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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10-23-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 23, 2021
(Saint John of Capistrano, Priest)
For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit.  The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Rom_8:1-11

So LIVE, beloved, according to the Spirit of Christ within you.  If we have been baptized, we have that Spirit, the Holy Spirit, within.  He guides us and protects us.  But we must always listen for and to Him.  And when the flesh, our mortal nature, tempts you to do or say and be in some way contrary to God’s Truth, then ask the Spirit within to help you find the right way and to avoid all that could do you spiritual harm.  For God loves you and never wants to see harm come to you.  And so do we, your brothers and sisters in Faith.

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10-22-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 22, 2021
(St. John Paul II, Pope)
The War Within and Its Solution
Brothers and sisters: I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am!  Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Rom_7:18-25a

THANKS BE TO GOD!
And there is our salvation!

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10-21-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 21, 2021
St. Paul wrote, “now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Rom_6:19-23

A “wage” being something earned, while a gift is something freely given out of love.  God loves us, and all we need do is recognize it and accept it!  And in that acceptance we are given the gift of eternal life in Christ.  What more can we ask for!!!  Then the question is, what can we do for God in recompense?  Love one another!

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10-20-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 20, 2021
(St. Paul of the Cross, Priest)
Brothers and sisters: Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness.  For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.  Rom_6:12-18

In what we watch or listen to.  In what we think and say.  In all that we do, it’s good to remember this.  We are NOT under the law of sin, but of Grace.  And the Holy Spirit will always guide us when we’re not sure.  Listen to Him!

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10-19-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 19, 2021
(Ss John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs)
St. Paul wrote, Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.  If by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many. . . .  Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Rom_5:12,15b,17-19,20b-21

Thus, sin = death, and grace = life, and we are justified for life through Jesus Christ.  Now all we need do is live in faith, in belief that this is True.  God’s love for us is why Jesus came to be among us.  And His presence is what drives us away from sin and into Faith in Him.  And the grace we receive as baptized believers is eternal life.  What incredibly Good News we have to live and to share in a world that could really use such news!

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10-18-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 18, 2021
(St. Luke, Evangelist)
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. . . . After a number of other instructions, He concluded, “Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”  Lk_10:1-9

Maybe it’s in your Bible study group, or in teaching the youth.  Maybe it’s with the other women or men you meet in your daily work or home lives.  Maybe you are privileged to preach as a deacon or religious.  Maybe it’s just in a smile or a nod in the store, or a courtesy driving on the roads.  But we have thousands of opportunities to evangelize the love of God in our daily whereabouts.  St. Luke tells us how Jesus specifically sent these seventy-two people out to share His message, the Good News of God’s love for all.  When we can offer that Good News to others or allow ourselves to receive it from others to brighten our days or lift us out of hardship, no matter how it’s done, by phone or zoom or blog or in person, then we’re fulfilling exactly what Jesus asked of ‘the 72.’  And blessed are we, beloved!  For the Kingdom of God is ours!

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10-17-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 17, 2021
(29th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Isaiah prophesied, “The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.  If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.  Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.”  Is_53:10-11

Jesus said, “whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.  For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mk_10:35-45

There, beloved, from the prophet Isaiah, we have that concept of “justification” again, as we mentioned a couple days ago.  We have been justified with God, our sins forgiven, by the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  And Jesus tells us that we are not to “lord” this great gift of Faith, this grace of salvation over others, as if we alone and for any merit of OURS are greater than any other sinner alive.  We have been justified purely based on the unconditional love of God for us.  And for that reason, we consider ourselves as “servants” of Christ, of God, to share that “Good News” with the world around us.  For out of OUR love, we want to see ALL of God’s children saved as well, even the lowliest of sinners!   Jesus doesn’t want to wallow in our accolades and praises, as much as He wants to see us imitate Him in service to others.  This was the message of the suffering servant!  Follow me!

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10-16-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 16, 2021
(St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin)
Jesus said, “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Lk_12:8-12

With such an incredible adversary, why would anyone ever want to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?  Well, maybe it’s just because they don’t know God yet.  So it’s up to us, beloved, to introduce them.  I always feel so sorry for the authors and writers of books and movies who have to use the name of the Lord in vain so many times.  Maybe it’s their own insecurity.  Maybe they truly are possessed by evil and don’t even realize it.  Maybe they just don’t know God yet.  We need to introduce them!  Find the Lord or life, oh you who are so lost.  And you will discover that you won’t even have to worry about what to say or write.  The Holy Spirit will fill your thoughts and your minds and your writings with such beauty and truth that no one will resist buying, watching or listening to your words!  God’s words!  Amen?  Amen!!!

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10-15-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 15, 2012
(St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila), Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.”  Rom_4:1-8

Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.”  Lk_12:1-7

In our First Reading today, St. Paul is in the middle of a heated discourse given to the Jewish converts to Christianity in Rome. They are told that they hold no greater esteem in God’s eyes because of their Heritage, their Law, or their Religious works of Circumcision, than anyone else, because everyone, Jew or Gentile  are all sinners.

And he tells them that mankind is ONLY Justified with God through their Faith in Jesus.  Paul goes on to give the examples of Abraham and David’s Faith in God.  David was an interesting character in light of this, because, as we see in his story, David was constantly on the run from King Saul who wanted to kill him. And yet, in his righteous respect for God, even when given the chance to retaliate, David refused to do the slightest bit of harm against Saul, because Saul was God’s chosen and anointed king. As the story continues, we see this merciful attitude in David because of his intense love for God, and his belief that even his enemies, could one day find God’s love within themselves, as well.

Well, all of this talk about Justification and Faith and Righteousness, prompted me to  go back to one of our best sources  of information on these topics, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  And in re-reading those definitions, which are really quite eloquent, the Holy Spirit inspired me to share that Wisdom with you, even though, I’m sure, you are all well familiar with it.  But it would be a good review anyway, and who am I to refuse a request of the Holy Spirit.

Link to JUSTIFICATION, GRACE:  CCC 1987 to 1999

Jesus, today, tells His disciples, as they were being persecuted by the Law-fanatic Pharisees, and us, that, like David, we are not to fear Physical Death from them.  But we ARE to fear Spiritual Death from the evil temptations of Satan. Temptations and actions that have the power to keep us from our eternal destination with God – BASED on our own Free-will Choice.

You see, we are all precious in God’s eyes,
when by our Faith,
we trust in Jesus and
accept God’s grace
to justify and save us forever!

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As a postscript, St. Paul sums this all up beautifully in the first part of Chapter 5 in his Letter to the Romans.  The NAB entitles the Chapter:

Faith, Hope, and Love. 

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and 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.

For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly.  Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.

Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Rom_5:1-11

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10-14-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 14, 2021
(St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr)
For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Does God belong to Jews alone? Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?  Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith and the uncircumcised through faith.  Rom_3:21-30

Maybe to put this in a simplistic secular metaphor, we know that we cannot get into the football game without a ticket.  That ticket represents our faith in Jesus.  Now we might offer the ticket collector money or knowledge of every player and all their statistics, but those (works of the law) will not get us into the game.  We are only justified to get into the game by submitting our ticket.  And it doesn’t matter if we’re a kid or a senior, a rock star or a former football player, an American or a Pole, we must have that ticket – that faith in Jesus, to be justified to attend the game in person. 

And our faith in Jesus will lead us, then, to know and follow the “Law” (the law of love) through our works, just as spending a ton of money on a ticket will lead us to want to know the statistics, the players and where the best seats might be. We are justified by faith in Jesus.  And we are redeemed because Jesus paid the price for our ticket to salvation, something that we could never afford without Him. 

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10-13-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 13, 2021
“You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.  Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?”  . . .   “But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God.” Rom_2:1-11

We might call today’s Scriptures, “umbrella Scriptures” because we would all like to be under the umbrella of righteousness when those “woes” come down from Jesus, from God.  But what good is an umbrella if it has holes in it?  Or what good is an umbrella against the mighty wind of God.  When His final judgment does come, no umbrella will shield us from His wrath, nor save us from being sucked up into heaven (if we so deserve it!) (some people actually do not want heaven!!??).  So it’s a good reminder today, a “wake up call,” for us who should know better.  We are never to let our guard down, and maybe, instead of umbrella-ing against God’s wrath, we should just keep those umbrellas up for protection against the evil that comes our way.  The Holy Spirit will help us and Jesus will be our guide.  Trust in Him.

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10-12-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 12, 2021
(Our Lady of the Pillar)
Paul wrote, Brothers and sisters: I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek. For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”  Rom_1:16-25

Every Word of life that can be written is right there in our Gospel.  Praise God for giving us such an eternal heritage.  Praise God for the life and example of Jesus, His only begotten Son.  Praise God for the Love He has bestowed on us, His beloved.  For we are indeed blessed in Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

Link to Mass Readings Calendar

Link to Bible Online

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10-11-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 11, 2021
(Saint John XXIII, Pope)
Jesus said to the crowd, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. . . . At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”  Lk_11:29-32

We are invited to listen to Jesus, to believe what He said and to follow in His way, just as the Ninevites did at God’s warning to them through the prophet Jonah.  Jesus’ sign, just like Jonah’s three days in the belly of a whale, three days in the belly of a burial tomb, shows God’s love in His resurrection and sets an example for us, for eternal redemption – WHEN we believe!  Trust in Him, beloved, repent and LOVE!

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10-10-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 10, 2021
(28th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'”  He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Mk_10:17-30

First thought, of course, might be, ‘what a creep, not willing to give to the poor.’  But, give EVERYTHING!  How many TRUE St. Francises are there out there.  I know that I fall pretty far from that tree, though I try. 

But the real point is that maybe it not money that’s keeping us from following Jesus completely.  Maybe there’s something else on that list.  Still hating that boss who fired you?  Still loathing the wrong president who was elected, and all the people who elected him as well?  Still steeped in nasty books and movies?  Still hanging on to something or someone so dear to you that you would kill for them or it?  Still lusting for other people, or cars, or houses, or drugs, or food, or whatever, that we’d be willing to steal for? 

The list is pretty long, beloved, to be judging anyone else for their imperfections.  Maybe it’s time to concentrate on our own sins and work on eliminating them, one item at a time.  Sounds like a good Advent plan!  The Holy Spirit will be more than willing to help – if we just ask!  And, like the man in the story, Jesus loves us despite our shortcomings.  All the more reason to keep on trying, for our love of Him!

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10-09-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 9, 2021
Jesus said, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  Lk_11:27-28

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength”  “And love your neighbor as yourself.”  We’ve heard.  Now it’s time to observe!

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10-08-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 8, 2021
Jesus said, “When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”  Lk_11:15-26

So, be satisfied with the demons you already have, beloved, for it can always be worse.  And if you are ready to lose them, be sure to immediately refill the void with something or someone better – like God!  Jesus can help us do that!

Jesus also said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.”  ibid

Is that not the condition of our world today, our country, our household?  We are not called to seek differences, beloved, but similarities, complementarities, unity.  Strong is the house that can live in love and unity.  Strong is the house where diversity is magnified rather than used as an instrument of division.  Let us pray for one another, beloved, and seek ways to grow in diversity rather than “fall.”

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10-07-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 7, 2021
(Our Lady of the Rosary)
Jesus said, “I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. . . . What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?  If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”  Lk_11:5-13

God, our Father, help us to recognize Your gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  You are Holy, You are true, You are none less than our Eternal Father.  We pray for Your guidance and love, though we know that it’s always there.  We pray moreover for ourselves.  Help us ALL to recognize You in our world, that we may become the world of unity and love that You desire.  Blessed are You forever!  We ask all this in the Name of Jesus Your Son and our redeemer, Amen!

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10-06-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 6, 2021
(Bl. Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin, Religious)
Jesus said to His disciples, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”  Lk_11:1-4

Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry that God did not carry out the evil he threatened against Nineveh. . . . But God said to Jonah, should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?”  Jon_4:1-11

Besides its brevity, there’s an interesting, but subtle difference between Luke and Matthew’s versions of the Lord’s Prayer.  Matthew’s version makes a plea for God’s forgiveness that’s conditional on how WE forgive others.  It says, “Forgive us our trespasses – AS we forgive those who trespass against us.”  AS, being, “in the same way,” or “to the same extent,” as we forgive.  In Luke’s version, our part of that condition is presumed to be already fulfilled.  It says, “Forgive us our sins, FOR (or because) we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.

THAT’s a pretty significant difference!  And it’s really not something to be taken lightly either.  For every time we would say Luke’s version of the Our Father we would have to be pretty firm in our commitment – that we owe absolutely no debt of forgiveness to ANYONE, or else we would be breaking that 8th Commandment, “Thou shalt not lie” every time we pray.

And we can think of that forgiveness from the most minute examples to the most difficult ones:  Your professor gave you a B-grade just to break your 4.0 GPA in the very last semester of college.

FORGIVEN!

Your child broke your great-great grandmother’s precious, heirloom vase.

FORGIVEN!

Your Boss, out of the blue, called you into his office and fired you!

FORGIVEN!

Your brothers and sisters and cousins and parents were all enslaved or killed by a nation, whom you know, God is going to forgive anyway.

You see, this was the exact dilemma that Jonah was facing. How deep is my Forgiveness, Jonah thought, especially when I’ll be made to look like the fool, because God’s threat will never be carried out?  Jonah was so steeped in anger and depression, because of his unforgiveness and pride that it didn’t take much more than a silly plant to send him into a rage.

You see, brothers and sisters, God doesn’t want us to forgive others to make us feel beaten or lost, defeated or hurt.  God wants us to forgive others in order to FREE us from the bonds of anger and hatred, of sin and death.

Jonah was so immersed in unforgiveness that he actually longed for and pined for death himself, just the opposite of everything that God stands for.

Of course behind it all, behind forgiveness, there must always be that underlying tenet of LOVE.  And that Love is not something that we can put into a box, any more than we can put God in a box.

You see, it’s not just love of God.  And it’s not just love of God and my family, where anything else is unforgivable.  And it’s not even just, love of God and my family and my favorite neighbors that God wants of us. Out of those boxes, God’s and our Love – must extend even to those who have hurt us.  And we all know, that’s not an easy thing to say or do.

But it’s not forgiveness for the sake of being forgiven, that we’re asking for – from God.  It’s forgiveness BECAUSE – that is exactly what LOVE is calling us to do.

Jesus would like nothing more than to see perfection in all of us.  But He knows well, that human nature is weak.  And He offers us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in that endeavor.

If we can stick with Matthew’s conditional version of the Our Father,  “AS we forgive those who trespass against us,” it will continually remind us of our call in this life.  Our call to LOVE and to Forgive just as He has done for us!

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10-05-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 5, 2021
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him (Jesus) and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  Lk_10:38-42

Sometimes, beloved, justice in our own minds is not the same justice that’s in everyone else’s.  If you’ve ever sat in the position of Martha, you’d know exactly what I mean.  Always the unrecognized hard worker.  Always the left-behind.  Always the forgotten.  And then when you try to seek the justice you deserve, you’re told that it’s not them, it’s YOU who is wrong!  “OK, then, let’s just NOT eat!” 

You know what, beloved, sometimes the problem IS us.  Maybe we’re just trying too hard.  Maybe we just care too much.  So we have two choices.  Either we let it go. Let it slip.  And when the axe comes back around our way, like the rest of the world we can just duck and say, “Huh???”  “No problem!”  “Whatever!”  OR, we can simply learn how to continue, move on, and not care what they think or say. 

. . . LIFE!!!!

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10-04-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 4, 2021
(St. Francis of Assisi)
Jonah was running from the Lord, which is where his troubles did not end, but were just beginning.  In the midst of a churned up, stormy sea, his plight was discovered and his shipmates asked, “What shall we do with you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more turbulent. Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.”  Jon_1:1–2:1-2,11

Sometimes, beloved, running is just not the answer.  Sometimes we have to suffer a little sacrifice in order to calm the sea around us.  And when we do, we just might find a huge fish waiting to save us.  Of course, at the time, that fish might seem really scary.  But our salvation is not always a cushy, feel-good experience.  And from the depths of that pit, from the bottom of that sea, from the most ferocious jungle, there in prayer we will find our salvation.  Pray for it, beloved, just as Jonah did and just as Jesus did.  And then add a little patient endurance.  And we can be sure that God will see us through.  Trust in Him. And love with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.

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10-03-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 3, 2021
(27th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
God provided all kinds of living creatures to serve as a helpmate for Adam, but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.  So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.   Gn_2:18-24  

Jesus said, “from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Mk_10:2-16

Out of the ONE became two.

Into the TWO becomes one.

God JOINS, not man.

And the UNION becomes ONE flesh.

And the ‘evil one’ wants nothing less than to break that union.  
This is the dynamic of life, beloved.
If we can understand this simple dynamic and fully rely upon God to protect us in heart and mind and soul (and that’s OUR choice) then His will be done.  And His will is unity, is love, is ONENESS. 

Two flesh into ONE in unity with God – Forever!

Let us pray always, beloved, for one another in this regard!
Blessed be God forever!

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10-02-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 2, 2021
(Holy Guardian Angels)
Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”  Mt_18:1-5,10

The youth, the handicapped, the unemployed, the poor, the other sex, those of other religions, those of other races or nations or cultures – we are not to despise anyone!  Jesus tells us that we are all equal in the eyes of God.  And He sent angels to guard our thoughts and actions.  Are we listening?  They’re always there.  Seek their help and advice and love, beloved, and they will help guide and protect you against all evil!

Send Me an Angel – Dax Johnson

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10-01-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 1, 2021
(St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed: “Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors, have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him. We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God, nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us.”  Bar_1:15-22

Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!  For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, . . .  Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me.  And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”  Lk_10:13-16

Friday being a day of penance in remembrance of the passion and death of our Lord for the redemption of our souls, and, as a sacrifice for our sins, we often hear themes of repentance in our Friday Readings.  And we can certainly see that highlight in today’s Scriptures.

And yet, in order to get a little better grasp of the context of our readings from Baruch and Luke today, we need to understand the background of each.

In Luke’s Gospel passage, we have Jesus addressing seventy-two of His disciples, whom he is sending off on their first missionary journey.  And we’re pretty familiar with His instructions, both in sending the Apostles, and these 72, where He tells them that when they enter a town that does not welcome them, they are to shake the dust from their feet in testimony against them.

In the midst of that address, today Jesus continues by giving them some examples of towns that have done exactly that to Him.  Towns like Chorazin, and Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Towns that should have well recognized His mighty deeds, and all the Scriptures prefiguring those deeds, and affirming Him as their long-awaited Messiah.  And yet they didn’t!  And in His disappointment with those towns, Jesus chides them with the punishment that will be their due; punishment for their hardness of heart and their failure to repent.  “Woe to you,” He says, as though He was speaking directly to them.

And then, without warning, Jesus turns back to ‘the 72’ and summarizes His whole address, saying “Whoever listens to you, listens to me” and “Whoever rejects you rejects me,”  Where we might have thought He was still addressing those disbelieving towns, which made absolutely no sense.

A wise man once said that
“a text without its context is a pretext for misinterpretation.”

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We can look at our reading from Baruch in a similar vein.  This beautiful prayer of repentance is actually a letter written by Baruch, the Prophet Jeremiah’s secretary, to the faithful remnant in Jerusalem, after his exile to Babylon.

It’s one of those eye-opening realizations, that what all the prophets had warned them would happen, if they did not repent, was actually happening.  And now they truly were sorry for not listening to those prophets in the first place and heeding the voice of God.

You see, we can now say that those same calamities were destined for Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum and for a world gone mad, without morals or repentance for their sins.

And yet, just as the faithful and repentant Babylonian exiles found favor in God’s eyes, and were eventually allowed to return to their earthly Jerusalem, we, God’s faithful and repentant Christian followers of Jesus will also, one day, return to our heavenly Jerusalem, to be with God our Father, Jesus our brother, and the Holy Spirit, to live in peace and unity forever!

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09-30-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 30, 2021
(St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
After their return to Jerusalem from their 70-year exile in Babylon, The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the LORD prescribed for Israel. . . .

Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep” for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD.  Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!” . . . Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.  Neh_8:1-4a,5-6,7b-12

The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart. 
Ps_19 Response

And so goes our EVERY Sunday.  It is the Lord’s day.  It is our commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus.  It is our 7th day, our Sabbath.  And the precepts given us by Jesus certainly DO bring joy to our hearts.  They are the precepts of Love, the precepts of repentance for our human errors in life, the precepts of hope for life eternal in our own resurrections.  If you haven’t picked up that dusty old Bible lately, beloved, give it a try again.  Yes, there’s sadness.  Yes, there are words we can’t even pronounce.  But in and through it all, there is also that JOY.  When we can fall in love with the Word, the precepts of our God, both in the Old and New Testaments, we’ll find a whole new hope that will bring us joyfully to every Sunday (and every day) for the rest of our lives here in this mortal state of ours.  And that’s our entry into the Kingdom of God!

Happy end of September beloved, and beginning of October!
God’s blessings of joy and peace to you always!

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09-29-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 29, 2021
(Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael)
Jesus said to Nathanael, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”  Jn_1:47-51

In the vision of John’s Revelation he saw this:  Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death.  Rev_12:7-11

To Zechariah the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, The angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news.”  Lk_1:19

Upon Tobiah’s return to his mother and father, his guide revealed himself:  “I shall now tell you the whole truth and conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, ‘A king’s secret should be kept secret, but one must declare the works of God with due honor.’ Now when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise whenever you used to bury the dead. When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury that dead man, I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah.  I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.”  Tob_12:11-15

All to the Glory of our God!

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09-28-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 28, 2021
(St. Wenceslaus, Martyr)
The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus, because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.”  Lk_9:51-56

How frustrating it must have been for Jesus. They STILL didn’t get it.  How many examples and rebukes and teachings would it take?  For you see, it’s not about revenge, or greatness, or exclusiveness, or anger, or hatred, or wealth.  It’s about love, despite all those human feelings and emotions.  It’s about letting go of what’s keeping us from God.

St. Francis of Assisi was once asked by his bishop why he gave up all his possessions to live a life of poverty and begging.  And Francis replied that if you had possessions you would also need arms to protect them.  And if you needed arms, you would not be loving others and giving to them the way God wants us to.  So without possessions we would be able to love God in our neighbor the way we should.  If we’re hanging on to revenge because of insult, beloved, we still haven’t let go of something, other than God.  And that something just might be – ourselves.

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09-27-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 27, 2021
(St. Vincent dePaul, Priest)
The apostle John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”  Lk_9:46-50

We have this tendency of being (what we think, are very good) lawyers, juries and judges when it comes to other people ‘horning in’ on our territory.  I’ve always thought that it had something to do with insecurity.  If we really were as good as we purport, as special as we think we are, you would think that we should welcome anyone who wants to emulate us, with open arms.  We should utilize their help and their enthusiasm, rather than knocking them down.  But that’s not the ‘way’ of the world.  I’ve seen it in coworkers, bosses and even supervisors of volunteers.

Jesus tries to teach His disciples otherwise.  Rather than judging and convicting them, He tells us that we need to welcome them.  They are NOT our enemies, but should be considered our adversaries!  And God knows, we can all use some more of them!  So the next time we feel threatened, beloved, by someone who might seem to love Jesus a little more than us, by someone who just doesn’t understand the propriety of humility, the respect of seniority, the blessings of being ‘official,’ maybe it’s time for us to let go a little of our own pride and exude some of Jesus’ compassion.  For remember, He, himself IS God and He had to do the same thing with mere, mortal us!

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09-26-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 26, 2021
(26th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”  Mk_9:38-43,45,47-48

As a young parent, I remember when it was time to birth our first child, we vowed to quit smoking, to quit cursing and to go to Church religiously.  You see, over time we all fall away from doing the right things.  We’re influenced by our friends, our neighbors, our classmates and the world around us to do what seems to be acceptable in a world without morals.

Today the “leaders” of our nation are fighting to allow the murder of unborn children under the ruse of freedom of choice.  And yet, God did not give us free will so that we can kill one another.  And now we have deranged murderers entering the schools of those little children and opening fire.  We have parents allowing them to curse and kill, if not virtually on their phones and game pods, in real life.

And then, we might ask ourselves, what have we done to prevent it.  Our own children have become pawns in this big political game, under the ruse of health, or environment, or sex.  It enough to make us ill, just at the thought of it.  And hopefully one day we won’t all be meeting together underwater with millstones around our necks.  Maybe it’s just another wake-up call for us beloved, for us to begin to stand up for what we believe.  Or at least to learn what we should be believing and not what the “world” tells us.

You see, it’s all about love, beloved, not politics, not money, not opinions!
That’s what Jesus was trying to teach us!
IF we simply listen!

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09-25-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 25, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you.  The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”  But they did not understand this saying;  Lk_9:43b-45

Funny how our hearing can be so selective at times, that we’ll miss some very important information when it is something we really don’t want to hear or believe.  The disciples could not understand how it was possible that the Son of God, Jesus, after all his miracles and great works, could be “handed over” to men.  It was inconceivable!  And yet that is exactly what was about to happen.

You know, God gave his created man and woman the gift of free will.  That means that, unless someone was about to hurt another person, he should be allowed to use that gift at his own discretion.  Yes, people are all different.  And what one person chooses compared to another may likely be very different.  But that doesn’t give anyone the right to prohibit others.  And yet, mankind’s actions are constantly filled with the oppression of other people’s rights.  They become objects who can be handed over like bartered meat.  And worse they are even physically harmed and sometimes killed.  We live in a world, beloved, that never truly understood those commands of God, of Jesus, to love one another.  And the best we can can do about it, as believers, is to share that love and hopefully get others to want to do the same!

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09-24-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 24, 2021
Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the LORD of hosts; And in this place I will give you peace, says the LORD of hosts!  Hg_2:1-9

Who is dwelling in your “house,” beloved?  That is the house of your body, your soul.  God desires to dwell there!  Have we made room for him in the midst of all the strife and struggle?  In the midst of the activity and the, sometimes, evil?  God desires for us to clean out a space that He may grow within us.  Are we open for something new?  Are we open for a resident who will bring us peace.  For our God desires to live with us, beloved.  And He will make His home here, in our hearts, and in our souls.  Seek Him beloved and welcome Jesus to be with us always!

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09-23-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 23, 2021
(Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest)
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  Jn_14:6

This is why, beloved, whenever we pray to God our Father, we pray through Jesus.  We pray by the intercession, through the mercy and in the love of Jesus.  This is why we get to know all that Jesus said and did in His time with us (as told through the evangelists in the Gospels).  And whenever we feel it is too deep for us, to difficult, we pray also to the Holy Spirit who will help us discern all meaning, in all wisdom.  What an awesome God we have! In power, in mercy, in wisdom and in love.  BE in love with Him – Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

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