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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August 31, 2018
“the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.” For . . .
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1_Cor_1:17-25
So the question is, beloved, do we have the faith to truly believe that the Cross of Christ was not a silly loss, was not the failure of a weak man, but the triumphant success of our God to offer us life over death, hope over hopelessness, and salvation for all eternity?
Only through the boundless Love of our God is this possible. Love bold enough to succumb to the lowliness of human nature in order to show us the love that already exists within us. Love to save rather than kill, love to help rather than hurt, love to forgive even the unforgivable. There is the wisdom of God. There is the wisdom of redemption. There is our Lord and Savior Jesus. And there is our hope.
August 30, 2018
I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way . . . God will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1_Cor_1:1-9
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Mt_24:42-51
God gives us the tools to accomplish our goal (eternal life) and Jesus warns us to make sure we use them.
If I drove my car or rode my donkey to the store or marketplace and forgot to feed it with gasoline or hay, and in the middle of my journey that car stopped or that donkey collapsed of exhaustion, I might not ever make it to my destination because I neglected to properly use those awesome gifts of transportation.
The same can be said of God’s gifts of our bodies and souls. If we fall asleep with respect to nourishing them, exercising them and using them to reach our goal (eternal life with God), then they just might collapse and decay in uselessness on the journey.
And so we are called to do just that. We eat good foods. We exercise our bodies. We read positive, uplifting and spiritual works that build up and not destroy our faith and attitudes. And then we go out into our world teaching others to do the same. We pray, feed the hungry, lift up the downhearted and lead others to God, just as Jesus did for us – all for our love of God.
In this way, whenever that “day of the Lord” comes, we will be ready to complete our journey and enter His kingdom forever. God will be waiting with open arms for us, beloved!
And it all begins with Love!
August 29, 2018
(The Passion of St. John the Baptist)
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored. Ps_128
Jesus said, “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.” Jn_6:27
Whatever it is, beloved, in this life that thrills our eyes, that fills our stomachs, that gives us pleasure will be passing away. That doesn’t mean we don’t savor all of those awesome gifts of God. It just means that we don’t live only for them. There will be trials and temptations. There will be sickness and death. But in the end, if we keep God always as our top priority. If we fear Him and we work according to His will in this life, then we will experience a new life that so far surpasses this one, that we will not even imagine how we ever survived this worldly life without Him as close as He will be to us then.
So stay close now, beloved!
Live for Jesus, as He’s lived and died for us!
August 28, 2018
(St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. 2_Thes_2:1-3a,14-17
It’s WHY we’re here, beloved!
And THAT’S the Truth!
August 27, 2018
(St. Monica, Mother of St. Augustine)
We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 2_Thes_1:1-5,11-12
We pray always, beloved, not only for you, but for the whole of Christ’s Church.
We pray for those who have lost their faith in God, that they will find their way back home. We pray for those who wandered from the teachings of God and of Jesus and fell into sin. We pray for all the perpetrators of evil in the world, that mankind will learn that compassion is much more profitable to themselves than oppression and aggression. We pray for the victims of evil, that they will be comforted by good Christian advocates and find forgiveness in their hearts. We pray for our priests, our leadership and ourselves, that God will protect us and save us from the temptations of the world and make us true lights to those in darkness.
In Jesus’ Name we pray!
In Jesus’ Name we serve!
August 26, 2018
(21st Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel and said . .
“decide today whom you will serve, . . .
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Jos_24:1-2a,15-17,18b
Will it be money? Will it be sports? Will it be work?
Whom will you serve, beloved???
“You can’t serve both God and mammon.” Mt_6:24
August 25, 2018
Jesus said, “Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Mt_23:1-12
Both, humble servants! Both exalted saints!
St. Francis and St. Clare
Maybe one day, you and I, beloved!
August 24, 2018
(St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” . . .
Jesus said to Nathanael, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn_1:45-51
Nathanael, aka Bartholomew, was a man of faith, a man of truth, a man of peace. For when Jesus saw him sitting under a fig tree, it was a prophetic witness for those who sit in security and peace. It was the promise that Israel would one day realize when its Savior would come. Nathanael didn’t think that anyone could have seen him there under that tree, and yet, Jesus did! And it was that little sign that convinced Nathanael that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised One.
Jesus responded to Nathanael, saying that if he thought that was cool, it wasn’t a smidgen of what he would see in the very near future. The reference to angels ascending and descending was a direct inference to the famous dream of their forefather Jacob, who would later be renamed Israel, who saw, what we call today “the Stairway to Heaven”. And the gateway to that stairway or ladder, is Jesus, the Son of Man.
Jesus IS our gateway as well. It is through Him, that we can live a better life today (in His Kingdom) and are promised “eternal life” in the glorious Kingdom of His Father and the Holy Spirit after our days in the flesh are complete.
As the days progressed, Bartholomew did witness many divine events in the life of Jesus, culminating with His death, resurrection and ascension. The faith, the truth and the peace of Bartholomew led him straight into the hands of an evil world, just like Jesus, where that flesh of his was abominably destroyed.
You see, beloved, evil does have a face, and we see its impact on innocent and holy people every day. It calls us to prayer! Pray that we never have to come face to face with it, and that God will protect and bless us and our neighbor if that day ever does come to us. For those to whom it does come, we pray that one day we can embrace one another, under the fig tree in the Kingdom that Jesus promised to all His faithful! It will!
August 23, 2018
(St. Rose of Lima, Virgin)
The LORD spoke through the prophet Ezekiel, I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. Ez_36:23-28
August 22, 2018
(The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard, where those who worked the longest grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us (in payment), who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ “Thus (Jesus said), the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Mt_20:1-16
To put the parable in context, Jesus was speaking about the Israelites and the Gentiles. The Israelites who worshiped God from the very beginning of Abraham’s call versus the Gentiles who worshiped false gods and came to believe in Jesus “last.” God doesn’t want comparison, He just wants devotion!
. . . then, looking at the parable from our perspective . . .
Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. And usually the reason it doesn’t seem fair is that we tend to make comparisons without ever seeing the whole picture. And at the center of those comparisons, their whole basis is usually – ourselves.
Yet, we are not blind to the world around us. We know that there are injustices going on. There are people who cheat and always seem to get away with it. There are people who lie, steal and hurt others all around us.
So what do we do with, or about – injustice?
Well, first off, we have to put our trust in God. We have to remember that we are not the judges of others, but that God is!
And where there is injustice, there is usually a system to deal with it. We are not the vigilantes that the movies so seem to glorify. We can petition our civil and government leaders. We can peacefully demonstrate our beliefs and convictions. We can support the election of people who will stand up for more equitable decisions in our country and in our world (even though they may not be perfect in all aspects of their leadership).
And most importantly we can prevent the spread of evil, by being the very best persons that we can possibly be, ourselves, by modeling the life and teachings of Jesus. And when we run into situations that are totally out of our control, rather than harming ourselves or others through our petty jealousies and judgments, those are the times that we give it all back to God.
And so, we pray . . .
Lord, help us to overcome those times when we feel unjustly treated.
Help us to know when to speak out and when to keep silent.
We know that Your love for us – is all that really matters.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of our hearts, we place into Your hands – the healing of our wounded world.
Strengthen our shepherds to care for their sheep, as Jesus does.
Strengthen us to regain our trust in them, through Jesus, who is Lord OF and FOR us all.
And most of all, help us to be thankful for all that we DO have and to recognize and praise the accomplishments of those who have more (deserving or not)!
August 21, 2018
(St. Pius X, Pope)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, 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.” . . . Jesus continued, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Mt_19:23-30
Some people are wealthy because they were born that way. Some are wealthy because they worked hard to get that way. And some because they relied upon God to meet their needs, knowing that God will never forsake them.
The problem with wealth is that often it becomes an obsession. We can become insatiable with what we have, become addicted to it and want more and more. And in order to get it, we might be willing to crush whatever or whoever gets in our way. We lose sight of God and the wealth becomes our God.
This is what Jesus was referring to when He said that it’s hard to enter God’s kingdom with wealth. We always need to keep the material world in its proper perspective, from monetary wealth to familial love (worship of relationships), we need to keep God, our Creator, as most important. Jesus tells us, that if we can do this, with the help of God, we will have all the material objects and love we will ever need, in abundance, in the Kingdom we inherit.
August 20, 2018
(St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church)
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” . . . Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mt_19:16-22
How hard it is, beloved, for us to give up that which or whom we love more than anything in the world. Jesus gave us all the rules by which we could live a morally right, peace-filled and happy life. But then beyond the day-to-day living, He said if we want to be perfect, we must give up those worldly loves as well, to place Him as our number ONE love. It doesn’t mean we can’t still like, can’t still love those worldly ones, but HE is to be our number one, number one. Place your faith and love in Jesus, beloved, and He will provide all those things in greater abundance than we could ever have provided on our own!
August 19, 2018
(20th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” Jn_6:51-58
Wisdom has built her house . . . “Let whoever is simple turn in here; To the one who lacks understanding, she says, Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.” Prv_9:1-6
In the beginning we eat and drink because our bodies need nourishment in order to continue living. And then we learn that food comes in all different kinds of textures and tastes. Some are quite disgusting, while others are extremely appealing to our palate. With these, we sometimes overindulge in eating just because their taste is so good.
With time we learn that some foods aren’t really so good for our bodies. They cause our teeth to rot, our stomachs to bulge and our arteries to clog. So we temper our appetites to fit more with reason, all in the name of health and longevity.
Yet all of that is really only one aspect of our nourishment. Besides feeding our stomach we also need food to feed our minds and our souls. This is where we begin listening to peaceful music, reading thought-provoking and educational books and forming our conscience about what is right and not, what is good and not.
Jesus teaches us just that. If we can begin all over again and eat only the absolute best of foods; food that will give us both the longevity (eternal life) and the wisdom to live this life to the absolute best it can be lived; then Jesus tells us that He IS that food. In the Blessed Sacrament Jesus feeds us with Himself! He becomes a part of us. And being a part of Jesus we learn to find only the best of all the other forms of nourishment the world has to offer. Jesus calls us all to feed on Him. Come!
August 18, 2018
The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, what is the meaning of this proverb that you recite in the land of Israel: “Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children’s teeth are on edge”? As I live, says the Lord GOD: I swear that there shall no longer be anyone among you who will repeat this proverb in Israel. For all lives are mine; the life of the father is like the life of the son, both are mine; only the one who sins shall die. Ez_18:1-10,13b,30-32
Thus, beloved, we are all accountable for our own lives. If we desire life, we will live in the way that our LORD Jesus has described to us, and we will assure that His “Way” is known to all. If others choose not to follow the LORD’s way, their lives are in their own hands. We are not accountable for their lives, unless we refused to share our knowledge of God’s will with them!
Live in love, and honor all life!
And blessed be God, forever!
August 17, 2018
The LORD said to the Israelites, “You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen. You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was, because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord GOD. But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by, whose own you became. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you, that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.” Ez_16:1-15,60,63
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the ‘Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” Mt_19:3-12
I always get a kick out of watching my eldest grandson playing games with his three, younger siblings. Being the oldest, he’s usually the one who best understands the rules. But, being the designated ‘explainer’ of those rules, he will sometimes twist them to his best advantage, unbeknownst to the other kids. And in the end, it’s that grandson, who almost always wins.
Unfortunately, sometimes, when his parents or grandparents get to play along too; the true rules are a little more strictly enforced, all to his sad disadvantage.
In both the time of Jesus and that of the Prophet Ezekiel, it had been ages since either the Pharisees or the Israelites had any ‘parental’ accountability. And when accountability slips and the rules are twisted and broken to the point of being unrecognizable, the inevitable result is usually the same: somebody is going to crash and burn.
Ironically, with about 600-years between Ezekiel and Jesus, it was Jerusalem that took the brunt of the crashing and burning, on both occasions. And the name of the abused game was, “the Covenant.”
So naturally, what better analogy could there be for “the Covenant” in our own lives, than marriage.
For Ezekiel, as a prophet in Babylonian exile, along with his fellow Israelites, the infraction and its consequence, were already in play. The Covenant, or marriage union, between God and His people had been severely broken by the unfaithful actions of a rebellious nation. And it was all the more reason, that God could, just as well, have exterminated them all.
Yet, through the hard accountability of Ezekiel’s words, and with all the beauty of God’s merciful love, the people were taught, that “a promise is a promise” and “a covenant is a covenant” that is never supposed to be broken, just like the rules in our grandson’s board games. And the bottom line, was that there IS no such word as divorce when it comes to God’s love.
Jesus affirmed that same precept, by defining accountability to the taunting Pharisees. And mixed in with their whole line of inquisition, was also the fact that the two schools of thought among the Pharisees, the followers of Hillel and Shammai, had varying degrees of strictness in their allowance of divorce.
So, Jesus was not only confronted with answering an obviously bad question, but also with choosing sides in a heated religious debate.
You know, sometimes the best answer
is always the simplest.
And, Jesus went all the way back to the original rule book for that. By quoting Genesis, Jesus responded, that they were all wrong…
Marriage was designed to be an indissoluble unity of love. So, not only was divorce, a breaking of the original Covenant, but it also created enormous and painful consequences to those who engaged in it.
And, yet, behind it all – there is always God’s boundless love. God will love us through any difficulties we might encounter in our marriage covenant. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us to avoid divorce and will be there to comfort us, if it ever does happen. And Jesus will teach us how it all relates to our own faithfulness, not only to our spouses, but to our neighbors, and to God Himself.
These are simply the rules.
And when we think about them,
they’re pretty Good ones!
August 16, 2018
The Prophet Ezekiel said, “The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.” Ez_12:1-12
Are we there, beloved, in the midst of a rebellious house, that doesn’t know which side their bread is buttered on? We can’t open ears that are closed. And we can’t open eyes that are shut. But we can lead by example. And if they follow, it would be to their benefit. And if they don’t, we did the best we can. Hold no grudges. Forgive everyone. And live the joy and peace of Jesus always. For His kingdom belongs to such as you!
August 15, 2018
(The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Lk_1:39-56
Elizabeth knew. John knew. Mary knew!
How strong is our belief, beloved? Do we believe enough to say we KNOW! Without a shadow of a doubt. Know enough, to jump for joy. Enough to shout out, “Blessed are you, Mary” “Holy are You, Jesus!”
And to know that one day we also will be united with God, body and soul, in the resurrection on the “last day!”
For Mary, she was already there! And in Her Assumption she is now there, body and soul, with God, with her Son Jesus, awaiting us. Thank you Mary, for leading our way! Thank you for your “Yes!”
August 14, 2018
(Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr)
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” Mt_18:1-5,10,12-14
So, Jesus, today, gives us another key to salvation, to entering the Kingdom of heaven. We first have to Believe in Him, to believe in God. Then we have to Listen to Him and follow His teachings. And this teaching shows us the importance of humility. It shows us the importance of being dependent upon God just as a child is dependent upon their parents and other adults for teaching, nourishing and loving them. God will do all of that. But we have to let Him. We have to trust in God and not solely upon our own feeble wisdom. This will make us “great” in God’s eyes!
August 13, 2018
The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of the Lord . . .
Upon the throne was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man. . . . he was surrounded with splendor. Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day was the splendor that surrounded him. Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. Ez_1:2-5,24-28c
If you were to see a rainbow from the sky, or on a mountain top, beloved, it would not appear anything like the rainbow we see from the ground. With the sun behind you and the rainbow ahead, you would see a perfect circle of a rainbow all around the shadow of you! They call that rainbow a “Glory,” based on this vision of the Lord that Ezekiel was shown. More spectacular than anything we can imagine or even see in our material world, this Glory of God will take our breath away! But for now, we might just settle for a rainbow!
August 12, 2018
(19th Sunday, Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.” (Jer_31:33-34) Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.” Jn_6:41-51
Jesus tells us to listen to the Father. The Father speaks to us through the Scriptures, through the Spirit living within us and through Jesus, as well. We do well to listen and learn.
In Jesus’ Transfiguration, the Apostles DID hear the Father, as He proclaimed: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Mt 17:5
So the Father tells us to listen to Jesus, just as Jesus tells us to listen to His Father.
And Jesus affirms the reason being, “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.” Jn 12:49
So listening to Jesus is the same as listening to the Father. OH what beauty in the Holy Trinity, our God!
So when Jesus 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_6:41-51 we have testimony of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that it is so. Our Blessed Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is not just a symbol. It IS the Body and Blood of Christ which IS given, every time we partake of it, for our LIFE!
How can we not LISTEN and LEARN and KNOW the Truth of the Lord! It is written in our hearts! It is written in our Love!
Link to Today’s Homily:
The Ups and Downs, and Life!
August 11, 2018
(St. Clare, Virgin)
Jesus said to His disciples, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Mt_17:14-20
There can never be too much faith, beloved. Maybe the reason things aren’t going as well as we hope they will is because our faith is not enough. Strengthen your faith through prayer, through attending Mass and through Scripture reading, never neglecting to share it in community! The Holy Spirit will strengthen you in your endeavor! Have Faith!
August 10, 2018
(St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Jn_12:24-26
Death to life! We are not called to worship this life, beloved, as we are just passing through. We are called to something much, much greater. Life with God forever. Jesus destroyed death. Live in Him. Live for Him. And He will be with you always. Far beyond this desert we call “life.”
August 9, 2018
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. . . .
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more. Jer_31:31-34
Simon Peter said, “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.” Mt_16:13-23
“I will be their God and they shall be my people!”
God does not force us to believe in Him, to believe in Jesus. He has given us the free will to believe whatever we choose. But the evidence, the inborn Spirit, the faith we have, teach us that God is our absolute best option of all the choices there are in life.
“You ARE the Christ.” The One promised by God. The one who redeems and saves us. You ARE what this life is all about. You ARE our choice, our life and our eternal future. And on that, we stand firm!
August 8, 2018
(St. Dominic, Priest)
Jesus said to the pleading Canaanite woman, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” Mt_15: 21-28
Even for us dogs, beloved, the Lord of all will save us!
Just have faith.
You can hear a little more on dogs in the link to St. Dominic above!
Have a very blessed day!
August 7, 2018
(Pope St. Sixtus II and Companions; Martyrs)
Walking on the stormy water of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus said to His disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” . . .
When they reached the shore, People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed. Mt_14:22-36
Two kinds of faith. Peter had the faith to respond to a calling, “IF it is you…” But after the confidence of boldness faded and the inability to battle the forces of nature by himself set in, Peter’s false faith led him astray. And yet, even in the shadow of doubt, Jesus proved He will still save us, just as He did Peter!
On the other hand, the sick were more than confident that Jesus alone had the power to heal their infirmities. They knew that it was totally out of their hands and that just a touch of his garments, just their nearness to His divinity was enough to answer their true faith in Him. And it did!
What about us, beloved? Is our faith in Jesus strong enough to overcome even our deepest doubts? Are the Gospel stories enough to convince us that we need not doubt His power, His love, His divinity! Jesus can heal, restore and raise us above all earthly obstacles! Trust in Him! Have Faith!
August 6, 2018
(Transfiguration of the Lord)
St. Peter exclaimed, “we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 2_Pt_1:16-19
Imagine, beloved, witnessing something so indescribable, so unbelievable that if you even mentioned it, they’d be getting out the straitjackets and preparing the padded rooms for you. And yet, if you didn’t proclaim it from the rooftops, you’d be depriving hundreds, or millions, or billions from the benefits, the salvation that God had prepared for them. That’s quite a responsibility!
Well, we haven’t been eyewitnesses. But we have become believers in what the Apostles and their immediate followers have described to us about Jesus. He IS the Son of God! He came, or was sent, as testimony of God’s great love for us. And He, even in His divinity, allowed the evil of mankind to cause Him great suffering and death for the sake of our salvation. All of this to teach us too, how we should be loving and living for one another.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.
Listen to Him!”
He is our light in the darkness and
the morning star in our hearts!
Happy Birthday today to my most beloved wife, friend and partner, Mary Ann. All my love always, honey. And God’s blessings to you always!
August 5, 2018
(18th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “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_6:24-35
August 4, 2018
(St. John Vianney, Priest)
After being threatened with death, the prophet Jeremiah said, “As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right. But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear.” Jer_26:11-16,24
Jeremiah understood the power of God and his own place in the big picture. A humble place. And he also understood how the threat to the unrepentant sinners of that town, by God, was greater than anything they could ever do to him. So he pleaded his case, presented the truth of the matter and left his life in the hands of those sinners. The result: they accepted his testimony and Jeremiah even found an advocate to help protect him.
Sometimes we have to realize, beloved, that our lives really are not always in our own hands. When we trust in God, when we live righteous lives according to His guidance and always tell the truth, we will see the salvation He promises, through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in this life and for eternity!
August 3, 2018
After preaching in His home town, Jesus found that His neighbors took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” Mt_13:54-5
Sometimes it drives me crazy to hear a Gospel passage that, it seems we had just recently heard. In today’s case, it was actually, only 3-weeks ago, on the 14th Sunday, that we heard Mark’s Gospel version of this same reading from Matthew.
So, it is a relief, brothers and sisters, that we are not crazy, and it’s not an Alzheimer’s moment. It’s just the Church making sure, again, that we got the point. And the point is, that WE, as devout Christians, must always keep our minds open to finding God, in sometimes, even the least expected places, like in our friends, or even the enemies who we think we know so well.
If we remember the topic of Time, that we considered a couple of weeks ago; and in particular, the fact that God is not as overly focused about Time as we are; then, we also know that God truly does have the where-with-all to inspire people to change with time.
They, or we, may go from sinners to saints, from shyness to prophets, from enemies to the very best of friends. But, through it all, it’s up to US to seek out those Changes in others, and in ourselves, by being not only attentive and compassionate with them, but then, by responding with thought to those changes, rather than reacting on impulse to them.
You see, even a response of cautious acceptance would be better than the blind rejection that Jesus received from His hardened neighbors or the deadly threat that Jeremiah received from his fellow Judeans.
Because, rejecting the Word of God, from wherever its source may be, is just like rejecting God Himself. And, it’s important to know that God is never out to “get” us. But He IS out to help us find a ‘better way’ that can lead us back to Him. And sometimes that “better way,” just might challenge us in our own “comfortable sinfulness.”
If that Prophet, or that uninhibited Child, or even the Church itself has the courage to advise us to reform our ways, it most likely is NOT said for their benefit, but for our good. And maybe it’s not even just for our individual benefit, but, for the good of the whole community, or even the whole world.
Our reminder today is to just be open. Open to the Changes that happen within ourselves. And open to the Beauty and the Wisdom of God that comes to us from the least expected sources, and at the least expected times.
August 2, 2018
This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, Jer_18:1-6
“There he was!” Don’t you wish, beloved, that the Lord’s will was as clear as this all the time. There He is, in the potter! There He is, in the trash collector! There He is, in my baby brother, or big sister, or mom, or wife, or boss!
“Turned out badly.” Isn’t that a contradiction of belief, beloved? How could anything God creates turn out badly? Well…….
What if God didn’t give us that awesome gift of Free Will? So then there wouldn’t be bad choices and good ones. And yet, God didn’t create the choices, He created US. He created the clay, so that we can do whatever we choose with it. And it’s all GOOD clay! Through our gift of free will, we can make a flower or a gun, we can make a heart or a skull and crossbones. It’s our choice!
Yet, don’t bad choices happen in our lives all the time! And they might not even be OUR bad choices, but those of someone else that ruins our day. Ever had one of those days, beloved, when nothing seems to turn out Good – as hard as we try?
And yet, without a moment’s breath, our Potter (in Jeremiah’s story) doesn’t give up. He doesn’t get mad and step on that bad creation. He doesn’t shoot it or pummel it or throw it away. He simply tries again!!!
In God’s case, it up to us to allow Him to remold us into something even better that we already are.
And in our case, the message is to never give up! Never give up on God. Never give up on our neighbors, our challenges, even our enemies! And never give up on ourselves.
We are His handiwork,
and He will never give up on us!
August 1, 2018
(St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
The Prophet Jeremiah said, “When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” . . .
Thus the LORD answered me: “If you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand. . . .
I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass. Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.” Jer_15:10,16-21
IF we repent, beloved; IF we can love God with even a fraction of the depth of Jeremiah’s love; If we can place our trust wholly in Jesus, then all the promises of God and Jesus will be ours: salvation, holiness, protection, love and hope.
And THAT’s worth working towards!
Happy August, beloved.
May the Lord bless you and keep you
for another Spirit-filled month!
Please stop by and visit July’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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