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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September 30, 2018
(26th Sunday, Ordinary Time, B)
After the disciples complained to Jesus about non-followers healing in His name, Jesus responded, whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. Mk_9:38-43,45,47-48
So don’t worry about those others, beloved. Salvation is in the hands of God alone. We – need just be – the best us we can. For there are lots and lots of traps we, ourselves, can fall into on the journey, without worrying about those others.
Jesus continued, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
. . . And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
. . . And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” ibid
We have enough to worry about in our own members. So pray, beloved, that you do not have to undergo that type of temptation, that you may not have to enter into God’s glory maimed.
September 29, 2018
(Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels)
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn_1:47-51
Today we commemorate the Holy Archangels of God: Gabriel the great messenger of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Annunciation (Lk 1:26, Dn 8:15-16), Michael the defender and protector of God’s faithful against the evils of Satan (Jude 1:9, Rev 12:7-8), and Raphael the guide of Tobiah, in the Book of Tobit (Tb 12:15) and the healer of Sarah and Tobit.
And just as Jacob dreamt of a ladder ascending to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it, Jesus today tells us how that avenue, that ladder to heaven rests upon Him. When we rely upon, follow and allow Jesus to lead our lives, this is where He will lead us. With an angel on each arm we will ascend too, into the Heavenly Glory of God our Father. I look forward to seeing you there, too, one day, beloved, with all the angels and saints as our companions.
September 28, 2018
(St. Wenceslaus, Martyr)
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
– a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
– a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
– a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
– a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
– a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
– a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
– a time of war, and a time of peace. . . .
God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. Eccl_3:1-11
So fear not, nor cling too tightly, beloved!
“For these times, they are a-changin’.”
But always TRUST in God!
As an aside, it’s interesting to study the quartet of activities of each sentence of the poem. For example, in the first we see the correlation between being born and planting, and between dying and uprooting. And that trend continues all the way up to the last sentence, where the correlation is, maybe a little counterintuitive: love/war, hate/peace. But isn’t that the truth! In times of war our bond of love for those closest to us becomes even tighter, even though they may be far away, but even more so in the ever-present threat of their loss through that war. And, on the contrary, in times of peace, we tend to take those loves for granted and even become more critical of others: maybe even critical enough to hate. The poem is really quite profound when your put some “time” into it!
September 27, 2018
(St. Vincent de Paul, Priest)
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Ps_90
And where is Your kindness, Lord? We find it in the beauty of nature. We find it in the love of our neighbor. We find it in our jobs and homes and food and family. Where is your kindness, Lord, when all of these things seem to be so lacking in our lives? We find it in the lessons. We find it in the missionary. We find Your kindness in the quiet one who offers us consolation for the miseries we may have to endure. “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.” Fill us with your love and compassion and friendship and companionship. For we are empty and need a little of Your joy and gladness to carry us through another day!
September 25, 2018
Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
– Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.
– Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
– The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me.
– Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart. Ps_119
Jesus said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Lk_8:19-21
It all begins with us, beloved. We make the “choice” to believe and follow. Faith follows by the Grace of God! And we grow. We live to follow, we pray to follow and we Love to follow those precepts and laws that God has given us for eternal life! As we proclaim, “Blessed be God forever!”
September 24, 2018
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.” Lk_8:16-18
Who in our world is not constantly observed any more, today. With smartphone cameras, security cams, hidden cameras and apps that might be watching us even when we don’t realize it, there REALLY is nothing hidden, nothing secret. And so, Jesus warns us that, even before any of that technology was present, God sees our every thought and action.
Thus, we are to live as though the light was constantly on. We are to live as though our every move was on someone’s Facebook page. We are to live with God’s righteousness and with nothing that we should ever be ashamed of, either in our thoughts, our words, or our deeds! This will not only be pleasing to God, but it will make our lives a whole lot more pleasant too!
September 23, 2018
(25th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Beloved: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. Jas_3:16-4:3
Love that word, CULTIVATE (plant, sow, offer)!
Cultivate Peace and reap (get back) peace and righteousness.
Cultivate Gentleness and reap compassion.
Cultivate Compliance and reap a listening ear.
Cultivate mercy and reap love!
For LOVE is what it’s all about!
And above all, seek God’s Wisdom
in every thought and action!
Have a very blessed Sunday, beloved,
in Christ’s peace, always!
September 22, 2018
What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be,
but a bare kernel of wheat, . . .
So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.
It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious.
It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.
What a beautiful picture of the resurrection, that St. Paul paints for us today. And equally important as our recognition of the glory of our resurrection after “natural” death, is our recognition of both the physical and spiritual natures of our lives now.
And that means that just as we need to nourish our physical being for it to thrive and grow – so also, we need to do the same for our Spiritual nature.
That nourishment comes in our closeness to Jesus. And our closeness to Jesus comes in our prayer life, our reading life, our Sacramental life and our sharing of God’s love with every person we come in contact with.
Jesus said, “This is my body!”
Consume Him, and live!
September 21, 2018
(St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist)
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mt_9:9-13
When someone hurts us, whether directly or indirectly, we have a tendency to lose trust in that person, or company, or leader. It may be a relative. It may be our car repair shop. It may be our president, or priest, or even our pope.
And when we lose trust in someone we counted on, it leaves us with a gaping hole that needs to be refilled. “Now, where will I get my car fixed? And IF I find another shop, will I ever be able to trust them with not giving me poor workmanship or charging me for something that was never done?” “Where will I send my kids to school for a good Catholic education, if I can’t even trust the priests?” “How can I depend on anything the Church says when it’s very leaders are suspected of dishonesty?”
These are some really probing questions? Questions that REQUIRE answers, if we are ever to find peace in this life. Because we can’t – just keep giving up on everyone and everything that disappoints us. Sure, we can sue the repair shop. Sure, we can have petitions signed to impeach the president and the pope. But does that really do anyone any good?
And behind it all, maybe the real question should be, “How trustworthy am I?”
In God’s eyes, Am I the perfect young man who follows all the rules and yet, am not willing to give up one ounce of my wealth, of my comfort, to help Jesus carry His cross? It always seems a lot easier to find the faults in others – especially when one of those faults may have hurt us, than it is to find our own faults and fix them.
Today Jesus invites a lowly and hated tax collector named Matthew, to follow Him. He was lowly because maybe it was the only job he could find. Maybe he had a family to feed and fishing the Sea of Galilee just couldn’t cut it. And the reason he was hated was because most tax collectors were known for cheating people, for their own personal gain. Besides the fact that they were unfairly collecting money from their own flesh and blood, Jewish relatives. Money that went directly to their Roman enemies – probably to buy more crosses and nails for those who couldn’t pay their taxes.
So, not only were the tax collectors untrustworthy, but they were outright, uncontrollably hurting the people.
And after all that, there was Jesus, inviting these scoundrels to dinner. The Pharisees were livid!
But when the compass was turned around, who was it, who had less love? Who were the unforgiving ones? Who were the uncompassionate ones?
And who was it that really changed from the whole episode; Who changed to become not only a faithful follower, but to become one of the primary evangelists for Jesus, to change millions of souls by his writings, for thousands of years to come?
It was, of course, St. Matthew – that dreadful one!
You see, we can give up hope on people because of one little error on their part. We can give up hope because of some little flaw in their character, that they didn’t even realize they had. We might call them un-fixable! But, maybe instead, we can compromise our own ‘personal perfection,’ and give them the benefit of the doubt – so that they too, like Matthew, might find their healing in Jesus.
Maybe that’s precisely what happened to us, beloved, by some unsuspecting soul whom we hurt; and we never even realized it. Maybe it was us who were saved by the undeserved compassion of someone else.
Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
You see, beloved, we truly are Christ’s hospital for one another, whether we’re in that bed or sitting beside it. And right about now, would be a really good time to administer a little bit of mercy and a whole lot of prayer, for our world, for our country, for our Church, and for one another.
Thank you St. Matthew for saying “Yes.”
And thank you Jesus for asking him . . .
September 20, 2018
(Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and Saint Paul Chong Hasang and companions, martyrs)
Jesus told a parable to a Pharisee who complained about a sinful woman in their presence. It was about the power of forgiveness. He said, “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. Lk_7:36-50
Jesus certainly had the gift of storytelling! The unsuspecting Pharisee had no idea that the story would backfire in his own face. That’ll teach him not to complain to Jesus. But it also might teach him to not be so judgmental.
Maybe we’d say it seemed more like gratitude than love, that the woman had, who was forgiven so much more than the holy Pharisees. But you know what, beloved, gratitude certainly translates into love with a little time. When we can be more thankful for all the little things in life that are different from us, that might even bother us because of that difference – maybe one day we could even love them too! So, thank God for the grungy beggar, the antsy child, the stressed out mom. Their whole reason for being in our life just might be to teach us gratitude, to teach us LOVE!
September 19, 2018
(St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr)
St. Paul’s famous love passage from his first letter to the Corinthians, Ch. 13 ends: “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1_Cor_12:31-13:13
We hear it in 90% of the wedding ceremonies we attend. And yet, is anyone even listening? (What’s that divorce rate?) This virtue of Love is so far beyond anything we know and most of the things we do, that we have to wonder if it has just been totally forgotten. Because it’s certainly not the gushy, mushy stuff the world makes it out to be. That’s all just a self-centered, self-aggrandizing farce.
St. Paul could not have put it more succinctly:
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.”
If we could concentrate on just one of these aspects of Love per week, and then allow them to change our attitudes, allow them to change the very core of every thought and action we do, then, just imagine the change it can bring to our world. Just imagine the change it can bring to us – and not for our sake – but for the sake of building that Kingdom that Jesus commissioned us to do!
THERE’s our Hope!
And it all begins with LOVE!
September 18, 2018
Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, 1_Cor_12:12-14,27-31a
Well, today is 9-18-18. I always get a kick out of date numbers, and today is a fun one! If we add together the month, day and year numbers individually, we get 9-9-9. If we add all the nines together we get 27, which added together is 9. If we add the 2-18s we get 36 + the 9 = 45, which added together is again 9. Funny, we just can’t seem to get away from those 9’s today. Except Paul’s Scripture reading does go ONE better . . . ONE!
When we think about our unity in the ONE Body of Christ and how we really do need each other to make this ONE Body the absolute best it can be, then we realize the importance of community to our Faith. Paul goes on to speak about the different charisms, the different gifts of talent we each have that make this Body even better than any of us individually could be.
That’s the same as our community in family, our community in work, our community at school and our community as humans on this planet. We really are all one! And any hurt to any one or group of us hurts all the rest.
If we can get ourselves past the 9’s, then we just might realize that, instead of being the loneliest, ONE really is the BEST!
September 17, 2018
(St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
St. Paul wrote, For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. 1_Cor_11:17-26,33
Jesus, freely offered, freely given, in totality, FOR us, beloved. Are we ready? Are we willing to accept Him?
Our response, “Lord I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only say the Word, and my soul shall be healed.” Words from Mass, Words from Lk 7:1-10
Do we truly believe the words we’re saying, beloved?
When we open our hearts. When we recognize our unworthiness. When we realize the life poured out for us by Jesus, in order to bring to us that life! Then how can we possibly say no! How can we possibly disrespect the enormity of what we receive in the Blessed Sacrament. We ARE worthy! We are loved! Otherwise Jesus would never have even been incarnate for us!
Fall in love with His Word. Fall in love with His sacrifice. Fall in love with Jesus, beloved. For no greater love can there ever be, or has there ever been!
September 16, 2018
(24th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” Mk_8:27-35
So, beloved, there IS an action part of this thing we call Faith! Beyond just saying that we are Christian; beyond just wearing a cross around our neck or having a bumper sticker on our car, we are called to live our faith in what we say, and in what we do, and in how we act. St. James wrote,
“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Jas_2:14-18
It’s THAT action part that just might be the hardest part of being Christian. We can’t just sit around and be quiet about our beliefs. This may just be the cross we have to bear for the sake of the Gospel.
If our faith professes a life of righteousness, the life that Jesus modeled and taught to us, then to the absolute best of our ability we need to live that life. And the world needs to see us live that life. If it cost us sneers and jeers and embarrassment from the world – let them, that’s our cross. And if our righteousness costs us persecution and imprisonment and hatred by the world, that’s our cross, let them. And even if it cost our very lives, as it did Jesus, that’s our cross too – but know, that in the process, we have gained the eternal life that Jesus promised to all who live that faith with cross in hand and sight focused on Him.
St. John wrote: Do not love the world or the things of the world. . . . the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. 1_Jn_2:17
Believe and Do and Live!
September 15, 2018
(Our Lady of Sorrows)
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 1_Cor_10:14-22
What more beautiful way to describe the unity of our Church. What more beautiful way to describe our unity as Christians. We are ONE Body! The Body of Christ! So beware, beloved, to never allow fractions to occur within you because of silly personal differences of preference, talents, cultures, races or homelands. We are ALL ONE Body. Our differences should strengthen us. And our similarities in Belief in Jesus, in following God’s precepts and in loving one another should strengthen us all the more. Love God! Love one another! And stay always strong in your faith. You ARE God’s special children and our special kindred!
September 14, 2018
(Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
St. Paul wrote that Jesus: humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil_2:6-11
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Jn_3:13-17
When we rely on human wisdom for the answers to the mysteries of life in Christ, then we are no more than dust in the wind. But when we recognize our need for God, our constant need for Jesus, then God will see that we have all the answers we need for the time at hand. This is our faith! And this is enough for us!
September 13, 2018
(St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Jesus said, “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Lk_6:27-38
That goes for our generosity, our expectations, our forgiveness, our judgments, our faith and our hope. This is what it means to be Christian!
September 12, 2018
(Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. Lk_6:20-26
Not proceeding through the “woes” of Luke’s version of The Beatitudes, today’s blessings are a welcome respite from the warnings of St. Paul yesterday, of the evils of the world.
Of course, if we read them all the way through, we might be prompted to wonder how poverty, hunger, weeping and insult can be blessings. And there’s that TIME aspect of life again: the “now versus then”, the “is versus will be”. If we succumb to all the desires of the flesh in the “now”. If we get too comfortable living in that ‘cocoon’ of life that we spoke of yesterday, we just might end up rotting IN it, rather than emerging FROM it (into the “then”), as the magnificent butterfly that God created us to be.
The Beatitudes of the Lord may sound counterintuitive, but if we trust in the Wisdom of God, as Jesus tells us – we WILL be rewarded! And that reward will last a whole lot longer and be a whole lot more glorious than even the best we can imagine in this short 0-90 years of residence in our little cocoons!
Blessed be God forever!
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Today we celebrate the sacredness of the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Mary always points us to God, reminding us of God’s infinite goodness. She helps us to open our hearts to God’s ways, wherever those may lead us. Honored under the title ‘Queen of Peace,’ Mary encourages us to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice and a peace that respects the fundamental human rights of all peoples.”
Let us give thanks to God for choosing Mary as the ark of His new Covenant in Jesus. And let us give thanks to Mary for saying “Yes” to her call as the Mother of our Lord and as our spiritual and eternal Mother as well.
September 11, 2018
St. Paul wrote to his infant Church in Corinth, “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God. 1_Cor_6:1-11
Well! Guess that cuts out most of our fellow liberal neighbors! But, boy-oh-boy, how perfect are we, beloved, in avoiding all of those moral errors? It’s hard to even buy groceries without having all their trash staring us in the face in those magazines at the checkout counter. That doesn’t mean we actually do those nasty things. But we’re exposed to them all the time! We’re threatened and we’re tempted.
THEN, that is the time to pray, beloved. Pray before we go shopping. Pray before we get into the car (for patience). Pray when we go to watch a movie or even the television. Pray that the Holy Spirit will keep our minds and our hearts clean (safe)!
And THAT, He WILL do –
IF we trust in Him/Her!
. . . . . . .
Seventeen years ago, today, we Americans in our sleepy comfort zone, experienced an unprecedented and unexpected attack by terrorists in our own land – something that much of the rest of the world has to deal with constantly. That day created a change in us that has had an impact on the rest of the world as well. But here at home we’ve lost our sense of security, our sense of trust, not only in those of foreign birth and our own international citizens, but even in our own government. It has bred prejudices, anger and hatred that the children who were not even born yet in 2001 have inherited, and may not even know why. And sadly, their parents, who were just children themselves back then, have had to deal with a trauma that has never really healed. And it’s only their parents now, who know the true difference between the before and after 9-11 world.
That event shocked us into the perceived reality that there really is no security except of our own making. We have our guns, we have our security cameras, we have our drugs, and alcohol and walls! But, you know what? All of those are just ruses to what we really need.
You see, beloved, I think WE understand – that the only real security that anyone has, is in our Lord! (Otherwise, you wouldn’t even be reading this webpage.) And that is exactly what so much of our country and our world has forgotten. It’s not anger, nor hatred, nor vengeance, nor guns that will set us free! It’s not anesthesia, like drugs, or alcohol, or sex that will set us free. The only true freedom comes in our belief in Jesus Christ. It’s not our country, nor our house, nor our school, nor our bomb shelters, nor even our bodies that will set us free. Jesus paid the price for our freedom with His own body, in order to prove, through His resurrection and through His ascension, that we truly have the hope of eternal life. We truly are free from this bodily cocoon that we’re so earnestly trying to save.
When we can let go of all of that false security around us, beloved! When we can fully trust in God and rely on the Holy Spirit for our guidance, only then will true Freedom be ours! It’s there, just for the asking. “Whatever you ask the Father in my Name,” said Jesus, “will be yours.” Jn_16:23
Seek His will, trust in Him, and LIVE FREE!
AMEN! And God bless you ALWAYS!
September 10, 2018
On a Sabbath Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged . . . Lk_6:6-11
Evil makes no common sense! And when evil loses (which it always does), it simply plots more evil. You see, evil doesn’t listen to rationality but it makes up lies and deceit in order to continue its evil. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist in today’s world to see the obvious nature of evil all around us, and those who perpetuate it.
Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them.” Mt 7:15-16
We must pray for our strength against them, beloved! We must keep firm in our faith in Jesus! And we must remain strong together in God’s call for peace and love and compassion and life!
Jesus said, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” Jn 16:33
You are in my prayers and love, always!
September 9, 2018
(23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus took the deaf and mute man off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mk_7:31-37
Some things just have to be done – away from the madding crowds! Jesus knew that this healing would astound them. And He wasn’t doing it for the fanfare! Somewhere mixed in with the need for entertainment on the part of those asking for the healing, there was a hint of faith. Somewhere there were true sighs that it really worked! A husband was returned whole. A father was now communicative again. And Jesus truly IS – the Messiah!
It’s all about faith, and ephphatha, being open!
Link to today’s homily:
A Touch of Communication
September 8, 2018
(Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of Justice, Christ our God. Alleluia Verse
September 7, 2018
Brothers and sisters: . . . do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, 1_Cor_4:1-5
Jesus told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. Lk_5:33-39
Always taking as our reference for these Scriptures, the context of the time and situation in which they were written, we see again, today, that constant word-battle between Jesus and the Pharisees; where the Pharisees would hurl-over an insult, often disguised as a question, and Jesus would respond with a parable or some witty quote that would leave them, either dumbfounded, or even more angry with Him, because they knew they just couldn’t win.
Today’s contention was no different. There, were the Pharisees bemoaning Jesus for not following their over-stringent fasting laws, even throwing in the name of John the Baptist, for a little added punch; while the response of Jesus was another one of His common-sense allegories:
EVERYBODY knows that you don’t patch an old cloak with new material.
And EVERYBODY knows that you don’t add new wine to an old wineskin.
And yet, WE know that, without ever pointing one accusatory finger, Jesus was using that allegory as a parable:
– where the “OLD” cloak represented the teachings of the Pharisees, while the “NEW” were the teachings of Jesus.
– And the OLD wine represented the unchanging attitudes of the Jews, who were dead-set in their ways and resistant to change, and the NEW wine, stood for the Gentiles, who were open and excited about the change that Jesus offered.
And yet that Change was really nothing more than a different way of saying what all of those “old laws” professed, but this time, without the prejudice, without the Pharisaic superiority, and without the constant judgment and belittling of everyone but themselves.
St. Paul was finding the same issues with the fledgling Church in Corinth. They were getting lost in the legality. They were forming factions based on which teacher they liked best. They were abusing the Eucharist. And worst of all, they were judging and condemning each other over sins that they themselves were guilty of.
All of which carries right-on-over to our own Church today.
And it prompts us to make those same assessments that Jesus and Paul made – of the judgmental Pharisees and the abusive Corinthians:
What piece of paper have I stepped over, rather than picking it up and placing it in the trash?
What shoplifter did I see in the store and gave the benefit of the doubt, rather than snitching on the poor soul?
Or what priest did I forgive for a moment of his frustration, rather than calling down the fires of hell to broil him on the spot.
Am I that perfect?
Or am I that close-minded that the “new wine” of Jesus will burst me at the seams?
You see, neither Jesus nor Paul are telling us today – to close our eyes to the horrors of our time, because we ARE responsible for protecting our brothers and sisters and our world. But they are telling us – to let go, just a little, of our prejudices and our quick judgment of others.
Because, in the end, it will be God alone who makes the final judgment.
And when it’s me sitting in that judgment seat, the only thing that will really matter – is how closely the patch of MY life matches the cloak that Jesus wore.
September 6, 2018
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. Lk_5:1-11
Simon thought he knew quite a bit about fishing. And when they were not biting or schooling for a net catch, it was just not the right time for fishing. So when Jesus asked them to cast the net for a catch, along with all the work associated with that task, Simon hesitated! But knowing that this was JESUS asking, he did so anyway, with blind faith. It was an absolutely miraculous catch! And when something that unusual, that extraordinary, happens in our lives, beloved, we know for sure, that there truly is a power far beyond anything our feeble intelligence can fathom. We know it’s God in our midst.
Today Jesus, Simon Peter and St. Paul teach us to trust in God. When the world seems to have us in a strangle-hold, trust in God. When we have lost all direction, or to the contrary, think we know everything, trust in God – we don’t! He will guide us, He will amaze us, He will be our one and only salvation in a world without a compass.
TRUST in GOD!
September 5, 2018
St. Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1_Cor_3:1-9
Planting and watering. Bringing hope and sharing the Truth of God’s love for all. This is what we are called to do, beloved. We may never see the results of our planting and watering, for some seed takes a long time to germinate and some never do. But all of that is in God’s hands. It’s not ours to worry about, to boast about, or to get depressed about. Just keep on planting and watering, and as St. Paul proclaims – You will receive your wages!
Blessed be God forever!
September 4, 2018
Brothers and sisters: The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among men, who knows what pertains to the man except his spirit that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms. 1_Cor_2:10b-16
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of Your faithful. Enkindle in us the fire of Your Love! . . .
Not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God will fill us with all knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
As everything falls incredibly into place!
Thank you Jesus!
September 3, 2018
(Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. 1_Cor_2:1-5
So sometimes, beloved, these words just stand on their own. There really is nothing more that can be added or explained. And sometimes I just have some fun with them.
So trust in the Lord, Jesus, always! Ruminate on His Word, whether it’s through the prophets, the apostles or Jesus Himself. They WILL bring you life! They may even bring you to reflection on how they impact on your life, as well!
September 2, 2018
(22nd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Dearest brothers and sisters: All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. Jas_1:17-18,21b-22,27
And all bad things are NOT!
September 1, 2018
In a parable that Jesus told His disciples, the master of the productive servants exclaimed, “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.” Mt_25:14-30
You see, beloved, the master didn’t really NEED productivity. But He didn’t want to see his gifts squandered either. He did, however, want to see his servants grow from the experience! The servant who had extraordinary fear of his master; fear of failing, fear of disappointing, fear of punishment, and chose instead to hide his master’s gift (regardless of its size), was not only unproductive, but never grew from the potential experience of TRYING.
God wants to see us grow! Sometimes we grow in our successes and sometimes we might even grow more from our failures. Never give up trying, beloved. And God will even reward us if we fail. But not if we don’t try!
Happy September, beloved!
God’s blessings of courage for trying,
success in all of our attempts and
perseverance in our efforts!
Please stop by and visit August’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
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