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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April 30, 2017
(Third Sunday of Easter A)
David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts_2:14,22-33
Jesus made known to the world, the paths of life. The path of caring, the path of honesty, the path of giving, the path of repentance, the path of LOVE! When we follow these paths, beloved, we will clearly see His presence with us. And He will fill us with joy and hope, just as David professed!
But you know what, even when we fall off those paths, even when we stray or get lost on our way, like the disciples did in today’s Gospel (Lk 24:13-35), on their way back home to Emmaus, Jesus will be there too, to correct us, to lead us back, to teach us, to love us! All we have to do is listen and look!
Where is Jesus in our lives today, beloved? Maybe he’s there in our joy. Maybe life is a little ragged and we’re still searching for the way. Look for Him! He may be right there in a wife or a husband sitting right next to us. He may be there in a friend or a child, or even a dog. Listen to what they’re saying. Take that step away from your comfort zone and move into something new. Jesus will guide us, through them. And hope may just be a head-turn away!
April 29, 2017
(St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the Apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. Acts_6:1-7
And thus, the first Deacons of the Church were formed. And the first of them, Stephen became the first Martyr of the Church as well. These men were called to serve in Charity to the needy, at the Altar to assist the Bishop and Priests, and in Word to proclaim Jesus, just as Stephen did for the sake of his very life.
Blessed are those who answer the call to serve the Lord in whatever way their lives permit, whether it is in married life, as single men and women, in the priesthood or in religious orders. For them He will support and reward with life eternal!
Blessed be God forever!
Jesus is our Hope and our Life.
Jesus calms all of our storms with His love!
April 28, 2017
Still miffed as to what to do with those zealous Apostles of Jesus, A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men. . . .
I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts_5:34-42
Out of the emotional anger and hatred of a band of self-centered Jewish leaders, comes the voice of reason, the voice of experience, something they all should have had. Gamaliel, as we later learn, was the teacher/mentor of none other than Saul, the great Christian persecutor. The same Saul who would, in time, become one of the greatest Christian evangelists, St. Paul.
Sometimes, beloved, the voice of reason comes to all of us. The question is, are we listening? Are we willing to bend a little, to change courses and try something new? If it is of ‘the world’ it will surely destroy itself. But if it is of God, who knows what incredible things are bound to come your way. They might even be ‘heavenly!’
April 27, 2017
Jesus said, “The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.” Jn_3:31-36
Is it not intensely obvious, beloved, when we see people at their wit’s end because something absurd triggers their ‘hot button.’ Where is their peace? Where is their self-control? Where is their God?
When we love the Son, we love the Father and the Holy Spirit WILL provide all we need, no matter what the need. When it’s peace in areas we have no control over – God is there. When it’s enlightenment in things we have no experience in – God is there. When it’s just a calm in ragged-edge situations – God is there. Trust in God, beloved, and God will always be there for you!
April 26, 2017
the party of the Sadducees, filled with jealousy, laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” Acts_5:17-26
As we continue the post-Pentecost journey of the Apostles, we see how all their healings in the Name of Jesus, are having two huge effects.
First, the common folk, who are seeing all the miracles, and hearing the testimonies of the Apostles, are joining them – by the thousands. And second, all the commotion is making the Pharisees and Sadducees quite nervous about their own welfare; because, not only is it putting them in a real bind with their Roman prelate, who was not very supportive of their desire to eliminate Jesus in the first place, but it’s also beginning to upset their own power stronghold over the common Jews.
And they’re in a real quandary about how to handle it, because now, it’s not just “the One man,” they have to deal with. Now it’s a little army of thousands; with twelve zealous and Spirit-filled leaders, who are not only fearless of them, but their actions are just a bit beyond – worldly explanation.
And the Sanhedrin’s back-of-the-hand slaps and overnight imprisonments of the Apostles seem to be having no effect on stifling them.
Jesus said, “everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” Jn_3:16-21
Today we clearly see the effect of what’s happening to the Sanhedrin because of their entrance into that darkness of disbelief in Jesus. They’ve become paranoid about their own safety and that paranoia has paralyzed their thinking.
And we also see – just the opposite effect on the Apostles, because of their belief. We see the angelic support of God. We see the miraculous healings and the fearless proclamation that can only come – by living the Truth and shining the Light of the Lord.
And it just makes us ponder, too. Where’s the darkness in our lives, beloved? Those shadowed corners of self-indulgence, those little untruths that could use some brightening by the Light of Jesus.
And how can we be a little bolder in our own proclamation of the Lord, and a little more fearless in shining His Light on those who are still lost and searching in the darkness.
The Lord’s angel has unlocked the cell door of our inhibitions, and the Light of Christ is beckoning us to follow. Come!
April 26, 2017
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. Jn_3:16-21
One of the most well-known verses in the Bible. A verse of Hope, yet a verse of warning . . . BELIEVE!
And it always seems to prompt the question, “What about all the good people in the world who don’t believe in Jesus?” Well, IF they are so good, why do they NOT believe in Jesus? He is Goodness personified. He is the perfect model of everything we should strive for. And when we realize that, we come to understand in our hearts that He truly is the Son of God!
Their/our goodness should always lead them to Christ. Maybe they just haven’t grown that far yet! And if they are blatantly refusing to believe, then maybe this passage IS for them! The question is, Why?
And how can we help lead them to Jesus?
How can we help Save them too!
April 25, 2017
(St. Mark, Evangelist)
St. Peter wrote about how to BE: Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. 1_Pt_5:5b-14
And Jesus wrote what to DO: Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Mk_16:15-20
Being gets us ready for doing. Believing gets us ready for knowing. Knowing internalizes the being and doing such that we no longer even have to think about it. Know Jesus beloved, and all the rest of life will fall into place. And the Kingdom will be ours!
April 24, 2017
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” Jn_3:1-8
The water of life, the water of baptism, the water of physical wholeness, the water of purity, the water of cleansing, the water of salvation. The Spirit of life, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of fire, the Spirit of wind and air, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of salvation. Without both we are not whole. And without wholeness we cannot be a part of God’s Kingdom. It’s a letting go of clinging to one or the other, and a coming to wholeness in both. Jesus will lead us there, beloved. All we need do is follow!
April 23, 2017
(Second Sunday of Easter, A)
(Divine Mercy Sunday)
Jesus said to Thomas, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn_20:19-31
Happy Sunday Beloved!
Blessed are you, for BELIEVING!
Sunday’s Homily link: “Atom!”
April 22, 2017
(Easter Octave Saturday)
. . as the Eleven were at table, he (Jesus) appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Mk_16:9-15
And after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:
The leaders, elders, and scribes called Peter and John back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” Acts_4:13-21
We see a boldness, an uninhibited excitement in the Apostles and ourselves when we allow the Holy Spirit to truly dwell within us.
Come Lord Jesus and fill us with your Holy Spirit!
April 21, 2017
(Easter Octave Friday)
The disciples went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Jn_21:1-14
Ever notice, how in life, sometimes, try as we might, things just don’t work out the way WE want them to? Whether it’s a job, or a health issue, or a weight-loss program, or even a conviction to a person or a belief.
Remember how Thomas and Peter both insisted that they would die for Jesus, and what actually happened when their conviction was put to the test? Sunday we’ll hear about Thomas’ test of faith. And today’s Gospel sets the stage for Peter’s three-fold inquisition by Jesus, “Peter do you love me?”
You see, even after encountering the resurrected Jesus two-times earlier, the Apostles were still bobbing around in the water, trying to do things ‘their way,’ because it wasn’t fish that Jesus wanted them to catch, but men and women. And it isn’t fame or wealth or retirement that Jesus wants us fishing for either.
When we can let go of that, sometimes stubborn, will to do it on our own; When we can learn to rely upon and respond to the instructions of Jesus, that might not always make immediate sense to us, like switching which side we’re fishing on; then, out of the darkness of chaos and failure, when we’re done bobbing around in the Baptismal waters of new birth, we’ll find ourselves Confirming our faith – around the charcoal fire of the Holy Spirit’s Love, and sharing the Eucharistic bread and fish of Divine Life with Jesus; Food that will strengthen us to Comfort and to Heal and to Forgive all of those who are still crippled in the darkness. . . .
To strengthen us to endure accusations and even persecution in the Name of Jesus, just as the apostles were strengthened to endure the extreme of martyrdom, in order to bring His Name to us.
And then to proclaim, like Peter, with confidence to the world, that: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” Acts_4:1-12
Jesus Christ IS the “Cornerstone” of our salvation. And WE are the “Living Stones” of His Temple, (1 Pt 2:4-6) shouting from the rooftops, “Come!”
April 20, 2017
(Easter Octave Thursday)
Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Lk_24:35-48
Allow Jesus to open your mind to the Scriptures, beloved. Fall in love with the Word and the Word will fall in love with you. Jesus is the Word, from the opening verses of Genesis to the closing of Revelation – the Word of God’s love for us!
April 19, 2017
(Easter Octave Wednesday)
When a crippled man saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. He leaped up, stood, and walked around . . . Acts_3:1-10
Just as when Jesus healed people through their own faith, now the Apostles, who have faith strong enough to believe that healing is possible in the Name of Jesus, can heal – when the person being healed also has faith that it will be done.
But notice that Peter didn’t just say “be healed” and then walk away. He also helped the person rise up to begin the healing journey. You see, beloved, our healing prayers are not just magical incantations. They must be accompanied with the works necessary to bring about that healing: a meal, a donation, a helping hand, a ride, or maybe even just a little quiet company.
These, along with our prayer “in the Name of Jesus,” is what will bring about the healing of our loved ones today. We must love them through their infirmity, and God will do the rest – if it be His will!
April 18, 2017
(Easter Octave Tuesday)
After discovering the opened and empty tomb of Jesus, Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” Jn_20:11-18
Funny, how in almost every Biblical case of angels appearing, one of the first things they would say is “Do not be afraid.” Actually seeing a real, live angel could be a pretty frightening experience, so our natural response is fear. But in the case of Mary, she was so overwhelmed with grief at the loss of the body of her deceased Lord, that speaking with angels was the least of her concerns. It probably could have been a talking horse and Mary would have responded the same way!
And then when she did cross paths with the resurrected Jesus, she didn’t even recognize Him at first. So when He told her to, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” she simply obeyed.
Sometimes we can be so overly focused on something that when it finally comes about we almost miss it. Jesus does want us to know Him, but not to cling so tightly that we don’t recognize Him when He actually comes in the form of a friend or a neighbor or even an angel who wants to get our attention. He is our model. And it’s that model that we should be focused on in the actions of our lives. When Jesus did leave to return to His Father, His instructions were to “Go, and …” not to cling and become mesmerized zombies. Good lesson for us as well, beloved!
April 17, 2017
(Easter Octave Monday)
After the resurrection of Jesus, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day. Mt_28:8-15
Interesting how a truth can be twisted. Today we call it “Fake News.” Also notice how all of the falsity centered around money. From the money Judas was paid to betray, all the way to the money the guards were paid to lie. Was there a tie? Unquestionably! Everything the chief priests and the elders were about was money. All to keep their own pockets full. Jesus was a threat to ‘their’ money, so He had to be eliminated. Money truly was their god.
So look at the abortion industry today. Look at the insurance industry. Look at the political system. Look at the media. Look at the sex industry – from the magazines to the whole issue of homosexuality, from porn on the internet to human trafficking for sex – ALL centered on that same god of money. Is there a tie? Unquestionably! Because every one of those industries has no qualms at denying that there is a true God, that Jesus WAS resurrected, and even that Jesus existed in the first place. And it’s all a lie!
Want to find the Lord, beloved? It’s really pretty easy. All we need to do is look for the money, look for the lies, look for the darkness. And what’s left, the Truth, the Love, the Light is the Lord you are looking for.
And His name is Jesus.
April 16, 2017
(The Resurrection of the Lord, Easter Sunday)
That day, two of Jesus’ disciples were returning home after experiencing, first-hand, His miracles, His passion, crucifixion and death. As they traveled they ran across a stranger who walked along with them. Not knowing it was Jesus, they proceeded to express their disappointment in the death of Jesus whom they hoped was going to be their Messiah.
Jesus, disturbed at their ignorance, after all He had taught them, went on to describe all the places in the Scriptures where it described everything that would happen to Him. When they arrived home they invited Him to dine with them and in the breaking of the bread they suddenly recognized Jesus, just before he disappeared from their sight.
They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” Lk_24:13-35
He IS risen, beloved. Make no mistake about that! Now, can you recognize Him in the next person you meet? Can you recognize Him in the next meal shared with friends or family? Can you see Him in yourself? As Baptized Catholics, He IS there, right there with you. Seek Him. Believe. And then share His love in your own world!
April 15, 2017
(Holy Saturday – Vigil Mass)
Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. . . .
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Mt_28:1-10
He is right there, at your home, in your heart.
Do not be afraid!
Your sins are forgiven. Your strength is recovered. Your mourning is over. Your Savior is alive. When we open our eyes enough to see – we WILL see Him there, waiting for us to welcome Him home in our hearts!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Jesus!
April 14, 2017
(Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion)
Jesus said, “It is finished.” Jn_18:1-19:42
. . . The suffering, the human life, the teaching, all the stories, all the walking, all the arguing, the laughing, the crying, the healing, the miracles, the Mission; it is finished.
And now we await! We await a new beginning. We await one last Sign: new life, resurrection, promises, hope. And now it’s our turn to say “It is finished.” . . . The sin, the selfishness, the apathy, the uncaring, the hopelessness, the not listening, the not believing. Jesus CAME to erase it all away. Now it our turn to begin anew! “Follow me.” were the last words of Jesus in John’s Gospel. Now it’s time to finish and follow.
Jesus is waiting!
April 13, 2017
Jesus had just washed His disciples feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Jn_13:1-15
The PERFECT model!
If we want to get to know Jesus, beloved, all we need to do is follow in his footsteps. We first learn all about those footsteps, like praying for others, washing their feet, physically or spiritually healing our neighbor and feeding those who are hungry. They weren’t big things, just little, almost unnoticeable things. But for those to whom they are done, they may never be forgotten. That’s being Jesus to others, just as He modeled for us!
April 12, 2017
Wednesday of Holy Week, A
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” Mt_26:14-25
If you ever heard the expression, “the tension in the room was so thick, that you could cut it with a knife,” then you might have, just an inkling, of the mood in that upper room where Jesus shared His Last Supper with His disciples.
Those disciples had a feeling that something was amiss, but they just couldn’t put their finger on it. Passover was supposed to be a joyful celebration. And yet something about Joy was missing that night. Jesus was kind of somber. And then, there was all that talk about death.
But actually, when we come to think about it, it was probably JUST like that first Passover, where death was hanging in the air, and freedom was right around the corner. Or so it was said, as they hid themselves behind their blood-stained doorposts.
You see, those Egyptian Israelites had no idea what was coming either. And Moses may have sounded just as crazy to them as Jesus sounded to His disciples. But only time would tell.
For the disciples, everything about this Passover was odd: the secret upper room; Jesus washing their feet; and now, all this talk about betrayal.
Of course Jesus must have been full of anxiety, Himself, not only knowing what was soon, about to happen to Him, but also in his concern about the impact that His crucifixion would have on His beloved disciples.
I remember in Junior High School, waiting through 400-kids with last names that began with letters preceding my ‘P’, for that dreaded, TB-tine injection. It took all I could muster, not to pass out, before I ever got to the front of the line. Because, in the waiting, those six-tiny needles became a foot-long each.
Could we even fathom the thought of knowing the pain, the torture, that was waiting to befall Jesus? I think, sharing a meal would have been the last thing on my mind.
And then there was Judas. If you ever worked at a place, or lived in a community where you didn’t feel welcome, or your goals were just not working out, and you began to look for a change, but before you ever took that last step out the door, your boss or your landlord discovered your infidelity, then you might understand, a little bit of the feelings of Judas, that night.
He didn’t really want Jesus tortured or killed. He just didn’t understand the point of it all. And it certainly wasn’t going the way that HE had hoped it would. So instead of waiting to see what would happen next, like the other eleven, Judas took matters in his own hands. A little “I had it with you,” a little “maybe that’ll show you,” a little extra pocket money, earmarked all of Judas’ motives as not very “Christian!”
And the outcome of that decision was so devastating to Judas, that he couldn’t even live with himself any longer.
You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, this story of the Passion of Jesus is SO filled with emotion, it’s so filled with sorrow, and yet, it’s so filled with hope – when we truly understand it, that it’s actually hard to imagine how anyone could live without Jesus in their lives.
Our Joy is about to be fulfilled again, through this Holy Triduum, that begins tomorrow, and in the lives that we will continue to live, after Easter Sunday. Lives that are guided by the Holy Spirit, and filled with our Hope for eternal glory.
You see, God really does Love everyone, because we are ALL His beloved children. And Jesus has proven that fact, in every word and every action that He has offered for us!
April 11, 2017
Tuesday of Holy Week
Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” . . .
Peter asked Jesus, “Master, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” Jn_13:21-33,36-38
Light and Darkness. Goodness and Evil. Righteousness and Deceit. Jesus did not walk the path of an “easy street.” Everywhere he turned there were those planning his demise. Even those he should have trusted the most, who thought they could give up everything for Him, in the end would turn against Him, or at least, not have the courage to stand up for Him.
Ever wonder, beloved, why the Gospel stories seem to concentrate so much on the Pharisees, on Judas, and on the failure of Peter to defend His Master? This life we live really is no bed of roses! Yes, there may be phases of utopia in our lives, or awesome days, or wonderful vacations. But we are never to forget that behind it all there’s always someone who just wants our money, or our job, or even our life, as they wanted that of Jesus.
And there’s nothing that we can ‘personally’ DO to make any difference in that fact. But there IS something we can do with the help of Jesus. We can be strong enough to BELIEVE. We can be strong enough to know that there will be falls, like Peter. There may even be times of deceit like Judas in our lives. And we may even want to debate Jesus on minute details of insignificance that we may think are important, like the Pharisees. But, with Jesus ON our side, we can overcome all those downfalls and jump right back up to conquer every little trick that Satan may throw at us. Jesus will always forgive us, when we come back to Him. Jesus will always support and strengthen us when we just ask for His help. Trust, beloved, and LIVE!
April 10, 2017
(Monday of Holy Week)
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Jn_12:1-11
Martha, Mary and Lazarus. We hear a lot about them through the Gospel stories. Mary was the one who loved to listen to Jesus: Lk 10:38. Martha the one who truly believed Jesus to be the Christ, the Messiah: Jn 11:27. And Lazarus was their beloved brother who prematurely died and was raised by Jesus: Jn 11:43-44.
Today we hear of Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet with a very expensive perfume, and then wiping his feet with her hair. Maybe that sounds a little erotic. But knowing that it was a totally different culture than ours, maybe it was a lot more symbolic than we recognize. Jesus himself noted that Mary was symbolically preparing his body for death. But just imagine the impact on Mary herself. There she was wearing the same fragrance on her hair and hands that Jesus was wearing battered and broken on the cross, an eternal reminder of her union with her Lord. What a beautiful sign!
And when we investigate, just a little more, this oil that Mary was using, nard, we come to find that not only was it a fragrant perfume, but it was also a healing remedy for many bodily ills. Just maybe, Mary was trying to soothe some pretty nasty discomfort on the feet of the one who walked hundreds of miles healing and comforting others. Just maybe, there was a whole lot more to Mary’s action than first meets the eye.
We really can learn a lot about true devotion through these people who were some of Jesus’ best friends. Especially about our own craving for valuable things that might be better given to others who could really use them: one of the small tidbits of philosophy that Jesus came to teach us.
As we prepare for reliving in our hearts the passion and death of our Lord this week, it might be good for us to see what it is in our own lives that we’re clinging to a little too tightly, and let it go, as we let in a little more of our Lord! Something that will connect us to Him, just as that perfume did for Mary! The sweet fragrance of generosity. The sweet aroma of Love!
April 9, 2017
(Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion)
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.” Mt_21:1-11
I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. Is_50:4-7
. . 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
Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. . . .
Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” . . .
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Mt_26:14—27:66
Truly this IS the Son of God . . . Jesus!
April 8, 2017
Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. Jn_11:45-56
Jesus DID die and He did gather the dispersed children of God, but not those by whom He was killed. Many Jews, even today, still do not believe that Jesus was/is their promised Messiah. And, sadly, they will be waiting a long time, because they missed Him and still refuse to believe.
We Christians are fortunate in being among those dispersed children who did come to believe. And our goal, our call, our “Commission” is to help others SEE that light of hope, that light of peace, the light of Jesus which is offered for ALL!
Let’s be the very best Christians we can be this Easter Season, as many nominally believing or misunderstanding Christians will come to our Masses this Easter. And we may be the only true representatives of Christ they will experience for another whole year. We are His Light, and His Hope and His welcome to all of our lost brothers and sisters, and we may only have one shot at showing them God’s true love for them!
Let’s make it count!
April 7, 2017
(St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest)
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? Jn_10:31-42
Sometimes we want to believe something so strongly, that not even visible or physical Proof to the contrary – will convince us otherwise.
The Pharisees believed so strongly that Jesus was not God’s Messiah, that neither His Words nor His Actions could change their minds. They were totally blinded by the darkness of their own pride.
Jesus even went as far – as using their own unwavering belief in the Scriptures to try to convince them that He is the Son of God. But even that was not good enough for them.
Sometimes you just can’t crack a hardened nut.
And it was the same problem that the Prophet Jeremiah ran into. While he was there encouraging the people, prompting them to change their bad habits, and pleading with them, that if they didn’t change, they would subject themselves to the consequences of their own evil deeds – they were so stuck in the pride of their own belief, that instead of changing their ways, they would simply solve the problem of Jeremiah by just silencing him, by eliminating him the same way the Pharisees wanted to silence and eliminate Jesus – their very Savior.
You see, helping people who don’t want to be helped, could be a pretty hazardous occupation.
And yet, as our Psalm encourages us today: The Lord hears our voices. Even in the midst of all of our distress, God answers us. And that answer is Jesus!
In just another week we will relive His passion and His death. We will relive the Holy Saturday of darkness, when the Apostles thought He was gone forever. And we will experience the Easter Glory of His resurrection.
All done for us!
In the midst of all of our pain and suffering,
Jesus is our salvation.
And when we place our Trust in Him,
He will always be there for us.
And that’s an Easter promise to celebrate!
April 6, 2017
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.“ Gn_17:3-9
And that, Abraham certainly became. The father of the Israelites (the Jewish nation), the father of the Ishmaelites (eventually Islam) and the father of the Christians – all under our ONE true Father and Creator, our LORD, God.
. . the Jews said to him (Jesus), “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” Jn_8:51-59
Jesus IS the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity.
Remember the stories of Moses and the burning bush . . . God said to Moses, I am the God of your father, he continued, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Ex 3:6
And then Moses said to God, “if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what do I tell them?” God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you. Ex_3:13-14
The same I AM that Jesus replied to the Jews! The same Father, the same Son, the same Holy Spirit. Follow me, Jesus told us. Keep my Commands, God told Abraham. Believe, beloved! And the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest!
April 5, 2017
(St. Vincent Ferrer, Priest)
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. Jn_8:31-42
Funny. We might have asked the same question. And yet, in all of our “freedom,” are we really, “truly” free. Are we slaves to work or home or computers or cell phones? Are we slaves to habit or constantly having to fix all the “stuff” we own, in our freedom? Are we slaves to the media or to our illnesses? Are we slaves to sports or TV or politics or our cars? What’s enslaving us, beloved? And what is it that Jesus can free us from, besides our sin? Come to Him and His Truth will honestly set you free. And THAT freedom is TRUE freedom!
April 4, 2017
(St. Isidore, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.” Nm_21:4-9
Jesus said to the unbelieving Pharisees, “For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” . . . Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” Jn_8:21-30
When the Source of truth is before us, beloved, that is the Lord our God, then whatever He teaches us is truth. The Source of everything Jesus did and said was from God His Father. Thus, when we listen to Jesus, when we believe in Him and all that He taught us, then we will have Life, and life to the full!
April 3, 2017
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head, for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two so as to make an end of you both.” Dn 13
Jesus said to the adulterous woman, “Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” Jn_8:1-11
Two stories of suspense and intrigue today. Both stories involving sexual offenses. In the first we hear of the lust and attempted rape of a young married woman, named Susanna, by two depraved old judges. In the second the Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery and was about to stone her to death, when Jesus was brought into the picture.
Both outcomes resulted in justice. In the Old Testament case, the wicked judges’ lie was revealed and the men were given the same sentence they sought for the young woman, death.
In the second case, Jesus, as always, opts for life. Yes, the action of the woman’s adultery was sinful and wrong. But in this new era of mercy and love, Jesus sends her off with a stern warning only, “Sin no more.”
And the same goes for us, beloved. How many sins have we committed that just may have been worth a penalty of death in someone’s eyes. But God always prefers life. And we are given chance after chance to repent and change our ways. It doesn’t mean that we can take our sinfulness for granted, knowing that we will always be forgiven. But it does mean that if we don’t change, we just may end up with the penalty we asked for, in the end.
Repent and believe.
And sin no more!
April 2, 2017
(5th Sunday of Lent, A)
Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will put my spirit in you that you may live,” Ez_37:12-14
God’s Life-giving Spirit,
IN us, beloved!
St. Paul wrote: If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you. Rom_8:8-11
And that life, that indwelling Spirit, is not just some imaginary thing that will happen long after we’re dead, but even here and now! This comes from the very words of Jesus . . .
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Jn_11:1-45
So that “eternal life,” that we’re always talking about, is also, not just some imaginary thing that may happen long in the future, it begins right now! All we have to do is believe!
April 1, 2017
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. Jn_7:40-53
A good reminder, beloved, that we need to always be careful about thinking we know all the answers, jumping to conclusions and being ready to crucify everyone who doesn’t agree with us. Jesus caused division. And they just couldn’t figure him out. But rather than listen. Rather than understanding, their answer was to follow the mob. And we know now that the mob was all led by a conniving group of power-hungry Pharisees. Keeping in mind, that it wasn’t ALL Pharisees who were bad. Remember Nicodemus!
But think about our situation in America today. Who’s jumping to crucify a president who has barely gotten his feet on the ground. Who’s causing all the ruckus, riling up women, riling up people who should be a little more level-headed? And what’s their agenda? Are we traveling down the same path as the first century Jews. And remember what happened to Jerusalem not very long afterwards!
Open minds and open hearts!
Happy April, beloved!
Please stop by and visit March’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
Link to Previous Month’s Whispers
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Link back to Whispers to the Wind
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(also in Time page, under Liturgical Seasons section)
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