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 . . .
Scriptures by Date
To find Quote sources, click on the Link above, select Today’s Readings or pick date from calendar.
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Every Picture links to a video, website or literature
for more information.
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April 30, 2018
(St. Pius V, Pope)
Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” Jn_14:21-26
Love Jesus, beloved! That we may be ONE with Him and the Father and one another!
April 29, 2018
(Fifth Sunday of Easter, B)
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. . . . I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Jn_15:1-8
We may be pruned. We may be pierced. We may be nailed to a cross in this life. But IF we remain in Jesus, He will bring us true life for eternity!
Homily Link for today:
The Mystical Body of Christ
April 28, 2018
(St. Peter Chanel, Priest)
Jesus said to his disciples: “If you know me, then you will also know my Father.” Jn_14:7-14
How well do we know our God, beloved? Jesus’ proclamation about Himself and His Father should prompt us to get to truly know Jesus as much as we possibly can. And, of course, we know the best place to start – the Bible!
April 27, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn_14:1-6
This whole piece was too good not to include the entire reading today! It is a promise by Jesus for all of our futures – Our Hope! We will have a place to truly call home! Not this sojourner existence we live now. And in that true home, Jesus will always be with us (even more than He is now). Follow Jesus, beloved! He IS the way and the truth and the life. He is our path!
April 26, 2018
Jesus said, “From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” Jn_13:16-20
If this sounds like hieroglyphics to you, beloved, let’s see if we can break it down a little. Jesus spent a lot of time teaching His disciples and the people how best to live life. It was all according to the Mosaic Law of the Jews, but with the twist of priority on the people rather than strictly on the letter of the Law, sometimes ignoring the needs of the people. It was not a self-serving law, but a God serving law – and God is all about life and love!
But now, Jesus is telling his disciples that He will begin describing to them things that have not yet happened. He is prophesying the future. And when those things really do happen, His disciples will know that only God (I AM) could have known those things in advance! They will know that Jesus is I AM!
And then, having just washed His disciples feet, Jesus is speaking about service and respect. We are not only to respect those we report to but those who serve us as well. Jesus came to serve not to lord Himself over others. And He expects the same from us. If we understand this order of respect and equality, then when the messengers that Jesus sends out to spread His Good News (the priests and even us), are received, the receivers are actually receiving Jesus Himself. And when we receive Jesus through others we are receiving God the Father as well!
In essence, no one is too small, or too low, not to merit our respect, as much as those of great authority or notoriety are. Jesus is IN all. We just have to find Him there!
April 25, 2018
(St. Mark, Evangelist)
Beloved: 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
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;” Mk_16:15-20
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke no mention is made of the Pentecost event described by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles; although both Mark and Matthew mention that Jesus was or would be, with the disciples after His Ascension. Luke precedes the Pentecost event of Acts with Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit during the resurrection, in his Gospel. And within the resurrection period described in John’s Gospel, John tells us that Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.” Jn 20:22
Thus, when Mark describes Jesus’ commissioning of the Apostles to “Go into the world . . .” just before His ascension, even though there is no Pentecost event described, Mark affirms that “the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” Mk_16:15-20
You can just imagine the fear. Or at least I can. Yes, we saw something incredibly awesome! But they still want to kill us! And besides, I’m not a public speaker! (Didn’t we hear that from Moses himself, and even the Prophets?) . . .
And yet in HUMILITY, we succumb to God’s will, not ours. If God wants us to be evangelists, He will make us to be so. If God wants us to disregard the fear of death in our evangelization, so will it be. And if, in all of that, God wants us not to fear or worry about anything, Praise be to God – He’s got us covered!
Today, as we commemorate the Feast day of St. Mark the evangelist, whom the Scripture Scholars suggest recorded the words of St. Peter in his Gospel account, we also recognize the time Mark spent with St. Paul and Barnabas in evangelizing the world. Little did they know then, that Mark’s words would literally be spread across the entire globe and still be remembered 2000 years later!
Thanks be to God for our Gospel evangelists!
The winged lion is the symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist. His voice is said to have sounded like that of a roaring lion. This lion symbolism also appears in a vision of the Prophet Ezekiel where four winged creatures represent the four evangelists (Ezekiel 1:10)
April 24, 2018
(Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr)
Those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews. There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however, who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. . . . it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Acts_11:19-26
Since the Jewish believers in Jesus were beginning to understand the access to the Faith given by God to the Gentiles, they now began to accept the new communities of Gentile believers, and true, unrestricted evangelization began in earnest. Paul in his own right had an uphill battle to convince the Apostles that he was no longer persecuting them, but was on their side! In Jerusalem Paul found a new best friend in Barnabas (a Jewish Levite from Cyprus – Acts 4:36) who saved him from violent opposition in Jerusalem and later brought him back from Tarsus to Antioch where a thriving Christian community was continuing to grow.
The towns that are mentioned early on in Acts are generally, Eastern Mediterranean, seaport or near the sea localities in Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and today’s Israel.
April 23, 2018
(St. George, Martyr)
After Peter had answered God’s call to baptize a family of Gentile believers, the apostles were disgruntled at his action. Peter responded, “I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.” Acts_11:1-18
It must have been a really tough transition for the dedicated Jews. For centuries they had strict beliefs about cleanliness and uncleanness; what they could and couldn’t eat; who was among their brethren and who were outsiders. And now, all of a sudden, THEIR God was blessing those outsiders in the same way He blessed them, even though it was they alone, who journeyed with God for thousands of years, since their father Abraham.
And yet, where was their priority? Was it in the age-old traditions? Or does God trump everything! If they truly believed that God was at the center of every decision, every like and love, every acceptance and rejection, then, whatever God decided was to be their acceptance as well.
And with that decision, “all the world” was invited; just as Jesus said; just as the three, pagan magi symbolized at the birth of Jesus; just as the Samaritan woman at the well, the Centurion’s servant, and all the other “Gentiles” Jesus served and healed represented. And that’s us too, beloved!
And if we’ve been invited and have accepted God’s call to believe in Jesus, then, just like the Jews of old, WE too have to be as accepting of others as well. ALL are called (even our enemies)! Come, beloved. Open your minds and hearts, and LOVE, just as Jesus does!
Jesus said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” Jn_10:1-10
April 22, 2018
(4th Sunday Easter, B)
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1_Jn_3:1-2
Peter said, “‘He (Jesus) is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.’ 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_4:8-12
Trust in Jesus, beloved, and our salvation, and our future, and our resurrection, and our Lives will be secure!
April 21, 2018
Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha..She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. Now during those days she fell sick and died, . . . Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. Acts_9:31-42
Where there is no doubt. Where there is Pure Faith and it is the will of God, miracles CAN happen! We see them every day, beloved! Have faith! Let God know your reasoning and then, trust in His will. And keep on praying!
April 20, 2018
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. Acts_9:1-20
Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. Jn_6:52-59
(To my nursing home brothers and sisters in the faith…)
Sometimes the most interesting part is the Journey!
It’s been a little more than a month since we last met, and a lot has happened: In our Church, we’ve progressed through the Passion of Holy Week and the Hope of Easter.
Jesus has arisen, alleluia!
And since His Easter Resurrection, He has revealed Himself to His disciples several times in our readings from the Book of Acts over the past couple weeks.
Then two weeks ago, yesterday, we were called to Cincinnati to welcome our new grandson, Adam, into the world. What a blessing! Thus, we’ve been away, but only in body. You have been spiritually with us all along!
And now, here we are again, in the very early Church, in the Acts of the Apostles, hearing about the miracles and the struggles the disciples had to deal with, as they began to witness to their Faith, as Jesus commanded.
And I’m always amazed at how much more I learn every time I study that story. For example: I remembered that Saul, this great persecutor of Christians, was a disciple himself of the Rabbi Gamaliel.
And I also remembered an incident in Acts where the leaders of the Sanhedrin had arrested Peter and his companions, and were so angry that they wanted to have them killed. But the Rabbi Gamaliel, who was a Pharisee, convinced them not to execute the Apostles, but rather, to see how the whole scene would play out, because from earlier experience, all of the self-proclaimed messiahs of the past, and their followers – wound up dispersed on their own.
So then I wondered why Saul, Gamaliel’s own student, would have been so strongly set against Jesus and the Apostles. And what I learned, was that within the Jewish Sanhedrin, or high priestly court, there were two different leaders of opposing philosophies.
The leader Hillel, believed that the Law should be interpreted to give the people priority over strict discipline: For example, if someone needed help on a Sabbath, Hillel would say that it wasn’t breaking the “no-work” rule to offer it. Something that Jesus would surely have argued in favor of.
Unfortunately Hillel was ousted by the Romans in favor of another leader by the name of Shammai, because Shammai catered to the Romans. But Shammai, as opposed to Hillel, was extremely fanatical about strictly following every detail of the Law of Moses, to the extent of even adding many more of his own laws.
And unlike Hillel, Shammai interpreted the Law of Moses to offer no compassion when it came to obedience . . . If the Law said “no-work,” that EXcluded – just about everything, but breathing.
So there were two schools of thought, just among the Pharisees, not to mention the Sadducees who went even further with their disbelief of anything supernatural, like: angels and Satan, like miracles and resurrection and even belief in a coming Messiah.
As it turned out, Gamaliel was Hillel’s grandson. And of course, he followed the school and the philosophies of his grandfather, as likely did Nicodemus.
So when we lump the Pharisees all into this one, nasty group religious KGB agents, it’s really not fair to all of them, because even Jesus seemed to get along with the Hillel schooled Pharisees.
Unfortunately, just like today, those with the louder voices always seemed to get their way.
And all of that brings us back to Saul!
You see, Saul, growing up in the school of Hillel, with Gamaliel as his tutor, somewhere in life, became so violently anti-Christian, that when he needed permission to go on a Christian ‘witch hunt,’ he didn’t go back to get the advice of his mentor, Gamaliel, he went instead directly to the High Priest, a Sadducee like Caiaphas, who was even more zealous against Jesus.
And little did Saul realize, that Jesus really admired his potential to be a “zealous Christian evangelist,” instead . . All it took was a little dance with blindness and another one of Jesus’ awesome miracles to boot.
You see, Jesus never lacked in giving us all kinds of miraculous signs: signs that would convert us; signs to strengthen our faith and even signs to test our human propriety, humility and flexibility . . . Eating human flesh and drinking blood?
But what if we, instead, looked at it as eating
Divine flesh and blood!
What if we looked at our consumption of
the Blessed Sacrament as a way of
becoming ONE with the Divine!
You see, beloved, sometimes
the most interesting part of life
is the Journey.
And once it’s all completed,
we just might wonder why
we never truly understood
(EXACTLY what Jesus told us).
We might just wonder why
so few people really did!
(Much of this reference info on the Jewish Sanhedrin came from an excellent summary in the following Link, entitled:
“What You Never Knew About the Pharisees”)
April 19, 2018
Well, this totally caught my attention today – even though the more significant Scripture today is the second half of the Bread of Life Discourse by Jesus in John’s Gospel, where He says: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.” Jn_6:44-51
(No not cannibalism, beloved, FAITH and Eucharist!)
– – – Acts 8:37 – – –
So here we go . . . In our continuation of the Acts of the Apostles we hear a story today of a man named Philip who was instructed by an angel to go and visit an Ethiopian traveler. Philip found a man totally engrossed in the Book of Isaiah the prophet, and hungry to learn more about what he was reading. Philip enlightened him! And: As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” (***) Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing. Acts_8:26-40
Well, Philip certainly had a way of being able to bring Joy to people, as we heard yesterday in his visit to Samaria. But looking a little deeper into this particular Scripture passage, I noticed something very interesting in my (New American Bible).
You see, the eunuch’s question of Philip, “What’s to prevent my being baptized?” was never really answered. Well, guess there wasn’t anything to prevent it, since the next thing they did was to get baptized! But the interesting thing was, that in the quote I showed above, between the eunuch’s question of verse 36 and Philip’s response in verse 38, there IS NO verse 37 (***)! The footnote explains it as never appearing in the original text. But apparently an answer was added sometime later. And then, even later, it was removed. Fortunately they kept that answer, those added words, as a footnote. And they are just absolutely beautiful!!!! The footnote says . . .
[8:37] The oldest and best manuscripts of Acts omit this verse, which is a Western text reading: “And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he said in reply, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”
Wow! Now there’s a conversion! IMAGINE, if we let Him, what the Holy Spirit can do with us too, beloved! Philip had it! And everywhere he went he left JOY! Are we leaving Joy, or relief that we’re gone? I sure hope it’s not the latter! But if it is, we just keep on praying – “Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in us the FIRE of your Love!” He WILL! And through our willingness, we can be just as Joy-filled as Philip when we allow the Spirit of the Lord to work through us!
What JOY there is in Jesus!
(Here’s a reference link to some interesting Catholic information I found on Acts 8:37)
April 17, 2018
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Acts_7:51—8:1a
In reference to:
Jesus, on the cross, who said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Lk_23:34
Now, beloved, if Jesus and Stephen can forgive them as they were nailing Him to a post and stoning Stephen to death, why is it so hard for us to forgive even the mildest of things done against us – a misunderstood word, and accidental driving infraction, or even a ‘slight’ done to us on purpose. It’s not our death, it’s probably not even our reputation at stake. Let it go! And let God take care of it! If only we and our illustrious leaders could get this point!
“Lord, please don’t hold this sin against them.”
“Let Your love begin with me!”
April 16, 2018
Jesus said to the people, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” Jn_6:22-29
Before we can ride on that coveted roller coaster, we have to buy a ticket. But the ride only lasts a few minutes and then it’s all over. Before we can enter the kingdom of God we have to believe in Jesus. Jesus is our ticket. He is our ride. He is our life. But this new life, this kingdom is not over in just a few minutes – it can last for eternity. Jesus tells us today, not to work for a ticket that will not last. If there’s anything in this life we should be working for, it’s a steadfast belief in Jesus. He will not only get us in. But He will stay with us forever. And that’s a ride worth working for!
April 15, 2018
(Third Sunday of Easter, B)
Peter said to the crowd, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” Acts_3:13-15,17-19
John wrote, “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” 1_Jn_2:1-5a
Jesus said to his disciples, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Lk_24:35-48
So, yes, Jesus does forgive our sins and reunites us with God our Father, but it is not without our own repentance! Three times we hear today how important this repentance is. “TURN AWAY.” It’s a complete and final – “I will NEVER do that again!” It’s an – “I am truly sorry.” Jesus tells his apostles and us to repent and then go out and preach the need for repentance to EVERYONE! They don’t have to wallow in their sorrow. They don’t have to feel hopeless any more. They DO have another go at reconciling with God. Jesus gives us ALL that chance. There IS hope!
Repent, Believe and Live!!!
April 14, 2018
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.” Acts_6:1-7
And so, it was very early on, into the beginnings of the Church organization that the Apostles realized that they just couldn’t handle it all any more. Why, there was preaching, and feeding, and healing, and gee, all those things that Jesus did without any help. (Sorry, I’m just being sarcastic, beloved.) And yet, having created this new helper (the deacon), it seems they didn’t really want to let go of any of the things they were doing anyway. So ever since the very inception of the Church there have been power struggles as to who does what and where and to whom. Even the offering of our sacraments, that have been delegated to the select few, are held on to so tightly, that the deacons, who have been allowed to help, are often never asked to do so. And if the priests refuse to allow anyone to help, of course they’ll be overworked, or veer into secular loves that have nothing to do with God or the betterment of humankind, or begin to do their own priestly functions poorly.
It’s all kind of funny, because among those first deacons was Stephen, who was the first to preach the Word of God so vehemently, that he was stoned to death trying to convince non-believers of God’s love for everyone through Jesus. And this was right after Deacon Stephen was assigned to wait on tables so that the Apostles could do the preaching. Hmmmm?
Now that’s not saying that we don’t love our priests, we very much do! And we very much appreciate all they do for all of us. But if they (individually) allow themselves to become the new Pharisees, then we’re no better off than the very situation that Jesus was trying to correct. And, please, this is not a generalization of ALL of our Church or all of our priests, but it just seems pretty prevalent from this author’s viewpoint. Never stop loving your priests, beloved. But remember, there are many others who make your Church what it is. And that might even be YOU! And maybe it’s just about time someone said,
April 13, 2018
(St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr)
“The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?” Ps 27
God is Love. And there is no fear in Love!
So stay in Love, beloved, always.
And God will always be with You!
April 12, 2018
Jesus said, “The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. . . . Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,” Jn_3:31-36
How does one explain to someone who is blind the awesome beauty of a sunrise, or a waterfall, or the face of someone filled with the Holy Spirit? Jesus was trying to explain heaven to people groveling in the dirt. How do you explain flight to an ant or space travel for that matter? They have absolutely no concept! But add a little faith, add a little belief in the one explaining, and anything is possible. Sometimes we have to take the concept of eternal life, of heaven of everything Jesus was trying to describe with a little trust that what He was saying IS really true. And it all begins with LOVE!
I taught our fifth graders today about the Sacrament of Baptism and the questions just flowed from them like an erupting volcano. And it’s funny because they were the same questions adults ask. They were the same questions that we might ponder about heaven and hell and purgatory and who and why and what if. They are the same questions the Church has pondered for thousands of years. And it’s just one of those things we’ll have to wait until we get there to actually find the answers to. But in the meantime – Faith, Hope and Love will carry us through. And in the meantime we might even catch glimpses of that heaven right here and now. I just did with nine very beautiful, inquisitive and bright young souls!
April 11, 2018
(St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr)
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
In John’s symbolic and spiritual way, he often talks about:
– the Light vs the Darkness,
– the Good vs the Evil,
– Salvation vs Condemnation and
– Eternal Life vs Spiritual Death.
And even though most of those concepts may seem a little difficult to actually put a finger on, to explain to a 2-year old, we experience their tug in our lives every day.
- Do we take that shortcut through the Dark pathway,
or do we walk in the safety of the Light?
- Do we give our last dollar to that street beggar,
or just turn away?
- Do we strike out with our tongues, condemning others,
or do we always look in the mirror first?
You see, it all comes down to Choice. And the big question is: Do we make that Choice purely based on our own decision-making ability, or are we willing to rely on the help of an “Expert?” And if we choose to rely on that Expert, do we truly and always Trust – in HIS answer?
Do we truly Believe?
The Catechism (679) tells us that: “Unbelief is a form of rebellion that puts offenders outside the safety of the Covenant.” And that, “to reject the Son of God is to reject the light of faith in preference to spiritual darkness, death, and disinheritance.”
We heard a ‘case in point’ in our Reading from the Book of Acts, today (Acts_5:17-26).
The Sadducees, who St. Paul tells us, did not believe in the Resurrection of the dead, ‘put all their eggs in the basket’ of Physical Life. And in doing so, in believing that Death was the very end of it all, their primary concern in life was its physical self-preservation.
And their Physical self-preservation and narcissism gave rise to jealousies over who looked or sounded better than they.
And their jealousies led to hatreds;
And their hatreds led to murders.
And their murders condemned them to the darkness of fear and eventually to their own – Spiritual Death.
And so, in the process of trying to preserve or enhance their Physical lives, they wound up destroying both their Spiritual and their Physical lives, because both ARE actually, inseparably UNITED!
The Apostles, on the other hand, with their steadfast LOVE for God and their unwavering Belief in Jesus, were not only delivered from imprisonment back into the Light of Freedom, but by obediently and fearlessly choosing to follow God’s directions, directions given to them through His angel, by choosing the Good and the Truth, they BECAME the Light and the Truth, the Good, and the Source of Salvation for all who chose to believe in Jesus through their words.
St. Stanislaus, the Bishop and Patron Saint of Poland, whom we celebrate today, also chose to fearlessly depend upon Jesus, our Expert, to protect the poor, to teach the faithful, and to defend his loved ones from the wrath of a tyrant king.
And like the Apostles, and like Jesus, St. Stanislaus forfeited his Physical Life for the Eternal Life that Jesus promised to all who BELIEVE!
“For 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”
April 10, 2018
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Jn_3:7b-15
. . .They don’t know where we’ve been nor where we are going, but they can certainly hear the sound we make. It’s the sound of love and not hatred. It’s the sound of compassion and not discord. It’s the sound of “Good News.” If we’ve been baptized beloved, that Spirit is already living within us. And if we’ve been confirmed, His presence is even stronger! For through our preparation, we not only have the Spirit, but we understand a little more of how He/She works within us. We have received His Gifts, and in using those Gifts we receive the Fruit of the Spirit as well. The fruit of love and joy, peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control.
They may not know where we’ve been nor where we are going, but they will know us by our LOVE! It’s the love of Jesus!
April 9, 2018
(The Annunciation of the Lord)
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! . . . the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!” Is_7:10-14;8:10
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Ps_40
Mary, upon receiving the announcement of the angel, said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk_1:26-38
You know, beloved, there’s something about this story that’s too perfect not to be real, not to be true. Our loving God wants us to ask Him for signs. He loves to give us signs in all aspects of our lives. We just witnessed the birth of our sixth beautiful grandchild. There’s something just too perfect, just too miraculous in the birth of a child that cannot be anything other than the absolute creation of a loving, caring God. And He fills our lives with all kinds of signs every day. In birth, in death, in life, God is in it all. All we need do is look and see!
April 8, 2018
(Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy, B)
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
Its been a long long time, beloved, since Jesus walked this earth. In today’s culture it’s hard to believe even what we see in the news day to day. There’s so much sensationalism, so many many lies passed around between the social media and the printed page. How could we possibly believe something that happened 2018 years ago? And then we have those anti-Christians who want to make all the stories, and even the Scriptures themselves out to be untruths.
Jesus give us the answer today. And it’s something well worth “grasping for.” Jesus offers us His blessing IF we can believe even what we cannot see. We call that FAITH. And through those blessings of our faith, we have the ability to bless others as well with that love, that mercy, that Truth of Jesus.
Blessed are you, beloved, who BELIEVE!
April 7, 2018
After His resurrection, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Mk_16:9-15
“Once upon a time . . .”
Most people love ‘once upon a time’ stories! Tell me about something exciting. Tell me about something sad or beautiful, or miraculous. Tell me a love story!
Well, there is one love story that cannot be out done. It’s the story of someone who had such great love for his beloved that he was willing to do anything for them, even die. And that’s exactly what Jesus had done because of God’s great love for us, beloved. YES, WE are His beloved, His creation. And rather than force us to love Him back, He showed us not only how we should love one another, but how much He loves us, by becoming like us in every way except sin.
And in our form, Jesus taught, Jesus offered, Jesus showed us by His own example what love really means. Love means not forcing others to love us. Not making ourselves appear glamorous so that others might admire us, (even though we admire ourselves more than anyone else ever can). Love means just the opposite. True love means giving up on trying to get others to love us, and loving them even when they may not even like us. Love means offering others the freedom to choose to love us for what is inside rather than what is or isn’t on the outside.
You see, beloved, it is God who is inside every one of us! And THAT’s whom we love, beyond all measure. That’s who we adore in every living creature we see!
April 6, 2018
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them (the Jewish leaders), “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.’ 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
ONLY in the Name of Jesus!!!
Sometimes, beloved, we must be very careful, with which stones we reject!
April 5, 2018
In His first appearance to the disciples in Luke’s Gospel account, 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. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Lk_24:35-48
You see, beloved, we can’t be forgiven for that which we do not know we have done wrong. We can’t be forgiven for that which we do not ask forgiveness. Jesus instructed His disciples to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins in His name. So, to begin with we need to look at ourselves from others’ point of view. Have we unknowingly hurt others? Have we selfishly ignored others because we were too busy with our own business? Look at how others see us and we will begin to see our own need for forgiveness. Then, change and ACCEPT it! Jesus forgives because of his great love for all of us!
April 4, 2018
As the resurrected Jesus was conversing with a couple of His disciples, who, like Mary, didn’t recognize Him, He came to discover that after all that time they were together they still didn’t get it! So He responded, saying to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. Lk_24:13-35
So, beloved, Who IS Jesus to you? Why DID He come? Why DID he suffer? What WAS the point of it all? How well do you, do we, really KNOW those Scriptures that answer all the questions? Maybe it’s time to start reading! But make sure you do it with the Holy Spirit’s guidance! He will lead you in all wisdom and understanding. And in the process you WILL discover something, someONE, you never truly knew. Jesus IS the love that John describes. And that love resides in our own hearts, if we just recognize it! COME!
April 3, 2018
At the tomb of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, not recognizing or expecting to see Jesus himself, was asked by Him, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” Jn_20:11-18
Oh, our funny responses when we cross paths with the unexpected! Who would have even imagined to see Jesus alive again after just seeing him dead? And yet there in the garden of His tomb, Mary comes face to face with the one she expected to still be dead, the one she never expected to see again! Ever come across those times, beloved when we hear our name called out and not even imagine where it came from? Those times when what we may have been searching for endlessly, all of a sudden is right there in front of us? Maybe that’s the Lord answering us! Maybe that’s the Lord calling us to see a little clearer, a little deeper than what we expect to see. Open your eyes, open your mind and open your hearts, beloved. The answer might just be staring us in the face!!!
April 2, 2017
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. Mt_28:8-15
Emotions! Aren’t they a hoot! Ever get so happy it brings you to tears! Ever get so full of fear and yet overjoyed. Kind of like knowing you’re going to fail that test, and yet when it lands on your desk, there it is, the only question you truly knew the right answer for! Or when you’re sitting in Mass and the readings talk about all those sins you’re forgiven of, because of Jesus’ suffering and death. Makes you want to cry in shame, yet jump for joy in what Jesus did for all of us!!! Or else the incredible fear of speaking in public and the joy of feeling the Holy Spirit take over and make it all work out, no matter how much you trip over your tongue.
Emotions! They surely can be enigmatic! But they also make life quite interesting. Especially that one called “love.”
Peace and blessings, beloved!
April 01, 2018
(Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of the Lord)
Even though John arrived at the tomb first and waited, when Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple (John) also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. Jn_20:1-9
The impulsive, and the thinker.
The dooer, and evaluator.
The impulsive dooer didn’t know that to think about the situation, it just was. And the evaluator rationalized. By his observation he believed. He didn’t say WHAT he believed, but at least he believed that the body of Jesus wasn’t there any more. And it would still take some time before the disciples would understand exactly what happened. For it was more than just a resuscitation like Lazarus. It was a RESURRECTION. It was a sign that THIS is what life is all about. Death is not the end. It’s just a new beginning to something much, much more wonderful than this physical life ever was or could be. And it is through the love of Jesus and through our love for God and one another that we will find the gateway into this new life. Jesus says “BELIEVE!”
Aside – at least for a few days, we’ll leave the lion and lamb header picture, as we’re still getting snow here in April! Our weather lamb is not dead either. We DO expect her back here any day now!!!
Happy April, beloved!
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