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, 2015
(St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Lk_9:57-62
If we’re looking for comfort, if we’re looking for a cozy nest, Jesus is saying we won’t find it with Him. The road to Heaven is not paved with laziness and comfort. Rather what we’ll find there is some hard work, some study, some preaching and some rejection. But what we’ll receive in return is the joy we bring to the lives of others. And the more joy we can give, the closer we are to that eternal Home we will someday have. So be steadfast, beloved, and never give up on Jesus!
September 29, 2015
(Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels)
Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn_1:47-51
Yes! We believe in Angels . . .
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
331 Christ is the centre of the angelic world. They are his angels: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. . “191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?”193
332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.194 Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.195
333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God “brings the firstborn into the world, he says: ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’”196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church’s praise: “Glory to God in the highest!”197 They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.198 Again, it is the angels who “evangelize” by proclaiming the Good News of Christ’s Incarnation and Resurrection.199 They will be present at Christ’s return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.200
The angels in the life of the Church
334 In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.201
335 In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the Roman Canon’s Supplices te rogamus. . .[“Almighty God, we pray that your angel…”]; in the funeral liturgy’s In Paradisum deducant te angeli. . .[“May the angels lead you into Paradise. . .”]). Moreover, in the “Cherubic Hymn” of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).
336 From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.”203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
September 28, 2015
John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” Lk_9:46-50
The evil eye? Maybe they just have a bad set of contacts, and they weren’t even thinking of YOU. A sharp remark? Maybe they’re having a really bad day and the least bit of anything would set them off. Cut you off in the car? Maybe they were waiting there for 15-minutes and no one would let them in.
Maybe instead of being judgmental and defensive of every little act we see or perceive in others, we place in our hearts a little kindness, a little patience, a little LOVE, maybe the world just wouldn’t seem as bad as we make it out to be. Maybe instead, we’ll start to see a little love come back to us in return, in place of what we’ve perceived as personal attacks.
Jesus said, whoever is not against you is for you. Let’s make sure they’re really not doing whatever it is that sets off our hot buttons, as attacks, and maybe make a friend instead! (My whisper to myself – as well, beloved).
September 27, 2015
(26th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
St. James wrote to the wealthy heathens, “Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.” . . . “You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.” Jas_5:1-6
Yes, beloved, God does not condemn us nor stop us from our own choice of condemning ourselves. He will encourage us. He may even prod us to change, but He will not resist our own free will. God loves us. And He offers us LIFE – if we so choose to take it!
Jesus said, “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” Mk_9:38-43, 45, 47-48
September 26, 2015
(Saints Cosmas and Damian, priests)
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you. Zec_2:5-9, 14-15a
MANY people, Many Faiths, ONE God!
September 25, 2015
Jesus said to His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” Lk_9:18-22
Who is Jesus to you, beloved? Is He your Savior, your Messiah? Is He some mysterious figure of the past, whom you can’t even imagine knowing. Or is He your very best friend. A friend who’s there when you need help. A friend who you celebrate accomplishments with. A friend who’s the first you say Good Morning to and the last you say Good Night to. Who DO you say He is?
September 24, 2015
Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it. Hg_1:1-8
And then you ask yourself, “What’s the point of it all?” The point is, if you put the Lord first, all of those things would have been, not only productive, but abundant! The point is, never forget the Lord, from whom everything and everyone comes. Praise be to God! Praise be to Jesus!
And thank you Pope Francis for your wisdom and service and love!
September 23, 2015
(Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest)
I, Ezra, rose in my wretchedness, and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees, stretching out my hands to the LORD, my God. I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you, O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven. Ezr_9:5-9
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Lk_9:1-6
Whenever I hear this Gospel selection, I tend to put myself in the place of the apostles and wonder what it might have felt like being asked to do such an exciting, and maybe even, a scary thing. Can you just imagine, knocking at every door in your neighborhood, and telling each person you meet how they are part of God’s Kingdom, and how they are so loved by God that Jesus offered His very life for them. And then, to offer to heal them, if they would just believe.
I imagine we would probably not get a 100% positive response from everyone.
But, what if, instead of putting ourselves in the place of the apostles, we put ourselves in the place of the people on the other side of those doors? How would we respond to someone knocking on our door and proclaiming that same Kingdom? Would we even open the doors to listen? Would we pass them off as some crazy religious fanatics?
Or would we actually welcome them?
These were the challenges for both the disciples and for the people they brought that Good News to.
You see, Ezra had the same challenge in the time of the Jewish exile. He knew, in the very core of his heart, that the whole reason the Jews were in exile was because of their unfaithfulness to God. And Ezra, being one of God’s faithful, and yet also a member of the Jewish family himself, Ezra was embarrassed for what that family had done against God’s law, through their unfaithfulness. So today we hear him pleading for God’s mercy on his people.
And God’s response to those who did remain faithful, even though they suffered exile, and to those who repented, was precisely the mercy and love that Ezra sought. Through a change in their hearts, they turned from their evil ways back into the good graces of God.
Today, we can truly relate to Ezra’s plight. For a good portion of our own country, and our world, has fallen so far away from God, that we are seeing atrocities that dated all the way back to Biblical times, beginning to corrupt us. From the immorality they saw in Sodom and Gomorrah, to the sacrifice of our own children by abortion, from supporting nuclear proliferation in terrorist countries, to not supporting our own police security forces, we truly are becoming a fallen nation and world.
And, just like Ezra, we are embarrassed for the way our human family looks in God’s eyes. Unfortunately, by losing our moral compass, we have given ourselves the same vulnerability of being conquered and exiled, that the Jewish nation had, hundreds of years before the birth and redemption of Jesus.
And yet, it’s that same Jesus who offers to save us – if we just believe.
We are called today, to let our world know that the immorality taking place is not acceptable to us, nor to God, just as it was not acceptable to Abraham and Lot, nor any of the other prophets of God who followed them.
We are called today to pray for God’s mercy for ourselves, for our country and for our world.
And just like the apostles before us, we are called to let every person WE meet, know, that God still loves us and them, but, that it’s up to us, it’s up to them to open the doors of their own hearts and turn back to God, if we/they truly seek His healing.
As for the faithful, “the remnant,” we can already see the fruit of our prayers, the fruit of our advocacy and God’s great mercy working, as our nation, just this past week, has begun to respond to our call to abolish the atrocity of abortion by de-funding its supporters.
It’s just a little nugget of hope.
But it gives us even greater reason to remain vigilant in answering God’s call to shine His Light into every dark corner of our world. And to BE – His Light – to all of our brothers and sisters in need.
September 22, 2015
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Lk_8:19-21
Jesus isn’t denouncing his family in this saying, rather, He is expanding it to include everyone who listens, believes and follows the Word of God. This is our spiritual family as well, beloved. If you ever had the occasion to help someone in need, and got a blessing in return from them when it was all said and done, you would feel that warmth of knowing that you not only helped a stranger, but you helped a brother or sister in God’s love, in God’s family, in your own spiritual family. And that’s pretty awesome!
Jesus said, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. Lk_11:28
Blessed are you, beloved!
September 21, 2015
(St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist)
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. Mt_9:9-13
St. Matthew followed, just as we are all called to follow.
As St. Paul is quoted, we are called: “to live in a manner worthy of the call you (we) 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_4:1-7, 11-13
We ARE One, beloved!
One in Christ Jesus!
September 20, 2015
(25th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Jas_3:16—4:3
What motivates us, beloved, to ask and receive?
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” . . . “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Mk_9:30-37
THIS is the greatest, of anything we could possibly ask for: to be received by Jesus, to be received by God. And it simply takes our receiving of others, especially the poor and the helpless. Reach out, beloved, and receive the hand of God!
September 19, 2015
Jesus said, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.“
Explaining the parable of the sower and the seeds, Jesus told his disciples, “as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” Lk_8:4-15
Do the Scriptures seem to always escape our understanding, beloved? If that’s the case, sounds like we need to visit the Good Book a little bit more, and to open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we find ourselves agreeing with what we read. When we find ourselves coming up with those quotes as we live our daily lives. When we start truly relating to the plight of God with His children, and the plight of God’s children with a world that doesn’t understand, then we will have truly discovered the “mysteries of the Kingdom of God.”
Pray, beloved, always, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and stay close to Jesus – and He WILL stay close to you!
Peace and all good!
September 18, 2015
(St. Joseph of Cupertino)
St. Paul wrote to Timothy, Beloved: Teach and urge these things. Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, 1_Tm_6:2c-12
I once had a friend who just loved to get into arguments. If I said it was it was a beautiful day, he would tell me how humid it was. If I complained about my allergies being especially bad this year, he would tell me – how I must have been eating the wrong kinds of food. If I complimented him on his choice of food, he would argue that it was – the only choice left.
Sometimes people just like to argue for the sake of arguing.
Both Jesus and Paul often ran into these kinds of people when they were preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom. You see, for those people, the Good News went in one ear and out the other, with no register in between, except to find a point to argue against. Paul, in advising his disciple Timothy, warned him to beware of senseless arguments with people, because in the end, they would always lead to hurt feelings and discord. It doesn’t take much to see this all over our world today. And it has the potential to result in wars and riots, unjust arrests and even the death of innocent bystanders.
When Jesus told his disciples to go into the villages and proclaim the Good News of God’s love for everyone, He didn’t tell them to argue the point until the people gave up in exhaustion. Instead He said, that when they refused to listen, the disciples should just leave, and find someone else who would listen.
Our Commission is not to force the world into salvation, but to let them know that their salvation is always there, just for the asking. All that’s necessary is a simple belief in God’s love for them. A love that has been proven to us, both through the redeeming Passion of Jesus, and in the revealing Promise of our eternal life, through His resurrection.
This is our destiny.
And no arguments can change that fact!
September 17, 2015
(St. Robert Bellarmine)
Jesus said, “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Lk_7:36-50
And yet, the bottom line is that we should love everyone equally, regardless of what they’ve done for us or forgiven. And as nice as it is to be forgiven by others, who is it, beloved, that we have forgiven today?
Our call is to Love them, then forgive them. Then hope that they may have the kindness to forgive us as well.
September 16, 2015
(Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs)
Jesus said, “wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” Lk_7:31-35
So we must be very discerning and cautious, beloved, in what we believe of what we read and hear. There are a lot of lies and non-sense going on out there that are as obvious as the noses on our faces. As children of “Wisdom,” we will NOT fall into the trap of believing them. We will not fall into the trap of arguing with them, because “the foolish” will never listen to reason anyway. Stand firm in the TRUTH. Jesus will guide us to all Truth.
September 15, 2015
(Our Lady of Sorrows)
Hanging from the Cross, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple “Behold, your mother.”And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” Jn_19:25-27
Some Scripture scholars call this the beginning of the Church. As Jesus gave his Mother to His “beloved disciple,” so He gives His life, His love, His all – to us. Cling to Him, beloved. Weep not, for He has risen. And in that rising He shows us that we will live again, as well. Let His life lead us in enduring our own suffering. Let His life offer us the promise of eternal life with God and our loved ones forever. No more crying. Now is the time to rejoice. For Jesus is our God! And His Mother we take into our homes and into our lives!
September 14, 2015
(Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
An ancient profession of faith . . .
Brothers and sisters: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil_2:6-11
“Oh blessed cross that lets me be, with you, a co-redeemer of humanity!”
September 13, 2015
(24th Sunday Ordinary Time B)
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let that man confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Is_50:5-9a
THERE is my help, my support, my shield and my armor. It is God! With Him, I need nothing more: no money, no fancy diploma or certification, no sales pitches, no sword or machine gun.
Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” Mk_8:27-35
Want to be that “mighty oak” beloved? Stay rooted in Christ and He will nourish you and protect you. The LORD is my help!
September 12, 2015
Jesus said, “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.” Lk_6:43-49
This past spring I received my 10-free trees from the Arbor Day Society and proceeded to plant them in various spots around our yard. Having a nice wet spring and summer they all kept alive, at least for most of the summer. The red maple grew like weed. The dogwoods started slowly but stayed healthy. And a few of those little saplings that seemed to die off came back as 2-3 inch micro-plants and just stayed there. Then as the summer came near to a close and the rain sputtered out, some of those little trees just dried out and died. Some of the hawthorns started sprouting and the rabbits, deer and bugs began to discover the nice plump leaves of the better growing trees, like my dogwoods and the maple. So it became a fight against the whims of mother nature.
Isn’t it just like our own lives. Just when we seem to start to doing better, here comes the thrashing of fate, disaster and temptation. So we put on the armor of God and fight. And we find that only in Christ will we ever succeed. Maybe our “good” trees won’t bear bad fruit, but boy is it tough just to keep them breathing sometimes! Keep on breathing, beloved! The best is yet to come. And boy-oh-boy will that fruit be good! Blessings!
September 11, 2015
Jesus said, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” Lk_6:39-42
And when it’s out . . .
September 10, 2015
St. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” Col_3:12-17
Instructions, admonishments, directions and Oh the preaching!
Sometimes (maybe all the time) we just don’t like other people telling us what to do and what not to do. If we go all the way back to the beginning of the Book of Genesis, we’ll find that God did the same thing with Adam and Eve. Don’t …! And of course, they did. So what of it?
Well, don’t we do the same thing with our kids? And then why do WE do it, when we don’t like others doing it to us. Well, hopefully, we do it out of our LOVE for our kids. We don’t want to see them get hurt. We want to protect them. We don’t want to see them fall into the same traps we did . . . Ouuuuuu, sounds just like why God tells us stuff!
I always tried to make sure that I told my kids WHY whenever I had to instruct, admonish, give directions or preach. And we all probably should do the same. It still might not overcome their pure resistance to those directions, but, on the other hand, it just may help in the long run!
Jesus used exactly that tact. And here’s today’s example: Jesus said, “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Lk_6:27-38
Hmmm, now that just might be worth a try!
September 9, 2015
(St. Peter Claver, Priest)
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. Col_3:1-11
If you were given a choice in Life of being: poor, hungry, sad and despised, or rich, filled, happy and famous, which would you choose?
But then, if there was another condition in the fine print, an attached string, that went along with each, that said:
If you cho0se – rich, filled, happy and famous, you would be allowed to have these for one whole month.
But if you choose – poor, hungry, sad and despised, after one month, they would be replaced with rich, filled, happy and famous – for a million years,
– then would you still make the same choice?
St. Paul and Jesus – give us two pictures of Life today.
We see what it is in life that can bring us True Joy and reward. And we see what it is that Falsely makes us think we have Joy, when in reality, that joy is only fleeting, and will surely lead us to disaster.
The False Joy derives from a life without any Hope for eternity and without God. It causes us to grab every fleeting moment of goodness that this earth has to offer, without regard for other people. And when hard times befall us, we crumble with no anchor in the storm and no raft in the flood. Our life becomes one of pride alone, jumping from one accomplishment to another with little regard for morality, legality or even common sense. We believe that death is the ultimate end of all life; and in that belief, we greatly fear, and we actually worship death.
Jesus tells us that the earthly temptations that can lead us to this life of False Joy, are things like wealth, full stomachs, carefree happiness and fame.
And St. Paul tells us that when we base our lives purely on this False Joy, those lives may be filled with: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. And our conduct may even include vices like: anger, fury, malice, slander, obscene language and lying.
On the other hand, True Joy derives from a life of HOPE in something better to come, and a reliance upon God. It gives us a reason to accept the hard times when they fall upon us, and work through them, rather than crumble; because we know that we have Jesus as our anchor and our life raft. And it gives us a reason to work hard at being the best US we can possibly be now, so that our reward will be even better in the next life.
Jesus tells us that even though we will still have earthly temptations, He will strengthen us in our times of poverty, hunger, sadness and even when we are persecuted because of our faith in Him. We WILL be Blessed with peace, endurance, eternal happiness and True Joy forever.
And that Hope in eternal life will lead us to understand the reasons for morality, humility, compassion and giving. We will be willing to suffer a little in this life, in order to gain eternity with God, in True Joy.
In our baptisms, St Paul tells us that, “we have died with Christ and our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. So when Christ, our life, appears again, then we too will appear with him in glory.” Col_3:1-11
What beautiful Truth there is in Jesus!
So Rejoice, brothers and sisters in Christ, and leap for joy!
For when we employ a little delayed gratification in this life, then our reward – will be great in heaven. Lk_6:23ab
And we will know that we have clearly made
the right choice!
September 8, 2015
(The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
The Prophet Micah said, “.. for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.” Mi_5:1-4a
Happy Birthday to you, our Blessed Mother!
We give you thanks for saying YES to God!
We thank you for bringing to us, to the world, our Savior!
We thank you for raising Him, for keeping Him safe, and for offering Him to God for us. We thank you for Jesus, your own beloved Son.
He is our PEACE!
And YOU are our Mother!
September 7, 2015
St. Paul wrote to the Colossians about a mystery that God had hidden from ages and generations past and revealed to the apostles. And then speaking to them, as Gentiles, he said: it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. Col_1:24–2:3
What an awesome revelation, beloved! The greatest mystery of all time. The greatest accomplishment, the greatest promotion, the greatest award possible is that WE have Christ within us! Seek Him! Honor Him! Live – Him in all you do, in all you are!
September 6, 2015
(23rd Sunday Ordinary Time B)
Jesus took the deaf/mute man off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mk_7:31-37
God’s healing love. Be Opened!
Homily for today:
Now You’re Speaking My Language
September 5, 2015
St. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters: You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds; God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith,” Col_1:21-23
Holy, unblemished and irreproachable!
That’s quite a miracle in itself, beloved.
Sounds like we’ve got a homework assignment . . .
“Persevere in the faith!”
September 4, 2015
Jesus told them a parable. “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. And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” Lk_5:33-39
Sometimes there’s an ironic and interesting twist to time.
I was recently invited to join a group of people, whom I had not heard from, nor seen, for some 50 years. And the connection that was made between us, was, of all things, Facebook on the internet. The theme was “Clifton, NJ, The Golden Years.” And before the week was out, there were pictures of restaurants that have, long since been torn down, there were discussions of people’s favorite 50’s and 60’s Music, War stories, and Reunions of people who hadn’t seen or heard from each other since grammar school. It was all very nostalgic.
And it was also funny, because it didn’t take long before it all started to get pretty old too; as we ended up with the same few people regurgitating the same old stuff, that I had long since, happily forgotten.
So even today, just as Jesus said, there really are people who love “the old” so much that they become resistant to change. And that resistance then, can eventually tear them apart, like the New Patch on the old coat, or the New Wine in the old containers.
Of course we realize that in the Gospel, Jesus was talking about the Old Jewish law of the Pharisees, with their strict rules of fasting and prayer, as their connection to God, in comparison to a new connection to God – through Jesus, himself, where fasting and prayer would take on a whole new meaning.
In our Clifton NJ case, I’ll have to admit that at least everyone involved in the Golden Years Group was acclimated enough to “the present,” to be using the Internet, and have access to Facebook. And that membership came out to be about 7% of the potentially 50+ thousand H.S. Graduates since 1965.
The other interesting thing that I noticed about the Facebook site was that we were beginning to see how people’s conception of the past, their opinions, and their errors in remembrance, began to cloud the true facts of places and events.
This, of course, leads us exactly to the reasoning for St. Paul’s discourse to the Colossians about Who Jesus is, and Why He came among us. You see, at the time, there was another religious sect called the Gnostics who were distorting the truth about Jesus, that Paul had taught the Colossians. The Gnostics believed that Jesus, as a man, was not superior to any beings in the heavenly realm. They did not believe in that true Humanity and Divinity of Jesus that we profess in our Creed as “Consubstantial with the Father.”
So St. Paul wrote this beautifully elegant and probably well-known hymn that described Jesus as being above all created things, above all angels, and principalities, and powers. It described Jesus as the Head of the Church. Our connection with God.
And it described a new order, distinct from that of Adam and the old Jewish, Mosaic law. As firstborn from the dead, by His resurrection and through His blood, Jesus reconciles all things back to God. Through Jesus there is Forgiveness of sins that was never possible in the old order. Through Jesus there is Peace that was never possible in the old order. And through Jesus there is Life. Life that is so indescribably wonderful, that never, ever would we even want to go back to that old order, because in our baptisms, we have been reborn into the wedding feast of the Lamb.
This IS our Lord and our Savior.
And THIS is our Hope and our Life.
September 3, 2015
(St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church)
While sitting in their boat by the shore, Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. 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
Bit of a longer quote today, but well worth it, as there are several lessons here. First off, we need to note the timing. Simon and his company had just finished a very bad day of fishing. They were washing the lake scum from their nets to get ready for tomorrow’s attempt, which they hoped might be a little better than today’s, and Jesus comes by asking for them to go out again, in the boat and dump the nets.
Well – give – me – a – break! We just proved that there is nothing to catch. We just washed the nets. And we’re tired! BUT . . . “at your command” we will (grumpily) do it. And so they did…
Ever have Jesus ask you to do something that just doesn’t make any sense! Well, you know what, beloved, our sense isn’t quite the same as God’s. And you know what else? The fact is – that God, just may know a little bit more than us!!! And THAT’s the big hitch. How willing are we to trust in God, over our own sensibilities? Simon Peter did just that, maybe a little grumpily, but he did it none the less! And the reward? The reward was beyond anything imaginable! They caught so many fish that the boats were over-loaded.
And that was just the beginning! Seeing, what we might truly call a “miracle,” something clicked in their minds. THIS isn’t just a very charismatic preacher. This isn’t just an exorcist of demons or another healing magician. THIS IS GOD! And in recognizing God in their midst, all of a sudden, Peter and the others realized how sinful they were, to even be in the presence of such Divinity!
Ever, accidentally bump into someone famous, beloved? I remember many years ago, while visiting Boston, almost bumping into the famous, Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, in the middle of an outdoor market. He was getting out of his stretch limo and had an entourage of body guards protecting him from just that kind of “bump.” But it was something that I’ll never forget. One of those Ohhhhh moments.
Here was Peter trying to convince Jesus that another fishing trip that day was clearly not worth it. And there was Peter swallowing his pride when Jesus proved to him – just the opposite!
Ever have those arguments with God, beloved? Maybe that’s the best time to KNOW that God is ALWAYS right! We are simply sinful little creatures. Forgive us Lord, and help us to let go of that humanly pride of ours, so that the TRUE miracles of Yours will fill our lives with Your awesome love for us!
September 2, 2015
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him (Jesus) about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. Lk_4:38-44
“They interceded with Jesus about her.”
Ever ask others to pray for a loved-one of yours beloved? That’s intercessory prayer. Ever have someone ask you to pray for them or for their loved-ones? That’s intercessory prayer. And Jesus is our intercessor with God our Father.
It is through Jesus that our prayers are answered. And yet, it is by the will of the Father that everything – IS. If it is not the will of the Father that someone should be healed, it just may be His will that that person be returned to Him in Heavenly Glory. And one day we will all be there, reunited in love, reunited in Jesus! In the meantime, we keep on praying, with the intercession of each other, the intercession of the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all to the Glory of God the Father, Amen!
September 1, 2015
“. . you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, . . . But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.” 1_Thes_5:1-6,_9-11
. . . Like a thief in the night. But there is nothing that any thief can take away from us when we have Jesus as our watchguard, as our guiding light. So, stay faithful, beloved. And what you’ll find, is that the peace of Jesus will be with you always, no matter what darkness may try to envelop you.
We are His and He is ours, for eternity!
You are beautiful!
Happy September, beloved!
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