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When you buy a product like a home appliance, the first thing you do is to read the manual to familiarize yourself with it. We should do the same with the Sacred Scriptures or the Bible.

Often, the Bible comes as a gift during our wedding or when a new home is blessed. And most of the time, the Bible stays on the shelf until you are introduced to a renewal community or through an act of God, you suddenly felt an urge to know who God is.

But the Bible is more than a gift. In fact, it is more than just a book. It is our manual of operations on how to live a fulfilled and abundant life.

In the second half of this month (September), we see Jesus teaching his disciples on what will be in store for them and how faith becomes integral part of their future mission.

In Lk 7:1-10, Jesus was amazed at the faith of the Centurion, then he performed a miracle that made him known throughout his mission field by raising a dead boy to life (Lk 7:11-17).

He found children squatting at the marketplace in Lk 7:31-35 in apparent reference to our habit of sitting idly and missing the opportunities to live an abundant life. A woman humbles herself in Lk 7:36-50 and is forgiven of her sins and in Lk 8:31, Jesus tells us to be on the move and preach the Gospel.

The Sept. 21 gospel tells of the calling of Matthew (Mt 9:9-13), and he is telling us we should not focus so much on material possessions as we can’t serve two masters (Lk 16:1-13). We are supposed to be the light of the world, and once light comes into our lives we cannot hide it (Lk 8:16-18). In Lk 8:19-21, Jesus tells us to love God more than anything or anyone else, and then he sends out his 12 Apostles to practice what they have relearned so far (Lk 9:1-6).

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Like Herod in Lk 9:7-9 there is an urge in us to see who Jesus is, but it’s not that easy because we need to know who he really is (Lk 9:18-20). And when he spoke of his coming suffering (Lk 9:43-45), his disciples could not understand just like many of us.

Then Jesus opens our eyes to the need to help others (Lk 16:19-31), and Jesus ends September by warning us against thinking too highly of ourselves and telling us to be predisposed to helping the helpless (Lk 9:46-50).

Indeed life could be complex and we can get lost in the process if we lose sight of the presence of God in our lives. When trials and tribulations come we may even ask why God allows suffering. No, God doesn’t allow suffering but when it comes he expects us to use it as an opportunity to depend on his Grace and mercy because there can be no problem that is bigger than God.

Keep in mind what he said in Mt 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but do not fear for I have conquered the world.”

Prayer: May God our Father bless you and your homes and keep you from all danger and harm and keep you healthy at all times. We pray these in the Name of Jesus through Mary our Mother, Amen!

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