Daily Mass Quotes – August 2021

Whispers – Daily Mass Quotes begins after this Intro.
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Elijah’s Whisper – My Whisper

Bubbles2 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?

silenceOr were you just hiding in a cave, waiting on the Lord to Whisper in your ear – a Word – LIFE! Life, it’s in You! And YOU are beautiful in the Eyes of God, no matter what the world may say or think.

You are Loved!!

Every day the Lord whispers in our ears – Words of HOPE, Words of LOVE, and maybe not even words – just His JOY in our hearts.

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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08-31-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 31, 2021
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.  1_Thes_5:1-6,9-11

We are awake: to hold our tempers when someone upsets us, to quench our gluttony when we’re tempted with foods we know we shouldn’t eat, to keep our patience when others are not on the same time-scale as us, to take a deep breath when our tools and entertainment fail to work for us.  We are awake to placing others’ needs ahead of ours.  We are awake to loving, even when someone else totally annoys us.  We are awake to knowing that Jesus is always there to help us accomplish all those difficult awakenings. Pray, beloved to remember and to stay awake!

Happy end of August!
And God’s blessings to you always!

08-30-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 30, 2021
Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.”  Lk_4:16-30

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, (died) so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.  1_Thes_4:13-18

And there is our hope, beloved!  And it is GOOD News, glad tidings!  We shall always be with the Lord.  And He will never abandon us.  HOPE!

08-29-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 29, 2021
(22nd Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.  Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.  “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.  All these evils come from within and they defile.”  Mk_7:1-8,14-15,21-23

Thus, we are called to keep our two ears open and our one mouth closed.  Only say what is good for others to hear, what is true, honorable, just and loving.  Beware of what fills our hearts.  If it’s not love, discard it.  If it’s not peace, discard it.  Love your neighbor and your enemy.  Bring peace, not war.  Bring hope, not despair.  And then we will be doing what God wants.  And we will find that same peace and love and hope in ourselves.  Jesus shows us the way.  All we need do is follow!

08-28-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 28, 2021
(St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  Mt_25:14-30

Jesus told a parable about a master’s testing of his servants’ ingenuity, resourcefulness and faithfulness.  They were each given small sums which they were expected to return to him.  The untold part of their expectation was to see what they would do with it.  What was their level of comfort with risking its loss in order to make a gain?  And that risk may have well had to do with their own personal experience with their master.  The servant who was given the largest sum had already gained his master’s trust and was most likely the least to be concerned about taking a calculated risk to invoke a profit.

The servant who was given the medium amount most likely just followed suit with his companion.  There are always those spineless followers!  But the third servant who was trusted least, who was given the least, knew from his fellow “bottom of the barrelers” that this master would beat the heck out of him if he lost the tiniest bit of that loan.  So he safely buried the cash so that there would, in no way, be any loss.  But this was exactly what his master was scrutinizing.  Who had the gumption to take the risk?  Maybe not so funny to some, because it’s just like life in this world.

Although all three returned their master’s money, at least he didn’t have any deserters who took the cash and ran.  So each had some level of faith in their master, whether that faith was based on trust or fear.  But the story is not telling us to just have blind faith in God, nor to allow our fear of the unknown, our fear of God’s retribution to control our lives.   God want’s us to know that He has our backs, when we’re willing to trust in Him, no matter what our losses.

God wants us to know Him well enough to feel comfortable with taking some risks.  To risk wearing that cross in public.  To risk blessing a stranger.  To risk allowing someone ahead of us in line when it seems more important to them.  To risk even death as the martyrs did in order to stand up for the one who has already proven His love for us (in Jesus).

Jesus didn’t hide in some cave in order to save His earthly life.  Instead, knowing His Father, He took the ultimate risk, teaching the ignorant, healing the hopeless, and correcting the lost leaders of His Jewish Nation.  That risk paid Him in death!  But it pays us in life eternal, when we believe!  And He proved that by showing us how eternal life begins, in His resurrection and ascension.

What hope we have, beloved, even when we seem to be on the bottom of the barrel.  What hope we have, that not even death can cancel out.  And it brings the risk of boldness, the risk of love (even of enemies) and the risk of standing apart from the crowd in support of God’s Truth – down to a minimum in our eyes.  So go for it, beloved!  And know that God always has our backs!

08-27-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 27, 2021
(St. Monica)
Jesus told a parable about five wise and five foolish virgins who were awaiting to welcome the bridegroom.  The foolish virgins did not bring enough oil for their lamps and were refused some help from the wise.  So going on an emergency trip to refuel, the foolish virgins missed the bridegroom.  Jesus concluded:Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’  But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’  Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Mt_25:1-13

Continuing on the theme of preparedness for the final judgment, Jesus warns us all to “stay awake!”  No slouching.  No absentmindedness.  No rash judgments or anger.  Love all, even those who hurt us.  For when that final judgment does come, we will be welcomed with His words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” Mt_25:21

08-26-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 26, 2021
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  Mt_24:42-51

BE PREPARED!!!
Pray, be good, and Love ALL!

08-25-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 25, 2021
(St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest)
St. Paul wrote, For this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.‘  1_Thes_2:9-13

At work in you, beloved.  How blessed are those who hear the word and apply it in their lives.  St. Joseph Calasanz taught it in his schools.  St Francis of Assisi lived it in real life.  And we are called, beloved, to teach and live it in ours as well.  Blessed, blessed are you, in Christ’s love, in your lives, and in your benefit to the world!

08-24-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 24, 2021
(St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.”  Jn_1:45-51

Ahh, to be so perfectly honest that Jesus Himself compliments you for it.  But remember, beloved, that there is a difference between being honest and hurting people because of our prejudice, because of our selfishness and our dislike of others.  With tongue in cheek, Jesus complimented Nathaniel / Bartholomew, as Nathaniel just insulted the people of Nazareth and exhibited his disbelief that Philip was telling him the truth about Jesus.

Honesty is great, but we still must always remember to harness the tongue.  And if harnessing the tongue is necessary, then there is probably a lot more internal soul searching necessary to eliminate those prejudices and selfish thoughts within ourselves about others.  It all goes hand in hand to reach the perfection Jesus asked of us.   Always something to work on Beloved, always something to work on!

08-23-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 23, 2021
(St. Rose of Lima, Virgin)
We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,  1_Thes_1:1-5,8b-10

And I give thanks to you, beloved, for your steadfast perseverance in following my sometimes silly blog notes.  But not silly of course in worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  All honor, glory and praise be to Him!

08-22-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 22, 2021
(21st Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” . . . 

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”  Jn_6:53-57,60-69

As Catholics, we live not only on the living body and blood of our Savior, Jesus, but on every Word that comes from His mouth.  He is the living God who came to be with us out of the unfathomable love of the Father, and stays with us in the Holy Spirit.  When we allow our souls to unite with the Holy Spirit and our bodies to unite with Jesus in the Eucharist and pray for the Father’s forgiveness and love.  We will have life to the full, the “eternal life” that Jesus promised to all who believe!

08-21-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 21, 2021
(St. Pius X, Pope)
Boaz took Ruth. When they came together as man and wife, the LORD enabled her to conceive and she bore a son. . . . And the neighbor women gave him his name, at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi. They called him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.  Ru_2:1-3,8-11;4:13-17

Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Mt_23:1-12

So, look not to be great in the eyes of men, beloved.  God will make you great in His eyes when you humble yourself to your fellow men.  Seek Him always and make love to always be your primary objective in life!

08-20-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 20, 2021
(St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church)
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her. Naomi said, “See now!  Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!”  But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”  Thus it was that Naomi returned with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.  Ru_1:1,3-6,14b-16,22

Over the past several days our Mass readings have come from the Book of Judges. It was a time period – after Israel had entered God’s promised land, settled in their various areas by Tribe, and often failed to keep their faith in God. In failing to cleanse those lands of their former inhabitants, as God had ordered, and because of their worship of false gods, the Israelites often found themselves battling invasions by those pagan peoples.

And so we hear of raids from people called the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Midianites, the Amalekites and the Moabites – during this period of Judges – which occurred after the death of Joshua, and before a Kingship was established in Israel. The Judges were heroes and heroines who listened to God’s call and protected the Israelites. And it’s in this same time frame that we hear this story of Ruth.

As we know, of course, the story of Ruth is pivotal in the Salvation History of God, because, as we’ll hear tomorrow, through her close relationship with Naomi, her Jewish mother-in-law, Ruth becomes the ancestor, not only of King David, but of Jesus himself.

And so, we might wonder how all of this ties into that Tribe of Judah from which the Scriptures tell us, the Messiah is descendant. Well, to begin with, we need to go all the way back to that Exodus story of Moses – sending out representatives from the 12-Tribes to reconnoiter the land before their 40-year ordeal in the desert.

If we remember, when those spies came back, ten of the twelve adamantly refused to return to that land, while two of them insisted that their faith in God would see them through whatever challenges they might encounter. Those two were named Joshua and Caleb.

Joshua, Moses’ right hand man, was a descendant from the Tribe of Joseph – Joseph the dreamer and the savior of Jacob and their family in Egypt.  While Caleb was a descendant of the Tribe of Judah.

When they finally settled in the Promised Land, Joshua settled in  his Tribe’s land of Ephraim (named after Joseph’s son), while Caleb settled in Hebron to the southwest of Jerusalem.  Caleb’s family also settled in the little town of Ephrathah (which was the name of one of Caleb’s wives).  And Ephrathah (meaning fruitful) came to be known as Bethlehem (or the House of Bread).

Thus, as we heard today, the woman, Naomi and her husband Elimelech, both hailed from Bethlehem, as members of Caleb and Judah’s tribe.

Now keep in mind, that Ruth was a Moabite woman, and not even an Israelite. But, as we’ll hear tomorrow, her future husband, named Boaz, was the 4th generation of the nephews  of Caleb, and was from the same clan as Naomi’s husband Elimelech.

As Archie Bunker would say – “It’s All in the Family.”

But, unlike Archie’s hyper-prejudice personality, this little family of Naomi and Ruth was rooted in a foundation of heroic fidelity, unwavering faith, determination and love. And it was that Love that drove their descendancy for some 1200-years, through their love of neighbor and their love of God, culminating, of course, with the source and summit of Love itself, Jesus!

__________________________

An interesting side note in Ruth’s story is her sister-in-law Orpah, who chose to go back to her homeland instead of staying with Naomi.

Today, we have a well-known television and film personality by that same name. A woman who has quite a remarkable ‘Rags to Riches’ story. As her story goes, her friends had such a difficult time pronouncing her name, Orpah, that she finally officially changed it to Oprah.

Today, even though she’s a multi-billionaire and philanthropist, Oprah’s wealth doesn’t quite hold a candle to the Riches WE possess through her namesake’s sister-in-law, Ruth, and her descendant Jesus, whom WE get to experience every day: body, blood, soul and divinity!

08-19-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 19, 2021
(St. John Eudes, Priest)
Jesus said, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son . . .”  Mt_22:1-14

. . . Many were invited, but few agreed to come.  They knew He was a strict king who didn’t like sin, who didn’t like disobedience, who was not real excited about independence.  They knew He preferred people who worked together as teams, who were good listeners and who trusted in Him and did what He asked of them.

You see, those who refused to come were the rebels, the cowards and the outlaws.  So the king instead invited anyone who else who would come.  But since this may have been a little different for them, He explained the rules, He dressed them in the proper attire and He welcomed everyone.  How’s the saying go?  When in Rome do as the Romans do.  And even so, there were still those who insisted on doing their own thing.  They didn’t wear the masks, they didn’t get the vaccines, they coughed all over the place and defiled it.  So those were the ones who were rejected.

If we buy a car, or a cellular device, or a can opener and it doesn’t work, we can do either of two things with it.  We can either return it for a replacement or throw it away.  Guess the same goes with us and God.  We were created for a purpose – to Love God and one another.  And when we fail to work right, God always begins with the third option.  He tries to fix us.  Not forcefully, but patiently.   He gives us obstacles to teach us how to repair ourselves.  He gives us blessings that show us how great His love for us is.  And He even gives us lots and lots of time in which to find ourselves and Him (all the way up to our death).  And besides all that, God came to us Himself, out of His great love, and showed us what true love really means – Jesus taught us by example.

But in the end it’s always our choice.  We can choose to accept the invitation, follow the rules and truly LIVE.  Or we can reject God’s offer and continue to suffer in our own, self-inflicted misery.  Not a very tough decision!  As for me and my house, we will always choose and serve the Lord!  Hope you do too, beloved!

08-18-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 18, 2021
Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired out laborers for his vineyard at different times of the day.  At day’s end, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  Mt_20:1-16

Yesterday the disciples were a little miffed with Jesus’ teaching about the challenges associated with getting into God’s Kingdom, where He talked about it being like a camel passing through the eye of a needle.  It led Peter to finally ask Jesus, Look, “we have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?

Jesus responded, that they WILL get their just reward; and in abundance. But, as He reiterates today, “the last will be first and the first will be last.”  Which puts today’s parable in a little clearer perspective, in answer to Peter’s concern.

You see, we live in a world that we think, believe, or hope should be based on fairness and justice.  We talk about equality, and dignity, and universality, and yet, people ARE different: different races, different cultures, different belief systems and even, just different thought processes.

And with all of those differences, we might see as many different interpretations of this parable, as there are different people.  And each of them will characterize the workers in the parable as “winners or losers,” as “the chumps, the suckers,” or as the “ones who just happened to BE in the right place at the right time.”

If we’re the kind of person who really struggles with the logic of this parable, then take heart, because we’re not alone.  The ‘big question,’ then, is – how do we resolve it and
how do we respond to it?

Well, what if we put ourselves in the place of that hard worker in the parable (the one who worked all day, only to be paid the same as the one who only worked an hour)?  We go to Church every Sunday, we volunteer, we pay our hard earned tithes.  And in the end – what?  Will heaven pass us by for the murderer who just found Jesus yesterday?  Well, maybe that’s a little rough.  But it’s what the Jewish leaders thought of the tax collectors, and the prostitutes, and the Gentiles.  And yet, there they all were, hanging out with Jesus.

So, how DO we turn this around and find something positive in it?

Yes, the landowner had every right to do whatever he wanted with his own money; as should we.  It may have been a little cruel to rub it in the faces of those who dedicated their whole day to doing his work.  But maybe he also wanted to impress on them – their need to stop judging everyone, including him.  It was a point that Jesus needed to make with the Pharisees, and sometimes even us.

And maybe, we’re really NOT – all that great ourselves: with our 60 years of never missing
a Mass, our fasting, almsgiving and volunteering – IF doing those things is such a great cost to us.

Maybe instead of complaining about how great everyone else HAS IT, we can recognize how incredibly awesome God’s grace has been to us: even despite the hardships, even despite the fact that, in reality, WE are the ones who barely spent an hours’ work, compared with 2000-years of Saints who came before us, and starved, and gave, and died for their faith!

Maybe out of all we hear about Love, that our Church and our Lord constantly bombards us with, we could actually find it in our hearts to let someone else go ahead of us.

– To be thrilled – that the murderer finally DID – find Jesus.

– To be ecstatic – that someone we taught the faith to, years earlier, would actually enter paradise ahead of us.

– To be blessed with the Wisdom that God’s Grace forgives, and gives, and loves, despite all of what we – might have thought – was negative in someone else; because we all have some disability of our own when it comes to God.  But we just make the best of it anyway, and we keep on growing, straight from these hearts of Love for Jesus.

And in that realization, and in that understanding, and in that wisdom, we praise God for His Love, and we Praise Jesus for the Light to see – that “Heaven IS for real.”  It’s just not the same “real” that we think we know . . . only a zillion times better!

Blessed be God forever!

08-17-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 17, 2021
Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”  Mt_19:23-30

We referenced this quote not very long ago.  It’s a great one to put to memory, especially when problems come up that just seem unsolvable.  You see, Jesus is telling His disciples and us that we really do have to place our trust, our faith in God.  Money can buy us a lot of cool stuff.  But it’s not the end-all answer to joy, happiness or solutions to the world’s problems.  For that we really do need God.  If our goal is that Kingdom, then, as Jesus teaches us, we must first discover the beauty, the wonder the power of Love.  And through that love, we discover faith in God.  And through that faith “all things are possible.”  Trust in God beloved, and be amazed at what can happen in your life!

08-16-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 16, 2021
(St. Stephen of Hungary)
Jesus said to the self-righteous, rich, young man, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Mt_19:16-22

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. 
Mt_5:3

What do we have, beloved, that is unnecessary or could be useful to others?  Are we rich in possessions, but poor in spirit?  Or are we falsely happy?  Sometimes poverty is not about a lack of things, but a lack of self-ishness.  The Kingdom of heaven is about giving, about letting go of the world and clinging on to Jesus.  When we realize that we truly are poor in spirit and come to Jesus for nourishment, for life, that is when we will find the true Kingdom of God.  And there we are willing to give it all for Him!

08-15-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 15, 2021
(The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.”  Lk_1:39-56

08-14-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 14, 2021
(St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr)
Joshua (son of Nun and Moses’ successor) said to the Israelites, “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Jos_24:14-29

“We will serve the Lord!”  What a beautiful testimony of Faith, beloved!  Whom or what are we serving?  Is it the gods of our world: jobs, TV, smartphones, cars, football teams, vanity, sex, even the structural beauty of our Churches?  They are not our God!  They are not our Lord!  Jesus promised more than anything or anyone in this world can give us.  Trust in Him.  Serve Him alone.  And all the rest will fall into its proper place.  Not unimportant, just in its proper place, with God as number ONE!  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

08-13-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 13, 2021
(St. Pontian, Pope and Martyr and St. Hippolytus, Priest and Martyr)
Jesus said, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”  Mt_19:3-12

There you have it.  From the mouth of our Lord.  From the mouth of God!

And whatever is chosen (by man) beyond it – is NOT of the Lord!

08-12-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 12, 2021
(St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious)
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. . . .
Jesus elucidated this answer with a parable about a forgiven servant who refused to forgive another.  And He concluded: “His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. . . .
So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”  Mt_18:21–19:1

Following on the heels of yesterday’s discussion of the importance and methods of communication necessary for reconciliation, Peter pushes the point today – on the extent of forgiveness and its sincerity.

By asking “how many times must I forgive him,” Peter implies that the infraction or sin that he’s is referring to, is not just a ‘one-time’ deal.  It’s being done over and over again.  So it’s a pretty valid question. And if we’ve done all the things Jesus suggested yesterday: 1. directly letting the person know that she’s hurting us, 2. getting other witnesses, and 3. going to the Church for help, and the malfaction continues, how long, Peter is asking, do we continue to allow that hurt to eat us away.

You see, it gets to the point where our unforgiveness begins to hurt us even more than the actual harm that’s being done to us by another person.  Jesus is telling us that we need to finally and completely let it go.  Forgiveness from the heart is not – accepting in the soul – the pain, the hurt, the evil.  But it’s letting go of the hatred, the revenge and the pain that we are causing to ourselves.

And it’s not an easy thing, this letting go, this “forgiveness from the heart.”  Jesus told us yesterday that when all our attempts at communication fail to elicit a change in the perpetration of evil, of sin, then we are to treat them as we do the tax collectors or the Gentiles.  We pay our debts when due, and then we stay as far away from them as we can, in order to preserve our own dignity.  And that doesn’t mean we give up trying to reconcile, but our “forgiveness of heart” protects us from turning to sin ourselves – kind of just like these masks that protect us from others, and protect others from us – out of our love for them and not out of hatred or distrust.

When we think about all that Jesus gave in order to forgive us.  A huge debt, a monstrous sin that we, as humanity, continue to perpetrate against Him and against God, then how tiny are the little infractions that we have such a hard time forgiving one another from.

And so we again pray for the Holy Spirit’s strength to think clearly, to choose wisely and to love and forgive beyond our wildest imaginations – Just like God!

08-11-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 11, 2021
(St. Clare of Assisi, Virgin)
Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. . . . Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Mt_18:15-20

Adam and Ellie are playing in the sandbox.  Ellie accidentally (on purpose) knocks over Adam’s magnificent sandcastle.  Adam smacks Ellie in the face.  Ellie goes running up to her mom and yells “Adam hit me.”

Now mom has a choice.  She’s tired of their bickering.  And yet, somehow, justice has to be served.  But she also knows that she’s only heard one side of the story.  And she wants both Adam to stop hitting and Ellie to stop tattling.  And if mom simply tells Adam to apologize, he’ll just keep on hitting, because that’s the only recourse he has to his own justice (revenge).  And if mom tells Ellie not to tattle, she may feel that she has nowhere to turn when real trouble strikes.

So, what’s a mom to do?

You see it’s an age-old dilemma that goes all the way back to the days of Cain and Abel.  Now, I, myself was a younger brother, as was my own son.  And we both struggled with the same ‘younger brother syndrome’ that our grandson Adam does.  And I probably did the textbook wrong things in addressing the issue.  But our kids did survive it all, and they turned out pretty good, at least in my biased opinion.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with all kids.  And that’s why, there will always be the good and the bad, the lost and the successful people, in this world.

Jesus gives us, just a clue, as to how to handle injustices today.  And it goes for children, as well as adults.  In a nutshell – we call it: Communication.

Mom asks Ellie if she told Adam, that what he did – hurt her?  And then mom asks Ellie, if  Adam had a reason for hitting her.  Jesus tells us that we always start with direct communication with those who have hurt us.  Of course, they don’t always listen, and they don’t always apologize.

And when that doesn’t help, then we work that communication up to involving – other witnesses.  Maybe grandpa saw Ellie get hit, but he also saw Ellie knock over Adam’s sandcastle.  And with that information, grandpa could now work that dispute into the reconciliation of the two of them through mutual forgiveness.

You see, forgiveness goes a long way in settling disputes.

And if grandpa fails to make a difference, then it just might be time for a “family gathering.”  As Jesus said, “getting the Church involved.”  Of course, it’s all, and always – combined-with, and totally dependent-upon, PRAYER.  Because we all know that without God – nothing is possible, but with Him, ALL things are possible.  And, as we’ve learned, God truly wants communities, families and Churches – that are filled with love for one another.

Jesus will always guide us, when we place our trust and wisdom in His hands.

And so we pray, “Come Holy Spirit.  Fill us with the Gifts of your presence within us, and we will fill the world – with Your Love.”

08-10-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 10, 2021
(St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr)
Jesus said, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  Jn_12:24-26

He also said, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” ibid

We really were created for something much greater than these shells of wheat that we are.  Yes, the world has many things and feelings and beauty to cause us to revel in God’s creation, to love this life we live.  And the wheat grain is, in itself, a thing of beauty and wonder.  But in our faith we have to believe in the “fruit.”  The fruit of spiritual life, the fruit of heavenly bliss, the fruit of something that makes all the beauty and feelings of this world pale in comparison.  If our lives are driven by love for this world, we will be very fearful and disappointed in death.  But, when we can envision that fruit, that life eternal, we will, like St. Lawrence, be more than joyful to shed this shell, this grain, for what we were created to be, children romping in God’s playground forever!

We use this death to life, grain of wheat allegory in our Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) weekends as the youth grow in their love for Jesus.  Some years ago I ran across this little song that beautifully puts the concept of ‘death to life’ to song . . .

08-09-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 9, 2021
(Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr)
Moses said to the Israelites, “So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.  The LORD, your God, shall you fear, and him shall you serve; hold fast to him and swear by his name.  He is your glory, he, your God,”  Dt_10:12-22

Jesus asked Peter, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?  From their subjects or from foreigners?”  When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up.  Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”  Mt_17:22-27

So, who is the foreigner, the alien?  Are we aliens because we were born here and a foreigner has taken over our land, as were the Israelites to the Romans in the time of Jesus, as were the Jewish people to the Nazis in the time of Edith Stein or Maximilian Kolbe? Are our neighbors, because they bought a house formerly lived in by an original inhabitant and we ourselves built the house we’re living in, on land that was once a farm?  Are the Mexicans, the Europeans, or the Africans aliens, just because they are seeking a safe refuge from the horrors of their own countries?  Who is the foreigner?

Maybe we’re all foreigners in a world created by God alone.  What a thought!  Maybe we all owe something to the God who created us!  And if nothing else, at least our love and devotion to Him!  Maybe we’re all aliens, and all we need do is discover how to love one another in our sojourn in this life!  If anyone was not, Jesus was not the foreigner.  And yet, he still paid the price we will all pay one day.  Maybe not as horrifically as His death, but that just makes it all the more extraordinary, the love we owe to him.  Not out of debt or sacrifice, but in our compassion for one another and for Him.  Love!

08-08-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 8, 2021
(19th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. . . .
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”  Jn_6:41-51

If we’re conscious of what we eat, whether it’s for a health condition that we’re trying to improve, or weight control, or just staying healthy through supplements, we know that what we eat has an impact on that health and our mental state.  It’s that same old cleche’, “garbage in – garbage out,” that the computer folks always quote. But the statistics of the actual impact that those supplements have on our health is often controversial.  And often it’s just a matter of belief, of faith.  In some cases it might even be a psychologically driven improvement over any actual biochemical change caused by those supplements.  But either way, they usually can’t hurt us, save for our pocketbooks.

Jesus was dealing with religious fanatics who were so strict in following their “Law” that often their care for the humanity for whom those laws were written to help was long forgotten.  The twelve laws or commandments of God, passed on by Moses, were elaborated into 613 decrees that controlled everything from eating to raising a finger on a “holy” Sabbath day.

So, if one’s life was predicated on following the minutiae of laws, that life would be missing a very important supplement, the supplement of community and caring and love.  But if life was fed by community and caring and love – all that Jesus taught – then that life would be full.  Full not only in the now, but for eternity.  Within this “Bread of Life” chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus describes the whole concept of the blessed Sacrament of Holy Eucharist which He instituted at the Last Supper.  Jesus is the TRUE Bread of Life, in every word He uttered, in every life He impacts (then and today).  And when we feed on Jesus, we will have Life to the full.  Life as God intended for us to have.  Believe, beloved!  And LIVE!

08-07-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 7, 2021
Moses said to the people: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.  Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.”  Dt_6:4-13

Jesus said to His disciples, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Mt_17:14-20

Our goal in life: never forget the source of our life and our strength and our faith.  Love the Lord your God!!!  Always.

08-06-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 6, 2021
(The Transfiguration of the Lord)
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents:  one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.  Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;  from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  Mk_9:2-10

In yesterday’s Gospel reading, Jesus asks His disciples who the people, and they, think, or say He is.  You see, they were well familiar with Jewish History; with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, their nomad forefathers; with the Exodus stories of God’s salvation of their ancient family, after 400-years of finally having a home of their own, only to be rudely awakened that Egypt was not really their ‘true home’ anyway. They were familiar with the fact that once they finally reached that “Promised Land,” because their ancestors failed to consistently keep their Faith in the God who constantly saved them, even that land was vulnerable to outside attack and loss, as they were whisked away by the Persians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

They were familiar with the Prophesies of people like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah and Daniel, who warned them to straighten out and promised them a Savior.  But what they did not understand was that God’s salvation would not BE offered to protect their existing homeland, their “tents,” as Peter describes it.  Instead, it would be offered to lead them to their new and eternal home. A home that they and we can actually begin to envisage, by letting go of our preconceived notions – that this world, and this flesh IS that home.

Jesus would not be the warrior Messiah they imagined, but a gentle and persuasive leader  who would show them and us the “Way,” and not carry us.  It would be WE, who would need to take the initiative to follow, as it always had been.

You see, this land, and these bodies are really no more our ‘true home’ than the lands of Egypt and Israel were for the Jews. And Jesus came to show us how to get to that true home, where it all begins in our hearts, and in our mind, and in our soul.

Through this Transfiguration, God our Father, has told Peter, James, John and us, “Look, you should have already known all of this through the Signs I had given to you through Moses, through those Ten simple laws of love and respect.”  “And when you still wouldn’t believe or listen to Me, even after 40-years of cleansing in the desert, I sent you the Prophets, like Elijah, to warn you and to protect you.”

“And now after still misunderstanding all that I have taught you through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Egypt, Moses, Babylon and the Prophets, here I am, in Person, in the Person of Jesus, to show you by My own example, where your ‘true home’ really is.” “And it’s not in these tents.”  “It’s in My Spirit: the Spirit of Love, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit that binds every one of us together and brings us home with God, through Jesus, forever.”

You see, brothers and sisters, there is the Glory.  And there is the Hope.  And there is the Promise that brings us NEW LIFE – with every breath we take.

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Happy Birthday honey!  Hope you have a most blessed and joy-filled day.
All my love always!!!

08-05-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 5, 2021
(Santa Maria Maggiore)
Jesus asked his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Mt_16:13-23

You are the Christ.  And all power, wisdom, strength, hope and love are in you.  We worship You today and we look to Your Church for our guidance.  Though it is merely an earthly structure, we pray for Your wisdom to shine through her and her leaders.  Protect her from “worldly” influence and strengthen her to firmly support all that is only good and true.

08-04-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 4, 2021
(St. John Vianney, Priest)
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the children of Israel against me. Tell them: By my life, says the LORD, I will do to you just what I have heard you say.  Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall. Forty days you spent in scouting the land; forty years shall you suffer for your crimes: one year for each day.  Nm_13:1-2,25–14:1,26a-29a,34-35

Jesus said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”  Mt_15:21-28

The ogre, Shrek, once compared his life to an onion, with its layers upon layers, much like today’s Gospel.  On the outermost layer we see how an Act of Faith in Jesus led to a healing, much like the healing of the blind man who also called Jesus “the Lord, the Son of David.”

But this ACT went far beyond just a personal healing.  Like the Synagogue Official, whose Faith was driven by his love for his dying daughter, the Canaanite woman’s Faith was also driven by an enormity of love for her own daughter.

And yet, in another layer we also see the woman’s rejection by Jesus.  And from it, we learn that “True Faith” has no bounds.  Yes, there will be rejection, persecution and hatred in our lives.  But we are called to be Persistent, just like this rejected woman, a foreigner to the Israelites.

You see, unlike the Samaritans, who, even though they believed in different religious precepts from the Jews, still believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, these Canaanites, whom we hear of in today’s Old Testament reading as well, did not believe in the One True God, but in the many gods – whom they thought could save their crops, could bring them sunshine, and could make them fertile.

And it was not to these people that Jesus came. These were the evil people whom the Exodus-saved Israelites were supposed to cleanse from Abraham’s “Promised Land.”  And here was one of those ‘Children of Evil’, in her Love, and in her Persistence, and in her Faith, pleading with Jesus, whom she called: the Lord, the Son of David, and her Master; pleading to provide even just a scrap of mercy to heal her daughter.

You see, it truly is, in the times of our greatest NEED, that we, like this Canaanite woman,
find our strongest Faith.  Because it’s in that NEED, that we finally recognize our incapacity to be – the gods we might think we are, and to acknowledge, instead, our dependence on God, our Faith.

And it’s in that Faith
that we are healed!

Of course the flip-side of Need, leading to Faith, leading to Healing, as we heard in our first reading, is Fear, leading to Isolation, leading to Suffering.  For when we submit to Fear, it has the capacity to drive us away from God, and result in our suffering the consequences of our own faulty reasoning.

If you ever wondered why those Israelites had to wander the desert for 40-years, today we heard the story.  You see, despite all the signs leading to the Passover; the crossing of the sea on dry land; the manna from heaven; and the majestic abundance of the promised land, the stubborn and faithless hearts of the Israelites, in Fear, brought them nothing more than Death.

Fear leads to Isolation from God, which leads to Suffering.

While our Needs lead us to Faith, which leads us to Healing.

When we recognize our Need for God, our Need for one another, and our incapacity to be gods ourselves, then our Faith in Him and our Love for Jesus will be all we ever need, and we will be healed forever!

08-03-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 3, 2021
Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth.  So at once the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam,  “Come out, you three, to the meeting tent.”
. . .  “Now listen to the words of the LORD: Should there be a prophet among you, in visions will I reveal myself to him, in dreams will I speak to him; not so with my servant Moses! Throughout my house he bears my trust: face to face I speak to him; plainly and not in riddles. The presence of the LORD he beholds.”  Nm_12:1-13

So, how does the Lord speak with us, beloved?  Is it in riddles?  Is it in signs?  Or does He trust in us enough to speak with us face to face.  Do we trust in Him enough to listen, to obey?  He is wanting our trust.  And we are needing to trust in someone, something, in a world of lies.  Trust in God and He will speak with you and heal you and console you.  Jesus did not come to play games.  He wants our love, our trust!  Trust in Him, beloved!  All will be well, even when it may not seem so.  Trust!

08-02-21 Catholic Daily Mass Quotes

August 2, 2021
The disciples said to Jesus, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”  Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied,  Mt_14:13-21

Seek and you will find.  Ask and you will receive.  Give and more will be given back to you, and in more abundance than you could ever have imagined.  IN JESUS’ Name!

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Happy August, beloved!
God’s blessings!

Please come visit July’s Daily Mass Quotes too…
Link below.

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