made it possible for them to build the “Catholic Church’ that we belong to. If it had not been for the apostles ‘walk throughs’ with the followers & believers of Jesus Christ, then where would the legacy of Jesus have gone? Jesus knew that his apostles would follow because He had left them with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We as the new apostles through divine indwelling & walk through are also doing the same work that the apostles are doing. We are part of the Catholic Church, so it is also our responsibility to live the faith that God has gifted us during our baptism.
BRO JO: This is what we are baptised for: to continue the legacy that Jesus left for us to do. So Lord’s Leaven has been commissioned to continue to encourage and guide all baptised to write down their legacy of God’s goodness by sharing the wisdom and experience in their lives. We need to continue writing down and sharing our reflections to one another so that the endless and inexhaustible riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God can go on and grow throughout all generations.
LEI: Being part of DI and Walk Through, we also have a responsibility and also a commitment to share our lives with other people, especially the ones who don’t know God. We need to continue praying & also to attend mass & be serious about our Faith.
Going back to the restless night I had, I continued on imagining what it would be like if I had lived in the time that Jesus was here on Earth physically. I said to myself, ‘I wonder what it would have been like living during the time that Jesus was alive.., how wonderful would it be to see him physically?’
BRO JO: “Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.…” (Jn 20:29-30)
Today Jesus can make miracles if in our faith in His Presence in us we simply acknowledge His power and express it to those who need His love.
LEI: BUT deep inside me someone said to me, ‘Is there a difference to you living now rather than if you had been living 2000 years ago?’ Physically yes, of course there’s a difference, probably I was one of the Jews that stoned and mocked Jesus or probably I didn’t live in Israel for me to see Jesus. But what struck me was the next thing that was revealed to me, Pareho lang kung nabuhay ka nung nabubuhay si Jesus sa mundo at saka ngayon na nabubuhay ka (Regardless if you had lived in Jesus’ time or the present, it would still have the same meaning) because Jesus is alive in me and in every human being and He is everywhere. So what’s the real difference? NOTHING. Because He dwells in me kaya kahit anong oras at among panahon (so no matter what time or day), He is with me. WOW! After reading Set 13, ngayon ako nakapag elaborate (I am able to further elaborate) that it is better to be living now and experiencing God in me because at least ngayon ang magiging outlook ko (my new outlook) is that I would be looking forward to what God will continue to do to me. This time I still have a chance to see how God’s love can be unfolded in me and in front of me. How amazing?!
BRO JO: Your reflection is coming from the Holy Spirit. Yes physically there would be a difference; BUT the truth is, if we understand the ways of the Spirit, there is no difference because the Scriptures and our faith experience say: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Heb 13:8)
Our task is only to know and believe that He is in us and waiting for us to express His power and love to those who need. We are only His vehicles, the shell of the turtle sort of. It is the Lord who makes the miracles. We cannot claim anything that we can be proud of except to know that He is the one doing all that we do and to continue doing what He did, following His example; for “In Him we live, in Him we move and in Him we have our being.” (Acts 17:28) “I have given you an example so that you should do as I have done.” (Jn 13:15)
LEI: How can we say that the incarnate God went up to heaven when He is living in us?
BRO JO: Heaven is where God is. He is everywhere. AND HE IS DWELLING IN US. So where can heaven possibly be. It is not the physical space above us. But being with God is being in heaven. It starts by being with Him in our hearts. And we shall adore and serve Him in the hearts of others and of all. Where else can heaven be?
LEI: How can we say that the Son of God died 2000 years ago for our sins when each and every day He dies & resurrects during the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, because He wants to continue sharing His life with us. He dies for us in every time we sin & every time we suffer because He is willing to save us, because that’s how much He loves us. Ganon ako kamahal ng Diyos (That is how much God loves me), pero hangang ngayon (however until now) this one of the challenges in my life… I lean on my own understanding, I follow my own desires sometimes and I take for granted this life & journey with the Lord.
BRO JO: Hindi masama ang pag follow sa ating desires (It is not wrong to follow our desires). What is only lacking is our complete union with Him. Then we shall understand that our desires are His desires, and His desire is ours; for deep in our hearts when we truly love God in our hearts and in the hearts of others that our only desire is to know and do His desire: to love God with all our hearts, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. It is only the Lord that we have to love completely in us, in everyone and in everything.
This quote has been attributed to St. Augustine, referring to what he said in a sermon on 1 John 4:4-12:
“See what we are insisting upon; that the deeds of men are only discerned by the root of charity. For many things may be done that have a good appearance, and yet proceed not from the root of charity. For thorns also have flowers: some actions truly seem rough, seem savage; howbeit they are done for discipline at the bidding of charity. Once for all, then, a short precept is given you: Love, and do what you will: whether you hold your peace, through love hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.”
It has been paraphrased as:
“Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”
LEI: I don’t know what my charism is and I don’t know God’s plan for me.
BRO JO: Your charism is exactly what you think and what you feel and what you want to do and what you can do. But they are natural gifts given by God. What makes them meritorious is when you know and are willing to be with God and act with the conscious inspiration of love in union with God in all that you do.
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 1And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:16-17)
Besides that, Sis. Lei, you have the gift of wisdom, continue to write down your reflection, and let me share with you some thoughts like what I am doing now. This is the Written Walk Through Sharing.
LEI: If thoughts enter my mind as to why God didn’t choose me to be this or that, it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want me to serve but He just wants me to serve in a different way.
BRO JO: What you are doing now is what God wants you to do; for there is nothing that we do that God is not the primary mover. Everything comes from Him, The only thing lacking is our conscious acknowledgment of His Presence and Love for Him in everything that we do.
LEI: I pray that I May always allow God to work within me, to be my God in this journey & beyond. I praise & thank you Lord because now you revealed to me your DI and now I understand.