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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06-24-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 24, 2017
(The Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
When they 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. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea.  All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.  Lk_1:57-66,80

Zechariah became unable to speak when he doubted the words of the angel Gabriel, that he would have a child in his old age.  And everyone knew that something very special happened to Zechariah when he took too long offering sacrifice to God and then came out speechless.  It wasn’t until nine-months later that the answer came.  By listening and obeying God’s command to name his son John, Zechariah was again able to speak.  And the world knew that there was something very special in John.  John was the forerunner, God’s messenger for the coming of the Christ – the Savior!

Isn’t it awesome, beloved, how wonderful (maybe challenging at times) life can be when we listen, obey and follow the commands of God.  He always knows what’s best for us!  And we are ALL special in His eyes!

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06-23-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 23, 2017
(Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)
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_11:25-30

This is the yoke of Love.

St. John wrote, “God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.”  1_Jn_4:7-16

How unfathomable this love is, who is our God!  Rest in His love, beloved, and He will see you through whatever your burden may be.  Trust in Jesus!

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06-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 22, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them.  Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”   Mt_6:7-15

Jesus continued, telling them exactly how to pray.  We call His prayer “The Lord’s Prayer” or the “Our Father.”  And there are seven petitions to God described within it.

After we have placed ourselves in the presence of God our Father to adore and to love and to bless him, the Spirit of adoption stirs up in our hearts seven petitions, seven blessings. The first three, more theological, draw us toward the glory of the Father; the last four, as ways toward him, commend our wretchedness to his grace. “Deep calls to deep.” CCC 2803

1 Hallowed be Thy Name – We recognize the holiness of God and give Him all the Glory, both now and forever!

2 Thy Kingdom comeThe Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The kingdom will come in glory when Christ hands it over to his Father: CCC 2816

3 Thy will be doneOur Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”95 He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”96 His commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”97 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.  CCC 2822

4 Give us this day our daily bread – Feed us O God, every day with food for nourishment and the Spiritual food that is the Word of God – Jesus!

5 Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us – Forgiveness is a two-way street.  If we never forgive anyone, if we think we’re so perfect to never trespass against others, how would we expect anyone to ever forgive us.  And yet if we forgive and it’s not accepted or their trespass against us continues – Peter asked how many times do we forgive – Jesus said FOREVER!

6 Lead us not into temptationWe ask God not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength. CCC 2846

7 But deliver us from evilIn this petition, evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil (dia-bolos) is the one who “throws himself across” God’s plan and his work of salvation accomplished in Christ.  CCC 2851

Seven points recognizing our weaknesses and God’s Holiness and desire to help us – if we just let Him!

CCC is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (linked).

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06-21-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 21, 2017
(St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious)
St. Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2_Cor_9:6-11

Ever notice, beloved, what joy giving brings to us.  And it’s not always those material things that the receiver may or may not actually like.  The joy of giving may just be as simple as being there for someone who needs company.  Giving a friend a ride or letting someone take a place ahead of you in line.  All of these are more valuable than any material gift.  God loves a cheerful giver.  One who gives from the heart and not from the pocketbook!

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06-20-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 20, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, . . .   So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Mt_5:43-48

When Love becomes the very center and entire reason for our existence, beloved, we can be just like the saints who died praying for their persecutors.  We can be just like Jesus!

This is the perfection of our Heavenly Father!

May He bless you with persistence in this discipline!

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06-19-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 19, 2017
(St. Romuald, Abbot)
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.  When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.

Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”  Mt_5:38-42

How contrary to human nature, beloved, are these words of Jesus.  But how truthful, humbling and righteous as well!  Imagine how much less aggravation we would have when we don’t fight back in every little squabble we encounter.  That doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for what is right.  It just means that we don’t fight useless battles, we don’t make a war out of a little disagreement.  Love is what conquers all.

Jesus was the perfect model!  And His refusal to fight an unwinnable battle of flesh, won the eternal battle in the end.  It won for us eternal salvation.  And for that we give thanks and praise to Jesus with all our being!

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Today is our 41st wedding anniversary.  Happy anniversary. my most beloved Mary Ann!  May we have many more to come, together with Jesus in whatever path He leads us!  May our Loving God bless you always!

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06-18-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 18, 2017
(Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ)
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”  Jn_6:51-58

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!
This is our faith.
This is our Lord!

Eternal Salvation!

Link to Eucharistic Miracles . . .

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06-17-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 17, 2017
Jesus said, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.”  Mt_5:33-37

As Jesus moves through the Ten Commandments from murder to adultery, and today to lying, He makes the point that none of it reflects that love of neighbor that God wants all of us to have.  In other words, when we make a vow or a promise that we’re not sure we can actually keep, that’s a lie right from the start.  Sure we might try our best to keep our promises but when the window is open to fail, failure will almost be guaranteed.  By restricting our yeses and nos to mean exactly what we said, yes or no,  then that window to fail doesn’t even exist.  Of course, for some of us, it may be really hard to say no.  And when that’s the case, we have to work all the more diligently to be honest with others and with ourselves!  Sometimes no is just the best choice, all around!

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06-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 16, 2017
Jesus said, “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.”  Mt_5:27-32

It’s been a very interesting week in the Scriptures of our Masses.

Sunday Jesus gave us the whole entire Point of our faith:

“For God SO LOVED the WORLD, that . . .”

SO much love – that He saved us over, and over, and over again, as we hear in the stories of the Old Testament.

And He then taught us how to save ourselves – through laws that were carved in stone. Laws that taught us HOW to Love our God and to Love our neighbor.  And as hard as we kept trying, we also kept falling to the desires of the flesh: Me first, and if they happened to agree with me, then God and Neighbor.

And when we fell to those desires, we also fell to the consequences of our own lack of love.  And in our solitude and pain we pointed back at God and called Him a hateful and vengeant God.  Where in reality, God never, ever stopped LOVING us!

You see, it was in the plan all along – because God so LOVED the world.  A love so intense that He Himself, that Triune God, became Incarnate, as the Son, in order to teach us, once again – what it takes to be saved.

And Jesus taught!

On Monday Jesus taught us a whole new covenant of love, that we call the Beatitudes.  Yes, Love God and Neighbor, but HOW?  Through mercy and poverty, through compassion for the hurting and righteousness, through peacemaking and humility.  It’s everything that the Old Testament taught, but in a short outline form.

On Tuesday, Jesus taught us the importance of vigilance.  Because IF we don’t teach these Truths to our children, if our salt becomes unsalty, then we’ll just end up with a bunch of tasteless sinners who lost their way because they never really knew.  They never really understood the consequences of falling to the desires of selfishness; of losing LOVE for the sake of lust; of losing Eternal Life for the sake of temporal pleasure.

On Wednesday, Jesus straight out told us – that everything He was teaching was already written in the Old Testament, in the old Law.

And it’s all about Love.

Love of God and Love of neighbor.

On Thursday He showed us how, when we hate and murder others it hurts us more than the one we thought we were hurting.

And today, the concept of anti-Love extended into marital infidelity, lust and divorce.

When we can recognize that awesome Love of God for us, a love so great “that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life,” then we can live these lives of affliction and perplexity, of persecution and beatings, knowing that Jesus is manifest in our own bodies and that, like His, we offer ours to God, all for the sake of LOVE.

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06-15-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 15, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.”  Mt_5:20-26

Wow!  Was Jesus supporting the Pharisees?  Here we thought they were the bad guys.  Well, maybe they weren’t totally perfect.  But they were, or tried to be – religiously perfect.  Problem was, that they lorded their supposed perfection over everyone else.  And that WAS their problem.

Yes, we’re supposed to be good (righteous), but we’re also supposed to be humble and not judge everyone else as ‘less good’ then us.  Everyone is on ‘the journey’ in one way or another.  And one can fall off the top of the ladder the same as the one trying to make it to the first rung.  In the real world, it’s better to be reaching down to help the one below us than to be kicking at their fingers to knock them off.  So as perfect as the Pharisees were, Jesus is telling His disciples that they had to “surpass” their perfection if they wanted to make it to His Kingdom!

Jesus continued, “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”  ibid

The way to God’s Kingdom is through peace.  Find it, beloved, and you will already be living that Kingdom!

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06-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 14, 2017
Jesus said, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.  But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”   Mt_5:17-19

You know, it’s pretty easy to tell others what to do, and what not to do.  But sometimes it’s totally different to actually practice what we preach.  When we get to know those laws of God’s, we come to find out that they really are not all that easy.

How do we not lie when we know that we, or someone we love, will be in deep trouble, or might even be killed for telling the truth?

How do we not, in our hearts, really want something those TV ads or our friends have, that looks so appealing to us – without being jealous or lustful.

How do we not hate someone who has either hurt us, or our loved ones, for no apparent reason at all?

You see, it’s easy to say to others: “Love your enemies.”  But it’s really difficult to actually do it – when they’re OUR enemies.

Jesus and St. Paul are telling us today, that it truly IS important for us to learn how to follow the rules.  But where do we even start?

Well we might begin with something simple.  For me, it’s driving the speed limit.  And you know what I’ve discovered?  When you actually do that, you find out how aggravating the rest of the world can be, because now it’s YOU who are holding them back from breaking those same laws that you used to break.

You see, when nobody follows the rules, the ones who DO are the bad guys.  And as God-loving, rule-following Christians, we’ll discover that there’s a whole lot of world out there who will really hate us.

But as St. Paul reminds us today, we don’t have to do it alone.

The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to dwell within our hearts, is here to comfort, to strengthen and to guide us to all righteousness.  All we have to do is remember that He’s there, and rely on Him whenever we think the going is getting too hard for us alone.

When we find the strength, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to do just one little thing right, then the next thing, that seemed a lot harder, will be easier than we ever imagined.

And then, as we climb God’s ladder of obedience and righteousness, even the most difficult decisions between right and wrong will become second-nature.  And before we know it, we’ll be teaching others, without even realizing it.

We will be living that “Kingdom of Love” that Jesus promised,  because it’s already there our hearts, just waiting to be recognized.

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06-13-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 13, 2017
(St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”   Mt_5:13-16

Back home tonight, after a long, intensely amazing weekend watching our son become a priest.  And now what’s left are waves of euphoria.  The lamp is lit.  St. Joseph’s parish in Herndon, VA gets to bask in the glow.  And yet, so do we, beloved!  Fr. James listened to God’s call and followed.  Our call may be to shine that light to our family, to our friends, to our coworkers.  But however it’s done.  It’s to God’s glory!  And it’s to God’s glory that others may see and continue His life-brightening mission of LOVE in their world too!

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06-12-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 12, 2017
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.   2_Cor_1:1-7

Encouraged!

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06-11-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 11, 2017
(The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  Jn_3:16-18

One of those “moments.”  Try or imagine reading this Gospel verse at your own son’s first Mass as a Catholic priest.  Words can’t describe!  Now, imagine how God, our Father felt!!!

COME, Holy Spirit!

Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ!

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06-10-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 10, 2017
The angel Raphael said to Tobit and Tobiah, “A king’s secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.”   Tb_12:1,5-15,20

This morning God is giving us the honor of participating in and attending the Priestly Ordination of our son, Br. James, here at the Immaculate Conception Chapel of St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania.  James is a T.O.R. Franciscan Friar.  He will be serving at St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Herndon, VA.

We praise and give thanks to God most High for inspiring James with a priestly vocation, strengthening him through his studies, and giving him the persistence to follow through.  And now we ask His blessings upon James as he inspires others to Love their God with equal fervor, in Jesus’ Name!  AMEN!

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06-09-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 9, 2017
Having received his son back home, a new daughter-in-law, and his eyesight again, Tobit exclaimed: “Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages,”   Tb_11:5-17

My sentiments exactly!  And hope they are yours as well, beloved!

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06-08-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 8, 2017
When the girl’s parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, “My love, get up.  Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.”  She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs.   Tb_6:10-11;7:1bcde,9-17;8:4-9a

Guess when seven husbands before you died in their marriage bed, you certainly want to say a prayer before jumping in the sack with this one!  Guess they just weren’t meant to be. But this one surely was.  Praise be to God.  Just a reminder that we should always pray before EVERYTHING we say and do.  It truly makes a big difference!

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06-07-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 7, 2017
Grief-stricken in spirit, I, Tobit, groaned and wept aloud. . . .
“So now (Lord), deal with me as you please, and command my life breath to be taken from me, that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.  It is better for me to die than to live, because I have heard insulting calumnies, and I am overwhelmed with grief.

On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it so happened that Raguel’s daughter Sarah, also in grief, pondered death . . .   It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to have me die, so that I need no longer live to hear such insults.”  At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window, poured out her prayer: “Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God, and blessed is your holy and honorable name.  Blessed are you in all your works for ever!”

Insult and persecution can truly lead us to desperation.  But the Lord does hear the prayers of the faithful . . .

At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.  So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit’s eyes, so that he might again see God’s sunlight; and to marry Raguel’s daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her.  Tb_3:1-11a,16-17a

And thus begins the story of the salvation of Tobit and Sarah through the Love of God the Father, the breath of an angel, and the intercession of an obedient son.

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In the front of our Church, within and around the cracks in
the sidewalk, every morning I watch a long line of ants marching from one side of our entrance to the other, and back again.

And sometimes there are ants who lose their way, and wander far from the trail, meandering around in circles.  And when I see those ants, it reminds me of our Scripture readings today.  Because, here we are, like Tobit, and Sarah, and the Sadducees,
blindly marching from birth to grave, thinking that what we do
in life is important; thinking that someone, somewhere appreciates what we do or understands who we really are; when in reality, we get fired from our jobs, our spouses betray or leave us, and we have to worry about where the next terrorist’s bomb will explode.

And when those things happen to us, we find ourselves, like those lost ants, wandering around in circles, trying to find our way back, or like Tobit and Sarah, wishing that we never existed in the first place.

And just like my watching those ants, somewhere so far beyond our vision, there’s Our God, watching over every step WE take.

There’s Our God, sending angels among us, to heal us and to guide us back to the trail.

There’s Our God, in the Words of Jesus, teaching us that there really IS more to life than just this little ant path that we’re walking.

When we can truly place our Trust, our Faith, in this God who Loves us, so far beyond our deepest vision; when we can let go of self enough to truly follow the Words of Jesus: to love our God, and to love our neighbor; then, not only will we find meaning on this little ant path from birth to grave, but that little ant path will lead us right into the bosom of His love, forever.

And that’s a path worth following!

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06-06-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 6, 2017
(St. Norbert, Bishop)
Tobit continued: On the night of Pentecost, after I had buried the dead, I, Tobit, went into my courtyard to sleep next to the courtyard wall.  My face was uncovered because of the heat.  I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me, till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts.  I went to see some doctors for a cure but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves, the worse the cataracts became, until I could see no more. For four years I was deprived of eyesight . . .   Tb_2:9-14

Tobit’s Affliction

Each character in the story of Tobit has a little bit of an issue with life.  Tobit was essentially a good Jew who followed the law of the Lord and respected people.  He gave to the poor, buried the dead and loved his family.  But this problem of blindness began to really stress him out, as we see today, in his shortness with his wife.  And his wife’s response to Tobit revealed her lack of faith, both in God and in Tobit – and her own stress over Tobit’s total dedication TO God, besides his new medical condition.  Tobit, in the meantime, began thinking about his own death and how his family would be supported after he was gone.

And he has a plan for that! . . .

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06-05-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 5, 2017
(St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr)
I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life on the paths of truth and righteousness.  I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people who had been deported with me to Nineveh, in Assyria. Tb_1:3;2:1a-8

The story of Tobit is one of my favorites!  Unfortunately, if you have a non-Catholic Bible, you will not find the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit because it was selectively omitted.  And yet it is filled with excitement, adventure, intrigue and JOY!  And where there is joy, there is also – our God.

Today we’re introduced to Tobit and his son Tobias.  It’s a picture of an exemplary father and his obedient and trustworthy son.  In the following days, we’ll hear snippets of Tobit’s story.  If you’re not familiar with it, beloved, pick up your Bible and enjoy.  I’m sure you’ll find it as fun and enlightening and prayerful as I have.  And may our Loving God  bless you, as we enter our extraordinary Season of Ordinary Time.

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06-04-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 4, 2017
(Pentecost Sunday)
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.   1_Cor_12:3b-7,12-13

Imagine, beloved, if there weren’t people who knew how to fix cars and washing machines.  Imagine if there weren’t people who were so incredibly talented in art or music.  Imagine if there was a world without this diversity of gifts from God, gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Yes we could manage to get along.  But look at how much better we are together; together as One.  Jesus unites us!  Look to Him and marvel at the wonders of one another! And then say:

“Thanks be to God!”

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06-03-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 3, 2017
(Ss. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs)
When Peter saw John following, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”  Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?  What concern is it of yours?  You follow me.”  Jn_21:20-25

We seem to spend a lot of time and concern and aggravation worrying about that ‘other person.’  What about him?  Yes, we pray for their safety, their security in the Lord.  But the bottom line is, that their actions are their business and ours is only to continue to follow Jesus.  He will take care of us all.  So don’t worry too much about that other person, beloved.

“You, follow me!”

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06-02-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 2, 2017
(Ss. Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs)
Jesus asked Peter, the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”   Jn_21:15-19

Even though we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus on Sunday, we continue this Seventh Week of Easter in John’s Gospel with  post-resurrection stories, all the way up to Pentecost Sunday.

Today we heard Peter’s 3-fold re-affirmation of his love for Jesus, in compensation for his 3-fold denial.  And then Jesus reminds Peter, and all his disciples, that “feeding sheep” and “following Him” will not be an easy road to walk.  As a matter of fact, they will be asked, or forced into doing things that they might NOT even want to do.

We can see the prime example of this – in the whole story of Paul.  Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit many times, that if he went back to Jerusalem, the going would be really tough.  And he might even be killed for his faith.  In essence, many times, he almost was killed, and pretty violently.

Yet, time after time, by relying on the Holy Spirit’s lead, Paul was continually rescued from the jaws of death.  And the people who actually had the power to have Paul killed, were totally perplexed with how to handle his case.

As a Roman citizen, Paul had every right to be tried in a Roman court.  And Paul knew, that if he went back to Jerusalem, just one more time, it truly WOULD be the end for him.  But he also knew that he had a whole lot more evangelizing to do – even if it had to be done from jail.  So Paul appealed to Festus and King Agrippa to be tried in Rome.

You know, beloved, sometimes, when we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – we might find that life can get pretty complicated too.  But then, on the other hand, we also know that we’ll always find the RIGHT answers when we rely on the Holy Spirit.

As we’re reminded of God’s awesome gift of the Holy Spirit into our lives, this coming Pentecost Sunday, we offer these lives of ours with all the courage, wisdom and love, with all the understanding, knowledge, counsel and reverence that the Holy Spirit endows in us – to save as many souls as we possibly can – until our dying breath brings us back home with God forever.

 That’s our goal, and that’s our purpose, beloved.  And that’s what
“Following Jesus” is all about!

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06-01-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 1, 2017
(St. Justin, Martyr)
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, . . .”   Jn_17:20-26

That WE may all be ONE, beloved!  One in heart and mind.  One in word and deed.  One in union with Jesus, with our trinitarian God.  Blessed be His Name!

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05-31-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 31, 2017
(Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Elizabeth said to Mary, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  Lk_1:39-56

The Lord speaks with us too beloved, in many and varied ways.  Maybe He’s speaking to us through the Scriptures.  Maybe it’s a spouse or a friend.  It might even be a total stranger.  He is calling us to trust in Him, just as Mary trusted.  And then to move that trust into action!  Go the extra step!  Hold that door.  Refrain that curse or angry response to injustice.  Pray for them instead.  Smile and offer peace to the Sauls in your life.  Who knows they might just be the next Pauls (personalities unchanged, but with a much better goal in life).  And praise God for diversity (and His humor)!

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05-30-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 30, 2017
St. Paul said, “I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.”  Acts_20:17-27

Paul was a bit dramatic in his farewell speech to the Ephesians.  But his point was clear and his personality obvious.  Paul was a driver.  Whether it was persecuting the followers of Jesus or preaching His Gospel, Paul put in 110%.  And you know what, beloved, it’s good to have a goal, a focus and a desire to make accomplishments, be it for personal gain or for the Lord’s gain.

But we must always be sure of this, nothing is for sure!  The question then, is – how are we going to take life when it doesn’t go OUR way?  What do we do when evil overwhelms our good?  What do we do when we are called to go to that place we dreaded the most?  How do we deal with others’ deaths, with suffering, with loss?

Paul’s point behind it all was that, yes, it would be nice to be able to finish, to complete, to accomplish.  But if the surprise, the wind that changes our course, keeps us from ever making it, even by death, do we fully believe that Jesus will take care of us, even when we might think that we have failed?   I believe He will!  And I pray that you do too!

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05-29-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 29, 2017
Jesus said to His disciples, “. . . you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”  Jn_16:29-33

PEACE in Christ

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05-28-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 28, 2017
(7th Sunday of Easter A)
– since we did the Ascension on Ascension Thursday –
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.  
Jn_17:1-11a

So, what is heaven?  And what does eternal life mean?
Jesus gives us the answer today.

It’s all about knowing our God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

And how do we do that?
Well, we can follow Jesus through the Gospels.
And as the apostles did after the Ascension of Jesus . . .

After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.  When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying . . . and devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,   Acts_1:12-14

PRAY!

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05-27-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 17, 2017
(St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop)
After staying in Antioch some time, Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence through the Galatian country and Phrygia, bringing strength to all the disciples.   Acts_18:23-28

The Holy Spirit strengthens us too, beloved, to encourage and strengthen others.  Believe and rely upon Him, just as St. Augustine was strengthened by Pope Gregory to evangelize the people of England.  He became the “Apostle to the English.”

Funny, sometimes we just forget.  But Jesus reminds us . . .
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.   Jn_16:23b-28

Don’t forget to ASK!

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05-26-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 26, 2017
(St. Philip Neri, Priest)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”   Jn_16:20-23

What brings us joy, beloved?  Is it some special food?  Is it a winning game by our favorite team?  Is it a smile by a child or a loved one?  Do those joys usually last very long?

Jesus is promising a joy that will last forever.  Yes, the world around us may cause us grief.  It may even make us feel obliterated at times, with the loss of a loved one, with the loss of a job or a friend or even a pet.  But Jesus promises that He will be with us always.  Grief is OK, occasionally, beloved.  But that grief will pass just like all the worldly joys.  Cling instead to the true Joy of Christ and it will never pass.  Jesus loves us so incredibly much that nothing we can say or do will ever take away that love.  We just need to remember that always, and rely on the Holy Spirit to remind us!

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05-25-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 25, 2017
(Ascension of the Lord – official date)
. . . as they (the disciples) were looking on, he (Jesus) was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.  While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  Acts_1:1-11

In Luke’s Gospel 24:4, Luke also notes the appearance of “two men in dazzling garments” at the Resurrection of Jesus.  Remember where it said something like ‘by the testimony of two or more witnesses – the Truth be told.’  Those two ‘angels’ at the resurrection asked, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? ”  Jesus IS alive!

Jesus then promised the coming of the “Advocate,” the Holy Spirit, after His ascension.  Ten days later, on Pentecost, that Truth WAS told.  And the two witnesses, the angels, if you will, who appeared at His Ascension, promised the return of Jesus at, what has been called the parousia (Greek for the arrival); the date and time of which is unknown to all but the Father.

OH, aren’t surprises exciting!

Keeps us on our toes.  Keeps us honest.  Keeps us holy!  Maybe, some days (like yesterday) we just felt like shirking off religion.  And thanks be to God, it wasn’t yesterday that Jesus returned!  But today we’re reminded once again that all of life is FOR Him.  When we hold Jesus at the very center of our hearts, there really is no shirking religion, because even when we don’t feel like it, there He is again, reminding us in the very next Word that He IS what Life is all about.  And we CAN bear Him, even when we don’t think we can!

Blessed be our God, beloved!

And blessed be YOU!

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