A career (and life) advice from Jesus?

Don’t just be a hired worker who works for pay. Be a good shepherd.

Recently, I started working with my high school classmate. You can call him one of my best friends, if not the best. Out of more than two hundred students in our batch, he was the only one who became my classmate for four straight years. He was also my basketball teammate during all those years and we even joined our school’s varsity team together during our last year in high school.

Working with him recently, one of the things I truly admire about his work ethic is that he gives more than what is required of him.

He does not act like an employee of the organization we are working with, but like a true partner who cares about its profitability, its growth, its reputation, and its long-term viability. He spends more time than required looking for solutions that can help our organization provide a better service for our clients.

How many employees like him can you find in your own organization?

Many times, when given a budget by our companies to have our lunches out at fancy restaurants, we take that opportunity, not even thinking about its impact to the company’s bottom line.

For many of us, we work only for how much are getting paid. We give just enough time and effort. For some of us even, we only go to work to get paid. I’m guilty of that as well.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us the difference of a good shepherd and a hired man who only works for pay:

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” — John 10:11-15

A hired man who works only for pay has no real love and concern for the sheep. He is like an employee who does not have real, genuine love and concern for the company he is working with.

A good shepherd, on the other hand, works for more than pay. In fact, he does not even get paid. He works because he loves the sheep and the one who entrusted the sheep to him. He works because of love. The good shepherd is like my friend who goes beyond the call of duty.

Today, Jesus reminds us to do more than what we get paid. If Jesus had a career advice, this would probably be it. Let us have real concern for the organizations we are working with. By giving more than what is required of us, by genuinely caring about our organizations, not only do they become more profitable, we also get ahead in our careers.

More importantly, Jesus reminds us that He is the Good Shepherd. We are His sheep and we belong to Him. Not only was He willing to lay down His life for us, He actually laid it down for us. Because He loves us. Because He loves the Father who entrusted us to Him.

What further proof do we need that we are loved?

Finally, Jesus also reminds us to be good shepherds to our families, to the people He entrusted us with, and to our neighbors. Let us not serve them for our personal benefits, but be truly willing to lay our lives for them — like how Jesus laid down His life for us. Without expecting anything in return.

You have a Good Shepherd in Jesus.

Be a good shepherd to others as well. 

Don’t just be a hired worker who works for pay. Be a good shepherd — in everything that you do.

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Until it hurts

Will you keep following Jesus even until it hurts?

When the teachings of Jesus became hard and difficult to comprehend, many of His followers gave up on following Him, left Him, and returned to their former ways.

“As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’” — John 6:66-67

When the teachings become hard, will you quit or will you continue following Jesus?

When following Jesus become inconvenient or uncomfortable, will you give up or will you keep on following Jesus?

When following Jesus finally demands your time, your resources, your intellect, your strength, your whole self, and even your life, will you leave Jesus or will you follow Him even more?

Until when will you follow Jesus?

Will you follow Him even until it hurts?

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The biblical basis of the Eucharist

Are you having a hard time feeling the presence of God? Receive Jesus through the Eucharist.

The Gospel according to John contains many of the biblical bases of our Sacraments. Today, in the bread of life discourse, it tells the biblical basis of the Eucharist:

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” — John 6:54-55

The original verb used for “eat” in the verses was a word used to describe animal eating rather than human eating. It meant something like munching or gnawing rather than simply partaking of the flesh of Jesus.

The evangelist perhaps wanted to emphasize the importance of partaking of the body of Christ not merely by participation, but by literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood. 

As Catholics, we believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Gospel reading today reminds us of our belief.

More importantly, by receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we are reminded not only to remain in Jesus, but also that Jesus remains in us.

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” — John 6:56

Are you having a hard time feeling the presence of God? Receive Jesus through the Eucharist.

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Seeking what is eternal

What are you seeking in this world: the love of God which is eternal or the material things and worldly recognition that fade away and perish?

When making a decision, when presented with a choice, what do you choose: the things that will last forever or the temporary highs that will last for but a moment?

Good questions to ponder about, especially when making important decisions.

Choose the bread that gives life. Choose what is eternal.

“This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.” — John 6:50

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More than a collection of stories

Believe in Jesus through the Scripture with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your intellect. The Word of God is true and alive.

Sometimes, I treat the Bible simply as a collection of wonderful stories which inspires and motivates me. Sometimes, I fail to see it as what it truly is — the Living Word of God. The Bible contains the words that God truly spoke and the deeds He truly did.

Today, let us make a commitment to not only read the Word of God, but to truly listen to Him as we read His Word — the Word that gives life.

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.” — John 6:40

Believe in Jesus through the Scripture with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your intellect. The Word of God is true and alive.

How do you see the Bible?

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