Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Then the LORD said (to Elijah), “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Why are YOU here, beloved?
Was it to discover magnificent colors? Was it to find colorful music or awesome videos? Was it just curiosity? Was it accidental? Were you really looking for God, for Hope, for true LOVE somewhere in this menagerie we call the web?
You are Loved!!
Let’s follow the Scriptures of our daily Mass and see if we can catch those Words – simple but beautiful – Whispers to the Wind . . .
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November 30, 2019
(St. Andrew, Apostle)
St. Paul wrote, ‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!’ Rom_10:9-18
Yes, beloved, aside from all the complaining, aside from all the rebellion and discontent, aside from all the actual hardships, there is Good News. And it’s not all about all the worldly, transient ‘bad’ news. It’s about an eternal life of love and peace. It’s about how we can even bring that life of peace and love to our current existence. All we need do is listen to and follow and become those “beautiful feet” in our own world!
November 29, 2019
The Prophet Daniel saw in a vision, One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed. Dn_7:2-14
He is our Jesus. Awaiting our return to Him. Are we ready? Are we excited? Already in our hearts, we will become truly ONE when that day comes. Open those hearts today then, to the love that binds us all in that Kingdom!
November 28, 2019
May we “bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will! May he grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you; May his goodness toward us endure in Israel to deliver us in our days.” Sir_50:22-24
THANK YOU JESUS!
November 27, 2019
Mocking the God of Israel, the Babylonian king and his entourage drank from the holy vessels stolen from the Temple.
Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked. . . . Daniel explained the writing, saying, the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down. “This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, TEKEL, and PERES. These words mean: MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it; TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Dn_5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28
Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. . . . You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Lk_21:12-19
As we come, just a few days, from the end of the Church’s Calendar Year, our readings also speak of endings. And endings are not always the most wonderful of things, when what preceded them WAS itself, wonderful.
After years of prosperity in Egypt, the Israelites had to go through slavery, death, walls of water; hunger, thirst and isolation before they ever reached their Promised Land. And when they began to fall away from God in their new land of prosperity, they again had to face slavery and persecution in Babylon and Assyria. But when those Babylonians respected their Jewish subjects, even they, found themselves blessed by God’s grace.
As evil as King Nebuchadnezzar was, he respected the talents and wisdom of Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael. And for that he was blessed. But when his son Belshazzar, abused Israel’s God, his end was made perfectly clear in the “writing on the wall.”
Jesus reminds us, again today, that endings are usually difficult. Just because we’ve devoted our lives to God, doesn’t necessarily mean that our transition from a mortal life to
a spiritual, eternal Life – will be easy. And actually, in many places, where people live in anti-Christian environments, their Faith will make the ending of their mortal lives even more difficult, through persecution and isolation.
It’s easy to say, when we’re not in that crucible of suffering, that in whatever physical anguish we may be going through, we can get a little consolation, knowing that there’s always someone with a situation that is worse. But it’s difficult to remember that – when we’re burning in the fire.
And that’s exactly WHY, we pray for one another!
Yes, endings are usually difficult, and life gives us a billion examples of reasons to bear it, like the chick from the egg, the butterfly from the cocoon, the baby from the womb, and the freedom of our spiritual lives from this earthly, bodily bondage.
The reward of the NEW will always make the suffering of the OLD bearable! And Jesus promises us – GLORY.
All we have to do is persevere in our Faithfulness. And give Thanks to the God – who loves us – no matter what!
November 26, 2019
Jesus said, “All that you see here, the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” Lk_21:5-11
Natural disasters, human destruction and war, awesome heavenly observations; they’ve been occurring for time immeasurable. And yet, people live and die every day. So what IS the sign that we will be ready for the ultimate end of it all?
It’s a sign in our very hearts. Can we live every day without fear, without guilt, without allowing the pain of others to become our pain? Are we living the Kingdom now? And that doesn’t mean that we don’t care for other people’s pain. As a matter of fact, it may be even more painful for us than for them, because we understand that the reason for much of their pain is their not understanding God and life and death and heaven.
When we can give our lives over to God. When we can trust in Jesus 100%. Then we’ll begin to understand that the only thing that really matters is . . . that LOVE that Jesus so vehemently tried to teach us. Allow it to root in your hearts, beloved, and then, truly LIVE!
November 25, 2019
(St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr)
Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king’s food or wine. . . .
Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see.” . . .
To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams. Dn_1:1-6,8-20
As we begin this last week of the Church year, the Lord reminds us of the importance of honesty, humility and faithfulness in our lives.
The king of Babylon was honestly wealthy, extremely proud, and ruthless to the extent that anyone who was not faithful to him alone was eliminated on the spot.
So when Daniel laid challenge to accepting the king’s hospitality of food, the chamberlain who was accountable for polishing these manly trophies of the king’s battle conquest, feared for his very life.
You see, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah honestly knew that they had a greater King than any blood-thirsty human could ever make himself out to be. And in their bold humility and unwavering faith in the God of their forefathers, they were willing to risk their lives, rather than breaking their dietary covenant with Him.
Evangelical Protestants call Daniel’s Vegan, Kosher diet “the Daniel Fast.” And they hold to that fasting tradition, in a yearly reminder of the Prophet’s faithfulness to God.
You see, whether it is our Faithfulness in giving, like the poor widow, or our humbly keeping rules, like Daniel and his companions, or even the extreme of martyrdom, like Catherine of Alexandria, God has a very special place for His faithful children. For it’s in our integrity – of honesty, humility and faithfullness – in every aspect of our lives, that we ARE brothers and sisters in this community that we call the Body of Christ.
And THAT’S Jesus’ reminder to us, every day that we come to His Table of love.
November 24, 2019
(Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
As Jesus (our King) hung on His cross of death, Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” Lk_23:35-43
A few weeks ago I was asked by the parent of one of our School children what the INRI meant above the crucifix. I explained that it meant Jesus, King of the Jews in one of those ancient languages of His time. I remembered that the I represented Jesus because those languages, didn’t have a J. And I also remembered that the R stood for Rex which means King. So it makes sense that the other I would stand for Jews or Israel. but I couldn’t quite pop off the meaning of the N. So, thanks be to God for Google, we quickly found an answer to that one too.
The N would be the word for Nazorean. Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews. The more definitive answer comes from John’s Gospel, Jn 19:19 where it says, Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” Jn_19:19 It continues, Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Jn_19:20 Here’s the Latin version: (Latin: Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum).
Interestingly there is actually an inscribed wooden plaque called the “Titulus Crucis” that is considered an actual or a replica of the original, located in a Church in Rome, The Basilica of Saint Croce of Gerusalemme.
And thanks be to God for our Historians!
November 23, 2019
(St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr)
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High. Ps 9
In all things, beloved, we give thanks to God. The good and the bad, the blessings and the challenges. In all things, we give thanks for the breath to give God praise. And when that breath is gone, we give thanks to be with Him forever!
November 22, 2019
(St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr)
On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it (the Sanctuary of the Temple), on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. 1_Mc_4:36-37,52-59
In tribute to St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians, in recognition of the holiness of God’s Temple and in joy and thanksgiving for all God has blessed us with (in the temples of our own bodies), we praise Him and Jesus, who offered Himself in love for us!
November 21, 2019
(Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” Lk_1:46-55
“Looked upon” from the creation of the world! Blessed and proclaimed holy for all time. This is our Blessed Mother!
November 20, 2019
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. 2_Mc_7:1,20-31
Concluding His ‘Parable of the Talents,’ Jesus said, “I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Lk_19:11-28
Today’s readings remind us that the Lord does not want us to sit by idly, waiting for His promise of resurrection and eternal life – without standing up for Him now. He wants us to grow in our faith. He wants us to multiply His believers by sharing His love, and to expect that when we DO grow in our faith and in numbers, even more responsibility will be given to us as His disciples.
In other words, we might say that God is not looking for bankers, but for investment brokers. And we become those brokers when we’re willing to take a little risk, like offering a smile to someone who’s having a rough day, like, offering a prayer to someone who’s hurting, even when it was not asked for.
When we’re willing to step out of the crowd and not agree with the immorality, the injustice, and the ignorance of our world – about what “respect for human dignity” really means, then we’re being those investment brokers that God wants us to be.
Today we heard a little more of the Maccabean story that we just heard in our Sunday Reading a couple of weeks ago. It was a time of merciless and brutal persecution of the Jews by the ruthless, Roman King Antiochus. And the story shows us, not only the fearless courage of the seven brothers who died for their faith, but also of their loving mother who encouraged them, despite their suffering.
It reminds us of our own Spiritual Mother, Mary, inspiring us by her passion, through the brutal torture and crucifixion of Her beloved Son. And it reminds us that she’s still here with us today, bringing us hope, giving us strength, and pointing us always, to the love, the promise and the blessings of Jesus.
As we finish out these last two weeks before our Advent Season begins, our Scriptures prepare us for endings. And the history of the Israelite Nation was filled with endings: from the ending of Egyptian exile, to the ending of Babylonian exile, from the ending of life under Roman persecution, to the ending of an Old Covenant under Moses.
And in every case, all the suffering of their persecution ended in New Life. With the ending of the Old Mosaic Covenant, Jesus offers all of us His New Covenant of Hope and Promise and Eternal Life. And it’s all available through our investment and sharing of His Love with the world!
November 19, 2019
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. . . . And again He was interrupted by someone seeking to know Him. His name was Zacchaeus. But unlike the blind man from yesterday, who sought physical healing, Zacchaeus was in need of spiritual healing, for as a tax collector he was despised by his own people and lived in great guilt for having betrayed them for the sake of his own wealth and that of the Roman occupiers. Thus, without a word, Zacchaeus was healed. And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.” Lk_19:1-10
As are we, beloved, as are we!
Seek Him and be healed!
November 18, 2019
(St.Elizabeth of Hungary, OFS)
As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” Lk_18:35-43
Even though blind, the man knew that something very important was happening. And when he learned that it was Jesus, his heart leaped for joy, as this was finally his chance for healing. And nothing was going to stop him from getting the attention of Jesus. How are we doing in our own quest for Jesus, beloved? Do we recognize when He is near? Do we pray for His help – knowing, in faith, that it will come? Jesus is awaiting our reliance on Him. Ask, trust, and in your faith, believe – and you will be healed!
November 17, 2019
(33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, C)
Jesus said to His disciples, “they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Lk_21:5-19
THAT’s our Redeemer and Savior.
So fear NOT, beloved, Jesus is with us.
He IS our love and our life and our Hope!
November 16, 2019
(St. Gertrude the Great, Virgin)
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. . . .
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Lk_18:1-8
Never give up on your prayer, beloved. And then have Faith that God’s will be done according to your supplications.
November 15, 2019
(St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; But either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods. Wis_13:1-9
Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” Lk_17:26-37
It was one of those high-speed, action video games, where the enemy pops up out of nowhere, and takes away one of our limited, three-lives. If we reacted too quickly we will have wasted our chance, and lost a life. And if we reacted too slowly, we will have been obliterated – before we even knew what happened. And in between, there are gads and gads of distractions – to take our Focus OFF the Goal.
But there’s always that third option. The option that takes a little effort. The option that takes a little practice, that takes a little wisdom. You see, it’s in those “Instructions,” where the answer is found; those Instructions that most people never even glance at, where that third redeeming option is clearly spelled out. There, in big bright letters, it reads: “Be Prepared.”
Now, if we were to move this scenario to our Scripture readings today, we’ll see the exact same concept. We’ll see that our Goal is the Kingdom or Reign of God. We’ll see that the enemy is the Devil or Satan, and that our distractions are all of those “things” of the world. Things that satisfy our bodily cravings.
You see, the reason that they are distractions, is because they’re so absolutely wonderful to our senses . . . All the sights and tastes and smells, the beauty of nature, the wonder of touch. All of God’s awesome Creation, that we could so easily worship instead of God.
Do you remember when color television first came out? It was so incredibly beautiful, after all those years of drab black and white, that we just couldn’t take our eyes off it. And over time, it reeled us into the sin of ignoring our spouses and our children, for all its beauty. It reeled us into buying things we couldn’t afford and probably didn’t need anyway. It reeled us into worship!
And it led us into becoming a society where no one even talks to one another any more, without doing it through a screen. In the meantime, we just lost two more lives, rather than keeping our focus on the Goal, on our God.
Jesus tells His disciples and everyone who will listen to Him, to read and reread that Instruction Book. And that Book IS Him!
If we can keep our focus OFF the distractions. And that doesn’t mean not appreciating them, for all the beauty they give us as God’s Creations, but just, to keep them in their proper perspective.
And IF we can keep our focus on the Goal, on that Kingdom that Jesus initiated in the hear-and-now; the Kingdom of Love for God and for our neighbor.
And IF we can stay Prepared, knowing the distractions, and knowing the insidious attacks of the Evil one – to get us off track. Then, not only will we survive, with ALL of our lives intact, but God will welcome us – when His Time – for our reunion comes.
Jesus made the point, over and over again, to Be Prepared NOW and to know that the Kingdom of God is in our midst.
He told us not to worry or fret about a particular time for His final coming, and not to seek out signs or warnings. Because, if we think we can wait until the end – to get prepared, then our one-time shot will be too late. And if we think we can fill our minds with all the theology, and religion, and adoration, and rosaries, that we can stand, then, that’s all nice, but it’s still missing the point, as well.
All Jesus wants of us – is to live our lives, to live this Kingdom – in Love with Him and with one another. And to allow the Holy Spirit to be our Shield of Bodily and Spiritual protection. For with that Shield, He will guarantee our destiny AT His Table and IN His Kingdom – FOREVER.
November 14, 2019
In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kindly, firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing… Wis_7:22b–8:1
Words just cannot describe the indescribable perfection!
THAT’s our Holy Spirit!
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Lk_17:20-25
Two thousand years ago, He walked among us, Jesus. Today He’s in our hearts. And WE are the ones who are called to build His Kingdom, both within, and all around us! And that Kingdom is called, “Love!”
November 13, 2019
(St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin)
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
After healing them, one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Lk_17:11-19
Jesus always ventured far beyond, just His words, to teach His disciples how to live those words in real life. Today’s Gospel was a case in point. Of course we know that the Jews and the Gentiles of Galilee and Samaria didn’t get along very well together. And we often hear how Jesus and His Jewish disciples went walking through that enemy territory.
It might be comparable to us walking through some of the worst slums in St. Louis, or Chicago, or New York City. And when those gangs, or beggars, or diseased and crippled people begin to shout at us, our tendency is to walk faster, to turn the other way, or even, to run (for fear of our lives)!
You see, by the time of this Gospel story, Jesus, had already gotten the reputation of being a great healer. And there were whole masses of people who sought Him, everywhere He went. And when it came to healing, all those barriers of culture, or nationality, or even religion were meaningless. It didn’t matter WHO the healer was, just being out of the pain or the disability was well worth the risk of asking, even their enemy.
Now remember, it was Jesus, who taught us to love, not just our friends, but our enemies as well. And walking, and talking, and actually being among those enemies, was the very best way to model, exactly how that love should be lived.
So when the ten-lepers called out to Jesus for help, which was their way of showing respect, by not coming too close and infecting Him with their disease, Jesus happily obliged, by healing them from a distance.
And in that healing, their initial act of respect was rewarded with a gift of love and cleansing. Yet, only one of the lepers, ever understood the bigger picture.
The picture of LOVE for enemies. The picture of who it actually was that healed him. The picture, that gifts and grace deserve nothing less than exultant thanksgiving.
You see, like that healed, Samaritan leper, brothers and sisters, we have so very much to give God thanks for, that there’s almost not enough time in the day to mention it all.
But we can start with His gift of Jesus.
And then we can continue with the models of all the saints, like St. Frances Cabrini, who like Jesus, dedicated her whole life to healing and teaching and showing God’s Love to a world, that’s just starving for it.
Thank you for the love. Thank you for the caring. Thank you for the sacrifice. Thank you for the “real life” examples. And thank you for being our Lord and God!
If only we can be – just a little – like You!
Special happy birthday blessings for one of my favorite two Son-in-Laws, Joe. Here’s wishing you an awesome day!!!
November 12, 2019
(St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr)
God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made them. But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it. But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. Wis_2:23–3:9
Be among “the just,” then, beloved, and live. Fight the good fight, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to keep the devil from ever possessing you. And in your holiness, no torment shall ever touch (your souls). Though your body may shrivel and decay. Though the world may mistreat and burn your earthly tent to the ground. YOU will always (that’s eternity) be – in the hands of your God. Take courage and (all thanks be to Jesus) LIVE!
November 11, 2019
(St. Martin of Tours, Bishop)
Jesus said, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” Lk_17:1-6
This is the integrity and the mercy the Lord desires of us. And it all comes down to LOVE!
November 10, 2019
(32nd Sunday Ordinary Time, C)
Jesus said, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” Lk_20:27-38
A brand-new, young policeman was really excited about catching, his very first speeder, and laying down the law. And so, after patiently waiting and waiting behind that billboard, finally, a big white van came screaming down the road. With his lights flashing and his siren blaring, the young rookie quickly cut in front of that speed demon, ordered the driver out of the vehicle, hands up and planted on the hood.
“Did you know how fast you were going?” the policeman asked, waving his finger with his new found authority. After no response, he continued, “Can’t you see that I’m a policeman?” With still no response, he asked again, “Why were you driving so recklessly fast?” The man calmly turned around and replied, “Can’t YOU see that THIS is an ambulance!”
The Sadducees in today’s Gospel, had one primary goal in mind. And that was to catch Jesus at doing something wrong. So, with sirens blaring and lights flashing, they focused on their own narrow perception of what they thought right and wrong really meant. And then they proposed a hypothetically absurd scenario, based on an ancient Law of Moses; a Law that was designed to keep peace and justice within families.
And yet, the point of their argument had nothing to do with the Mosaic, Levirate, marriage law that was described in the Book of Deuteronomy (Dt_25:5-10). Instead, it had everything to do with discrediting the concept of the Resurrection that Jesus had professed, and that the Sadducees did not believe in, because their entire faith was based on only those first 5-Books of the Bible, the Jewish Torah, which they DID believe made no reference to the Resurrection.
They say, sometimes we can miss
the forest for the trees.
And if that’s the case, the Sadducees were clearly in the middle of the Sahara, since even their contemporaries, the Pharisees, believed in the Resurrection, that THEY quoted from the Book of the Prophet Daniel (Dn_12:2-3). It was the same Biblical forest, but a much wider view of the trees.
Yet, Jesus didn’t douse the Sadducees’ fire with the water of the Pharisees. Instead, He went straight to the source of the Sadducees’ proposal, the Torah itself, to contest their silly argument about marriage and the Resurrection of the dead.
You see, Jesus was not their
In reality, He was the ambulance, that one day, could save their very lives, their Resurrected lives, IF they so chose to believe.
Now, IF all of this talk about Resurrection and heavenly marriage has us totally bewildered and maybe even disturbed about the status of our own marriages in our post mortem lives, then take comfort, brothers and sisters, because we’re not alone. Behind it all, we’re not only looking at some pretty intense cultural differences from 2000-years ago and 6500-miles away, but we’re also diving into some very deep theology.
IF we simply look at the Sacraments: like Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick, like the Eucharist, and even Holy Matrimony as ointments of earthly healing, and preparation for our Heavenly lives, then we might understand how, in our Resurrected lives, we won’t have any need for those remedies or preparations any longer, because we will have made it to that State of Heavenly Perfection.
And our love for God and for one another, including our spouses, the love that all of those Sacraments taught us, will NEVER go away. As a matter of fact, that love will be even more intense and more real than anything we’ve ever experienced in this earthly life, even marriage. Imagine, LOVE, without jealousy, without control, or possession, or expectation; without contracts and without vows.
You see, just like the Sacramentally symbolic, though real, “Death to sin and rising to new life in Christ” that we experience through the waters of our Baptisms, in our actual, bodily death, our Souls will truly rise to heavenly glory, as will our glorified bodies, in the “final resurrection,” and death will BE no more.
When we truly believe, to the deepest depths of our being, those words that we’ll profess in the Creed, in just a few moments: that “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come,” then, in the face of every possible persecution, even to the extreme of the tortures experienced in the time of the Maccabees, even to the point of our own bodily death, then, in the strength of that Faith, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, then, there will be a Heavenly Joy within us, that absolutely no person, and no disaster, and no suffering, and no death – can ever overshadow.
As we finish out these last few weeks of the Church Year, our Scriptures remind us of our human mortality.
They remind us of the pains of our growth in Faith, and the blessings of God’s merciful love for us.
They remind us to understand the trees, some sweet and some thorny, but to always see the WHOLE forest.
They remind us to recognize and acknowledge the ambulances in our lives, be they friends, or neighbors, doctors, teachers or strangers, rather than judge them.
And they remind us that when we come to this Table of Thanksgiving, we don’t come merely for the taking, but we come for the giving of His Joy and His Love in us, out to our world.
There’s an old saying that we often hear at weddings that goes: “Hang on to your forks, for the best is yet to come!”
November 9, 2019
(Dedication of Lateran Basilica)
“Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, . . . Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” Ez_47:1-2,8-9,12
It’s been called the River of Life, the Holy Spirit, the path to eternity, the Love of the Lord. And the trees are the Saints, those with whom we are in heavenly communion and those who bring God’s love to us every day: our parents, our teachers, our spouses, our priests, our children and our Church. We live by their fruit and we survive by their leaves. One might even be you, beloved. It just might be YOU!
November 8, 2019
I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another. Rom_15:14-21
St. Paul continued, now make sure that you share that wisdom and faith with EVERYONE, especially those who don’t yet know and those don’t yet believe! Love God, love one another and believe in the resurrection! Jesus is Lord of life!
November 7, 2019
(Mary, Mother and Mediatrix of Grace)
Jesus said, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” Lk_15:1-10
Father, we thank You for Your great mercy in granting us forgiveness for all of our transgressions of body and spirit against You and our neighbor. Send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen us in our repentance and keep us safe from all temptation that drives us to return to that sinful nature within us. We ask this in Jesus’ Name and in our sincere love and trust and faith in You. Amen
November 6, 2019
Jesus said, “everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Lk_14:25-33
There’s an old saying that goes, “What you (think you) possess, possesses you.” Unfortunately all of our possessions are fleeting and temporary, even our relationships. Jesus wants to be our only possession because we are His. We are God’s possession. And the love that is there is incomparable to any other love possession we may think we have. Jesus doesn’t want a part of us! He wants ALL of us. And in giving that, we will have need for nothing more!
November 5, 2019
St. Paul wrote: Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Rom_12:5-16ab
Now, there’s a mouthful of goodness! Maybe one to hang on our wall to always remind us of our Lord’s call to holiness every day! Blessed may you be, beloved, who follow the law of the Lord, the law of civility, the law of love!
November 4, 2014
(St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop)
Jesus said, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Lk_14:12-14
God seeks the giving, the merciful and the loving heart, just like His own. For if we give for the sake of repayment, our giving is in vain. And vanity leads nowhere. But kindness to a Kingdom of the kind hearted! The Kingdom where Jesus Himself dwells!
November 3, 2019
(31st Sunday Ordinary Time, C)
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Lk_19:1-10
You know, beloved, some “passovers” just might lead to a resurrection. That stop light you intended to cruise through. That party you intended to skip. That person you intended not meeting. They come before you by surprise. And they don’t leave you without an inherent surprise as well.
Jesus didn’t plan on finding a wholehearted conversion as he nonchalantly passed through Jericho. But that’s exactly what he found in Zacchaeus! And he welcomed the unexpected interruption with joy.
How many intended passovers cause us to miss those unexpected revelations, beloved, because we’re too stubbornly insistent on not allowing interruptions to our intentions? Maybe it’s time rethink our motivations, maybe the story of Zacchaeus is a good reminder for us, to not only expect the unexpected, but to welcome it with JOY, just like Jesus! It just might be the revelation, or the solution, or the resurrection we were searching for all along.
May the peace and love of Christ
fill you with His joy!
November 2, 2019
(Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed)
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. Wis_3:1-9
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Ps_23
Jesus said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” Jn_6:37-40
Death, our hope for another new life!
Prepare, beloved, and pray for those who have gone before us!
November 01, 2019
(Solemnity of All Saints)
Jesus taught the people, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” Mt_5:1-12a
. . . The Secret to Sainthood and to our eternal salvation! . . .
Happy November, beloved!
God’s blessings always!
Please come visit October’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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