07-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 22, 2017
(St. Mary Magdalene)
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”   Jn_20:1-2,11-18

Why are you looking for me?  Did you not know that I am right here beside you all along?  Jesus is there, beloved!  Just speak with Him any time and all the time.  He’s listening to YOU!

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07-21-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 21, 2017
(St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.  For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”  Mt_12:1-8

You know, beloved, when we think about that statement, “I desire mercy not sacrifice,” it could be a little puzzling, because when we think of sacrifice, we tend to picture something really hard to do, like going to an opera instead of a ballgame.  Like giving up chocolates, or anything else for that matter, that we enjoy – for the sake of some other purpose: like losing weight or because we love our spouse more than a ballgame.  We love her enough to sacrifice sitting through the hours of an opera without complaining or falling asleep.

 And so we sacrifice!
(to fulfill our own self-fulfilling prophesy or desire)

In the days of Jesus, people would sacrifice an animal for the sake of appeasing God and the Temple leaders.  They would sacrifice not picking grain or saving a hurt animal on a Sabbath, for the sake of the not breaking the Sabbath Law.

And if we went all the way back to Moses, we’d see that Moses himself sacrificed his own reputation by making outrageous demands of the Egyptian Pharaoh (in obedience and fear of the God who gave him that order).  He sacrificed his safety and actually risked his life in going back to Egypt, trusting that this ‘unseen God’ would stand by all of his promises.

And yet, with all that said about sacrifice, Jesus still insisted that God desires mercy more.

You see, even though we might think that sacrifice is hard, it’s not nearly as difficult as the mercy, the forgiveness of someone who has done us wrong, because sacrifice has a reason, a cause and effect, a cost and a benefit.  But the reason for mercy is much more difficult for us to picture.

God desires mercy not only because it is the greatest sacrifice that anyone can possibly offer, but because its unseen effect is a world with more love.  And a world with more love is a world with less hate.  And a world with less hate is a whole lot more like God’s Kingdom, as Jesus described it.

If you were God: How would you convince a world, whose primary focus is internal, is self, that the answer to all of their woes is not found through self-preservation, or revenge, or defamation of others, or hatred, or greed?  But it’s found through mercy!

Well, instead of just trying to explain it to deaf ears, you would show that world, by your own example, that even You, as God, are merciful enough to forgive them; even though they still keep hurting You by their sins.

And to prove the point, you would even be willing to sacrifice “a part” of your own self to the very evil that’s the greatest enemy of everything You stand for; all because that world thinks that they understand sacrifice and not mercy.

Jesus, as “that part” of God, in human form, sacrificed His own flesh and blood to prove to us that God is Merciful!

And Mercy trumps Sacrifice
every time!

The question is: Who is it in our lives – who needs our mercy and prayers today?

Who is it that we need to dump our hatred for, and maybe start forgiving and understanding?

Can we sit through that boring opera because our Love for God is greater than any self-centered ballgame?  Who knows, in the process, we might even develop an appreciation for opera!

But just imagine the Kingdom that we COULD live in – without hatred in our own lives!

That’s the Kingdom, that’s the promise – of Mercy!

jmp 07-21-17

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07-20-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 20, 2017
Well, Moses was kind of dumbstruck in having this conversation with God!  And with the charge to go back to the land where they wanted his death, he sought every possible excuse he could think of to get out of it.  (Sometimes don’t you just wish that you never answered that phone!)

So Moses began with the obvious, saying: “When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”  God replied, “I am who am.”  Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the children of Israel:  I AM sent me to you.” Ex_3:13-20

Well!  If it was Bob or George or Henry or even Irving, the natural follow-up would have been “Irving WHO?”  But this one really smashed that excuse!  God certainly doesn’t mess around!  And they’ll be pondering that Name for the next 3500-years!  As a matter of fact, 1500-years later, when Jesus used that same Name, they were ready to stone Him, because nobody except God could have that Name!  Well, duhhhhh!

Sorry, beloved, just couldn’t help it!  Funny though, no matter how hard we try to avoid God’s call, He’ll win every time!

Just reminds me of my first and last attempt to fight “City Hall” on a traffic ticket.  After having taken photographs to prove my point.  After the ticketing police officer described my car with the wrong make and color, I still lost!  Just goes to show – you can’t fight city hall, nor God!  He IS the Great I AM!  Always was and always will be!


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07-19-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 19, 2017
God said to Moses, out of the burning bush, “Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”   Ex_3:1-6,9-12

Saved, fed and raised like a prince, now it was Moses’ turn to save others.  And God was on his side.  Sometimes, beloved, that “call” just may not be one of our favorite things to do.  And balk as we may, life will be a lot tougher if we DON’T follow God’s call!  So, buck up, pick up that cross and move on!

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07-18-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 18, 2017
Between the lines of death and disaster.  Escaped from the fury of slavery and evil.  Out of the waters of safety and compassion, a child is found.  Is found by the only one who could possibly save him, the very daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh who decreed his death.  And unknowingly, he was consigned by the princess to be nursed by his own mother.

When the child grew, she (his mother) brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”  Ex_2:1-15a

Little did she know that he would be the savior of a Nation!


Some 1500-years later another child would be born under equally unlikely circumstances.  And escaping the fury of death and disaster, He would find shelter in the very same nation from which Moses and the Israelites escaped, Egypt.  And out of the waters of His baptism and through the water of His pierced side, little did they know that He would be the Savior of the World!


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07-17-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 17, 2017
Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,”  Ex_1:8-14,22

They always talk about the light at the end of the tunnel, the blue skies beyond the cloudy days.  But what about the next tunnel? What about next storm?  Do we truly appreciate every moment of the light, every second of the blue skies when we have them, knowing that the only thing that will last forever is God’s love?

The Israelites enjoyed a reprieve from famine.  They came into the very best of new lands, out of the desert.  And they had the favor of Pharaoh, since Joseph was the second in command.  But now Joseph was long gone.  Pharaoh was dead as well.  And the new Pharaoh didn’t know anything about all that Joseph had done to save them all.

So the Hebrews, as they became known, seemed to be more of a nuisance to the native Egyptians than they were a blessing.  So control was the new name of the game.  Funny, though not really, it’s the same game that’s played all over our globe still today.

The Love that Jesus spoke of didn’t mean that all the evil of hatred and genocide would disappear.  It meant, rather, that instead of his believers initiating and propagating that behavior, they would, to the contrary, peacefully fight for cooperation and understanding and coexistence and compassion.  They would place their greatest Love in Jesus and share it with others.

They would not stand by and allow their own demise, but when forcefully put to the sword as opposed to striking in retaliation they would take up their cross and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, making known that their salvation is not in revenge but in love!

Jesus told His disciples that it was possible that not even their own parents, brothers and sisters would believe in Him.  But they were to love them anyway and always keep Jesus as number one in every thought and deed.  And that number one means Love!

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07-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 16, 2017
(15th Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Jesus said to His disciples:  “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.

The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.  But he has no root and lasts only for a time.  When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.

The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.

But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”   Mt_13:1-23

How rich, how clean of weeds and rocks, how open are we, beloved, to hear God’s word and allow it to grow in us?  It WILL grow, beloved, if we just let it and ask Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit to protect us from everyone and everything that wants to prevent it.

Ask and it will be granted you.  Mt 7:7

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07-15-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 15, 2017
(St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”  Mt_10:24-33

Hmmmmm.  The old saying goes, ‘If you were to die in the middle of the sidewalk in the middle of the day, would anyone know you are a Christian?”  Do we acknowledge Jesus, beloved, in how we act, in what we say, in what we wear?  Are we embarrassed to pray in public?  Is there some sign on our person, a rosary, a prayer card, a crucifix necklace, that lets the world know of our commitment to Jesus, our love for God?  Hmmmmm, something to think about!

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07-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 14, 2017
(St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin)
Jesus said, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say.  You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  Mt_10:16-23

The Words of your heavenly Father speaking through you.

Ever find words coming from your own mouth, beloved, that you asked yourself, “Where did that come from?”  And I don’t mean curses!  Blessings, wisdom and knowledge that you didn’t even know you had!  Well, you didn’t!  It was your Father speaking through you.

Ever have someone say to you, “Where did you get that from?”  And you just had no answer.   That’s your Father!  Let Him speak through you, beloved and don’t worry!

Jesus will take care of you, if you just let Him!

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07-13-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 13, 2017
(St. Teresa of the Andes)
Jesus said to his disciples as He was sending them off on their first missionary trip, “As you enter a house, wish it peace.  If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.”   Mt_10:7-15

This truly was a giving of themselves to those they would accept them with hospitality.  And when they were not accepted, it was not a call to get angry or to get back.  Jesus said, “let your peace return to you.”  End it in peace!!!!

How well can we keep the peace in ourselves, beloved?  Don’t allow any evil to steal your peace.  It’s not worth it.  When we can learn to keep the peace, to offer the peace and to bounce back when it’s not accepted, that’s when we’re living that Kingdom of God that Jesus promised!

A most blessed and peace-filled birthday prayer
for our son, Fr. James today. 

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07-12-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 12, 2017
The sons of Jacob, the brothers of Joseph said, “Alas, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has now come upon us.”  Gn_41:55-57;42:5-7a,17-24a

Jesus instructed His Apostles: “Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”  Mt_10:1-7

Quickly moving from Jacob’s wrestling match with God, yesterday, to the story of his sons, today we see how Joseph, like his father Jacob, had the wonderful Gift of prophesy, through his ability to interpret dreams.

Joseph was also a gifted mathematician, which proved itself in his calculation of how much food he needed to store and ration in order to survive a seven-year, world-wide famine.

Yet, not unlike the prophets and dreamers who would succeed Joseph, we see that prophesy can be a pretty dangerous undertaking.  People usually don’t want to hear about the future, especially when it has to do with them and it’s not good.

And despite all his giftedness, Joseph was not endowed with the art of subtle persuasion.  He was blunt and to the point.  And he could actually be rather callous and insulting with some of his outbursts.  It was that bluntness that got Joseph into so much trouble with his brothers, that they sold him off into slavery.

Ironically, in Egypt, it was that same wit and wisdom, with a little more subtlety, that prompted the Pharaoh to make Joseph the second in command of the entire nation.

Then, some 20-years later, we see that his brothers were still carrying the burden of guilt for what they had done to Joseph.  And Joseph had a field day with it!  Between his extraordinary authority, his brothers’ desperate need for the food – that HE controlled, and their blindness to recognize him, Joseph took full advantage of the situation.

You see, the sons of Jacob, those 12-tribes of Israel, were clearly not living in the Kingdom of Heaven that Jacob envisioned with a ladder connected to the earth, nor that Jesus proclaimed to the lost sheep of Israel, because the darkness of their sin blinded them from ever recognizing that Kingdom, right there in their own brother, Joseph.

In the end, he WAS their most valuable Gift all along.  He was the ladder that brought them food, and wealth, and power in the middle of a world-wide famine.  He was their connection to the God who loved them, despite all their past failures.

Sometimes, beloved, the challenges, the struggles, the illnesses, the demons that we battle with, can actually be our own stairway to God’s Kingdom as well: when we keep our eyes open, when we trust in Jesus and when we hold firm to God’s commandments.

Because it’s not jealousy nor hatred, it’s not selfishness nor revenge, that bring us the greatest reward.  It’s compassion and love.  It’s mercy and forgiveness.  It’s seeing God in the Gifts of our neighbors, despite their shortcomings.

And when we can truly grasp that fact, beloved, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand for us as well!

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07-11-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 11, 2017
(St. Benedict, Abbot)
Jacob wrestled with “a man,” as he escaped the bondage of his kinfolk.  The man asked, “What is your name?” He answered, “Jacob.”  Then the man said, “You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.”  Gn_32:23-33

Sometimes, we too, wrestle with God, beloved.  In those times when we just don’t understand, when we can’t see the same big picture that God sees, we wrestle with understanding.  Maybe it’s a suffering we’re going through that never seems to end.  Maybe it’s a goal in life that we just can’t seem to be able to reach.  Maybe we’re in a rut and the walls are just too slippery for us to climb out by ourselves.  Have faith, beloved.  God knows all of our challenges.  Rely on Him.  Pray for answers.  And never give up.  We WILL prevail, with the help of God, who never leaves us.  God who always loves us.  Jesus, who died for our salvation!

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07-10-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 10, 2017
Jesus said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”  Mt_9:18-26

A man who believes in the power of a dream;  A man who believes that Jesus can actually raise his dead daughter to life;  And a woman who believes that just touching the edge of Jesus’ clothes could heal her of a lifetime of illness.  All three had the FAITH to be saved.

Jacob, in exile, believed in the protecting power of God.  The hemorrhaging woman believed in the healing power of God in Jesus.  And the “official” believed in the miraculous power of Jesus to raise the dead.

What are we struggling with, beloved?  Is our faith strong enough to believe that Jesus, that God has the power to help us too?


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07-09-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 9, 2017
(14th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  Mt_11:25-30

One to hang on your office wall or over your kitchen sink.  One to place on your dashboard and on your bed’s headboard.  One to never forget.  Jesus is our rest and our peace and our hope.  Trust in Him always!

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07-08-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 8, 2017
Jesus said, “People do not put new wine into old wineskins.  Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”  Mt_9:14-17

OH, what are we to do with these “old wineskins” beloved?  The new culture, the new order of things seems to be so wrong, so evil, so biased, so UN-Christian.  I’m sure our parents felt the same way about us!

But, you know what?  The world will continue going on and on.  The young will get old and they will be opposed to whatever it is their own children decide is hip or pop or whatever they want to call their own culture.  Somehow we must continue as well, fermenting in our own, old wineskins.  But maybe instead of being so totally opposed to the new ones, we just come to understand them.  And above it all, we love them:  tattoos and nose rings and raunchy music, and short skirts and droopy pants and finger gestures and phones glued to their heads and all!!!

We gotta love ’em anyway!

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07-07-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 7, 2017
Abraham’s servant asked him: “What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?”
Abraham replied, “Never take my son back there for any reason,”  Gn_23:1-4,19;24:1-8,62-67

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” Mt_9:9-13

If you ever went to a restaurant, beloved, and got some bad food, you might never want to go back to that restaurant again.  Or if it was bad enough, you might not even want to eat that particular food again!  We kinda learn through our experiences.

And if we ever trusted someone with a private matter, and then came to find out that the whole town knew, we’d begin to get a little more picky with whom we trusted and whom we didn’t.

Both Abraham and Jesus had to make some pretty important selections of people today:  Abraham, in a wife for his son Isaac and Jesus in a strong disciple and follower.

Abraham knew that the stock that came from his lineage were good people.  But he also knew that, if Isaac, who was God’s chosen son, was to go back to those people, they would definitely not have a very good influence on him.  Maybe they would try to keep him from returning to his father.  Maybe they would turn him away from God, to worship false deities and idols.

But either way, Abraham would absolutely not allow Isaac to return to his homeland.  So he had his servant and messenger take an oath. And he trusted God to make it all work out.  And work out it did.

But we still might wonder: if the people were not trustworthy enough to have Isaac sent there, how trustworthy could this woman, Rebekah, be?  And the answer was: trustworthy enough for God.

The Pharisees wondered the same thing about Jesus’ selection of friends.  Here, they considered themselves to be the “Holy Ones,” at least compared to the tax collectors and prostitutes.  And there was Jesus, hanging around with those riff-raff and not them.

But maybe, just like God’s selection of Rebekah, Jesus saw something special in Matthew and Mary Magdalene that the Pharisees didn’t.  Maybe Jesus saw the openness of their hearts, as opposed to the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts.

Maybe Jesus saw their need for God as opposed to the Pharisees’ having God as their “job.”

Funny how much more fulfilling a hobby is, because it fills a need, compared to a job whose sole purpose is just to make more money.  We should never allow God to become our job, brothers and sisters.  But He should always be there: in the fun of taking a clean, fresh breath, in the delicacy of perfect meal, in the enchanting sound of an aria, in the beauty of forgiveness and in the refreshment of healing.

Jesus didn’t come to puff up overfilled balloons.  But he did come to bring hope to broken hearts and life to the lifeless lost.

And now it’s our turn to do likewise.

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07-06-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 6, 2017
(St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr)
God called, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.  There you shall offer him up as a burnt offering on a height that I will point out to you.”

Before the sacrifice, the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:  “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–all this because you obeyed my command.”  Gn_22:1b-19

Because of Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience, all the nations of the earth will find blessing.  We are that blessing, beloved, because God loves us so incredibly much.  SO incredibly much, that HE did the same thing for us.  And through the sacrifice of Jesus we are not only blessed, but we are saved as well.  Saved from eternal damnation.  Saved from hopelessness.  Saved from the error of sin.  ALL because of that immeasurable Love of God!!

That’s something to shout about!

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07-05-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 5, 2017
(St. Anthony Zaccaria, Priest)
God said to Abraham: “Do not be distressed about the boy (Ishmael) or about your slave woman (Hagar).  Heed the demands of Sarah, no matter what she is asking of you; for it is through Isaac that descendants shall bear your name.  As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a great nation of him also, since he too is your offspring.”  Gn_21:5,8-20a

The birth of conflict between the descendants of Abraham began at the birth of those very descendants.  The offspring of the slave woman came about because of a lack of faith on the part of Sarah, that she would have the children that God promised, even at an old age.  But after the birth of Ishmael, Sarah bore jealousy in her heart and Hagar, pride!  From a faith-filled friendship between the women came heated mistrust.  And thus the children were separated, not only in motherhood, but in blessing as well.  Isaac became the patriarch of the Israelites, the Jews, and Ishmael the patriarch of the Arabs, the Islamists.  And the conflict continues even today.  And yet, God loves all!  In the end, it’s not about hatred and killing, beloved.  It’s about Love!  And wherever there is not love, there is not God either!

Jesus said, we are to love EVEN our enemies.  Even IF they don’t believe as we do!

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07-04-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 4, 2017
(St. Elizabeth of Portugal, OFS)
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep.  They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.  Mt_8:23-27

When the waves of stress or hurt, the waves of temptation or failure, the waves of fear and anxiety are sweeping over us, beloved, what is our response?  Do we cower and hide?  Do we turn to drink or drugs?  Or do we turn to Jesus?

Jesus has the power to calm us.  All we need is the faith to believe He will!  Ever experience that calm, beloved?  Sometimes it’s so incredible, we can just walk on water.  Trust in Jesus!  And His calm will fill you with the strength, the fearlessness, the courage to accomplish just about anything!  Maybe even walking on water!

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07-03-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 3, 2017
(St. Thomas, Apostle)
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  Jn_20:24-29

Again, that’s us, beloved.  BLESSED!  For we have NOT seen Jesus, except maybe in pictures imagined by artists.  We have not touched, but we are touched by Him constantly!  We are touched by inspiring pictures, by heart wrenching movies, by friend’s kindness and even by our own kindness to others.  That’s where Jesus is for us, beloved.  And Jesus says, ‘Blessed are we,’ because we believe!

Never forget all those moments of closeness to Jesus.  And one day we WILL see Him as He truly is:  Love!

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07-02-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 2, 2017
(13th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Jesus said, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”  Mt_10:37-42

Are we selective in who we receive, beloved?  Then, we might wonder, how many times are we rejecting Jesus?

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. . . .

Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes!  She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”  Elisha said, “Call her.”  When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”  2_Kgs_4:8-11,14-16a

We seem to have many, many miraculous stories of conception and birth throughout the Bible, all the way back to Abraham and Sarah.  Today’s story shows Elisha’s gratitude for the hospitality given him by a very generous woman who recognized and received him as a Holy Man of God.

Jesus said, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,” Mt_10:37-42

Just makes us think, beloved. Who will that next prophet be, that enters into my life?  And will I be as receptive as this ‘influential woman?’

Link to today’s Homily . . . Postscript

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07-01-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

July 1, 2017
. . the LORD said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’  Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do?  At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.”  Gn_18:1-15

God had made a promise, a covenant with Abraham and now it was about to be fulfilled.  So why was Sarah and Abraham so surprised?  Are we surprised, beloved, when awesome things happen to us?  The Lord can do ANYTHING.  Just have faith!

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06-30-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 30, 2017
. . . a leper approached (Jesus), did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”  He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.”  His leprosy was cleansed immediately.  Mt_8:1-4

Not as I will, but as You will!

The leper understood who Jesus was and “did him homage.”  When we walk into Church, beloved, do we always recognize and understand what we’re walking into.  We’re walking into the dwelling place of God.  We bless ourselves with holy water in recognition of our own sinfulness and need for cleansing.  And before we take a comfortable seat, we genuflect to the Lord, present in the tabernacle, present on the altar of sacrifice and present all around us.  We do Him homage.

“Your will be done, Lord!”  We kneel down and pray for our loved ones.  We pray for ourselves.  We pray for all the needs of our hurting community and world.  And we ASK, “Lord, if you wish you can heal us.”  Maybe there’s a little piece of the puzzle that we are responsible for doing as well.  Listen to the Lord.  Maybe it’s just a burden we need to carry now to strengthen us, to serve as an example for others, that they may bear their burdens in strength as well.  Maybe it’s just time, and with a little patience we will see that will fulfilled.

With reverence and love, we wait . . .
Your will be done, Lord!

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06-29-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 29, 2017
(Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles)
Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Mt_16:13-19

The institution of the Church.  The appointment of its leader, Peter.   And the Sacrament of reconciliation.  We, the Body of Christ, are  bound by the commandments of God.  We are bound by the commandment of Jesus to love God and one another.  And we are loosed or free to choose between life or death, between heaven or hell, between God and Satan.  Choose Life, Joshua said.  As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!

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06-28-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 28, 2017
(St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr)
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.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.”  Mt_7:15-20

It’s interesting to note how Jesus said that EVERY tree bore fruit, both the bad and the good trees.  When we look at this huge instruction book of life that we call the Bible, we come to find that the entire compilation is filled with “the Good” and “the Bad:” Eve and Satan, Noah and the rest of the world, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Jesus and the Pharisees.

And yet, those goodnesses and badnesses are not always necessarily different people.  Every one of us has a little bit of goodness and a little bit of badness within us.  The trick is, and what God is trying to teach us through all of those examples, is that the reward, the fruit for goodness is much greater than that for badness.  He’s advising us that we have to discern the difference with every choice we make and with every act we do.

And if we’re not sure which choice to make, all we have to do is think about the outcome or the consequence of that choice.  Look at the impact – that same choice has had on others who have made it.  And by its fruit we will immediately know whether it should be our choice as well.

Behind it all, God is constantly loving us and prompting our choice for goodness, for life, for love and for salvation with Jesus and the Holy Spirit forever.   When we choose the goodness, brothers and sisters, when we become those “good trees,” we just might be amazed at the immensity of good fruit we will bear, like the stars in the heavens and the sands on the seashore!

The Lord God took Abram outside and said: “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.” Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.   Gn_15:1-12,17-18

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06-27-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 27, 2017
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

When it becomes black and white to us, beloved, which philosophies, which attitudes, which beliefs belong upon this constricted road and which do not, then, I think we’re on the right path.  Throughout the Old Testament, God and the prophets openly delineated which behaviors opened that narrow gate and which did not.  And then Jesus made it even simpler to understand by telling us that it all had to do with love of God and neighbor.

If we look at the world we live in, beloved, and put that proviso on every comment we hear from the media, on every event we hear about, that has not been biased by a biased media, how many can we find that fall on the narrow path of love?

And then, what about our own actions?

Are we walking the path and opening gates for ourselves and others?

Or are we just following the crowd on the wide and abundant path to perdition?

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06-26-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 26, 2017
The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.  “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you;”   Gn_12:1-9

Sometimes, beloved, we’ve just gotta do what we’ve gotta do!  When we receive that call, maybe the world will be disappointed that we have to leave.  But God will bless us and them!  Through the ups and downs.  Through the tough times and the blessed “breezes,” God will be with us. And that’s the best comfort we could ever have!  May our loving God bless all of us, beloved, wherever we may be!

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06-25-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 25, 2017
(Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
I 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_21:1-5

. . . and His mother kept all these things in her heart.”  Lk_2:41-51

What a treasure of love and hope we hold in our hearts as well, beloved.

Son and Father, Thanksgiving Mass

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06-24-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 24, 2017
(The Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.”  But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea.  All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.  Lk_1:57-66,80

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

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

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06-23-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

June 23, 2017
(Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”   Mt_11:25-30

This is the yoke of Love.

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

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

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06-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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