Sunday, 5 July 2015

Obstinate and Hard

'Their children are bold of face and stubborn of heart—to them I am sending you.
You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD.
And whether they hear or resist—they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them.'

Ezekiel 2: 4-5

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel from Mark 6: 1-6
 
Very often I tend to listen what others are saying, most often I pay most attention to what students are trying to speak to me about. They come to me during recess, lunch and co-curricular periods of the day, just to have a friendly chat; they speak to me about their family, their 'issues' ...sometimes falling into the dark trap of gossip.
 
I try to get the gist of what people are trying to say, but how often I fail to get the real story behind the conversations.
 
I think why I fail is because most often my mind, my understanding, my wisdom, may have been formed by my surroundings; as I grow up, like many of you do, I am influenced by my upbringing by my parents, relatives, educators, tuition teachers, Catechism (Sunday school) teachers, strangers, events around the world. Very often, even when I am attentive listening (hope you know that to listen is not to hear, hearing is just to sense sound, listening is to hear and then think with the heart and soul), my final judgement will always be influenced by my upbringing.
 
Today, the Sunday readings in Church reminds us the fact that we, each of us, are sent out into the world that is filled by people who are proud and hard hearted (Ez 2: 4). But, we are assured that despite this hard reality, God's grace is enough.
 
'Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” '
 
2 Corinthians 12: 8-9
 
Some people ask me, "why I put myself into hardships by speaking up? Why continue writing into the papers?"
 
Friends, if I and you do not speak up, then the world is a little less hopeful, a little less bright. If I be silent, I am telling myself that I agree with the injustice done towards others by the 'mighty'. In keeping silent against abuses done to employees, to minors (children), to the poor, to the migrants, to low income earners...I am saying that I agree what is being done to them.
 
When I speak up, I do not condemn. Condemnation is not for us, mere humans, to do. It is not our duty to condemn, but it is our duty to speak out, to highlight areas of concern that can be improved, for the betterment of others. When I speak out I am not judging, I do not hate the person/persons I am speaking about. In speaking out I am trying to find justice for both parties; to the abused I hope their situations improves, and to the perpetrators I hope that they live a more respectable-joyful life.
 
Remember, when you speak out for others, speak with respect for every person....Even for the perpetrators (enemies). Never hate others, when you hate you are the biggest loser.
 
 
(Ms Lydia's Teacher Observation document, shows no sign of "POOR")
 
When I received the report from Ms Lydia S, I was delighted because her report was an honest and sincere one. Ms Lydia's report from the class observation carried out in March 2015, proved that Ms Harriet Thomas' accusations against the educator I am investigating to be false. Ms Harriet spoke to me in person and wrote onto the Work Review documents that the teacher concerned is:
 
"Poor in teaching, poor in relating with students (because students "fear" the teacher), poor in technology".
 
The reports given to me by Ms Lydia, as well as Mr Wong SC proved Ms Harriet to be speaking with falsehood.
 
Friends, in this modern age and in a developed nation, do not bring down your dignity and the dignity of others by using malicious techniques. If and when you do not agree with something, you are not satisfied, always go up to your enemy, sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk.
 
If Ms Harriet feels she cannot work well with the teacher concerned, then she should be honest about it and not by giving me false statements; Harriet also made used of poor Ms Lydia, using Ms Lydia as the culprit against that teacher. I am sure if Harriet have spoken honestly and openly with the teacher concerned, that teacher will have learnt and improved. When we speak with lies, giving false events, then Harriet and that teacher are not given room to improve.
 
We are all humans, we are weak, we commit mistakes...When we talk honestly, openly, heart-to-heart then we are giving opportunities for ourselves and for the other (even if it is our enemy) to improve so that both parties can live a more respectable and dignified lives.
 
Keeping things inside your heart will only brew more mistrust, which given the time, will explode...This is when people go to 'war'.
 
Let us pray, as we begin a new week that we will have humility and be soft of heart to be more aware of God's Presence in others and in our surroundings.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Creating Death

'God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.

But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.'


WISDOM 1: 13 and 16

My friends asked me, "I am single, don't I feel lonely if I fall ill or am dying?" I admit that, "I do, but FAITH reminds me to have complete and unconditional trust in God."

I was touched because they then say that they will keep a room just for me in their homes.

Death, dying...Most of us, this will be our last and final earthly experience. Like St Francis, who upon experiencing death, completed his Canticle of the Sun...Finally, he concluded with Sister Death.

'Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.'
- Part of Canticle of the Sun
 
(Servants of the Lord and Our Lady of Matara)
 
Definitely not easy to be holy, not easy to promote the concept of Peace, Joy, Contentment...When we live in the midst of so much distrust, so much prejudice, so much wants, so many desires.
 
Are you and I creating life or death?
 
Ms Harriett Thomas recently asked me, "WHY DID YOU CONDUCT A STUDENT SURVEY? WHERE ARE THE STUDENT SURVEY FORMS?"
 
When she failed to get the answer out of me, she brought in Ms Yap and then Mr Choong, DCOO. She also failed to get the honest answer, because the truth is every single survey is still kept intact with me.

I conducted a survey among 4 classes of students, because Harriett reported to me that a teacher in the school has been receiving 'complaints' from 'students' that the teacher is "POOR" (Harriett spoke and wrote this onto the Work Review documents) in teaching and in the use of technology. I knew these were not true, because Harriett isn't a wise person, so I carried out a survey and spoke to students whose name Harriett claimed to have made those complaints.

As a Brother Educator it is my duty to identify and investigate complaints. True enough the survey clearly proves that Harriett was not telling the entire truth; she was not being transparent.
 
I reflected on Harriett's attitude and worries, it just shows she FEARS. Harriet clearly knows she has done something wrong, and is hoping that she can cover up her dirty work. In reality none of us, not even the King of Spain can cover up any dirty business.

The law is above us, what is right will be rewarded and what is evil will be punished.
 
Therefore let us take the Lord Jesus' command to, be "not afraid" and to "just have faith" (Mark 5: 36) to heart. In reality, we need not fear as long as we are doing things with a pure and clear conscience.
 
Sounds very unrealistic, but ask yourself why go around trying to 'hide' and trying to 'cover up' when you get caught? Why make death for yourself? Why create death for others?
 
At the end of each day, and what more at the end of our earthly life, we cannot hide from death. Death is a reality we cannot, just cannot, escape.

Yes, we can also never hide from the political 'deaths' we create for ourselves and others. As the Psalms say, the trap we lay for others, it is we who fall in those traps ourselves. 


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Let people dress in any way they want?

(Having a cup of tea with my close friends, before I left the next day)
 
I had a good holiday recently, returning from Malaysia and now settling down to the normal routine of a real life. A real life? Lol...what is it, right? Think about it.

Let me start my sharing, as usual with a quotation from the Holy Scriptures.

'But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.'

2 Corinthians 11: 3-6
 
Just as I was completing my holidays, there came up a 'DRESS CODE' issue in Malaysia; I think it was in Kuala Lumpur(?). There was this woman, with her skirt just above the knees and she was not allowed at the counter at the Transport Department (JPJ) unless she puts on a given 'sarong'.

I discussed with a friend over the issue, a local Malaysian, and he says it is acceptable as it was just above the knees. I agreed with him.
 
Days letter I noticed people made a fuss over the issue in the papers, and I came across a comment stating that we should allow people to dress any way they like, because it adds to the colour/vibrancy of life.
 
My question is which way are we heading to in agreeing with what we mean by "DRESS ANY WAY THEY LIKE". Are we sincere about this? What will our reaction be like when our suggestion to allow everyone (this I mean the poor, the homeless, the sexy, the old, the crippled...) to dress any way they like - happens right in front of our eyes?
 
When I put this challenge to people, their reaction is always, "WE DO NOT THINK SO FAR AHEAD AS YOU!" Then they will either shut me up or change the subject.
 
Maybe that is why we need good (in the brains, in the soul too) political representatives in politics?


(The brothers and a sister having a group photo)
 
Think about it, to let people dress in whatever way they prefer? HHmmm...I think when people make this statement most often they are saying it is fine for people to wear shorts, slippers, singlet.
 
But, do we also accept if someone dresses ruggedly with dirt  all over (perhaps a homeless person)? Do we agree if someone poses nude in public; such as the case with foreign tourist posing nude in Kota Kinabalu? What is your reaction when someone dresses like a terrorist and enters your home without an ill intention? How will you react if your son brings in his future bride all dress in the complete hijab, whereby you can only see her eyes?
 
 
I do not think many people think deep enough before they make a public request. Because when the reality of what they propose happens, very often many people cannot handle it. Many retaliate and change a previously made opinion when the reality hurts them to the core. Even in church the same, I have priest who preach while thinking what they say will 'never' be followed, but when a person walks up to the priest and says "Father, I want to be poor for Jesus Christ after having heard you preached about Poverty." You know what will be the priest's reaction? He will most often say, "...you should go back and pray about it first..." 
 
This is when troubles happen, and this is where people will want laws to be reverted. Worst still, when the wishes you make is turned into a reality that you cannot handle, you will try so hard to justify what you meant in your earlier opinion. This is when people end up quarrelling, when wars happen.
 
I performed a sincere survey (students as promised it has not been disclosed) at a school recently after receiving complaints from students concerning Ms Harriet Thomas. Harriet, after 3 weeks I was in the school, talked to me one morning in her office.
 
Harriet said this to me, "DO NOT DRESS IN SUCH A WAY THAT PUTS YOU AS A CATHOLIC." [I shared this with the students and their first reaction is "RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION". Aren't they smart?]
 
Even among my good friends, when I go out with them to public to eat or drink, they will immediately comment, "oh, this is a COSTUME..." or "you are so BROWN...top to bottom all brown". Even when I am obliging by wearing casual when I am invited out for a meal or drink, friends will then comment, "wah, so luxurious!" "Wow so fashionable...do not look so holy anymore!"
 
A few years ago, I was asked to assist at a Chinese Catholic Wedding Mass, I dress in my black cassock and over it was a white surplice. The main celebrant Priest told me, "Why are you dressed in black? It will be against the Chinese culture." I then placed a white chasuble over my black cassock. Mind you this also happened at the wedding of my cousin where I was not encouraged to wear black.
 
Friends, if we agree that people....(even in PUBLIC AND WORKING places)
  • can wear shorts
  • can wear slippers
  • can wear mini mini mini (very short ones) skirts
  • can wear singlet
Then, to be fair are we going to allow and be respectful (that means on first glance we do not come up with a statement) to people who...
  • dresses modestly
  • dresses in the complete Muslim hijab (only can see the eyes of the woman?)
  • dresses with a cross
  • dresses in the priestly or religious robe (for Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and sisters)
  • dresses in rugged, shabby, no pants, maybe just underwear (in the case of homeless and mentally challenged people)
  • dresses only in shorts and without shirt (western culture, Australia for example, during summer some young men will just walk into shops with no shirt)
Think deeply about it, because if Malaysia reverts the law to allow EVERYONE TO DRESS IN WHATEVER THEY LIKE (even in public and working places) then YOU must be prepared to embrace the reality of what you proposed.
 
In Australia, for example, some years ago politicians were pushing our tougher laws to ban the Muslim Hijab; this was called for because of the recent terrorist attacks by those who identify themselves as 'Islam'. I spoke out, stating that how a person desires to dress is his/her free will. We should not ban the Muslim Hijab. A young moderate Muslim man wrote to me saying, "if there are more people like you, there will be world peace."
 
So is the statement, "ALLOW EVERYONE TO DRESS IN WHAT EVER THEY LIKE" just your wish or do you desire to make it into a reality?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fair to Compare Malaysians (Penangites) to Monkeys (Macaques)?

No offence but I don't think it is right to compare a monkey to a human; they are both different in species and I greatly support that monkeys can be smarter than humans!
 
I cannot see how a human behaviour can be compared to a monkey? But, if we compare the level of thinking - critical thinking, analytical thinking, basic civic mindfulness - then yes, I think many Malaysians (since the news concerns Penang- Malaysians) have very low, tremendously low level of thinking capabilities.
 
WHY?
I think it is because many Malaysians always start their thinking with the big "I", big "MY", big "OURS"...Many start their thinking by first thinking about themselves. This is very selfish and that is why when we start our critical thinking by thinking about ourselves - the whole process becomes a bad one.
 
When we think only about our need to throw rubbish, without thinking about the method to dispose our waste, without thinking about the effects our waste have on our environment - then we end up littering our living space; people throw rubbish any where they desire, except into the garbage bin. Just this afternoon around 3pm, I noticed a car bearing a KL plate, driven by a young couple - both were enjoying the street food they just bought, ate it in the car, soon the handsome and well-dressed man came out of the car and just placed his bag of litter by the road. I thought to myself why dress so well (the girl was wearing a hijab - head scarf), the car was beautifully modified, then I see them litter???
 
Why can't they put the litter in their car first, and when they come across a garbage bin, they can empty their litter? Is it so hard to do just that?
 
Isn't this attitude worst than a monkey? I guess so. An intelligent person will believe that such selfish attitude is worst than a monkey, because monkeys have the basic ability to think about the other members of their group. To litter any where we desire shows we are not mindful about others, we are selfish!

(Here I am giving a talk on LEADERSHIP by example to prefects)
 
I continue to gather information with regards to Ms Hariet Thomas who wrongfully dismissed a teacher from her school. This time I gathered indications from teachers, and I came to realise she is prejudice against that teacher; Hariet feels that teacher is not 'respecting' her and Hariet feels that the teacher speaks her mind too much.
 
Living in the 21st century and to be prejudice against others, without solid prove, is a crime in itself! Employees never allow your employers to treat you in that manner. Do not permit yourself to be treated worst than a monkey. Some employers, such as Hariet Thomas (without prejudice), are 'king' and 'queen' of monkeys and you need not be part of their group of monkeys.
 
For goodness sake, speak up! In this modern age where equality, respect and democracy is such a concern for and by the younger generation (my generation) we have to fight for the good of every single person; regardless of age, gender, religion/background....
 
Listening to Hariet's case, I am so sad with the attitudes of Malaysians...I can only say that the Penang Council (MBPP) is right in comparing litter bugs' attitude to be WORST than the attitude of MONKEYS.
 
Malaysians, if you think you are not worst than a monkey...let us prove to our politicians that they are WRONG about you.



Saturday, 6 June 2015

A Good Friend

"There is a danger, a threat. Division and evildoing.  We separate when we don't follow the Word of God. When we do not embrace fraternity among ourselves. When we compete for the top spots. When we become climbers."

Not only do so called 'climbers' trigger division, said the Pope. They also run the risk of losing their own faith. Evildoing comes with worshiping worldly powers.

 
- Pope Francis
4th June (Thursday) Feast of Corpus Christi
 
As I celebrate this solemn, yet a very mysterious...You know, to celebrate this gift of the Body and Blood of Christ. This feast draws me to see into the depth of the gift that I receive each time I attend Holy Mass; the gift of wine and bread, which under the Priest becomes for me the real presence of Jesus - His Body & His Blood.
 
In Australia, not sure to what extend this is in Malaysia, there are debates if Jesus is really present in the bread and wine?
 
The question for me and you is how do we recognise gifts? How do you determine a real good friend?

I think why many doubt the real presence of God in the Eucharistic bread and wine, is because the bread and wine look and feel far too simple! They are so simple, so ordinary to the extend that we just cannot accept that the Supreme God resides in the Eucharist!

For me, I am glad that God in the Person of Jesus Christ is mysteriously present in the Eucharist each time I receive the Eucharist. God comes to me when
...I am joyful!
...I am in doubt!
...I am troubled!
...I am guilty of my sins!
...I am in need of great strength!
...I have no need of anything, but I just want to experience God's Presence!


Jesus is a good friend, who, yes, offers me a gift so ordinary and simple - the Bread and Wine - but, Jesus is a friend who is always there for me. Jesus is a friend none other, who is there when I both need or do not need Him. Jesus is a friend who will immediately forgive me when I am angry with Him, when I doubt Him, when I choose to go my own selfish ways.

Jesus is always there by you & me, for you & me and Jesus stands by your & my side as we walk the path of life.
 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

DIverse

[Click the picture to enlarge to see the humanistic character of each of the boys]
"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
MATTHEW 28: 20
 
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
 
I was just participating as best as I can, in the recent annual Dragon Boat race, when I saw before my eye 2 different teams of competitors (one team won the second place, while the other was the champion) cheering and congratulating each other. Many of us will identify such human behaviour as perhaps, "TEAM SPIRIT" or "GOOD SPORTMANSHIP".
 
For me I tend to never categorise events, people or things. I find it rather judgemental and ill spirited to judge if certain behaviour is team spirit or sportsmanship.
 
You know what I mean?
 
What I saw, as I took the photo above, is the capability of humanity to greet a fellow unknown human - the ability to greet a stranger. What I saw where members of each of the 2 teams, putting their ranks (positions), their personal group interest, their ego (over joyed for the champion team, maybe some disappointment in the second placed team)...Every member put all those aside, broke down barriers and shake the hands of the member of the other team. Each member of the teams smiles, congratulated in words, high fived...

Adding to this, as I was walking back home after my race, holding my paddle walking back...A total stranger and his son, who were having coconut juice by the road side stopped me. The man asked, "You just finished competing Brother? Is the race still on tomorrow?" I think this man and his son is looking forward to visit the competition site tomorrow. This action just shows me so deeply that we each human being are after all not aliens to one another, we are just born into different families...But, we are all one, equal in dignity, equal in value, deserving equal respect (this event also helped me to appreciate the mystery of the Holy Trinity...).
 
As like any other years (only 2 years of education ministry for me) students and even fellow educators will ask me the questions below:
  • Which is the 'best' class?
  • Who is the best or worst student?
  • Who do I love to teach most?
 
My response is always the same, "To me all classes are the same and every student is equally important to me. I give my best in ministering (teaching and journeying) to them."
Unsurprised, but the reaction to my response, is a facial expression that indirectly says, "You are boring! No taste! No favouritism! So dull!"
 
As we celebrate Holy Trinity Sunday, the photo I took above reminds me of the 3 unique, different persons but equally important members of the Trinity; 3 Persons in ONE God! The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, making up the one person of GOD.
 
In dragon boat, to row as a boat, each of the 22 members in the boat are important! No distinction! Some members maybe unfit, unwell, no power, lack of sync...Some members maybe too chatty, too fat, too skinny, too fit...But, when we row as a team all differences are placed aside. The goal of the entire boat in each set or during a race is vital; we want to give our very best in approaching the finishing line.

That is how I can best refresh our appreciation of the mystery of the Trinity on this solemn feast. The three Person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are each of them very different in their roles and personalities, but their identify is the SAME.
 
Friends, such great sportsmanship attitudes need not only be seen in sports...Such humanistic values must and can be seen in every part of your life. I agree that in reality such attitudes that I saw in sportsmanship is never easily practiced within our everyday living, whereby people are greedy, people are on a rush, people cannot accept someone who is 'unfit' to be part of the team, people find it a threat when a fellow employee is standing out (unique).
 
Yet, make a difference!

YOU can make a difference because the power to make changes comes through you when you cooperate with God. Mahatma Ghandi once said that the power to make a change comes when you are that change you desire to see. 

Yes, it may cost you your life, your job, your career...But, select wisely!

Do you opt for a culture where people are greedy, always on a rush, unaccepting of each other? Or do you opt for a culture where people learn acceptance, mutual respect, love, friendship, integrity, honesty?

No matter what your choice may be, have courage and know that God, through Jesus Christ, is with us until the very end (John 28: 20).

Thursday, 28 May 2015

General Chapter 2015...on Minority

The theme of the OFM General Chapter 2015 starting from 10th May up to 8th June is MINORITY & THE LESSER ONES OF OUR TIME.
 
Yes, the areas of MINORITY and the concern for the LESSER ONES were the ideals of our Holy Seraphic Father, St Francis of Assisi. 

[Pope Francis meeting with those gathered for the chapter on Tues 26th May]
 
Ever wondered how will a Franciscan identify him or herself as a Minor - Minority?
Before I share on how am I a minor, bear in mind that it is very difficult to put a way of life in a word-for-word concept; not easy to explain in words. First, to be a minor, means to be little. Little in the sense that we are nothing but mere mortal creatures; we are nothing at all, and thus, we must desire nothing, have nothing, long for nothing but heaven.
 
I remembered when I studied the writing of St Francis and the history of the Franciscan Orders...Francis identified himself with the minors of his time; he striped off his luxurious clothing in exchange for the rugged clothing of a poor beggar. At one time when his father (a cloth merchant) demanded that Francis returned all the clothe materials that Francis gave away to the poor, what Francis did was shocking...Francis stripped himself NAKED in the public square and returned everything that was on his body to the father; that very day Francis denounced his earthly Father, and said that he only has one father - God the Father.
 
I identify myself as a minor as best as I can with the help of God; yes, I am not as bold as what St Francis did like to take on the beggar's clothes, denounce my earthly daddy and go naked in public. I desire to be a minor by striving for the below (I just share a few, omitting any mention of my mission works):
 
To be a minor, to be little, to be insignificant the first step is to ask this:
"What do those who are little in my society experience? What is it like to be a minor in the environment I am living in, in church, in the work place, in public...those who are homeless, voiceless, powerless?
  1. On the top of the list is PRAYER - my minority, my littleness, will be hypocritical if I am not little internally, if I am not small before God the Mighty One.
  2. ...next on the list ONENESS with REALITY - to be one with all that is real around me, acknowledging that suffering is part and parcel of life. Realizing and being one with the happenings around my environment, my community...global warming, excessive waste, suffering of the illegal immigrants, joy of family life, success experienced after a hard work. Just to embrace everything, good and bad, that comes before me. Why be willing to embrace everything around me? If I cannot accept everything, good and bad, I will be found always trying to change things. This is not good, because always trying to change things will lead to a troubled inner-self, we become worried. But, when we just learn to accept everything, to accept reality, we are at peace. The trick is always to remember that God is LOVE...God gives us only what that is LOVING - GOOD; this we must trust and believe! God will never give us anything that will harm us, because we are sons and daughters of God.
  3. Thirdly, I see myself as a minor by DENOUNCING myself - this is the reason I am always seen and judge that I am "close" to students; I play with them, pray with them, talk to them...I put myself last while I serve others, I always tell myself that if I do not lose my convenience, then that is not charity. If I do not feel pain, a sense of loss of personal comfort if I do not feel the pain of giving up time and effort for others, then to me that is definitely not Charity in the real sense. I also tend to denounce my rights, always eager to stand for the rights of others first; that is why I turned down many offers to be a Principle and the offers to be given money to start a school.
  4. The next way I see myself a minor is to be in SOLIDARITY with the poor - if those in society who are suffering do not possess certain items in life. Then as best as I can, I try to either not have that item or to possess only part of it; for example the mobile phone is a daily essential, but those who are not well off can only do with a basic phone, so I get myself a basic phone only, not a brand that is way too expensive.
  5. Lastly, is IDENTITY - I identify myself with those I serve - that is why many teachers comment that I am close to students; I play with them, eat with them, pray with them, talk with them. Many can see that I hardly have anytime to bond with teachers...I must feel and experience, what those I serve feel and experience. If I do not do this, then I am not serving the students and the poor.
...What about YOU? How do you identify yourself a minor? How are you in solidarity with the lesser ones in our time?



Saturday, 23 May 2015

Happy Birthday!

"...yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”
Acts 2: 11
 
 
Pentecost Sunday - The Birth of the Church
Teachers Day (in Malaysia, May 15th)
 
To speak about the great acts of God - what does this really mean? Recently the Pope spoke about how Jesus sees us? How does Jesus look at us? What does Jesus want for us, His Mission for us?
 
Merely speaking can be easy, and it makes no one tremble.
 
A true speaker of God is one who speaks in communion with the Spirit of God. This speaker speaks not of his or her own accord, but on what Jesus has commanded him or her to say. The speaker who speaks, and whose words cause others to tremble is a speaker who speaks words that come from the Spirit of God; his or her words are empowered, infused, with the sanctity of the Holy Spirit.
 
Are you a speaker of God or a mere speaker? Does your words and actions have their origin in God through prayer, or are your words and actions coming from a mind of their own?
 
Recently, a church member told me a person by the name of Hariet Thomas mentioned this to her on the very first time they officially met. Hariet Thomas said this:
 
"I am a Catholic, and will die a Catholic. But in school
I am an administrator."
 
This excuse of separating Faith from daily living aren't fresh news, because majority, not all, of people behave as such. They only allow qualities of Faith and goodness to influence them in areas of life that does not involve work and money; they desire independence. When I discussed this with another person of a different Faith, she shared that Hariet is trying to say that Faith does not influence her actions during work. What a joke we said to ourselves?!!!
 
In other words Hariet is dismissing herself from her Faith and is telling either that she isn't a "PRACTICING CATHOLIC" or she is NOT a Catholic at all.
 
Friends, the coming of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to speak for God- to speak about the great Acts of God. We need to be very careful by the words we utter out, because by making a statement as the one made by Hariet, we have sinned against the Spirit; to utter such sentence to separate Faith from daily living, is to deny Christ, is to deny our Faith.
 
Make that choice this Pentecost Sunday to either be on the side of Jesus Christ or to deny Jesus Christ. The choice is yours but do not do injustice to the Church, to God and to your very self by uttering such words thinking that there is such a thing as SEPARATION OF FAITH from state or from work.
 
If I do meet Hariet Thomas I will say what a "FOOL SHE IS"; its of great sadness for me to hear that uttered from the mouth of a Catholic for the first time in my life. Those who utter such statement like Hariet's are fools, please don't then claim to be "Catholic" because you are just being a False Witness of the Gospel.