5 August, Friday — Human Lives in God’s Hands

Aug 5 – Memorial for Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome

First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian Basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary’s title as Mother of God in 431. Re-dedicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honouring God through Mary.

St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centres of the Church. This basilica represents the See of Antioch, where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her life.


Nah 2:1,3,3:1-3,6-7
Mt 16:24-28

It is the Lord who deals death and life.

Last month, the American Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Roe vs. Wade contributed to the proliferation of abortion. Following this event, I’ve watched many prominent figures continue to defend the right to abortion and, if we really strip it down of all the flowery arguments, the right to abortion is really the right of someone to end another person’s life. It’s the right to murder the unborn.

We live in a society where we have been accustomed to think that our lives are in our hands. We have become used to having everything within our control, literally, at the palm of our hands. We forget that if God wills, we would cease to exist.

So really, do we own our lives? How much control do we have of it? And if God is the owner of everyone’s lives, what does that mean for me?

While I started listing out what it really meant, I only had one conclusion. It’s that for us to learn to surrender our lives to God. That means we surrender humbly because we don’t really own our lives anyway. It means to surrender graciously, because God has given us a wonderful gift of life. It means to surrender with full trust, knowing that God wants what is best for us.

This also means that we give the same chance for all human life to experience the gift God has given. After all, God allowed everyone to have life so that good may come out of it. We may not know what, and this is where we need to surrender.

This pandemic, and the natural disasters are reminders to us that we really have very little control. I wish that we are able to look at these as gifts from God. I know it is not easy for many of us, but these reminded me of how dependent I am on God. Without these circumstances, we may forget that all we have comes from God.

And you know what? It’s not just in these severe situations that we are reminded how much God is in control of our lives. God is even in the small instances when things don’t go our way. Some of us might be caught in an unexpected jam, some of us may lose some things, some of us may experience unforeseen inconveniences. These are instances for us to talk to God and maybe, after expressing our frustration or exasperation, we can smile and tell God that we know he is in control, and that we’ll just try our best.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Save us Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; so that we may keep watch with Christ and rest with him in peace. (Prayer in the Compline)

Thanksgiving: Thank you God, for always reminding us who really is in control.


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