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Shortly after opening the Divine Mercy ashram at Chembur, my family attended a retreat with Fr. Jose Vettiyankal. My sister had a St. Paul like conversion and gave up some habits overnight. 😳 She became an “addict for Jesus” (as she likes to say 😊 ). She was now like my mum, saying annoyingly long prayers 🤦‍♀️. I wondered; did we really go for the same retreat? 🤔 Did God’s favour fall only upon her and not me?

In my worldly wisdom, I thought she needed to live a more balanced life. You see, I still had one foot in the world😬 , so my lukewarm soul took many more retreats… before I too, became an addict for Jesus 😍

I spent Holy Saturday in silence, listening to Jesus and this Word was placed upon my heart… (Luke 2:14) “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” I wondered, does God really have favourites upon whom He bestows His favour? I thought we were all His children and surely His favour was upon us all?🤔

Well, lets back track a bit to Luke 1:30… The angel of the Lord said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. “…….I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).

This is how we ACTIVATE God’s unmerited favour which He is always bestowing on His children. But sometimes we block this grace, by doing our own will. Like Mary, we need to say YES LORD, YOUR WILL BE DONE in my life (Divine-human partnership), just like my sister did after her first retreat, while I took a while😔

I write this not to give my sister a swollen head, but to urge anyone who is delaying total repentance, not to be like me and take too long to completely OPEN THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART to Jesus, so your heart is filled with peace, not fear. (Rev 3:20) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.”

It is only when I reached rock bottom and had no way to go, but up… that I said a resounding and complete YES to Jesus.

Given the pandemic, many people are asking questions about the end time prophecies! Maybe the more important question is … “Am I spiritually strong and ready for the trials that we will face before Jesus’s second coming?” (Rev3:8-11) “I know your deeds… Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the HOUR OF TRIAL that is going to come on the WHOLE WORLD to TEST the inhabitants of the earth. I AM COMING SOON…(Rev 3: 8-11)

Nobody likes tests or warnings, but sometimes we need to warn our children when they are experimenting with alcohol or drugs, because we love them. In the same manner, God in His love and mercy, permitted (not caused) this pandemic, perhaps as a loving reminder to remain in God’s favor or perhaps as a worldwide warning (as per Mother Mary’s messages at Garabandal/Fatima) before the “great tribulation” (Rev 7:14).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 675-682 tells us that ….. Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church but all things of this world are not yet subjected to him. And since the triumph of Christ’s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil. By rejecting grace in this life, we already judge ourselves and can even condemn ourselves for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.

We are in the throes of a battle, not only to save lives from the corona virus but to save the souls of our family members and the world, for Jesus. We need not fear because the battle has already been won by Jesus. But, we need to keep his commands and be faithful to Jesus (Rev14:12), so that like Mary we remain faithful and filled with peace not fear, and can experience God’s glory around us, inspite of Covid19, loneliness or financial difficulties and especially when the final trials come upon us. THE CHOICE IS IN OUR HANDS to become spiritually strong and ready. 🙏

I am choosing to keep the door of my heart open and to keep saying Yes to remain and grow in God’s favour. 🙋‍♀️ How about YOU?

Featured image credit: Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash