Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
1 Kings 19:11-13
Why are YOU here, beloved?
Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?
You are Loved!!
Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .
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September 30, 2014
(St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. . . .
Why did I not perish at birth . . .
Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Often we may seem to be glorifying life as some paradise to be lived when we follow the Lord. Yes, there are times when it may seem that way. But more than likely, if we are truly following the Lord, we’ll find just the opposite. Knowing the evils that we should be avoiding, their temptation becomes even greater when we follow the Lord. Accidents, diseases, fires, storms, job loss, separation, and extraordinary struggle against sin, they all seem to happen to us!
But remember, beloved, they happened to most holy Job and St. Jerome and to St. Paul. They happened to the martyrs, the missionaries and even to Jesus himself. In reality, they happen to the good and bad alike. We just happen to take special notice of the misfortunes of “the good” and the prosperity of “the bad,” because we expect some special justice, some God-given exemption from the evils of the world we live in.
And yet! And yet it gets very deep. Where is the hope of the non-believer, the unjust, the evil ones? Is their hope in death just the end of the struggle? No more pain? And then what was the point of it all? I lived, I killed, I suffered and I died – no heaven, no hell – just OVER! But what if?
What if there really is MORE after death. What if all the saints and Jesus and God were right? What if there IS a heaven and a hell – for ETERNITY! Yes, we all suffer to differing degrees. And we all, eventually, will die. But IF we truly believe in the resurrection that Jesus, in reality, showed us, then it puts a whole different twist on the entire picture of LIFE. No, suffering is not easy, whether we’re good or bad! No, death is not a TRUE desire, whether we’re good or bad (or else there would be a lot more suicides in the world than the 0.02% statistics tell us, since it is something anyone can do). But, IF we have this hope for “eternal life in heaven,” then we can take our suffering and turn it into something totally different.
Since we think that death will be difficult, even IF we are suffering and may look forward to it, then maybe that suffering is actually preparing us for something that’s a lot less difficult than we think. Maybe like the athlete in training who jumps or runs or skates or lifts EVERY DAY as hard, if not harder, than she or he will actually have to do in the true competition in order to win; maybe our suffering is our preparation that will make death bearable instead of unbearable and hopeless. It will make this whole life have more purpose. The good things will be more magnificent, the challenges will become stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks and the suffering will bring us the strength and the hope that Life WILL unquestionably get better instead of just ending – Jesus promised us that!
And no one is immune from that hope, beloved.
Not until death do us part!
(Suicide statistics from www.suicide.org)
September 29, 2014
(Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Jn 1:47-51
It’s really a good thing to be a person of no duplicity. But maybe only when ALL your thoughts are good! All people are essentially good, but sometimes it may be hard not to get upset at those who do evil things to you. And if you’re a person of no duplicity – you will make certain that they clearly know whatever those thoughts may be.
Nathanael didn’t think very much of Jesus, because he believed that Jesus came from ‘the wrong side of the tracks,’ Galilee. And that was the first thing out of his mouth. Guess its better than holding it in. Jesus himself clearly let the Pharisees and Scribes know what He thought of their actions. Didn’t mean he didn’t love them anyway. But there was no duplicity, no hypocrisy in His words and actions.
So the first thing we need to do, beloved, in order to become this person of “no duplicity” is to make sure all our thoughts of others are good. Then be honest. Because if we do hold it in, it can only hurt our relationships even worse. Think a child ever holds it in? Be like a child then, honest and open, in LOVE!
September 28, 2014
(26th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; Ez 18:25-28
Jesus said, “A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” Mt 21:28-32
Our Lord of mercy and second chances!
Isn’t that a comfort, beloved! Even when we mess up in our selfishness and change to do what is right, instead of punishment, we will LIVE! Come to the waters of LIFE.
September 27, 2014
(St. Vincent de Paul, Priest)
Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment. Ward off grief from your heart and put away trouble from your presence, though the dawn of youth is fleeting. Eccl 11:9-12:8
If we’re not still there, can we bring ourselves back to the joy, the excitement and the purity of our youth? Immerse yourself in God, beloved. And the joy WILL come back. Weep and laugh, run and shout – Jesus has come and will return, and can be with us whenever we call to Him.
Jesus in me and you . . .
September 26, 2014
(Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs)
I have considered the task that God has appointed for the sons of men to be busied about. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without man’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. Eccl 3:1-11
What are you doing, beloved, that is timeless? Did you ever think that what you are doing is appointed for you by God? Maybe we’re not called to fight with it, but to find the place within it that God has chosen specifically for us to fulfill: a person in need, a challenge to help us learn how to grow in patience, or maybe something so awesome that we wished it would never end? Maybe now is the time to find it and revel in its timelessness.
September 25, 2014
Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. Eccl 1:2-11
I remember going to the 1965 World’s Fair in New York City and playing with a telephone that had a little screen where you could actually see the person you were talking with. Sound like Skype?! And how many years and years did it take before we ever got there? So as we get older and see those same old things coming back over and over again, frankly, “it gets pretty old!” And then we can clearly understand Qoheleth’s quote “vanity of vanities.” ibid
EXCEPT for God!
God is eternally new and eternally the same.
Only in God will our souls finally be at rest!
He is our refuge.
September 24, 2014
Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; Prv 30:5-9
When we were kids we used to play a game called ‘Telephone.’ Do you remember it? Of course back then, the telephone was the new, high tech. But sometimes, like our own cell phone service today, the signal didn’t always come out clearly. So someone invented this game called The Telephone Game, where a message would be whispered down a long line of people, from person to person, to see if the last person heard anything close to what the first person said. It usually got so garbled by the end, that it had nothing to do with what was originally whispered.
And there were lots of things that could cause that mix up. Some people may not have whispered clearly enough to be understood. Some people may not have heard it right, or at all. Some people may have lied or invented their own thoughts and words to fill in the blanks, or to try to make the message sound more exciting.
And that’s is exactly what God did not want to happen to His Word. So the writer of Proverbs, in his great wisdom, asked two things of God. He asked not to be too Rich, or too Poor. Because he knew that if he was too rich he might forget about God and think that he was a god himself, with the power to lie and to cheat, and to make up his own words. And he also knew that if he was too poor, he might have to resort to stealing and lying just to survive. And again, forget all about his God.
When we think about it, that is exactly why we have our Church and our Bibles. The Bible has God’s Words clearly and concisely written down, so that they cannot be changed. And the Church IS the authority to make sure that those Words are never misinterpreted.
Jesus sent His disciples, the people who He taught directly, to go and to spread the Good News of His Kingdom. You see, it was not a telephone message. It was a one-on-one proclamation, as each disciple went from town to town and from house to house, explaining exactly who Jesus was and why He came.
Today we hear God’s Word in Mass, as it’s heard around the world. And it’s proclaimed by the Bishops, and the Priests, and the Deacons who have been taught the importance of making sure that it is always correct.
This is the Word that can heal our troubled conscience. This is the Word that can lead us to living in God’s Kingdom, even today. And this is the Word that will bring us Hope – for Life with Jesus and our loved ones, for eternity.
September 23, 2014
(St. Pius of Pietrelcina – Padre Pio, Priest)
“He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.” Prv 21:1-6, 10-13
When we were kids we used to tease about the boy who cried wolf. He yelled and yelled and always got help, though the wolf was never really there. Then when the wolf really did come, no one would come to help because they didn’t believe him any more.
Today they say the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Not the wheel that squeaked once as a warning that disaster was looming. But the wheel that was such a pain in the ears that they finally fixed it because they couldn’t stand the noise any more.
Two seemingly different philosophies? Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes when we make the noise that we’re in need of help, those who could help will first evaluate our situation to make sure we’re not just a boy crying wolf or a squeaky wheel. If we’ve shown that we are helpers ourselves, there’s a much better chance we’ll get some help in return.
It all starts with loving Jesus. When we center our lives on loving Jesus, Jesus will expand that love to reflect upon others as well. And when we love others, it’s just natural that we want to help them. And in helping them, we really are helping Jesus Himself.
Jesus said, “My mother and my brothers are those
who hear the word of God and act on it.” Lk 8:19-21
Loving and doing and being the brothers and sisters of Jesus!
September 22, 2014
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once. Prv 3:27-34
In other words, don’t think twice when it’s asked of you for a worthy cause, or else it just may be taken away from you by another, without your consent, for an unworthy cause.
Jesus said, “To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” Lk 8:16-18
In our gimmie, gimmie society, do we ever stop to take count of what we have instead of constantly complaining about what we want or think we need? And then when we realize ALL that we do have, do we ever stop to ask, maybe I don’t need it all, and maybe someone else could use some of it more than me? There’s a funny law that says, the more you give away, the more you’ll get in return – even if you’re not asking for it. And the corollary to that law says the more you hoard it the easier you’ll lose it.
I had a prime example today (Sunday). A friend at Church had a birthday yesterday. I ran into him in a hallway and quietly wished him a happy birthday. He responded with a hearty thank you and continued by wishing me a loud happy birthday today. In the meantime our priest, who was also in the hallway, overheard us, and in his congregational greeting proceeded to announce my birthday to the whole congregation, who, proceeded to sing me the happy birthday song – some 600 or so people!!!
Oh my gosh! Talk about embarrassed!
But I think it made my year!
And as the day wore on, I got calls from 3 kids and 2 sisters, from all over the country and a visit from our fourth and her hubby and our 4 grandkids!!!! What more awesomeness could there possibly be! OK God, I’m ready now! Send me Your angel!
Jesus loves us so incredibly much.
All we have to do is just a little, and He’ll shower us with His Love.
Even to the extreme of embarrassment!
September 21, 2014
(25th Sunday Ordinary Time A; St. Matthew, Apostle)
The LORD said, through the prophet Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” Is 55:6-9
What is it, beloved, that makes no worldly sense about the LORD? Maybe if we think about it a little deeper. Maybe if we pray about it a little harder, all of a sudden it will. That’s the Holy Spirit working within us. He make’s the nonsensical make sense in the light of God’s great LOVE for All of life – especially us.
This week, let’s see if we can add a little peace to our lives, by looking at people through God’s eyes. Yeah, they may seem a little dumb (don’t we all from God’s viewpoint), they may seem a little rude, they may seem a little lethargic, but let’s give them, and ourselves, the benefit of the doubt. God loves us anyway! So why shouldn’t we love one another equally!
It’s all in the way we look at it! : )
(Hey 61, we made it another year! Thank you Jesus! Thank you my awesome family. Thank you world! Thank you God! Thank you my beloved!)
September 20, 2014
(Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs)
Continuing on the topic of the resurrection of the dead, St. Paul said,
“What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be,
but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind.
So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.
It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious.
It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.“
1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49
So, yes, it IS much deeper than we could possibly imagine. But the bottom line is that it IS! We WILL be resurrected after mortal death. So stop worrying about death and just revel in the beauty that there will be something much more incredible to come – whatever it may be! Thank you Jesus!
September 19, 2014
St. Paul said, “if the dead are not raised,
neither has Christ been raised,
and if Christ has not been raised,
your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.“
1 Cor 15:12-20
Oh, “A A A A A !” : )
Yes, because A = B = C
Yeah, but if C does not equal B, then B cannot equal A,
and obviously C cannot equal A either.
So A? : (
It’s funny how there are people, even today, who say they’re Catholic, yet if we were to ask them what they believe, they give us that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. So we break it down a little more for them and we ask, Well, do you believe in God? And they’ll answer us, “Sure, yeah I believe in God.” And then when we ask them, What do you believe about God? It’s that ‘deer in the headlights’ look again. Too deep!
OK, so then we ask, Do you believe in Jesus Christ? And they’ll answer, “Sure,” again.
“Yeah, I believe in Jesus Christ.” Great, so what do you believe about Jesus Christ?
And it’s ‘deer in the headlights’ again.
So, OK, IF you believe in Jesus Christ, then you must also believe that people will be resurrected from the dead. And then we’ll get that ultimate answer, “OH no, I don’t believe in that!” Like we just spoke about some horrendous disease.
St. Paul had the gift of being able to convince people that – either they believed, or they were total morons. Especially after he spent years teaching them everything he knew. So you can imagine his frustration with the Corinthians who said they were Christian, yet they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. It would be like a professional golfer teaching a young amateur the tips and tricks of a pro, only to come back later and find him swinging at the ball with a hockey stick. It makes absolutely no sense.
So when we hear of a Catholic who doesn’t believe in the resurrection, or who thinks that abortion or capital punishment or euthanasia, or war, or revenge, or even just hatred of other races or religions, is all OK, then it’s simply saying something about their own lack of intelligence. And maybe worse, it’s also saying something about our own inability to properly teach them all the Truths that Jesus taught us.
The Truth that Love and Life are THE most important things to God – means that they should be equally important to us.
And the Truth that Jesus came, and taught, and died, and rose again – in order to show us a path that we must also follow – means that when we DO follow that path, we will end up in the same place that He is . . . Resurrected for eternity.
Paul made it pretty clear. Without the resurrection, we are the most pitiable people of all.
But as Paul would say, “Thanks be to God,” Jesus shows us the way. And by following His path, we are instead, THE most Hopeful. Now, all we need do is infect our world with that same Hope.
September 18, 2014
Jesus did not shun away sinners from his presence. He invited tax collectors to join him. He healed lepers whose disease was credited to their sinfulness. And He even forgave the sins of prostitutes and adulterers. This was contrary to the habits of the religious leaders of His time. And they ostracized Him for consorting with such rabble.
In one such incident, Jesus, retorted to such an accusation, when a harlot was seen anointing His feet with perfume, with these words, “her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Lk 7:36-50
How is our “love,” beloved? Do we love MUCH or little? And if the answer is little, we just might need to tune up our own sin monitors. Are we looking deep enough inside ourselves to recognize all the areas that we’re not quite right with? And then, once we recognize our own sinfulness – THEN, when we simultaneously recognize the GREAT forgiveness of God, the passion Jesus suffered to pay for those sins, to set us free – THEN, how could we not LOVE everyone else so, so much greater! Then, we who have been forgiven much will truly show great love!
May His forgiveness FILL you with LOVE, beloved,
now and forever!
September 17, 2014
(St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
St. Paul said, “Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.“
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.“
1 Cor 12:31-13:13
September 16, 2014
(Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs)
The only son of a widow from a town called Nain had died leaving the widow destitute with no family, income or means of survival. Jesus was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Lk 7:11-17
There is a compassion, beloved, that Jesus is trying to teach to us too. Can we walk into a situation and feel their needs? Would we have seen this situation as an annoying interruption or an opportunity to spread God’s love? Sometimes it’s hard to take our focus off ourselves, our own needs and hurts. But when we do, when we can find another who might be helped by a simple, compassionate word or touch – what we’ll find is that all of our own troubles just disappear. That’s Jesus working through us. And what a wonderful world this could be if we could all be like that!!!
September 14, 2014
(Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
Jesus said, “. . 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 lift up Jesus in our hearts, above our needs, above our wants, above our pleasures, above our heartaches. And Jesus will give us life. We lift up Jesus in our minds, above our burdens, above our joys, above our most treasured sights, smells and sounds. And Jesus will give us Life. We lift up Jesus in our souls, above all else that exists in our world. And Jesus will give us LIFE.
Look to Him, beloved, and LIVE!!!
September 13, 2014
(St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
St. Paul said, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” 1 Cor 10:14-22
One Body in Christ!
When we stay connected to the Body of Christ, the “good tree,” beloved, we remain strong in our faith, in our thoughts, in our actions – in our Love, because He is our guiding force!
September 12, 2014
(Most Holy Name of Mary)
Jesus said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” Lk 6:39-42
Hmmm, something to deeply ponder . . .
in all that (I) we think and say and do.
Lord, please help (me) us to see!
September 11, 2014
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. . . .
For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Lk 6:27-38
Having just spoken about poverty, hunger, mourning and persecution in Jesus’ Lukan Beatitudes, now He elaborates with some real life detail.
Loving and praying for our enemies releases all anger and hatred in our souls – it brings us PEACE. Forgiving and even giving to those who harm and steal from us is the same mercy God offers to each one of us with his Grace. We are to offer that same Grace or “unmerited favor” to our persecutors if we expect mercy and grace from others. For none of us are perfect either.
Which all leads back to that good old Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You get what you give. And maybe not immediately, and maybe not even in this passing, mortal lifetime – but our reward WILL be great in the next, with God, FOREVER. Hang in there, beloved, it WILL be worth it!
And then, some might ask,
“So how do YOU know that Joe?”
Trust in Jesus!
Let go of having to know it all, and Trust!
Oh, and also,
let go of dwelling on the wicked past.
Yes, it’s 911 – it’s past, move on!
September 10, 2014
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man . . . For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way . . .
But . . Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.” Lk 6:20-26
Sounds like, whoever “they” were, they didn’t have very wise ancestors, and most likely, they weren’t very wise themselves. Jesus was speaking about the religious leaders, who didn’t get along with Him very well. But He is also speaking to us.
How wise are we, beloved, in who we believe in and why? Just because someone acknowledges us or praises us, doesn’t always give us justification to get overly pumped up on ourselves (always beware of pride). But when someone chides us because we are Christian – well then, at least we know it shows!! Then we can say, we must be doing something right! So, keep it up! Jesus says, “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.” ibid.
September 9, 2014
(Saint Peter Claver, Priest)
“the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory.” Ps 149:1-9
Peter Claver loved the lowly and devoted his life to comforting them and bringing them to Jesus, to God.
Jesus loved the lowly and devoted his life to comforting us and bring us back to God.
We are called to do the same, beloved! And we are reminded that “God loves his people – we are adorned with victory!”
September 8, 2014
(Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28-30
There are no references in the New Testament to the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James clues us in to a wonderful picture of that Nativity. (Link to excerpt by clicking on the picture below.)
September 7, 2014
(23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, A)
Thus says the LORD: 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.
But if you warn the wicked, trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself. Ez 33:7-9
Two sided sword – If we warn them, they just may kill us. But if we don’t warn them God will surely kill us. I think I’d choose the temporary death to the eternal one. And besides all that, the reason we would choose to warn them is because we LOVE them. We would like nothing less than to not see them rotting in hell either. Life isn’t always easy. But, as we’ve said before, the rewards are ETERNAL!
Link to today’s Homily – “
September 5, 2014
Jesus told the Pharisees, Scribes and His Disciples a parable, saying, “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” Lk 5:33-39
I always loved Jesus’ parables about the old and the new, because it is so “us.” We tend to get comfortable with things we know. And we really resist change.
We liked the old Mass liturgy. And many people resisted the wording changes that were made a couple years ago, even though they may not have understood why those change came about.
We were comfortable with the pre-Vatican II Mass, so much so, that here we are 50-years later, and there are still people wanting to hear the Mass in Latin – even though they may not understand one word of Latin.
And when those Vatican II changes were implemented in the 60’s many people, even went as far as leaving the Church because they just couldn’t take the change.
Jesus had the same issue with the Pharisees. They were so comfortable with the status quo, that they would go as far as murder in order to prevent change to their system. And what’s ironic is that, the murder of Jesus went against their own, and God’s own 5th Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.”
So what do we do with human nature’s natural instinct to resist change? St. Paul tells us in that first reading. He says that in all things, we are to keep our hearts clean from judging others. And at the same time we are not to get defensive when the world judges us.
St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts,” 1 Cor 4:1-5
Yes, beloved, there are moral absolutes and Jesus never implied any change to them. As a matter of fact, He said, not the smallest letter of the (old) Jewish Law was to be ignored. Mt 5:18
You see, Jesus was not changing the rules, just our attitudes towards one another with respect to those rules – which the Pharisees had totally forgotten, in trying to enforce them.
And it all boiled down to:
Love for God and Love for neighbor.
You see, sometimes the Old and the New can meld themselves together absolutely beautifully, when judgment and prejudice and selfishness are removed from the picture. And that is exactly what Jesus was striving for us to learn.
Now it is up to us. Even though we’re living in a world that seems to have totally forgotten morality, if we look deep enough, we’ll find that the ever so loud voice of the media and the liberal world – is mute – when a fellow human person is in need, because that’s exactly when we all come together, in LOVE, to help one another.
And that’s – Jesus living within ALL of us, even those we may have judged wrongly.
And that’s a pretty awesome
Hope for the world!
September 4, 2014
After a long night of fruitless fishing and a morning of perplexing teaching, Peter reluctantly followed Jesus’ direction to go out into the deep one more time. But this time was different. Rather than the expected empty nets, the disciples caught more fish than was ever possible. It was a miracle. And they knew exactly how it happened. Jesus.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Lk 5:1-11
Ever go into a restaurant and find yourself sorely under-attired. First reaction is to get out of there as quickly as you can to avoid embarrassment. All of a sudden it struck Peter like a 2×4 on the side of the head that there he was in the very presence of God Himself, and he was sorely under-attired in his sinfulness.
Just makes us wonder, beloved, are we ready to walk into God’s restaurant? As a matter of fact – we’re actually living in that restaurant, God’s good earth. Are we properly attired? Or are our shirts covered with splashed on mustard and ketchup. Sin has a way of doing that to us. But there is Hope. Reconcile with God. He is VERY merciful. And then, with our clean shirts on again – Jesus reminds us, “Go and sin no more.”
And it’s funny. Not only is that command possible. But Jesus himself will help us accomplish it – just like the miraculous catch of fish!
September 3, 2014
(St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Lk 4:38-44
People often wonder, why Jesus came among us?
It wasn’t to rail on the Pharisees.
It wasn’t to become a worldly king.
It actually wasn’t to become a “great” anything.
Jesus came among us to “proclaim.”
The Kingdom of God is here – and that’s good news, because we have the power to live in that Kingdom, despite whatever worldly situation we may be in – when we keep Jesus close to our hearts.
When we internalize all those powerful Words He taught and then live them – we’ll find ourselves, beloved, right there reveling in the Joy of the Kingdom of God.
And THAT’S pretty Awesome!
Thank you Jesus!
September 1, 2014
St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
“When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” 1 Cor 2:1-5
Actually, Paul was quite wise. And his words were truly quite profound. Yet, he attributed that wisdom and sublimity to God Himself. Every day the Catholic Church proclaims Scripture readings from the Psalms, the Gospels and the Old Testament or Epistles. The daily readings follow a two year cycle, while the Sunday readings follow a three year cycle. Within those readings there are always quotable sayings that, maybe we’ve heard a thousand times over, but each time we hear them we glean something a little bit different.
Whispers to the Wind tries to catch some of those quotables and reflect on how they are all intricately entwined in our lives. Sometimes they need no explanation at all and other times it’s fun to tie in a current day interpretation or a related song or web reference. In essence, Whispers is this author’s personal journal of spiritual renewal. It’s simply my Whispers to the Wind of God’s shouts to us, His Children. My dream is that someday they may invoke a response from, even one, of our 7-billion. But in the meantime I know that God knows and I feel His love with every passing day.
So although these words are clearly NOT professed with any sublimity, (unlike Paul’s and Jesus’ words). If you, beloved, happen upon this site, please seek out God’s wisdom, and not mine. For the words in blue are always HIS!
Peace and all Joy, for an awesome September!
Happy September, beloved!
Please stop by and visit August’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)
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