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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July 31, 2018
(St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest)
Jesus said, “so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Mt_13:36-43
A warning, beloved, and a promise of hope.
Let’s be in the latter!
July 30, 2018
(St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.” Mt_13:31-35
What was hidden . . . that there is love in man’s heart. Love that’s even more powerful than wealth and beauty and fame! Love that conquers all evil. Love that opens the door to a kingdom that we can experience right here and now.
It may begin as a tiny seed. But it grows like yeast in flour. Jesus is asking all who believe in Him to spread that yeast, to grow His kingdom and to live this “secret.” And even though it has been hidden, it is now opened wide for the whole world to experience through Him, through Jesus!
Come, beloved, and LIVE the kingdom of Love!
July 29, 2018
(17th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Jn_6:1-15
. . . And Philip whipped out his smart phone and said, “I can call Papa Johns and order some pizza. They’re sure to donate to such a worthy cause as this!” (author’s edit)
We really can have some fun video-editing the ways of 2000-years ago with those of today (without being blasphemous)! And to boot, we can even get that pizza order done on a Sabbath (God forgive us)! It surely IS a whole new world!
But, you know what, even today there are situations we get into where the answer is NOT right there at our fingertips. Ever plan/rely on your GPS to get you to some remote location, only to find out that half-way there you lose the signal. Ever have your battery die just when you needed it the most. Ever get stranded in some small airport after all of the food concessions were closed! Nasty stuff really does happen!
THOSE are the times, beloved, when we truly do need to rely on God to get us through. And He can give us some pretty creative alternatives to save us from all of those unexpected traumas. The greatest of which is the peace the Holy Spirit can bring to us, just for the asking.
Jesus DID feed the multitudes! And it wasn’t by wireless ordering. And it wasn’t by hidden stashes of food in the backpacks of the masses. Jesus IS the “Bread of life.” And when we truly have faith in Him – we can literally move mountains and feed multitudes!
SO – let us believe,
and so let it be done!
July 28, 2018
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.” Mt_13:24-30
Isn’t it just like now, beloved. We have our good seeds and our weeds. But we have to live with them all until harvest time. So we might as well make the best of it. Even the weeds make flowers from time to time!
July 27, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear the parable of the sower. . . . the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” Mt_13:18-23
In this parable, Jesus describes all those who fall away from belief. When our hearts are not rooted in the Word, in Jesus, the world and the enticements of the world can drag us away in fear, in greed or in weakness. Staying rooted in the Word comes with prayer, with Mass attendance, with the reading of the Scriptures and with Thanksgiving to God for every breath we take, for the abundant grace of every good gift God has given us.
When we can stay rooted in Jesus, beloved, we will know and see the fruit of His work in us: the building of God’s kingdom! And THAT’s why we’re here!
Blessed are you who know and love and share the goodness of God’s love!
July 26, 2018
(Ss. Joachim and Anne – Parents of Blessed Virgin Mary)
Jesus said to his disciples, “blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Mt_13:10-17
Imagine, as a kid, waiting and patiently waiting for your birthday, for that special gift that you always wanted. And when it finally came you looked in the kitchen, and you looked in the living room, and you looked pretty much everywhere and no present could be found. While all along, there it was, right there on the end of your bed. As they say, “if it had teeth, it could have bitten us.”
This is exactly what Jesus was seeing from the present’s point of view. He WAS/is the present that they (we) had all been waiting for all these long, hard years. The gift of life, the gift of hope, the gift of an answered promise to all those Israelites who worshiped the God of their ancestors. And yet they couldn’t hear His Word. And they didn’t recognize His miracles. And they didn’t appreciate the presence of God in their very midst.
Of course, as always, the question comes back to us, beloved. Would we have been the blind and deaf ones, or would we have understood, every parable, every mighty deed. Maybe God is living somewhere in our everyday lives, beloved, be it at home or work.
Do we recognize him or her?
All we have to do is look and listen!
July 25, 2018
(St. James, Apostle)
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2_Cor_4:7-15
. . . . .
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” . . . Jesus 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.” Mt_20:20-28
Jesus gave the nickname, Boanerges to His disciples, the brothers James and John. It was a name, derived from the Hebrew, that meant – Sons of Thunder. So we might surmise that they had, what psychologists would call today, A-type personalities. They were the loud ones, always on top, always planning what’s next and always ready to jump on finding a solution.
So it would be no surprise that they would be discussing with their mom their future Leadership in this new Kingdom that Jesus was always talking about. And when their plan became public, the Thunder DID roar, but not from those sons, instead it came from their jealous, brother disciples.
So Jesus quickly quenched their fire and told them just the opposite of what they were wanting to hear. He told them that they were not going to BE the authoritative, judgmental, power-hungry leaders that they saw in the “world’s” model. Instead, the Leaders in God’s Kingdom would be Servant Leaders. They would lead by their example to others and not by the loudness of their voices.
And that example was exactly what Jesus modeled to them through HIS own life. It was a life that would not always be easy. Although, it was a life that would be strengthened by the Power of God and filled with the Grace and Peace of the Holy Spirit.
And the reward for the challenge of this life of service, would not come in the form of more: power, or money, or status, or fame. The reward for lives totally given up to God: after the heartaches, after the suffering, after the persecutions, after being ignored and driven to despair; THAT reward would be a Place in the Kingdom that Jesus so often described . . .
It would be a place of Light, where there is no darkness;
– a place of Peace, where there is no fear and there are no wars;
– a place of Comfort and Nourishment, where there is no pain, no suffering, no hunger and no homelessness;
– and it would be a place of Community and Love, where there is no loneliness, no rejection, no abandonment and no hopelessness! . . .
Because in God’s Kingdom we will BE in the Constant Presence of our Gracious, and Merciful, and Loving God, who will Fill all of our needs and who will bring us endless Joy.
Today we give thanks to those first 12-disciples (Apostles) of Jesus, and especially that Son of Thunder, we call St. James! For without all of them, we would never have known this great Love of God that Jesus came to share with us.
And it IS just that Love that WE are called
to share with our world!
July 24, 2018
Jesus said, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Mt_12:46-50
Jesus was not disrespecting His family by this statement, rather He was raising those who firmly believed and followed God to the level of familial love. He was, in essence, glorifying God. And in glorifying God, beloved, we glorify one another, because God’s love is all-inclusive. Who are my mother and father and brothers and sisters? Lo, it is YOU!
July 23, 2018
(St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious)
You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. Mi_6:1-4,6-8
So simple to say, but OH how hard to follow through on, beloved. ONLY to do right, love goodness and walk humbly. God really does know and see all, beloved! If we keep that in mind, if not for the sake of our love, for the sake of our preservation – we should always walk in this way. Good words, good news, good advise from the Prophet Micah and the LORD today!
July 22, 2018
(16th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus and His disciples went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place (to find some rest from the crowds).
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; Mk_6:30-34
OK, beloved, now let’s be honest. How many of us would have turned the boat around to find another “deserted place” instead! And yet, it is Jesus’ movement of concern for us lost sheep, that constantly gives us hope.
No, there wasn’t an oasis for Him and His disciples over that last mountain – there was just another mountain! And onward they trod! It’s a good example for us too, beloved, because such is life. Just got the siding done and the roof is bad. Just satisfied one disgruntled customer and the phone is still ringing off the wall. Just got over shingles only to get poison ivy! Will it ever end?
The disciples and Jesus trod on, and so must we, until we DO, finally reach that oasis, or more like the white sand, clear water, endless beach of heaven! Jesus will give us the strength to endure and the Holy Spirit WILL offer us occasional glimpses of God’s glory in everything we do – even when the shepherdless sheep just might be depending on us!
July 21, 2018
(St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus warned those He healed, not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
The gentle healer!
July 20, 2018
When Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.”
. . . ( Well, as the story went, Hezekiah prayed earnestly to God that death might pass him by. And God responded with lenience.) Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the LORD?” Isaiah answered: “This will be the sign for you from the LORD that he will do what he has promised: See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz go back the ten steps it has advanced.” Is_38:1-6,21-22,7-8
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.” Mt_12:1-8
Sometimes we seem to have such an issue with Time. We have our alarm clocks, our calendars, our birthdays, and our deadlines. And if we’re not careful, we just might find ourselves obsessed with time; obsessed to the point of allowing time to control our very lives. And in the process, time can actually become – our substitute god!
And yet, we know that our true God is the Master of all time. We know that in His Eternal Being, there really – is – no time. And it’s in this context, that we reflect on today’s Scriptures.
In our first reading, King Hezekiah was facing the end of his earthly life. His life was at – what he and we would consider: the “early age” – of 39 years. He had already done so much in his 14-years, as King of Judah, by bringing his people back to the Lord. And He wanted to DO so very much more! And just like any of us would do in the same situation, Hezekiah whole-heartedly prayed to God for an extension of Time.
But, you know what, I don’t think that God could care less about how much Time Hezekiah had left. And yet, we know that our God is a God of compassion and mercy. And if it BE His will, as it was in the case of Hezekiah, out of His boundless love, God not only granted Hezekiah’s desire, but He granted it in abundance:
– Fifteen-years were added to Hezekiah’s life,
– The entire city was rescued from its enemies,
– And God promised the whole city’s protection for the rest of Hezekiah’s life.
Then, just to add a little comic relief to the whole, Time-related episode, God gave Hezekiah that infamous, 3-days – of Time – for healing and restoration, which also happened to be prophetic of the three days between the death and resurrection of Jesus.
And then, to prove or seal His promise with Hezekiah – God actually had time go backwards, on the city’s ancient sundial.
It was Love – in abundance and with humor to show the silliness of worry about time!
Hezekiah was so filled with joy and thanksgiving, that his famous “Song of Thanksgiving,” that we heard as our Responsorial Psalm today, has become one of the primary readings in the morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Then quickly stepping into our Gospel Reading today, we again see another conflict with Time, as we look at our ever-familiar contention between Jesus and the Pharisees.
Here the Pharisees, of course with all kinds of ulterior motives, were nit-picking Jesus about all of those Sabbath rules again. And despite their Pharisaic legalism, Jesus proved their hypocrisy by showing how they, themselves regularly broke the same rules for their own selfish benefit.
Jesus told them that just because it was a Sabbath, that didn’t give them the right to act inhumanely to people in need. Temple sacrifices, He said, should never take priority over compassion and mercy.
You see, it all has to do with TIME!
When we prioritize God over time, when we prioritize mercy over schedules, God will always see to it that we have all the time we’ll ever need. Whether we enjoy this life for just a few moments, or for 100-years, the Son of Man, our Jesus, is the Lord of and for all Time!
July 19, 2018
Jesus said: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;” Mt_11:28-30
You know, beloved, sometimes being meek and humble of heart can be a pretty hard thing to do. Jesus tells us that if we can do that, He will give us and we will find – rest! Boy do we love to hear that part! Who doesn’t want rest!
But it really does take a little work to earn that rest, it takes carrying a yoke. Once we can get over our pride and egotism and learn to be meek and humble, learn to let go of the anger, learn to let go of the competition, learn to push aside the slings and arrows that are constantly being shot at us, then we’ll find a peace that we never knew was possible. It’s the peace of Jesus. It’s true rest, in Him. Take His yoke, beloved! Learn those Beatitudes (from Mt_5:3-12) and slowly begin to live them!
And OH how very BLESSED will you be!
July 18, 2018
(St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest)
Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” Mt_11:25-27
In order to see the world with God’s eyes, beloved, we have to become as dependent as children, as believing as little ones, as trusting as those who rely on us for wisdom and truth and love. God wants us to be like the child in order for us to truly understand Him. Come beloved, let’s play again!
And truly live in Christ!
July 16, 2018
(Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)
Jesus said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Mt_10:34-11:1
So, where is God in your priority list, beloved? Is He in your every thought? Maybe every other thought? Maybe just a couple of times a day? Jesus is asking us to lose our lives for Him. That means, well, whatever it means for us, but keeping Him on top of the list!
Was just thinking, it’s only 162 more days ’til Christmas. No more bugs. No more high 90s temperatures. And best of all, our list-topper, Jesus! Incarnation – for love of us!
OH what love!
Mt. Carmel, Israel
July 15, 2018
(15th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
Alleluia Verse, Eph_1:17-18
Today’s Scriptures speak about God’s call. His call of the simple shepherd named Amos to prophesy to Israel. His call of the early Christians of Ephesus in Asia Minor. His call of the Apostles on their first missionary endeavor. And His call to us to be followers of them all, as mirrors of Jesus. Jesus wants everyone to know of God’s great love for them, the Good News of the Kingdom! And that call of ours may be one of prayer, it may be teaching the young, it may be serving in many different functions of your own Church community. Whatever it may be for you, beloved, do with your whole heart and do it sharing God’s love that lives in your heart!
July 14, 2018
(St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin)
The Prophet Isaiah, after seeing a vision of angels, heard them cry out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke. . . . One of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it and said, “See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!” Is_6:1-8
Cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, nourished by the Body that removes our sin as it touches our lips, we are worthy to say “Here I am Lord. Send me!” For Holy, Holy, Holy is our Lord God of Hosts! May the fire of his love inflame our hearts. May the rafters of our being shake with joy. May we live always in His presence, as we proclaim His kingdom for all! In Jesus’ Name we pray!
July 13, 2018
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
. . . do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Mt_10:16-23
When love is in your heart beloved, nothing can take that love from you, not even persecution and trial. Jesus said many times over, “don’t worry.” When love is in your heart, that is the Spirit of God! And the Spirit of God will not let anything harm you Spiritually!
So don’t worry, beloved, God has got you covered. And when we think it’s too difficult to find the words, just let go and God will take over. And afterwards, we will be dumbfounded by the awesomeness of God within ourselves, as we ask ourselves, “Where did that come from?” He’s got us covered!
Happy 30th to my beloved youngest son, Fr. James, TOR. God blesses you with His most awesome love, in Christ Jesus, now and forever!
July 12, 2018
Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Mt_10:7-15
Without cost – you are to give!!
July 11, 2018
(St. Benedict of Nursia, Abbot)
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. . . . He said, “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Mt_10:1-7
The apostles had two directives: 1. To cure physical and spiritual ailments and 2. To proclaim the Good News of Jesus.
If you ever went to a technical school, a nursing school or even a med school, after some years of training, practice with one another and close observation of your teachers, you would eventually have to take that step to “do it on your own.” They call it practicum or residency. Or in my undergrad training we had COOP. It was our first solo flight on the job. And yet, it was still on kind-of a trial basis. The light jobs, the easy customers.
Today Jesus is sending his select few disciples, the 12-Apostles, out on their first practicum. It was a missionary trip. They were given clear instructions as to what they were supposed to do and how they were supposed to speak. They were instructed to go only to the Jewish people, because those people would know exactly what the “Kingdom of Heaven” meant. And they would be able to make the tie that linked the Kingdom and the healing together. The lesson would show the people, by the example of the Apostles and by their hospitality and words, that the long-awaited time of their salvation was finally at hand. Their long-awaited Savior, Jesus, was actually among them.
And if the Apostles experienced difficulties on their journeys, Jesus gave them escape plans as well. You see, just like any earthly endeavor, be it a crafty hobby or a professional occupation, there are always glitches. And in the case of these new missionaries, there would be the unbelievers, there would be scoffers and there would be temptations even to themselves. Temptations to quit. Temptations to strike back. Temptations to leave Jesus all together.
And that’s why Jesus didn’t send them out all by themselves, but in groups, in community to support each other against attacks by the evil of the world.
The Prophet Hosea also fought the evil in his world, through the Words of God Himself.
And our revered saint of the day, St. Benedict, followed in the footsteps of Jesus, by organizing monastic communities, that today we call the Benedictine order. Benedictines all over the world pray for our healing. They pray in exorcism of evil. And they help lead us closer to Jesus, as we seek His Face and live His Kingdom in our own communities of His Love!
July 10, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” Mt_9:32-38
How do we labor for the Lord’s harvest, beloved? Maybe it’s serving the poor. Maybe it’s visiting the sick or elderly. Maybe it’s just bringing the joy of Christ to our workplace. They’re all wonderful and very needed missions.
However, we also need priests to administer our Sacraments to keep US fed! So, how then are we encouraging our youth to consider the priesthood as their vocation? We really do have some awesome kids, who would make wonderful priests.
And then how, too, are we supporting our own priests? Do we help them in their administration? Do we encourage and congratulate them on their accomplishments? We are their family! And we should treat them just like a brother or father or favorite cousin. They are our spiritual life blood!
LOVE your priest today!
And remember to say “Thanks!”
July 9, 2018
Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. . . .
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. Ps 145
Praise the LORD, our souls!
July 8, 2018
(14th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Brothers and sisters: That I, Paul, might not become too elated, because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2_Cor_12:7-10
Sometimes, beloved, those “thorns” can make us pretty miserable. Whether it is psychological or physical, life can get pretty tough. St. Paul gave us examples of both. And yet, following in the footsteps of the Lord, Paul not only survived it (all the way unto death), but he did joyfully, because the Holy Spirit within him brought Him strength! We too can have that strength, beloved, if only we allow the Holy Spirit in our lives. His grace is always sufficient!
Link to today’s homily:
Rejected, but not Defeated!
July 7, 2018
Jesus said, “No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.” Mt_9:14-17
Some things are just common sense!!!
Sometimes, don’t you just wish it were a disease!
Then everyone might have it!
July 6, 2018
(St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr)
The Prophet Amos said, “Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! ‘When will the new moon be over,’ you ask, ‘that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the containers for measuring, add to the weights, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!’” Am_8:4-6,9-12
The Pharisees said to Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mt_9:9-13
Did you know that today is the 13th Friday of the Church Calendar? Boy I’m glad that we’re Catholic. Otherwise we might be worried about full moons and black cats, about walking under ladders and open umbrellas in the house; because, as Catholics, we don’t believe in superstitions that cause Fear for unfounded Reasons.
In the time of Amos the Prophet, the Israelites had lost sight of the Reasons behind their Sabbath fast and their new moon feasts. To them, all the precepts of the priests just seemed to prohibit the evil that was rooted in their hearts. Evils that were just aching to come out in their actions, like: cheating for selfish gain, taking advantage of the poor, always complaining, judging others, and never being satisfied. All because they forgot the God who created and cared for them.
You see beloved, the whole point of the Feasting and Fasting was to constantly remind them of the Goodness of God’s Law: to love God and their neighbor. Unfortunately, even today, we all still fight an internal battle to determine who is in control of our lives. Is it ME or is it God?
Do I really have ALL the answers?
And when I don’t, do I stoop to cheating and hurting others, to build myself up when things don’t quite go the way I want them to go?
Do I understand that it is not magic:
– that people act funny on full moons, that because black cats cannot be seen very easily at night, they CAN be pretty easy to trip over, that paint and hammers often DO get dropped from ladders, and that open umbrellas can poke eyes and knock over china inside a house?
When we can understand the fact that superstitious fear is simply the ignorance of a healthy respect for the experiences of those who came before us, then we can begin to understand the fact that God’s commands, and rules, and precepts weren’t given to inhibit, or suppress, or oppress us; they were given to bring us:
Freedom from the fear of the unknown,
Light in the darkness of ignorance,
and Lives filled with Joy and Peace and Hope.
And it’s that same Parental Care that Jesus was trying to teach the Pharisees.
You see, the sinners and the tax collectors who came to Jesus were longing and searching for the Mercy and Love that Jesus had to offer; unlike the judgment and condemnation that they got from the Pharisees; who, just like the Israelites in the time of the Prophet Amos, lost the Reason for the very Laws they were supposed to be embracing and teaching . . .
Where the true Reason for the Law was Love, and Mercy, and Healing, the Pharisees instead used that same Law to instill Fear through ignorance and selfishness.
You see, when the Book of Life is closed,
the Wisdom of its Word
will never find its true home.
But when we keep God in control of our lives, when we stay ever-present in His Word, through the Scriptures, when we use our Sunday sabbath to reflect on God’s love for us and our love for one another and when we live in the Grace of the Sacraments, then, not only will our lives be Free from fear, but we will become God’s “doctors for the healing of the soul of a very needy world.”
Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus,
July 4, 2018
Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Am_5:14-15,21-24
Admonitions worth our attention, beloved!
July 3, 2018
(St. Thomas, Apostle)
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Eph_2:19-22
Ever enter a new Church or visit one while on a vacation and feel as though you were a total stranger and unwelcome in a strange land?
I’ve been to those. And yet, I’ve also been to those where I felt completely welcome. You see, as Catholics we should always feel welcome wherever we go. We will, at least, be very familiar with the liturgy. But what about the people? What about the “Body” that St. Paul so often speaks about?
Now take those feelings back to your own Church. Are we, ourselves, welcoming to the stranger? Do we judge by their dress or their level of comfort there? Maybe they too feel unwelcome in our Churches. You know, we CAN make the difference, not only to the stranger, but even to the every-week Mass attendee. Let the Spirit of Christ enliven our welcomes, beloved, so that ANYONE who comes, visitor or new parishioner, into our “house” will be excited to come back and truly become One in body with us and with Jesus!
May God bless us and keep us always in His love!
July 2, 2018
A scribe approached and said to him (Jesus), “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Mt_8:18-22
And so, are you still willing to follow Jesus with no place to call your home? Can you rely on a business with no storefront, no website and no phone number? Jesus has none of the those. And yet, He makes His guarantee despite any of that. It is a guarantee written in His own blood. For it is the blood of life. IF with faith we DO rely on Him. IF we are willing to move on without the chain to a home or a job or even a friend, Jesus will fill our hearts beyond what any of those “crutches” in this life may temporarily offer us. Follow Him, beloved, beyond anything in our temporal world, and He will fill you with LIFE for eternity. And THAT’s guaranteed!
July 1, 2018
(13th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” Mk_5:21-43
“Your faith has saved you.”
Jesus continually informs people throughout the Gospels of the mighty power of their faith. From healing the incurable to reviving the dead. If we had faith just the size of a tiny mustard seed, we could move mountains. In a world where we can’t seem to trust anything or anyone anymore, we truly need faith in someone. Jesus WILL save us, beloved! Have faith! And even in death we will be saved! Trust in Him!
Happy July, beloved!
Please stop by and visit June’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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