02-14-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 14, 2018
(Ash Wednesday; Ss. Cyril, Monk and Methodius, Bishop;
and St. Valentine‘s Day)
Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.   Jl_2:12-18

If you follow the news much lately, you would have heard the stories about a volcano in the Philippines oozing its fiery lava down upon the neighboring villages.  And how the authorities have warned the inhabitants, that at any moment the entire mountain could explode.

You would have heard stories about terrorist groups causing mayhem and death, not only in their own countries, but all over the world.

You would have heard about a political tightrope that we ourselves are walking with countries who threaten us with nuclear annihilation.

And you would have seen people, from their youth to old age, dying from cancer, malnutrition and disease.

It’s all a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the uncertainty of death.  Of course, none of us are strangers to death.  But how often do we purposely ignore it, as though it would never happen to us!  And the question is, when it does happen, “Will we be prepared to take our bestfirst step into the next phase of life?

You see, just as the Olympic skier needs Discipline to be able to perform at their very best in the actual event, so too, we need Discipline in our quest for Eternal Life with God.

And if that skier truly wants to win his or her event, he’s going to do two things:  He’s going to follow his trainer’s directions to the letter, and he going to practice relentlessly.

And it’s no different for us.  As we begin our 2018, Lenten journey to the Cross, the Tomb and the Resurrected Life of Jesus, we remind ourselves of our own need to trim up some of our sinful habits through the discipline of both our bodies and our souls.

And that can be done in many ways.  Jesus, our trainer, gives us three acts of discipline that can help us on this journey.  They are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

And He tells us, that their purpose is not self-gratification.  It’s not for our own glory, but it’s done for the Glory of God.

You see the discipline of breaking bad habits never comes easy.  We have to die a little to our selfishness to live a lot for God’s Glory.

The discipline of Fasting tests our will and strengthens our perseverance, so that when the true test of our faith comes, we will have the strength to endure and overcome all the negatives  in our world.

Prayer brings us closer to God and to our neighbor.  When we can self-less-ly pray for the well-being of others, then we are truly learning the discipline of Love; that most important Commandment of Jesus.

And Almsgiving is the life-blood of our faith.  Although, literally, it means – the giving of money or food to the poor, we also give the Alms of our time, our effort, our caring and our love in order to help enhance the lives of others, both physically and spiritually.

It’s through Almsgiving that we help to build and sustain the Body of Christ here on earth, as we Discipline ourselves not to live in fear of death, but instead, to just BE the very best disciples we can, as we enter into God’s kingdom of LIFE, now and forever.

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02-13-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 13, 2018
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he (God) promised to those who love him.  Jas_1:12-18

Boy, how I wish I could say that this man is me!  But it certainly is not.  Try as I may, those temptations of daily life constantly beat me down.  There may be three steps forward and then there’s that fall again, and time to start all over.  And I wonder, will I EVER succeed?  Jesus tells us that we cannot succeed without the help of the Holy Spirit.  So then, I surrender all for His wisdom.  I surrender all, for His strength.  I surrender all for His perseverance!  I give you, Lord Jesus, my Love.  And I offer you my self!

What about you, beloved?
Are YOU the “blessed” one in this verse?

Come Holy Spirit!  Fill the hearts of your faithful ones!
And enkindle in us the fire of your Being!

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02-12-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 12, 2018
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.   Mk_8:11-13

A man was standing in the middle of his field, his face to the wind, when suddenly his hat was whisked away by a strong gust.  The man yelled into the gale, “Prove to me that you are the wind.”  And the wind thought to itself, “How stupid could these people really be?”

It takes all kinds, beloved!  You see, sometimes the answers are beating us over the head, before we even ask the questions.

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.  Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Jas_1:1-11

And the perseverance is – continuing to share our faith, even in the midst of blindness, hatred and stupidity.  Keep on praying for the strength of the Holy Spirit, beloved, and the Holy Spirit will guide you in perseverance to reach your eternal reward!

Blessed be God forever!

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02-11-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 11, 2018
(6th Sunday Ordinary Time B, and Solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes)
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.  When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Jn_2:1-5

Best motherly advice ever given.  “Do whatever he tells you.”  You see, Mary didn’t ask Jesus to do anything.  She was just stating a fact, the wine had run out.  Yet, Jesus knew her concern.  And he also knew that this was not the type of need He came to fix.  It was not a miraculous healing.  It was not a compassionate feeding of multitudes.  And yet, there was also some remarkable symbolism available in the changing of water into wine.   It might be linked to Moses’ changing of the Nile into a river of  blood.  And in His own future, it might be linked to that piercing of Jesus on the cross resulting in the flow of water and blood from His side.  If nothing less, it might begin to get His disciples to understand just who their leader really was, the Son of God.

As we venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary and her own miracles of appearance in the modern world, we must always remember that holy advice of hers: “Do whatever He tells you!”  She will always point the way to our eternal salvation through Her Son, Jesus.

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02-10-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 10, 2018
(St. Scholastica, Virgin)
Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”  Mk_8:1-10

The good shepherd will never abandon nor forsake his flock.  In Him is a heart of compassion and mercy!  And so we pray, “Lord God of compassion and mercy, may your actions of love for your flock teach us the Way to Your heart.  May we become your bread for the world to nourish and strengthen those who hunger for Your Words of hope and love.  And may those same Words strengthen us against all temptation.  May you be for us that bread of eternal life in every breath we take!   Amen!

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02-09-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 9, 2018
And people brought to him (Jesus) a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd.  He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,”Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.  Mk_7:31-37

In the Sacrament of Baptism, the Priest or Deacon will offer a prayer over the newly baptized using the words:  “The Lord, Jesus, made the deaf hear and the dumb speak.  May He soon touch your ears to receive His Word and your mouth to proclaim His faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.  Amen”  From: The Rite of Baptism for Children.  The prayer is called the Ephphatha Prayer and it is derived from today’s Gospel reading.

If we are baptized Christians, it’s a good reminder that this prayer has been said over us as well.  Are we receiving His Word with our undivided attention?  Are we proclaiming His faith for all the world to hear, beloved?  And if we’re not, what’s holding us back?  Maybe we still need one more prayer.

“The Lord God made the man (and woman) to think and the brain to choose.  May the Holy Spirit soon touch our minds with wisdom and understanding and our gray matter with prudence and right judgment, that we may listen to what our ears have heard and profess what our hearts believe, for the salvation of our fellow-man and the Glory of God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”


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02-08-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 8, 2018
(St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin)
A non-Jewish, Gentile woman pleaded with Jesus to heal her daughter.  He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.  For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Mk_7:24-30

Even us dogs!

No minced meat!  Jesus called a spade a spade!  You know, beloved, some days we just might feel like that dog eating the scraps under the table.  But IF we can maintain our faith in God, our faith in Jesus, He will see to it that we are fed as well.  As a matter of fact – we just might be invited to feast at His banquet.

Keep the Faith, beloved!  Jesus will see us through!

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02-07-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 7, 2018
Continuing in His response to the Pharisee’s complaint about washing hands, Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.  Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”   Mk_7:14-23

Well, maybe if we’re suffering with that atrocious flu this winter, we might mildly disagree about being defiled by something from the outside.  But Jesus wasn’t addressing microbiology.  He was addressing the Jewish leaders’ insistence with trivia and disregard of the truly important issues in life, like relationships.

We might be the most attractive person in a crowd.  But if our words and thoughts and actions are not equally attractive with respect to our interactions with others, then it really doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside, we just may be the most unattractive person in that crowd.  Jesus will give us the strength to withstand all kinds of abuse from the outside.  But He will not support, nor excuse any abuse we inflict on others.

Our true cleanliness, our true beauty is what comes out from within.

Let it be love! Let it be joy!

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02-06-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 6, 2018
(St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs)
The Pharisees and scribes questioned him (Jesus), “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”  He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:  ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”  Mk_7:1-13

Ah, yes, this one will be my personal Lenten ablution; to stop my constant complaining.  Seemed to be one of the Pharisees favorites!  But this time it kinda backfired on them as Jesus exposed the true heart of the matter.  They were supposed to be the ones setting the example of how to follow GOD’s commandments, not their own.  And yet it seemed, to Jesus at least, that they were making their own commands and rules more important than God’s, and in the process alienating the ones they were supposed to be shepherding.

It’s so easy to point fingers at all the misdeeds of everyone else and never see our own.  The question then ends up, where is my heart?  Is it a heart of mercy, a heart of forgiveness and love?  Or is it a heart of judgment and persecution of everyone but (and maybe even including) myself?

As much as we are called Children of God, beloved, so are our brothers and sisters in humanity.  Some may be very lost, but it’s our charge to lead by example, not by judgment and persecution!  Thus did Jesus set the example for us!

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02-05-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 5, 2018
(St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr)

The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary, the holy of holies of the temple.  The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above. . . . When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the LORD’s glory had filled the temple of the LORD.  Then Solomon said, “The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud; I have truly built you a princely house, a dwelling where you may abide forever.”  1_Kgs_8:1-7,9-13

Funny how we take everything we know about life (which is really little) and thrust it upon what and who we think our God is.  Since we require a dwelling place for safety, protection and comfort, we think God needs the same.  King David, Solomon’s father, desired the same thing, to build a house for God.  And God clearly told him that He didn’t need a house.  His dwelling would be within us.

You see, beloved, when instead of thinking that we need a building constructed of wood and mortar to protect us, we realize that we are already living in the bosom of our God, who loves us greater than any wood and mortar can ever protect us, then we become free of all the worldly fears that cause us to think we need such self-made protection.  We already have the very best protection that can ever be.  We have God’s love.

And that’s ENOUGH!

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02-04-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 4, 2018
(Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time B)
In the midst of his great suffering, Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings?  He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages.  So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me.   Jb_7:1-4,6-7

Today’s Scriptures are filled with the miseries of life:  Job in his physical, spiritual and mental agony, Paul in his suffering to spread the Gospel, Peter in the illness of his mother in law and all the sick and demon possessed who sought Jesus’ healing.  And yet, THERE’s the hope!  Our Psalm proclaims, Praise the LORD, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; . . . He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  Ps 147

When we place our trust in Jesus, beloved, whatever hurt the world throws at us can be overcome.  And even when it is not, we know that not even death can keep us from God’s love.  And that’s what Jesus came to prove to us.  His love conquers all!

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02-03-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 3, 2018
(St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr)
David’s son Solomon declared, “O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.  Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”  The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.  1_Kgs_3:4-13

What is it, we would ask of the Lord, if given the chance to have anything?  Would it be something purely for ourselves?  Or would it be something that could benefit others?  The Lord looks for us to be kind, to have pity on our neighbors and to love them as He loves us.  This is exactly what Solomon did that pleased God so much.  It all begins and ends with LOVE!

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02-02-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 2, 2018
(The Presentation of the Lord)
Simeon blessed them (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, (and you yourself a sword will pierce,) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Lk_2:22-40

Today’s Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which is also called Candlemas, celebrates three occasions according to our Faith. It celebrates:

  1. The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple; as the first-born son of Joseph and Mary;
  2. It celebrates Jesus’ first entry into the Holy Temple of God; and
  3. It celebrates The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary;

– which, according to the Mosaic law, was required of any mother who had given birth to a boy, since she was considered unclean for the first 7-days after birth; and was then supposed to remain another 33-days “in the blood of her purification.”

When the total of forty days was over, the mother was then required to offer a lamb in the Temple as a holocaust offering, and a young pigeon or turtle-dove as a sin offering.”  If she was not able to offer a lamb, which was usually the case for people living in poverty, she was required to offer instead, TWO turtle doves or TWO pigeons.

In the process, the priest would pray over her for cleansing (Leviticus 12:2-8), and thereby purify her from the unclean blood of her new birth.

So, forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph complied with this precept of the law by bring Jesus to the Temple.  In doing so, they redeemed their first-born and Mary was purified  by the prayer of Simeon “the just,” in the presence of Anna “the prophetess.” (Luke 2:22).

The event, then marked the first solemn introduction of Christ into the House of God, and it was celebrated in the earliest days of the Church, in Jerusalem, as recorded in the fourth century.

The actual celebration of the feast would begin with a candlelight procession to the Constantinian Basilica of the Resurrection, where Luke’s Gospel was read, a homily was presented, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered.

In the early days, the Feast had no proper name and was simply called the “Fortieth Day”.  Then out of Jerusalem, this feast of the Fortieth Day began to spread far and wide in the Church.

When the Roman Feast of Christ’s Nativity was assigned to December 25, at the end of the fourth century, the Forty Day Feast became the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  And ever since, it has been celebrated on the 2nd day of February, forty days after Christmas.

According to this Gospel passage from Luke, when Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms, he proclaimed that Jesus would be: “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for God’s people, Israel.” (Luke 2:32).  Today, we look to these candles as our reminder of that Light of Christ within us.  And it’s for this reason that today’s Feast day is also called Candlemas.

In our Church the term “Candlemas” (or Candle Mass) refers to this February 2nd annual blessing of beeswax candles by the priest for use throughout the year.  Conveniently, these are also the candles that are used in the St. Blaise, blessing of throats, on February 3rd. And that’s another whole story!

I always find it interesting to learn the history of the Church’s feast days, the depth of their symbolism, and the awesome grace of God’s love that we receive through those celebrations.

What an incredible and infinite number of remarkable Gifts God has given to us, both in our union with Him, together with His Church, and in His greatest gift of Jesus – for all of us!

(as referenced from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03245b.htm)

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02-01-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

February 1, 2018
Jesus said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”   Mk_6:7-13

Whatever TV program, whatever movie, whatever group of gossiping and cursing people who may sour your peaceful spirit, beloved, turn it off, walk out of that theater, walk away from the evil that covers you in its dust and shake that dust off your body (the Temple of our God).  And, no, we’re not being self-righteous.  We’re just protecting what should matter to us the most – our souls, our promise of eternal life.

As Jesus sent His disciples off to preach the Good News to strangers, He knew that they would run into difficult people, challenges to their faith.  And He fully supported their turning away.  He knew that sometimes you just can’t change a rock into a pillow or an onion into a ball of chocolate.  And He knew that if you tried, you’d just end up with a headache and some really bad breath.  Sometimes we just have to let dead (or sick) dogs lie and pray the Lord will soften those rocks and sweeten those onions!

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01-31-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 31, 2018
(St. John Bosco, Priest)
After King David declared a census be taken of all Israel, he regretted having numbered the people, and said to the LORD: “I have sinned grievously in what I have done. But now, LORD, forgive the guilt of your servant, for I have been very foolish.”

When David rose in the morning, the LORD had spoken to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying: “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I offer you three alternatives; choose one of them, and I will inflict it on you.'”  Gad then went to David to inform him. He asked: “Do you want a three years’ famine to come upon your land, or to flee from your enemy three months while he pursues you, or to have a three days’ pestilence in your land?  Now consider and decide what I must reply to him who sent me.” David answered Gad: “I am in very serious difficulty. Let us fall by the hand of God, for he is most merciful; but let me not fall by the hand of man.”   2_Sm_24:2,9-17

Sometimes, beloved, even the most righteous people make errors in the sight of God.  David was right in recognizing his error and pleading for God’s mercy.  And yet there are always consequences for our sins.  David had the privilege of making the choice of his  consequence, which is rarely the case in real life.  But the choice between three evils, between three nasty consequences is still not easy.  Sometimes, beloved, there is no other choice than taking the lesser of many evils.  And even that choice will still hurt.

Moral of the story, I guess, is to always be very careful in the original decisions we make.  Pray over it first.  Evaluate the consequences if it doesn’t go right. And then dive in, knowing full well that you made the decision based upon what God would have thought was best for the time and place!

Praise be to God for sending us Jesus, and Jesus for blessing us with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!  He is our Light and our Life!

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01-30-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 30, 2018
The king (David) asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom safe?”  The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!”  The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate to weep.  He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”  2_Sm_18:9-19:3

Sometimes, as hard as we try, we just don’t understand!

The Cushite man was so proud to be the bearer of good news to his king.  Maybe it would bring him a promotion.  In his dreams, maybe it was he who would be the next king.  OH, the young and the ambitious!  Maybe he never had a son of his own.  Maybe he didn’t realize that his “good news” wouldn’t thrill the king but devastate him, and he, himself, would be lucky to not end up just like the one he was reporting about, dead.

The story of David and Absalom is one that touches the heart of anyone who was/is the father of a son, both of whom didn’t understand one another.  Like our Father in heaven, David’s love for Absalom went beyond anything Absalom could possibly do wrong, even murder, even rebellious sedition against his father.  And David’s punishment or correction of Absalom for that murder was enough to kick Absalom into high revenge mode, even after David tried to reconcile himself with Absalom.

But the death of Absalom was something David never, ever wanted.  And that death caused David intense remorse!

This is the unconditional Love that our Father has for us too, beloved.  There is nothing we can do to take that love from Him, nothing!  And it pains Him to see any one of us lost to the point death.  It’s the same way we feel toward our own children – and even more!  If only God, if only we can truly get them to understand!

God offered that reconciliation with us through Jesus!  He became like us, in all suffering, in all temptation, to prove that love to us, once and for all.  And yet we still don’t believe it!  And if we can’t believe God, how can we ever convince our own children of the love we have for them – even if we become just like them, in their sufferings and in their temptations.

And maybe our good news is not really the good news that will change their hearts either.  In the end, all we can do, beloved, is just keep on loving.  Just keep on praying.  Just keep on giving until there is nothing left to give.  May our loving God give us the strength and the wisdom to be the best of His children that we can possibly be, with all our faults and our limitations!  And may he bless our children, wherever they may be, to know that they are so loved, as well!

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01-29-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 29, 2018
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes.
. . a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
. . no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Jesus . . asked him, “What is your name?”  He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.”
. . Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine.”
. . and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.  The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.
. . Jesus told the healed man, “Go home to your family and announce to the all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”  Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed. Mk_5:1-20

Sebastian Bourdon: The Gerasene Demoniac

Ever have one of those Gerasene days, beloved?  The world, the job, the kids, the tomb, the neighbors all seem to be against you.  And there are just too many of those demons haunting you!

And as hard as you try to break away, to break those chains that are binding you from freedom, there is no escape.  That’s when you need to call out to Jesus.  “Lord, don’t let them destroy me.  And yet they are a part of me as well.”

Maybe He can send them into the mosquitoes, or the flies, or the moles, and they will all buzz off into the lake or the sea or the yard of someone else.  Always remember, beloved, that Jesus is there to comfort us.  The Holy Spirit is there to strengthen us and give us the wisdom we need to survive it.  And life will go on.
Let it be in peace.
For Jesus is the King of peace!

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1-28-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 28, 2018
(4th Sunday, Ordinary Time, B)
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority . . . Mk_1:21-28

What does “one having authority” look like, beloved?  Why is it so easy to differentiate the one having authority from the one who simply reports to Him?

Jesus had the authority because He understood the Scriptures from an experienced viewpoint.  One exhibiting authority is generally the one who has that confidence of knowing the answers.  And when that answer is not immediately forthcoming, they know exactly where to find it.  Jesus had the authority to understand the Scriptures.  He had the authority to expel demons.  He had the authority to heal illnesses.  And He had the authority to teach in the Name of His Father, because He and the Father were ONE!

Now, maybe we have the authority in whatever job we work, day in and day out.  Maybe we have the authority to teach our children the joys and pitfalls of life.  But Jesus wants us to also have the authority, like Him, to teach others about God’s love, about the Kingdom that He promises along with His Father.

When we get to know Jesus, beloved; when we get to know God intimately through the Scriptures, we WILL develop that authority.  And when we become immersed in God’s love, we will naturally have that authority and it will emanate from everything we say and do!

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01-27-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 27, 2018
(St. Angela Merici, Virgin)
Nathan the prophet presented a parable to King David whereby David unknowingly condemned himself for his own adulterous and murderous actions.

Nathan continued, “Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him.  Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.”  David grew very angry with that man and said to him (Nathan): “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!”


Sometimes, beloved, we can be so blinded to our own sinfulness, yet we’re keenly sensitive the sins of others.  And when our own condition is presented as though it were someone else, all of a sudden we recognize it in ourselves.  And so we pray, “Lord, help us to see the error in ourselves, that we may correct it.  And keep us from constantly judging others, separate from ourselves.  For none of us are perfect, yet in You there is boundless mercy, boundless redemption and boundless love!”

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01-26-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 26, 2018
(Ss. Timothy and Titus, Bishops)
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”   Mk_4:26-34

There we go with the scattering of seeds again.  But this time, as opposed to their ability to produce fruit based on the fertility of the ground on which they were scattered, Jesus is speaking particularly about the destination of those which DID bear fruit.  He’s speaking about the gathering of the fruit into that Kingdom of God, that community of His beloved.  He speaking about our eternal salvation!  What blessed hopefulness for all of us!

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01-25-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 25, 2018
(Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle)
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”   Mk_16:15-18

St. Paul followed that order as he proclaimed Jesus to everyone he encountered, sometimes even at the cost of his own persecution (as he was previously persecuting Christians himself).

St. Francis took the order to heart as he preached even to the birds, the wolves and the animals, though that was way over-played from his true goal – to convert souls!

What about us, beloved?  Does it take a bolt of lightning to change us, like St. Paul.  Does it require a failed attempt at being a military leader, a knight, as it did St. Francis?  Or are we willing to allow God to calmly guide and gently excite us to follow that order to proclaim His Love to the world, because of our own love for everyone!  However it comes, God’s call to all of us, through Jesus and His magnificent example, is to share that love.  THAT’s His will!  And that’s our salvation!

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01-24-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 24, 2018
(St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus explained, “The sower sows the word.  There are the ones on the path where the word is sown.  As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. . . .  But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”  Mk_4:1-20

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the children of Israel out of Egypt to the present,'” . . .

The LORD also reveals to you (David) that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, “I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.”  2_Sm_7:4-17

Did you notice how the people in all four of the seed, or Word sowing situations of Jesus’ parable heard that Word.  And the Word that they heard might have been stolen away, or died of malnutrition, or was smothered and choked to death. And it was only the Word that took root in the hearts and the lives of those who were prepared for it, that bore Fruit.

So we might ask, “How can we take that Word to heart if we do not understand?”  And “How can we understand if we don’t listen?” And “How can we listen if we don’t hear?” And “How can we hear if there is no one to tell us?”

You see, beloved, it’s all just an endless circle that Jesus initiated.

Jesus IS the Word.

And by our hearing and listening, by our understanding and taking it to heart, we become the fruit, the new sowers who spread that Word on the paths, and over the rocks, and into the weeds, and some of it might even be lucky enough to fall upon the rich soil: those people who are just starving to hear the hope, and the goodness, and intimate love that God has for every one of us.  And those who do, then become the new sowers. And the circle of life continues.

Now, David, as we heard in our first reading, wanted to build a house for God.  The apostle Peter wanted to do the same thing for Jesus, by offering to build a tent at His Transfiguration.  But, God, in both cases, told them, in no uncertain terms, that He didn’t need a physical abode here in our world. And neither should we, because when we have a physical home, we become secure, and comfortable, and so attached to that home that we never want to leave it.

And God knows that it is not in our best interest to become overly secure, and comfortably lazy.

If we build a house for God, and today we might even consider that house to be our Church building, then we are totally missing God’s point, as much as David was.  You see, God’s home is not a static location, but a dynamic event.

The Kingdom of God is not a place where we will one day live, secure and comfortable, but it is an existence of mind and heart – that has no limit of place, or time, or person. And to live in that Kingdom begins with allowing God to dwell in our hearts.

Once in there, we then come to discover that it is not God who is OUR visitor, to do for as – as we will, but it is WE, who are the visitors in God’s home. We who are called to do HIS will.

This is what God was trying to get David to understand.  This is what Jesus was trying to get His apostles and us to understand.

When we truly come to understand and live the fact – that it is God who wants us to live in His house; it is God whose Love binds us together in the dynamic of community, an ever-changing, ever-growing, eternal existence of mind and heart,  that no house, other than His, can ever accommodate, then our greatest desire in this life will be to spread that seed, that Word of His great love, in every field, in every mind, in every soul we come across.

Then we become the sowers who bear His Fruit,

Fruit that has only one Purpose,
to sow more seed!

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01-23-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 23, 2018
Jesus said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”  Mk_3:31-35

When we give ourselves to the will of God, beloved, there is a total abandon of all else in our lives.  That doesn’t mean we don’t love our parents and siblings.  It simply means that God our Father comes above all else in this world!  Total abandon.

David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.  2_Sm_6:12b-15,17-19

With total humility and total JOY, we shout and dance for our LORD and King!  These, are my brothers and sisters and mother, those who follow the will of my Father in Heaven and those who believe and follow Jesus!

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01-22-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 22, 2018
(St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr)
Jesus said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. . . .  all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”   Mk_3:22-30

I was recently thinking about civil wars:  lands where people are so divided against one another, often over silly issues, that they are willing to kill one another because of them.  Jesus tells us that such a land will not stand.  When the people become so divided, when the elected people in the government can’t even agree with one another, to the extent that they need to shut it down, when all the media has to talk about is death and hatred for their own president, then we must be very wary of the outcome Jesus is talking about.  There is a force out there, beloved, who would like nothing less than to see our great nation fall.  Be very cautious who you listen to and believe.  There is only one Truth!  And when we blaspheme against the Truth of the Holy Spirit within us, then we’re drinking our own bottle of cyanide.  God loves us all.  And we should, as well!

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01-21-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 21, 2018
(3rd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.  1_Cor_7:29-31

“This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”   Mk_1:14-20

Between St. Paul and Jesus,
that says it all!

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1-20-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 20, 2018
(St. Fabian, Pope)
After huge battle, a messenger came to David and wanted to speak with him, “Tell me what happened,” David bade him.  He answered that many of the soldiers had fled the battle and that many of them had fallen and were dead, among them Saul and his son Jonathan.

David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the soldiers of the LORD of the clans of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.  2_Sm_1:1-27

After all that Saul had done against David, David loved him and Jonathan unconditionally!  And in their deaths, he mourned.  THIS is how our God loves us, beloved, unconditionally.  Even after all of our sins, our turning away from Him, He still loves us.  It is this Love that keeps us going, beloved.  And we are to do likewise with everyone we come in contact with!


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01-19-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 19, 2018
Jesus appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons:  Mk_3:13-19

David said to Saul the king: ” I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, ‘I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed and a father to me.’ Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold.  Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life. . . .   Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel?  Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea!”  1_Sm_24:3-21

The word Apostle, as derived from the Greek language, means – one who is sent away: a messenger, a missionary, or an ambassador.  The 12-Special men whom Jesus called, delegated, consecrated and sent away – were called His Apostles, in contrast to all of His other followers or students, who  were called His Disciples.

And yet, OF those 12 Apostles, we also notice, throughout the Gospels, that three of them were closest to Jesus – in that He included them in revelations that the others were excluded from; like His Transfiguration and His Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  These three were Simon Peter and the brothers James and John.

And just like God’s selection of David as the King of Israel, it wasn’t the ultra-handsome Saul, who would lead a dynasty of Kings up to Jesus, but it was the lowly shepherd boy, David.

And in that selection of David, God gave Samuel, gave us, the exact reason for His selection.  He said, “Not as man sees does God see, because he (man) sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart.”  1_Sm_16:7

You see, none of those 12 Apostles were accredited, degreed or registered.  None of them were Pharisees, or Sadducees, or Scribes – the religious leaders of the time.  Instead, they were all simple men with a wide variety of professions and personalities: some loud, some fearless, some assertive, some quiet and some rebellious.  They were fishermen and farmers. They were tax collectors and dreamers.

They were men who could see that there was something wrong with the system as it was.  Because, they knew their Scriptures and they knew their Jewish roots.  And they knew that neither the Romans nor the Jewish Leaders were getting it right.

But this man, this Jesus – was!

And we could say the same thing about David.  David knew that there was a loose screw somewhere in Saul’s personality.  But he also knew, that until God made a definitive move, beyond, just Samuel’s anointing, he knew that he still had to respect Saul as his king, as his leader and as God’s ‘chosen one.’

And there’s absolutely no difference with our world and it’s leaders today.  But it IS up to us to show that rational control, just as David did.

When we can differentiate the calls of our human nature: to fight, to protect, to hide, to rebel, to hate, and to kill, from the calls of God: to trust, to respect, to speak up for the Truth, to choose life over death, and to Love, then, like Jesus’ chosen-12, and like David, regardless of what kind of credentials or authority the world may think we have, or don’t have, we will be among the few, the special ones, that God will use to spread His beautiful message of Love and Mercy to the world.

Then WE will be, beyond just a disciple, we will be an Apostle of Jesus.  Today, let’s pray for that wisdom of discernment.  In our Baptisms, God has given the Holy Spirit to all of us, beloved, to guide us in that Wisdom.

All we have to do, is TRUST!

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01-18-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 18, 2018
After David’s victory, The women played and sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”  Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.  Saul discussed his intention of killing David. . .   1_Sm_18:6-9;19:1-7

Funny, but not really, how human nature always brings us back to that pride and selfishness, jealousy and hatred.  Saul had already been told by Samuel that he was no longer in the LORD’s favor, for his disobedience and pride.  And here it was all beginning to show.  There would be others.  Just like the jealousy of King Herod, a thousand years later, over a little child, a threat to his own pride.

Only in the Lord Jesus can we overcome this human trait of pride.  The Good News that Jesus came to teach us was that God loves us – no matter what.  Doesn’t matter if we’re king or not.  Doesn’t matter if we’re the greatest warrior or not.  Doesn’t even matter if we’re a Saint or a sinner!  God loves us anyway, beloved.  So give up on the pride thing and trust in the love of God.  And let not the troubles of the world get you upset.  GOD LOVES YOU!

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01-17-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 17, 2018
(St. Anthony, Abbot)
David spoke to Saul: “Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”  But Saul answered David, “You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”  David continued: “The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.” Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”  1_Sm_17:32-33,37,40-51

When the world is screaming in your ears, beloved, “You’re not good enough!  You’re not big enough!  You’re not old enough!  You’re not rich enough!  You’re not famous enough!”  trust in God your Creator.  He is bigger and better than any of them.  And, in Him, and with Him, you can do ALL things, even to the conquering of the greatest giant! The LORD be with you, beloved, in Jesus Name, I pray!

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01-16-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 16, 2018
There are several good ones today . . .
Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. 1_Sm_16:1-13

There’s the correct model, in contrast to Saul’s disobedience yesterday.

In trying to select a king from the sons of Jesse in Bethlehem, Samuel was having a hard time.  But the Lord replied, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” ibid

“Into the heart!”  Isn’t it funny how sometimes we truly CAN see the beauty of a Soul, beyond whatever the appearance of a person is.  And sometimes it’s just the opposite!

After finally coming to the very last and youngest son, Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David ibid

And now the story really begins to become interesting!

Moral today:  don’t worry, beloved, about your appearance.  Make, instead, your heart be the very best it can be!  We might not be able to do a whole lot about our appearance, beyond a little make-up, or even plastics, but we CAN do an incredible make-over with our heart, with our attitude, with our LOVE, and Jesus is our teacher!

God doesn’t care about the outward appearance, but he does care about the heart!  And He’s the ONLY one it really matters the most to, in the end!  Yet remember, like attracts like, so don’t worry, the rest will follow!

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01-15-18 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

January 15, 2018
Samuel said to Saul, the King of Israel, “Does the LORD so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the LORD?  Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams. For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”  1_Sm_15:16-23

Obedience trumps sacrifice.  Therefore according to Samuel, according to the LORD, the old saying that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than to miss an opportunity (to sin, or disobey, or to presume ignorance), is just not TRUE!  It cost Saul his kingship, and in the end it cost him his very life and that of his son!  So, we must never stray from obedience to the Lord!

In the same light, Jesus said, “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”  Mk_2:18-22

Moral being, don’t follow the crowd, beloved, just because they say something is OK.  If that OK is sinful, if that OK is in disobedience to the Lord, if that OK is presumptuous, it’s really NOT OK.  Jesus is the “new wine.”  If we don’t want to ruin the beauty of what God has given us, in ourselves and in our world, we really do need to listen to and follow the advice of Jesus.  He is not the old, but the new!

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