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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07-17-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 17, 2021
I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.  And in his name the Gentiles will hope.  Mt_12:14-21

Jesus, not the boasting politician, but the quiet, gentle healer!

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07-16-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 16, 2021
(Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”  Mt_12:1-8

I generally take a peek at the Scripture readings some time before I formally begin prep for these homilies, just to get a feel for what’s coming up.  And then, I also review – what the Scriptures were the last time we met, so that whatever I’m going to say, it isn’t just a repeat of what was said the time before.

But you know what, if you really get to know the Scriptures, what you’ll find, is that between the four different Gospels, and even within the same Gospel, Jesus repeats much of what He said – over and over and over again.  And it’s all about Faith, Love, Forgiveness and Repentance, with some smatterings of hope for eternal life.

You see, what I discovered in today’s Gospel, relative to the one that we read two weeks ago, was that, here, Jesus DOES repeat himself, using the exact same quote from the Prophet Hosea (6:6): “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

And yet, the circumstances in which he said it, both times, were different.  Two weeks ago the Pharisees were complaining that Jesus associates Himself with sinners; having just called the tax collector, Matthew, to be one of his disciples.

The Pharisees seemed to be obsessed on the sinfulness of everyone, and not on their healing: which should have been – their primary role as religious leaders.

And since the sin was purged by sacrifice, their goal seemed to be more about their condemnation of the sin and the sacrificial offering, than it was – their recognition of these people’s need for healing and mercy.

Today, the Pharisee’s condemnation came, as it often did, for the breaking of the strict Sabbath laws.  As a matter of fact, those laws were SO strict that even the Pharisees themselves could not avoid breaking them from time to time.

And again, what was the point?

If the point was the keeping of the law at all costs, then the Pharisees seemed to have lost the bigger picture – of Who it was all for, and Why.  It was supposed to be – ALL for God,  for His Love, and for the Love of our neighbor: sinner or not.  You see, God desires mercy,
not sacrifice. Love, not theatrics. Peace, not paranoia.

Of course, if we go all the way back to the time of Moses and the Exodus, it would appear, on the outside, that the whole thing was all about theatrics.  God knew the hardness of  Pharaoh’s heart. But, he also knew the hard-headedness of the Israelites.  And He knew that the only way He could break through their skepticism – of Moses, and of Himself,
was through signs and wonders.  Thus, the theatrics, the rules, and the laws; which even after all that, they still had a hard time following.

Funny how a rule or a law, designed for the Good of the people, could turn more oppressive and destructive than the harm it was trying to prevent in the first place.  We’ve just lived a year of it. And here we are, still trying to recover from the destruction – of the peace and love – that God has always wanted for all of us.

Sometimes, when a point is worthy of noting, worthy of learning, worthy of remembering, it just needs to be repeated, over and over again.

Faith, Love, Forgiveness and Repentance!

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07-15-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 15, 2021
(St. Bonaventure, OFM, Bishop, Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said: “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

Whenever we set out on a journey, whatever it may be: getting a college degree, getting married and starting a family, embarking on a Religious vocation, taking a cross-country vacation, or even just driving to Mass at 7:30 in the morning, whenever we set out on a journey, there always seem to be those hurdles we have to jump, those unexpected roadblocks, those red lights that are always green when we’re NOT in a hurry.

Jesus might call all of those challenges in life’s journey, a “yoke” or a “burden” that we have to carry in order to reach our destination.  And sometimes those challenges can be pretty unnerving.  Not only do they wear us out, but there never seems to be any rest,  any break from them.

Moses was called by God to make a journey of his own.  You see, Egypt was a place he had wished he would never have to go back to again. So when God commissioned him to return, Moses came up with ninety different excuses why he couldn’t: “I’m not a good speaker.” “I don’t even know Your name.” “What if they don’t believe me?” “Who am I to take on such a perilous journey?” “Who am I to carry this impossible yoke and heavy burden?”

And yet, God assured Moses that all he had to do was just BE, because the yoke and the burden would all be on Him, on God.  God would provide all the tools that Moses would need to perform some pretty miraculous deeds. Today’s culture might call that tool  “a magic staff.”  But, of course we know better.  For it was all just a show, because God was in total control of it all.

And God reminded Moses that the all-important Goal of this perilous journey was the fulfillment of that 3-fold Covenant that He made with Abraham generations earlier.  There were the zillions of Descendants, which was already accomplished, there was the Home Land of their own, to which Moses would lead them; that “Promised Land” of milk and honey. And then, there was the Blessing, which was just about to begin in their Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

You see, the “yoke” that God was placing on the shoulders of Moses, the yoke that, in Moses’ mind would consist of hurdles and roadblocks and red lights, would, in reality, be as light as a feather – IF Moses could simply place his TRUST in God.

If you guys are anything like me, you’ve got to get all your ducks in a row before embarking on any kind of journey: Print the map, just in case the GPS dies, Plan the route, including alternatives, just in case of traffic or construction, Pack all the extras, in case all the stores are closed, And bring enough food, just in case there happens to be a blizzard or a tornado. You know the drill.

But Jesus, as we heard this past week, tells his disciples and us to skip all that, and Trust in Him.  Trust in the hospitality and compassion of other people, because most people really are good and not just out to get us. And instead of fearing the worst, we are to keep our focus on the goal of the journey and the joy of the moment.

Jesus promises that He will make our burden light, for most of the yoke is already upon His shoulders, and the Joy of the journey is ours for the taking!

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07-14-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 14, 2021
(St. Kateri Tekakwitha)
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”  Mt_11:25-27

Childlike faith that brings with it God-like wisdom.  Pray, beloved, that we can continually become more childlike.  So that we may be all the wiser about our God!

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07-13-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 13, 2021
(St. Henry II, King)
Pharaoh’s daughter said to her (the Hebrew woman), “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you.” The woman therefore took the child and nursed it. When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”  Ex_2:1-15a

Out of the womb of a tar encapsulated basket, floating in the stagnant reeds of the river bank came a little child.  Out of a state of condemnation and certain death came a little child who would be redeemed by a maiden to later become the savior of a nation.  Reborn of water and spirit he became Moses, the adopted grandson of Pharaoh himself.  Like Joseph before him, Moses would be an instrument of God to fulfill a Covenant made to his ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And little did he know that millennia later another savior would be born in the basket of a manger, in the darkness of a cave, who would redeem the world.  What an awesome set of stories!   What an awesome set of people!  What a beautiful new Covenant we find in Jesus, for us!

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Most blessed birthday wishes to our son Fr. James.
Christ’s peace be with you always!

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07-12-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 12, 2021
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.  Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,…”  Ex_1:8-14,22

Jesus said,
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and
whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and
whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and
whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and
whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”  Mt_10:34-11:1

How do we deal with rejection, oppression and persecution? What do we do, when those
whom we’ve counted on most – are suddenly gone or turned against us?

The Israelites were living some pretty comfortable lives in the land of Egypt. No more wandering from place to place, living in tents.  No more worrying about where  the next meal will come from. Now they were living in the big city and everything they needed was just a heartbeat away.

But then, as suddenly as it all began, Joseph and their supportive king were gone.  And the new Pharaoh had new rules.  And instead of being an asset to their new land, the Israelites were looked upon as a threat.  And not only were they having to do things they didn’t want to do, but they were being forced into slavery: whipped, and beaten, and killed.  The oppression and persecution even went as far – as the killing of their own precious little children.

You know, brothers and sisters, it can happen to us just as well.  With the turn of an election, the threat of a pandemic, the madness of the media, we could all be in the same boat. Any one, or all of us!

So it all goes back again to that same question.  Who’s basket are we putting our precious eggs in?

Jesus gives His disciples and us a very succinct answer today.  If it’s anything or anyone but Him, it clearly IS the wrong basket.  And if we’ve so diluted our devotion to Jesus, to God, as just another backup security plan: – ‘If mom and dad don’t work out, we can always go to Jesus,’ – ‘If the kids or the job doesn’t work out, we can always go to Jesus.’ – ‘If the government, or the finances, or the world don’t work out, we can always go to Jesus.’

But, today Jesus is telling us that that mode of thinking is just not worthy of Him.

Well, we’ve all heard of the Ten Commandments and the Nine Beatitudes.  Today, Jesus give us what we might call the “Ten Whoevers.”  Whoever: Loves, Finds, Loses, Receives, Gives.

The first three Whoevers tell us what it takes to be worthy of Jesus. We are called, Whoever we are, to Love Jesus over – even our closest of relatives – over mother or father, over son or daughter.  We are called to pick up our crosses. Crosses of disappointment in the world, of rejection and oppression, of loneliness and fear, and allow Jesus to be our absolute  closest of relationships, by following Him. And THAT makes us worthy!

Then next “whoever” talks about life.  What is life?  Is life our job or our family?  Is life our home or our car? Is life our sports or our smartphone?  Jesus tells us to lose it and find
True Life in Him.  For Life in Him goes beyond – just this mortal and physical existence.
It spans to eternity!

And then, who do we receive in this life of ours?  If we receive Jesus, we receive even more. We receive God the Father.  And if we receive the prophets and the righteous, we become like them.  Maybe martyrs, but saints none the less.

And IF we can actually implement this following of Jesus to the point of Giving to the poor, to the needy, to the child, then we have certainly excelled in being worthy to be called His disciples.

THIS is how we, “Whoever” we may be – are called to live.  Life IN Christ!  And Christ in us!

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07-11-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 11, 2021
(15th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him. Eph_1:3-14

AMEN!

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07-10-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 10, 2021
Joseph’s brothers pleaded with him, “Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father’s God, committed.” When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears. Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “Let us be your slaves!” But Joseph replied to them: “Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children.”  Gn_49:29-32;50:15-26a

Jesus said, “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”  Mt_10:24-33

Sometimes, beloved, our fears can take over our senses and we become slaves to them.  Jesus tells us not to fear, even to the extreme of death.  In judging his brothers, Joseph said, “Can I take the place of God?”  We need to have more concern in fearing what’s in ourselves.  Our deprived human nature can certainly destroy both body and soul.  This is what we need to be very careful of.  Take care of our souls and God will take care of the rest.  We are not God.  And when we can fully understand that, then we’re on the road to salvation!

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07-09-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 9, 2021
Jesus said to His apostles, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  Mt_10:16-23

Ever say something awesome, beloved, and wonder where those words came from?  Ever have some ask you where you got those words or whom you are quoting?  That’s exactly what Jesus was speaking about today.  When we give our whole selves over to the Holy Spirit, then God can speak through us to those who need those particular words.  So, as Jesus said, don’t worry about what you are to say, God is in control.  And He will see to it that the words are appropriate – like a two-edged sword piercing between bone and marrow (Heb 4:12) piercing our hearts and tugging at our souls.  Listen!

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07-08-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 8, 2021
Joseph said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt. But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”  Gn_44:18-21,23b-29;45:1-5

Sending the Apostles on for their first mission trip, Jesus said, “Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”  Mt_10:7-15

Forgiveness comes in many different shapes and sizes.  And while forgiveness is never easy, sometimes it’s a lot easier to forgive some wrong done TO us, than to someone we love.

The Scriptures give us lots of examples of what we might consider some pretty tough forgivenesses.  Of course, there’s Jesus forgiving Peter for his denial, Jesus forgiving His executioners, while dying on the cross, St. Stephen forgiving those who were stoning him to death, and today, we see Joseph forgiving his brothers for selling him into slavery, and the years of suffering it caused him.

You see, whenever there is an infraction against the moral Law of respect for human dignity and life, there are also psychological and even physical consequences for those infractions.  For 20-years the brothers of Joseph carried the guilt of what they had done to him.  It was so emblazoned in their minds that whenever something went wrong in their lives, they thought it was God punishing them for that act.

Jesus tells us that when someone does us wrong, save for taking away our life, we are supposed to “turn the other cheek.”  But turning the other cheek doesn’t mean allowing them to persist in hurting us, if we, at least, have any other option.  Throughout the Gospels we see example after example of times when Jesus purposely escaped a murderous mob, often just walking away.

Today we have the continuation of Jesus sending His apostles out on Mission.  With no extra clothes, no money, no food, not even a walking stick, they were essentially naked,  totally vulnerable, save for the Word of God within them.  And Jesus encouraged them that there would be people out there who would take care of them.

Yet, He also warned them that there would be those who would reject them as well.  And if that were to happen, they were not supposed to keep beating them with this proclamation until they relented.  And they were not supposed to angrily burn down their houses in revenge.  Instead, Jesus tells them to “shake the dust from their feet and move on.”  It was just a little different form of forgiveness.

You see, brothers and sisters, we are not being called to be punching bags.  And we’re not being called to carry someone else’s anger or abuse against us, as a burden to crush us. Instead, Jesus gives us this miraculous self-healing ability, this power called Forgiveness.

Joseph didn’t hunker down in depression because of his plight of slavery and imprisonment.  Instead, he made the absolute best of what he had. Through his God-given talents of interpreting dreams, common sense and mathematical insight, Joseph went from slave to being the second in command in all of Egypt. He knew, as Jesus reminds us today, that God will take care of the recrimination, the judgment and the punishment of those who are unjust.

WE are called, brothers and sisters, to forgive as we are forgiven by God, through the mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When you think about it, it truly IS the greatest miracle, the greatest gift and power that we could ever have possibly been given, and it’s called – Forgiveness.

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07-07-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 7, 2021
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. . . .  Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’“  Mt_10:1-7

Our grandson just got his permit, at 15-years old, to learn to drive himself.  Now for 15 years he has ridden with his parents and others in cars and so he has a good feel for what driving (or at least riding in a car) feels like.  But he’s never actually done it himself.  It’s a whole new feel.  And so he begins with close supervision and on the easy roads, just to get the hang of actually driving.  Coordinating the steering with the motion, watching for obstacles (stationary or moving), and learning the feel for braking without sending everyone through the windshield.  

Today Jesus gives His disciples the wheel.  They are to begin their own missionary work.  But they’re not being sent out on the “hard roads,” to the people who will have no idea what they’re preaching or despise them just because they’re Jewish.  They’re being sent to their fellow Jews, who are well aware of the Scriptures, the promises and the need for salvation.

You see, before they go out to the pagans or the Samaritans they must get it in their own minds that those people can be saved as well.  They will have to dispute wrong thinking and defend Jesus.  And they will need to know when to persist and when to relinquish, “shake the dust from their feet,” from those who refuse to listen.  And all this will come as they grow in their experience.  For now, they have been given the tools.  They just have to learn how to effectively use them first.

And it’s all about God’s LOVE for every one of us! 

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07-06-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 6, 2021
(St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr)
On his return home, Jacob wrestled with a man in the night.  The man said, “You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.”  Gn_32:23-33

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. . . . He said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”  Mt_9:32-38

Sometimes our contentions are with our fellow men and women, and sometimes they can even be with God.  But it all stems from our own attitudes and actions.  God is calling us to be forgiving, merciful, happy and accepting of even the tough things in life.  Jacob contended with God and man, and even ended up with a broken hip, which he struggled with for the rest of his life.  And yet, he praised God for all the other Good things that he had received.

Maria Goretti likewise had a challenging life, as short as it was, and after abuse, rape and murder she still forgave and prayed for her attacker, just before she died.  Eventually it led to his conversion.  We never know what our actions may do in the unforeseen future, but when they are righteous, God will always see to our requests.  Trust in Him!

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07-05-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 5, 2021
(St. Elizabeth of Portugal, T.O.S.F)
Jacob had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: “I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.”  Gn_28:10-22a

OK, so between the death of Abraham’s wife, Sarah and the marriage of their son, Isaac, last Friday, the story skipped a couple beats with Saturday being the Feast of St. Thomas and Sunday, as we know, being on a different cycle of readings.  So today, we’ve jumped forward to hear about Isaac and Rebekah’s son Jacob.

In the meantime, as a young man, we missed Jacob and Rebekah’s deception of Isaac and Esau, Jacob’s twin, for an unwarranted blessing, which then led to Jacob fleeing from home, for safety from Esau’s wrath.

Now it’s interesting that, the place Jacob was headed was EXACTLY where Abraham vehemently insisted that Isaac never, ever go, back to his homeland and the family he left behind in Haran. And part of the reason Abraham didn’t want Isaac to go back there, was because those people did not believe in his God, and because Abraham was worried that Isaac would either be killed outright for being his son, or that Isaac’s Faith might be diluted with the heathen culture there, and he would forget all about God and His Covenant with Abraham.

So, here today we begin with Jacob’s flight, right into the belly of the beast!

And yet, remember, Haran was also the homeland of Rebekah, Jacob’s mom and cohort in crime. And Rebekah knew that Haran was the place where Jacob himself could find a wife from Abraham’s clan.  But we also remember, from last Friday, the important significance
of Sarah in God’s Covenant with Abraham.

So what we learn, is that we never take lightly the role of the women in the Bible, or in our own lives, for that matter. In this case Rebekah, though a little devious, was truly part of  the continuance of God’s Covenant. And the proof of the pudding came in two encounters of Jacob with God, on this journey.

The first encounter, being this vision of a ‘Stairway to Heaven’. In it, we notice that God didn’t rebuke Jacob for his duplicity, but instead, encouraged him to have Faith. And again, God reminded this grandson of Abraham about the three promises of the Covenant: the Land, the Descendants and the Blessing!

In John’s Gospel (Jn_1:45-51), we hear Jesus extolling the non-duplicity of Nathaniel and promising him  a vision of that same “Stairway.”  The Stairway that represents Jesus Himself. The Stairway upon which all who believe in Him and follow His way will travel – in this mortal life and beyond.

Yet, unbeknownst to Jacob, the sacred place of that vision would come to represent the next claim of Land towards that Holy Covenant. And upon his arrival at Haran, and after a little penance, Jacob would continue the Descendant part of the Covenant through his own marriage.

Tomorrow, upon his return, we’ll hear of Jacob’s rather unusual, though slightly painful, Blessing and his renaming, in that second encounter with God. So stay tuned.

We might wonder then, how this story ties in to the two miraculous healings by Jesus today (Mt_9:18-26)? Well, we could say, that the woman cured of hemorrhages was already walking that Stairway to Heaven, by her faith in Jesus. And the little girl was called back down that stairway to serve God, just a bit longer, in bringing joy to her loved ones and conversion of heart to all who didn’t believe.

You see, beloved in Christ, we’re all somewhere on that Stairway to Heaven.  One step up by Faith, and maybe 2-steps down by doubt or calling. But our destination is clear. And our Lord is always, right Here, by our side!

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07-04-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 4, 2021
(14th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
St. Paul said, “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2_Cor_12:7-10

Sometimes, beloved, we truly deserve pity and comfort and caring and love.  And other times we just have to buck up and carry our crosses and move on.  Seems like most of the time the latter is the preferable route, because wallowing in self-pity never improves anything.  As a matter of fact, it usually makes things worse for us.  So, know that God, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit loves us and let that be our consolation, while we suck it in and comfort others.  That’s what we’re called to do in this life.  Just as Jesus modeled for us!

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07-03-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 3, 2021
(St. Thomas, Apostle)
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  Eph_2:19-22

Fellow Citizens.  In a world where we all seem to have our differences of opinion and loyalty, wouldn’t it be nice to be fellow citizens with those even in our own Church, let alone, community, state, nation and world.  And yet, regardless of if we’re Catholic, non-denomational, Methodist, Baptist or Pentecostal, we’re all believers in Jesus.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could set aside all those trivial differences in semantics and just be fellow citizens together!  I think Jesus would really like that!

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07-02-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 2, 2021
After the burial of Sarah in the Hebron, Abraham said to the senior servant of his household, who had charge of all his possessions: “Put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not procure a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred to get a wife for my son Isaac.”  Gn_23:1-24:67

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” . . . The Pharisees said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” . . . Jesus replied, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  Mt_9:9-13

There was something that struck me about this story of Abraham finding a wife for Isaac, the first time I read it.  It is a fairly long, 66-verse narrative, preceding and ending with notes about Isaac’s mother, Sarah.  And the pieces about Sarah are pretty significant to the Covenant that God had made with Abraham.

Remember, that Covenant had three parts – to the benefit of Abraham and the world,
if he remained faithful to God.  First, Abraham would be the father of a great nation, with as many descendants “as the sands of the sea, and the stars in the sky.”  And there, with the help of Sarah, despite their old age, they began the fulfillment of this part of the Covenant, with the birth of their son Isaac.  (Gn_15:5 and Gn 17:5)

The second part of the Covenant was that Abraham, Sarah and their descendants would be a source of blessing for the whole world. Gn_12:2-3  Of course, we know, that the greatest of those blessings came with the name, Jesus.

Then the third part of God’s promise, was that Abraham would possess the whole land of Canaan.  It was that property would come to be known as “the promised land.”  And that’s where we see, in the death of Sarah, the infant beginnings of the fulfillment of this third promise.

You see, Abraham could just as well have accepted, as a gift, the piece of land that the Hittites who lived there offered, as a burial place for Sarah.  But instead, Abraham insisted on officially BUYING the land, so that there would never be any question or contradiction that he owned it.  It was the first installment in the fulfillment of receiving that “Promised Land.”  And the remainder of the land would be acquired through God’s expulsion of the inhabitants, 400-years later, following Israel’s Exodus from Egypt.

And so, we see Sarah’s intimate involvement in the fulfillment of all three parts of God’s Covenant with Abraham (the Progeny, the Blessing and the Land).

But now, with Sarah gone, it fell to Abraham to see to it that Isaac didn’t drop the ball in expanding that promise of descendants.  And to keep that line of descendants pure, Isaac’s wife had to come from the family line of Abraham, and not from the Canaanites. Fortunately for Abraham, Isaac was a bit of a “Mama’s boy,” as we heard at the end of the passage, and so, Abraham didn’t have to worry about Isaac straying from the herd.

Which gets us to the beautiful and prophetic allegory of the calling of Rebekah. Unfortunately, our First Reading today didn’t include all 66-Verses.  So we’ll have to leave it up to you guys to fill in the gap, with the reading of the rest of Gn_24.  It’s one of those magnificent adventure stories with signs and wonders, with prayer and blessings, with anxious anticipation and joyful surprises.

But to put it all in a nutshell, kind of like looking at just a narrow slice of a rainbow, here’s the image that so struck me in its reading:  It said that Abraham “sent his servant” into a foreign and possibly hostile land, to “find a bride” (Rebekah} “for his son” (Isaac).

Does it sound, at least a little familiar to another story, a bigger story?  A story where:  God sent His servant, (John) into a foreign and hostile land (of Romans and Pharisees) to find a bride (US), for His Son (Jesus)!  Wow!

You see, brothers and sisters, we’ve been called to that marriage feast, just as Rebekah was, and just as Matthew and all the apostles were.  We’ve been called to leave behind
all that might hinder us from offering Him our full devotion.

And we’ve been called in “Mercy and not Sacrifice.”  Mercy forgives and Mercy loves.  Mercy gives and Mercy lives.  And just as we have been given to, we are called to give, as well.  Jesus is calling us today to be His bride and (in His Mercy and Love) to live with Him forever!

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07-01-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 1, 2021
(St. Junipero Serra, Priest, OFM)
God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a burnt offering on a height that I will point out to you.”  Gn_22:1b-19

Some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”  He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.  Mt_9:1-8

Of course we know that it was the common belief in Palestinian Judaism, in the time of Jesus, that physical illness was considered the direct result of sin.  We’re reminded of the long argument that the Pharisees had with the man-born-blind, whom Jesus had healed. And we’re reminded of the disheartening theses of those friends of Job, who insisted that his malady was caused by some hidden sin.  But it was also their belief, that no physical healing could be possible before that sin was forgiven, and that ONLY God could forgive sins.

So, when the paralytic man was presented to Jesus in the presence of the Scribes, Jesus, who could have cured the man outright, followed the prescriptions of the custom, and first forgave the man’s sins.

You see, the act was not only a testimony to the Faith of the man’s friends and relatives, who brought him to Jesus, but it was also a revelation to the Scribes, of WHO Jesus professed to be – the Son of God.  And the proof of His authority to forgive sins was made manifest in the healing, which, according to the Scribes, was ONLY possible after the forgiveness, and only by God.

The entire sequence of events was clearly obvious to the crowd of onlookers, and it led them to exactly where Jesus wanted them to be: Glorifying God!  Which brings us all the way back to the beginning of the story.

For, if the Glorification was not possible without the healing miracle, and if the healing was not possible without the reconciliation, then the forgiveness would never have been possible without the Faith. And in this particular case, the Faith was not even solely that of the paralyzed man, who had no means of getting to Jesus by himself.  It was the Faith of his loved ones, who brought him to Jesus that reconciled, healed, converted and saved him.

There’s an old saying that you can’t bring the mountain to Moses, but you can bring Moses to the mountain, and let him find that burning bush, that Light of God, all by himself.

Sometimes, Faith brings us, brothers and sisters, to mountainous challenges, like the one Abraham faced in our first reading.  Sometimes, Faith is just listening to Elijah’s “whisper” for direction and guidance.  And sometimes, our Faith brings us here – to find the strength to help us make it through another day, in the Joy and Love of Christ.

When we walk in the “Presence of the Lord,” with Faith that Jesus always has our back, then His Light will not only shine in our lives, but it just might be the guiding force that leads the non-believers, the sick, the lost, the sinner, and those paralyzed from seeing the Truth to seek Him as well – ALL by themselves and ALL to the Glory of our God!

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06-30-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 30, 2021
(The First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church)
As Hagar sat opposite Ishmael, he began to cry.  God heard the boy’s cry, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid; God has heard the boy’s cry in this plight of his. Arise, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and then let the boy drink.  Gn_21:5,8-20a

After Jesus had dispelled the demons from the two men, the swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs.  Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.  Mt_8:28-34

From the very beginning of time, our life in this world has been filled with diametric opposition.  And that opposition is reflected throughout the Bible, and especially in our readings today. . . . There are the “good guys” and the “bad guys.”  Adam and Eve vs Satan, Abel vs Cain, Sarah vs Hagar, Isaac vs Ishmael, and the townfolk vs the demoniacs.  It’s funny how we seem to thrive on those oppositions.

And yet, as St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans (Rom_2:11), “God shows no partiality.”  As a matter of fact, Jesus often sided with the underdog: the poor, the lame, the outcast, the sinner.  And we can clearly see this in His missionary work and in His words: as He told the pious and judgmental religious leaders, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk_2:17)

You see, inside every “bad guy” there’s a “good guy” crying out for salvation.  We might not know their exact reason why, but we’re ever so quick to judge and persecute them.

Adam and Eve went from being the good guys to the bad, in the simple sharing of an apple.  Cain went from being a model big brother to a desperate murderer, with his own inferiority complex.  Sarah and Hagar changed from being soul sisters and best friends, to arch-enemies, when impatience struck Sarah and pride enflamed Hagar.  And the split between Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael is still broiling – in a world filled with Islamic, Jewish and Christian hatred and war, when in fact, we are all brothers and sisters.

In our Gospel reading today, we get the sense that there was an understanding between the “good guy” townsfolk and the “bad guy” demoniacs: “We don’t go on your road, and you won’t kill us.”  But when it came to losing their herd of swine, those “good guys” were blinded from the fact that a miracle had just happened in their own back yard.

The demoniacs were healed.  The road was reopened, and a path to their own healing,
their own salvation, was right there in front of them.  Yet, what did they do?  They slammed the door in the face of Jesus, because their pride, their selfishness, blinded their hearts from the Truth.

Sometimes, brothers and sisters, we just have to step back from our impatience, our pride, and our comfort zones to see the salvation that’s right there in front of us.  God hears the cry of the poor, the good guys, and the bad guys alike!  God heard Abel’s blood crying out from the ground and yet He protected Cain.  God heard Hagar and Ishmael’s cry of thirst in the desert and He provided water.  And Jesus heard the silent cry of the demoniacs, pleading for freedom from their bondage and it was granted.

What is it – that we’re crying for, beloved?

Know that God hears us.

Trust in Him, with patience and humility,
and He will feed us with eternal life.

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06-29-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 29, 2021
(Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles)
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Mt_16:13-19

Some people just KNOW!  THAT’s the Holy Spirit!

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06-28-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 28, 2021
(St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr)
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”  Mt_8:18-22

There are those times when we just don’t want or need another crowd.  Jesus found refuge in a boat, but His followers vowed they would follow Him anywhere.  And  yet, how dedicated would they really be, would we really be, when they found out that following Jesus might cost some of those creature comforts that they, that we are so used to? In His own need to find some rest, Jesus let those supposedly faithful followers know that they would have to suffer the same malady in following Him.

Funny, how Covid19 has given some of us, some long needed rest.  But on the other hand, loss of jobs, loss of community gatherings, loss of anything or anyone for too long is not a good thing either.  We DO need our rest, but we also need our work and our relationships!  And now we pray, in our loneliness, for some return to normalcy, or at least a new normalcy with relationships, work, health and rest!

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Blessed birthday wishes to our awesome grandson Isaac today!

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06-27-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 27, 2021
(13th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
. . people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer (about a healing)?”  Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” . . .
Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.  Mk_5:21-43

Sometimes, beloved, the miracles we seek just take a little faith.  Remember it’s God’s will and not ours.  So we seek for the sake of the other and not for our own selfishness.  But sometimes our own relief IS for the good of all those who have to deal with us.  Have Faith!  And let God work out the justification. Just have Faith.  Jesus will see us through!

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06-26-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 26, 2021
A centurion approached him (Jesus) and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”  . . . Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.  Mt_8:5-17

Jesus wants to heal all of us, beloved.  What’s holding us back?  Do we have the faith of the centurion?  Do we have the patience of Job?  Are we willing to let go of our doubts and truly believe that Jesus wants to and can heal us.  Offer that sacrifice to Him and BELIEVE!

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06-25-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 25, 2021
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said: “I am God the Almighty.  Walk in my presence and be blameless.”  Gn_17:1,9-10,15-22

There are so many wonderful examples of Saints who give us models of conversion, models of virtue, models of faithfulness.  But there is only One God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  We are called, beloved, to walk in the presence of our Lord.  Every act we do, every thought we think, every wish we make should be in reference to knowing that we are walking in the presence of God.  Jesus showed us the way.  The saints show us the real possibility that it can actually be done.  And we know in our hearts that the Holy Spirit is mightier than our sometimes faulty human instincts.  Trust in Him, beloved, and always walk in His presence!

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06-24-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 24, 2021
(Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
When they (the neighbors and relatives) came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.”  But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.  Lk_1:57-66,80

It’s amazing the things that can happen when we trust in the Lord:  an unexpected pregnancy, a prophetic messenger for a son, a mute person able to speak.  It was all foretold.  And John would serve the Lord in just the way God predicted.  “Prepare the way for the Lord,” John would say.  Are we prepared, beloved?  Are we faithful enough to see the remarkable happen in our lives?  Trust in Jesus and you’ll find out!

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06-23-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 23, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them.”  Mt_7:15-20

Though we’re not supposed to judge without an eye for love, we do need to beware of unnecessarily getting hurt.  Jesus often disappeared right when some of the crowd wanted to harm or kill him.  He tells us today to “beware” of deceivers.  And in today’s world there are many.  There are those trying to sell us something that doesn’t really work quite the way they say.  There are those who just want to take advantage of us on the phone or on the internet.  We get “scams” in our emails, on our phones and even in the stores.  And being aware doesn’t mean we don’t love them anyway.  It just means we don’t have to fall for their lies.  Let them know that you understand when it might make any difference.  And when it doesn’t, just leave.  By their fruit, you will clearly know whether or not they are sincere.  And the same goes for us.  Be people of integrity, always, just like Jesus.

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06-22-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 22, 2021
(St. John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr and St. Thomas More, Martyr)
Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”  Mt_7:6,12-14

The easy way or the hard way?  Jesus tells us that we will not find eternal life by traveling the easy road.  And thus, we think about prayer, about fasting and giving.  Not easy things to do in this life of rapid change and an even faster pace.  But they are well worth the effort it takes to perform them.  Prayer, to get to know God a little better.  Fasting, to learn discipline, so that when the real challenges come, we are strengthened to be able to endure them.  And giving, not for the sake of getting in return, but out of pure love for others.  Jesus reminds us that the way to heaven is by following the narrow road and going through the narrow gate.  Are you struggling, beloved, with loss, hopelessness, emptiness, a deep need for compassion by someone, anyone?  Place your trust in God.  Follow the narrow road and seek Him with all your heart.  And you, we, are promised something eternally better!

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06-21-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 21, 2021
(St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious)
Preaching the virtue of humility and being non-judgmental, Jesus said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”  Mt_7:1-5

Funny, if we are fault seekers, we really have to look no further than our own hearts.  But if we’re glory seekers, we’ll find God’s glory in others all around us (especially in those who can still love us beyond our own faults)!  Blessed be God in our world today!  Blessed be the merciful.  Blessed be the loving! 

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06-20-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 20, 2021
12th Sunday Ordinary Time, B
In the midst of a wild storm on sea, while Jesus slept in the boat, the disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”  Mk_4:35-41

They were still learning the limitless powers of their God, of Jesus, their Rabbi, companion and leader.  Healing the sick, raising the dead, exorcising demons and even power over mother nature were child’s play for our God.  The apostles faith would grow, but slowly.  Even after His death and resurrection, they were still hesitant to believe it all, to have the “Faith” that Jesus always spoke of.  It wasn’t until they received the Holy Spirit that they finally became bold enough to risk even death to share His message.

So where are we, beloved, in our journey of faith?  Still slowly growing?  Bold enough to pray in public?  Trusting enough to risk job or reputation.  Faithful enough to even risk persecution and death.  Jesus warns us that the time is NOW.  If we’ve been baptized, we have that same Holy Spirit that the apostles had at Pentecost.  All we need do now is Trust.  He will come through IF we have Faith in Him!

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06-19-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 19, 2021
(St. Romuald, Abbot)
St. Paul wrote, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2_Cor_12:1-10

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”  Mt_6:24-34

Following through on his uncomfortable boasting, of all the hardships he’s endured, Paul continues his discourse with a positive note.  Not only was his journey painful, but he also had some pretty glorious revelations of God and heaven.  As a matter of fast, Paul tells us that those visions were so glorious that they couldn’t even be described in words.  And to keep him from allowing those visions to go to his head in his boasting, Paul also had a little more suffering to deal with to remind him that it is not on the mountaintop where he rests and finds God, but it’s in the suffering, in the weakness, in the humility!

Jesus reminds us not to keep our focus always on the future, on the ultimate Goal, and on the worries about the future, but to just deal with life one day at a time.  Do the best we can in the now and let tomorrow worry about itself.  Jesus is the Lord of the NOW.  Live and love every moment we have with Him!

_     _     _     _     _     _

Happy Anniversary to my beloved!
45 years and still in love!

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06-18-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 18, 2021
Paul wrote, Brothers and sisters: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. To my shame I say that we were too weak!  But what anyone dares to boast of (I am speaking in foolishness) I also dare. . . .  2_Cor_11:18,21-30

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, . . Mt_6:19-23

In our first reading today, beloved, we might have gotten the impression that Paul was upset.  Like the parent of a child who accepted that “candy from a stranger,” after years of patient and loving instruction given to protect that child from such a peril, Paul had been accused, by his child, some of the members of that Church in Corinth, that he had been insincere, weak and wrong in his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus, all based on the deception of that “stranger.”  And all the while, that stranger and those Corinthians were boasting of their own greatness.

So how does one convince a ‘lost child’ that the path they’re on, and the false leaders they’re following, will clearly NOT give them the “candy” they promised, but instead, will lead them down a road to hardship and doom?

Well to begin with, Paul first had to reestablish his own credibility.  And sometimes the best way to do that, is “to fight fire with fire,” that is, to use the same tactics of your adversary.  In this case, boasting.  But Paul’s boast, unlike his adversary’s, was not done to make himself look great.  Rather it was done to emphasize exactly what he had gone through, what he had suffered – for the sake of Christ and for them.

And, from his writing, we can tell by his caveats, that to some extent, it really bothered Paul to use this tactic of boasting, when he said things like: “I’m speaking in foolishness,” and “I’m talking like an insane person.”  He really didn’t want to boast.  And yet, you know what, sometimes it’s actually self-healing to vent all of that pent-up suffering and anxiety.

Whatever it was that those Corinthians said or implied about Paul, it was clearly:
– “the cork out of the champagne bottle,”
– “the stopper out of the dam,” and
– “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for Paul . . .
Kind of like Jesus, turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple, and Moses, throwing those tablets at the impatient and sinful Israelites.

Today, Jesus, our patient and loving Parent and Teacher, is reminding us of those same virtues that Paul was trying to teach the Corinthians.  He’s telling us to always be aware  of the Path we’re on, to scrutinize whom and what philosophy we’re agreeing with and following, to beware of false gods like wealth and material objects, and to always keep them far from our hearts.

And finally, He is telling us to seek His Light, the only True Light that will keep us from the chasm of darkness and despair.  For He IS the “Treasure” of our hearts, He IS the Light in our eyes, and He IS the only Path that will lead us safely back home to Him.

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06-17-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 17, 2021
Jesus said, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  “This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”  Mt_6:7-15

Prayer, conversation with God.  We acknowledge His might, His compassion, His creative genius.  We honor and we worship Him.  And then we seek His help for our most urgent needs of: food, companionship, safety, health and Love!  We recognize our depravity in our sinfulness and we beg His forgiveness.  But in the asking, we must also do to others as we ask of God.  We must forgive!  We must help.  We must show compassion, just as we expect it or ask it of God.  And we must love, even those who repulse us.  For God created all manner of personality for some purpose.  And we just might not yet understand the reason for those who are different from us, but there IS a reason.  So, we pray not for their conversion, but for our understanding and compassion.  “Deliver us, Father, we pray, from ourselves.  Help us to see, in Jesus’ Name and for Your Glory. Amen”    

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