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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October 31, 2018
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. Lk_13:22-30
Every day I still wonder, will that be me???
I ate in Your Church. I preached Your message. I fed Your elderly. I prayed for Your needy. I taught Your Children. I happily obeyed even those things I was not real excited about. And yet, I DID sin too. I did miss some of those prayers. I did indulge in that extra cookie. Will I be the one standing outside grinding my teeth because I just could not be perfect???
Lord, please root out of me all evil, that I may be worthy of your company when this earthly torment is finally over. Some days it just feels like enough is enough. Open my heart to see the GOOD even when it’s not! For Your love for me really is ENOUGH!
October 30, 2018
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’” Lk_13:18-21
The Kingdom grows within us, beloved. From a little seed planted by someone else; from a simple verse or passage in the Bible; from the love offered by stranger in times of need; these are the seeds that grow within and we nourish by offering the same kindness, and wisdom to others.
The Kingdom of God grows. It grows stronger in our own hearts with time and nourishment. And it grows by spreading from one person to the next, forming branches and leaves that feed others, just like the growth of a mustard seed.
Come, beloved, and let us grow with the seed of Jesus within us!
October 29, 2018
Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Eph_4:32–5:8
Argggh! A fragrant aroma? Some days, we just don’t feel like a fragrant aroma! But, if all that sweat and tears was gained through GOOD works, through helping others, through mourning others and not feeling sorry for ourselves, then God will understand! We are His beloved children. And nothing a child suffers does not affect their parent, as well! God Loves us. And regardless of how we think we smell, we are a fragrant aroma to Him. Believe it, beloved, and keep on loving one another just like God!
October 28, 2018
(30th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
After curing blind Bartimaeus, Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. Mk_10:46-52
Bartimaeus’ “way” turned out to be the same “way” Jesus was going. But it wasn’t for his own gain that Bart was going that way. Bart had enough faith to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah the Scriptures spoke of. Enough faith to believe that Jesus could heal his blindness. And in receiving his sight, Bart had now given his entire life to Jesus. And that meant whatever way Jesus went, Bartimaeus would go too. How much faith do we hold in our hearts, beloved? Is it enough to give up our past and follow Jesus, wherever He leads us? This is what we’re called to do, beloved. And this is our salvation!
October 27, 2018
God gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, Eph_4:7-16
God’s gifts of talents! Without them and each other, where would we all be? And as we share them we build up that “Body,” the body of Christ for the world! Praise be to God!
October 26, 2018
St. Paul wrote, I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, . . . striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace; one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph_4:1-6
The Scripture scholars call these the Seven Unities, ONE: Body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism and One Father!
It wasn’t Catholic or Protestant. It wasn’t conservative or liberal. It wasn’t male or female, or whatever else people want to call themselves today. It is ONE! When we can let go of all those labels, beloved; when we can just be One together in the Lord, that’s what Jesus was looking for. Because in His kingdom there will be no more comparison. All will be ONE, equally!
October 25, 2018
Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; Eph_3:14-21
October 24, 2018
(St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop)
Jesus said, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Lk_12:39-48
As the worker bee who always seemed to get the blame, and not the credit, there were days in my former job that I would have loved to have quoted that verse to my boss: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” especially when he refused to purchase a $10 part that would have prevented a major breakdown.
Be prepared, Jesus tells us. Isn’t that the truth! And here we get to practice it every day of our lives! Be prepared for the police car, hiding around the corner. Be prepared for the hurricane or the fire that, hopefully, will never come. Be prepared for the thief, or the Jehovah’s Witness, or even the Lord who will one day be knocking at OUR door.
From the time we were little kids, all the way up to that last breath we just took, we’ve been warned: to BE prepared, to expect surprises, and to keep a level head when they come.
We might say that the Apostle Paul was the perfect example of how to respond to surprises. Being unprepared for that first encounter with Jesus, Paul, or actually the Holy Spirit working through Paul, never let unpreparedness slow him down again. Whether it was imprisonment, or shipwreck, or persecution, opposition, or even execution, Paul was READY!
And yet, Paul was more than just ready for his OWN salvation. Being entrusted with the highest possible calling: the salvation of the world, Paul was fearless in approaching the resistant Jews, the Godless Gentiles, the Roman rulers and everyone else he encountered, with that beautiful, Gospel Message of God’s love for them all, through their faith in Jesus.
And you know what, beloved, we’ve been given that same call! WE are the ones of whom Jesus said, are “entrusted with still more,” through our Baptisms. And we ARE being prepared, just by being here, today.
The question is, are WE, like St. Paul, allowing the Holy Spirit, who resides in us, to use us as His messengers to the world? You see, we know the potential cost to ourselves, just as Paul did. And we also know of that undeniable reward of Eternal Life that Jesus promised for all His faithful.
But, is that love of His, so strong, in our hearts that we would not even want to see that thief, that Jehovah’s Witness, that boss, or even that worst enemy of ours, NOT merit the same Eternal Life of salvation in Jesus, that we’ve been so freely given? You know, WE may, just BE their only hope!
And, ALL that we are called to do is to get out-of-the-way and let the Holy Spirit work through us. You see, it’s not only required, but it’s demanded of us, beloved. And when we can follow that simple instruction, to move aside, and let the Holy Spirit lead, we truly will discover a ‘wellspring of joy’ within us, despite every challenge we encounter and along with every smile we offer!
October 23, 2018
(St. John of Capistrano, Priest)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.” Lk_12:35-38
So what is this vigilance the Lord is looking for in us, beloved? It’s keeping ourselves awake enough to recognize the deception of the evil-one in our world. An old song goes, “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign!” (Five Man Electrical Band – Signs).
Jesus doesn’t want us falling asleep and falling for that trap of laziness, anger, hatred, selfishness or worse, because we were not vigilant in following Him. The signs are all around us brothers and sisters in Christ: hypocrisy, violence, war, prejudice, greed, racism, materialism, rationalism, revenge, lies. Don’t be fooled by their surface, feel-good enticements. Beneath that surface is a deep, deep pit. And if we happen to fall into it – we just might miss the coming of our bridegroom to bring us back to our heavenly home.
So be vigilant in loving Jesus, beloved,
with all of our heart and mind and soul!
October 22, 2018
St. Paul wrote:
All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh,
following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses,
and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.
But God, who is rich in mercy,
because of the great love he had for us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Eph_2:1-10
Now there’s one to read and reread, beloved, and then thoroughly digest!
We truly ARE Blessed when we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and follow God’s directions!
October 21, 2018
(29th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus summoned (His disciples) and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mk_10:35-45
What’s your take on this Scripture, beloved? After the disciples were looking for worldly glory in God’s heavenly kingdom, Jesus turned it 180 degrees back on them. How do we respond to this call of Jesus and what does He mean by ransom?
October 20, 2018
(St. Paul of the Cross, Priest)
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. . . . When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Lk_12:8-12
Never forget the Holy Spirit, beloved. Through this third person of the Holy Trinity, God will endow us with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We will be filled with true love for Jesus (piety), right judgment (council), courage and strength (fortitude), and a wholesome respect (or fear) of the Lord, as we would have for a loving parent. Our hearts will be on fire for the Lord as the Holy Spirit leads us to all Truth. For it is Truth to which our hearts so strongly gravitate. Jesus is that Truth. When we let go of control, let go of all that holds us back and let the Holy Spirit lead us, we will be filled with the love and joy of God. He’s just waiting for us to “Come!”
October 19, 2018
(Ss. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, Companions, Martyrs)
Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” Lk_12:1-7
St. Paul wrote, “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,” Eph_1:11-14
If a sparrow would cost 2/5 of a cent 2000-years ago, I wondered what one might cost today. So I jumped on ‘trusty’ Google to see what I could find out. . . . Turned out that it’s not only near-impossible to buy one, but more people than you can count want to get rid of them. And while they were not counting the cost to buy one, they were counting the cost of eradication, because those birds were costing farmers and homeowners millions in damage.
Introduced in the US from England in the 1850’s as a bird to control insect pests, the sparrow is now considered a pest itself.
So I sure do hope God hasn’t changed his mind about us too, in those last 2000 years. And the question He might pose to us would be, “Have we become a pest to Him, or are we actually beneficial?”
Jesus had so many, many people wanting to see him, that Luke tells us they were “trampling one another underfoot.” Some were seeking a miracle worker. Some were looking for another ‘bird’ to sacrifice for their own safety. And some were truly seeking the Messiah of their faith.
Jesus warned them of the importance of honesty in their thoughts and in their actions. And it’s no different today.
How much of the news that we hear on the television, in the papers or on the internet can we really believe?
And here’s a case in point. The media talks about the nasty anti-abortion activists wanting to take away women’s freedom of choice. “Why should the government have any say in when, why and where a woman can exhibit her body, procreate and choose to eliminate the nasty outcome of that procreation? It just isn’t fair, nor right, for those poor helpless, innocent, young women to suffer the insult of those anti-abortionists.”
And when we’re all convinced that they really need to be eliminated, just like those pesky sparrows, we just happen to drive down the road, past their haven of happiness, the local abortuary, and what we’re astounded to see are a bunch of those nasty, anti-people, kneeling there on the ground in prayer, while those poor, helpless, innocent, young things are shoving posters in their faces with the picture of a hand, gesturing an obscene finger.
And then we wonder where the TRUTH really is?
And we can take that “truth” right back to the media, where those LIES were perpetuated. We can then surmise about that media: who in the government it supports and whom not, what actions they report that are actually done and which are just fiction to make their point, and then ask ourselves if our next vote will be based upon that sensationalist “agenda,” or the real Truth of the value of life, as Jesus taught.
Jesus saw right through the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. It was as obvious as a person in prayer for love of an unwanted child and their lost mother, versus a finger thrown in hatred.
And maybe we DO have reason to fear the extent of that hatred. But Jesus tells us not to! Because in God’s book, there IS nothing we need fear, not even death, when we live in the Truth of the Gospel.
October 18, 2018
(St. Luke, Evangelist)
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. . . . “ Lk_10:1-9
This is what they were called to do: 1. Offer peace, 2. Share the breaking of bread with them, 3. Cure the sick and 4. Say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ For Jesus your Lord is about to visit here. Welcome Him and He will bless you!
What a beautiful message, beloved! It’s almost hard to imagine anyone rejecting it, or those who brought it. And yet they did. Ever give a gift to someone who immediately threw it back at you in refusal? Ever offer a hand only to be ignored or shunned? It just doesn’t make any sense. Well, we don’t have to look very far today to find the same kind of non – sense. We are a very polarized world: The people of love and the people of hate. The people of life and the people of death. The people of order and the people of chaos. And yet there is hope, beloved.
Jesus said, shake the dust from your feet when they reject you, for you don’t even want their dust clinging to you. Love God, and don’t let them upset you! And stay tuned for tomorrow’s Gospel!
October 17, 2018
(St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr)
St. Paul wrote, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” Gal_5:18-25
OH, the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit, beloved! To look upon all the trials of life, all the spears and arrows poking us from all directions, from the spiritual view of “thanks be to God for allowing me to suffer the passion of Christ in my own body.” It’s not easy! But Jesus will help us for the asking. We don’t have to do it alone! Help us Lord to be deserving of those fruit of Your Spirit within us. Protect us from the evil of the world and the evil we battle within ourselves against their spears and arrows!
October 16, 2018
St. Paul wrote, Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. Gal_5:1-6
Slavery to sin, slavery to other gods (money, relationships, possessions, games, TV… whatever might have a hold on us), slavery to sorrow, slavery to food. Whatever it might be, beloved, for you, Christ has set you free. Count on him!
October 15, 2018
(Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
Brothers and sisters: It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. . . . we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. Gal_4:22-24,26-27,31–5:1
Our Covenant offered by Jesus.
Our freedom sealed with our Faith.
Our reward – eternal life of Love!
October 14, 2018
(28th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
“I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her . . .” Wis_7:7-11
Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. Heb_4:12-13
Jesus, looking at the rich man who inquired about how to gain Eternal life, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, Mk_10:17-30
Advertisements on the Internet have a way of enticing us to want to find out more, to seek an answer for something we never asked for, in the first place, with a simple click or tap of our finger.
And we’ve all seen them . . .
“Secret to perfect health discovered, in fingernails by . . . (dot, dot, dot).”
“Don’t ever eat this food again . . . (dot, dot, dot).”
“New paradise uncovered in Missouri town of . . . (dot, dot, dot).”
Sometimes, but rarely, those ads are enlightening. And I say rarely, because it only took me a couple clicks before I decided to avoid them like the plague; because, more often than not, they’ll lead us straight to a hard-drive crash, or worse; by making that click, the advertising world now has us pegged for an insurmountable overflow of junk mail.
And so the question is:
“What are WE willing to risk, to sacrifice,
to find that answer?”
The rich man in Mark’s Gospel today, knew that God loved him. He was a faithful Jew who followed all the rules. And yet, he was intrigued by this concept of Eternal Life.
And he also believed that Jesus,
just might have the answer.
So he clicked on that proverbial button. But he never realized that he’d have to “pull OFF – all those fingernails,” or “stop eating food – all together,” or “descend 100-feet underground to find a ‘Paradise’ that only a bat would appreciate.”
You see, the man in this story was so tightly attached to his possessions, to personal control of his own life, that he was unwilling to sacrifice ANY of it – for something as mysterious, as metaphysical as Eternal Life.
And THIS, really IS –
What it’s all about, beloved!
We call it – FAITH!
The Writer of the Book of Wisdom attributes Solomon, King David’s son, to having been confronted with the same type of Choice.
Offered anything his imagination and his desire could perceive: be it wealth, or power, or personal health, or maybe even bringing his dog or his dad back to life, Solomon chose instead, that mysterious and metaphysical Gift of Wisdom.
Wisdom – different from self-enlightening Knowledge,
Wisdom, different from self-gratifying Understanding,
The Wisdom that King Solomon sought, was the ability to share, the ability to use – a little bit of his God – for the advancement and the unity of God’s Kingdom. The Wisdom that Solomon desired was not for his own self-gratification, but it was for the Good of his entire Nation.
It WAS the most unselfish
that Solomon could have possibly made.
And yet, we still might wonder, exactly how and why Solomon made that particular choice.
You see, behind it all, Solomon fell in love with Wisdom. Long before he was ever offered that ‘Gift of Choice’ by God, Solomon yearned for the Spirit of Wisdom!
The Psalmist sings: “As the deer yearns for streams of water, So my soul yearns for You, O Lord, my God!” (Ps 42:2)
Meanwhile, God knew exactly what was IN Solomon’s heart and mind, before His proposal was ever made; just as Jesus intimately knew the heart of the wayward rich man, and yet, loved him anyway; and just as God knows all of OUR deepest thoughts and desires, something we don’t always wear on our shirt-sleeves or on our ball caps.
For you see, beyond our masks of self-centered prayer; beyond our masks of volunteer work, done in order to make US look good to others; or worse, so that we can check-off another box on our heavenly resume, all for the sake of climbing one more step up Jacob’s ladder to heaven, despite the heads that get crushed under our feet in the process; beyond all of those masks, God KNOWS exactly what our motives are;
God knows our hearts.
And gazing through all those masks, God is seeking the Child among us who has as deep a love for Jesus and for others, as Solomon had for Wisdom and for His nation.
Are we those Children, brothers and sisters?
What are we willing to sacrifice, as Jesus said, “for His sake and for the sake of His Gospel” of Love? What are we willing to sacrifice that goes beyond just our surplus?
You see, sacrifice means that sometimes, it just might hurt a little, or maybe even a lot, like that two-edged sword, piercing between our joints and marrow. The sword of sacrifice that struck that rich man right between the eyes. Sacrifice means that, when we remove our masks of protection and security, we truly will be exposed; and exposure hurts.
Jesus didn’t JUST tell the rich man to give it all up, like St. Francis did. He then, asked him to FOLLOW . . .
“Now, having freed yourself from the chains of wealth, NOW, let’s walk around town in rags.”
“Now, come with me, as we endure the taunts and the persecutions of the Pharisees.”
“And if we can survive that, NOW, are we still willing to DIE for this cause?”
What’s holding US back, brothers and sisters?
What is it – that we’re we NOT willing to give up, and that God is already aware of?
You see, He’ll give us all kinds of opportunities to grow, to make our changes – one little step at a time. And He’ll even help us if we ask for the impossible. But, just like Solomon and all of his Wisdom, we first have to Fall in Love with Jesus.
We have to Fall in Love with the Jesus who loved us so incredibly much that He left His Paradise home to take-on our sinful flesh in a cave, on a dirty bed of straw.
We have to Fall in Love with the Jesus who forgave, even as the sword was piercing His heart on the cross.
The Jesus who lovingly endured all of our ignorance, our simple mindedness, and our stubborn and arrogant natures.
The Jesus who healed the cast-out lepers, who welcomed the stranger, who dined with the enemy, and who loved the dependency, and the trust, and the innocence of little children,
The Jesus who ate, and pooped, and laughed and cried; who sweat and bled and spit, right along with the best and worst of all of us.
We have to fall in love with the Jesus who died and rose in order to show us that, without a doubt, there really IS such a mystical and metaphysical thing as Eternal Life.
The Jesus who still feeds us with Himself, every week and every day, IF . . . (dot, dot, dot)
If we make that Choice of –
Falling in Love with Him!
jmp homily 10-14-18
October 13, 2018
St. Paul said, “through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal_3:22-29
We are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus, in Love!
October 12, 2018
(Our Lady of the Pillar)
In speaking about Faith and the (Jewish) Law, St. Paul wrote: “all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law.’ (Dt_27:26) . . . Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,’ (Dt_21:23) that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Gal_3:7-14
If we become a “lawyer” we live by the law and for the law. But if we become a faithful, lover of Jesus, we live by faith and for the Lord. And that faith will save us! For from that faith we live by love, from which all the laws are derived!
October 11, 2018
(St. John XXIII, Pope)
Jesus said, “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. . . . What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Lk_11:5-13
As Jesus’ follow-up to the Lord’s Prayer in Luke’s Gospel He spoke of Petition to God with a parable and a moral! And it’s all about God’s love for us! According to His WILL, God will provide whatever we need. Of course, if we’re asking for something totally trivial which may waste good money or be potentially harmful to us or others – we just might not get it. And if we’re asking for a miraculous life or healing – we may or may not get it, depending on what God’s will is for us. But either way, when we learn to be thankful for ALL we have, or don’t have, all we suffer or our great health, God will reward us, if not in this life, in the life to come! Praise be to God for His great love for us!!!
October 10, 2018
St. Paul said, when they (the Apostles) recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Gal_2:1-2,7-14
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News. Ps_117_response
Jesus said, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” Lk_11:1-4
The last and most important thing that Jesus commanded His disciples and us to do, beloved, was to “Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.” In a world filled with hurricanes and floods, wars and evil, hatred and death, people are still baffled by what that phrase, “The Good News” really means.
And yet, as Catholics, as Christians, we are very familiar with the term. We understand that, just the fact that the Son of God came, in all His Divinity, to live among us, proves to us how incredibly much God really Loves us.
We understand that, not only did Jesus teach us about this great love of God, but, He showed us, through His own example, how we mere humans can love one another – just as freely and just as much – as God loves us, through our actions of mercy, and forgiveness, and acceptance; and then by teaching others exactly what Jesus taught us.
And when it’s all said and done, and we find death knocking at OUR door, WE, as faithful Christians, know that death is really not – some ominous and fearful ending, but rather, it’s a glorious gateway to Love beyond our wildest dreams. It’s a new beginning. And THAT’s some pretty awesome Good News.
And yet, throughout the ages, mankind had complicated the simple beauty of this Good News with rules, and requirements, and so many conditions, that it almost seemed impossible to even hope for.
And we can go all the way back to St. Paul to see some of the earliest examples of that Good News being lost and then re-found, as we heard in his note to the Galatians today.
St. Paul, was the perfect example of “Going out to tell the Good News.” He converted people throughout East-Asia and Europe to belief in Jesus.
And yet, with the great distances between these “new churches,” Paul was only able to visit them on rare occasions. So, word of their progress would come through helpers, and Paul would commend the growth or admonish the errors of those Churches – in Letters.
Unfortunately, what often happened, was that other missionaries would visit those churches while Paul was not there, and distort Paul’s teaching, either because of their ignorance or for their own selfish gain. And that’s exactly what happened to the church in Galatia.
Jewish converts to the Faith came after Paul, as missionaries, and insisted that the new Pagan Christians had to first become Jews through circumcision, and then follow all of their 613-laws, before Jesus could ever save them.
So Paul, not only had to re-validate his authenticity to the Galatians, but he also had to get agreement with the Apostles living in Jerusalem, that the teaching of these Judaizers was wrong. All of this led to what was called the Council of Jerusalem, where the Apostles and Paul agreed that circumcision would not be required in order for a Gentile to become a Christian.
And all of this should have been a moot point, because it was Jesus Himself who taught them the importance of Loving God and their Neighbor as well – without qualifying whether that neighbor was a Jew or a Gentile, black or white, slave or free-person.
Isn’t it sad how we can make such simple Good News so complicated. And we still do this today! It’s just part of our human nature. And that’s why Jesus brings us back to God through prayer.
Jesus taught His disciples and us to pray in recognition of God’s great love; He taught us to petition God for the food we need to live, and the strength we need to endure trials. And He taught us to apply that Golden Rule – of Love for others as we would like to be loved ourselves – with mercy, and kindness, and compassion.
This is the Good News of God’s love.
And this IS our calling!
Now it’s up to us, beloved,
to Go out into our world
(wherever that may be for us),
and simply share it!
October 9, 2018
(St. Denis, Bishop and Companions, Martyrs)
(St. John Leonardi, Priest)
St. Paul wrote “I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only kept hearing that ‘the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ So they glorified God because of me.” Gal_1:13-24
Ever know someone who has undergone a total conversion to the Lord, beloved? It’s quite awesome to see a person go from hatred to love, from persecutor to evangelist. And then it’s even more awesome to witness the change within ourselves. A change from disapproval to acceptance. How could we possibly love a person who was persecuting us? This is equally the work of God. God wants all of us to have a change of heart to Him. And He will do everything in His power to bring it about. But He will never force that decision upon us – It’s always our own free will choice – to follow the will of God.
After complaining to Jesus about her overworked condition, Jesus responded to Martha, saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.” Lk_10:38-42 . . .
If we can escape comparisons, prejudice and selfishness, if we can learn to see Jesus within others, if we can truly learn to Love God with all our heart, mind and soul, beloved, we’ll discover that there really is ONLY ONE THING NEEDED . . .
October 8, 2018
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Lk_10:25-37
The scholar continued, asking Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with a parable about pride and mercy, where it was the merciful one who turned out to be the best of neighbors. Today we still and often call the merciful neighbor among us, the “Good Samaritan” after this parable.
But maybe the tougher question would have been, “Who is not my neighbor?” Is there anyone in our lives, beloved, who we would consider to not be our neighbor?
We live in a world where, between satellite communication, either audio or video, and air travel, we have access to all countries, all continents around the globe. We have relatives or friends living in Japan and Australia, Alaska and Antarctica. I have visitors to this website from Europe, Africa, Canada, South America, Korea and even Hong-Kong China. And they are all my beloved neighbors. But what about those of other faith beliefs? What about those of warring countries? What about those in my own country who distort the truth for their own (maybe evil) pursuits. Are they not still my neighbor? If we found them in the ditch, suffering the attack of terrorists, would they not still be God’s children who deserve a little mercy?
Maybe instead of finding another nice companion to call our neighbor, we should be looking inside at who it is that we do not call our neighbor, and find it in ourselves to figure out why, and what it would take to change our thinking, our prejudice, or our hatred of them.
In the times of Jesus and St. Francis, and even our own recent past, people who suffered from leprosy were considered outcasts, untouchable and evil. And yet, Jesus, St. Francis and St. Damien of Molokai embraced those lepers as their neighbors, with mercy and love!
Is there any reason we can not be as saintly in our thoughts, words and actions, beloved?
This is what Jesus asks of us!
October 7, 2018
(27th Sunday, Ordinary Time, B)
So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” Gn_2:18-24
The nurses always joked about this being the first orthopedic surgery! Of course, the anesthesiologists and the geneticists would have their say too. And you know, beloved, we couldn’t have had a better teacher! And yet, it wasn’t about medicine, nor technology. The whole point was the ONENESS of them both. It didn’t make either better, or first, or more full than the other. It made them complementary. It made them: “MADE for each other.” It made them both greater together than they could ever be apart!
When we can get off the “Who’s the greatest” kick in our culture, in our society, brothers and sisters, maybe then we’ll begin to see the beauty in our diversity and the complementary nature of being man and woman! And after realizing that, then, we may more clearly understand the awesome miracle and creative wonder of childbearing, and the dignity of ALL life!
It’s WHY we were created! It’s who we are! All to the Glory of God, in thanksgiving to Jesus for reminding us! Any other contorted revision of this Truth, is sadly a testimony to our own depravity. For we all and always have the God-given, free will to believe or not.
Jesus taught us to Love God and to love one another!
And not for “MY” sake, but for Theirs!
This IS our calling!
October 6, 2018
(St. Bruno, Priest and Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, Virgin)
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus answered, “. . . do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Lk_10:17-24
The ’72’ earned their heavenly reward because they obediently followed and carried out the call of Jesus, as His messengers. And despite any hardships or rejection they may have endured, they still rejoiced!
Now, we might be thinking that, of course they had reason to rejoice. They received all this power from Jesus to accomplish those mighty deeds. And, yet, Jesus offers us those same powers. But the question is, are we using them? Do we truly believe that we have the power to eject the demons who are twisting our thoughts and actions and those of others – through the Holy Name of Jesus? Did you ever turn off a bad movie or TV show, beloved, refusing to endure it to the end? Did you ever turn away from a nasty Facebook comment, or accidental, gross or obscene picture on the internet, before allowing it to corrupt your thoughts or views of other people?
You see, Jesus gives us all kinds of opportunities to eject the demons of our culture, of our society, with one click of a finger! All we need do, like the disciples, is believe and answer His call! He truly is quite powerful, our Jesus! Use Him!
October 5, 2018
(Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest, Redemptorist)
The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said: Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place . . . Have you entered into the sources of the sea, or walked about in the depths of the abyss? . . .
Then Job answered the LORD and said: Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more. Jb_38:1,12-21;40:3-5
Jesus said, “And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Lk_10:13-16
If we hadn’t read yesterday’s Gospel, it would help us today if we placed our reading in the proper context, because from the sounds of it, it doesn’t seem to make much sense that Jesus would be railing on the people from Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, and then, immediately afterward, say, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.”
We really needed a pause in there, or at least an explanation to help us understand the background to that comment.
You see, yesterday Jesus was speaking with 72 of his disciples, sending them off on their first mission. He explained what they might expect, and how they were to act when they received a friendly acceptance of their visit.
And then he warned them, that they would not always BE accepted, just as He himself was not accepted in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. And beyond just shaking the dust from His feet against them, Jesus warned, today, that the people of those towns would have some pretty severe punishments because of their lack of faith.
And even beyond – just – their lack of faith, those people didn’t even believe what they saw with their own eyes!
So Jesus lets off a little steam, pretty much casting his curses to the wind, or as we might do, into our pillow or our vacant cars.
And then, Jesus addresses His disciples again, telling THEM that, “Whoever listens to them is listening to Him” and “Whoever rejects them is rejecting Him.” NOW, that whole piece makes a lot more sense.
The take-home, of course, beloved, is that WE, His modern-day disciples, had better be certain that we never lapse into disbelief. You see, the Evangelist, Luke, made sure that those words of Jesus DIDN’T just disappear in the wind. And maybe that’s a warning for us too, brothers and sisters, as to what our pillow, or what our supposedly vacant car Hears!
God’s Love has to start in our hearts, and then move to our heads, and wherever His Love is NOT, it must never escape our lips, especially in today’s world, where we never know who might be listening in!
And so it was, also, with our good friend, Job! Sure, he was a little down and out! He lost his livelihood. He lost his servants. He lost his whole family. And on top of all that, there he was, from head to toe with open sores.
And where was God in all this? You might think that God would have sent Job’s best friends to bring him some kind of consolation. Instead, there they were, blaming and condemning and calling Job, the most righteous man God knew, a sinner.
And maybe, in reality, he wasn’t all that perfect. Because there he was, in all his grief, with that mosquito just buzzing in his face, when finally, his mouth guard just totally fell out!
‘You know what, maybe some of this – IS God’s fault!
Maybe He really doesn’t love me as much as I thought.
Maybe I should not have ever been born!’
WELL, we can guess Who was listening in on the whole argument! And we can guess who had to set a few things right with Job and his friends. “Out of the storm,” it was God!
It all reminded me of the scene in The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy and her friends finally approached the great Wizard!
With the thunder rumbling and the lightning crashing, that Wizard knew every-last-detail of the needs of every one of them. And he also had the remedies for all of their ailments – a brain, a heart, some courage and a home.
It truly was – a pretty prophetic message.
And, you know what, beloved, if WE can keep just a little bit of God’s Wisdom in our heads, His Love in our hearts, His Courage in our preaching, and our mouth guards always secure, then despite the monkeys and the witches, despite the sores and the losses, despite the wavering friendships and the waves of grief, we too, will always find our way back Home, with Jesus as our constant companion and our perfect guide!
October 4, 2018
(St. Francis of Assisi)
Job said, “But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust; Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him, And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.” Jb_19:21-27
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. . . He said, Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ Lk_10:1-12
St. Francis was also consumed with longing for his Lord, Jesus. He was so consumed, that he actually took on the wounds of Jesus’ passion. Marked with the stigmata, St. Francis boldly proclaimed that Kingdom in every town he visited, while also curing the sick and preaching to Muslim warriors. Our true model of love for the unlovable and for His God, Francis lived the command of Jesus ‘to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.’ And so should we, beloved, and so should we!!!
October 3, 2018
Three good quotes from Jesus today:
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
“Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Lk_9:57-62
(Homily for 6:30 am Mass)
Jesus gives us three conditions for true discipleship today: perseverance, dedication and focus.
Perseverance is like: this morning, when we really did NOT want-to, or have-to get up at 4:45 am to come to Mass, and yet, despite our physical craving for more rest, it IS something we did anyway, not only for God, but for one another.
But, wait a minute Deacon Joe, what do you mean, “For one another?” I didn’t come for some stranger. I came for my own well being.
Well, you know that guy who always sits in the third row, and in the fourth seat from the center. I may not even know his name, but I DO know that he’s missing today. And I’m praying that he’s OK, because he IS a part of my life, every morning! And so are ALL of us to one another!
You see, Perseverance may not always be easy, but it IS important. Following Jesus faithfully, may cost us a little less shut-eye and a little more prayer, but it’s worth it! And, you know what, even the birds in their nests got up early this morning to welcome us with their songs.
. . . . . .
The second condition for discipleship with Jesus is dedication. Dedication is saying “Yes” to God’s Call, even when we have to put-off something that we may think is equally important, like going to a graduation, or a wedding, or a funeral.
You see, by saying “Let the dead bury their dead,” Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful of the dead person’s living, loved-ones. Instead, He was elevating their lives: with a mission, over grief, with a spiritual life, over physical death and with the true dedication of a disciple who unreservedly follows Jesus.
Dedication is prioritizing our mission of proclaiming God’s Kingdom with every smile, with every door held, and with every little penance we endure – not to grieve, or sulk, or crawl into our own little shell instead.
. . . . . .
And finally there’s Focus. If you ever tried to drive while you were staring at your cell phone, or while you were looking back at the gal, glued to your tail, because she doesn’t like the speed limit, your car might just find itself in an intimate relationship with the tree on the curve, or the deer who was jaywalking in the dark.
Jesus said, we need to keep our focus on our heavenly goal and not on what’s behind us. Admittedly, that’s not always easy.
Our friend Job, had everything going for him: He had a wonderful family. He had lots of wealth and servants. And he had the perseverance, dedication and focus of the perfect disciple.
But when it all came crumbling apart, Job started to wonder in his heart, what it was all worth. He grieved over his past, and he questioned his future. And looking back, Job suddenly realized his miniscule insignificance relative to His glorious God. And even though his plight of material loss and physical suffering may have caused him to trip, and to stumble, and to almost lose his focus in the face of new attacks on every side, Job still maintained his perseverance, his dedication and His focus on God.
And so can WE, beloved, because, despite our afflictions, despite our insecurities, and even despite our often fuzzy Focus, WE are NOT insignificant to God, nor are we to one another!
And HERE (on the Cross), and
Here (in the Eucharist),
and Here (in our community)
is our Testimony . . .
We ARE significant, and God does love us, despite our short-comings. Remember that, beloved! And LIVE for Him!
October 2, 2018
Jesus said to His disciples, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Mt_18:1-5,10
HUMBLE! Are we humble enough, beloved, to believe that it truly is not us alone who do all the great things of the world? Without our guardian angels, we would be nothing. We would be less than nothing. But with the power given us by the Holy Spirit and in cooperation with God’s guardians, always there to help us to guide us and protect us, we can be exactly what Jesus wants us to be – His humble servants. Servants, not only for God, but for one another. When we can learn to be dependent on God and our Guardian Angels, just like a child is upon their parents, we WILL be the greatest in God’s Kingdom – well, beside God, of course!
October 1, 2018
(Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
After losing all of his livestock and all of his children Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair. He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God. Jb_1:6-22
The epitome of faithfulness, Job! When all seems to be lost, beloved. When there seems to be no hope left at all in life, that’s when we need our God the most! Never give up on your Creator and Redeemer. God has got our backs.
And when it’s all said and done, even to our dying breath, God will reward us so generously that we won’t even remember the suffering. If you’re ever feeling down, lost a job, lost a loved one, lost hope, read the story of Job. Because the losses he endured in today’s few verses were just the beginning. And the reward he gained for his faithfulness (even though it was not perfect), were far beyond what he could ever imagine.
Keep the faith, beloved.
For your God loves you immeasurably!
Happy October, beloved!
God’s blessings of courage for trying,
success in all of our attempts and
perseverance in our efforts!
Please stop by and visit September’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
EARLIER MONTH’S QUOTES can be found
in monthly subcategories of – “Whispers“
Link to Previous Month’s Whispers
Link to Next Month’s Whispers
Link back to Whispers to the Wind
Link to Saint of the Day
(also in Time page, under Liturgical Seasons section)
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