GREATEST GIFTS FOR INC’S EXECUTIVE MINISTER: His ascendancy as the third “Executive Minister” of the 95-year old Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), and his complete acceptance as the undisputed leader of the millions of INC members worldwide, appear to me to be the greatest gifts that Mr. Eduardo V. Manalo will thank God for as he celebrates his 54th birthday on October 31, 2009.
But on top of these, Ka Eduardo (as Mr. Manalo is now lovingly called by everyone in the INC and even in the whole world) can also thank God that the love, respect, admiration and, for many, the reverence that have been lavished on his late father, the late INC Executive Minister Erano “Ka Erdy” Manalo, are now being showered upon him abundantly as he starts steering the powerful religion as its new head.
There is no doubt that Ka Eduardo will equal the phenomenal work that Ka Erdy put in to make the INC a worldwide spiritual group, but hopes are high and prayers are pouring in that the INC will now soar even higher in the new millennium under his leadership.
Having come face-to-face with him for the first time when I personally expressed my condolences for the untimely demise of Ka Erdy right at the Central Temple of the INC, I became immediately aware of a distinct aura of authority, decisiveness and sincerity about Ka Eduardo that, even then, convinced me he would lead the INC to greater glory and service to God.
KA EDUARDO MANALO RECEIVES AN OUTPOURING OF LOVE, SUPPORT AND COMMITMENT: As I am writing this piece, I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of love, support and commitment from Iglesia members from around the globe, to Ka Eduardo’s leadership as the INC’s newest “Executive Minister”, only the third for the group which is about to celebrate its 100th year of existence.
Here are additional postings from www.gemnet.tv.blog.php which represent the overwhelming sentiment of INC members in favor of Ka Eduardo: “Maligayang Bati Ka Eduardo sa inyong pong kaarawan. Nawa ay patuloy kayong patnubayan ng ating Ama sa inyong pangunguna bilang Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan ng Iglesia. * ucmjr2007”
“Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: My pervent prayers to our Lord God & to our Lord Jesus Christ is to continue to bless you with His wisdom & power, more success in His Church thru your leadership. We are always united with you in spirit and in truth till we reach our salvation. As you celebrate po your birthday - we are inviting more people to attend in our EVangelical Mission so that many people will bring back to the fold. * Malu M. Araullo”
“Bumabati po kami ng aking pamilya mula po dito sa Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ng maligayang kaarawan po sa inyo kapatid na Eduardo V. Manalo at salamat po ng marami sa inyong pangunguna sa amin at sa buong Iglesia para sa ikabubuti at ikapagigingdapat namin sa Ama. Bumabati po: Danny Tuazon and family.”
LUMINOUS MYSTERIES START WITH BAPTISM OF JESUS: After the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Roman Catholic Christians, the Mysteries of Light, or the so-called Luminous Mysteries, come next, to narrate another aspect of the life of Jesus Christ starting from His baptism to the Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.
Significantly, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all contain an account of the baptism of Jesus Christ. In Matthew, we find the story in its Chapter 3, verses 13 to 17. In Mark, we find it in its Chapter 1, verses 9 to 13, while in Luke, the event is narrated in its Chapter 3, verses 21 to 22.
In John, the story is found in its Chapter 1, verses 29 to 34, although this account is not as specific about baptism as was written in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Be that as it may, the baptism of Jesus, performed by His cousin, John the Baptist at the Jordan River, continues to be a confirmation of Jesus’ divinity, and of His status as the Son of God.
In all the Gospels, the story is told that after He was baptized, the heavens parted and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove and lightning, with a voice from heaven saying “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Surely, in all history, there is no other person or being in this world whom God called as His Son, whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased except Jesus.
PRAYER IS THE ANSWER TO EVERY PROBLEM IN LIFE: A poem I found posted on a table inside a courtroom in Manila sometime in 1983, when I first became a lawyer attending my first-ever court hearing, confirms the power of prayer, thus:
“Prayer is the answer to every problem in life. It puts us in tune with Divine Wisdom, which knows how to adjust everything perfectly. So often, we do not pray in certain situations because from our standpoint, the outlook is hopeless. BUT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.
“Nothing is so entangled it cannot be remedied. No human relationship is too strained to bring about reconciliation and understanding. No habit so deep-rooted that it cannot be overcome. No one is so weak that he cannot be strong. No one is so ill that he cannot be healed. No mind is so dull that it cannot be made brilliant.
“Whatever we need if trust God, He will supply it. If anything is causing worry and anxiety, let us stop rehearsing the difficulty and TRUST God for love, healing and power.”