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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May 31, 2018
(Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. . . .
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. Lk_1:39-56
Mary received not only the acknowledgement of her cousin Elizabeth, but also of John, in Elizabeth’s womb. And in sincere humility, Mary cried out as well, praising her God and rejoicing in her spirit.
Do we recognize when our spirit rejoices within us, beloved? Do we recognize when it grieves? There are things in this world that truly grieve our spirits: whenever life is devoid of love. And there are equally, things that make us rejoice: the smile of a child, the glory of nature, the love of a friend! Seek out the rejoicing, beloved, and then let it shine in your countenance. It is contagious. And the more you give it, the more it will come back to you!!! Praise be to God!
May 30, 2018
Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, for: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; but the word of the Lord remains forever.” This is the word that has been proclaimed to you. 1_Pt_1:18-25
If we think there is no such thing as a time machine, we haven’t lived very much of this thing we call life. For, depending on our life situation, time can either creep along like a snail or zip by faster than we want it.
When we focus our time machine on the past, we can see all the joys and the sorrows, the fun times and the challenges, and wonder where all that time went.
When we look at our present and it seems that the years are just flying by, maybe that means that we’re being too focused on the past or the future and we’re missing a good part of the present.
And when time seems to have just come to a standstill, maybe we’re just totally bored with where we are and really need a new focus for our present. That’s when people get grumpy and picky and are not very pleasant to be around. Just too much time on their hands!
Maybe that’s a good time to pick up our Bibles and learn a little more about Jesus, about “The Word.” OR, maybe that’s the time we need to put it down and start applying that Word to real life.
Today, let’s pray for a revelation! Lord please help us to discern the best way that You want for us to use these ‘time machines’ that You’ve called life, both in the Love of You and of everyone we ever come in contact with! Our bodies may wither and our thoughts may fade, but we know that Your Word will last forever!
May 29, 2018
Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age…” Mk_10:28-31
“for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel…” What have we given up, beloved, for the sake of Jesus? Maybe it was as simple as an extra hour of sleep in order to go to an early Mass. Maybe it was as mediocre as skipping a meal or stopping to feed a hungry street beggar with a couple of quarters. Maybe it was as difficult as losing a child or a parent because of your faith. Jesus promises that whatever our loss is, FOR HIS SAKE, we will be compensated in the age to come (and even now) with much much more and much much better. Hang in there beloved, the best is yet to come!
May 28, 2018
Jesus said to His disciples, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” Mk_10:17-27
So we can’t buy our way into heaven (all those donations don’t count a lick!) We can’t work our way into heaven (so neither do all those soup kitchen days count.) We can’t status our way in (pope or pauper). All we can do is pray. And prayer also means that we place all our dependence upon God. Only God can get us into heaven. And all God wants us to do is love. Love with our money, love with all our actions, love with all our mind and strength and heart. And God will see us there!
May 27, 2018
(Most Holy Trinity Sunday)
Jesus approached (His disciples) and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Mt_28:16-20
Testimony – ALL power . . .,
Commission – Go, therefore . . ., and
Ratification – Signed in blood, ALWAYS with you!
The Triune Witness.
The Triune Love.
The Triune God.
Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier.
May 26, 2018
(St. Philip Neri, Priest)
Beloved: Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray.
Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing a song of praise.
Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Jas_5:13-20
What beautiful words, beloved! What a beautiful reminder of how efficacious prayer can be when it’s done in faith. Prayers of thanksgiving! Prayers of healing! Prayers of forgiveness! Ask, Jesus says, (in my Name) and it will be done for you!
May 25, 2018
(St. Pope Gregory VII, Hildebrand)
Jesus said, “from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Mk_10:1-12
Not easy words in a world lax in sin. But Jesus clearly called divorce sin, especially when the picture includes adultery. Definitely a challenging social issue today. How strong are we, beloved, to keep to that command? Jesus tells us, it’s important!
May 24, 2018
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Jas_5:1-6
Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs! Mt_5:3
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mk_9:41-50
Tough words again today! Helps us to review our lives and see where we are headed. Are our riches our material wealth the priority of our lives? Do we need a priority adjustment? Are we blessed because we’re poor and suffering? Or does that poverty mean something else? As we said yesterday – poverty of spirit!
Is our lifestyle negatively influencing those who do not know any better, like the children? How about our language? How about our sense of revenge or forgiveness? Are we showing love, or just hatred and anger in all the workings of our lives – our job, our boss, our president, even our pastor?
Jesus warns us today to always keep a check on all those thoughts and actions. Yes, lots of things might rub against us negatively. The question is, how are we managing them? If it’s not something we can change, then why let it get us all in a tizzy! Move on! Create your own bubble of happiness with Jesus as your center. He and the Holy Spirit will see you through, whatever it is you’re struggling with (even death). Count on it!
May 23, 2018
Beloved: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit” – you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears. Instead you should say, “If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.” Jas_4:13-17
Jesus said, “There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.” Mk_9:38-40
Funny thing, this thing we call human nature. It has this constant upward pull, much like gravity has a constant downward pull.
And in our upward bound nature we seem to crave accomplishment, and we love to be proud of what we’ve accomplished.
In our youth, we wanted to climb that ladder of advancement in our jobs. We wanted to make more and more money so we could have all the good things in life. And we wanted to do it all independently of others. The greater the challenge, the higher the competition, the happier we were – when we independently won that prize.
But all along, we were, also constantly fighting gravity. Gravity that wanted nothing more than to knock us down and push us back into the mud, where it all began.
By the time we became a little older and wiser, we began to realize that the fight really wasn’t worth it. Either we were constantly losing, or we found that the prize we won was really nothing more than just another gimmick – that didn’t last very long anyway.
So we came to the point in life of making one of two choices. We either gave up on life and fell into gravity’s despair and hopelessness; or, we discovered that we can do a whole lot more – with a little help. And you know what? Finding good help, especially these days, could sometimes be pretty hard to do!
And that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.
You see, the Holy Spirit leads us up to Jesus, and Jesus leads us up to God the Father. And there could be – no greater help in life – than from it’s very Creator.
Now, the only way the Holy Spirit will enter our lives is – if and when we finally let go of that concept of independence, and recognize our own – Poverty of Spirit. Jesus said, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” – and THERE is the reason.
With the Holy Spirit on our side, and in our hearts, we learn that He IS the ONLY way to true upward mobility. And when we realize THAT, then we also realize that we really have nothing to boast about – in ourselves.
In the poverty of our own spirits, we boast about the Holy Spirit instead! We boast about Jesus and God the Father – for ALL they have done for us. . . Because it is only through this awesome, and merciful, and loving God, that we can ever overcome the gravity of life.
And you know what else?
As we heard in Mark’s Gospel today: there are no special groups, no privileged few, no “Greatest” in the Kingdom of God . . . ALL who Believe, and Rely, and Trust in Jesus will find that Kingdom right there in their own hearts, right there in their neighbor, who just might be fighting that same demon of gravity and independence that they fought with for so long themselves.
Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is FOR us!”
So, in our union with the Holy Spirit, beloved, we too can make the boast: “Blessed be the Name of our Lord Jesus, forever!”
May 22, 2018
(St. Rita of Cascia, Augustinian Sister)
Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Jas_4:1-10
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mk_9:30-37
Certainly not the ways of the world, beloved! So how devoted can we be to God rather than the world? Is it worth skipping a meal, stopping to give that beggar a coin or some food, not watching that nasty movie? God only tells us what’s really good for us. When we listen to him and avoid all the vices that hurt ourselves and others, we are told life WILL get better. Maybe we can start by just cutting down on our own complaining. OK, it’s raining, we needed the rain. OK, they were rude to us, lets pray for them. OK, nothing that’s happening around us makes any sense at all, let’s overcome it by offering the world the Sense of God! God WILL see us through, when we rely on Him. And that we can count on!
May 21, 2018
(The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church)
. . the LORD God said to the serpent: . . . I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living. Gn_3:9-15,20
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. Jn_19:25-34
So here we are, the day after Pentecost, the end of the Easter Season, the 7th Week of Ordinary Time, and Deacon Joe is still vested in white and we’re talking about Mary.
So what’s the deal?
Well, if you were frantically trying to find these Readings in your Missal, and couldn’t, don’t feel too bad, because today we’re making History! And we are ALL a part of it!
You see, on February 11 of this year, an important arm of the Roman Curia at the Vatican, called the “Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,” inscribed a new, obligatory Memorial into the General Roman Calendar, celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church.
The obligatory nature of this new Memorial deems that its celebration take precedence throughout the Universal Church, EVERY year, on the Monday following Pentecost. Thus today, different than ever before, we join together with the entire world in recognizing the Spiritual Maternity of Mary, as the Mother of God’s people, the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Mother of the Church.
And it’s not that this is a new concept, because Mary has been called the “Mother of the Church” from ages past and recognized as such by popes and theologians. But now we have a day especially dedicated for that title.
So how do we tackle this HUGE, mysterious, extremely theological, and extremely deep topic of the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary?
My first thought was to leave it at Jn_16:12, where Jesus said, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” And I know that our time is short. But I didn’t think you’d all want to let it go at that, otherwise you would not have even come this morning. So let’s see what we can do about that.
You know, it’s funny, but there’s something about human nature that drives us to community when extraordinary events bring us together: People stuck in an elevator, War Veterans and College Graduates, even this past week, we had survivors of a Florida school shooting uniting in communion with those from Texas.
And then, if we want to get Biblical, we have generations and generations of descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, united through 400-years of slavery and a miraculous deliverance through Moses. And if they survived multiple additional periods of exile and slavery, they were still united as Israelites, Hebrews, or Jews for thousands of years later.
And the prime, uniting cause of their union, the Force Majeure, of all those saving events, is God. Not the gods of wood and stone and philosophers, who came and went like the wind. But ONE Creating God, who even in-Himself is a Community of Father, Son and Spirit.
Now we’re all familiar with the Creation Story of God’s Love. And how God gave Adam and Eve the gifts of intelligence and free will.
And we also know that nowhere else in human existence has man or woman ever been created from dirt, from nothing. You see, ever since Eve was created by God as the “Mother of the Living,” new life could only originate from existing life.
And with all of her intelligence and free will, when given the chance, Eve chose death over life, suffering over paradise, exile over eternal residence with God. And she began the creation of a community, a progeny, bound together by that EVENT, that Choice. Sin and separation from God became our DNA.
And Eve, under the influence of Satan, became – the “Mother of Death.” And it all seemed so hopeless. EXCEPT! Except God, in His great mercy and love, left Eve with an Oracle, a Prophesy, an Escape Clause. He said that a descendant of hers, whom God called, “the Woman” would have a child who could change it all. The Jewish world called Him the Messiah or the Savior. And through Him, they believed that death, and exile, and slavery would be no more.
Did you ever notice how Jesus never calls His Mother “Mom?” in the Scriptures? But when He does address her, like at the Wedding in Cana, or here, on the Cross, He calls her “Woman.”
You see, John was very clear in making the point, through his Gospel, that this Mary was “THE Woman” that God was referring to ever since the beginning of all humanity. And it was all leading to an EVENT that would have the ability to reunite all of Creation again; not only with God, but with one another – as Community!
A new “Woman.”
A new Eve.
A new, life-giving Mother.
A Spiritual Mother to all who choose life, instead of death.
In His last few, dying breaths, Jesus said to His Mother, at the foot of the Cross, “Woman behold your son.”
And to John, that “beloved disciple,” John, who represented EVERY ‘beloved disciple’ of all Humanity from that moment and for all eternity; to all of us, Jesus said, “Behold your Mother”
From the instant that Mary, the unblemished Ark of the New Covenant, accepted her call, at the Annunciation, as the Mother of Jesus, she began her mission as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity: The Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, our Church.
And she lived the example of perfect motherhood for all mothers who ever succeeded her.
And after His glorious sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus consecrated that Church in the Sacred Blood of Communion and the Holy Water of Baptism; the Blood of His humanity and the Water of ‘new life in the Spirit’ from His most Sacred Heart of Love, with Mary our Mother nurturing and interceding, guiding and uniting all of us and . . .
always reminding us of our “true home” with God forever.
Today we celebrate an EVENT that not only unites us in communion with one another – as beloved disciples of Jesus, His Church, under the loving care of Mary our Mother, but it also calls us to bring a world of lost souls, all of God’s children, back together and home with God.
May Mary our Mother, the Mother of our Church, protect us and lead us always – to Her Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
May 20, 2018
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts_2:1-11
Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful. And enkindle in us the fire of your love!
May 19, 2018
John, the “beloved disciple”, in concluding his Gospel said, “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” Jn_21:20-25
Well, that truly is a lot of “things.” And you know what, beloved, we probably can say the same thing about our own lives: If all the things we have done in our lives were written down, with their thoughts and implications, we could probably fill libraries as well. But you see, there is a difference there. Everything Jesus did was “good”. Everything Jesus did was right! Everything Jesus did was ‘of God.’ And maybe we would barely be able to fill one or two pamphlets with those types of things about ourselves, if that!
The point is, what does it take for us to finally and honestly be able to testify, like John, that we BELIEVE? Did it happen in that first Chapter of John’s Gospel? Or did we actually have to experience that Love of God, that power of the Holy Spirit, that brotherhood with Jesus to finally take the leap? Did we need a blinding light, like Saul, turned Paul? Did we need a three-fold confession like Peter? Did we need to actually place our fingers in His side, like Thomas, to finally get the point? Or are we still meandering in the mediocrity of numbness – “just don’t put me to the test, I might just fail!”
Maybe we don’t need a world covered with books to BELIEVE in Jesus, beloved. All we need to do is to let go of our ‘selves’ a little and let Jesus, let the Holy Spirit, literally, conform us to God’s will. It’s truly something we’ll never regret! And it’s truly something we’ll never forget!
May 18, 2018
(St. Pope John I, Pope and Martyr)
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” . . .
Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Jn_21:15-19
The governor of Judea, Festus, asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar. Acts_25:13b-21
Hearing this interaction between Jesus and Peter, we might wonder if Jesus was not quite sure whether or not Peter was up to the task of leading His Church. Of course we know how the Scripture Scholars refer to this 3-fold confirmation of Peter’s love for Jesus as Peter’s “Rehabilitation” for his 3-fold denial of even knowing Jesus.
But this inquisition is actually MORE than just Penance for Peter. This is Peter’s official CALL, not only to unwaveringly follow Jesus, even to the extreme of suffering bondage and execution himself, but to Serve as the Primary Emissary of Jesus in what would become His Church on Earth.
And as Peter would become the nurturer, the administrator and the model of leadership, Paul would become the warrior, dauntless in defense and uninhibited in Zeal. Both rushing headlong to the chopping block or the cross, happy to die for the Glory of God.
What a picture!
Oh, that we might have just a fraction of their Zeal, a fraction of their Courage, a fraction of their Love!
I remember as a child, poking fun at those who would blindly follow some new fad, or some famed heart-throb. How we would tease them about jumping off a bridge, if everyone else of their following did.
And yet, isn’t it funny how we are now in a similar position, maybe not quite so hopelessly blind, as we follow Jesus to our own crosses.
But you know what, beloved? In reality, everyone WILL be going over that bridge, eventually, like it or not.
The question is, will it be a dreaded END, or instead – a much more glorious Beginning?
Jesus has shown us that there IS a Way!
So, what is it, brothers and sisters, that could possibly be holding us back from zealously answering that same Call as both nurturer and warrior for the Lord?
May 17, 2018
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” Jn_17:20-26
F j A e T s H u E s R
May 16, 2018
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.” Jn_17:11b-19
In the Name of Jesus!
We ARE One!
Never forget, beloved, what was done for us!
Such Love the world has never known.
But we Know, and we Live . . . Together!
God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:_9-11
May 14, 2018
(St. Matthias, Apostle)
Peter and the Apostles prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles. Acts_1:15-17,20-26
The will of God vs the will of man! Sometimes, beloved we just have to be clear of the difference. God doesn’t work with “lots” or Ouija boards, or Urim and Thummin, or dice, or seances, or divination. If we need an answer and need to rely on those means to find it, so be it. But don’t blame the answer or give credit for the answer on God.
The Apostles weren’t blaming God, but they were counting on Him to give an answer through those occult means. In the case of this apostolic decision, either of the two candidates were equally qualified. Their prayer was great, their rationale for electing a 12th apostle was Scripturally based. But they just didn’t give credit where credit was due. It was pure happenstance! And note too that this is just this humble author’s opinion. Maybe I’m way off base. But I do believe that God would have been pleased with either choice!
May 13, 2018
(The Ascension of the Lord)
After the ascension of Jesus, and: While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” Acts_1:1-11
Funny, beloved, how we can be so focused on something that grabs our attention, that something else equally or even more amazing might be happening at the same time. “OK, time to get off the shoulder and start driving.” “Time to get out of the classroom and start working.” Time to pause in our prayer to start acting on that command of Jesus: to love. To love by doing! Jesus will return. And He just might ask – How have you been spending your time since I left? When we take our focus off the accident on the other side of the road, we just might not have one of our own! There is more and better yet to come – let’s not miss it!
May 12, 2018
Jesus said, “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” Jn_16:23b-28
So, beloved, we are not stuck in this swimming pool all alone. There is a tie between us and our Father outside the waves and the struggle to stay afloat. And His name is Jesus. Jesus is our life raft. And the Holy Spirit is the inflation. When we stay IN Him we are always safe, no matter how rough those waves are. There is a Bond, an unsinkable bond between us. And it’s called Love! And now we pray for all those who do not know. Safety is just a belief away!
May 11, 2018
Jesus said, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.” Jn_16:20-23
Ever move or change jobs and come to find out that you are saddened by leaving friends as much as they are by losing you? One day, beloved, we will be separating from one another much more (seemingly) permanently, in death. A separation where we will not be able to visit them (physically), though they are always in our hearts and in our mind’s eye.
Well, just as Jesus said to His disciples, one day we will all be reunited as well! And that day will be one of GREAT joy: to be in union with those we haven’t seen in ages! You see, even though death is “seemingly” permanent, it is, in reality, not. There WILL be a reunion and OH what a day that will be!
Come, Lord Jesus!
May 10, 2018
(St. Damien de Veuster, priest)
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” . . . Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” Jn_16:16-20
After His death they no longer saw Him and the “world” rejoiced, while they mourned. After His resurrection they did see Him again, and they were filled with joy and wonder. After His ascension they no longer saw Him. In the Pentecost He was with them again in the Spirit, even though they did not see Him. And finally, in our own deaths, we will see Him again – and our Joy will be complete.
Praise God in Jesus Christ always!
May 9, 2018
Paul preached the Word of God to the philosophers of Athens. When the Athenians heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, Acts_17:15,22-18:1
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” Jn_16:12-15
One of the biggest contentions that people had with Paul’s preaching – came as soon as he mentioned the Resurrection of Jesus from death. They were excited to hear about this new Creator God. They were interested to hear about God’s great mercy and forgiveness of their sins. They were intrigued by God’s invisibility and yet His ever-presence and His mighty power (omnipresence and omnipotence). But when it came down to believing in a Man who proved His Divinity by rising from death, it was just too much for them to accept.
And Jesus knew precisely how hard it would be for the disciples to convince people of something they had never seen and couldn’t even imagine. So He forewarned them of their own persecution by those unbelievers.
Jesus also knew that it would be pretty difficult for the disciples themselves to maintain their own Faith with so much opposition coming at them from so many different directions. So, just as we would never throw a baby out into the middle of a river to teach her how to swim without floaties, no matter how much we tried to convince her that it would be fun; neither did Jesus throw His disciples out to the wolves without their physical strengthening through the Eucharist and without their spiritual strengthening through the Holy Spirit.
THESE are our ‘life vests’
in the river rapids of life.
Yes, we are well-familiar with the temptations of the world. Yes, we are well-familiar with the fear of rejection. And, Yes, even though we may not be Scripture Scholars, or Theologians, or Spiritual Mystics, we DO know that, just for the asking, and any time we want, we can rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us all the Peace and Patience, all the Kindness and Humility, all the Self-Control, Love and Joy that we’ll ever need, especially in those times of trial.
And we also know that we can ONLY have these virtues, these graces, these fruit of the Holy Spirit through God, through Jesus.
He is our All-in-all.
He is our Life and our Salvation.
And it is only because of Him, that can we look forward, with confidence and hope, to our own resurrection, swimming in God’s river of eternal peace and love.
May 8, 2018
Jesus said to His disciples, “When the advocate, the Holy Spirit comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.” Jn_16:5-11
Sin, ever feel convicted, beloved, before anyone but you ever even knows? You see, it doesn’t really matter if anyone ever does know, because God knows, and that’s the only One who matters. So we’re better off never doing it (sin) in the first place.
Righteousness: always seems to be such a fine line between righteousness and pride. If we try to be good, do the right things, do we recognize that goodness as making us better than others? Oh but to beat our breasts and cry out ‘Forgive me Lord’, for I am still such a sinner! The only righteous One was Jesus. It’s only when we look at ourselves relative to Jesus, that we recognize how far we have yet to go. We are convicted as well.
And Condemnation: who IS the condemned one. Jesus won the battle. Truth wins! So fear not what the world says and does that all seems so contradictory to the Truth! It IS! Trust in Jesus and let not yourself be among those condemned. You are better than that, beloved! You are God’s children and God’s children have not been convicted! We are FREE!
May 7, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Jn_15:26—16:4a
The Spirit of Truth! The Holy Spirit is with us at every moment, beloved, guiding, leading, advising, protecting. All we have to do is listen!
May 6, 2018
(Sixth Sunday of Easter, B)
Jesus said to His disciples, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” Jn_15:9-17
It’s the same with our faith, beloved! Christ has chosen us for Love. If we accept His love and obey that commandment of his to Love, love will be ours as well. The next step is to go out and share it!
May 5, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” Jn_15:18-21
And who is this “world” that Jesus is talking about. It’s all those who refuse to believe in Him. And their refusal then results in their refusal to obey any of God’s commandments. And it extends to an outright hatred for anything good and right. And it extends to an outright hatred for us! We can see it in our world today. When people are uncomfortable speaking about God, they are of the world and not “in” Jesus. When people fight and argue in hatred of presidents, in hatred of those who believe in life instead of death, in hatred of love for favor of hatred and death, then those people are “of the world.” It doesn’t mean that all people who are not Christian are evil. It just means that there are those who are missing out on so very much of life for the sake of a narrow view of what life is all about. Jesus came to teach us Love. And in our love for God, we also love those who need Him so much, those who refuse to believe, those lost in “the world”. Let us pray, beloved, for those lost souls. That the world they so cherish will one day prove to them that it is not the all-powerful end, but just the means to gaining eternal life through Jesus unto God – who is all and is in all!
May 4, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. . . . It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” Jn_15:12-17
And we’ll always have people who will reply, “Yeah, I prayed and prayed and prayed that I might get that new car, or that coveted job, or even the healing of some illness that I’m suffering. And nothing happened!”
When we can place our whole focus on LOVE; love of God and neighbor, there isn’t even any thought of the “I”, the “me” needs and wants. When our prayer is derived out of our love for others, that love does have the power to heal and the power to bring to others all of their needs. And if we’re finding that our prayers are not answering all of the “me” needs and wants, then just maybe, we’re not truly remaining in Jesus. For “remaining in Jesus” is willing to offer even our lives for the other, the focus of our love.
If we love Jesus, we follow His command. And His command is to Love! Yes, we do need certain things like jobs and transportation and health. But do we need them for our own pleasure or for the betterment of God’s world, for the love of others? Sometimes when we come to the peace of “knowing” how of our needs relate to God, then we’ll find that we really do have all we’ll ever need to fulfill our call: to Love!
May 3, 2018
(Ss. Philip and James (lesser), Apostles)
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jn_14:6-14
Arrrrrgh! Ever say something to someone, beloved, and in the very next breath they ask the question you just answered! Jesus could not have said it more clearly, and yet the question comes back to Him from Philip.
You know, beloved, sometimes knowing Jesus, knowing the Father is just not something we can humanly do on our own. We have to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal Him to us! This is a grace freely given to us at all times. It is NEVER taken away. The only way we do not have God’s grace is by refusing it. Today, let’s open our hearts to allow the Spirit to show us the Father. He may be there in some incredible event in our lives. Or He may just present himself through someone we haven’t seen in years and (accidentally, more like Providentially) run into. Maybe that visitation was meant as a healing. We pray that it be so, in Jesus’ Name!
Jesus said, “whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” ibid
In our Confirmations we were blessed with the words of invocation by the bishop, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” We have been sealed, beloved! Let us allow our hearts and minds to believe it! And then, “abide” in Jesus, always!
May 2, 2018
(St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters about this question. Acts_15:1-6
And thus arose the first Council of the Church, the Council of Jerusalem. You see, the problem with any large organization is getting everyone to agree on anything. Sometimes loggerheads in agreements can lead to total paralysis. This is why the Church has often held great meetings called Councils to make decisions about important issues. Unfortunately, if there was no organization, everyone would go about making up their own rules, beliefs and actions, and there would be absolutely no consistency in belief.
The Councils were good and needed. They were also painful, as any change is always hard on someone, as much as it is welcomed by others. And that’s why Jesus’ basic premise of love is so essential. Without the virtue of love, there would never be compromise, there would never be agreement, there would never be growth. And that is exactly what we are all doing, growing in our faith and love for one another!
May 1, 2018
(St. Joseph the Worker)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Jn_14:27-31a
Happy May, beloved! Jesus leaves His peace with us today! Lean on that peace! Rely on that peace! Trust in that peace. It can’t be found in the world. But it does sit right there in our hearts. Be not afraid! Christ’s peace is always just a heartbeat away!
Happy May, beloved!
Please stop by and visit April’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
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