11-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 14, 2017
the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. . . .  the Lord shall be their King forever.  Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.   Wis_2:23–3:9

When we give ourselves over to God, beloved, when we trust in Jesus with all our hearts, we will be those just, those elect of His.  And we will be free!

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11-13-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 13, 2017
(St. Frances Cabrini, Virgin)
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.  Ps 139

The omnipresence of the Lord.  There is nowhere He is not.  Seek Him beloved, and He will guide you and lead you to exactly where HE wants YOU to be!

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11-12-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 12, 2017
(32nd Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. . . .  For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care;   Wis_6:12-16

R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Response to Ps_63

When we ponder, beloved, on God.  On all His ways and His Creations.  When we strive to know His Wisdom, His grace, His glory, all that we seek will be found.  And that wisdom will perfect us in holiness.  And we will be at peace!

The peace of Jesus!

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11-11-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 11, 2017
(St. Martin of Tours, Bishop)
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2_Cor_8:9

Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”  Lk_16:9-15

So, yes, there is a difference between Spiritual wealth and worldly wealth.  We can be poor in finances, poor in health, poor in fame, but we can at the same time be rich in God.  When we can discern the difference, beloved, then we’re beginning to see where our Kingdom lies.  True wealth lies beyond the self!

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11-10-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 10, 2017
(St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church)
I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.  Rom_15:14-21

TRUTH!

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11-09-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 9, 2017
(Dedication of the Lateran Basilica)
St. Paul wrote, Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.”   1_Cor_3:9c-11,16-17

And from that temple within you, will flow a river . . .

Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine. Ez_47:1-2,8-9,12

And we become the doctors of humanity.  We become the nourishment of the world.  We become the hands and feet of Jesus – if we just let Him!

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11-08-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 8, 2017
St. Paul said, “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.”  Rom_13:8-10

Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. . . .
… everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”   Lk_14:25-33

We find in life that any endeavor that’s truly worth undertaking, requires a certain amount of dedication, perseverance, and obedience to the best practices of those who had come before us.  This goes from figure skating to quilting, from mountain climbing, to marriage.

We make agreements of non-competition in employment contracts.  We make agreements of fidelity in our marriage vows and promises of repayment of home mortgages.  And in all those cases, if we want to be true to those endeavors, those professions, those vocations, if we want to keep ourselves from suffering the consequences of broken promises, we must have the integrity of dedication.

And it’s no different with our faith!

Jesus tells us that if we want to BE His disciples, we must have dedication, perseverance and obedience.

The obedience comes in our keeping of the “thou shalt not” Commandments of Moses, which St. Paul sums up, as Jesus did, with the single word, Love.

Love God, love your neighbor
and love yourself
.

Because even if we might think that no-one on this planet cares about us, we know that God and every disciple of Jesus – does care.  They care enough to call it – Love.

And that Love is more than just an emotion.  It’s a deep, heartfelt BOND.  A holy Communion.  An Obedience to the Will of God.

To THAT Obedience we must be Dedicated, because just as laziness or shortcuts might plague the figure skater from doing her absolute best, so anger, jealousy and hatred will plague our Commitment to Love.

And against all of these and other temptations, even insidious competition for that love by relatives, or material keepsakes, or bodily comfort, we must Persevere in our Love for Jesus, if our goal is the eternal salvation that He promises; if we are to BE His disciples.

And to put all of that in a nutshell, Jesus’ exaggeration of hating parents and renouncing possessions, that people like St. Francis took to heart, simply meant: that we prioritize our Love for God, our Love for neighbor (even our enemies) and our Love of ourselves above all the distractions in life that want to steal that love away from us.

It simply meant putting God, putting Love above EVERYTHING!

It just reminded me of an old Marvin Gaye song that went something like this (with a little different conclusion):

“There ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river to wide enough,”

 To keep me from loving you, Jesus!

Let’s let that Love just saturate our lives beloved, so that when they look at us, they will be seeing Him!

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11-07-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 7, 2017
Let love be sincere;
– hate what is evil, hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.

Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.
Rom_12:5-16ab

OH what a world it would be if we could ALL follow this advice!

Blessed are you all, beloved!

Blessed be the Name of our Lord,

Jesus!

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11-06-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 6, 2017
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given him anything
that he may be repaid?”

For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To God be glory forever. Amen.   Rom_11:29-36

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11-05-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 5, 2017
(31st Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”   Mt_23:1-12

. . . as directed to kings and presidents, to bishops and priests (and Pope Francis is a great example of this principle), as directed to CEOs and managers, teachers and students, moms and dads and everyone!  Don’t “lord” your position over others.  Teach by example. Lead as a servant leader.  Show compassion and stay humble!  This is the way to the heart of others and this is the way to the heart of God.  All based on Love!

Homily for today . . . “Coming Home”

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11-04-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 4, 2017
(Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop)
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
For I am meek and humble of heart.”   Mt_11:29ab

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk_14:1,7-11

It’s humble pie week!  Maybe Jesus is trying to tell us something, beloved!  And it doesn’t necessarily mean having to do something that embarrasses us, as much as it means to stop making ourselves so puffed up with pride.  Step down once in a while.  Build the other one up and allow yourself to be number-2 for a change.  At the end of the day we should try to find something we did that was humbling!   And count how many other people we helped feel better!

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11-03-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 3, 2017
(St. Martin de Porres, Religious)
St. Paul said, “I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh.  They are children of Israel; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”   Rom_9:1-5

Imagine. And it’s actually not hard to imagine, because we have example after example of people in situations like this.  Imagine being born into wealth and choosing to live in starvation on the streets.  Or imagine completing High School with honors, getting a full scholarship into a prestigious university, completing college and medical school in the top of your class, and then choosing to work as a trash collector instead.

Both St. Paul and Jesus were astounded by the Choice made by their fellow Jews, not to believe in the Messiah that their whole faith was built upon.  From the Covenant promises made with Abraham, Moses and David, and the reminders of those Covenants by the Prophets, the Jews really had no excuse not to believe in Jesus, especially after all He had done and taught, and how it all – perfectly fulfilled those promises that they knew by heart.

But you know what, sometimes even today, the Truth can stare us right in the face; it can bowl us over, and if we’ve got some other agenda in mind, we can make ourselves totally BLIND to that Truth in favor of our own end.  And sometimes, Life itself can beat us up so badly that we no longer trust-in any-thing or any-one!

St. Paul and Jesus used common sense.  They used Words.  They used examples.  And they even used miracles to try to open the eyes of the most stubborn unbelievers of their time.  But some rocks – just cannot be overturned, even when the outcome is Life and Death.  And in the end, all that was left for them was Love and Prayer.

You see, beloved, at some point, Life is going to strike all of us.  And if it’s not a direct hit to our own health, or our loved ones, or something really close to us, it’s just seeing the world and all we care about, especially those who have no control of their situations – being abused by those who choose to live in a trash heap or create one for others, instead of living in the paradise that God has blessed us all with, and sharing it.

But praise be to God, WE have the choice.  We, who Believe, have the choice to allow all of those evils of the world to make us miserable, or we can choose, instead, to change it, one soul at a time, one smile at a time, because we know that in our hearts we have the Spirit of our Lord and God.

We have the Wisdom of God’s love, and we choose to share it rather than hoard it.  And we Believe in the Promise of Jesus: that our futures hold the Joy of eternal life – with no more pain, and no more suffering, and no more fear!

And that hope gives us the strength to endure whatever the world wants to throw at us.

Praise be to God,
in our Lord Jesus Christ!

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11-02-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 2, 2017
(Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed – All Souls)
Jesus said, “this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”    Jn_6:37-40

So when we sit here and wonder, beloved, “what is God’s will for my life?”  His will is that we ALL have eternal life.  And that eternal life only comes to us through belief in Jesus.   Jesus IS the way and the truth and the life!

Today we pray for the souls of all those who have departed this earthly life for something better.  Not of their own choosing, but by the nature of the beast, we will all follow their path. But what IS of our choosing is how we live every earthly day we’re given.  If we truly do believe in the Christ, are we living according to His directions?  Are we walking the narrow path?  Are we living the Beatitudes?  Are we following the Commandments?  Can our life be defined as LOVE, love of God and love of neighbor?  It’s something we can all work on, beloved.  But in the meantime, pray for the souls of those who cannot any longer.  And pray that when we get to that point, someone will be praying for us as well (at least once a year!!).

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11-01-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

November 1, 2017
(Solemnity of All Saints)
In a vision John had a revelation:  I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.” . . .

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”  He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”  Rv_7:2-4,9-14

These are the Saints, beloved!
Blessed are they and we who can be just as much of a Saint as they.  In every Eucharistic meal we partake, we are washing our robes in that same blood.  The blood that Jesus shed for our salvation.  By uniting ourselves with Him in this way, we purify our souls.  Then it’s up to us to keep them clean!  And the best way of doing that is through our good works.  Between the works and the purity, they will know us by our love.

That’s the love of Christ shining through us.

Blessed are the Saints and blessed are we!

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10-31-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 31, 2017
Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. . . .  For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.  For who hopes for what one sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.  Rom_8:18-25

As we enter this week, with the upcoming celebrations of All Saints and All Souls, we reflect on our mortality and immortality in Christ.  For in Christ Jesus, we will not die but have life eternal.

This is our hope and this is God’s promise, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  So what then is this suffering we must endure until our reunion with Jesus?  It is nothing compared to the Glory we are to receive.  So, bear with patient endurance, beloved, all the sufferings of the now.  And when we are glorified, we will understand the frivolity of it all.

And we will be at peace forever!

No tricks and all Treat!

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10-30-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 30, 2017
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.  Rom_8:12-17

Nice statement, beloved!  But there’s a lot to chew on there.  What’s your focus?  Is it the Spirit?  Is it being “children of God?”  Is it the heir and glory part?  Or is it the suffering?

If we’re focused on the suffering, or the inheritance, or even the glory, again, we’re missing the point.  The point is that we are God’s children and the Holy Spirit is dwelling, living, within us.  It’s from that Spirit that we have the strength to endure any suffering!  So we don’t have to worry about the suffering.

And the inheritance and glory, they come along for the ride.  If our goal is the inheritance and glory then we just may miss the children part.  We are all children of God, which means we have many, many brothers and sisters here in this world.  And we need to treat them as such, love them, care for them, suffer for them, just as we do for our Father and our brother, Jesus!  It all works for the GOOD! And that good is eternal life!

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10-29-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 29, 2017
(30th Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
A scholar of the law (a Jewish Lawyer) tested Jesus asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”  Mt_22:34-40

If a pro-bowler were to ask me what the most important thing about bowling is, I might be intimidated with giving him an answer.  But I’d give it my best shot, knowing that it would probably be wrong from his viewpoint.

If a medical doctor or professional nutritionist asked me what the best food is to keep my body in the best possible condition it could possibly be in, I’d give him a wild guess because I am by no means an expert in nutrition or medicine.

So when a Jewish lawyer asked Jesus, a common, “non-degreed” peasant, carpenter, about the most intricate detail of the Jewish law, he might have expected some wild and crazy answer.  Instead, Jesus gave him the irrefutable, absolute best answer possible, and then even trumped that with a caveat and a legal summary.

If we, beloved, can truly come to an understanding of this statement – ‘Love God and love neighbor, with everything we’ve got,’ then we will have come to the truest understanding of life!  Want eternity? Love!  Want happiness?  Love!  Want eternal joy, peace, communion, God?  Love!

As the Beatles would profess in song,
“Love is all we need!”

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10-28-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 28, 2017
(Ss. Simon and Jude, Apostles)
Brothers and sisters:  You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Eph_2:19-22

HOME!

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10-27-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 27, 2017
Brothers and sisters: I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.  The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not.  For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.   Rom_7:18-25a

When evil strikes at us, beloved, where do we stand relative to what St. Paul is saying here?  Does the good in us make us act rationally?  Or are we quick to strike back, quick to be as evil or bad or worse than whatever (or whoever) it was that upset us?

This battle of spirit with flesh is not an easy battle.  It takes constant training, constant contact with the Holy Spirit, constant prayer to Jesus to strengthen us not to act the way our flesh desires, but to act instead, with integrity of heart and in compliance with all that Jesus has taught us.  In short, it means we must practice and practice and practice LOVE!  Love until love just oozes out from us, even when we’re attacked!  God loves us, beloved, even though sometimes we are pretty far from deserving that love.  We should try to at least try to love as well!

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10-26-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 26, 2017
St. Paul wrote, now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom_6:19-23

I think I know my house layout pretty well.  But if I walk around with my eyes closed and stub my toe on a chair leg or a wall, the “wages” of my stupidness is pain.  And yet, I can walk all over the house with my eyes open and never stub my toe.  But do I give thanks to God for His gift of my eyesight?

Funny, how quick we are to curse God when things don’t go our way, even though we’re walking in a “valley of the shadow of sin and death.”  But how often do we give Him thanks for all that goes right in our life?  How often do we find ourselves walking in the brightness of the Light of Christ and never acknowledge it!  We really are incredibly blessed, beloved, incredibly loved, incredibly Holy (even though we fall from time to time)!

So we thank you Father for sending your Son to remind us of that LOVE, that holiness, especially at the cost of His life!

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10-25-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 25, 2017
Jesus said, “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  Lk_12:39-48

Well gee!  Here I thought only the Pope and Bishops and Priests had to be prepared.  They’re the ones who took all those courses in Theology and Philosophy and Eschatology.  What do I know about being prepared.

Funny, isn’t it the same with driving?  Why, we didn’t take formal classes in driving (well, maybe some of us did).  For me it was our dad or sister or cousin who taught us how to hold the wheel and push on the gas pedal.  But you know what?  There really was – just a little more to it – than that.  We had to read the signs, the warnings and the limits.  And if we weren’t prepared to face a cop for driving over that limit, we just might find ourselves in jail or worse, owing our whole month’s meager salary for not being prepared when that man in blue hid behind the corner.

You see, beloved, God has given us all the warnings and limits necessary for LIFE, as well.  When we don’t lie or cheat; when we don’t curse or kill; when we give generously and seek humbly only what we really need; then, when we find ourselves face-to-face with God, maybe in the next moment, or maybe years from now, there will be no penalty, no loss, no purgation.   Only a smile and appraisal, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

You see, God wants us to be safe.  And the best way to accomplish that is to live a guilt-free life.  And when it’s a struggle not to push too hard on that ‘human-nature’ pedal, it might be a good time to remember and believe that God will help protect us from all those natural evils of our humanity, just for the asking.  Just remember He’s always there and pray for His guidance!

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10-24-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 24, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.”   Lk_12:35-38

We hear a lot of “master” “servant” talk from Jesus.  And maybe we’re not as familiar with those roles in our 21st century as the people were back in the time of Jesus.  Although, unfortunately a lot of illicit slavery still occurs in our world today.

But if you are wealthy enough to have paid help serve you or your home, you understand how important a good relationship with these people is.  And it’s actually the same way in our working world.  Though we’re not considered servants and masters or slaves and owners, we really are in those same relationships as well.  Our boss may not beat us, but we could be reprimanded, have our pay withheld, or even be fired for “insubordination” if we don’t follow his demands to the letter!

Jesus tells us today that we need to have the same healthy respect for our God.  He may seem to be far away at times, but we know that He’s right here watching over us and after us.  And we’ll find Him a lot happier to see us if we follow His rules and directions too.

Funny, but maybe it is US who have gone away.  And maybe it is time for us to return back to God again!  Blessed are we, whom He finds vigilant when we are reunited again!

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10-23-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 23, 2107
(St. John of Capistrano, Priest)
Jesus said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”   Lk_12:13-21

In a life of poverty, it may have seemed that all there was to live for was that inheritance.  Maybe the parents saved their whole lives for a relaxing retirement.  Maybe they saved in order to pass on some relief on to their kids.  Maybe all of that was the last thing on their minds before giving up the ghost.  But, boy were those kids counting on that inheritance relief.  No job.  Food was sparse.  Starving kids of their own.  It was all there was to look forward to.

And yet Jesus tells them “no.”  There’s more to life than just feeding our mouths, playing our video games and watching TV.  Jesus tells us to beware of becoming too possessive.  Because possessiveness leads to greed and jealousy and resentfulness of others.  And it’s really the ‘others’ who are most important to our own lives.  It doesn’t mean we need to starve to death, nor have some fun with the life we know.  But we just need to keep the physical side of life in perspective with the spiritual, eternal life that we’re promised. That’s the BIG goal!  And it’s well worth any suffering we may have to endure to reach it!

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10-22-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 22, 2017
(29th Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Jesus responded to His challenge, “Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”  Then they handed him the Roman coin.  He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”  They replied, “Caesar’s.”  At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”   Mt_22:15-21

Sometimes, beloved, we just have to get our priorities straight!  What really does belong to me and what belongs to God?  Well, when we think about it – WE ourselves belong to God!  So that means that all we own (or think we own) really belongs to Him as well.

But, you know what?  God really has no need for coins, or cars, or cell phones, or houses.  All of that really belongs to the world.  And if the hurricanes, or tornadoes, or floods, or droughts, or spiders, or robbers, or sink holes decide that it’s their turn to take over ownership of those things, well who are we to argue! God will give us the resources to start all over again!!!  And maybe we’ll even grow from the experience! Praise God.  (Though we do pray that it never happens to us.  And we pray for the strength of those who have had to endure such tragedies). 

And we always remember – that we are His!  So we must be very careful with what we do with someone else’s property (God’s), whether it’s ourselves or others!  And we always remember that He IS the absolute best caregiver there could be!  We are His!  And He is ours!

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10-21-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 21, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.  But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” . . .

So, “when they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”   Lk_12:8-12

We have an Advocate, beloved, and His Name is Jesus.  Jesus will defend us.  The Holy Spirit will support us with Words we never imagined we knew.  And God the Father will Love us, as He always has!  All we need do is believe!

If you’ve ever been in the position of helplessness, beloved, and heard Words coming from your own mouth that made you wonder where all that knowledge ever came from (and we’re not talking about curses, because we Know where they come from), then you’ve been “slain” by the Holy Spirit.  You’ve experienced ‘speaking in tongues’ (even if it’s your own language).  And you’ll never be the same again.

All we have to do, beloved, is let go and let God take over.  And you just might be AMAZED as what He’ll do through you!

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10-20-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 20, 2017
(St. Paul of the Cross, Priest)
St. Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters:  What can we say that Abraham found, our ancestor according to the flesh?  Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works, he has reason to boast; but this was not so in the sight of God.”   Rom_4:1-8

Jesus said, I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.  I shall show you whom to fear.  Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.  Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?  Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.  Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows.”   Lk_12:1-7

In the days of Jesus, the Jewish leaders insisted that the Jews follow the Law of Moses to the letter.  If they didn’t, they were excluded from worship.  They were excluded from communion with their brothers and sisters.  And sometimes they were even isolated from their whole community.

And yet, those leaders themselves were not perfectly sinless.  So we often hear Jesus, in the Gospels, call them hypocrites.  You see, their whole premise was that their righteousness resulted from their actions, from following that Law.

As the Church grew, 15-centuries after the resurrection of Jesus,  our own leaders had become more and more like those Pharisees, requiring indulgences of physical suffering or monetary payment in order to gain God’s salvation.

It was enough to create a schism in which the priest, Martin Luther, rebelled by protesting the Church’s theological concepts of justification and salvation.  Luther professed that we are not saved by our good works, but solely by our faith in God.  And he would take a Scripture, like our first reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans to justify his thesis.

All of it prompted the Church’s long-overdue re-evaluation and reformation, through the Council of Trent.  But unfortunately, that long-overdue reformation also initiated a split by Luther, that today has resulted in the splintering of the Christian Church in a thousand different directions.

And keeping us united in Faith and Community was the whole purpose of the Church.  As a matter of fact, it was St. Paul himself who wrote these words in his Letter to the Ephesians. He said . . .

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.  Eph 4:1-6

Seemed Martin Luther missed that point.

You see, Jesus taught us that first and foremost, God Loves us.  He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to make sure we understood it.

And then, Jesus gave us directions on how to keep ourselves safe from eternal damnation. He taught us the Way to salvation.  And the shortest possible description of those directions is – to Love.

Love IS God’s justification.

And Love is the driving force of every action, every work we do.

IF our Work of Love is done in order for us to get to heaven, then we’ve missed the point.

But if our Love results in heavenly Works for others, then our souls are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, and our reward will BE heaven.

And if our Fear is our not getting into heaven, then we’ve missed the point.

But if our Fear is being robbed of our Love for others – because of jealousy, or hatred, or anger, or greed, then that fear itself is born of God’s Love, and that Love will surely get us into heaven.

You see, beloved, we are Loved more than we can ever, possibly imagine.  And now our Work is to always remember that fact, and then LIVE it!

Like the billionaire with one day left to give away her fortune, we are called to give away God’s Love with every breath we take and with every face we meet.

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10-19-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 19, 2017
(Ss John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs)
St. Paul said, “For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.”  Rom_3:21-30

Well, there we go!  It’s the old, “Every time we point a finger we have three others pointing back at us!”  Now there’s equality!

And so, Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice!  Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.  If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?  But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.  Ps 130

There is HOPE in God, beloved!  For by His very being we are forgiven.  And we are saved in Christ Jesus!

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10-18-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 18, 2017
(St. Luke, Evangelist)
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.  Ps 145

And what is that truth?

St. John shows Jesus at the last supper leaving a road map for all His disciples.  This is the way and this is the truth . . .

Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where [I] am going you know the way.” 

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Jn 14:1-6

Seek Jesus, beloved.  Call upon Him in the Truth – that He is the “Way” to the Father.  He is always near and through Him we have LIFE!

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10-17-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 17, 2017
(St. Ignatius of Loyola, Bishop and Martyr)
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.  Ps 19

All we need to do, beloved, is to look around us.  The beauty of the moon and stars.  The majesty of the birds and their music, the wild and tame animals, as well.  The glory of God within our neighbor, our friends and even our challenging children.  The cleansing of our natural disasters (though we may not feel that way if it’s we who’ve been cleansed).  The reclamation, the revitalization, the baptism, if you will, of all that was into all that can be!  Day unto day pours out God’s Word.  And that Word is JESUS!  Have faith beloved, and all will be well, as we pray for one another!

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10-16-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 16, 2017
(St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin)
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”   Rom_1:1-7

About the warmest, truest greeting possible!

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10-14-17 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

October 14, 2017
(St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr)
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”  He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  Lk_11:27-28

Jesus shows humility at a compliment and advice to take the glory from the person and place it on God.  We are called, beloved, to be obedient to God and not to place anyone or anything above our love and worship of God.  Go and do likewise!

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