Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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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?
You are Loved!!
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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June 30, 2021
(The First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church)
As Hagar sat opposite Ishmael, he began to cry. God heard the boy’s cry, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid; God has heard the boy’s cry in this plight of his. Arise, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and then let the boy drink. Gn_21:5,8-20a
After Jesus had dispelled the demons from the two men, the swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district. Mt_8:28-34
From the very beginning of time, our life in this world has been filled with diametric opposition. And that opposition is reflected throughout the Bible, and especially in our readings today. . . . There are the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” Adam and Eve vs Satan, Abel vs Cain, Sarah vs Hagar, Isaac vs Ishmael, and the townfolk vs the demoniacs. It’s funny how we seem to thrive on those oppositions.
And yet, as St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans (Rom_2:11), “God shows no partiality.” As a matter of fact, Jesus often sided with the underdog: the poor, the lame, the outcast, the sinner. And we can clearly see this in His missionary work and in His words: as He told the pious and judgmental religious leaders, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk_2:17)
You see, inside every “bad guy” there’s a “good guy” crying out for salvation. We might not know their exact reason why, but we’re ever so quick to judge and persecute them.
Adam and Eve went from being the good guys to the bad, in the simple sharing of an apple. Cain went from being a model big brother to a desperate murderer, with his own inferiority complex. Sarah and Hagar changed from being soul sisters and best friends, to arch-enemies, when impatience struck Sarah and pride enflamed Hagar. And the split between Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael is still broiling – in a world filled with Islamic, Jewish and Christian hatred and war, when in fact, we are all brothers and sisters.
In our Gospel reading today, we get the sense that there was an understanding between the “good guy” townsfolk and the “bad guy” demoniacs: “We don’t go on your road, and you won’t kill us.” But when it came to losing their herd of swine, those “good guys” were blinded from the fact that a miracle had just happened in their own back yard.
The demoniacs were healed. The road was reopened, and a path to their own healing,
their own salvation, was right there in front of them. Yet, what did they do? They slammed the door in the face of Jesus, because their pride, their selfishness, blinded their hearts from the Truth.
Sometimes, brothers and sisters, we just have to step back from our impatience, our pride, and our comfort zones to see the salvation that’s right there in front of us. God hears the cry of the poor, the good guys, and the bad guys alike! God heard Abel’s blood crying out from the ground and yet He protected Cain. God heard Hagar and Ishmael’s cry of thirst in the desert and He provided water. And Jesus heard the silent cry of the demoniacs, pleading for freedom from their bondage and it was granted.
What is it – that we’re crying for, beloved?
Know that God hears us.
Trust in Him, with patience and humility,
and He will feed us with eternal life.
June 29, 2021
(Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles)
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Mt_16:13-19
Some people just KNOW! THAT’s the Holy Spirit!
June 28, 2021
(St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr)
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Mt_8:18-22
There are those times when we just don’t want or need another crowd. Jesus found refuge in a boat, but His followers vowed they would follow Him anywhere. And yet, how dedicated would they really be, would we really be, when they found out that following Jesus might cost some of those creature comforts that they, that we are so used to? In His own need to find some rest, Jesus let those supposedly faithful followers know that they would have to suffer the same malady in following Him.
Funny, how Covid19 has given some of us, some long needed rest. But on the other hand, loss of jobs, loss of community gatherings, loss of anything or anyone for too long is not a good thing either. We DO need our rest, but we also need our work and our relationships! And now we pray, in our loneliness, for some return to normalcy, or at least a new normalcy with relationships, work, health and rest!
Blessed birthday wishes to our awesome grandson Isaac today!
June 27, 2021
(13th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
. . people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer (about a healing)?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” . . .
Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. Mk_5:21-43
Sometimes, beloved, the miracles we seek just take a little faith. Remember it’s God’s will and not ours. So we seek for the sake of the other and not for our own selfishness. But sometimes our own relief IS for the good of all those who have to deal with us. Have Faith! And let God work out the justification. Just have Faith. Jesus will see us through!
June 26, 2021
A centurion approached him (Jesus) and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” . . . Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed. Mt_8:5-17
Jesus wants to heal all of us, beloved. What’s holding us back? Do we have the faith of the centurion? Do we have the patience of Job? Are we willing to let go of our doubts and truly believe that Jesus wants to and can heal us. Offer that sacrifice to Him and BELIEVE!
June 25, 2021
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said: “I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Gn_17:1,9-10,15-22
There are so many wonderful examples of Saints who give us models of conversion, models of virtue, models of faithfulness. But there is only One God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We are called, beloved, to walk in the presence of our Lord. Every act we do, every thought we think, every wish we make should be in reference to knowing that we are walking in the presence of God. Jesus showed us the way. The saints show us the real possibility that it can actually be done. And we know in our hearts that the Holy Spirit is mightier than our sometimes faulty human instincts. Trust in Him, beloved, and always walk in His presence!
June 24, 2021
(Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
When they (the neighbors and relatives) came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Lk_1:57-66,80
It’s amazing the things that can happen when we trust in the Lord: an unexpected pregnancy, a prophetic messenger for a son, a mute person able to speak. It was all foretold. And John would serve the Lord in just the way God predicted. “Prepare the way for the Lord,” John would say. Are we prepared, beloved? Are we faithful enough to see the remarkable happen in our lives? Trust in Jesus and you’ll find out!
June 23, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them.” Mt_7:15-20
Though we’re not supposed to judge without an eye for love, we do need to beware of unnecessarily getting hurt. Jesus often disappeared right when some of the crowd wanted to harm or kill him. He tells us today to “beware” of deceivers. And in today’s world there are many. There are those trying to sell us something that doesn’t really work quite the way they say. There are those who just want to take advantage of us on the phone or on the internet. We get “scams” in our emails, on our phones and even in the stores. And being aware doesn’t mean we don’t love them anyway. It just means we don’t have to fall for their lies. Let them know that you understand when it might make any difference. And when it doesn’t, just leave. By their fruit, you will clearly know whether or not they are sincere. And the same goes for us. Be people of integrity, always, just like Jesus.
June 22, 2021
(St. John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr and St. Thomas More, Martyr)
Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” Mt_7:6,12-14
The easy way or the hard way? Jesus tells us that we will not find eternal life by traveling the easy road. And thus, we think about prayer, about fasting and giving. Not easy things to do in this life of rapid change and an even faster pace. But they are well worth the effort it takes to perform them. Prayer, to get to know God a little better. Fasting, to learn discipline, so that when the real challenges come, we are strengthened to be able to endure them. And giving, not for the sake of getting in return, but out of pure love for others. Jesus reminds us that the way to heaven is by following the narrow road and going through the narrow gate. Are you struggling, beloved, with loss, hopelessness, emptiness, a deep need for compassion by someone, anyone? Place your trust in God. Follow the narrow road and seek Him with all your heart. And you, we, are promised something eternally better!
June 21, 2021
(St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious)
Preaching the virtue of humility and being non-judgmental, Jesus said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Mt_7:1-5
Funny, if we are fault seekers, we really have to look no further than our own hearts. But if we’re glory seekers, we’ll find God’s glory in others all around us (especially in those who can still love us beyond our own faults)! Blessed be God in our world today! Blessed be the merciful. Blessed be the loving!
June 20, 2021
12th Sunday Ordinary Time, B
In the midst of a wild storm on sea, while Jesus slept in the boat, the disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” Mk_4:35-41
They were still learning the limitless powers of their God, of Jesus, their Rabbi, companion and leader. Healing the sick, raising the dead, exorcising demons and even power over mother nature were child’s play for our God. The apostles faith would grow, but slowly. Even after His death and resurrection, they were still hesitant to believe it all, to have the “Faith” that Jesus always spoke of. It wasn’t until they received the Holy Spirit that they finally became bold enough to risk even death to share His message.
So where are we, beloved, in our journey of faith? Still slowly growing? Bold enough to pray in public? Trusting enough to risk job or reputation. Faithful enough to even risk persecution and death. Jesus warns us that the time is NOW. If we’ve been baptized, we have that same Holy Spirit that the apostles had at Pentecost. All we need do now is Trust. He will come through IF we have Faith in Him!
June 19, 2021
(St. Romuald, Abbot)
St. Paul wrote, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2_Cor_12:1-10
Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Mt_6:24-34
Following through on his uncomfortable boasting, of all the hardships he’s endured, Paul continues his discourse with a positive note. Not only was his journey painful, but he also had some pretty glorious revelations of God and heaven. As a matter of fast, Paul tells us that those visions were so glorious that they couldn’t even be described in words. And to keep him from allowing those visions to go to his head in his boasting, Paul also had a little more suffering to deal with to remind him that it is not on the mountaintop where he rests and finds God, but it’s in the suffering, in the weakness, in the humility!
Jesus reminds us not to keep our focus always on the future, on the ultimate Goal, and on the worries about the future, but to just deal with life one day at a time. Do the best we can in the now and let tomorrow worry about itself. Jesus is the Lord of the NOW. Live and love every moment we have with Him!
_ _ _ _ _ _
Happy Anniversary to my beloved!
45 years and still in love!
June 18, 2021
Paul wrote, Brothers and sisters: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. To my shame I say that we were too weak! But what anyone dares to boast of (I am speaking in foolishness) I also dare. . . . 2_Cor_11:18,21-30
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, . . Mt_6:19-23
In our first reading today, beloved, we might have gotten the impression that Paul was upset. Like the parent of a child who accepted that “candy from a stranger,” after years of patient and loving instruction given to protect that child from such a peril, Paul had been accused, by his child, some of the members of that Church in Corinth, that he had been insincere, weak and wrong in his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus, all based on the deception of that “stranger.” And all the while, that stranger and those Corinthians were boasting of their own greatness.
So how does one convince a ‘lost child’ that the path they’re on, and the false leaders they’re following, will clearly NOT give them the “candy” they promised, but instead, will lead them down a road to hardship and doom?
Well to begin with, Paul first had to reestablish his own credibility. And sometimes the best way to do that, is “to fight fire with fire,” that is, to use the same tactics of your adversary. In this case, boasting. But Paul’s boast, unlike his adversary’s, was not done to make himself look great. Rather it was done to emphasize exactly what he had gone through, what he had suffered – for the sake of Christ and for them.
And, from his writing, we can tell by his caveats, that to some extent, it really bothered Paul to use this tactic of boasting, when he said things like: “I’m speaking in foolishness,” and “I’m talking like an insane person.” He really didn’t want to boast. And yet, you know what, sometimes it’s actually self-healing to vent all of that pent-up suffering and anxiety.
Whatever it was that those Corinthians said or implied about Paul, it was clearly:
– “the cork out of the champagne bottle,”
– “the stopper out of the dam,” and
– “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for Paul . . .
Kind of like Jesus, turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple, and Moses, throwing those tablets at the impatient and sinful Israelites.
Today, Jesus, our patient and loving Parent and Teacher, is reminding us of those same virtues that Paul was trying to teach the Corinthians. He’s telling us to always be aware of the Path we’re on, to scrutinize whom and what philosophy we’re agreeing with and following, to beware of false gods like wealth and material objects, and to always keep them far from our hearts.
And finally, He is telling us to seek His Light, the only True Light that will keep us from the chasm of darkness and despair. For He IS the “Treasure” of our hearts, He IS the Light in our eyes, and He IS the only Path that will lead us safely back home to Him.
June 17, 2021
Jesus said, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” “This is how you are to pray:
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” Mt_6:7-15
Prayer, conversation with God. We acknowledge His might, His compassion, His creative genius. We honor and we worship Him. And then we seek His help for our most urgent needs of: food, companionship, safety, health and Love! We recognize our depravity in our sinfulness and we beg His forgiveness. But in the asking, we must also do to others as we ask of God. We must forgive! We must help. We must show compassion, just as we expect it or ask it of God. And we must love, even those who repulse us. For God created all manner of personality for some purpose. And we just might not yet understand the reason for those who are different from us, but there IS a reason. So, we pray not for their conversion, but for our understanding and compassion. “Deliver us, Father, we pray, from ourselves. Help us to see, in Jesus’ Name and for Your Glory. Amen”
June 16, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.” Mt_6:1-6,16-18
As righteous deeds, Jesus refers to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. He tells us not to make a public show of our prayer. Keep it between you and God alone.
Fasting is a little harder. Because eating is often a social event. And when we fast while in a group lunch or dinner, it’s pretty obvious that we’re not eating. Then we have to give an explanation at to why we’re not eating. And that’s a little more difficult to do without sounding self righteous.
And then there’s almsgiving. The biggest drawback to giving to all those mail solicitors is that they’ll put you on their list and send that list to every other NGO out there. No, almsgiving is definitely something we WANT to do anonymously, for the the sake of our own sanity.
But then look at some of those other “good deeds” we do just for the sake of adding another “sacrifice” to our list of how good we are! Volunteering at (whatever). Cleaning up the street so that our organization can advertise how generous they are. Picketing some injustice so that your face will be in the local rag. Yes, it’s good to help out where help is needed. But are we doing it for the show of it or because we really have a heart for that other person, a heart of love. Jesus tells us that God knows the difference. And He’s not looking for the show but for the heart! And that can lead us into some real soul searching about our own motives.
June 15, 2021
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2_Cor_8:1-9
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth love from our stony hearts, who causes the sun to fall on the poor and the rich alike, who blesses us all with the richness of His love. Forgive us our sinfulness. And help us to see You in EVERY soul, thanks be to the sacrifice of Jesus our Savior!
June 14, 2021
Jesus said, “offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” Mt_5:38-42
The antithesis of pride! Letting go of getting even. It might be the hardest thing we have to do in our entire lives, especially when what is lost or hurt is someone or something that was very dear to us. Jesus tells us that it’s ok to loathe the evil. But it’s not our place to loathe people. God will be our justice. And God will be our salvation, when we can keep to these guidelines that Jesus has drawn out for us. Give, forgive and love. It’s not always easy. But that’s what we’re in training for. “Pick up those crosses and follow me.” Jesus will be our strength and our hope for recompense of all we’ve lost. Trust in Him!
June 13, 2021
(11th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” Mk_4:26-34
Within that Kingdom, beloved, there is room for everyone. No one is too low and no one is too high. But we are called to be holy. And our holiness is based on our love. If we can make love be our driving force and not hatred. If we can learn to forgive and give instead of holding grudges and taking everything from everyone. Then we are traveling on the road to that Kingdom. And then, our call is to bring as many others as we can to join us, to join Jesus in this most glorious of trees (of homes). And it will be our home forever!
June 12, 2021
(The Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Mary, his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. Lk_2:41-51
Sometimes, beloved, it just takes a little time for the true meaning of certain things to come to us. Mary, “kept all these things in her heart.” And when the time came, she knew, she understood. Jesus is ALWAYS in His Father’s house: the house of His body, the house of His kingdom, the House of the Holy Spirit. And now He is in the houses of our bodies. In Spirit and light Jesus is always here. Maybe we just don’t understand it yet, but hang in there beloved. Keep all of it in your heart. And one day it will all make sense. Jesus wouldn’t lead us wrong. Mary wouldn’t lead us wrong. TRUST and love. Just keep on loving!
June 11, 2021
(The Sacred Heart of Jesus)
The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. Jn_19:31-37
A truly gruesome end to a beautiful life. Yet, little did they know that there was no end to this life. For Jesus is the way and the truth and the life of us all. Three days later that pierced body would walk the earth again, would eat and talk and cry and hug. But this was not just some zombie, the walking dead, for Jesus was truly alive again, resurrected and back to show the world that there is life after death. Death has no claim on those who believe. As a matter of fact it is just the beginning of a whole new life, life eternal! And it gives us reason to live the now, to forgive the silliness of mistakes, to let go of our judgment of others, our selfishness, our anger and hatred and despair. So live, beloved, by this Sacred Heart of our Lord and Savior, we have gained life eternal! Blessed be God, King of the Universe!
June 10, 2021
Jesus said, “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
So, don’t let anger destroy your happiness, beloved. Get rid of all anger, malice and greed. Give to those who need and love those who have no one to love them. For God loves a cheerful giver. This is the secret to a happy life, beloved. And through it all, know and love and trust in Jesus. For He IS our love and protection and wisdom and salvation!
June 9, 2021
(St. Ephrem, Deacon, Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” Mt_5:17-19
So, do not sin, beloved. And Love one another!
June 8, 2021
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Mt_5:13-16
We ARE, beloved, His light and His hope, His smile and His hands and feet. We are His Word and His healing. We are His children and His ambassadors. So SHINE forth and change the world with His LOVE!
June 7, 2021
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” Mt_5:1-12
Robert Schuller calls them the “Be Happy Attitudes.”
Our lofty, holy, Heaven Worthy goals!
June 6, 2021
(Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi)
The disciples prepared the Passover. While they were eating, he (Jesus) took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” Mk_14:12-16,22-26
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. Heb_9:11-15
Jesus, our ‘Ticket to (Eternal) Ride.”
Come beloved, partake, believe and BE all that we have been called to be.
Children of God, Brothers and Sisters of Jesus.
June 5, 2021
(St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr)
Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them: “Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Honor and proclaim God’s deeds, and do not be slack in praising him.” Tb_12:1,5-15,20
How many times throughout our day, beloved, do we have reason to thank God for all He has done for us. Even when it’s challenging, we still have reason to thank and praise God. For challenges strengthen us and help us to grow. And the next time that challenge comes up, we’ll know exactly what we need to do – Thank you Lord. Maybe there are areas in our lives where we are weak. Pray to God to strengthen us. It doesn’t necessarily require too much pain. All we need do is listen and obey. God will see to all the rest. Praise and thank God – for He loves us beyond what we can even imagine!
June 4, 2021
Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: “I am certain that his eyes will be opened. Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day.” . . .
Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate. Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes. “Courage, father,” he said. Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart. Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts. When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept. He exclaimed, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!”
Then he said: “Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages, Because it was he who scourged me, and it is he who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!” Tb_11:5-17
Jesus said, “How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’” Mk_12:35-37
All by themselves, today’s Scriptures might seem a little cryptic. In our first reading, we’ve captured the near end, the almost climax of the Story of Tobit and Tobiah. In today’s world, if you hadn’t read the beginning of the story, this passage would be called a “Spoiler Alert.”
Tobit truly is one of my favorite Books in the Old Testament. But, in hearing about Tobiah’s return home, all by itself, you missed how Tobit became blind, and where the medicine that cured him came from; you missed why Tobiah was away for so long, and who this mysterious stranger, Raphael, really was; you missed Tobit and Sarah’s prayers for death and God’s glorious response.
And yet, if you were really sharp, what you might have caught was a Father sending his son away on a very hazardous mission. You might have caught a mother and a father’s fear – that their only Son may have died, and yet, how he came back to life in his return. And you might have noticed that He did not come back home alone. He brought with him a spouse. We might just say that she was “the Bride of a Lamb that was slain” in order to bring healing and life to those who believed; . . . She was the bride who was under a curse; a curse that was broken by obedience and prayer.
And there is – so, so very much more to the Story of Tobit, when we read it with open eyes and a prayerful heart. If you haven’t read the full Book of Tobit, I would highly recommend it. Tomorrow’s first reading for Mass presents, what I would call the “True Climax” of the Story. And it’s just magnificent! Be sure to bring your Kleenex with you when you read or listen to it.
And then in our Gospel today, we hear this little snippet of a response of Jesus to those constantly haggling Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus poses
a question about who they believe the Messiah is. Of course, their response is that He is the Son of David.
So Jesus turns their rote answer into another question. He says, look, if David himself said in Psalm 110 – that the Messiah is HIS Lord, then how could the Messiah be his son? You see, the Scribes, like everyone else of the time, were seeing the Messiah as a human, mortal warrior who would physically save them from their Roman oppressors. And yet, Jesus was incorporating the Holy Spirit into the picture.
Not only was the Messiah a human, “Son of David,” but He was also a divine, “Son of God.” And the Messianic salvation of Jesus would not merely be from outside physical forces, but from internal spiritual forces as well. Jesus, the Son of David would not only save His Jewish family, but He would save the rest of the world from their own sinful natures as well.
And just as Raphael’s fish gall opened Tobit’s eyes to the Glory of God all around him and especially in his, now alive, son and new daughter, Jesus, our Messiah, would open our eyes to the Glory of God in all of His Creation, and especially our Brothers and Sisters in faith.
It truly is amazing how sometimes, a little bit of gall and a whole bunch of faith – can open our eyes to a whole new world, a Kingdom of God, all around us.
June 3, 2021
(St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs)
Tobiah and Sarah prayed: “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers, praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.’ Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.” Tb_6:10-11;7:1,9-17;8:4-9
A prayer for all married couples,
in Jesus’ Name.
June 2, 2021
(Ss. Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs)
Tobit and Sarah prayed for death and the mercy of God, saying, “Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God, and blessed is your holy and honorable name. Blessed are you in all your works for ever!” At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit’s eyes, so that he might again see God’s sunlight; and to marry Raguel’s daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. Tb_3:1-11a,16-17a
Yes, beloved, God does hear our prayers. He may not give us the trivia we ask for, but will offer to us much much more. Sight, fertility, salvation, life, they’re all gifts from God, answers to prayer and hope for life and not death. Sometimes God’s angels are all around us, we just have to open our eyes to see them. It might be a brother or sister, a mother or father, or even a total stranger. Listen to them, beloved, and experience the Grace of God!
June 1, 2021
(St. Justin, Martyr)
The Pharisees came and said to him (Jesus), “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” Mk_12:13-17
There is truth and then there is Truth. The only way to teach God’s Truth is to first KNOW God. And knowing God means knowing Jesus. Beloved, if we want to live God’s Truth we need to know what it is. Jesus spent His whole life teaching God’s Truth. We are to learn it, live it, and teach it! For that Truth is the salvation of all of our lives, forever!