Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Why are YOU here, beloved?
Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?
You are Loved!!
Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .
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March 31, 2018
(Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil Mass)
There are actually no daily readings for today, Holy Saturday. But we do have the extensive readings for the Easter Vigil, going through all of salvation history. And it all begins with this quote from the First Reading:
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day. Gn_1:1-2:2
Did you ever notice how in those first two sentences of the Bible we are introduced to the main Character of the entire Bible: “God Created” (Father), “mighty wind” (Holy Spirit) and “God said” (the Word – Jesus). Character (not characters) as ONE Holy Trinity, united and consubstantial!
And then there is the Light! That Almighty Light! Separated from the darkness. The light and the truth – they go together. But the light and the darkness are separated. In God there is no darkness. So, what about us, beloved? Are we living in the light or the dark? Are WE the light to our world, or the darkness?
We are our Father’s creation, so we must be the light! We hold within us that Breath, that Wind of the Holy Spirit, so we must be Light. And we are living the Word of Truth, the Word of Jesus in every thought, in every action, so we must be that LIGHT! Oh how blessed are we, beloved, to be the very light of God. The light and the Truth and the Love that Jesus planted within us. Happy Holy Saturday! Not in the darkness of a tomb, but in the light of your heart!
And God saw how good it was!
March 30, 2018
(Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, B)
See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him,
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man,
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it. . . .
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed. Is_52:13—53:12
“By His stripes we were healed!”
Who could fathom the pain. A stripe for that lie. A nail for that curse. A lance for that hatred. A thorn for that revenge. How could we ever, ever keep on sinning when we know what Jesus paid for those transgressions. Always remember, beloved, and come, let us be transformed together. Transformed in righteousness.
Transformed in His Love!
March 29, 2018
(Holy Thursday, B)
In celebration of the Passover in a new way, with a new Covenant, Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. 1_Cor_11:23-26
What intense, intense love Jesus had for us! As a mother might offer her life in exchange for that of her child. As a lover would do the same for their beloved. Jesus did exactly that for us strangers, us sinners, us unworthy, lost and bruised children of God His Father. THAT’s the epitome of love. How can we not do the same for His sake? LOVE one another!
EVERY time we partake in the Blessed Sacrament, beloved, we proclaim His death. We remember His love. We become a little bit more a true part of His body, His soul, His divinity within us. And that’s something to live for!
March 28, 2018
(Wednesday of Holy Week)
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Is_50:4-9a
In a world where there IS no moral right; where anything goes; and where those who believe in Jesus, lose their jobs, their families, their homes and even their lives; we hold firm, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to our Faith.
This Holy Week, in our remembrance of the Passion of our Lord, we see the extreme of human depravity. We see the weakness of Peter’s Faith in denying his knowledge of Jesus. We see the greed of betrayal, as Judas hands over his Lord for a few small coins. We see the evil of a mob mentality, thirsting for blood. And we see the cruelty of the Roman soldiers, whose loyalty to a ruthless Empire, sees no bounds to the pain it inflicts, even to the guiltless.
And yet, through it all, we also see the incredible goodness of our God. We see the intense Love of Jesus’ apostle John; not only for Jesus, but for His mother, Mary, as well. We see the dauntless Faith of the prisoner, Dismas, crucified next to Jesus. We see the Faith Conversion of a Roman Centurion, whose heart was moved after assisting in the execution of Jesus. And we witness the intense Hope of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
In a world where moral righteousness and Faith in Jesus seem to be so sadly lost, we know, beloved, that Jesus still holds a place in heaven for us, and for the lost – if they so choose to believe.
With His support, and with His strength; we can choose to avoid the path of Judas. We can choose to endure the fear of Peter, rather than succumbing to cowardice. And we WILL choose, even on our own death-beds, to Faithfully proclaim Jesus, as our Lord and Savior, to the Glory of ALL that is Good, and to the Glory of our loving God and Father, who lives and reigns forever and ever.
March 27, 2018
(Tuesday of Holy Week)
Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” Jn_13:21-33,36-38
If you ever went food shopping when you were hungry, when you were starving, you’d know the temptation to fill three shopping carts full of all kinds of food you’d probably never eat. Peter was so hungry for the Lord, he believed he could even die for him. But when the actual event happened, Peter, in reality, fell away, just like all the rest (except John), for fear of his own life!
Now there’s a scary thought. Are we hanging on to the Lord just to satisfy our own hunger, beloved? Or are we so truly connected to Jesus, like John, that we would even go into the bull ring with him? Saying we have faith is one thing. But actually taking the steps into the unknown, into the risk, is where our true faith will be tested. How willing am I to walk along with Jesus through His Passion? How willing am I to sit beside His cross, to comfort His mom, to follow Him – all the way back Home?
March 26, 2018
(Monday of Holy Week)
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. Is_42:1-7
JESUS is our Hope, our light, our justice. Trust in Him and He will bring you peace. The peace of knowing that no matter where the world directs us, no matter what it does to us, we will be freed, we will be given sight, we will no longer live in its darkness when we trust in Him.
March 25, 2018
(Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion)
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross. Phil_2:6-11
Death to Eternal Life!
Follow me . . .
March 24, 2018
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
. . the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man (Jesus) is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. Jn_11:45-56
The reason why the Pharisees wanted to eliminate Jesus. Not totally selfish, power hungry greed, but the fear of extinction. And Caiaphas, he knew his Scriptures! Unfortunately it was Jesus who was at the center, as the sacrificial lamb.
. . . And the suspense heightens, as we enter “Holy Week!”
March 23, 2018
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion. Jer_20:10-13
The LORD is ALWAYS with me!
March 22, 2018
Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jn_8:51-59
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. Gn_17:3-9
Too Good to be true?
Too True to be real?
Too Real to be acceptable?
A number of years ago, as a naive and gullible father of a driving-age daughter, I was caught by an internet, sales scam for a car that both, cost me financially, and left me with a very bruised fatherly ego. The website, the pictures, the legitimacy of it all, was quite convincing – but something about it was just too good to be true. And, as I found out, too late, it wasn’t true.
When we experience incidents like that, over and over again, in all aspects of our lives, it begins to make us very skeptical of anything being True at all in life.
And so, we enter the stories of God and Abraham, of Jesus and the Jews – from the back-side, from the “skeptic’s side.” Sure it’s easy for us to look back at the ancient Bible stories and condemn those non-believing Jews. But how would WE have responded to that same discussion with Jesus? How DO we respond to the honest salesman who is just trying to pay his bills and feed his family?
Too Good to be true?
Too True to be real?
Or, just too Real to be acceptable?
Here was Abram, 99-years old and childless with his wife Sarai. . . . And the God who had directed him away from his family, and into a foreign desert, was promising, not only an expansive new home to live in, but a whole flock of ‘little Abrahams’ to fill it. It was a Covenant promise that God had sealed with a new name for Abram, and that Abraham would seal in his own blood of circumcision, as proof of God’s Lordship over him.
Too Good to be true?
Too True to be real?
And Abraham’s response?
Abraham couldn’t even take the message standing up, falling to the ground in laughter!!
And who said that God didn’t have a sense of humor either, as He named that first-born and only son of Abraham and Sarah – Isaac, a name which means laughter!
It was Good. It was True. It was Real. And, in Faith, Abraham found it quite Acceptable, all skepticism aside!
Then, when we look at the ongoing quarrel between Jesus and “the Jews” in John’s Gospel, we see a total disconnect between what Jesus was saying and what the Jews were understanding.
If we put it in today’s terms, it might be like a fifth grader having a discussion with Ph.D. on the metabolic biochemistry of respiration. For the doctor it would be as simple as breathing, but for the child, he just couldn’t see beyond his own nose.
You see, while Jesus was taking about Eternal Life, the Jews were arguing about physical death. . . .
While Jesus was relating His Oneness with God the Father, using the most revered name for God the Jews knew, “I AM,” the Jews simply heard blasphemy. Which is funny, because they must have missed the water to wine, the walking on water, the blind man seeing, and the multiplication of loaves, which only God could have done.
And while Jesus was describing the fulfillment of God’s Covenant with Abraham, the Jews couldn’t get past the Goodness to see the Truth, and Accept the reality of it all.
It was just too Good to be true, too True to be real, and too Real, too – right in their faces, to be acceptable. And so they Rejected Jesus and everything He proclaimed, instead, because it was easier and safer that way. And because the world had beaten them up so much, that they couldn’t believe anything any more.
You know, brothers and sisters in Christ, sometimes we have to, just step back and Accept on Faith, that which is so far beyond our understanding that only God can know; and maybe even Laugh about it.
You see, God has made the promise. Now, all WE need do – is Believe and Follow the path that Jesus has laid out for us.
It’s a path that is too Good,
It’s a path that is too True,
It’s a path that is too Real, to NOT be Acceptable,
because it’s the path of Love that leads us –
to Eternal Life.
March 21, 2018
King Nebuchadnezzar said: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?
This little group of Daniel’s friends were so faithful to God, even though they were enslaved in a foreign land, that they outright refused the king’s demand to worship his idols. So the king set out to incinerate them. And in doing so . . .
Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Assuredly, O king,” they answered. “But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.” Dn_3:14-20,91-92,95
What fires are we able to walk through, beloved, only because that “Son of God” is walking with us? Sometimes life can get pretty hot. But when we invite our Lord, Jesus to walk us through it, we might even see miracles abound: like a converted, heathen king, like life where it just shouldn’t be, like hope and goodness and mercy! Hang in there beloved. And never forget your Savior!
March 20, 2018
Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” Jn_8:21-30
Still searching for God, beloved? He’s right there in Jesus. Lift Him up in your thoughts, in your hearts, in your sight, and He will teach you about God, our Father. His words are God’s words. His actions are those of His Father. And we, today, are the arms and feet, the minds and hearts of Jesus for others, when we lift Him up!
March 19, 2018
(St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Joseph her (Blessed Virgin Mary) husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Mt_1:16,18-21,24a
A man of righteousness. A man of listening. A man of obedience. A working man. A loving man. A man of patience. A man of faith. The very best of husbands and fathers. A guide, a mentor, a teacher, a leader. Joseph, a man of virtue. Joseph, a man chosen by God for a very special role in the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you God for choosing Joseph. Thank you Joseph for saying YES!
March 18, 2018
(Fifth Sunday of Lent, B)
Thus says the LORD: “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. 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
Maybe instead of shoving God on people who barely have the time to breathe, let along take on something else in their lives, we showed them that He’s already there in their hearts and in their thoughts. He’s there to help them through those tough times and their overburdened schedules. He’s there when they make those decisions to choose right instead of evil, instead of revenge. He’s already there when they help someone in need or smile at someone having a bad day. He’s there when they tuck those kiddos in at night and when they patiently endure their daytime antics and those of their bosses.
You see, they really don’t need something new. What they need is to realize that the answers to most of their problems are already within them. Just like finding a little known feature on their smartphone or car that can make their life so much easier! God is there already! And He’s waiting for them to find Him so that He can forgive all those oopses that are weighing them down and lighten their loads and bring them peace!
March 17, 2018
(St. Patrick, Bishop)
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him (Jesus) earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” Jn_7:40-53
The laws of morality and justice really did exist in the time of Jesus. But just like today, it seemed the popular opinion reigned over all. He who has the loudest mouth wins. What a sorry state of existence! Stay strong to your faith, beloved! And regardless of what “they” think or publish, the Truth is still and always will be our King! And His name is Jesus!
March 16, 2018
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Ps_34
If the current status of the world breaks our hearts, if our own health or relationships suffer. If we’re downtrodden, or lonely, or broken in any way, remember the LORD is close at hand. He will lift us up. And we will survive!
Trust in Jesus and know that He is always there for us, beloved!
March 15, 2018
In continuation of His discourse with the Jews from yesterday’s reading, Jesus said, “I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?” Jn_5:31-47
When logic, physical proof and the testimony of others cannot convince one of the Truth of the matter. Then there is not much hope left for that one to ever be saved. Salvation begins with belief in our own hearts. And God wants nothing less than every one of us to be saved. God Himself said of Jesus, “Listen to Him!” It’s really not that hard, beloved. All we have to do is start disconnecting from all the other untruths that bombard us from the time we awake until we lay our heads down for rest. Then God will fill in the space. Love will fill in the space. And love will lead us directly to that Eternal Salvation we so desire, and God so desires!
March 13, 2018
“Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” Ez_47:1-9,12
The river of everlasting life.
The fountain of youth.
The water from the side of Christ.
The Church of God.
The sacred communion of the Body of Christ (us), all the saints in heaven and Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in the Mass, and in our hearts.
The living Word of God, from Jesus, through the evangelists, and into our minds, and into our hearts.
Our healing of the world by sharing that Word,
by sharing that life-giving river of Love.
The water, the trees, the leaves, the fruit,
the food, the medicine, the LIFE!
From beginning to end . . .
The Love of God!
March 12, 2018
Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; Is_65:17-21
“No more crying there, we are going to see the king . . .
Alleluia, Alleluia, we’re going to see the king!”
March 11, 2018
(4th Sunday Lent, B, Laetare Sunday)
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Jn_3:14-21
THAT THE WORLD MIGHT BE
SAVED THROUGH HIM!
We can’t be saved, beloved, unless we recognize our NEED to BE saved!
You see, Jesus did not come to punish us. He did not come to throw cold water on all our fun. He did not come to create a huge organization of titles and hierarchy and organization and complication! Jesus came because of God’s unfathomable LOVE for us. A love He wants to share. A love He wants us to enjoy as well. Jesus came to free us from our own disorders and show us a better way – the BEST way to live! But we first have to find those disorders in ourselves. Yes, it’s easy to see all the wrong in “the world.” But what is it in ourselves that with a little bit of change will change the world as well? When we can find our own NEED to be saved, then we’ll want everyone else we love to be saved by Jesus too. And eventually, everyone else we love will become every living being, every loved creation of God on this planet.
It’s Lent, beloved! It’s time for us to look inside and find the needs. And then to let Jesus do the saving!
“For God SO love us that He gave . . . .”
And there, we’ll discover true JOY!
March 10, 2018
Jesus told a parable about two men, one proud and haughty and the other ashamed and humble: “…the (humble) tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk_18:9-14
If we take the highest place, beloved, there is only direction we can go: down. But if we take a lower place, although we can go lower still, we can also be saved, redeemed and even exalted! We are justified because in recognizing our imperfection we give God the space to perfect us! And blessed are we, then!
March 9, 2018
(St. Frances of Rome, Religious)
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mk_12:28-34
If you were to sum up the entire Bible in two sentences, beloved, these would be those two. Love God and love neighbor! Want peace? Want comfort? Want salvation? If we can keep our lives filled with these two loves, then all the frustrations, all the challenges, all the failures in life can be overcome, or at least soothed enough to keep on keeping on.
It’s all about Love! And that’s exactly what Jesus taught us!
March 8, 2018
(St. John of God, Religious)
Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Lk_11:14-23
Jesus came to gather His faithful together. But not all came. And not all believed His words. There were the oblivious. There were the obstinate. There were the skeptics. Sometimes the gathering took a little more work. And sometimes it just seemed hopeless. But He never gave up on anyone. And neither should we, beloved. We are called to do our very best at gathering. But when it doesn’t seem possible, leave it in God’s hands and God who knows all things will see it to its optimal climax. But we are never to do anything that would scatter His faithful. We can scatter the seed of His love, but never discourage a believer or even a prospect from the hope of God’s love. There is always hope. Pray for them! Pray for us, beloved!
March 7, 2018
(Ss. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs)
Moses said, “what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today? “However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” Dt_4:1,5-9
Jesus said to his His disciples, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” Mt_5:17-19
“. . . but without the Lord, there is no ____”
The heart may beat, but without the Lord there is no heart.
The sun may shine, but without the Lord there is no sun.
The job may pay, but without the Lord there is no job.
The mind may create, but without the Creator there is no creation, and without creation there is no mind.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, with all your strength and all your mind, because without the Lord there is nothing!
And with Him, you can be called “greatest” in His kingdom, where you and He will become ONE!
March 6, 2018
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Mt_18:21-35
OK, I’m not the only one going crazy with all these numbers. While Jesus was playing around with 7’s, I keep getting stuck on 9’s, today being 3/6. If you take 3×6 you get 18, which added together is 1+8=9. And if you take it one step further, it’s 03-06-18. That’s 3+6=9 and 1+8=9 and if you put them all together you get 9+9=18 which is again 1+8=9. Of course today’s Gospel couldn’t be from anywhere but – Mt 18.
So how many times do we need to forgive – as many as all the numbers in the world add up to, with a bunch of zero’s to boot. And that’s just endless! Or at least it’s something more than zero!
March 5, 2018
The people were so angry at Jesus that: They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away. Lk_4:24-30
Did you ever see someone, beloved, who was so fiercely angry, so in rage that they even forgot who they were angry with? It’s called blind rage. It can engulf us, if we let it, and just gobble us up! It is the epitome of evil.
Yesterday God gave His people, the Israelites, the guidelines for avoiding evil in all its forms. We call them the Ten Commandments. Today we can see the blinding force of that evil and how pure love can escape right through the midst of it.
If we can keep Jesus and love in the forefront of our thoughts and actions, beloved, we too can walk right through the midst of any evil that comes our way. NO, it’s not easy, but with Jesus at our side, we CAN do all things, even this!
March 4, 2018
(3rd Sunday Lent, B)
In those days, God delivered all these commandments:
“I, the LORD am your God,
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Honor your father and your mother,
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.”
Well, there it is, beloved! The 10-big ones, all summed up by Jesus as Love God and Love your neighbor! If whatever we do is not out of love for God and neighbor, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it. Peace!
March 3, 2018
Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.”
He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. Jn_11:45-56
So, according to John, there really was a little more to the elimination of Jesus by the Jewish leaders, than just jealousy and hatred. Caiaphas was fulfilling a prophesy that went all the way back to Isaiah. A prophesy that said that salvation would come through blood, through sacrifice. And Jesus was the one! Though Caiaphas didn’t really know who Jesus truly was.
March 2, 2018
Jesus said the Pharisees, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’
Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” Mt_21:33-43,45-46
In the Gospel accounts, Jesus repeatedly warned the Pharisees to change their ways, or else suffer the loss of God’s favor. And if they did not change their self-centered basis for leadership, that Special Favor of God would instead come to those who DID believe in Jesus and follow Him.
Of course, it’s easy for us to look back and say, “Yes, Jerusalem fell and the Church grew,” though not without its own struggles and suffering. And here we are, still, 2000-years later, while maybe still struggling and suffering, we do have 2000-years of experience in what works and what doesn’t.
And yet, the Pharisees themselves had their own historical records of what happened, for example, to the grumbling Israelites in the Sinai Desert . . .
Of what happened to the Prophets who tried to warn and correct their leaders, from wandering too far from God’s guidance.
Even this story of Joseph and his brothers, amazingly prefigured, precisely, the events in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (Gn_37:3-28a) … Where the Pharisees were portrayed by the jealous brothers of Joseph. Where the betrayal, sale, and death of Jesus were foretold in the sale and loss of Joseph; in which Joseph was as good as dead to his brothers and to his Father, Jacob.
And later on, in their time of starvation and need, how those same brothers of Joseph would come to discover his resurrection in Egypt, where he was loved and respected by a nation of strangers. And how it was through that Risen brother, that all of Israel was SAVED!
Yet most of the leading Pharisees didn’t see it. And neither do many people in our own time. They either forgot or ignored the warning, that it’s only through – our brother Jesus, that we will be saved too.
But, thanks be to God, WE know it!
Now it’s our turn – to remind those who forgot.
Because, Eternal Life is just too precious to lose –
over a bad choice!
March 1, 2018
Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jer_17:5-10
But . . .
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Ps 40
Hope in the Lord Jesus, beloved! When we live “in Him” all things are possible and there is peace!
Happy March, beloved!
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