(St. Andrew, Apostle)
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea;
they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me,
and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt 4:18-22
St. Paul said, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.“
“But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those
who bring the good news!‘“ Rom 10:9-18
Jesus began with twelve simple fishermen,
and made them Fishers of Men (and Women).
They were sent. They preached.
Their followers heard and believed.
And St. Paul tells us that they are saved!
That’s us beloved.
What AWESOME Good News!
So how can we not tell others!!
The Prophet Daniel attested,
“As the visions during the night continued,
I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.“ Dn 7:2-14
In the Gospels we read of Jesus’ incarnation, His earthly life and ministry,
His passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection. We read of His
ascension. But what happened after that?
Daniel shows us, in a vision, the Glorification of Jesus in Heaven.
Jesus IS our Eternal King and Mighty God.
And WE are His people!
(U.S. Thanksgiving Day)
“Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of
our Lord Jesus Christ.“ 1 Cor 1:3-9
Quote from St. Paul to the Corinthians, and
from me to you, beloved!
During the time of the exile of Israel to Babylon, the King of Babylon was being very disrespectful of God by partying with the Sacred Vessels taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. He was a fearless man, except when the event that was about
to happen shook him to his very bones.
“Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared,
writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace.“ Dn 5:1-28
King Belshazzar had seen the “writing on the wall.”
The Whisper was in the wind.
And it was not good!
Today we use that cliche all the time: “I saw the writing on the wall,“
when our company is about to fold, when our job is about to be taken away,
when the state of the world is not very good.
Well, beloved, it’s almost Advent.
And the writing on the wall says,
If the end of time was truly about to come, would we be ready?
Are we the JOYFUL evangelists that Pope Francis is advocating we should be?
Are we the HOPE-filled Catholic disciples that Jesus
and the Holy Spirit inspired?
So . . .
for we ARE Loved!
All that the “world” has to offer us, beloved, may seem delightful, pretty,
intriguing and amazing. But to all of that – Jesus warns, “All that you see here,
– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone
that will not be thrown down.”
The disciples were baffled at Jesus’ comment and asked,
“Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these
things are about to happen?” Jesus answered, “See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and
‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!” Lk 21:5-11
Beware, beloved! As Advent and Christmas approach, and the world pumps up
all of it’s Materialistic Powers, there is a force beneath it all that’s trying to drag us
away from God. The crowds, the competition, the pricing, the sales,
the traffic and the “satanic Friday.”
If you’re feeling especially strong in your faith, then go into it
with a heart of love and forgiveness and giving,
rather than a goal to “get” something.
It may not ever be accomplished.
And then, if we can come out of it all having GIVEN
just a little bit of Christ’s love to those we encounter,
then it’s WE, it’s Christ who beat them at their own game!
Otherwise, beloved, just stay away and pray
for all those who don’t know any better!
May our Loving God bless us all in abundance!
(St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr)
Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon had some of the exiled men of Israel and Judah appear before him to choose the very best to work in his service. From those,
he chose the “men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.“
The men were tested and trained and, “To these four young men God gave
knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science,
and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.“ (Dn 1:1-6, 8-20)
These ‘gifts’ would benefit the King and eventually even save their very lives.
You see, beloved, just like our Saint of the Day, Catherine, these very learned
men were willing to give their entire lives for their God.
Unlike King Nebuchadnezzar, God is not looking for talent that he could
exploit for His own benefit. God gives us our talents and then asks us
to give up everything else in order to use those talents for his benefit,
at whatever the cost may be – of every other thing we own.
In watching a poor woman give to the Temple treasury,
Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more
than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their
surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered
her whole livelihood.” Lk 21:1-4
We are not to offer our surplus to the Lord, beloved,
but our very essence – from the talents God has so blessed us with.
And the first of those – is LOVE!
(Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
The criminal who was nailed to the cross next to Jesus said to Him,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Lk 23:35-43
Even when there is nothing left to lose,
will we be there taunting our Creator and King?
Or, like the trusting criminal,will we put our full faith in Him, pleading,
“remember me,” my beloved!
He WILL remember!
St. Paul beautifully and poetically described Jesus our King,
in his letter to the Church in Colossae (Col 1:12-20):
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions
or principalities or powers; all things were created
through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
The Sadducees tried to trap Jesus with a question about the resurrection of the dead (which they did not believe in) and marriage. Jesus answered, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.“ Lk 20:27-40
What saddles us, beloved? Is it our possessions?
Is it our relationships?
There is nothing wrong with good and healthy relationships.
Marriage is the procreative relationship between husband and wife.
With time, we grow very close to one another,
and once the child-bearing days are past we still love each other deeply.
But that love is never as deep as the love we should have
between ourselves and God.
Our earthly relationships are beautiful.
But our heavenly relationship with God is GLORIOUS!
And that relationship will only come to fulfillment
in our resurrection to Heavenly Life!
Praise God for both!
(St. Cecelia, Virgin and Martyr)
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling
things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.” Lk 19:45-48
Funny, how when our central concentration is on ourselves rather than on God and neighbor, we lose perspective on propriety, right and wrong, and even time itself.
It might not be the right place to be selling stuff. It might not be the right time to be over-charging and taxing and cutting out services. Just maybe, someone else might get hurt. All of that disappears when we’re so focused on ourselves that we can’t see beyond our own eyelids. Hang in there beloved. There is someone who Loves you, besides me. It’s God. Pray for Him to help us clean our temples so that we can truly SEE.
There is truly more to life than me!
(The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it,
saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Lk 19:41-44
There has to be a peace within us, beloved, before we can ever bring peace to a
world so full of anger and insecurity and the carnal desires of lust and revenge.
How will we ever see that peace when we are raising our children in the ways
of war and hatred and immorality? Just look at the games they play
and the TV and movies we offer them to watch – those are their teachers.
When we can find the peace within, the love of Jesus written in our very DNA,
then we will actually be revulsed by the evil in the world and its ways. And when
more and more people can find that peace and that love – then we will begin to see
a change in our world. And Love will abound.
Jesus told a parable to the people who were expecting an “earthly kingdom” from their Messiah, with the ousting of their Roman rulers. They did not understand that the true Kingdom of God is obtained by their own actions, using the gifts that God had given each of them. At the conclusion of the parable, Jesus said, “‘I tell you, to everyone who has,
more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has
will be taken away.“ Lk 19:11-28
That could sound like a pretty scary statement, if it’s taken out of context.
The point is, that God has given everyone some gift: of personality, or some special physical or mental ability, or some charisma of their own. These ARE what we “have.”
Our job is to find that “talent” and then use it to build His Kingdom within ourselves
and for the benefit of others. If we have a talent and we do not use it, we’ll find
truth in the old saying that goes, “use it or lose it,” it will be lost forever,
and our Lord will not be very pleased with our wasting of his Gift.
Maybe that Gift is as simple as loving others. If that’s our case, beloved,
then we are to LOVE with every ounce of our being.
And never ever give up on LOVE, no matter how
many rejections we may have to endure!
When the old man Eleazar was about to die in punishment for not eating food forbidden by Jewish law, he said, “The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.”
2 Mc 6:18-31
What are we willing to surrender, beloved, in order to gain
eternal life with God? Even our earthly flesh?
Sometimes there are easy ways out.
But in the longer run, who does it really help?
And whom may it hurt even worse?
(St. Rose Philippine Duchesne)
“As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ He shouted,
‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!‘” Lk 18:35-43
Even though the man was blind, he had a keen sense for listening.
He heard something different than usual and asked.
How do we respond, beloved, when we hear or see something different?
Is it with a sense of indifference, a sense of skepticism,
or a sense of curiosity?
Children have that keen sense of curiosity.
Sometimes they may not discern correctly, good from bad,
or right from wrong, because they do not yet have the experience
of an adult. But nonetheless, they inquire.
Jesus said that if we are to gain the Kingdom, we must be like children
in that ever-curious sense of inquiry, trusting in the Hope
of Jesus. Jesus will be there when we place our trust in Him,
just as He was for the blind man, as He told him,
“Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
Have Faith Beloved and Jesus will open our eyes
to His Love all around us.
(33rd Sunday Ordinary Time C)
Jesus said, “Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries
will be powerless to resist or refute. . . . You will be hated by all because
of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.“ Lk 21:5-19
There will be all kinds of reasons and temptations and hurtful deeds
done to break our concentration, to break our faith. Jesus says
hang in there beloved! By our perseverance we will Live!
Through the fear of God and the love of Jesus,
we WILL be saved!
(St. Margaret of Scotland)
Jesus told his disciples a parable about an unbelieving Judge who was pestered by a widow who sought his assistance. The Judge finally said, “While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.“ Lk 18:1-8
Moral of the story was that we need to be persistent in our prayers to God as well.
God is not going to finally help us because He’s afraid we’d strike Him,
but He will come to our aid because of our trust in Him
and our love for Him.
(St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.“ Lk 17:26-37
The prospect of time travel has, for years, inspired fiction writers, scientific thinkers, romance novelists and movie producers. Imagine, if we could go back in time and fix a “great wrong,” or prevent a catastrophe, or warn people about a pending disaster so that they could be prepared and Live, instead of dying needlessly.
Who would we tell?
How would we tell them without getting locked up for insanity?
Would anyone even listen?
It’s funny, even outside the concept of time travel, if you and I have lived through six or more decades of this life, we have gained oceans of experience of good and bad decisions. And even with all of that experience, it seems we still find it hard to get anyone to listen to us.
Now, insert God into the picture. God was there at the Creation of it all. He is the primal cause for all that exists. He has seen thousands and millions of years of constantly repeated mistakes. He sees the “now” and he sees the “tomorrow.” And He’s tried and He’s tried to teach, and to warn, and to guide us, through wondrous signs and courageous messengers, all to no avail. So He finally came among us in our own flesh and blood to show us, first hand, the how, and the why, and the reason for it all . . . LIFE!
You see, Jesus is our proverbial,
“Messenger from the future.”
And His short time with us was like a single frame in a 12-hour movie. Yet, within that Frame, which was described in four little books, we call the Gospels, lies the one and only answer to the ultimate question – the Purpose of Life.
Today we catch a glimpse of that answer. Jesus tells us that the answer cannot be found by dwelling on the past. Yes, the Wisdom writer tells us, nature IS beautiful. It can’t be anything but beautiful, because it was all created by God. Yet, the beauty of nature comes and goes like the seasons. Yes, many of the things we also create, like bridges and skyscrapers, homes and electronic toys, can all be quite beautiful, as well. But even their beauty and functionality is limited.
Jesus tells us that Life is not about dwelling on the Past,
except to always remember that it all originated with God.
Next, Jesus tells us not to dwell on the future, either. Don’t worry about “End Times” or where, or when, or who it will happen to . . . Because we know that we will all die some day. And at an unexpected time and in an unexpected place we will all meet with our Creator again.
So, Life is not about dwelling on the Future either,
except to be prepared for that “one day.”
But what Life IS about, is living the Reign of God in the Present. If in the “here” and “now,” we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we will lose the ‘worry about death and judgment,’ and we will live every day of our lives purely in the Love of Jesus. Yes, hardships, pain, disappointments and loss will come and go, just like the seasons, but Jesus will strengthen us when we’ve built our foundation on Him, and when we’re living “the Present” in His Kingdom. This is the Preparedness that Jesus wants us to have.
If we allow Love to permeate every moment of our lives . . .
If we can discard the “resentments of the past,” and let go of our “worry about the future,” then, when it IS our time to leave these bodies behind, we will find that our God is not a stranger, nor a fearful judge, but a familiar, and loving, and faithful, close companion –
who will be with us – for eternity.
This was all too beautiful, not to include the entire thing:
“In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear,
unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent,
kindly, firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, and
pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and
pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything
while herself perduring; and passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves,
be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.”
One to hang on the wall and ponder constantly.
This is the Holy Spirit of God within us!
(St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin)
Jesus said to the Samaritan leper,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Lk 17:11-19
Jesus often chided the religious leaders of His time for not following the religious laws themselves, for not respecting the poor and needy all around them, and for failing to believe that Jesus was the promised “Messiah of God” that they so hoped for.
As they say,
sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the creation
that we forget the very Creator Himself.
We forget to give thanks to God, through whom all things were made.
In this story of St. Luke, we hear of ten lepers who pleaded for Jesus to heal them.
Jesus was not out to make a big show of himself, to glorify himself by mighty deeds
before men, even though He did have the power to do so.
And in this case, Jesus did not heal those lepers immediately,
but sent them off instead.
You might imagine their disappointment.
Yet, once they were away from the crowds, their healing DID occur.
And sadly, only one of them came back to thank Jesus.
Ever fervently pray for something, beloved?
And your prayers never seem to be answered.
Then, long after you had given up, the very thing you prayed for happens.
Or maybe a person’s death brought about the reunion of a long-broken relationship,
when you so lovingly desired that they live forever, thinking that the other
relationship would never be healed.
Sometimes we seem to think we know God so well,
when out of the blue He will surprise us with
yet another totally unexpected miracle!
Give thanks for the food we eat, even when we’re hungry.
Give thanks for the work we have,
even when no one wants to pay us for anything we do.
Give thanks for the air we have to breathe, the fingers we have to type,
the shelter we have to live in, the visitors who never comment,
and the LOVE that Jesus embraces us with – every minute of our day,
even when this life may seem so solitary.
Praise His Holy Name!
And give Thanks, my beloved, always! : )
(Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus said, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what
we were obliged to do.’“ Lk 17:7-10
And what have we been commanded?
Only two things. Jesus says:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
And .. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.“ Mt 22:36-40
These are the tasks that we are obliged to do, beloved.
The bare minimum. Then is there more?
Just look at the lives of the Saints!
Many coming from very unsaintly beginnings
discovered a better Way. The Way of Jesus.
and then live it!
(St. Martin of Tours, Bishop)
Jesus said, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.“ Lk 17:1-6
It’s kind of comforting, for Jesus to say that there really is no “perfection” in sinlessness. Anger at ourselves when we do something stupid. Disappointment in friends when they hurt us or others. Judgment when people don’t do things the way we would have done them. All clearly causes for sin.
But Jesus’ statement is also challenging in that when those things do happen, do we curse or strike back or gossip to cause others to do the same. That’s the worse of our committing the sin versus causing others to sin. And that might sometimes be hard to do.
That’s when we look to God for strength, for guidance, for wisdom. The Psalmist says:
“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
We have been given that power, beloved. The power to seek God in all circumstances.
He is a forgiving and merciful God. Love Him above all, and the love of others
will follow with the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the courage of Jesus!
(32nd Sunday Ordinary Time C)
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.“ 2 Thes 2:16-3:5
Sometimes this life, beloved, is not always easy.
We will be challenged. We will be put to the test.
But hang in there. Jesus is with us and He will
always see us through. Resurrection and Eternal
Life is just a blink away!
(Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome)
The prophet Ezekiel envisioned, “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
The River of Life (Jesus); the Trees (Church); the Fruit (us) who bring life to the world, both as food and medicine. We offer the very life of God himself through Jesus,
our Lord and Savior, working within us.
St. Paul said, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
. . . for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.“ 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17
“Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area,“ Jn 2:13-22
Thus, beloved, when we find the temple of our body
adulterated with evil thoughts, idols other than God, or anything else
not belonging there, call on Jesus to help drive them out.
For we are the temple of God and only goodness belongs within us!
God bless always!
Jesus concluded his parable of the dishonest steward with the moral:
“the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their
own generation than the children of light.“ Lk 16:1-8
So what could that possibly mean?
And how might we interpret it today?
Jesus may have been talking about the Pharisees and the disbelieving Jews,
as being the “children of the Light.”
You see, they were God’s “Chosen Ones.” And they thought they were the
only ones to deserve the privilege of living in the Light of God. As such,
they became very selfish, greedy and judgmental. And they were very
defensive of any threat to their “self-defined” kingdom,
including Jesus himself.
Thus when Jesus was talking about the “children of this world“
He most likely meant everyone outside the Jewish race.
These people were called the Gentiles.
Jesus was in “this” world and the children of the light did not accept him.
They did not know how to deal with him, as their promised Messiah.
But the Gentiles did. They recognized His miracles, His healings,
and His Love as being – only possible through God.
Thus the children of the world were more prudent in dealing
with their own generation (Jesus).
Today we live in a totally different world than even just 20 years ago.
So when we are still living in the moral world of 40 years ago or more,
even though we have the experience and wisdom of the ages,
we become today’s “children of the light.”
And in thinking so, we may be locking ourselves out
of understanding, of dealing with the current generation.
So how DO we deal with this new world, a world of distrust,
immorality, death, greed and evil?
We don’t need to become like them. We just need to understand
where they are coming from and reintroduce “the Light”
to them in their own terms: “What’s in it for me?”
“Is there instant gratification, instant glorification?”
And then we gradually, slowly, introduce them to God.
We help them to discover –
A LOVE they never could have imagined even existed.
But it does!
And His Name is Jesus!
Jesus in time, Jesus in us and Jesus in them . . .
And then, very gradually, we introduce them
to this MAGNIFICENT Body,
St. Paul said, “why do you look down on your brother or sister?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written:
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue
shall give praise to God.’ So then each of us shall give an account of
himself to God.“ Rom 14:7-12
In other words, let God BE the judge and we
just do the best we can at being
the best us we can be!
For, Jesus doesn’t want to see any one of us lost.
Some of us just may need a little more work
(or searching) than the rest of you!
Jesus said, “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy” . . .
In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.” Lk 15:1-10
St. Paul advised, “Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” . . .
“‘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
Funny! All that milk and we still end up with arthritis.
All that exercise and we still wind up with stiff backs and bad knees.
Imagine doing something Good (love) for a change,
and it having Eternal rewards!
So what’s holding us back, beloved?
Even exercise sometimes hurts a bit.
But giving LOVE doesn’t hurt.
Are we worried about losing it?
Then it’s not love we’re giving, but a ‘fish hook’ for our own vanity.
And we all know what happens with fish and hooks . . .
they either get away or we eat them!
We can never lose what we give, only what we take or expect.
So GIVE love, and remember – your reward is
ETERNAL . . .
And it all begins, knowing
that Jesus loves YOU Now!
And that’s all that really matters!
(St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist)
So what is this Christian Love all about?
Paul wrote about it in his letter to the Romans:
“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.
It’s not being a chameleon,
rather a teddy bear,
with a butt made of iron and a heart of steel!
(Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop)
Jesus said, “when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.“ Lk 14:12-14
And we can do this in so many varied way, beloved.
That “banquet” is not always, necessarily, of food.
We can invite them to the banquet of peace or hope or love
of the Lord. For we are ALL loved by Jesus!
(31st Sunday Ordinary Time C)
Jesus said, “Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.” Lk 19:1-10
Lost? Who me?
In the meantime, beloved –
– even the tax collectors . . .
(The 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
St. Paul said, “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners
Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by
his Blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.“ Rom 5:5-11
And the Wisdom writer says: “The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish,
to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth
from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.” . . . “they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;“ Wis 3:1-9
What Awesome HOPE, beloved!
Eternal life with God, with Jesus, in the Holy Spirit!
No FEAR of death – HOPE!
(Solemnity of All Saints)
“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.“ Mt 5:1-12a
As Christians, IF there is one Particular Goal, one Primary Goal, one Ultimate Goal in our lives, it is to find ourselves “face to face” with Almighty God in heaven.
Now, for some of us, me especially, that might be a pretty formidable, pretty scary destination, because we know that we are not quite that perfect, and we still fear that “Judgment of God,” that we hear so much about in the Bible.
And yet, if we had to be that “perfectly perfect” in order to see God, you might think that nobody would ever see God at all, save for Jesus of course, because nobody, not even the Saints were that perfect. And if it were that impossible to reach this Christian Goal of “seeing God,” then maybe it’s not even worth striving for.
And yet, all three of our Scripture readings today,
and the Psalm, spoke about “Seeing God.“
John spoke in the Book of Revelation about an uncountably huge multitude of people, who “stood before the throne of God and Jesus, the Lamb.” Rv 7:2-4, 9-14
The Psalmist speaks of someone whose “heart is clean,” “who seeks the Face of the God of Jacob.“ PS 24
And John wrote to his early Christian community that when their primary Hope is “Seeing God,” then it will become their Life desire as well, to truly become a person who’s “heart is clean.“ 1 Jn 3:1-3
And finally, Jesus clearly describes to us, in Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 5:1-12a), just how we can develop this “clean heart.” With the help of the Holy Spirit, we become able to endure Poverty and Sorrow, without the jealousy or anger that usually accompany those misfortunes.
We learn how to endure the “back seat” or the “end of the line,” the funny looks and the insults, because we don’t follow the crowd, but instead “hunger and thirst” for that “clean heart” that John and the Psalmist spoke so highly about.
And in the process, we show our “persecutors” Mercy and not hatred, just as Jesus did. And as we grow in our Faith and Wisdom, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit living within us, we come to Matthew’s Beatitudes again, only to discover that Jesus Himself Validated our Ultimate Goal, by telling us, in the 6th Beatitude, that “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they SHALL see God!“
You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, God loves us so incredibly much, that not only
does He accept the Saints at the foot of His throne, but He offers a place among them
for each and every one of us.
Did you ever know a Saint in your life, beloved?
Maybe it was your mom or dad, or aunt or grandparent?
Today we honor them, along with all the formally canonized Saints. And we ask them to strengthen us, so that one day, we too will shine with the radiant glory of the Saints as we come face to face with God, with our robes and our hearts washed White in the Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
. . . . . . .
Happy November beloved!
Please stop by and visit October’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
Link to Previous Month’s Whispers
Link to Next Month’s Whispers
Link back to Whispers to the Wind
Link to Saint of the Day
(also in Time page, under Liturgical Seasons section)