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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February 28, 2017
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: …” Mk_10:28-31
As you forgive, you will be forgiven. As you give, you will be given to. And as you love, you will be loved. Forgive, give and love, beloved, and you will be close to the Kingdom of God. For God loves a cheerful giver!
Happy last day of February!
And God’s blessings always!
February 27, 2017
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” . . .
Jesus said, “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
In explaining His meaning to the disciples, Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” Mk_10:17-27
Same topic as yesterday! God or mammon? Can’t have both, at least in this world. When God is first in our lives, it’s funny, but the mammon, the wealth, the stuff, doesn’t even matter any more. And yet, God showers us with all we need of it – when we put Him first. Have faith, beloved. God will provide. And Jesus will save!
February 26, 2017
(8th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. . . .
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Mt_6:24-34
Whenever the love of the things of the world, the mammon, is beginning to stress you out, beloved, to make you anxious or worried, move on to that second quote: “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given you besides.” God WILL provide! Love Him. Follow Him. Develop a relationship with Him and you will find His peace!
Link to Homily for today:
The Immensity of Love
February 25, 2017
Jesus said to His disciples, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Mk_10:13-16
How child-like in dependence on God can we get, beloved? Jesus wants that total dependence from us, just as He modeled His dependence on His Father. And when we can let go of “ourselves,” our pride, our independence, enough to realize that EVERYTHING we have and are is a Gift from God, then we will be coming close to living in His Kingdom!
And THAT’s pretty awesome, beloved!
February 24, 2017
– A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds one finds a treasure.
– A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.
– A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds;
– For he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself. Sir_6:5-17
The Faithful Friend!
February 23, 2017
(St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
YET . . .
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mk_9:41-50
The trick is to never feel so comfortable with our salvation that we become lax in watching out for our own sinfulness. Yes, God loves us. Yes, God will reward us for our righteousness when it’s done for HIS sake and not ours. And Yes, we will be punished for any evil within us. And often it will be the consequence of that evil that will punish us beyond anything that God will do or not do. We truly can be our worst enemy! Love God, beloved, in everything you think and do. And count on Jesus to help guide you in the right direction. He is always there for just that purpose!
February 22, 2017
(The Chair of St. Peter)
Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt_16:13-19
Today our Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Now we might think it a bit odd to celebrate a Chair.
But it’s really the recognition of the person who occupies the chair that we’re celebrating today. And when we think about it, we all have our favorite chair for watching TV, or knitting, or reading Scripture. And we’ve seen how in our Courts, the judge will sit in a little fancier chair in the front and center of the room.
And even in our parishes, we see the priest or pastor sitting in what we call the Presidential Chair. You see, that’s a place of honor, it’s a place of leadership, and it’s a place of holiness.
Well, we see the same thing with the Larger Church, our Universal, Catholic Church. Beginning with St. Peter, who was Jesus’ designated leader for His Church, which we heard in our Gospel reading today, we have had 265 subsequent leaders of the Church, whom we call Popes.
And the Chair that the Pope sits in is called the Cathedra. It’s that special place from which the Pope will make important announcements about our faith. And it’s from that name, Cathedra, that every Central Church, of every diocese in the world, gets its name, Cathedral.
That Cathedral is the home Church of the diocesan Bishops, who are the successors of the first Bishop, Peter, by their special Ordination.
And remember, it’s not the Chair that makes them special, it’s the person.
These people, the Bishops, are the Shepherds, who are hand chosen by Jesus to lead His flock. Now of course, we know, that none of us, even our holy Bishops are created Perfect, like our True Shepherd, Jesus was. But the Bishops are trained and experienced in performing those Leadership tasks that Jesus taught.
And they have to do this in a world that’s screaming and clawing to bring them down. The job is not an easy one. So that’s why – they need us to pray for them. They need the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance. And they even need a place to rest once in a while.
And thus, we celebrate the Chair.
If you ever happened to see a picture of the Holy Spirit as a dove in a stained glass window that looks like this . . .
And that Gloria sits in the Apse, behind the main altar, of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. And in front of the Gloria is a 40-50 foot bronze sculpture, created by Bernini, depicting this Chair of St. Peter called the “Cathedra Petri.”
The entire structure from the floor to the top of the Gloria’s rays is about 100 foot tall. And enclosed within the sculpture of the Chair is a relic of an old chair reminiscent of one that St. Peter himself may have presided Mass in.
It’s all a beautiful reminder of the Glorious Gift that God has given to us in Jesus Christ.
You see, just like for the Bishops, it is Jesus who is our true place of rest.
It is Jesus who leads and shepherds our way.
And it is Jesus who brings us the Hope of one day sitting with Him and with all the Saints and Popes in the Glory of His Heavenly Kingdom forever.
And that’s a Chair to celebrate!
February 21, 2017
Jesus sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “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
Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom that was to come. How contrary to the ways of the world is this Kingdom that we seek. It’s not about being great! It’s about how great we can make others be! And do you know what happens when we do that in the world, beloved? Well, they fire you! But God knows our motives. And that’s all that matters! When we keep on loving as Jesus loved – even the lowest and the least accountable people, (in Jesus’ time it was children), then we will find that Kingdom that He promised, both now and for eternity.
February 20, 2017
The father of a demon possessed boy asked Jesus, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Mk_9:14-29
So what is it, beloved, that we just can’t overcome? What is it that just seems impossible to us? If we can get rid of that word from our vocabulary – impossible, and begin to believe that whatever it is we really want, we CAN have with a little faith and probably a little patience, then hang on because all things are possible with God! Maybe we don’t REALLY want it! Maybe we know that there can be something even better and we just need to dream a little harder. Have Faith, beloved and keep on dreaming – and keep on praying!
February 19, 2017
(7th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
The LORD said to Moses, . . . “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Lv_19:1-2,17-18
It’s all about Love and not hatred – in our own hearts!
St. Paul wrote, Brothers and sisters: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. 1_Cor_3:16-23
So when we can think of those other people who may not be the most pleasant towards us, from that point of view – they are God’s temple, and then separate the temple from the priests who may be defaming that temple (in them), it makes loving the Temple a little easier. They are God’s Temple as well as us!
Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father,” Mt_5:38-48
No, beloved, it’s not easy being like God our Father. But Jesus shows us the way. And He will always support us when we choose that path, the narrow path, the best path!
February 18, 2017
Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. . . .
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was found no more because God had taken him. Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Heb_11:1-7
And it is through that Faith that we DO see God. And we know him in the events of our lives. And we trust that God will always keep His promises. Jesus showed us the way to His Father and His Father attested: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Mk_9:2-13
It couldn’t have been any more clear!
February 17, 2017
(The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order)
The whole world spoke the same language, . . .
They said to one another, . . . “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves;”
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do. Let us then go down and there confuse their language,” Gn_11:1-9
If we go all the way back to the beginning of time, as recorded in the Bible, we find that right from the very start, there was some kind of Disconnect between God and the ‘man’ of His Creation.
You see, in creating Adam and Eve, God gave them everything they could possibly need: a beautiful place to live, an endless supply of food, the free-will to make their own choices, and even Eternal Life. And then he gave Adam and Eve one simple rule that began with “Don’t” and ended with “Because.”
What part of “Don’t” and “Because” Adam and Eve did not understand, is beyond us. And yet, we know well how that works, by experience with our own kids. We know how it works with our society. And we even understand that Disconnect by our own actions, and through our own conscience.
Why do we choose – what we know is bad for us, or for others? Why do we go against the two simple rules that Jesus gave us: to love God and to love one another, knowing that if we DO (love God and neighbor), we gain Eternal Life?
Just where IS that Disconnect?
We can see it pretty clearly in the Babel story that we heard today. How pride can blind us with evil ambition that disconnects us from God and from our brothers and sisters.
And it all began right after Noah landed his ark back on dry ground. Mankind had a whole new start at Trust and Obedience to God. And yet, after that great flood, the Bible tells us that, “the LORD said to himself: Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, since the desires of the human heart are evil from youth;”
It seemed that God already knew that fixing mankind was not the answer.
So what He did instead, was set more and more boundaries to differentiate those with obedient and trusting hearts, from those with rebellious and evil ways . . .
From the flaming torch that kept Adam and Eve away from the Tree of Life, to the Flood that separated the little family of Noah from the evil of the world,
From the confounding of languages at Babel, to the selected family of Abraham,
From the dynasty of King David, and eventually, to Jesus Himself . . . God provided – just a narrow path that would lead His faithful followers back to that Tree of Life, and back
And Jesus made it pretty obvious that we’re not going to find that path in the ways of the world. He made it pretty obvious that the path was not a magic carpet ride, but that it actually took a little effort, cost a little pain, and maybe even a lot!
Jesus tells us to take up our cross and LOVE, no matter what the cost, BECAUSE, the Reward for following that Narrow Path is incredibly beyond anything we CAN, in our wildest dreams, imagine!
So, yes, there is a Disconnect.
But Jesus came to provide us with a link back to eternity.
And all we need do is TRUST and follow Him!
February 16, 2017
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: “Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth.
Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered.
Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat; I give them all to you as I did the green plants. Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat. For your own lifeblood, too, I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from one man in regard to his fellow-man I will demand an accounting for human life.
If anyone sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; For in the image of God has man been made. Gn_9:1-13
And we wonder why the animals won’t come near us, as they did for St. Francis. And we wonder why people become such strangers to one another. And we wonder why there are those who make such a big deal about abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and war. (Hopefully that’s us.)
We not only want to be saved from that eternal damnation upon our final accounting, but we want EVERYONE else to be saved as well. THAT’s God’s love: from the love of the animals to the love of every other person alive, even our enemies!
Pray, beloved, for ALL of our salvations. And keep on loving, just as God does, because we have been made in HIS image!
And His image is LOVE!
February 15, 2017
Noah built an altar to the LORD, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. When the LORD smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done.
As long as the earth lasts, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Gn_8:6-13,20-22
Enough punishment is the work that “the fall” had resulted in. Enough punishment are the extremes of temperature changes and the battles with the seasons. Enough punishment is the darkness of night and the brightness of day upon our feeble bodies.
And in them all are the JOYs as well!
The Beauty of God’s creation!
The beauty within man himself (herself)!
How do we look at life, beloved?
Is it an unbearable treachery?
Or is it a magnificent wonder to behold?
It’s always our choice to make!
You see, God already knew that there was no fixing of the problem, the evil, that existed in man’s heart. The flood just postponed the inevitable. So instead of changing man, God would use man’s own free will to allow him/her to make their own choice as to their salvation.
And that salvation would come through One who, for all intent and purpose, looked just like them. And His Name was Jesus! Could it be possible that our salvation could come through some-One just like us? Or are our eyes closed to the omnipotence and the unfathomable love of our God. So far beyond anything man could possibly come up with, God has given us an escape plan! And His Name is Jesus!
February 14, 2017
(Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop)
When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved. So the LORD said: “I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, and not only the men, but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them.” But Noah found favor with the LORD. Gn_6:5-7:10
Let us not be among that crowd, beloved, of those who cause the LORD grief because of their evil. Noah found favor, and so can we when we are faithful to Him and to one another. Thanks be to God for Noah and for God’s great mercy!
February 13, 2017
the LORD said to Cain: “Why are you so resentful and crestfallen. If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.” Gn_4:1-15,25
YET YOU CAN BE HIS MASTER!
How many times, beloved, do we struggle and fight with that demon lurking at our door? How many times do we win and how many are lost? God said we can be his master! With Jesus on our side, we CAN win always!
And we can begin with “doing well” in everything we do! We begin with our thoughts. We follow with our actions. And when the ‘wellness’ within us so encompasses our whole being, then that demon doesn’t even have a chance. Pray, beloved, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, to strengthen us in this quest. And we will find ourselves more than Victorious!
February 12, 2017
(6th Sunday, Ordinary Time A)
If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Sir_15:15-20
As we’ve said, CHOICE, such a wonderful gift from God, and yet, such great responsibilities it comes with! If only everyone understood this!
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them. Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart. Ps 119
And how can we follow if we don’t know? And how can we know if we’re not taught? And how can we learn if we are not open to learning? Lord, open our hearts to learn and know and follow – You!
Jesus said, “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt_5:17-37
Love God and Love your neighbor!
February 11, 2017
(Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)
After Eve and Adam’s sin had been revealed to God, came it’s consequences. To the man, God said, “By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” Gn_3:9-24
Thanks, Adam! And all these eons later we are still fighting with moles and grubs, with rocks and roots. We’re still fighting with thistles and dandelions, drought and flood.
And yeah, God gave us the wisdom to invent machinery to help us farm and chemicals to clean out the weeds and bugs. But, OH the chemicals – which are killing us worse than the moles and weeds ever did. And OH, the machinery that takes more work to upkeep than just pulling out the weeds in the first place. Ahhh the endless circles we weave all to end up back in that dirt ourselves.
And where is the relief, what is the answer? The relief and answer are all connected to Jesus, where the food was multiplied, the water was tread upon and the storms died out with a Word. Was all of that just signs and symbols? No He IS our answer. So stop worrying about what you are to eat and what you are to wear, Jesus said. God knows what you need, even before you do! Trust in Jesus and all these things will be added as well! (Mt_6:24-34)
There IS an answer, beloved!
There IS hope.
And it’s Jesus!!!!!
February 10, 2017
(St. Scholastica, Virgin)
The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, Gn_3:1-8
So, why did the serpent tempt the woman? Why did the man not say anything to prevent the woman from eating the forbidden fruit? If the woman was able to discern that the tree was good, that it looked pleasing and could have been beneficial, why did she so easily forget about God’s warning about death? Why did the woman and the man lose their trust in God? And how sincerely do we believe in God? Do we truly believe in Heaven and Hell? Do we truly believe that our own choices, our own rejection of God will lead us to Hell? Are our eyes open to see both sides of the coin – the deception and the Truth!
Think about it, beloved!
Then place all your trust in God!
Jesus came to save us from the deception,
because it’s still out there! AS IS HE!
February 9, 2017
And so, according to this second creation story, we see the beginning of human civilization. God created the universe, the earth and man (the male of the species). He placed the man in a location that would physically nourish him and spiritually occupy his mind with something to do (gardening). [No internet, no football, no race cars, no beer . . . YET!]
And then God began to set some boundaries, His first “Holy Orders.” The man (Adam) seemed to have no problem with that. But God still felt that the man needed companionship. And after all the animals were created, named and still found lacking . . .
… the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman.
When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of man this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. Gn_2:18-25
And THERE’S the beauty of it all!
“Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh!” He was not created to BE her. And she was not created to BE him! Each, in their differences, was created to become something better than either one of them was alone. God created us this way. We were designed to complement one another.
And there wasn’t supposed to be a competition between them, deciding which was better, which was stronger, which was smarter. They were created DIFFERENT, for a reason. And it’s not up to us to decide which we want to be, or complain that “they” think they’re better than us (they are, and so are we – in other ways). And it’s not up to us to create or un-create Life. But it is up to us to BE – just what God created us to be.
And in that BEING, we become better than anything we could ever possibly create on our own. And together (male and female) we become even better than we could ever have been alone.
And THAT’S pretty AWESOME!
February 8, 2017
(St. Jerome Emiliani, Priest)
Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” Gn_2:4-9,15-17
Thus, we were given food to eat and work to occupy us and keep us from becoming lazy. We were also given our first commandment: “Holy orders,” if you will, directly from God. And note too, that God did not just say “Thou shalt not…” God gave Adam the REASON. IF you do, you are doomed to die! But if you listen and obey, you will enjoy this paradise with me forever.
Another beautiful gift from God to His creation. And this was not a trivial choice! It was life or death, paradise or hell, trust and protection or stubborn independence and isolation! Funny how some people have such a hard time with trust, obedience and submission. It’s exactly what Jesus was talking about when He told His followers to become like children – they still instinctively trust! We’ll see Friday what happened, though I guess we already know!
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” . . . From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” Mk_7:14-23
OK, so if all of this evil is within us, how do we overcome it? Well the truth is, we can’t! The only way the evil can be overcome is through God Himself! And yet, we still have that God-given gift of Choice. We can choose to allow God, through the Holy Spirit, to cleanse us of those evils. Or, just like Adam, we can choose the path of stubborn independence – “We don’t need no God!”
Well, just maybe, that’s what the gift of choice was all about. God wanted to give us every chance possible to choose Him. And we have these long (and sometimes short) lives to make that choice. And God will love us through it, no matter how stubborn we may be. But in the end, what we get will be OUR choice! The trick is, WHEN that end will be, is our great unknown. There just may not be – any last-minute changes of mind. And the black and white of it all is absolutely obvious in our world today. Life or death, obedience or rebellion, love or hate, eternity with God in paradise or eternal suffering!
It’s our choice!
February 7, 2017
God saw how good it was. Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . . God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; Gn_1:20-2:4a
Created in His image and likeness!
And then, we were blessed with fertility! Male and female He created us! O Lord, what have we done with the blessing that you had been so generous to give to us! Please forgive us in our sickness of mind and body! Strengthen us to return back to that Image in which we were created. Open our eyes and our hearts to knowing you, that we may know who we were truly created to be! Like YOU!
February 6, 2017
(Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs)
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind-swept over the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gn1:1-19
God fully reveals Himself to us from the very first few words of the Bible.
You see, this was the very beginning of the environment in which WE live. It was not God’s beginning, because God existed always and will continue to exist forever. But in OUR beginning, there was our God who created absolutely everything that exists. This was God our Father and Creator.
And out of the darkness, out of the nothingness, our God created Form. That form was called the earth. And the earth, covered with water, was made alive by a “mighty wind.” This mighty wind, as we know, was the very breath of God, the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit who breathed life into the first human being, Adam (man). The same Holy Spirit who guides, directs and makes us holy. This was God the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier.
“Then God said . . .” This ‘Word of God,’ as St. John describes Him, is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And through Jesus, we are redeemed. We are saved from the fires of hell, when we believe in Him. And yet, as St. Paul has said, He didn’t leave us orphans to find it all out by ourselves. Jesus left us His Word, the Bible. And that Word is available for ALL who can read it. And that Word is available for all who cannot read it, through our sharing it with one another. So, God the Son is Jesus our Redeemer.
Thus, in the first two sentences or verses of the Bible, God has revealed to us His very nature: God is Holy Trinity: God the Father/Creator, God the Holy Spirit/Sanctifer and God the Son (Jesus)/Redeemer. And this Wisdom, this revelation about God is a Grace in itself. We are His beloved children!
What greater Love can there be!
February 5, 2017
(5th Sunday Ordinary Time A)
Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Is_58:7-10
Jesus said to his disciples: . . . “You are the light of the world. . . . Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Mt_5:13-16
All to the Glory of God.
Our deeds reflect His glory, that we are allowing to work through us. And we are allowing them to work through us, because of our great love for God. It’s a glorious circle, all beginning with God and all ending with God. We are not the center of it all. We are the conduit through which it works. And we are blessed by God, because we allow Him to work through us.
And endless circle of Love!
February 4, 2017
Two good quotes today:
Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, Heb_13:15-17,20-21
In our internet world today, we seem to think we know everything, we know it ALL, even to the extent of criticizing and bashing our leaders who in concert with many experts make decisions about our safety, our survival and our well-being. And the information that we’re basing our criticisms upon may well be in error, or outright lies to bias our opinions. Think about it! What is our basis for making decisions of what is right or wrong? And how much do we really know about why decisions are made by our leaders. Somewhere in there, there has to be a little trust, a little faith! Or at least, give their decisions a little time to prove themselves. Is every decision we make instantly proven?
The second quote comes from Jesus Himself:
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mk_6:30-34
So as sheep following our national and religious leaders, we’re NOT going to allow them to lead us into the crematoriums, as Hitler did. But we DO have a leader who has already shown us the difference between right and wrong. When we learn from Jesus, we actually won’t have to rely on the media to teach that to us. We will already know. And what we see and hear will immediately make sense or non-sense based on that knowledge. Rely on Jesus, beloved. And suddenly all of what you see and hear might just astound you!
February 3, 2017
(St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr)
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Heb_13:1-8
When was the last time you entertained an angel, beloved? Maybe it was your own child, maybe a parent or a coworker. Hospitality should extent to all, even those we may not be particularly fond of. You never know just when you might be entertaining an angel in disguise!
On the occasion of his birthday, Herod’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” Mk_6:14-29
We’ve all heard the saying, “be careful what you ask for.” Sometimes we have to be just as careful of what we offer. Yes, hospitality is wonderful. But there are limits. “If your son asks for a piece of bread, you will not give him a snake.” Mt_7:9 But if he asks you for a snake??? Will you ???
Behind every shout of grievance is the roar of self-guilt, the roar of self-conviction.
The people in old Jerusalem were paranoid that John the Baptist had come back to life in the form of Jesus. But behind their fear, behind their grievance, was the guilt – that they had not listened. They had not believed what John had to say – because those who did believe John, clearly knew who Jesus was.
And Herod’s guilt brought the whole story back into his mind. As he pondered it all, Herod may have wondered . . . ‘Maybe John was right about this woman.’ ‘Maybe this Jesus has something important to say too.’
But you see, change never comes easy.
In order to clear the cancer, we have to kill some of the good cells too.
In order to clean up a rotting marriage, we have to clean up some of what’s making it rot.
And in order to clean up a rotting country, we have to clean up some of what’s making it rot too.
– – – And that could really hurt! – – –
We’re in the midst of change in our country. Maybe it will cause a civil war. Maybe the bad will win and the good will lose. But however it turns out, it will still be better to die for the good . . . to die for the sake of life, to die for the sake of Jesus, than to gain a world, a country, that continues on the path to hell.
You see, as to our country, a lot of people didn’t like Lincoln either!
And as to our faith, our eternal future, a lot of people didn’t like Jesus either.
And like John the Baptist, both were killed for the sake of change, change to the better.
Today we’re reminded to pray for both: to pray for our country and for our eternal salvation. They’re both worth dying for!
February 2, 2017
(The Presentation of the Lord)
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears? Mal_3:1-4
Simeon blessed them (Joseph and Mary) and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted – and you yourself a sword will pierce – so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Lk_2:22-40
The question is, Is Jesus a stumbling block to you? Or is he an “elevator” who raises you above anything that appears to block your way to God? When we come face to face with God – which we all will do, will it be our moment of greatest embarrassment, or will it be our peak of highest glory?
Who WILL endure His coming?
Will it be me?
February 1, 2017
Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mk_6:1-6
So, as Jesus began His ministry, His mission, in this backwater land of Galilee, He would find both people who sought after Him and others who would reject Him. It was a real roller coaster ride. Kind of like starting your own business. There are the skeptics, there are the devoted fans, and then there are those who outright reject you and fight against your succeeding. Faith means keeping on, despite the tough times. Jesus couldn’t help anyone unless they had the faith to believe He could. And when they did, all kinds of “miracles” would happen. What kind of miracle are you looking for, beloved? And then, how strong is your faith, to allow it to actually occur? Jesus is calling us to Have Faith!
Happy February, beloved!
Please stop by and visit January’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
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