When we get there, we too shall say like Peter that “it is wonderful to be here.” There is more to life than what meets the eyes. There is more to existence than what we can verify. If God were to open our eyes like He did with Peter, James, and John or even Daniel as we saw in today’s first reading, we would never for once doubt His existence again. So, let us not get discouraged by suffering, pain, and hardship now. No matter what we have to give up now for Christ’s sake, heaven is worth it.

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It is interesting to note that despite turning down their request, James and John did not resign from the company of the twelve apostles. They went all the way, they drank the cup; they spread the message by their lives and by their blood. Do not live your life only for the sake of rewards. Just do what is right and you will find inner peace and happiness.

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In as much as we are to encourage others to be holy and faithful in their Christian lives, we should never forget that holiness is not measured in comparison with others but how we measure up to the personal will of God for our lives. If a fish forgets his own purpose and attempts to start climbing trees that fish would not survive for long.

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When we are only concerned about money, the things of God do not make sense to us. Jesus Christ met these two disciples on the way but they failed to recognize Him because their hearts were clouded by material pursuits. Jesus took his time to explain the Scriptures to them, and their hearts burned within them.

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As part of our Christmas celebrations, the story of John the beloved draws us to open our hearts to love Jesus as a friend and brother. It is not enough that we eat rice and chicken to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we must also enter into personal relationships with Jesus just as John did.

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God calls us individually to different tasks. Just as our gifts and abilities are different, our sufferings for the sake of God are never the same. Sometimes we would wonder if God is partial but all that matters is that we follow Jesus.

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Once he gained his power of speech again, Zechariah knew this was no ordinary child. He knew at once that this was not merely a product of his body but the work of God. He knew immediately that this child was the one spoken of by the prophet Malachi as the “messenger to prepare the way before me.” (Today’s first reading). Zechariah opened his mouth to sing a song of thanksgiving.

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