Elijah’s Whisper – My Whisper

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Elijah’s Whisper – My Whisper

Bubbles2 Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.”  A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.  When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

Why are YOU here, beloved?

Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?

silenceOr were you just hiding in a cave, waiting on the Lord to Whisper in your ear – a Word – LIFE! Life, it’s in You! And YOU are beautiful in the Eyes of God, no matter what the world may say or think.

You are Loved!!

Every day the Lord whispers in our ears – Words of HOPE, Words of LOVE, and maybe not even words – just His JOY in our hearts.

Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .

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12-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 16, 2017
Sirach wrote, How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! . . . You were destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.  Sir_48:1-4,9-11

Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”  Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.  Mt_17:9a,_10-13

The ancients believed that the mighty prophet Elijah would one day come back and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, the Savior, the Chosen One of God.  Jesus let His disciples know that John the Baptist is/was that messenger, that reformer.  But He also informed them that just as John was imprisoned and killed, so would He be treated the same.  And all of this was written in the prophesies of Isaiah and others.

You know, beloved, sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of our faces.  When we look to the signs.  When we understand the prophesies made and fulfilled, we might just start to believe the truth of the prophesies, the warnings and the hope that Jesus left us with.  Our salvation rests in that belief!

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12-15-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 15, 2017
Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.  If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea;  Is_48:17-19

Jesus was quoted saying, “Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?  Mt 7:9-10

So, neither would God not want – only the best for us, His children.  And to prove that, He gave us Commandments, and Jesus gave us Beatitudes.  And, just as when we want a light to come on, we have to flip the switch, when we want the good things in life, we look to the Creator of that life and follow His instructions.

And nowhere in those commands does it say that selfishness, greed, independence, solitude, prejudice, revenge or hatred gets us a better life.  We may feel a temporary rush (of flush) of gratitude, of accomplishment in evil, but in the end we’ll always be worse off than when we started.

God’s commands all begin and end with LOVE!  Love means giving and caring and helping and understanding and sometimes even sucking it up with a little humility and compromise.  But, in THAT end, what will come back to us is – more love, and often much, much more than we ever gave.  And that’s exactly what God wants for all of us.  Love is not temporary, beloved.

Love is ETERNAL!

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12-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 14, 2017
(St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  Mt_11:11-15

Jesus highly respected John the Baptist.  He called him God’s messenger or Elijah who brought the message of His coming into the world.  And yet it’s not the messenger who saves us.  It is Jesus himself!  When we listen to the message.  When we believe in Jesus, beloved, He will raise us above all who came before, so that His Kingdom may be ours as well.  It’s a message well worth listening to!

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12-13-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 13, 2017
(St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr)
To whom can you liken me as an equal, says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things: . . . The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. . . . They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.   Is_40:25-31

Tired, beloved?  Tired of the ever pessimistic media?  Tired of ugly tattoos and curses, of the hypocrisy and the disrespect?  Tired of all the hatred and wars and evil all around us?  Tired of life?  Raise your eyes to the LORD of hosts.  In Him is our hope and our salvation!  He is our strength and our endurance.  Not only will we walk the distance, but we’ll even FLY!

Today, like St. Lucy, raise your eyes to the Lord.  And even in the midst of persecution and evil, we will soar like the eagles in the Spirit of His Love.  And like St. Lucy, that love of and for God will be remembered, even as much as 1700 years later!

Praise God for Her example!
And Praise God for sending Jesus to show us that Love!

Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  Mt_11:28-30

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12-12-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 12, 2017
(Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas)
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!  See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.  Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.  Zec_2:14-17

Through the message of the Angel Gabriel, the Lord had come to dwell within the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Through the acceptance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord had come to dwell with us.  And through the love of Jesus, the Holy Spirit now dwells within us!  And ever since, the Blessed Virgin has made appearances to us, to remind us of our need of conversion, of our need of faith in Jesus, and of our need to recognize the Holy Spirit within us and to share His Love with everyone!  The LORD of hosts has sent Her to us!  All we need do is listen!

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.” 
Rv_11:19a;_12:1-6a,10ab

Juan Diego’s Tilma and the miracles it reveals!

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12-11-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 11, 2017
Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication;  With divine recompense he comes to save you.   Is_35:1-10

Just watched a 2017 movie called, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”  Why is it that in movies with all these alien species, the good guys, the understanding ones, the wise, the peaceful ones are most often not the humans?  And yet this movie does show that there are good hearts in some or many of us.  I really thought it was quite a beautiful movie.  And the vindication, the recompense and the love all made their way to making it so.  Wouldn’t it be nice if one day we too could BE those wise, peaceful, understanding, good guys!!  Keep God, keep Jesus in your focus, beloved, and one day we WILL be walking that “highway” to heaven!  And there, it will be just like the paradise of these movies – and even better!

. . . A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it.  No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk.  ibid

Enjoy the Journey, beloved!
And focus on the LOVE!

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12-10-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 10, 2017
(2nd Sunday of Advent, B)
John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  Mk_1:1-8

Funny, we say those words every Sunday, beloved!  But do we truly realize what we’re actually saying, and do we believe it?  “Lord I am not worthy that You should come under my roof . . .”  Can we even imagine how unworthy we are?  And yet, He comes, and comes, and comes again!

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  And in that union with the Holy Spirit, beloved, we have the ticket that opens the door, that makes us at least a little worthy!  Worthy enough to be called “Children of God!”

When we can recognize our unworthiness before the throne of God, when we can truly mean those words (I am not worthy), then we are just beginning to realize how very, very blessed we really are!  And in our response of thanksgiving for all those blessings, we give back – to all His other children, who are not worthy either, because love begets love.

Blessed be God, beloved!  Blessed be His Holy Name!  And blessed are we who are called together in Love, as His children!

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12-09-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 9, 2017
(St. Juan Diego)
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Mt_9:35–10:1,5a,6-8

Isn’t that concluding comment so contrary to the way the world works, beloved!  Nothing is free!  And if the cost can be doubled just for the sake of greed, it will be done.  When we go to the store and find a sale of 1/2 off, you can be sure the seller is not losing anything on that sale!

And yet, God has provided us with this awesome world to live in.  God has provided the air we breathe and the water we drink.  Oh yes, we can always find ways to contaminate both and charge others for what doesn’t even belong to us.  But today Jesus is instructing his disciples to live by God’s rules, not man’s.  Offer whatever we can to others out of our love for them, not out of our greed or selfishness.  Give without cost and instruct others, just as Jesus did, without cost.  Or at least the only cost is a listening ear and a receptive heart.  We might just be amazed, beloved, at what we can receive and give – without cost!

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12-08-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 8, 2017
(The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”  Lk_1:26-38

Total submission!  Even in the light of possible persecution and execution, Mary submitted to the will of God!

Jesus commissioned us to, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.”  What is our response, beloved?  Is it, “May it be done to me according to your word?”  Or is it, “Yeah, but . . .!”

Yes, there may be some cost to carrying out God’s will.  But are we willing to submit even a little?  Are we willing to submit it ALL, as Mary did, as Jesus did?

Today we celebrate the immaculate conception of Mary.  It’s not Mary’s conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  It’s Mary being conceived in Spirit without the stain of original sin.  The link above goes into much more detail.  And out of her perfection is perfection born.  Praise God for His love and Mary’s fiat!

Link to The Birth of Mary.

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12-07-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 7, 2017
(St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.  “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.   Mt_7:21,24-27

If we want it to last, beloved, we build it on rock, not on sandstone.  If we want to pass the test we have to read the book and not just open it.  If we want to live God’s Kingdom, we have to act on Jesus’ words, not just read them.

Helping the poor, visiting the elderly, teaching the children and being friendly to the stranger; these are acts of God’s Love.  And if we can spread God’s Word in the process of doing these acts, we will, all the more, be living in that Kingdom!  Blessed be God for giving us all the ability to share His Love with whatever talents we have been blessed with, that we may build His Kingdom here and now, and live with Him forever!

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12-06-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 6, 2017
(St. Nicholas, Bishop)
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. . . .  On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!  This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.  Is_25:6-10a

Let us rejoice, beloved, be glad and give thanks for our God!

On another mountain, many, many years later, Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied.  Mt_15:29-37

Giving thanks!  Always giving thanks!  In our lives, beloved, we too are called to climb the mountain.  The mountain of faith and love and thanksgiving.  There may be heavy crosses.  There may be famine and hunger, cold and always that challenge to give up.  But Jesus will feed us.  He will strengthen us to complete that journey, no matter how tough it may seem.  Have Faith dear one, and never forget to give thanks!

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12-05-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 5, 2017
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.  The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.  . . .

The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.  There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.

On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.  Is_11:1-10

Out from the dead stump, comes LIFE!
And not just any life, GLORIOUS life!
And there will be:

Knowledge of the Lord!
Peace on earth!
Salvation for EVERYONE!

“On that day!”  This is
our hope, our life, our driving force,
Jesus!

Come, beloved!  It’s more than a tree and some lights.  It’s more than reindeer and a sleigh.  It’s more than our little gifts!  It’s the absolute best Gift anyone can give and anyone can receive!
Jesus!

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12-04-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 4, 2017
(St. John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
A Roman centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant who was near death.  Jesus responded in the affirmative!  And yet the centurion continued, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Mt_8:5-11

The centurion knew that a Jew’s entrance into the house of a pagan would make them unclean and didn’t want to impose that price on Jesus either.  So, having admitted his unworthiness, he gave the example of his own authority over others, and knew that Jesus possessed equal authority over illness and even death.  Jesus was so impressed by the centurion’s faith that He complied, healing the servant from a distance and making the centurion’s faith an example that everyone else should follow.

How faithful are we, beloved, to allow God to heal others through us?  How faithful are we to risk embarrassment, pain and even death for the sake of our beloved, Jesus.  For we know, that nothing, NOTHING in this world can keep us from God’s love, even when we are not even worthy of that Love!

Have Faith, and we WILL see God’s miracles, every day!

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12-03-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 3, 2017
(First Sunday of Advent, Yr. B)
Jesus said, “Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”  Mk_13:33-37

Where are the closed doors behind which we hide from the Lord, beloved?  Are they in our homes or our workplaces?  Places where we think God is not watching.

Did I shrink from answering that call to bless a coworker in his time of distress?  Did I allow that judgment or anger to linger just a moment too long in my thoughts?  Did I fall asleep when my home, my heart and mind, were being trashed by things of the world?

Jesus reminds us today, that we need to be awake at ALL times, even in the night, especially in the night, because that is exactly when the “evil one” does his work.  Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help, beloved, that we may never fall, spiritually, asleep.  And then we will be ready whenever our Savior comes back to bring us home!

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12-02-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 2, 2017
As we conclude this last week of Ordinary Time: Jesus said to his disciples: “. . . pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”   Lk_21:34-36

A warning and a promise, Jesus will return and stand before us probing.  He came and He taught.  Did we listen?  Did we put into action the commands He gave . . . Love one another and God?  There is the test!  Every day we should ask ourselves – How did God’s love show through me today?  And how did it not?  God does forgive.  All we have to do, beloved, is keep on trying!

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12-01-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

December 1, 2017
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Lk_21:29-33

As we approach the Season of Advent, our recent Scriptures have reminded us of some of the Old Testament prophesies and predictions of their “future things.”  Looking back at their future from today, we’ve witnessed the fulfillment of all of those prophesies and predictions.

We’ve seen the predictions of wars and atrocities that actually happened to the Jewish Nation through evil kings.  We’ve heard the Prophet’s prophesies promising the revival of Jerusalem after the suffering of their exile.  We’ve heard their promises of the coming of a Messiah or Savior.  And even though their sufferings were ultimately the consequence of their own wrong choices, we’ve also seen a loving God calling them back, seeking the lost, and teaching them the path to salvation.

It’s a love that is so inexhaustible, so complete, so unconditional, that God chose to submit Himself to our stubborn, rebellious, ignorance, in order to teach, at least some of us, what life is really all about.  And He gives us absolutely NO excuses in knowing what it takes to make – the Right choices.

Every year, while the world falls further and further away from remembering that sacrifice, from believing that there truly is someone who is on their side, WE make the steadfast choice to devote the four Sundays of Advent in preparing ourselves to celebrate that ultimate Gift of God’s love, Jesus.

As the most recent issue of National Geographic highlights the comment: “Might it be possible that Jesus Christ never even existed, that the whole stained glass story is pure invention?” – we pray for those who are still so lost that they believe such slander.  And now, more than ever, we need to boldly assert, with Jesus, that heaven and earth, houses and cars, christmas trees and lights, presents and eggnog, Santa and even our own flesh and bones will pass away, but His Word, His Life and our true Life will never pass, as we unreservedly give ourselves over to His Love!

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11-30-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 30, 2017
(St. Andrew, Apostle)
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!  Rom_10:9-18

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.  He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Mt_4:18-22

We ARE Jesus’ fishermen and women, beloved!  In how we live our lives, in how we encourage others with God’s love, in how we bring that Good News to life, we, today are those “beautiful feet” creating a world of hope amidst the hopelessness.

Sing His praises, beloved!
And let the sound of LOVE echo in our world!

God loves us, no matter what!

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11-29-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 29, 2017
Jesus said, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.  By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”  Lk_21:12-19

Persevere in LOVE, beloved, even when you’re swimming in a lake of hate.  Seek the pinlights of love and love will always find you in return!

God’s blessings of peace and love be with you always!

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11-28-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 28, 2017
As Jesus was discussing the downfall of the ‘materialism’ of the Temple, His disciples asked, “what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”  He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!”  Lk_21:5-11

Isn’t it interesting how many of those doomsayers we’ve already heard in our own lifetimes.  Every time there’s an earthquake, or another war, or a change in decades or millennia, there they are again, predicting the end of the world, the rapture, the second coming of Jesus.

Two points can be made from the conversation Jesus was having with His disciples about this.  First, everything in the material world will eventually fall apart.  Yes, archeologists have found objects that are thousands of years old, but that doesn’t make them indestructible.  Once the air and moisture and microbes have access to them, they may not last much longer at all.  In general then, we must be very careful not to idolize material objects because they will all fall apart, get stolen, or lost, and then where will we stand?

The second point that Jesus is making is that we must also be very careful with believing everything people say, especially people who have their own agenda in mind; like making money, gaining fame, or greedily taking advantage of others under the guise of helping them.  Jesus is the only TRUTH!  Don’t worry about tomorrow!  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  Don’t worry about yesterday!  Yesterday is past and gone.  And if an apology is necessary for yesterday – do it today and get it done with.  Live for the moment.  Pray for the needy.  Help others where we can.  And in every moment, LOVE!  Then, when that “day” comes, whether in the next second, or 50-years from now, we’ll be ready, and Jesus’ coming will be a welcome event.

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11-27-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 27, 2017
Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see.”

He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days; after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table.  So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.

To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.  At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation, the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.  When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king’s service.   Dn_1:1-6,8-20

The Vegan’s favorite section of the Bible!  Of course, not possible without the blessings of the LORD.  You know, beloved, sometimes there really is some wisdom to some of those old practices in the Bible.  And yes!  Mom was right about eating our veggies all along!  Cheers to V8 and the Lord our God!

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11-26-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 26, 2017
(The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”  Mt_25:31-46

Over and over again, Jesus tells us through the Gospels to be prepared, for there will be a judgment when He returns.  And how will He find our actions?  Were we naughty or nice, selfish or giving, loving or hating?

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’  ibid

So, Be Prepared, beloved.  For when the King of the Universe returns, we would like for Him to say to us:  “Well done, my good and faithful servants!”  And we will reply “All for Your honor and glory!”

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11-25-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 25, 2017
(St. Catherine of Alexandria, Martyr)
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.  Ps 9

Ahhhh, not much comment needed on this one.
Praise the Lord, as we finish out this Thanksgiving week!
Especially for YOU, beloved!

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11-24-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 24, 2017
(Ss. Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs)
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”  And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.  Lk_19:45-48

The Word of God, beloved, causes us to “hang on.”

When the world is spinning us around and around and we seem to be seeking, searching for something solid, something grounded to hang on to, the Word of life, the Word of love, the Word of hope may be exactly what we need.  Jesus gives us that Word.  And it’s Him!  He’ll clear out the error in us to bring out our true goodness!  A goodness that exists in every one of us, no matter how negative we may feel about ourselves, or think others do.

Andrew Dung-Lac found that hope and brought it to his companions, who were searching for an answer.  And just as it took the very blood of Jesus to bring about the reality of His Word, it took the blood of martyrs like Andrew and Paul and their companions to bring about the slow change of acceptance of the Faith in Korea.

As we continue in our spirit of Thanksgiving, beloved, let’s keep all the nations of people suffering persecution for their faith in our prayers.  And also remember, with thanksgiving, the awesome freedom we have to live our lives in His Word.

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11-23-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 23, 2017
(Thanksgiving Day, USA)
And now, bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will!  May he grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you;   Sir_50:22-24

What glorious blessings we have, beloved!  Yes, there may be suffering.  There may be sadness.  There may be separation and loneliness.  But there is so, so much more to be thankful for!  Blessed be our God, who loves us immeasurably!  Blessed be the goodness, in spite of the hurt.  Blessed be our hope for eternal life, without any of what we suffer now!  Blessed be Jesus Christ our Lord, who has saved us from it all!  Thank God!

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11-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 22, 2017
(St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr)
Jesus said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ . . .”  Lk_19:11-28

Interesting twist of difference between Luke’s version and Matthew’s version of this same parable by Jesus, that we heard last Sunday.  Luke puts a little bit more detail on the character of the servant’s master.  Here in Luke’s Gospel he’s a King-elect.  And it’s noted that many of his subjects really don’t like him very much.  That puts a little more meat on why the one servant hid his money rather than risk losing it.  Unfortunately his honesty in telling the (now King) that he thinks him a tyrant, doesn’t bid him very fair consideration by the one who holds his very life in his hands.  Not that the servant should have lied.  But the King DID have a point (as was mentioned in both parable versions) that he could have, at least put the money in the bank.

Sometimes we just have to take our chances, beloved.  And if we don’t, it may cost us more in doing nothing than if we actually lost it.  This goes for our very lives.  Apparently God will count it of greater value if we lose our lives working to build His kingdom than if we cautiously grow old, happy and healthy, never sharing the love of our God who brings that happiness in the first place.

One of our several Mass dismissals goes like this:  “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord!”  As we respond, “Thanks be to God!”

Thanks be to God that we have the ability to Go and . . .
Now we better make good on the last part.
It IS the most important!

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11-21-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 21, 2017
(The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”  Lk_19:1-10

Are you lost, beloved?  Or do you know someone who is?

There is always hope!

Zacchaeus was a hated tax collector.  He was hated because he was a Jew who placed the burden of the Roman taxes on his own people.  And those tax collectors were known for their dishonesty.  Beyond the taxes they had to remit back to the Romans they pocketed huge amounts for themselves, out of the pockets of their poor brothers and sisters.  And whether they all did that or not, it really didn’t matter, because they were all clumped into that same category of “dishonest tax collectors,” much like lawyers are categorized today.

So whether Zacchaeus was actually one of the dishonest ones or not, something caused him to have a pretty keen interest in Jesus.  And Jesus sensed this and wanted to get to know him a little better.  In the process, Zacchaeus turned his whole life over to Jesus.  He just may have been lost before, but now he found the hope of Jesus, the light of salvation, and his life had a whole new mission.  We call it kerygma or the proclamation of the “Good News.”

Whether it is we ourselves or someone else who is lost, EVERYONE needs to know that Good News – that God LOVES us, no matter what we may have done in the past.   All we need to do is turn to Him and allow Him to turn us inside out.  From lost to found, from hatred to love, from death to life, from self centeredness to compassion for everyone, even those who may still be lost!

What awesome HOPE there is in Jesus!

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11-20-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 20, 2017
But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.  1_Mc_1:10-63

As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.  They told him,  “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”  He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”  The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent,  Lk_18:35-43

Obedience, usually, can do two things for us.  It can keep us out of trouble, and sometimes it can actually bring us reward as well.  And yet obedience also requires a certain amount of discernment.

A child might be ordered by his parents to stay in to do his homework.  While at the same time he might be ordered by an older sibling to go out and play ball.  Playing ball would be fun compared to doing homework.  But not doing homework might get the child in worse trouble with his parents and his teachers than not playing ball.

So he has to discern which order he should be obedient to.  If he chooses wisely, even though the disappointment of his older brother might hurt him in the short-run, his obedience to his parent’s and his teacher’s orders, would, in the long-run, bring him the greater reward.  It’s not always an easy decision for a kid.

As adults we’re called to make this kind of discernment every day.  And sometimes, like the child in our example, those decisions can be pretty tough.

Today we hear two examples of obedience decisions.  The blind man in the Gospel, knew in his heart that Jesus had the ability to heal him.  He also knew that it would take some courage, and a loud voice, to get the attention of Jesus.  And yet, there was that other order: “To be quiet!”

Did he follow his gut instinct, knowing that this might be a once in a lifetime chance to be healed?  Or did he obediently, quiet himself down?

You know, sometimes obedience to our faith takes quite a bit of courage.  And sometimes, we might even get a little mud in our faces.  But the reward for following God’s orders will always outweigh the alternatives.  And for the blind man, gaining his sight was a good example of being rewarded for the right choice.

Then, on the other hand, all week we will hear the stories of a different kind of obedience in our Readings from the Book of Maccabees.  Here, it wasn’t the parents, nor the teachers who were in the right.  Here it was the older brother . . .

Because the authorities, the wicked King Antiochus Epiphanes and the world, who seemed to be following him, were making orders that were plainly set against the Orders of God.

And the faithful Jews, who refused to follow the Kings’ orders, for obedience to God instead, were suffering and dying for their right choice.

Sometimes obedience just doesn’t come easy, brothers and sisters.  It didn’t for Jesus.  And it doesn’t for us!

But the Reward is well worth it!

And the strength to make those tough choices comes from our prayers for one another and our Love for our God.

Today, let’s make a point to keep each other in prayer and never forget the strength that the Holy Spirit will give us as we obediently follow the Light of Jesus.

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11-19-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 19, 2017
(33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Jesus said, “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”  Mt_25:14-30

The more one has, the more one can give away.  But the less one has the more that one wants for himself.  Greed will lead one to ruin, but generosity to heavenly wealth!

And this goes not only for money, but for knowledge, talents, clothes, food, love, everything . . .

Never fear the consequences, beloved, of being a generous giver!

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(First Annual World Day of the Poor)

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11-18-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 18, 2017
(The Beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey (OFM, Cap))
Jesus said, “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?  I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.  But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”   Lk_18:1-8

Sometimes, beloved, it seems we pray and pray and pray and nothing ever happens.  Maybe the happening is really happening inside of us, instead of to whomever or whatever we’re praying for.  If we keep persistent in our prayer, if we don’t give up, if we maintain the faith that God will one day answer us, maybe it really is we who are growing, and the answer has been there all along.  And that transformation in us can be huge.  And then, Jesus WILL find faith on earth, at least in us!

Did you ever want something so badly, but you just couldn’t afford it.  And so you saved and saved and saved and after maybe years of saving, you finally had enough money to actually buy it.  But by then you realized that it was not really worth buying in the first place.  And there you were, all the more rich for the saving!

Maybe God wants us to save and save and save for our own LIVES.  But that saving isn’t measured in money.  It’s measured in our prayers.  Keep on praying beloved.  And one day you’ll find that the treasure just might not be found out there, because it’s been growing inside of you all along!

“You are worth far more than many sparrows.”  Mt 10:29-31

Believe it!

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11-17-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 17, 2017
(St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious)
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;  Wis_13:1-9

Jesus said, “I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”  Lk_17:26-37

Sometimes we are blanketed with the solace of blessings from the Scripture Readings, and other times there are some pretty scary warnings.  Today is just one of those days.

You know, this morning I was standing in front of our Church, admiring a beautiful, pre-sunrise sky, with a bright, crescent moon and the beautiful appearance of Venus and Jupiter right next to it.

We have a fall-bare birch tree in the landscaped circle at our Church entrance, and those astronomical wonders stood just to the right of that tree.

As the sun began to brighten the dark night sky; just to the Left  of the tree, there were several contrails from passing jets.

And the whole scene just reminded me of: the Glory of God’s Creation to the right and the revulsion of mankind’s inventiveness to the left, with the “Tree of good and evil” or maybe, the “Tree of everlasting life,” standing there, in the middle, behind a large wooden cross.

The Wisdom writer warns us today to be very careful with our interpretations of those signs.  Yes, God created the beauty of nature, in the moon and the stars and the trees to bring us the solace of their presence.  But they were never meant to replace or to be a substitute for His own magnificence; a magnificence far beyond, even the most magnificent of things that we’ve ever experienced, here in the flesh.

A fact that we must never forget: God IS the Creator, and all of this is just His handiwork.

And yes, mankind has constructed and done some pretty harmful things, like burning dirty fuels, though they do warm our homes and allow us to travel more easily.  Like building bombs and concocting harmful chemicals, though they have protected us from enemies, and pests, and diseases.

But WE are, really not that bad.

It’s just that in some of our works, we have been a little careless with not thinking them through to the end, for the sake of speed or wealth.

And some of our works have been done without even thinking of God our Creator, or the awesome home He has given us.

Jesus said, “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it, will save it.”

That means, beloved, that True Life is not about this temporary existence in the flesh.  True life is about an Eternal, Spiritual Existence with God our Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.

But that doesn’t mean that we should seek death.  It means, instead, that we have a very short time here to be the very best disciples we can; to enjoy God’s Creation, to take care of it and share its beauty and its resources with everyone in need, without clinging to anything that’s material, even to the extent of our own bodies.

When we can become SO enamored, so dependent, so in Love with our God; and when we can love this life, that He’s given us, enough to be willing to give it up for Him, then we will have saved our True Lives forever.

And in the process, we will discover that we are actually living His Kingdom – right here and now.  Which is exactly where He wants us to be!

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11-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 16, 2017
(St. Margaret of Scotland)
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’  For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Lk_17:20-25

How can one describe the indescribable?  How can one explain the unexplainable?  The Kingdom of God is within and we’ll know it whenever the goodness of God’s love emanates through our actions and our thoughts.  The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  And all we have to do is look for it!

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