I have been travelling for approximately 18h and counting. As I sat on the plane waiting to land in Lisbon airport, I could not help but say to myself… why is everything not going according to plan?
This is my first time to travel internationally by myself… and I’m kind of, sort of–freaking out. We had a delayed flight to Toronto so they had to reroute us to London instead. In London, I had almost missed my flight to Lisbon (got held up at security because of a yogurt I got on the plane), waited approx 1h and 30 min to get out of customs clearance in Lisbon, prayed really hard and asked for the intercession of St. Anthony, Mama Mary and St. Joseph for my luggage to appear at baggage claim. (I can handle anything but a lost baggage.) Thankfully, it was there waiting for me after an excruciating wait to get a stamp on my passport. Whew!
We got to our Fatima hotel and it’s right beside the Basilica! Oh how lovely! I fell in love with the place! As I sat and celebrated mass at the Basilica, where you can find the tomb of Jacinta and Francisco (isn’t that so cool?), I prayed and let go of all my troubles and worries and frustration. I told the Lord to help me be closer to Him during this trip no matter what happens next.
I can feel Your presence around me. Help me be more like You.
I am going on a pilgrimage to Fatima. I am asking for your prayers. This is the first time that I will be traveling by myself (not really by myself because I am with a group of people I have not met yet). I am not a social person, used to be an anti-social, now I’m just a semi-anti-social (if that’s even a thing). I am feeling a bit worried, anxious, and excited all at the same time. Since I read the story about the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, I had since been intrigued about it. As I wait here today before I fly out, I can’t help but feel a little worried.
My flight to Toronto is delayed for another 2 hours… This means I will miss my Lisbon flight. I don’t know what to do so I’m just hoping and praying for the best. I know the Lord is with me in this trip so what could possibly go wrong right?
Here we go…
“Jesus, I Trust in You”
This has been a recurring message for me for years. I feel that no matter how deeply rooted I am in my faith, there is still a part of me that cannot fully let go and let God. I guess, it is safe to say that I am human after all. However, being human should not be an excuse to poorly imitate Jesus. No one is perfect or so the saying goes… but to be Catholic, to be Christian–our goal is not to achieve perfection, but Holiness. And what better way to achieve Holiness is to trust in the Lord! Trusting in the Lord is one of thing that all the saints have in common. They all trusted Jesus!
As we moved past Divine Mercy Sunday and the necessary survival of basic Christian journey, which is to always trust in the Lord, may we come to realize the significance of simply trusting the Lord. Why do we find it difficult to let go and let God? It is a necessary step to finding peace within yourself. When we do not trust in the Lord, we will get restless.
There had been days when I found it really difficult to get out of bed in the morning. What drives me to get out of bed? What drives me to go to work? What drives me to care? To be honest, I ask those questions not because my passion and drive comes from within my faith, no. Honestly my internal drive comes from some silly reason of “I care too much of what people think of me”. Most of the time, I find myself losing trust in the Lord because of what I think the people think about me. Do I even make sense?
I need to stop caring about what people think. I need to start letting go and letting God. I need to trust in the Lord. Trust in Him that He will always lead me in the right direction. I just hope I will be more than capable of letting go of the steering wheel.
Today’s Gospel reveals not only God’s glorious magnificence but also God’s human nature. Raising Lazarus was one of the greatest miracles Jesus had revealed to us. The story of the raising of Lazarus displayed rather very complex characters. We will focus on Martha for today. Martha as we know her, has always been the “hands-on, logistics, all-around helper” of the ministry. Her character in this Gospel revealed three distincr characteristics that Christians tend to fall under, namely:
- Reliance on what we know
“Lord if You had been here (Lazarus) would not have died.”
We tend to ask God when faced with difficult situation what He had done or what He could have done to prevent certain events of our lives that are too unbearable. Just like Martha, we kind of put the blame on God.
Reliance on what we know
“I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”
In our journey of faith, we will come to believe who Jesus really is in our lives. Martha had alreadt believed that fact, in fact she even stated and proclaimed that He was the on true Messiah. However, the human knowledge she has is clouding her faith. She knows that Jesus is the Messiah, but she also knows that Lazarus is now dead. Conflict of interest there…
“Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
At this point, Martha could only feel confused. She knows for sure that Jesus will no longer be able to relieve her from the pain of losing her brother. It’s as if she doubts Him. Only now… all she could do was to trust in Jesus.
Martha reveals so much of me. She relates so much to me because of everything she is and who she became–a true follower of Christ.
As I scramble to read all my accounting notes and finish practice questions for my exam tomorrow, I can’t help but keep looking at the solution pages. Am I ready for this test because I have the answers just a flip a way? Or am I really confident that I can do the exam without it?
In life and in our journey with our faith, it’s the same thing. The only difference is we don’t need to flip the page to get our life on track. We just need to turn our lives to God. The answer to life’s biggest mystery is not to succeed. The answer is to seek God, to know God, and to love God. It doesn’t matter how many times we get the answer wrong. It doesn’t matter how many red marks we have on our tests… because God marks with an eraser. He sets asides our mistakes to use and give us another clean paper to try it again! He also uses us to provide others the answer to their own exam! In other words, He uses us to be the solution!
Let our light be always a guide to someone in need.
Pray for me. Pray for the World.
Today was one of those days–where juggling time is the challenge and a race
Today was one of those days–where Your presence I could barely taste
Today was one of those days–when my angel tried and lost the case
It was one of those days where I could have kept silent instead I lost control
One of those days where God should have been first but my job was on a roll
Those days where praying would have been the better choice instead of letting stress create so much noise.
It was just one of those days…
I need to think about this for a minute… I was really not the best version of myself today. Mostly because I know there are some things I should’ve left unsaid and some things I should’ve never done. Nevertheless, I still did the things I did and I still said the things I said today. I don’t know. I’m like a Screwtape magnet (CS Lewis reference), they probably know what I’m up to. Well, guess what I know what they’re up to as well! I just need to work a little bit harder and pray a little bit more!
Matthew Kelly said something that hit me today, “…if there is something you want to stop doing, you’ve got to crowd it out with other good things that do actually help you become the-best-version-of-yourself.”
And I guess that’s just it… sometimes we try to just avoid the bad things, but most of the time we keep coming back to it because we don’t replace it with the good. It’s kind of like when you want to become more healthy, you get rid of all the junk food and sweets, but never strive to replace them with healthier food so you just end up hungry and you resort back to eating the junk.
Now why didn’t I think of this before? Because we focus on ourselves too much! When we start focusing our attention to where it matters most (*cough* like Jesus), we start diverting our resources and time to things that make us the best version of ourselves!
Lord, help me to live and love more soulfully.