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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06-18-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 18, 2019
Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. . . . So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Mt_5:43-48

If the Creator of the universe and of all mankind, who knows us to the very core of our being, could ask of us to make a choice that we may feel is impossible, then why should we not believe Him?  How can we not take that leap of faith, believing that God knows exactly what He’s asking of us?  And how can we not believe that it is only for our own good that He asks it.  “Love your enemies.”  It’s not impossible!  And beyond the actual doing of it, there is the reward of heavenly perfection, the reward of eternal glory!

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06-17-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 17, 2019
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.”  Mt_5:38-42

Human nature tells us to protect and defend.  Divine nature tells us to love.  Human nature tells us to preserve and hoard.  Divine nature tells us to give and give until all is gone.  Human nature tells us to climb and climb until we’re on top.  Divine nature tells us to give the ladder to someone else, because we really don’t need it when God is our launching pad.  The former leads us to mortal death, while the latter leads us to eternal life.  Which would you prefer, beloved?  Which do you choose?

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06-16-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 16, 2019
(Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)
Jesus said, “when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.  He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”  Jn_16:12-15

Father, Son and Holy Spirit – ONE!  Three persons, One God.  Inexplicable unity.  Incomprehensible entity.  Believed in, only by FAITH, in which we entrust all our hope!

St. Paul wrote, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”  Rom_5:1-5

One faith, one hope, one baptism, one Lord of all, who is in all and through all and with all, in love!  Our Trinitarian God!

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06-15-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 15, 2019
Jesus said, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.” Mt_5:33-37

That cuts out lying, cheating, broken promises, bad feelings, guilt and a huge source of our lack of joy!  Good advice!  Thank you Jesus!

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06-14-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 14, 2019
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.  2_Cor_4:7-15

Not us, not me, but God!  . . .
When we allow His dwelling within
and share that treasure about!

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06-13-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 13, 2019
(St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,” Mt_5:20-26

The condition of our hearts, beloved, is often dependent upon the condition of our relationships.  Where there is hatred, there is no peace (in us).  And where there is jealousy, there is no compassion.  And where there is unmerited love, there is a kingdom that no hatred or revenge can ever compare.  For that kingdom is our internal life with God.  It is the ultimate ahhhhh!

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06-12-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 12, 2019
Brothers and sisters: Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.  Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.  2_Cor_3:4-11

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.  Mt 5:17-19

Imagine someone having a long and complicated discussion, and you happen to walk in right in the middle of it all.  You might recognize a few words like “letter” and “glory,” but even that can be pretty confusing.  Is it an alphabet letter, or a personal communication letter, or are they the letters of a “qualification,” like an MD or an RN?

Paul has them all covered in this little piece of his 2nd Letter to  the Corinthians.

Then, in the Gospel, we find Jesus also talking about “letters” today.  And we all know what it means when someone says the “Letter of the Law.”  But this little piece of Jesus’ discussion with His disciples can be just as confusing.

So, how can we make any sense of it?

Well, let’s first, put both readings in perspective.  And the perspective IS, that both readings are Responses to problems.

Paul’s problem was that, being a good distance away from his infant Church in Corinth, he came to learn that some of the non-believing Jews there, were discrediting his credentials to preach and were discouraging the new Christians.

You see Paul didn’t have those big fancy “letters” after his name. And his only means of communication with the Corinthians was by “letter.”  So, like Jesus, Paul defended himself by referring to the “letters carved in stone,” those 10-Commandments, that the non-believing and “lettered” Jews held in such great esteem.

As a reference, Paul made the comparison of the “fading glory” that one receives by the simple act of obedience to those laws, versus the “eternal glory” we receive from the Holy Spirit, through our belief in Jesus.  The fading glory disappears with the very next sin, while the eternal glory remains, despite our setbacks, because the Spirit is always there to lift us back up.

Then, Jesus’ problem, as always, was the misinterpretation of the Law and the misunderstanding of who Jesus was, by the Pharisees.  You see, the Pharisees went so far beyond the “Letter of the Law,” those same 10-Commandments, that they insisted on following some 600-additional laws.  There were so many laws, that they lost sight of what the original-10 were all about. And keeping a law at the cost of hurting, or even killing a neighbor – was not what God originally had in mind with Moses.

So when Jesus said that the most important laws were to “Love God and to Love our neighbor,” that didn’t override the 10-Commandments, it actually reinforced them.

And then Jesus said that our obedience to those 2-simple rules of Love, which were supposed to be the whole basis for the other 600+, would certainly gain us all the credentials we need for living in God’s Kingdom.  Those credentials, those “letters” are exactly what we gain through our Life in the Spirit.

They are the letters of: Love, Joy and Peace; of Patience, Kindness and Goodness; of Faithfulness, Humility and Self-Control.  And it’s in them that the Glory of God radiates from our faces and makes even the most confusing of Letters as clear and as simple as:

I Love You.

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06-11-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 11, 2019
(St. Barnabas, Apostle)
In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.  When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Acts_11:21b-26;13:1-3

Barnabas knew that challenges to the faith would eventually befall everyone.  It happened 2000-years ago and it happens today, as well.  What is it beloved that will get you turned away from the Lord?  Yes, the Church is fully composed of normal mortal beings.  We have our personalities, our quirks, our errors and our goodness.  And those will not always be agreeable to everyone.  But our God is a loving and merciful God and he forgives us all.  Keep that forgiveness in mind beloved, when the next Church person you run into is not quite of your mindset and liking.  Then, know that the Lord, whom we worship, would want nothing less than our love for them.  And in that love, as Barnabas tells the faithful of Antioch, we are to never lose our faith!  For our Faith is, in the end, what will lead us to the Salvation that Jesus gained for us at such a mighty cost.  All out of Love!

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06-10-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 10, 2019
(Mary, Mother of the Church)
O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord;
O blessed mother of the Church,
you warm our hearts with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.
(Alleluia verse)

(Mary, Mother of our Lord and our Church), help our faith!  Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.  Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.  Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.  Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.

Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.  Remind us that those who believe are never alone.  Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!

Encyclical Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013), Pope Francis
© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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06-09-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 9, 2019
(Pentecost Sunday)
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit  Acts_2:1-11

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  Jn_20:19-23

When I was a kid, my dad had a keen fascination with Time.  Maybe it came out of his love for science fiction books.  Maybe it was because we lived in that early age of great technological change: from Einstein’ new theories, to nuclear power; from quantum physics to the infant space program.  Or maybe it was just because, like all of us, he simply didn’t have enough of that thing we call Time.

But whatever the reason, dad’s greatest wish was for me to invent a time machine.  So, he was probably quite disappointed when I decided to study chemistry instead of physics.  And I know, that was one sin of  mine that he did not “retain,” because in those days, just going to college was a big deal.

It’s funny because after all these years, I now find myself  pretty fascinated with that same topic of Time.  It’s also funny how the subject of time machines and time travel has coincidentally, become quite the fad in today’s movies, books and TV shows.

So, OK, Deacon Joe, what does any of this have to do with reconciliation, Pentecost or the Holy Spirit? . . .  Well, actually, it has everything to do with it.  And it all began when I came across the word: anachronism.

An anachronism is a chronological inconsistency over different periods of time. It may have to do with people, events, objects, or even customs.

So, if I were to tell you that when I was a kid I dropped my smartphone in the bathtub, that would be an anachronism, because, of course, the only phones we had back in the 60’s, had large dials, and the only smartness might have come from the voice on the other side of the line, if we were lucky.

And likewise, if we interpret Jesus saying “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained,” as specifically referring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as we know it today, then that’s an anachronism as well, because, in the time of John’s Gospel, the term, ‘forgiveness of sins’ was considered Baptismal language.

And the statement Jesus made about ‘forgiving or retaining’ would more likely refer to giving or withholding Baptism based on a person’s belief or refusal to believe in the Gospel message that the Apostles were sent out to share.

You see, it all had to do with time.  And recognizing that, we have to be very careful when we interpret the events in someone else’s time-period with our own customs and knowledge.

Now, it was through all this stuff about anachronisms, that the Holy Spirit gave me a very interesting revelation.  Here, after all these years, my dad and I had that proverbial “time machine” right there in our own hands, all along.  And so do you, brothers and sisters!  We call it: our Bible and our Church.

You see, there’s the OLD (Testament), where we can go all the way back to the very beginning of time.  And then there’s the NEW (Testament), where everything was REcreated by that Pascal Mystery of the Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ; all culminating in this glorious descent of the Holy Spirit.  And of course, there’s the FUTURE where, in Faith, we believe in our own eternal salvation and our eventual, heavenly dwelling with God, as we were promised by Jesus.

Past, Present and Future . . .
You see, it’s the Perfect Time Machine!

But you really don’t have to – just take my word for it.  Let’s look at Pentecost.  We tend to understand that Pentecost is simply 50-days after Easter and 10-days after the Ascension of Jesus.  It’s the day that we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary.

But actually, that’s just one little snippit in the BIG picture of Time, because Pentecost and the Holy Spirit both existed, long before this event ever happened in the time Jesus.  And they continue, and will continue to exist, long after, as well . . .

You see, the Apostles did not invent the name Pentecost for their own special day of wind and fire and Spirit.  It was originally a Jewish, wheat harvest, Feast Day that went all the way back to the time of Moses (Lv_23:15-22, Nu_28:26-31, Ex_23:16).  Seven weeks or 50-days after the Passover, Pentecost was first called the Feast of Weeks.  Then, a little later in time, the Israelites added the celebration of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on that very same day, Pentecost.

So Pentecost was not only a day of thanksgiving for God’s blessings of food.  It was also a day of remembrance of God’s Law and the Jewish responsibility to keep it.  And it was no coincidence then, that 50-days after the Jewish Passover, and our Easter, in the time of Jesus, God would again remind the world that neither wind nor fire can harm us, when we accept the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within our hearts.

Yet that very symbolism of wind and fire meant more than just the destructive tornadoes and wildfires that we envision them to be.  And there’s another anachronism.  The wind and the fire again go all the way back to the time of the Exodus, where God protected the Israelites with a column of wind-blown cloud by day, and a column of fire by night (Ex_13:21,22).

It went all the way back to God’s Creation, where a “mighty wind swept over the waters” to bring order out of chaos and light out of darkness (Gn_1:1-2).  And shortly after this, that wind became the very breath of life that was breathed into Adam, who became the first man (Gn_2:7).  It extended to Elijah who prayed that God would breathe life back into a dead child (1_Ki_17:17-22). And so it was done.  And later, God’s breath of life would reconstitute a whole valley of dry bones into living people, through the Prophet Ezekiel (Ez_37:1-9).

You see, THIS Breath of life, this Sacred Wind IS the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus breathed out upon the Apostles, as He sent them into the world – to Baptize and to build this beautiful community we call Church, on this, its birthday!

IF we were to send our own beloved child off to a distant college, we would make sure that they would have all the tools and the knowledge, they would need to survive and thrive.

And if we were to send a husband or a wife into the battlefield of an army, we would make sure that they would have a token or reminder of our love and our prayers, to give them strength and encouragement in their battles.

And if we were to travel, ourselves, to a distant place, that we’ve never been to before, we would make sure we had our GPS, or at least a map of the area, right there next to us, to keep us from getting lost.

You see, it’s in that same way, that Jesus prepared His disciples and us, to be able to survive and thrive in this world, through the wisdom of His Word.

He then offered us reminders of His love and prayers, through the Sacraments of Unity (Eucharist) and Forgiveness (Reconciliation), in order to give us all the strength we need in our battles against evil.  St. Paul reminds us that it is IN our One Lord, that we are: One Body and One Spirit, when we believe.

And finally, in order to keep us from ever getting lost, Jesus sent His Holy Spirit.  She is the Spirit of wisdom and courage, the Spirit of justice and understanding.  She is the Spirit of respect and unity.  And most wonderfully, She IS the Spirit who occupies all space and it is She who fills all time with the Breath of Her love and Her life.

To Her we pray, this day and always:
COME Holy Spirit!

jmp 06-09-19

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06-08-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 8, 2019
St. John the evangelist wrote, “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.”  Jn_21:20-25

And our closest references to the actual events that occurred during Jesus’ short tenure here with us are right there in those four books we call the Gospels.  Volumes and libraries have been published based upon our interpretations of those writings.  And from them, men an women throughout the ages have devoted their lives in love with this man we call our God.

And why would we not!  Jesus taught us the meaning of love.  Jesus taught us the meaning of hope.  And He offered His life to reunite us with God our Father.  Unlike any earthly hero, Jesus didn’t abandon us to photos and stories.  Jesus came back Himself as the Holy Spirit to tug on our hearts, to continue to teach and guide and love us all the way back to our heavenly home.  All we need do, beloved, is make that simple choice to believe and trust in Him.  And God will handle the rest!

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06-07-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 7, 2019
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. . . . Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges.  And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”  Acts_25:13b-21

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  Jn_21:15-19

Imagine driving down the road, and you’re on a mission.  You’re a little late in picking up your daughter at school, and you know that she’ll be impatiently waiting for you. How’s that saying go? “Hell hath no fury like a daughter scorned.”  You love her so much, and you don’t want to disappoint her, so you push that gas pedal down a little further than the road sign says you should.

Three-quarters the way there, you suddenly see that dreaded flashing red light in your rear view mirror.  “Oh no,” you gasp, “Now I’m going to be even later!”  When you roll down the window, the stern-faced officer, in a low, monotone voice asks you, “Mr. Jones, son of the governor,  Are you a good citizen?”  You say “Absolutely!” He says, “Be a good example.“  (And that was only for the first 5-miles over the limit). 

Then he asks you again, “Mr. Jones, son of the governor,  Are you a good citizen?”  You say, “Sir, You know my father, you know that I am a good citizen.” He says, “Drive responsibly.

And finally after hearing the question the third time, and knowing that you were 15-miles-an-hour over the speed limit, you finally say, “OK, you know that I was 15-miles over the speed limit, but I’m late in picking up my daughter and I really need to get there . . . Otherwise, I truly am a good citizen.

Then he warns you, “You know, Mr. Jones, if you keep driving like this, even if you are a good citizen, you’re going to end up in a wreck.  And what do you think that wreck will say to our State about you? I know that you are a good citizen.  And I also know that you love your children.  But sometimes you just have to prioritize.  And being in a wreck will make you a whole lot later than even getting this ticket.  So in your great love, be a good citizen too, and everyone will be a whole lot safer and happier!

St. Peter was also three-times over the limit, in his triple-denial of Jesus.  All for his own self-preservation.  You see, even after 3-years of following Jesus, Peter still didn’t have enough Faith to trust.  To trust that the Lord would take care of him, no matter how stressful a situation he was in.

And, as great – a surrogate-apostle – as St. Paul was, he wasn’t 100% on target either, as we heard today.  In this third trial over his faith in the Lord, Paul was finally put to the true test.  The test of deciding to go back to Jerusalem to face a murderous mob, just as Jesus did, or to pull out his ultimate trump card of appealing to the Roman Emperor – who just happened to be the infamous Christian enemy, Nero.

Unfortunately, Paul trusted in his trump card, over His Lord, in order to save his own skin.  And in the end, King Agrippa told Festus that IF Paul had not appealed to the Emperor, he could have been set free!

It just makes us ponder, brothers and sisters.  Is our Faith in the Lord strong enough to risk taking that seemingly easy escape route – to lie, deny or reply, when our trust in the Lord would have unquestionably offered us the greater, the greatest reward, even at the risk of a little suffering?

Both Peter and Paul learned well that lesson.  By their example, then, are we willing to put 100% of our faith and our love in Jesus?

This is exactly why we “practice” our faith!  So that when the real trials come, we WILL be ready – in faith, to trust in the Lord!

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06-06-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 6, 2019
(St. Norbert, Bishop)
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, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”  Jn_17:20-26

There it is, beloved.  Jesus’ prayer for us!  We are ONE!  Now let’s bring the world with us!

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06-05-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 5, 2019
(St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus continued His prayer to the Father for His disciples: “I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One.  They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.  Consecrate them in the truth.  Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”  Jn_17:11b-19

Jesus prays for us too, beloved.  And He consecrates us (makes us holy) as well.  When you begin to get disgusted with what you see and hear in the world around you, then you know that you no longer belong to it.  We become a part of that Kingdom that Jesus so often spoke of.  It’s a kingdom of understanding, it’s a kingdom of Truth.

And yet, we do still live here.  So Jesus gave us all a mission in our baptisms.  It is a mission of sharing God’s love with everyone we meet, whether they are lost in their immersion with the world or anxious for the next life.  We are to share the Joy that Jesus gives to us through the Holy Spirit.  That joy IS the Truth, beloved.  And we are to rely upon the Holy Spirit to keep us from ever losing that joy, especially to the wiles of the world.

Jesus said “Go forth!”
And there’s our mission!

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06-04-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 4, 2019
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come.” . . .  “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” . . .  “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.  They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them.”  Jn_17:1-11a

If ever there was a love letter, this 17th Chapter of John, in Jesus’ passionate discourse to His Father, just prior to His arrest and passion, is the most magnificent!  For in it we see the most extraordinary love of Son for Father, of Master for disciples, of God for all living Creation.  And in it we also see the answer to our Faith.  Eternal life is knowing God!  And we know God when we truly get to know Jesus.  His Words bring us life and light and hope.  Trust in Him, beloved.  And know that He is with us always!

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06-03-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 3, 2019
(St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs)
Paul said to the Ephesian disciples, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  Acts_19:1-8

Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and 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

It’s through the Holy Spirit, beloved, that we receive the strength we need to survive every challenge the world puts us through.  Is it money, power, fame, persecution, illness, poverty or hunger that we are suffering with?  Trust in the Holy Spirit, for Jesus has “conquered the world” and we have nothing to fear.  We may not speak in tongues or prophesy as did the Ephesians, but we do have that strength of the Holy Spirit, the strength of Jesus within us to overcome anything that, at the moment, seems so overbearing.  Seek Jesus, for He is right there all along!

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06-02-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 2, 2019
(The Ascension of the Lordtransferred from Thursday)
Jesus said, “behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.  Lk_24:46-53

May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, Eph_1:17-23

What better reason, beloved, to be CONTINUALLY praising God in these, His Temples, our bodies!!!

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06-01-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 1, 2019
(St. Justin, Martyr)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. . . .  The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father.  On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”  Jn_16:23b-28

Notice, beloved, that Jesus didn’t say to pray to me so that I can ask the Father.  He said, ASK the Father directly in my name.  Our belief in Jesus will be enough for the Father, for He knows that we love and believe in Jesus and He loves us as much!  What an awesome gift Jesus has given us.  If we only believed, fully believed!  ASK!

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05-31-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 31, 2019
(The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
At Mary’s visit with her cousin, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” . . .  And Mary responded, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, . . .”  Lk_1:39-56

It’s in those times, beloved, when we most have the option to be proud of other’s compliments of us, that we give all the thanks to God.  For without God we are nothing.  Whether it’s something we said, or something we’ve done, it is all done through the grace and in our worship of our God.  Mary didn’t proclaim her pride in listening to and following the orders of God, which she had perfect right to do.  Instead, she proclaimed HIS greatness.  She spoke of His promises to their nation and people.  And she mentioned, in her own humble way, that she would be His instrument for the salvation of the world.  What a marvelous model for us to follow, as well, beloved.  Visit our neighbors, proclaim God’s mercy and kindness to all, and leave the world with Hope! Praise be to God!

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05-30-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 30, 2019
(Ascension to be celebrated Sunday)
Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” . . . Explaining Himself, Jesus said, “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_16:16-20

As we go through life there are those times, those quotes, that we’ll never ever forget.  For me, this one goes all the way back to ninth grade (and that’s a LONG time ago).  Not only was it memorable for the sake of being a mystical hidden puzzle, but it was actually my first introduction to Scriptures.

So there we were signing each other’s yearbooks at the end of the school year and one of my friends simply wrote Jn 16:16.  And how could you not be curious enough to look that up!  So I dug out my mom’s old 20×20 inch embossed, hard covered Bible (we didn’t have internet or smart phones back in the ’60’s) and there I found the verse.  Well, beloved, keeping in mind that it was just the beginning of summer vacation and in the fall we would all be back together at school again, it made total sense to me:  In a little while I would no longer see that friend and a little while later I would!

And you know what, Jesus meant the same thing!  But this time Jesus was talking about a heavenly break.  First, He had died and was about to be resurrected (a little while gone and a little while back again).  Then HE would leave to where we will all eventually be coming, heaven.  And we can say the same thing about our beloved deceased.  Right now there may be a little grief.  But, OH, in a little while, our joy will be complete.  We will be more than happy in our reunion, not only with our loved ones, but with our most beloved one, Jesus, when we reach the place of God’s heavenly glory ourselves!  Just a little while!!!

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05-29-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 29, 2019
St. Paul said, “The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.  Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.  He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,'”   Acts_17:15,22-18:1

Our God is an AWESOME God!

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05-28-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 28, 2019
Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.  For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”  Jn_16:5-11

Sometimes, beloved, GOOD really can come from grief.  It doesn’t make the endurance of the grief any easier.  But Jesus did His best to try to convince His disciples that it would all be for the good!  And looking back, it was!  Not only for them but for us as well.

As we come closer to our celebration of the day the “Advocate” did come, Pentecost, we remember not only the joy of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within us, but the suffering and the grief and even more so, the Love of God for us that made it all possible.  And we repent of our errors in life.  And we give thanks for God’s great love and for Jesus’ great sacrifice.  And we offer that love to every living soul we meet.  Just as God does for us!

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05-27-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 27, 2019
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.  And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”   Jn_15:26-16:4

Come Holy Spirit.  Fill the hearts of your faithful with the love and the truth and the wisdom to boldly testify to Jesus – our Lord, our Savior and our life!

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05-26-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 26, 2019
(6th Sunday Easter, C)
To St. John this great revelation was shown:
I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.  Rev_21:10-14,22-23

WE are that city, beloved.  And we have no other-worldly or material needs to illuminate our path.  It is Jesus within our hearts who gives us light.  It is God who directs our way.  And we become His light for the world, leading them to the Lamb, leading them to salvation.  It is the LOVE of God!  It is the light of Love!

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05-25-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 25, 2019
(Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest)
As Paul and the apostles preached the Word from city to city; Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number.  Acts_16:1-10

And yet, as Jesus predicted there would be much opposition as well.

Jesus said, “Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.” Jn_15:18-21

And all the while, as they evangelized the world, the Holy Spirit would guide them and protect them – just as He does us, beloved!  So fear not!  Your life is most precious in God’s hands.  Keep the faith!

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05-24-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 24, 2019
Jesus said, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”  Jn_15:12-17

Can we profess that same statement, beloved, to our own children?  Whether we were good or bad parents, those children did not choose us.  But hopefully, as good parents, we are unreservedly bound to give them whatever they ask of us.  Jesus didn’t put a lot of pressure on us with tons of commandments.  All he asked of us was and is – to love one another.  And in doing that we are bearing the fruit we were sent to bear.  And that’s the “fruit” that will remain.   Love, grown and shared – from God our Father, to Jesus our brother, to us God’s children, to our own children, to the world!  Oh what a beautiful inheritance!

Happy Birthday Gina, in all of God’s and my love!
You are one of my favorite Saints!

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05-23-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 23, 2019
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”  Jn_15:9-11

Commandment – loving others.
Remaining in Christ’s love – by keeping His Commandment.
Joy – of knowing that God our Father loves us unconditionally!
Joy – of knowing that our love for others has helped them.
Joy – of knowing that this is exactly what Jesus wants for us.

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05-22-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 22, 2019
(St. Rita of Cascia, Religious)
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers (Paul and Barnabas), “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”  Acts_15:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. . . . you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”  Jn_15:1-8

Jesus used many different examples to describe His relationship with the Father, and how our relationship with Him should be, as well.

He spoke of the obedience of a servant to his master.  He spoke of the trust of a sheep with her shepherd.  And He even spoke of the covenant promise made between bartering parties, like the fathers of a marrying couple, or like the covenants made between God and those Patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.  So the relationship that Jesus was describing was one of obedience, trust and commitment.

And if either party was to ever break that covenant, that relationship, it would certainly be the cause of their death, the same as breaking (cutting) the life-giving umbilical cord of a fetus or the branch from a grape vine.

The Jews knew well the importance of keeping the Old Covenant commitments with God.  And, just like the sign of the rings of the marriage vow, the sign used for the covenant between the Jews and God was circumcision.

Unfortunately, so much time had passed between when Abraham and Moses had made those promises to God, and the time of Jesus, that the people had all but forgotten the Commandments, save for the Sign.  So when Paul and Barnabas were trying to explain the New Covenant of Jesus, the covenant of Love and Salvation, all that, many of the Jews could remember, and vehemently clung to, was that SIGN of circumcision, without understanding that that OLD Sign was now obsolete.

It would be like insisting that the training wheels on your child-sized bicycle be installed on your adult bike, as unnecessary as they would be.  To Paul and Barnabas, it made no sense!

You see, the Old Covenant of Moses only kept them from premature death, in their separation from God the Father.  The New Covenant of Jesus, in reuniting them with the Father, now brought them eternal Life – in relationship WITH God.  And not only Life for themselves, but Life that could be shared with the world.

When we remain on the “vine” that Jesus described today; when we remain in relationship with the Father, through Jesus, our umbilical cord, (and through His Church) then all of His LIFE, and JOY, and PEACE, and HOPE will so fill our lives, that it will be near-impossible for others not to want the same kind of Life.  And THAT beloved, is the “Fruit,” the sweetness of God, that only Jesus can bring!

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05-21-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 21, 2019
St. Paul and Barnabas strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”  Acts_14:19-28

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”  Jn_14:27-31a

There’s something very different about this “peace” that Jesus speaks about, beloved.  It’s not a gift given for having done something worthy of getting a gift.  It’s not a gift given in expectation of repayment.  It’s not a “worldly” gift at all.

God’s gift of peace is freely given to us at the cost of Jesus’ very life.  It’s a LOVE gift.  And along with the peace of heart, the peace of fearlessness and the peace of salvation, God gives us this incredibly peaceful gift of eternal love.  Not a passing love like the world’s love, but a 100%, all the time kind of love, with no ifs, ands, or buts, no caveats  nor reservations.  Jesus has shown us the extent of that love, by giving His life for us.  And it makes any of the hardships we have to suffer much more endurable.  That’s God’s love!  Persevere in the Faith, beloved.  It’s well worth the cost.

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05-20-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 20, 2019
(St. Bernardine of Siena, Priest)
Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. . . . “I have told you this while I am with you.  The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  Jn_14:21-26

When we allow Him to, beloved, Jesus and the Father will dwell within us and the Holy Spirit will help us to keep God there, where He belongs!

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05-19-19 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

May 19, 2019
(5th Sunday Easter, C)
John heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” Rev_21:1-5a

What incredible hope, beloved!
But how do we find Him?

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn_13:31-35

Not always easy, but well worth it!
Because in it, we find God!
LOVE!

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