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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November 30, 2018
(St. Andrew, Apostle)
Brothers and sisters: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. . . . But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” Rom_10:9-18
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt_4:18-22
November 29, 2018
Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” Lk_21:20-28
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” Rev 19:9a
Blessed are you, beloved, when you can stand erect and raise your head, while the world is crying in distress! For you have been called – by Jesus!
November 28, 2018
Jesus said, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Lk_21:12-19
The marathon runner will practice for months or years to be able to endure a 26.2-mile run. And save for the seasoned expert seeking a win, most marathoners find their joy in just making it to the finish line; a goal that would not even be possible, without their dedicated perseverance in practice.
Now let’s “up the ante.” Instead of having the option of a retry in the next marathon if we couldn’t complete this race, suppose this race was the very last one! And instead of a win or try again option, this race had a life or death ending.
And to go even one step further, this is not a “life” – in continuance of what we’ve already experienced (with its disappointments, and its sicknesses, its pain and its momentary joys). This a LIFE like we never knew was possible, a life of inexhaustible joy and peace, a life of true happiness and eternal bliss! And, on the other hand, this is not a “death” in the sense of a final ending to all of the painful struggles of life, as we knew it, a final reprieve. This is a death of eternal, NEVER ENDING suffering!
Now, let’s ask how devoted
our perseverance would be!
And the common answer that we tend to hear is, “Oh I don’t believe all that heaven and hell stuff.” And the common response would be, “Oh well, it’s your life!” But that is NOT the giving-up response that Jesus has modeled for us, who DO believe! For us who DO believe, their care-less, denial answer pains us to the core! Because we don’t want to see anyone, even our worst enemies, wind up suffering the eternal damnation of the absence of God, simply because they refused to believe in God, or because they freely chose that path out of ignorance, or pride, or selfishness, or arrogance. Because our core of LOVE, encompasses everyone, just like Jesus (who, in Love, gave Himself for us), just like God our Father (who Created us out of His infinite Love), and just like the Holy Spirit (who is with us, in Love, with every breath we take).
You see, beloved, unlike the perseverance of a solitary marathon runner fighting the will to continue, in our race of life, we have an advocate. An advocate who helps us carry our “yoke.” An advocate who gives us the answers in perfect time. An advocate who wants nothing less than to see EVERY human being reach their eternal destination of LIFE in union with God and with one another. The perfect human family, living in divinity!
Jesus said, in all of your trials and persecutions: “Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. … You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.” ibid
By OUR perseverance, with the help of Jesus, we WILL secure our lives!
Now, how many other lives can we help secure – for our love of Jesus, and for our love of them!
November 27, 2018
I, John, looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Rv_14:14-19
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Rv_2:10c
. . . Remain faithful, but not out of fear. Remain faithful in our LOVE, beloved! For there is no better life than the life that Jesus promises. And it all begins and ends with love!
November 26, 2018
I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. . . . These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the first fruits of the human race for God and the Lamb. On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished. Rv_14:1-3,4b-5
These are the ones, beloved, who gave their ALL for the Lamb, for Jesus. The NAB footnote denotes their number: “One hundred and forty-four thousand: the square of twelve (the number of Israel’s tribes) multiplied by a thousand, symbolic of the new Israel (cf. Rev 14:1–5; Gal 6:16; Jas 1:1) that embraces people from every nation, race, people, and tongue (Rev 7:9).”
Other commentaries reference the number 144,000 symbolically as “fullness (12) multiplied by fullness multiplied by a number too great to count (1000). In other words, John is not witnessing the sealing of a relatively small gathering of the elect, but an unbelievably massive crowd of people, a sea of humanity!” . . .
All wearing the mark of their Father on their foreheads – their Baptismal seal. These are the “Companions of the Lamb.” Some consider them as the holy martyrs. And yet, the Church fathers have tied this reading with Luke’s Gospel of the “Widow’s mite.”
Jesus noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Lk_21:1-4
Just makes us ponder, beloved; How much of my “whole livelihood” have I offered to my Heavenly Companion? How much is eternity worth to me – with anything or even everything I can offer in this tiny chunk of time I have in this worldly tent of a body? You see, we are given all the resources we can possibly need, whether we live in abject poverty or in great wealth. Jesus wants US, all of us! And there should be absolutely nothing, save our own free will, holding us back from giving to the One who gave HIS all for us!
November 25, 2019
(Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; Dn_7:13-14
Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Jn_18:33b-37
Jesus IS the way and the Truth and the life! He is our Lord and Master. He is our King. And because we believe in Him. Because we understand that He is the second person of the Holy Trinity, our Savior and our Life, we “belong” to the Truth of God. Blessed be the King of the entire universe – our Lord Jesus Christ. FOREVER!
November 24, 2018
(Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and (117) Companions, Martyrs)
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Lk_20:27-40
117 saints died under persecutions of Christians that lasted from 1625 to 1886, and cost about 130,000 lives. The martyrdoms occurred in the three Vietnamese kingdoms: Tonkin, Annam and Cochin-China. Among the 117 were 96 Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries. Of the Vietnamese were 37 priests and 59 lay people, among whom were catechists and tertiaries, a mother, and her children. Of the missionaries was 11 Spaniards; 6 bishops and 5 priests, all Dominicans, and 10 were French; 2 bishops and 8 priests from Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris. 76 were beheaded, 21 suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a result of torture.
Jesus reminds us today that all of God’s children and especially those willing to give their lives for their faith become like the angels in their resurrections. Blessed are they, beloved! May we have the faith and the strength to stand so worthily for the God of our belief, for Jesus, who gave Himself for us, in the same way!
Blessed be our God!
November 23, 2018
(St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr)
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“’It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.’” Lk_19:45-48
On the eve of the day the world, or at least our country has deemed to be the Holy Day of the sales world – for all those who worship mammon over the Lord – we find we’re living in the same world that Jesus was living in. And we just might wonder, “If they can lower those prices THAT much – you know they’re still not losing on the deal, so why are they gouging us for the rest of the year?” You see, it’s all about greed! And people are willing to go out and cut each other’s throats in order to save those few bucks on an item that was raised in price the day before or for the whole year before.
Jesus tells us that the treasure is not in the sale, but it is in the community, it’s in the love that’s shared. If there’s something we so desperately need, beloved, that we MUST go out into that mess, then make it a loving encounter, not a bitter, unsweet battle. Because it’s God we worship and not the world’s mammon!
November 22, 2018
(St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr,
55th Anniversary of J.F. Kennedy Assassination)
And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days. Sir_50:22-24
Through all the ‘goods’ and the ‘bads,’ we are here to remember and to give thanks to You O Lord our God. For You are Holy and Mighty and Loving! We beg Your forgiveness for all of our transgressions against one another and against you. And we give all the Glory to You, for You are our Creator and the source of everything that is Good in our lives. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit – for being our God!
November 21, 2018
(Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
John’s revelation continued: In the center and around the throne, there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a man, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.” Rv_4:1-11
“The four living creatures symbolize, respectively, what is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in creation. Since the second century, these four creatures have been used as symbols of the evangelists Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John, respectively.” NAB footnote. These creatures are also referenced in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, Ez 1:10. And, of course their chant is one we hear and recite in our Mass every day, the Sanctus: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory . . .”
From ages long past we join in communion with the Saints and the Evangelists, with the Angels and the Archangels, with the Prophets and with the Apostles in praising our Lord and God for His nobility, His power, His wisdom and His omnipresence. Our God, who was and who is and who is to come!
November 20, 2018
And Jesus said to him (Zacchaeus the tax collector), “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Lk_19:1-10
While the angels of the Revelation to John were praising and warning the early Churches of their strong points and their weaknesses, they were also calling them to repentance. As we near the end of our Church calendar, we too should be scouring our souls for our strong points in the faith and our weaknesses.
The story of Zacchaeus shows us a beautiful example of conversion and repentance. Maybe like Zacchaeus, we’ve developed some habits that we really shouldn’t be involved in. Maybe we’ve lost our zeal, like the Church of Ephesus in yesterday’s reflection. Maybe we just need to bump up a lackadaisical faith life. Jesus is calling us to repent! And in the process He will save whatever is in us – that might be “lost.”
And there’s our hope!
November 19, 2018
I heard the Lord saying to me: “To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this: . . . Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Rv_1:1-4;2:1-5
The blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Lk_18:35-43
How many of you remember those searchlights they used to use to advertise the opening of a new business or some spectacular sale? Most recently, well, within the last 20-years or so, we’ve seen them here in Columbia at car dealers. They would shine a bright streak of light into the night sky, in a circle that could be seen for miles. And by following that streak from the sky to the ground, you’d be able to find its source.
Well, when I was a kid of maybe 12 or 13-years old, I went on a mission with a younger cousin, within the metropolis of northern New Jersey, to find the source of one of those searchlights. We walked those dark, city streets for about a mile and a half, to excitedly discover a brand-new hotdog joint; only to be sadly disappointed when we were told that we had to be 18-years old in order to get one of their free hotdogs.
It was the beginning of a whole new era in my life, an era of distrust and disillusionment. No longer was I ever excited to follow a searchlight, because I realized that, in the end, they were all just a scam.
And isn’t that the story of life. Failure after failure, lie after lie, we find ourselves, without even realizing it, hardened from the zeal, the excitement of our youth. And just like that Church of Ephesus, we trudge-on in our staunch belief, we say our rosaries, we come to Mass, we endure the trials and persecutions of each day, but maybe, somewhere in the process, we too have lost our zeal, we’ve lost our once, unquenchable Love for God and for our neighbor. And in the doing, we find that our true belief, our faith itself, just may be wavering!
Today, Jesus reminds us, along with those Ephesians, that “Cold Love” is just not acceptable if we’re still wanting a place in His Kingdom. You see, our fires need to be constantly re-kindled, because there is a big world out there that wants nothing more than to see them quenched.
“Don’t trust the stranger.”
“Don’t answer the phone.”
“Don’t trust your priests.”
“Sue your parents and teachers for teaching you discipline.”
“Teach your students how everything imaginable is acceptable, no matter how immoral it may be.”
And even when we try igniting hope, there’s always someone out there in front of us saying “Be Quiet, Be Quiet! Can’t you see, it’s the Lord”
It didn’t phase the zeal of that blind man in today’s Gospel. And when he DID receive his sight, it was like that billion candlepower searchlight shining on all of those nay-sayers.
And then there was CONVERSION!
The Gospel tells us, “All the people gave praise to God!”
And, you know what? Without that zealous, enduring, persevering blind man, it never would have happened.
Well, isn’t it funny, brothers and sisters, how – here I am, 53-years later, trying to reignite those searchlights that I had given up on so many years ago!
And, you know what?
They’re not at some street corner, hotdog stand.
And they’re not at some overpriced car dealer.
Those spotlights are right there in our own hearts. You see, we already have that love of Jesus right there within us. All we need do now, beloved, holy ones, is to break out of this prison of our world, and let those lights shine!
Jesus is counting on us, and He’s just waiting to share those same words: “Your faith has saved, not only you, but all of those people who you brought to my light!”
November 18, 2018
(33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
In those days, I Daniel, heard this word of the Lord: “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. . . . the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” Dn_12:1-3
Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory,” . . . “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mk_13:24-32
Today the Church celebrates the 2nd Annual, World Day of the Poor. And when it comes to understanding all of this apocalyptic, or ‘end-time’ literature, that we heard today, I’ll have to admit, that I’ll be sitting right out there, with the best of those impoverished; because it all sounds like Greek to me. And the further you try to research any kind of meaning to all of that gibberish, the more confused you get. It’s like looking into a crystal ball of time, but having no point of reference as to where you are, or when.
For example, the Book of Daniel, written in the mid-second century BC, describes the life of the Prophet Daniel who lived in Babylonian exile in the mid-sixth century BC. That’s 400 years between them.
I’m sure we all remember the stories of Daniel in the lion’s den; and of his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (which, by the way, were not their real names); and how they were thrown into a fiery furnace, and survived.
You see, Daniel, like his predecessor, Joseph (of the multi-colored coat fame), were both gifted, by God with the ability to interpret dreams. And because of those gifts, both men received high acclaim and position in the governments of their captivity. Joseph, in Egypt, went on to save his entire family from starvation. And Daniel, in Babylon, saw the “writing on the wall,” and became an apocalyptic visionary.
But, the visions described in Daniel’s Book were not addressed to, nor concerned, the people of the sixth century BC, when Daniel was alive in Babylon. Instead, they were addressed to those Israelites living in the second century BC, back in their homeland of Jerusalem. And it all occurred during a period of atrocious persecution by the ruthless King Antiochus IV, that was described in gory detail, in the Books of Maccabees. It was a time of “unsurpassed distress,” as the writer of Book of Daniel describes today.
You see, those apocalyptic writings really are . . TIMELESS!
Aside from the events of 150 BC, Daniel’s apocalypse could be describing the Roman persecution of the Jews 200 years later. They could be describing the Holocaust, 1900 years after that. Or they might even be describing something that hasn’t even happened yet.
But the bottom line of apocalyptic writing, is that it always leaves, both a message of HOPE and a message of WARNING. And we can say the same thing about the apocalyptic sayings of Jesus. Except, now, we can add, that it will be Jesus who will return to judge our souls, and not an occupying nation. You see, the time and the place of the ‘occupation’ is when WE allow the evil of Satan in our world to occupy our souls, instead of the Holy Spirit, by what we read, what we listen to, what we watch and what we finally end up believing.
And, even though Jesus tells us that there will be persecution and that there will be spectacular celestial events when He returns for His harvest of us; the final outcome of our eternal destiny will still rest, primarily, in our own hands. And that’s why Jesus gives us those constant warnings to be ready!
It’s up to us!
As we come to the closure of another Church year, with the end of Mark’s Gospel and the beginning of Luke’s Year C, just as in our secular, calendar year, it might be a good time for reflection, a good time for resolutions.
And so, we might ask ourselves:
– How much time have I devoted to praying for the improvement of our world situation, instead of just complaining about it?
– How often do I think about my Lord and God in my work or school day?
– How often do I speak with Jesus and the Holy Spirit about my own problems, that They would gladly help me solve?
– Am I regularly praying for: Pope Francis, and for our world’s Bishops, and for our Priests, in their own fiery trials of the day?
– Am I living those Works of Mercy in my life: remembering, and feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, comforting the afflicted and teaching that everlasting Word of Jesus to my children and my friends?
You see, Jesus wants every one of us to be able to endure the potholes and unpleasant surprises of this life, whatever they may be. He already took the beating for us. He offered the ONE Sacrifice that unites us back with His Father. And He gives us that Promise, that Hope of Eternal Life, with Peace, and Joy, and Light, in communion with all the Saints and in reunion with our loved ones who preceded us.
Now it’s up to US to LIVE His Forgiveness, and to offer OURS, for the Justice, and the Wisdom, and the Salvation of one another.
November 17, 2018
(St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious)
St. John wrote, Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters, especially for strangers; 3_Jn_5-8
When I was a kid, we were always told to be cautious around strangers. The stranger wasn’t the enemy, but surely could be, especially if he or she was giving out candy.
In the world of our kids, then, they were told to absolutely never trust strangers, because they are the enemy. Don’t say hi to them. Don’t even look at them. We were turning into a pretty cold and nasty world ourselves.
Today, guess we just have to be very careful BEING strangers. We are not to look at other people, especially not children, lest they sue us or even worse, kill us for looking at them.
Just what have we done! How are we ever supposed to share the love and the kindness of Jesus if we are forced to be so isolationist. Sounds just like something the evil one would contrive! Now we have to lock up our schools with the kids inside so that madmen can’t enter. We have to be ultra-careful when returning to our parked cars that someone doesn’t kidnap us or knock us out to steal our vehicle. And we just cannot trust anyone from the politicians to the media to the advertising world.
How will we ever get over this, beloved???
November 16, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Lk_17:26-37
If there’s one thing about our faith: we can not say that we haven’t been warned enough times about being ready for that second coming of Jesus and our “Final Judgment.” As Jesus tells us today, it was all prefigured throughout the Old Testament.
We see it in God’s warning to Adam and Eve, with their spiritual, life and death choice.
We see it in all the Prophets’ warnings to those unfaithful Israelites, that if they continued ignoring God’s commandments and worshiping foreign Gods, they would again fall into the slavery that God had rescued them from at the hands of Egypt.
And having – even ignored – all of those warnings, the “stiff necked’ Jews then got to witness the loss of their homes, the loss of their Sacred Temple, the deaths of their loved ones, and the total loss of their freedom, as they were carried off into Babylonian exile.
You see just as any good parent constantly warns their children to avoid danger because of their paternal love for them, so, our God doesn’t want us to haphazardly wander through the pitfalls of life without lots and lots of warnings, because of His unconditional love for all of us.
And that’s exactly why He took-on our Form of flesh and blood, by the Name of Jesus. And that’s precisely why Jesus submitted His life into our nasty hands in order to prove to us, unbelieving mortals, that there truly IS more to life, and that there truly is REASON, beyond the warnings of threat, for following His commands.
You see, unlike the 70-year furlough of the Israelites in Babylonian exile, our Final Judgment will be more like the eternal flood of Noah and the damning fires of Sodom and Gomorrah – permanent. And not only will the consequences of our life’s choices be eternal damnation or eternal bliss, but, just like the Prophets’ and Noah’s and Lot’s warnings, there is always that constant, beaconing urgency of an unknown time for that End . . .
It may be our last breath in age. It may be a shocking incident of death at any age. Or it may just be that Second Coming that Jesus, so frequently spoke about.
And what is it that is so urgent for us to do? Jesus tells us to let go of our worship of the body. And that’s not an easy thing to do. But He showed us both the how and why.
HOW, is letting go of our worldly passions that keep us away from God, and instead offer them TO God in thanksgiving: Thank you, God, for this food that keeps me nourished; Thank you, God, for this walker or this cane that helps keep me mobile; Thank you, God, for our community; Thank you, God, for my family; Thank you, God, for my pain, the pain that I offer for YOUR Glory, just as Jesus did!
And WHY do we need to let go of our bodily worship? Because there really is something within us that’s even more important than this flesh, this “tent” as St. Paul calls it. You see, our immortal soul is given that same choice that Adam was given, so long ago. Will it be eternal life or eternal death?
And yet unlike Adam, we have a helper. A helper who, just like us, lived that choice. A helper who promised to answer all of our questions and point us on the right paths. We have Jesus and we have the Holy Spirit. We have the Scriptures and our Saints, and our Church. And we have the Hope and the promise of Love that conquers all adversity.
The question is, beloved: Are WE, and if so, how are we living our part of that promise?
And, How prepared are We for that unexpected day and unknown hour.
Aside from the deepest recesses of our souls, only the Father really knows. But that’s who it matters to most!
November 15, 2018
(St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Lk_17:20-25
Yes, beloved, the Kingdom of God is within our own hearts, when we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell with us. And how do we do that? We must let go of all else that might be holding our soul captive. All of those things and people we tend to worship instead of God. Let them go and let the Holy Spirit take their place. He will lead us to Jesus. And Jesus will lead us to His Father! The Kingdom of God is all around us. All we need to do is recognize Him and her!
November 14, 2018
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul. Ps 23
St. Paul wrote to his brother Titus, beloved: Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. Ti_3:1-7
And one of them (the ten lepers), realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Lk_17:11-19
Throughout the Scriptures we hear stories about people who were shepherds and analogies or parables about sheep and shepherds.
Adam and Eve’s son Abel, who was the first “keeper of flocks,” was killed by his brother Cain out of jealousy, because of his faithfulness. We might say that Abel was the first martyr for the faith; a shepherd!
Abraham, the Patriarch of Israel, was also a “keeper of flocks” and a faith-filled, obedient child of God.
Then there was Moses and later, David. David, who would become the King of all of Israel, also began his young life as a shepherd boy, battling wolves for the safety of his flock. It was this same David who, would in time, compose the famous 23rd Psalm that we heard today; “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
But what does – ‘Being a shepherd’ really mean, beloved? Well, a shepherd, in the Biblical sense, is not only: faithful and courageous, but he’s resourceful and unrelenting in protecting, feeding and caring for his sheep.
Jesus gives us many different attributes of what being a ‘Good Shepherd’ really means. A Good Shepherd trusts his flock enough, that when a straggler sheep gets lost, that shepherd is willing to leave all 99 of the rest in order to seek out the lost one. And the reason he does that, is because he loves every single one of them, just as God loves us.
St. Luke tells us how it was the shepherds who received that special message of Angels at the birth of Jesus. It may have been a dirty and a hazardous job, but being a Good Shepherd took a lot of patience, care and love.
Jesus often chastised the Pharisees for not being the Good Shepherds that God called them to be.
Jesus also used parables to describe Himself as “The Good Shepherd” who leads His sheep through the narrow gateway to safety.
And in His resurrection, Jesus commanded His Apostle Peter to feed and to tend His sheep.
Which is exactly where we find St. Paul in his Letter to Titus, instructing his good friend Titus of the importance of training the Bishops, the Priests and the Deacons of the infant Churches in Crete – in how to be Good Shepherds and Pastors of God’s flock.
In this Pastoral Letter Paul makes it clear how the leaders of our Church and the faithful, should behave. He made it clear that we should all give God the glory for having changed us, through our Baptisms, from lives of sinfulness into righteous persons.
Where that righteousness means controlling our “worldly” passions and pleasures for evil, and changing them into pure goodness for the sake of others. And where that righteousness means: recognizing every good gift God has given us, and then, responding with Thanksgiving . . .
– just like the leper in his encounter with Jesus,
– and especially like the leper who was not even a Jew, but a Gentile foreigner.
It all prompts us to ponder; How am I being a Good Shepherd to every person I meet, whether they are male or female, Christian or non-, American or Foreigner – in giving thanks to God for placing those people in my path?
And, How often do I, bow my head in humility, in thanksgiving, just like the healed leper, despite the struggles, for all the Goodness that God has showered into my life?
November 13, 2018
(St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin)
Jesus said to the Apostles: . . . When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’ Lk_17:7-10
No rest for the weary, beloved. Keep on striving to be the very best “Child of God” that we can be. Humbly accept God’s calling and obey His commands. And one day it will all be worth it! To live with Jesus forever!
St. Paul wrote to his brother, Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ,” Ti_2:1-8,11-14
This is our hope, brothers and sisters in Christ!
And this is our calling!
November 12, 2018
(St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” Lk_17:1-6
By OUR offices of Bishop or Priest or Deacon or Parent or Child or simply what we call the Laity – we are all called to avoid sin as much as we possibly can! But their temptations are surely out there, especially in today’s world. And yet, by our baptisms, Jesus freed us from their hold on us. Jesus gave us the power, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to make ‘right’ decisions in every thought and in every action. “But woe to those who cause others to sin!” especially we baptized!
St. Paul sent his disciple Timothy to go out to Crete to appoint men as priests – on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious. For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents. Ti_1:1-9
And those are some pretty big shoes to fill, beloved. Thus, we really do need to pray for our Bishops and clergy. And in light of how many of them have been behaving, we, God’s Church, need to cleanse house of those who have fallen, especially in their call of not causing others to sin. This has been done. And it MUST be remedied. We are no longer babies in the faith. And we no longer need to baby one another with excuses and commissions and meetings. We need action! This IS God’s Church, Jesus’ bride, and it’s up to us to preserve it in all the purity Jesus wanted!
November 11, 2018
(32nd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains, Ps 146
Praise the Name of the Lord!
November 10, 2018
(St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church)
St. Paul wrote, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” Phil_4:10-19
Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” Lk_16:9-15
The strength to believe in what we ought. The strength to devote our lives to an unseen God instead of temporary wealth and glory. The strength to persevere despite persecution, hatred, and all the lack of love this world has to offer – all for the eternal Glory of God’s love. That’s worth relying on, beloved. That’s our Jesus!
November 9, 2018
(Dedication of the Lateran Basilica)
“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_47:1-2,8-9,12
The nourishment, the healing, the eternal life stemming from the water of life. Jesus, our Church, His Body, us!
Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. 1_Cor_3:9c-11,16-17
The TRUE Temple is YOU!
Jesus said to the inquiring Jews, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Jn_2:13-22
Yes, buildings are pretty. Temples are ornate. But the temple that is Jesus, of which YOU are His Body, is the most magnificent of all. Respect it, beloved, in all people!
November 8, 2018
The insatiable Pharisees again complained about Jesus saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus addressed this parable to them. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” Lk_15:1-10
So, wanna be rich and famous, beloved? Repent! Not only will the angels REJOICE over you, but you will become rich in holiness! The Holy Spirit will bless you. And you will live in God’s grace. And there is no greater wealth! Praise God and pray for Jesus’ help in this. It CAN be done! Repent.
November 7, 2018
My beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you, both to desire and to work. Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, Phil_2:12-18
November 6, 2018
One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves…” Lk_14:15-24
Ever happen to you, beloved? You make all those plans for the most wonderful event. You prepare and send out invitations. You request RSVP’s, many of which are never answered. And when it finally gets to be time for the big event, everyone begins to excuse themselves!
Jesus gave another similar parable about not even inviting those who would feel obligated to repay you, but said, instead, that we should invite the poor and those unable to repay, because it’s not about the repayment – it’s about the giving, the generosity, the love! God is inviting all of us, beloved, to join with him in the banquet of His generosity and love. What will be our response? Too busy, too guilty, to embarrassed to not be able to repay? God doesn’t want our repayment (as Jesus tells us). He’s just looking for our willingness to accept His love with no strings attached!
November 5, 2018
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me. Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me. R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace. Ps_131
OH how we search and long for the peace that can only be found in God! And yet how far have we placed our God from us. Our jobs, all our meaningless tasks, our misfortunes, our broken relationships, our loneliness, our fear, they all distance us from the One who has the power to comfort, to heal us. Let us, today, beloved, wean ourselves from all those distractions. Let us sit in the lap of our Lord and just sigh for the peace He brings without our even asking.
“In You, O Lord, I have found my peace!”
November 4, 2018
(31st Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Moses spoke to the people, saying: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Dt_6:2-6
And Jesus added, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mk_12:28b-34
If we consider all of the details of those 10-Commandments that Moses received on the mountain, they can all be summed up in four simple words: Love God and neighbor! When we clear out all the cobwebs of hate and revenge, of pranks and belittling others, of anger and selfishness, of prejudice and comparison, all that should be left is LOVE, beloved. And yes, maybe that all doesn’t sit too well with our world and culture today. But IF what we’re looking for is eternal life, if what we’re looking for is a love relationship that will NEVER fail, then keeping these two simple commandments is all we’ll ever need!
November 3, 2018
(St. Martin de Porres, Religious)
Jesus said, “when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk_14:1,7-11
Well, there’s that old principle of inverse expectations. Whatever you expect will never come to you, but whatever you profess to dislike will be yours unquestionably! Always wanted to be liked, you’ll wind up the loneliest person you know. Rich to poverty. Healthy to chronic. Happy to sad. So quench those expectations, beloved! Be satisfied with what life deals to you and when you least expect it, you will finally discover what you’ve always wanted – life and love with God!
November 2, 2018
(Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed)
Jesus said, “this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” Jn_6:37-40
November 1, 2018
(Solemnity of All Saints)
See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. . . . Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure. 1_Jn_3:1-3
Ahhh. In response to yesterday’s insecurity of ever being pure enough for God, St. John gives us reason: “we shall be like Him,” and the means!
If we were promised the most outrageously wonderful gift the world has to offer – a billion, billion dollars, peace and security, would we not be willing to do whatever it takes to gain it?
And yet, the gift that God offers us makes that worldly gift pale in comparison. It is so, so outrageously awesome that it can’t even be described in worldly terms. And not only does God offer it freely, but He even helps us in doing what it takes to gain it. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit we will be strengthened to be able to do WHATEVER it takes to attain that purity of soul. All we need do is Believe and Follow His guidance, and that of Jesus from the Scriptures.
God will see us to the Beatific Vision when we allow Him to do just that. And there is our hope. And there is our life! The saints did it and so can we!
Happy November, beloved!
God’s blessings always!
Please stop by and visit October’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
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(also in Time page, under Liturgical Seasons section)
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