Sunday, April 5, 2009

In Christ alone

Today is God's day and there is much to be remembered.

Semana Santa or Holy Week begins today, Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the people greeted Jesus with palm branches or palaspas while exclaiming "Hosanna in the highest!" and "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." (Sadly, these very same people were the ones who cried out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" when Pontius Pilate asked the crowd what they wanted to do with Jesus of Nazareth.)

Moreover, today is Alay Kapwa Sunday or Caritas Sunday in the Philippines. Caritas, the Latin for charity, is the Christian concept of spiritual and brotherly love - a love for all people. This year's national theme emphasizes 'citizenship building and solidarity towards a culture of peace and integrity of creation'.

Yes, these are big events that should be given important notice. While that is true, I remember something more important for me today. I remember who I am - that I am saved through Jesus Christ and that in Christ alone, I am complete.

Lord Jesus,

I come before you at this moment in awe and wonder of your might and mercy. Truly, there is none like you in heaven or earth! We are, indeed, exceedingly blessed to have your unconditional love. May your name be proclaimed as Lord and Savior all over the world as we remember your suffering, death, and resurrection.

I ask for forgiveness, Lord, for all that I have done against you. Forgive me, a sinner, for my failure to abide by your commandments. With every sin, I have crucified You over and over. I have been weak. Forgive me, for I knew exactly what I was doing. This servant is asking for mercy. Send me your Holy Spirit that I may be strengthened and to grow not weary of wearing the armor of righteousness. Be by my side as I go through this earthly life for I stumble and I fall. Be my light and be my fire. Let my heart be filled with your Spirit that I may never run out of hope as I run the race. In times of difficulty and great temptation, Lord, let me remember who I am and what I am here for.

Thank you for waking me up this morning with the rays of the glorious sun and with the sound of the chirping birds. The sky was so blue and the earth so alive - I woke up with a smile on my face. You have always filled my days with everything good, only I fail to recognize it some of the time. Have patience with me, my Teacher and Lord, for I am still learning. Help me to see through your eyes and to listen for your voice that I may not fall victim to all things worldly.

The stars are shining down on me tonight. As I gaze at them, Lord, I could feel that you're just within my reach. Watch over me and half of the world that lay in slumber. Watch over the rest who marvel at the work of your hands in daylight. May they not only feel the sun's warmth but the warmth of your love in their hearts and souls.

All this I ask in your mighty name, Jesus.


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