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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dawn of A New Spring...The Year of the Rabbit...

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, February 3, 2011 is the new Lunar Year of the Rabbit.  It is the Xin-Mao New Year. 

Xin (Metal) is the eighth of the ten celestial stems and Mao (Rabbit) is the fourth of the twelve terrestrial branches and marks the year of the Rabbit or Hare.  The New Year celebrations will last for 15 days.

As we countdown to the arrival of this new lunar spring, it is also an appropriate time for us to pause and reflect on our journey.  The rabbit is a symbol of peace - it is also tranquil, serene, humble, quiet and simple. 

What else can we learn from rabbits?  They are alert (as in conscious) and cautious (better known as timid); traits we can emulate as we journey through life with a deeper sense of awareness or sensitivity of God's presence and humble in responding to His radical callings.

According to Chinese beliefs, Rabbits are more often than not, uncomplicated (simple), attractive, talented and ambitious. 

They are comfortable with their characteristics and leaves the leadership to someone else (God, perhaps?). 

The Rabbit is also characterized as being happy and satisfied (contented).

The rabbit is similarly, a symbol of the great Christian feast of Easter, Jesus' resurrection.  Rabbits symbolises fertility - new life!

May this new year encourages all of us to be even calmer and more serene as we continue this pilgrimage through new life in the Spirit of the Risen Christ! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Real Thing...The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever...

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NAB)

These were the very tender words entrusted to me by a Sister from the order of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), one afternoon, some 31 years ago.  A few weeks after that, she passed away in a sudden and tragic evening car accident, down a ravine. 

These words have lived on and remained with me, these words I have cherished and carried as a motto in my heart through the ups and downs of my life.  Although I have changed in many ways – physically, emotionally and spiritually – I know that Jesus does not change; He is the real thing.  

Always fix your eyes on Jesus.  According to Ephesians 2:19-20 Jesus is the chief corner stone of God's household!

“Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”

However, be warned...
 "See to it that no one captivates you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8, NAB)

"Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours."
(2 Thessalonians 2:15)

In her short journey, Sister Gabrielle Loo, FMM has simply entrusted me with this priceless gift, the gift of a very good friend …someone who is eternally faithful – a friend who will never ever abandon me.  This friend is Jesus Christ…the same yesterday, today and forever. 

True to her name, Sister Gabrielle, for me, will always be someone who draws her immense strength from God; she has proven in many ways to be a heroine for God.  She has touched my life and has been an important spiritual inspiration to me.  May her soul forever rest in peace and eternal light perpetually shine upon her.