09-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 16, 2017
(Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs)
Jesus said to his disciples: “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.  For every tree is known by its own fruit.   Lk_6:43-49

And yet, we have to be very careful in how we interpret this saying.  It doesn’t mean that a person cannot be changed!  It just means that the fruit resembles its’ tree.  It doesn’t mean a good child can not come from bad parents or a bad child from good parents.  It means the actions done by any person represent what’s in his/her heart alone.  A heart CAN be changed, beloved!  A good heart can become rotten by the environment it’s immersed in.  Just as a bad heart can become good with just one touch of a good influence.  WE can be that good influence for others, beloved.  We are called to be that influence, following the example of our Lord.

St. Paul said, “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Of these I am the foremost.”  1_Tm_1:15-17

If Jesus can change St. Paul from a zealous arch-enemy into a super evangelist, just imagine what we can do with His help.  He’s there for us and for everyone, if we just reach out!

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09-15-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 15, 2017
(Our Lady of Sorrows)
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.”  –  Simeon to Mary,  Lk_2:33-35

Today, I thought I’d give you a really brief history and background on the memorial that we’re celebrating today.  Our Lady of Sorrows was instituted into the Church calendar by Pope Pius the 7th, in 1817; although the history of our devotion to the sorrows experienced by the Blessed Virgin Mary date all the way back to the 12th Century.

The title, Our Lady of Sorrows, was given to our Blessed Mother because it focuses on the intense suffering and grief that she endured, through the passion and death of her Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.  That suffering, however, was not just limited to the passion and death of Jesus; but it was also described as the Seven Dolors, or Sorrows of Mary.

The two primary Bible references derive, first, back to the words of Simeon, that we heard in Luke’s Gospel today, where Mary’s heart would be pierced for the sufferings that her Son would have to endure; and second, to the words of Jesus from the Cross in John’s Gospel, where He designated the Apostle John as Mary’s new son and caregiver, confirming Mary’s presence at the crucifixion. Jn_19:25-27

Throughout the ages many famous artists have depicted Mary’s Sorrow with a sword or seven swords piercing her heart, in reference to Simeon’s prophesy.  Those Seven Sorrows include:

  1. Simeon’s Prophesy (of the sword piercing Mary’s heart.) (Luke 2:34–35)
  2. The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and Herod’s massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13)
  3. Mary and Joseph’s 3-day loss of the Child Jesus in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:43–45)
  4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus as he carried His cross to Calvary (4th Station of the Cross, Tradition)
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.
    (John 19:25)
  6. The Piercing of the side of Jesus and the Removal of His body from the Cross. (Matthew 27:57–59)
  7. And the Burial or entombment of Jesus.
    (John 19:40–42)

These Seven Sorrows are often prayed-over in a devotion similar to the rosary, but they’re not the same as the rosary’s Sorrowful Mysteries.

There is also – an optional Sequence to the Mass which is based on a 12th century hymn called the Stabat Mater Dolorosa, or Sorrowful Mother Standing, which was believed to have been written by a Franciscan mystic named, Jacopone da Todi.

Lots of history.

Beautiful devotion.

All in remembrance of the cost that was paid in pain, for our salvation.

And only because our awesome God and Creator loves us so incredibly much!

It’s both our JOY and our Sorrow too, because so much of our world just does not understand!

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09-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 14, 2017
(Exaltation of the Cross)
In reference to the first sin: Then the LORD God said to the snake: Because you have done this, cursed are you among all the animals, tame or wild; On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.  Gn 3:14

Thus, the snake or serpent inherited the symbolism of all that is bad and sinful in this world.

Thousands of years later, in the desert of their exodus from Egyptian slavery, the Israelites continued in their sin.  In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died.  Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.  Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”  So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.” Nm_21:4b-9

Has that serpent bitten or tormented us too, beloved?  Are we hounded and riddled with feelings and actions that we just know we shouldn’t be having or doing?  That’s that old serpent again acting his part.  But there is hope.  God always provides an escape route, a protection, a healing . . .

Jesus said, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”  Jn_3:13-17

We no longer need to fear the condemnation of eternal damnation because of our sins, because we have a Savior, a Redeemer in Jesus.  That serpent was nailed to a cross and our God was revealed to us in the Resurrection.  Jesus IS our eternal life.  Look to Him, beloved, and live!

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09-13-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 13, 2017
(St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Brothers and sisters:  If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. Col_3:1-11

I’m not sure how many of us realize that in our Baptism we died to this wretched mortal life to live in immortality with and in Christ.  As St. Paul say, “Our life is hidden with Christ in God.”  That means that we no longer have to worry about mortal death.  Death will just be a passing through into the remainder of eternity.  And the now is simply preparation for something much, much better to come.  So cheer up, beloved!  We are within His Glory!  Dead to sin and alive in Christ forever!

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09-12-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 12, 2017
St. Paul wrote, brothers and sisters:  As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.  For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in him,   Col_2:6-15

We share in that FULLNESS, beloved!  Nothing else can compare!

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:  Lk_6:12-19

And following in the footsteps of Jesus, we can see how important prayer is in EVERY decision we make, especially the important ones.  We need to get in touch with the Father, just as Jesus did, to help us make the right decisions. Because without Him all that’s left is that ’empty, seductive philosophy of the world.’  And that can lead us to nothing better than disaster. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are here to help.  Rely on them!

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09-11-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 11, 2017
St. Paul wrote: For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you and for those . . .  Col_1:24–2:3

. . . in Florida and Cuba and the Bahamas and the Islands hit by the recent hurricanes; for Houston and the flooded people there, for the people in the Northwest – Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana, fighting fires burning their homelands; and for our land.  Please pray beloved, for our country and our world, on this day of infamy (9-11) that turned us all so topsy turvy.

God WILL see us through!

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09-10-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 10, 2017
(23rd Sunday, Ordinary Time, A)
Thus says the LORD: (to the Prophet Ezekiel) You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.  If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ” and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.  Ez 33:7-9

Now those are some pretty scary instructions!  WE are responsible for – NOT converting them, but informing them of their errors.  I don’t know about you, beloved, but telling someone they shouldn’t be doing or thinking something, is not something I’m real fond of.  But, you know what?  If we really love them, we WILL!  Only BECAUSE we love them.  In the end, it’s always their choice, but God says to Ezekiel later on that IF he did tell them, he would no longer be held responsible for their demise.  Though we keep on praying for their souls.

Link to today’s homily . . .
Our Father’s Priests

Sorry for delay in getting today’s reflection in.  I’ve been overwrought with concern and prayer over the devastation occurring in Florida today, as my sister and her family are still there in the midst of hurricane Irma.  Please pray for them and all who are living there . . .

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09-09-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 9, 2017
(St. Peter Claver, Priest)
You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds; God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, Col_1:21-23

“provided that you persevere”

Never, never give up, beloved.  We have made it up so many steps to get to where we now are.  Persevere!  Life is so very short, and it will not be long before we make it to our Goal!  Our heavenly Goal.  Persevere.  Jesus promises it will all be worth it!  Would He have died for us if it were not so!  Believe!  And persevere, in Love!

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09-08-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 8, 2017
(Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means “God is with us.”  Mt_1:1-16,18-23

God is with us!!!!

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09-07-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 7, 2017
Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him . . .
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”  When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.  Lk_5:1-11

An unexpected catch of fish.  A miraculous healing.  A wisdom and authority beyond that of the leaders.  What is it that drives us to leave everything and follow him, beloved?  He is there always, waiting for us to make that choice.  There’s nothing or no one better!

Jesus!

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09-06-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 6, 2017
Jesus stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She got up immediately and waited on them.   Lk_4:38-44

Maybe that’s why we suffer so much today, beloved.  We just don’t rebuke enough.  Everything has to be “feel good.”  And if it’s not, we’ll either get sued, shot, ignored or slandered.  Maybe that’s why we’ve lost respect, not only in our own families, but as a nation.  We’ve lost control because nobody is in charge.  And when someone tries to take charge, well, we’ll eat him up and spit him out because that doesn’t feel good either.  Jesus rebuked the fever, rebuked the demons, rebuked even his disciples when they allowed Satan to take over their thoughts.  Be gone, nasty rebels!  And the rest of us, let’s allow God back in control where He belongs!  He’s just waiting for us!

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09-05-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 5, 2017
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you.  For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. . . .

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.

For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him.  1_Thes_5:1-6,9-11

We are not in the darkness, beloved!  We are OF the Light!  Jesus is our light and our hope.  Stay always close to him and you will never be lost in the dark.  He will guide and care for and love you always.  And those of us ‘in’ Him will be with you as well!  You ARE loved!  And that love can never be lost!
And there is our Hope!

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09-04-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 4, 2017
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep (died), so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  1_Thes_4:13-18

THERE is our Hope, beloved!  Both in this life and the next.  We WILL be with Him forever!

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09-03-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 3, 2017
(22nd Sunday Ordinary Time A)
My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.  Ps 63

St. Paul said, “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Rom_12:1-2

So steal away, beloved.
Steal away into the perfect will of God . . . Love!

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09-02-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 2, 2017
Brothers and sisters: On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.   1_Thes_4:9-11

God’s Love, comes from the heart, beloved.  It’s not a selfish love, but a charitable love.  It’s God’s love!  When we allow the Spirit of God to dwell in our hearts and minds, we need no one to teach us; because right and wrong, good and bad, prudence and greed are all obvious to us.

Sometimes the world can just make us sick with how it seems to behave.  Yet, on the other hand, when help is needed, as in dire situations like Houston, or New Orleans, or Haiti, or 9-11, all the goodness of mankind, all the goodness of God just comes showering out in charity.  And the media and the rest of the world are AMAZED and shocked that something so beautiful can happen (it’s not their ‘way’).  But for us, beloved, it is just God’s natural love showing itself.  And we’re not surprised, because that is exactly what we are called to do: LOVE!  Unconditionally – love.  And in that love we do not go about blowing our trumpets to get the world’s attention.  Rather, we simply praise God that we are able to help others as we all, naturally should!  And Jesus is our perfect model of charitable love!

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09-01-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

September 1, 2017
God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.  Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.  1_Thes_4:1-8

Jesus told a parable about 5-wise and 5-foolish virgins awaiting the coming of the bridegroom:
“. . . the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.  Then the door was locked.  Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’  But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'”

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”   Mt_25:1-13

Jesus often uses the symbolism of marriage, of weddings, when He talks about His relationship with us, His Church.

Of course, just like marriages today, marriage in the time of Jesus almost always involved a party and a feast.  And as Christians, we’re very familiar with how the symbolism of the Wedding Party is used for our next phase of life, for that “Heavenly Banquet at the wedding feast of the Lamb.”  Rev_19:9

And yet, the point that Jesus was trying to make in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, wasn’t strictly about the Party.  And it wasn’t about the invitation either, because we’re all invited.  It was about being ready when the door, the gate to that Heavenly Banquet is opened.

You see, there’s a reason and a warning for being ready.

The reason is that God wants every single one of us to join in His party!

The warning is that the gate, the door of entry to God’s Kingdom, will NOT be opened forever.

And on top of that, we also have no idea when it will be opened.

And IF we miss that window of opening, IF we’re NOT ready, like the five foolish virgins in today’s parable, then it just may be too late for us to ever get in.  And we’ll find ourselves either shivering in the cold loneliness of life without God, or burning on the coals of Satan’s furnace, as we hear our almost bridegroom tell us that He doesn’t even know us!

St. Paul gives the young Church of the Thessalonians and us, the same warning.  He tells us that we were all created for holiness.

And if we refuse to follow that path, the path that God cleared and Jesus pointed us to, then the path we choose instead, will lead to a lot more suffering because of the consequences of our wrong choices.

If we choose sin, the consequences of sin will be knocking at our door.

If we choose death, the consequences of death will be constantly haunting us.

But if we choose righteousness; if we choose holiness, and obedience to God, oh, we’ll still suffer the ills of humanity, but our hope in God will comfort, heal, reduce and maybe even eliminate those sufferings.

So stay awake, Jesus tells us,
BE READY,
for “we know neither the day nor the hour!

But we DO know that God is brewing up
– quite a shindig,
just for us!

jmp 09-01-17

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08-31-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 31, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.  Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.  So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  Mt_24:42-51

For many of us, beloved, this is a good reminder to be very cautious about letting down our defenses in a world gone awry.  What do we accept?  And what do we reject because it is just NOT right, it’s just not appropriate, it just not God’s Truth!

And for the rest of us who have no clue as to what I just said, instead of “Stay awake,” you need to hear “WAKE UP!”  Because if you don’t that thief WILL steal, and the house WILL be broken into, and you’ll find yourself sitting on the hot coals of everlasting hopelessness, everlasting Godlessness!   We pray for your souls, friends, that now, while there is still time, you hear that wake-up call.  God loves you!  And there is a responsibility on your part to love Him back by following His commands!  To step out of yourself and see someone else for a change.  And love them too, just as we love you!

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08-30-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 30, 2017
Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.” Mt_23:27-32

Well, not a very uplifting quote today; sorry.  But, if this is not us, (and well, maybe it is in some way for all of us), then we are VERY blessed indeed!  But more likely, we probably have something within that we need to clean out as well.  Time to clear out all those old bones, beloved.  Let’s make tomorrow “trash day” and try to see if we can make the inside as beautiful as we make the outside (or maybe even more)!  Funny, when the inside is clean, others don’t even see what the outside looks like!  Blessed be God!  And blessed are you, beloved, blessed are YOU!

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08-29-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 29, 2017
(The Passion of St. John the Baptist)
St. Paul boldly wrote, You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our reception among you was not without effect.  Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated, as you know, in Philippi, we drew courage through our God to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.  1_Thes_2:1-8

Neither was John the Baptist shy about proclaiming that Gospel Truth without much struggle.  Just like Jesus he was tested and ridiculed by the Pharisees and the Romans.  And just like Jesus he was killed for his faith. How much are we willing to suffer for the sake of bringing God’s message of Love to others, beloved?  Sometimes it might really hurt.  But God will give us the strength to endure, even death, in order to continue to build His Kingdom, in order to save others.  John the Baptist and Jesus are our models!

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08-28-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 28, 2017
(St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus harshly criticized the Pharisees and Scribes for their nearsightedness, saying;  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’  Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?

And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’  You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;

one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;

one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”  Mt_23:13-22

So if our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and our heart is the altar of God, why are we so overly focused on our bodies or our hearts when it is God, who created our hearts and bodies, whom we should really be worshiping!  It is God who makes us: body, mind and spirit, holy!  When we recognize the Source of all that we are, beloved, then all that we are becomes our Gift back to Him!  And that makes all that we are, every breathing moment of Life, well worth living for!  Praise be to God!

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08-27-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 27, 2017
(21st Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter said in reply, “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.”  Mt_16:13-20

But who do you say that – I – am?

Who really is your mom or your dad?  Who are your brothers and your sisters?  Do you REALLY know?  WHO are YOU?  You know what, beloved, sometimes we don’t even know that!  Sometimes it takes a little “dialogue.”  Sometimes it takes some deep digging, with all due respect and courtesy, to truly Know anyone!

Maybe that should be our goal this week.  Let’s see if we can truly get to know just one person.  Maybe it will be a person we see every day, but really do not KNOW.  Who knows, we just might find someone we never imagined had such depth, such commonality with us.  A new soulmate.  A new limb in our Body of Christ!

And together we will build His Church, the Family of God, one “knowing” at a time, beginning with our Lord!

Who?

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08-26-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 26, 2017
Just to finish the story that began yesterday.  Ruth did follow Naomi into her land and served all the needs of her Jewish mother-in-law.  There she also served in the fields of a powerful relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, who was named Boaz.   Boaz took Ruth.  When they came together as man and wife, the LORD enabled her to conceive and she bore a son. . . . They called him Obed.  He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.  Ru_2:1-3,8-11;4:13-17

All in a long line of descendants leading to our Lord and Savior, Jesus!  (see Mt_1: 5-16)

All just goes to show, exactly what Jesus taught:

“The greatest among you must be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”   Mt_23:1-12

Thanks be to God for giving us the example of Ruth in faithfulness, dedication, humility and exaltation!

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08-25-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 25, 2017
(St. Louis of France)
Naomi said to her widowed sister-in-law, Ruth, “Go back after your sister-in-law!”  But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!  For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”  Ru_1:1,3-6,14b-16,22

A story of dedication.  A story of love.  A story of Jesus’ dedication, love and sacrifice for us!  He is with us, wherever we go!  Are we with Him?

And another couple, equally beautiful . . .

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08-24-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 24, 2017
(St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
Jesus said to Nathanael/Bartholomew, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?  You will see greater things than this.”  And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”   Jn_1:45-51

Maybe a nasty question, but, what do we do when we think no one is watching, beloved?  Do we always remember that God can see everything?  He knows, not only our actions but even our thoughts!  This is what seems to have astounded Nathanael!   There he was, seemingly alone under the fig tree.  And our minds can go in all kinds of directions as to what he was doing there.  But whatever it was, Jesus knowing it, was enough to convince Nathanael that He truly was something special – even to the extreme of being the Son of God, the Messiah.

Where do our thoughts, our actions go, beloved, when we are alone?   Maybe it’s a good time for prayer.  Pray for “right” thoughts.  Pray for protection from the evil one.  Pray for others, to keep our minds off ourselves all the time.  Ponder the angels rising and falling upon our Lord.  Jesus will be there to help.  Rely on Him and there will never be any surprises!

He is our right hand and our Life!

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08-23-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 23, 2017
(St. Rose of Lima)
Jesus said, “Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  Mt_20:1-16

Today we see the results of rebellion compared to unreservedly answering God’s call.  In our 1st reading, after God had given the “promised land” of the Canaanites to Israel, we see their slow and rebellious disobedience of His commandments.

So God endowed certain special men and women with the authority to be Judges. And there was a man named Gideon who was one of these.  As the story went, Gideon had seventy sons of various wives, and one other, by the name of Abimelech, who was born of a concubine, one of their slave women.

This Abimelech, was a power-hungry, wretch of a man, who, in his quest for kingship, killed 69 of Gideon’s sons, while only one escaped his sword.  He convinced the Lords of Shechem to elect him as their king.  And Jotham, the one remaining son of Gideon, gave the Lords the parable that we heard today, about the trees.

It told of the reluctance, or rebellious refusal of the Lords to rule the kingdom, which they were perfectly capable of doing.  The only one who was left to do the job was the scrappy, thorn-bush of a man, Abimelech, who brought terror to the kingdom instead.

The parable was a warning to the Lords to return to God, and to use the talents He gave them for the good of all, rather than just for their own selfish pride.

Jesus likewise, gave a parable about the rebellion, the refusal of the Israelite leaders to accept Him as their promised Messiah.

In it, He showed how – there were many people chosen to work in His vineyard, and how they all eventually received their payment or reward.  But just like the workers in Jesus’ parable, who were last and received their payment first, while those who were first were paid last: the Gentiles who were last, and had chosen to accept Jesus, will receive their heavenly reward first; while the Pharisees who were first and refused to believe in Him, will receive their reward last, when they finally make that conversion.   And yet, notice that they were all equally paid!

It’s funny, because even in our Church today, some people may think that they are special in God’s eyes, only because they had gone to Church all their lives, they had done good deeds, and sacrificed themselves wherever they could.

And yet, when they saw others, who later in life were welcomed by God, they found themselves feeling jealous or angry because they felt that they should be the privileged ones.  When in reality, their privilege is only as good as their own purity.  And their own purity is still lacking in the elimination of that pride that makes them feel so privileged.

You see, God loves everyone equally!

And even though they may have been first, they just may end up last because of their pride and prejudice.

You know, God’s ways are not our ways, brothers and sisters.  And the lesson we learn, is that ALL we need to really concern ourselves about – is our own business, unless that business is, as it should be, helping others to reach the Goal of God’s kingdom as well.  THAT’s God’s call to us!

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08-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 22, 2017
(Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Jesus said to his disciples,“everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.”  Mt_19:23-30

What a glorious day it was in the Lord (8-21-17)!  We were able to witness a (possibly once in a lifetime), total eclipse of the sun.  With all the myriad of events that could have prevented that viewing, including bad weather, we were able to see it clearly here in Columbia, MO, while those living just 20 miles away were overcast and rainy.  Oh how can we give up the beauty of God’s creation when He keeps showering it down upon us.  Blessed be God.  Blessings and thanksgiving for our Blessed Mother Mary and her son, our Lord, Jesus.  And blessed be YOU, beloved, just for being here with me!

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08-21-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 21, 2017
(St. Pius X, Pope)
Jesus answered the rich man, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” . . .  The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  Mt_19:16-22

Something is tugging at our heart strings, beloved.  And it prompts several questions.  The first is, “Is it worth it?  Is it permanently worth it?”  Or does it just give us temporary happiness.  A new car gets old.  A winning baseball team eventually loses.  Lots of money disappears.  Even family leaves the nest and may rarely come back to visit.

What’s tugging at our heart strings?  And when all of those tugs fall apart, what are we looking for next?  Will it just be another temporary fix?  Like a drug that has us addicted. Or will we be asking the Creator of Life, like the young wealthy man, “How do I get to heaven?”  “Where is the true Permanent fix?”

Jesus gives the man that Permanent fix.  Number one is to follow the basic commandments to love God and neighbor.  Then number two is to give your life over to God.  Let go of all of those other heart tugs.  And some of them are much harder to let go of than others.  For this young man it was his possessions.  Which in reality were not really his possessions, but they possessed him!

Sometimes, beloved, we may be cruising along in life, keeping the commandments, going to church, loving everyone and yet, something is still tugging on our hearts that we may not even realize.  And it’s keeping us from that true eternal relationship with God.

Search it out.  Dig as deep as you can and find it.  Then pray for the strength of the Holy Spirit to help you root it out.  And it doesn’t mean we have to sell our loved ones out to the poor.  We just make sure God is in His proper place first.  We follow Jesus and all the rest will be right where they are supposed to be!!

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And a happy eclipse day tc all!

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08-20-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 20, 2017
(20th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Thus says the LORD: . . . The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants—all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer;  Is_56:1,6-7

ALL are welcome!

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08-19-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 19, 2017
(St. John Eudes, Priest)
Joshua said to the Israelites, “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.  As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Jos_24:14-29

Are we so wrapped up in the gods of the world, beloved, that we have forgotten all that our Lord has done for us?  If it so be our will, though our God will always love us, so we have chosen.

But . . .

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Mt_19:13-15

. . But, never ever stop the children!  For these have found, these know the path to the Kingdom!

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord!

And we pray for the souls of those who have chosen otherwise!

God never stops loving us all!

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08-18-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 18, 2017
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”  He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”  Mt_19:3-12

Within the house, that the Lord has graced my family and me with the pleasure of living in for the past 20-years, there’s a large, brick fireplace in our living room.  Our house is basically a ranch with, what they call a ‘walk out basement.’  And this fireplace is on the main, or upper floor.

And even though we bought the house new, it was designed and built before we ever set eyes on it.  So I can’t take credit for designing that fireplace, but our family has certainly enjoyed its presence over the years.

Now if you’ve ever seen pictures of tornado ravaged neighborhoods or bombed out towns in WWII, what you often see remaining of the houses are just their fireplaces, standing there like monuments from the ground to the sky in a barren wasteland of rubble.

You see, there is an aspect of permanency in fireplaces that  makes them nearly indestructible, at least to fire, and wind, and sometimes, even bombs.  So for example, you could imagine how our fireplace, being on the second floor, would have to have a huge foundation running from it, all the way down into the ground, in order to hold all that weight.

And you can also imagine that it took quite a lot of work by the builder to set it in place.

And so we set the stage for today’s readings.

You see, just like the permanency of our fireplace, today we see the permanency of God’s love and mercy, both through His covenant with the Israelites, and with us, in the covenant of Holy Matrimony.

And neither covenant came free or easy.

In order for God to deliver the Israelites, He not only had to perform great and mighty deeds, like leading them across huge bodies of water, through barren deserts and against mighty armies, but He also had to battle against their own attitudes of desperation, hopelessness, independence and rebellion because of their lack of faith.

Yet, in His unshakable Mercy, God had built a Foundation for the Jews that’s endured all the way up to the present time, over 4000-years.

You see, there is a permanency in the relationship between God and the Israelites that is unbreakable.  And so it should be with us as well.

Our exercise in that permanency comes through the example of the marriage covenant.  So when the Pharisees taunted Jesus with the question of divorce,  His simple answer rested upon the same Foundation that God had built in His relationship with them.

Jesus said, “What God has joined together, man must not separate.”

And of course, then comes the maintenance part of that covenant relationship between husband, wife and God.  And that’s – the not free or easy part!

Just like the Israelites, we have to battle with our own attitudes of desperation, hopelessness, independence, rebellion and lack of faith in God, who binds us all together.  We have to battle an enemy who wants nothing less than to rip us apart, eat us up and spit us out into the burning fires of hell.

You see, if I got tired of my fireplace and tried to rip it out, I’d probably find that most of my house would just crumble down with it in the rubble.

And if I instead decided to hide it behind a new wall, I’d also always know that it still exists there, unseen, but always present.

And so it is with Marriage.  Maybe we’ve suffered the devastation of a divorce.  Maybe we’ve endured the struggle of maintaining a difficult marriage.  Or maybe we’ve just been blissfully married for eons.  Whatever our own personal experience with marriage is or was, if we keep our faith in God, God will always see us through, because His love for us is permanent and eternal.  And that’s what we must strive for in our marriage!

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08-17-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 17, 2017
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?  As many as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Mt_18:21–19:1

Anger on the road?  Disappointments at work?  Disobedient kids?  Nothing going right and everyone is against us, beloved???  How do we forgive even once, let alone 77-times?

Well, imagine what would happen if we just tried once!  Not to jam on that brake when the idiot, 3-inches from our tail, really deserves it.  Not to tell that little jerk who is supposed to be our boss, our support system, what we actually think of him.  Not to grab that little brat by the collar and read the 10-Commandments off to her.

Just imagine the PEACE we can give ourselves by forgiveness!  It’s NOT easy!  But that’s why we have our God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, to pray to for strength.  To lift us back up above those e-jots and not place ourselves at their level.  Jesus WILL be there for us.  The Holy Spirit will give us the words and show us the right actions to take.

Trust in Him, beloved, and FORGIVE!

And remember they’re simply
errant Children of God,
just like us!

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