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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March 31, 2017
The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.” Wis_2:1a,12-22
To those whose actions are evil, who live in the darkness and believe in the lie, the works and words of righteousness are their greatest enemy. And they’ll do all in their power to stifle the Truth. It was that way in the day of Noah. It was that way in the day of Moses. It was that way in the day of Jesus. And it’s still the same today. Yet note this difference. We have the risen Christ on our side, beloved! And no matter what they say or do against us, the Truth of Jesus will always prevail. And the reward of eternal life will be ours! Have Faith, beloved and hang tight to what you believe! God will see us through it all!
March 30, 2017
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; They exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock. They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, Ps 106
Jesus said to the unbelieving Pharisees, “You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.” Jn_5:31-47
Was just pondering the mess our country is in. It seems we are so divided. Maybe it has always been so. But we’re still seeing and hearing such hatred toward our leadership, rather than support and positive contributions. Well I guess after 8-years of having been led into the darkness, people have become so accustomed to that darkness, that the light hurts. And they won’t even open their eyes ‘to see the forest for the trees,’ because they think that the dead tree they’re hugging is the only one there is.
And worse, they’ll even “cut off their own noses to spite their faces” in order to remain in that darkness. It saddens me to see people who I thought had at least some modicum of common sense, turning to the evil of propaganda and lies; not because they’re evil, but because they are being blindsided by the darkness of those 8-years of evil and the faction that wants to see it propagated. They just don’t know any better.
Moses had the same problem. The people were so lost from having to think for themselves, from actually relying on their God instead of their own false images of God, that they were amazingly wishing that they were back in the land of slavery rather than finally free! But you know what, brothers and sisters in Christ, some people will just never learn. And there’s not a whole lot we can do about it, other than to keep on praying for them.
Jesus had the same problem with the Pharisees. They were so stuck on “the Book,” that they refused to accept its very author, who was right there in their presence. Funny we have Christians, even today, who have the same problem.
Jesus wants us to “KNOW” Him. And the best way, beyond the Book, to truly get to know Jesus is through others: Through those who won’t open their eyes (to understand what true “lost” really feels like); through those whose eyes were never opened (but would actually love to see); and even through those who may have thought their eyes were opened all along, but maybe they really weren’t. That’s our training camp. That’s our mission field. It’s all around us, beloved. And Jesus says “Come!”
March 29, 2017
Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” Jn_5:17-30
Listen and believe! Everything else is secondary. Yes, we will mess up. God forgives. And every mess up and every act of mercy will help us to grow both in our love for God and in our growth in holiness, because we learn not to do that one again. If I were to stick my finger in a light socket, it would only take one time and I would never do that again. Should be the same with sin, beloved. Once is more than enough.
Listen and believe! And Jesus will give us LIFE!
March 28, 2017
The angel of the LORD said to Ezekiel, “Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” Ez_47:1-9,12
Ezekiel 47 is one of my all-time favorites. It tells the story of the river of life. And if we zip over to Rev 22, we’ll just happen upon the same story.
It may be the story of our own journey to knowing God, as we first dip our feet into the shallows of His baptismal waters. And if we stay the path, we’ll find how that water gets deeper and deeper until we’re actually swimming in it, unable to touch bottom. Yet, we have no fear for our Lord Jesus will keep us afloat.
Eventually we find the trees; our brothers and sisters who teach us and heal us and feed us. And one day, we discover that we ourselves become those trees to others. What a magnificent journey.
Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:1-5
This is our HOPE, beloved.
This WILL BE our future!
March 27, 2017
Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create . . .
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying; Is_65:17-21
No more weeping and no more crying, beloved!
No more dreadful past and no more worrisome future.
Just the beautiful present,
in the presence of Jesus,
in the presence of love!
March 26, 2017
(4th Sunday of Lent, A, Laetare Sunday)
. . . the LORD said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” 1_Sm_16:1b,6-7,10-13a
Words to understand.
God SEES and KNOWS all!
Brothers and sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Eph_5:8-14
Is THIS the fruit of our lives?
Are we truly living the lives we were create for?
Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jn_9:1-41
Lost in the darkness, beloved?
Our LIGHT is right there, waiting for us to rely on Him!
Jesus IS our light!
Link to today’s Homily:
Overcome by the Light!
March 25, 2017
(Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord)
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk_1:26-38
OH, that we could have the wisdom, the strength, the faith to be able to answer the Lord with such words! Behold, we are the Children of God. May it be done to us according to His will!
Thank you Mary! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Beloved!
March 24, 2017
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mk_12:28-34
It’s all about LOVE!
March 23, 2017
Thus says the LORD: This is what I commanded my people: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. Jer_7:23-28
Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Lk_11:14-23
God really wants us to be on His side! It truly is for the long-run BEST for us. Listen, follow and gather, and we WILL prosper, beloved! That’s a promise!
March 22, 2017
Moses spoke to the people and said: “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, . . .
Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, ‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’ Dt_4:1,5-9
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Mt_5:17-19
The nation of Israel, which began with the great-grandchildren of Abraham, those twelve-tribes of Jacob, grew up under the influence of the mighty power and wealth of Egypt.
They had certainly Heard all of the stories of the God of their Ancestors, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And yet, after 400-years, living in a land of pagan gods, they were in dire need of some Moral Education.
So, after God had clearly gotten their Attention, through His own Mighty Deeds: like splitting open the Red Sea, and providing them with food and water to drink in the desert, He began their Education with Ten simple rules, that were carved in stone.
And from those Ten basic Commandments that Moses received, over time, the Jewish Religious Leaders categorized and sub-categorized over 600 Precepts, Statutes, Decrees and Ordinances. This was the infamous Jewish Law that the Prophets wailed about and the Psalms venerated.
And yet, none of those laws were bad in themselves. They were just a bit excessive, and actually, sometimes even a bit smothering. And after another 1300-years, the Jewish Law became their own worst enemy, because in the process, it displaced the very God, the very concept of Love, that the Law was designed to bring about.
Thus, when Jesus began to teach and preach the overriding importance of the Love of God and the Love of Neighbor, the people then asked Him where all those other laws stood.
And Jesus responded, as we heard today, by telling them that ALL of those precepts were equally important, because they were all DERIVED from the original 10-Laws of God’s Love.
And He gave them lots of examples of how those laws were being abused: If you were not supposed to work on Sunday SO THAT you could spend more time loving God; it didn’t give you an excuse not to love your neighbor as well, by helping, healing, or feeding him, which the law seemed to prohibit.
So, just as you couldn’t ignore God to Love your neighbor, neither could you ignore your neighbor to love God.
Jesus said that He came NOT to abolish, but to Fulfill the Law. And it’s through Jesus, that we can see God, not as some invisible, distant Force, but as humanity Himself.
Jesus showed us – that God is IN – each and every one of us. But it’s up to Us – to show our Love and Respect for God, THROUGH our love and respect for one another.
When we can do that; when we can Teach God’s Love to others by OUR love for them, then, Jesus tells us, that we will be called “the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” And then we will Be – EXACTLY what God created us to be . . . His Love in the world.
March 21, 2017
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Mt_18:21-35
Guess I have to forgive him 77 times because I never really forgave him fully the first time. Jesus wants us to forgive fully from our hearts the first time! And if that doesn’t quite work for us, then every day come back to the Lord and let him know that we really DO forgive that rascal! “Just don’t make me have to eat with him!” (ha ha, just kidding). Forgive the person and excuse their idocity! Some things just can’t be changed! And then forgive them the next time and the next time . . .
. . . just as God continuously forgives us!
March 20, 2017
(Deferred Feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. . . . the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Mt_1:16,18-21,24a
Notice how all of this was preceded by an earlier Jacob (Israel) who also had a son named Joseph, who also saw visions in dreams, who was also sold into bondage (as was Jesus), and who also saved his people (as did Jesus)! We saw this Joseph’s story just three days ago in our Daily Scriptures. It is the beautiful picture of salvation history! God truly does SAVE. Over and over again we see images of salvation through His holy ones.
Today we recognize and venerate the step-father of Jesus. We recognize his obedient listening to God. We recognize his faithfulness to Mary. We venerate the model of fatherhood Joseph was for God’s Son, Jesus, and for all of us! And we thank God for such awesome models in all the saints. May we strive to serve Him as well as they did!
March 19, 2017
(3rd Sunday of Lent, A)
St. Paul wrote, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Rom_5:1-2,5-8
God’s love – POURED into our hearts, like an overflowing torrent! A stream of endless hope – God does not disappoint!
Jesus told the sin-ridden foreigner, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jn_4:5-42
What are we thirsting for, beloved? Is it success, wealth, fame, recognition or even just acknowledgment that we exist? All of those things are fleeting. One day we’re living on easy street and the next we’re begging on it. The only thing that really quenches our true thirst is God, is Jesus. And Jesus quenches it with love! Oh, yeah, we may have been jilted by love and never want to go down that avenue again. But the love of God is different. His love never ends. And His love always satisfies. Come, beloved, drink from the well of eternal life. Get to know God. Get to know Jesus and everything you’ve been searching for will be found. Jesus IS!
March 18, 2017
In response to a complaint by the Pharisees, that Jesus was associating with “sinners,” Jesus told a parable about a young rebel who deserted his family for independence. When everything he did turned sour, the boy returned home begging his father’s forgiveness. The father hailed his return and celebrated his conversion. But the older, obedient son was angry about the welcome his father gave to his “rebel, sinner” brother. The father responded, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.’ Lk_15:1-3,11-32
How ‘for granted’ do we take EVERYTHING we have, beloved, which has ALL come from our Father? He is with us always! And all those who have rebelled, who have disobeyed, and even outright shunned our Lord, how willing are WE to welcome them back into our family? Maybe it’s even us who are the rebellious ones. Our Father is waiting for us to come home to Him with open arms. Maybe it’s time to let go of our rebellious hearts and open them up to the Lord, open them up true LIFE!
March 17, 2017
(St. Patrick, Bishop)
Jacob’s sons said to one another: “Here comes that master dreamer (Joseph)! Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We shall then see what comes of his dreams.”
When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying, “We must not take his life. Instead of shedding blood,” he continued, “just throw him into that cistern there in the desert; but do not kill him outright.” His purpose was to rescue him from their hands and return him to his father. . . .
Judah said to his brothers: “What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites, instead of doing away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” Gn_37:3-4,12-13a,17b-28a
It’s funny how jealousy and revenge have a way of getting back at us. And yet, it’s equally amazing how Good deeds can come back to reward us, as well.
Today we saw the battle between good and evil in the story of Joseph and his brothers. The evil that stemmed out of their jealousy over their father’s love for Joseph, was leading God’s “chosen,” Twelve Tribes of Israel all the way to the extreme of murder.
And yet, the Good of Common Sense, the Good of Human Morality, prevailed, when Reuben and Judah were able to convince their brothers that rather than just satiating their thirst for revenge by outright killing Joseph, they might even profit from not killing him, by selling him as a slave.
And thus, the Greater evil was conquered by the Lesser evil, for the sake of the Good, which was the intent of Reuben and Judah. You see, in their slightly higher morally-developed consciences, these two brothers knew that the murder of their own brother would come back to haunt them for a very long time. In retrospect, that simple decision of Life over Death, would lead to the salvation of their entire family.
When we think about it deeply enough, it is the story of ALL of human history: From the decisions of Adam and Eve at the tree, to the murder of Abel by his brother Cain; From the crucifixion of Jesus, to the genocides of millions, in our own generation.
From the simple concepts of jealousy and greed, came murders, which avoided, may have advanced us thousands of years in Wisdom and even in Technology.
It’s a good Lenten reflection, because it all begins with every little thought and deed WE do.
Maybe instead of allowing that complaint to escape my lips, I bite that tongue instead, and offer a compliment and a smile.
Maybe instead of allowing that snide comment that was thrown at me, to eat away at my stomach walls with anxiety and anger, I pass it off as their silly insensitivity, and try to Love them anyway.
Maybe, if I listen and allow Her, the Holy Spirit will show me a way to use a Lesser evil to convince someone not to do something Horrific.
And EVERY time we can change ONE evil into a Good, that just may be The Good that will result in the Salvation of a Multitude.
Jesus took the punishment of Evil in order to offer us the Salvation of Eternity. Now it’s up to us – to Accept or Refuse that offer.
And Lent is the perfect time to sharpen our resolve – for Life.
March 16, 2017
Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, But stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. Jer_17:5-10
OH the mysteries of the heart!
What is our heart condition, beloved? Is it relying on other human beings to keep it happy, to keep it alive? Or is it solely relying upon God! Other people, and pets, and money, and jobs and food, and games will all pass away and leave us empty and depressed. But God IS, both now and always! When we place our trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will fill us to overflowing with all the joy, all the life we will ever need. That’s God’s promise!
March 15, 2017
The Prophet Jeremiah said, “Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life? Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them.” Jer_18:18-20
Sometimes the price for ‘rooting for the underdog’ (cheering them on), is that the underdog himself will undermine you, despite the fact that what you are doing is for his own good.
I’ve found this with bosses who mistook my enthusiasm as competition against them, when it was actually meant for their own credit. Sometimes, “You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.” It’s the ‘way’ of the world!
Jeremiah, most of the other Prophets, and even Jesus found this same philosophy when trying to bring the lost back to God.
And we’ll often find it whenever we try to share the Good News of God’s love with others.
But God’s ways are not the world’s ways, and there is Hope. For Jesus told us, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” Mt 5:11-12
So “grin and bear it,” beloved.
The BEST is yet to come!
March 14, 2017
Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
Staunch warnings, beloved.
Sometimes when rewards do not motivate enough for people to change, the Lord will issue warnings. And the truth of the matter is, that whatever we choose in life will either come back to reward or to haunt us.
Even when we don’t immediately see those rewards, we can be comforted by the fact that the Lord promises – they WILL come. That’s where faith comes in. BELIEVE in the Words of Jesus and we will be Saved!
March 13, 2017
Jesus said, “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Lk_6:36-38
Mercy and kindness, forgiveness and patience,
generosity, compassion, blessings and hope,
acceptance, understanding, gift-giving and love,
“These are a few of my favorite things . . .
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.”
(1959 “My Favorite Things” – Rodgers and Hammerstein)
March 12, 2017
(2nd Sunday of Lent A)
Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 2_Tm_1:8b-10
Just when we think we can’t take any more of this, that Grace will save us again, and again, and again . . . That bright light on the mountaintop will brighten our lives. That voice coming out of the darkness will remind us that “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Mt_17:1-9 And it is that Son who will save us every time! Before time began, beloved, Jesus knew YOUR name. And He came and died that you may be saved. Seek His light and trust in Him!
March 11, 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: “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,” Mt_5:43-48
No LIMITS to the extent of our LOVE,
just like our Heavenly Father!
March 10, 2017
Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. . . .
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. Ez_18:21-28
Funny thing about justice. It all seems to be relative. And the relativity of it has to do with the primary premise of WHOSE justice it is. If WE were calling the shots – I think a common consensus would be that if someone did atrocious things all their life, they should certainly have to pay for all those “sins,” even IF they suddenly decided to “be good.” The old “eye for an eye” philosophy. Or just good old revenge.
And if someone was good their whole life and suddenly flipped out and did something bad, there should be some modicum of lenience in their judgement. You see, the primary premise for our justice is – US. If they hurt us – they should pay. But if we hurt others – “OH they probably deserved it anyway!” Little bit skewed, you think?! And that kind of justice is probably the source of most of the problems in our world today.
But you see, beloved, WE are really NOT calling the shots, God is! And God’s premise for EVERYTHING is LOVE! And there is no TIME basis for God’s justice. Love is love all the time and at every moment. There are no ‘green stamp’ collections of good deeds or bad deeds, even though later Scripture writers talk about a final judgment when the “books” will be opened and there will be an accounting of every last thing we’ve done. And if we just happened to die with Alzheimer’s, then, does that mean we’d fail the test, because we couldn’t remember much of anything from that past life, and maybe even peed in the potted plant at the nursing home because we didn’t know any difference?
The whole point, is that every single moment of our lives is a judgment in itself! Would that very last sane thought of mine, cause me to burn in hell, or to fly up to heaven? You see, Jesus came to clean the slates, so that we can have an infinite number of chances to make that last moment, that last choice, that last thought be the right one – LOVE! The unknown in the whole picture, then, is WHEN that last moment will be. So we have to make sure that every moment is right. And if we do slip up, we need to IMMEDIATELY ask God’s forgiveness. Sometimes I feel as though every other thought in my mind is “I’m sorry Lord!” Hmmmm??!
Well, it’s Lent, beloved. And maybe this is a good challenge for our Lenten sacrifice this year: trying to see how long we can go without having to say “I’m sorry Lord,” because there will be nothing to need forgiveness for – when it’s all good, when it’s all rooted in LOVE!
And you know what, beloved, the truth of the matter is, that being Good is certainly not EASY! Especially when we never seem to get paid or recognized for it. Especially when bad either keeps coming TO us or keeps knocking on our “get even” or “feels good” door. Just hang in there, beloved, ’cause God promises it’ll ALL be worth it! Hang in there and trust, in Faith. And constantly pray for the Holy Spirit’s help too. It’ll always be there when we need it!
March 9, 2017
(St. Frances of Rome, Religious)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Mt_7:7-12
. . . Because . . .
If we don’t ask, how will we ever find the answer? And if we don’t seek, how will we ever find what we’re looking for? And if we don’t knock, how will we ever get in!
Today’s example was that of Queen Ester . . .
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the LORD. She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand.” Est_C:12,14-16,23-25
Ester knew that the only way her scheme was going to work was if the LORD supported her. And so she prayed. She asked the LORD for that help. She knocked and the door was answered. And from that answer, Ester, with the help of God saved their entire nation from extermination. It was a crowning moment for the Jews! And her day is still remembered today.
Blessed be our God, who answers our call and strengthens us in times of duress, when we stay faithful to Him!
March 8, 2017
(St. John of God, Religious)
“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. . . . at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” Lk_11:29-32
A great many of the people in the time of Jesus were skeptical about who He said He was. And it’s a funny thing, as we read it in the Gospels, because Jesus was constantly healing the un-healable; He was constantly teaching them about how to become better people, both toward one another and to God; and He was even performing deeds that were nothing less than miraculous, like freeing people from evil spirits, and raising others from death. And after all that, they were still pestering Jesus to give them Signs.
We can tell from today’s Scripture that Jesus was beginning to get pretty frustrated with their lack of faith. And so He gave them the examples of Jonah and the Queen of Sheba to ponder about.
You see, the people of Nineveh were pretty comfortable in their sinfulness. And when a nation grows generations of people who no longer understand the concepts of Respect and Restraint and Common Sense, they become very unruly, undisciplined and disrespectful.
So when Jonah gave the Ninevites God’s message, that what they were doing was not good, according God’s principles, along with His threat of total destruction, the people had Faith enough to listen, and they promised to change their ways (to repent).
And when the Queen of Sheba, a very wealthy and wise woman herself, took the long trip to visit King Solomon, because of the fame of his Wisdom; she already had the Faith to believe that what she had heard was really true. And what she found was so much more than she ever expected.
You see, throughout His ministry, Jesus gave the people more than enough Signs to prove who He really was.
And after all of that, by His own Resurrection, Jesus gave all of us the ultimate Sign of who WE are and who we CAN BE, as well.
Jesus reminded us that we ARE, the Children that God created and loves. And even after all we had done in forgetting that fact, when we return to God, through our Faith in Jesus, when we repent from our sins, just like the Ninevites did, when we have Faith enough to travel whatever distance it takes to meet Jesus in body or mind, just as the Queen of Sheba did, then, God promises all of us that we will live in His Kingdom of peace, and freedom, and love FOREVER.
All it takes is a little Faith!
March 7, 2017
(Ss. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs)
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. Is_55:10-11
Jesus said to His disciples, “This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven . . . “ Mt_6:7-15
God’s Word! Sharper than a two-edged sword. Softer than a baby’s cheek. When we can fall in love with the Word of God, beloved; with Jesus and all that He said and did, we too will rise with Him, achieving the end for which God created us!
And THAT’s pretty awesome!
March 6, 2017
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them: Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.” . . . “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove him, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Lv_19:1-2,11-18
Yes, beloved, this may not always be easy. But if we want to “be holy as the LORD is holy” this is where we have to start!
Just imagine if this became a world-wide habit/trend.
“Take no revenge, harbor no grudge.”
Just imagine!!! And it all starts with us.
Jesus showed us how!
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’” Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you . . . And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.‘ Mt_25:31-46
THESE are the WORKS of MERCY!
THIS is how we show God’s love in a world that’s starving for it! We see the face of Jesus in every person we encounter. And they see Him in us!
March 5, 2017
(First Sunday of Lent A)
After Jesus’ fast in the desert for 40-days: The tempter approached (Jesus) and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” . . . “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. . . .” “if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” Mt_4:1-11
Ah-ha. In the end we get down to the real nitty-gritty of the inquisition. Beyond the “I don’t believe you, prove it.” Beyond the, “OK, we’ll up the ante.” Beyond the “Look, I’ve got something You don’t have.” Then came the “I’m really the king of this hill. Bow down to ME and I’ll give you a little piece of it!” And Jesus wasn’t biting! (Eve and Adam had already done that).
No, Jesus knew exactly how to beat Satan at his own game. And God will always do that. So that’s exactly who we need to have on our side! Then, why are we always asking God to prove himself all over again? Why are we testing Jesus with threats and “prove its”? Why are we making bargains with God, “Look, if I fast for these next 40, do you promise to . . . for ME?”
No, we don’t bargain with God. And God doesn’t have to prove a thing for us. All we have to do is have 100% trust, 100% faith that God will ALWAYS do what’s best for ALL. And that might mean that it just might hurt ME a little. That might mean that it just might not come for free. But in the end, it really doesn’t matter WHAT it cost – even our lives. For God’s will be done, not mine! And God’s will is always BEST!
March 4, 2017
Jesus said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” Lk_5:27-32
We’ve heard it said, the Catholic Church is not a haven for the elite or the saints, but a hospital for the sinners. Ohhh, and when you think about it, that’s us too, beloved! Thank God for our Chief Physician, Jesus! But just what is it that we need healing from?
Thus says the LORD: If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. Is_58:9b-14
So after we work on eliminating some of our own sins, if we can do this too, OH what a wonderful life it could be.
In a former job I had, we used to have to wear a pictured name tag on a string around our necks. So one day I decided to insert one of those cards that said something about praising Jesus on the back side of that name tag. As I walked around, the card would flip from one side to the other and eventually I found people apologizing to me for their language or stopping half sentence and correcting themselves because they remembered they were in the presence of something important, Jesus Christ. THAT’s the healing Jesus wants. And it could be as simple as that, without saying a word, that we become His assistant physicians as well! Cool?!! Cool!
March 3, 2017
(St. Katharine Drexel)
Thus says the Lord GOD:
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Is_58:1-9a
Hmmmm, is there any aspect of this type of fasting that we are actually doing this lent, beloved? But then again, maybe we really are in many different ways that we don’t even realize: like babysitting our grandchildren, holding the door for the person behind us, smiling and greeting our checkout cashier, dropping a dime or a dollar in the donation box in the restaurant or buying that extra box of Girl Scout cookies (even though we gave up sweets for lent).
Maybe we’re not actually finding naked people in the streets who need clothes, or freeing chained prostitutes who were forced in that position, but in every way we can, we DO care for those in our own environments. Keep on caring, beloved, and as the Prophet Isaiah wrote, God will surely recognize us for our compassion.
Blessed be God forever!
March 2, 2017
Moses said to the people: “Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy. . . .
I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.” Dt_30:15-20
If we really think about it, we don’t have to give anything up for Lent. We don’t have to beat ourselves up to try to become anything better than we already are. The world around us does a pretty good job at that, all by itself. And if we’re still around to read this, we have to give ourselves (and God) credit for helping us to survive it all.
And we don’t have to name all the trials we go through in life, from deaths of loved ones, to loss of jobs, to hunger, to loneliness, to all the hurts that evil can do to us, because we know them all by heart. And yet, we HAVE survived!
And we don’t have to name all of the graces God has given us, from the beauty of nature, to new human life, to our food, shelter and livelihoods, all it takes is a good look around us.
Yet there is always that CHOICE. All we really have to do, beloved, this Lent and always, is to keep on Choosing Life! And every moment we do, it’s affecting someone else’s life – even if we never realize it!
Thank you Jesus for giving us the Hope!
(And thank you Jesus for giving to us our very beloved sister Patricia, who celebrates her birthday today. Happy BD sis, with God’s blessings always!)
March 1, 2017
Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. Jl_2:12-18
Happy March, beloved. And a very blessed Season of Lent to you. Lent is a season of penitence, a season of returning back to the Lord. As the ashes on our foreheads represent the dust from which we originated. They also remind us of the awesome love of our Creator, God. A love so unimaginable that out of the dust He created the marvels of the human body. And yet that marvelous beauty that you are, can only be so by the love and grace and mercy of God.
That’s what we remember in Lent. And the least little sacrifices we can make to constantly keep our minds and our hearts on Him; on the suffering that Jesus endured for love of us, the closer we will grow in appreciation of both His love for us and the love He wants us to have for others.
If our sacrifices make us grumpier, if they make us bitter and harmful to other people, then we’ve got it all backwards. God doesn’t want bitter sacrifice. All He wants is JOY. If nothing else, Lent should bring us Joy! And then we are called to spread that joy to everyone we encounter.
May God’s blessings be upon you, beloved, to strengthen you and bring you the Joy of His love, today and always!
Happy March, beloved!
Please stop by and visit February’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
Link to Previous Month’s Whispers
Link to Next Month’s Whispers
Link back to Whispers to the Wind
Link to Saint of the Day
(also in Time page, under Liturgical Seasons section)
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