Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Why are YOU here, beloved?
Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?
You are Loved!!
Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .
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February 28, 2018
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Mt_20:17-28
You know, beloved, sometimes the most important things are said ‘along the way;’ not among the crowds, not at dinner, not in the company of strangers, but in the spur of the moment, in the intimacy of brotherhood. Jesus revealed to His disciples – EXACTLY what was going to happen to him. And yet, the disciples were so engrossed in themselves, or so baffled by the statement, that it went in one ear and out the other, IF the first ear had even caught it!
And it bothered Jesus enough that he had to reiterate what he had said over and over again, and then reincorporate his prophesy. He said, “whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ibid.
Are we waiting, hanging on those moments of closeness when He will speak to us, beloved; a word of truth, a word that may hurt, but a word of hope! It may not come in a dream. It may not come from a cloud. It just may come from Jesus through a friend, or even an enemy. Hope in Jesus, beloved. And listen, as if it were the last words you will ever hear! Because sometimes it’s between the lines that the most important words are said!
February 27, 2018
In advising His disciples about who they should follow or not, of what they should do and not, and of the importance or insignificance of titles, Jesus said, “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
In the end, God is the only One we should follow, obey and exalt. Jesus is our God and we have His words, actions and beliefs all down in writing! “Follow me,” Jesus says! And don’t be too great in your own sight!
February 26, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; Lk_6:36-38
And who was it who asked, “What is truth?”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” Jn_18:37-38
Today Jesus gives us Words of Truth!
And God our Father says, “Listen to Him!”
February 25, 2018
(Second Sunday of Lent, B)
the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing – all this because you obeyed my command.” Gn_22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18
In the descendants of Abraham WE find blessing! We find salvation and the forgiveness of our sins, through Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, a Jew. And like Abraham, and like Jesus we learn obedience to God’s will – Love! When we can obediently love, even when hatred and anger and jealousy and rebellion are tugging at our heart-strings, then we WILL find the blessing given to us through Abraham and his descendants. God’s love is there for us, beloved. All we need do is open our hearts to find it. Jesus is the way, and the Truth, and the life. Follow Him!
Homily link for today:
“Mother May I ?”
February 24, 2018
Moses spoke to the people, saying: “This day the LORD, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. Dt_26:16-19
And Jesus made it even simpler, although, not totally. 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, that you may be children of your heavenly Father,” Mt_5:43-48
Well, OK, maybe not exactly easy as pie, but we can start with loving those who are a little different from us. And then we can work on our enemies. Just keep on loving!!!
February 23, 2018
(St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,” Mt_5:20-26
Sin knows no bounds, beloved. And like yeast it grows. So Jesus warns us to not even let it get started in the least of our thoughts and actions. “So, be pure as I am pure.” says the Lord!
February 22, 2018
(The Chair of St. Peter, Apostle)
Jesus said, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt_16:13-19
Thus, the supreme authority of the Church on earth had been passed on by Jesus to St. Peter, his Apostle. And Peter passed it on to Pope Linus, then Pope Cletus, Pope Clement and so forth, all the way up to Pope Francis, our present day Pope. These men led our Church, sometimes in good ways, sometimes not so good. But all of them form a sacred lineage going all the way back to Peter and Jesus. We call it Apostolic Succession. And in honor of that sacred lineage we celebrate that position of Bishop in our Church today, by his seat or Cathedra, and the home location of every bishop in the world, his Cathedral. Through these men, we are governed, sanctified through the Sacraments and taught all of the sacred traditions of our faith. Thanks be to God and to Jesus for beginning our organization, our united Body of Christ!
February 21, 2018
(St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” Lk_11:29-32
. . when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. . . . When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out. Jon_3:1-10
Want a sign, beloved? Maybe instead of looking at all the evil in the world and crying woes, if we begin to focus on all the tiny and incredible miracles all around us, we’ll recognize that all of life is a sign of God’s incredible Love for us! That’s GRACE!
February 20, 2018
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, “This is how you are to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
So was it said.
So shall it be done!
The Word of God!
February 19, 2018
‘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.’ Mt_25:31-46
Hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, ill and in prison? When Lord, did we see you in any of those conditions? Whenever you saw one of these least of my brethren! Did we turn on the TV today, beloved? Did we read the newspapers? Did we walk outside or drive to the store and not see any of these? There are so many in our world today, beloved, who are begging our help. It’s Lent! Let’s try to take notice and offer a little help, if we can! And Jesus will say the same to us! Whenever you helped the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it for me!
February 18, 2018
(2nd Sunday Lent, B)
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. Mk_1:12-15
Ever been in the desert, beloved? Lost, hot, hungry, alone! Noah was, in the boat for 40-days and nights. Moses was, in the Sinai for 4o-years. And Jesus was, tempted by Satan there. It’s not a lot of fun in the desert. But it’s good to know that we have Jesus on our side, whenever we get to be in that situation. He’s been there. He knows exactly what it’s like to fight with Satan in the desert. Rely on Him, beloved, and He will give you the strength to endure, the wisdom to know what to say or do and the courage to survive it. And then . . . well, and then we strengthen ourselves for the next bout! He IS our Savior! Count on Him!
February 17, 2018
(The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order)
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
Are we healthy, beloved? Or is there something within us that needs healing? Maybe it’s not that cough or that endless sinus stuffiness, that’s really getting us down. But maybe we need a little spiritual healing too. Maybe in some way or another we all do. The question is, do we recognize that need? Jesus, our healer, is here to help. All we need do is find that need and ask His help. There IS an answer!
February 16, 2018
Fasting? The Lord says: “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. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! Is_58:1-9a
Before we can truly appreciate the stars and the heavens, we have to understand the atmosphere and the smog, and the clouds and the fog. We have to climb down from the mountain tops to the bogs and the city streets, from the mansions to the trailer parks, from the glitter to the slums. When we can understand who we really are and how far we are from the heavens, then we can begin to climb out of the soil and into the air, out of the air and into the space, out of the space and into the universe. And even then we’re still no closer than the soil of our beginnings, relative to God. If we really want to understand God, beloved, we need to begin by understanding one another. We need to begin by helping the needy and sharing their burdens. And out of the darkness of the space we enter, even in the dimness of our own feeble light, there, we will find … God!
February 15, 2018
(Thursday after Ash Wednesday)
Moses said, “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
Moses, and our Father, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and all the saints are still pleading for our correct response to that proposal every day. With every breath we take – CHOOSE LIFE!!!!
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Lk_9:22-25
You see, beloved, that Choice for LIFE is not always the easy way out. We may have to endure some tough situations. We may have to keep those ashes on our foreheads and endure those funny looks, endure the embarrassment, and yet hold our pride in our God to ourselves, as we smile through it all. As time goes on we’ll find that ashes really are an easier cross to bear than many others that come our way. And if we can keep the ashes, if we can maintain our discipline through lent, when the really tough crosses come along, we can then endure them too! Because we know that losing this life of pride, of selfishness, of me first will only lead to life eternal with God!
Choose Life, beloved! Jesus did!
February 14, 2018
(Ash Wednesday; Ss. Cyril, Monk and Methodius, Bishop;
and St. Valentine‘s Day)
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
If you follow the news much lately, you would have heard the stories about a volcano in the Philippines oozing its fiery lava down upon the neighboring villages. And how the authorities have warned the inhabitants, that at any moment the entire mountain could explode.
You would have heard stories about terrorist groups causing mayhem and death, not only in their own countries, but all over the world.
You would have heard about a political tightrope that we ourselves are walking with countries who threaten us with nuclear annihilation.
And you would have seen people, from their youth to old age, dying from cancer, malnutrition and disease.
It’s all a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the uncertainty of death. Of course, none of us are strangers to death. But how often do we purposely ignore it, as though it would never happen to us! And the question is, when it does happen, “Will we be prepared to take our best – first step into the next phase of life?
You see, just as the Olympic skier needs Discipline to be able to perform at their very best in the actual event, so too, we need Discipline in our quest for Eternal Life with God.
And if that skier truly wants to win his or her event, he’s going to do two things: He’s going to follow his trainer’s directions to the letter, and he going to practice relentlessly.
And it’s no different for us. As we begin our 2018, Lenten journey to the Cross, the Tomb and the Resurrected Life of Jesus, we remind ourselves of our own need to trim up some of our sinful habits through the discipline of both our bodies and our souls.
And that can be done in many ways. Jesus, our trainer, gives us three acts of discipline that can help us on this journey. They are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
And He tells us, that their purpose is not self-gratification. It’s not for our own glory, but it’s done for the Glory of God.
You see the discipline of breaking bad habits never comes easy. We have to die a little to our selfishness to live a lot for God’s Glory.
The discipline of Fasting tests our will and strengthens our perseverance, so that when the true test of our faith comes, we will have the strength to endure and overcome all the negatives in our world.
Prayer brings us closer to God and to our neighbor. When we can self-less-ly pray for the well-being of others, then we are truly learning the discipline of Love; that most important Commandment of Jesus.
And Almsgiving is the life-blood of our faith. Although, literally, it means – the giving of money or food to the poor, we also give the Alms of our time, our effort, our caring and our love in order to help enhance the lives of others, both physically and spiritually.
It’s through Almsgiving that we help to build and sustain the Body of Christ here on earth, as we Discipline ourselves not to live in fear of death, but instead, to just BE the very best disciples we can, as we enter into God’s kingdom of LIFE, now and forever.
February 13, 2018
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he (God) promised to those who love him. Jas_1:12-18
Boy, how I wish I could say that this man is me! But it certainly is not. Try as I may, those temptations of daily life constantly beat me down. There may be three steps forward and then there’s that fall again, and time to start all over. And I wonder, will I EVER succeed? Jesus tells us that we cannot succeed without the help of the Holy Spirit. So then, I surrender all for His wisdom. I surrender all, for His strength. I surrender all for His perseverance! I give you, Lord Jesus, my Love. And I offer you my self!
What about you, beloved?
Are YOU the “blessed” one in this verse?
Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful ones!
And enkindle in us the fire of your Being!
February 12, 2018
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. Mk_8:11-13
A man was standing in the middle of his field, his face to the wind, when suddenly his hat was whisked away by a strong gust. The man yelled into the gale, “Prove to me that you are the wind.” And the wind thought to itself, “How stupid could these people really be?”
It takes all kinds, beloved! You see, sometimes the answers are beating us over the head, before we even ask the questions.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings. Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Jas_1:1-11
And the perseverance is – continuing to share our faith, even in the midst of blindness, hatred and stupidity. Keep on praying for the strength of the Holy Spirit, beloved, and the Holy Spirit will guide you in perseverance to reach your eternal reward!
Blessed be God forever!
February 11, 2018
(6th Sunday Ordinary Time B, and Solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes)
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Jn_2:1-5
Best motherly advice ever given: “Do whatever he tells you.” You see, Mary didn’t ask Jesus to do anything. She was just stating a fact, the wine had run out. Yet, Jesus knew her concern. And he also knew that this was not the type of need He came to fix. It was not a miraculous healing. It was not a compassionate feeding of multitudes. And yet, there was also some remarkable symbolism available in the changing of water into wine. It might be linked to Moses’ changing of the Nile into a river of blood. And in His own future, it might be linked to that piercing of Jesus on the cross resulting in the flow of water and blood from His side. If nothing less, it might begin to get His disciples to understand just who their leader really was, the Son of God.
As we venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary and her own miracles of appearance in the modern world, we must always remember that holy advice of hers: “Do whatever He tells you!” She will always point the way to our eternal salvation through Her Son, Jesus.
February 10, 2018
(St. Scholastica, Virgin)
Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” Mk_8:1-10
The good shepherd will never abandon nor forsake his flock. In Him is a heart of compassion and mercy! And so we pray, “Lord God of compassion and mercy, may your actions of love for your flock teach us the Way to Your heart. May we become your bread for the world to nourish and strengthen those who hunger for Your Words of hope and love. And may those same Words strengthen us against all temptation. May you be for us that bread of eternal life in every breath we take! Amen!
February 9, 2018
And people brought to him (Jesus) a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,”Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mk_7:31-37
In the Sacrament of Baptism, the Priest or Deacon will offer a prayer over the newly baptized using the words: “The Lord, Jesus, made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May He soon touch your ears to receive His Word and your mouth to proclaim His faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen” From: The Rite of Baptism for Children. The prayer is called the Ephphatha Prayer and it is derived from today’s Gospel reading.
If we are baptized Christians, it’s a good reminder that this prayer has been said over us as well. Are we receiving His Word with our undivided attention? Are we proclaiming His faith for all the world to hear, beloved? And if we’re not, what’s holding us back? Maybe we still need one more prayer.
“The Lord God made the man (and woman) to think and the brain to choose. May the Holy Spirit soon touch our minds with wisdom and understanding and our gray matter with prudence and right judgment, that we may listen to what our ears have heard and profess what our hearts believe, for the salvation of our fellow-man and the Glory of God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
February 8, 2018
(St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin)
A non-Jewish, Gentile woman pleaded with Jesus to heal her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Mk_7:24-30
Even us dogs!
No minced meat! Jesus called a spade a spade! You know, beloved, some days we just might feel like that dog eating the scraps under the table. But IF we can maintain our faith in God, our faith in Jesus, He will see to it that we are fed as well. As a matter of fact – we just might be invited to feast at His banquet.
Keep the Faith, beloved! Jesus will see us through!
February 7, 2018
Continuing in His response to the Pharisee’s complaint about washing hands, Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” Mk_7:14-23
Well, maybe if we’re suffering with that atrocious flu this winter, we might mildly disagree about being defiled by something from the outside. But Jesus wasn’t addressing microbiology. He was addressing the Jewish leaders’ insistence with trivia and disregard of the truly important issues in life, like relationships.
We might be the most attractive person in a crowd. But if our words and thoughts and actions are not equally attractive with respect to our interactions with others, then it really doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside, we just may be the most unattractive person in that crowd. Jesus will give us the strength to withstand all kinds of abuse from the outside. But He will not support, nor excuse any abuse we inflict on others.
Our true cleanliness, our true beauty is what comes out from within.
Let it be love! Let it be joy!
February 6, 2018
(St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs)
The Pharisees and scribes questioned him (Jesus), “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” Mk_7:1-13
Ah, yes, this one will be my personal Lenten ablution; to stop my constant complaining. Seemed to be one of the Pharisees favorites! But this time it kinda backfired on them as Jesus exposed the true heart of the matter. They were supposed to be the ones setting the example of how to follow GOD’s commandments, not their own. And yet it seemed, to Jesus at least, that they were making their own commands and rules more important than God’s, and in the process alienating the ones they were supposed to be shepherding.
It’s so easy to point fingers at all the misdeeds of everyone else and never see our own. The question then ends up, where is my heart? Is it a heart of mercy, a heart of forgiveness and love? Or is it a heart of judgment and persecution of everyone but (and maybe even including) myself?
As much as we are called Children of God, beloved, so are our brothers and sisters in humanity. Some may be very lost, but it’s our charge to lead by example, not by judgment and persecution! Thus did Jesus set the example for us!
February 5, 2018
(St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr)
The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary, the holy of holies of the temple. The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above. . . . When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the LORD’s glory had filled the temple of the LORD. Then Solomon said, “The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud; I have truly built you a princely house, a dwelling where you may abide forever.” 1_Kgs_8:1-7,9-13
Funny how we take everything we know about life (which is really little) and thrust it upon what and who we think our God is. Since we require a dwelling place for safety, protection and comfort, we think God needs the same. King David, Solomon’s father, desired the same thing, to build a house for God. And God clearly told him that He didn’t need a house. His dwelling would be within us.
You see, beloved, when instead of thinking that we need a building constructed of wood and mortar to protect us, we realize that we are already living in the bosom of our God, who loves us greater than any wood and mortar can ever protect us, then we become free of all the worldly fears that cause us to think we need such self-made protection. We already have the very best protection that can ever be. We have God’s love.
And that’s ENOUGH!
February 4, 2018
(Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time B)
In the midst of his great suffering, Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. Jb_7:1-4,6-7
Today’s Scriptures are filled with the miseries of life: Job in his physical, spiritual and mental agony, Paul in his suffering to spread the Gospel, Peter in the illness of his mother in law and all the sick and demon possessed who sought Jesus’ healing. And yet, THERE’s the hope! Our Psalm proclaims, Praise the LORD, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; . . . He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Ps 147
When we place our trust in Jesus, beloved, whatever hurt the world throws at us can be overcome. And even when it is not, we know that not even death can keep us from God’s love. And that’s what Jesus came to prove to us. His love conquers all!
February 3, 2018
(St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr)
David’s son Solomon declared, “O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. 1_Kgs_3:4-13
What is it, we would ask of the Lord, if given the chance to have anything? Would it be something purely for ourselves? Or would it be something that could benefit others? The Lord looks for us to be kind, to have pity on our neighbors and to love them as He loves us. This is exactly what Solomon did that pleased God so much. It all begins and ends with LOVE!
February 2, 2018
(The Presentation of the Lord)
Simeon blessed them (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, (and you yourself a sword will pierce,) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Lk_2:22-40
Today’s Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which is also called Candlemas, celebrates three occasions according to our Faith. It celebrates:
- The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple; as the first-born son of Joseph and Mary;
- It celebrates Jesus’ first entry into the Holy Temple of God; and
- It celebrates The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
– which, according to the Mosaic law, was required of any mother who had given birth to a boy, since she was considered unclean for the first 7-days after birth; and was then supposed to remain another 33-days “in the blood of her purification.”
When the total of forty days was over, the mother was then required to offer a lamb in the Temple as a holocaust offering, and a young pigeon or turtle-dove as a sin offering.” If she was not able to offer a lamb, which was usually the case for people living in poverty, she was required to offer instead, TWO turtle doves or TWO pigeons.
In the process, the priest would pray over her for cleansing (Leviticus 12:2-8), and thereby purify her from the unclean blood of her new birth.
So, forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph complied with this precept of the law by bring Jesus to the Temple. In doing so, they redeemed their first-born and Mary was purified by the prayer of Simeon “the just,” in the presence of Anna “the prophetess.” (Luke 2:22).
The event, then marked the first solemn introduction of Christ into the House of God, and it was celebrated in the earliest days of the Church, in Jerusalem, as recorded in the fourth century.
The actual celebration of the feast would begin with a candlelight procession to the Constantinian Basilica of the Resurrection, where Luke’s Gospel was read, a homily was presented, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered.
In the early days, the Feast had no proper name and was simply called the “Fortieth Day”. Then out of Jerusalem, this feast of the Fortieth Day began to spread far and wide in the Church.
When the Roman Feast of Christ’s Nativity was assigned to December 25, at the end of the fourth century, the Forty Day Feast became the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. And ever since, it has been celebrated on the 2nd day of February, forty days after Christmas.
According to this Gospel passage from Luke, when Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms, he proclaimed that Jesus would be: “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for God’s people, Israel.” (Luke 2:32). Today, we look to these candles as our reminder of that Light of Christ within us. And it’s for this reason that today’s Feast day is also called Candlemas.
In our Church the term “Candlemas” (or Candle Mass) refers to this February 2nd annual blessing of beeswax candles by the priest for use throughout the year. Conveniently, these are also the candles that are used in the St. Blaise, blessing of throats, on February 3rd. And that’s another whole story!
I always find it interesting to learn the history of the Church’s feast days, the depth of their symbolism, and the awesome grace of God’s love that we receive through those celebrations.
What an incredible and infinite number of remarkable Gifts God has given to us, both in our union with Him, together with His Church, and in His greatest gift of Jesus – for all of us!
(as referenced from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03245b.htm)
February 1, 2018
Jesus said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” Mk_6:7-13
Whatever TV program, whatever movie, whatever group of gossiping and cursing people who may sour your peaceful spirit, beloved, turn it off, walk out of that theater, walk away from the evil that covers you in its dust and shake that dust off your body (the Temple of our God). And, no, we’re not being self-righteous. We’re just protecting what should matter to us the most – our souls, our promise of eternal life.
As Jesus sent His disciples off to preach the Good News to strangers, He knew that they would run into difficult people, challenges to their faith. And He fully supported their turning away. He knew that sometimes you just can’t change a rock into a pillow or an onion into a ball of chocolate. And He knew that if you tried, you’d just end up with a headache and some really bad breath. Sometimes we just have to let dead (or sick) dogs lie and pray the Lord will soften those rocks and sweeten those onions!
Happy February, beloved!
Please stop by and visit January’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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