JESUS IS LORD. ALWAYS!

Friday, December 02, 2022

The Feast of St Francis Xavier SJ, Priest and Missionary.

"It is impossible to find a Saint who did not take the 'two P's' seriously, Prayer and Penance." (St Francis Xavier SJ. 1506 - 1552).

"Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.

"At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

"Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

"Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

"Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

"As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8).

Saturday 3rd December 2022 of the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus (1506 - 1552). Priest and Missionary. Spanish.
This Saturday is also the first Saturday in December. Honor the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Francis Xavier is one of the seven men along with leader St Ignatius Loyola who founded the Society of Jesus, which is popularly known as Jesuits. Francis Xavier will rank as one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Church. We know who has the title #1: St Paul. Francis is said to have baptized over 30,000 souls in his 10 years of missionary endeavors. He is called the Apostle of the East. He worked in India and Japan and died facing the coast of China in 1552 at the age of 46.

We see in our key Scripture for today the compassion of Jesus for the crowds who were troubled and appeared totally abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus healed many of their illnesses and preached to them the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Yet Jesus was sad because the need is so great and the human resources needed for the work are paltry.

What can you do to help?

"No one takes this honor on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case." (Hebrews 5: 4)

A vocation is a call from God, an appointment by God. God appoints those he chooses to share in a particular manner in the work of redemption with his son, Jesus. When we are baptized, God chooses us to be his adopted children. This is also when we receive our vocation. While some are called to the ministerial priesthood like Aaron, every baptized is called to a particular ministry.

Become an evangelist. From here, you may be led to your proper path.

"My Eucharistic Heart overflows with love for My priests. I would give to each of them the grace I gave Saint John, My beloved disciple: that of intimacy with My Heart and with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. I would renew the priesthood of My Church in this way. I would make My priests resplendent with holiness. I would impart to their tongues and to their hands the very graces that I poured out upon My Apostles in the beginnings of My Church." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, December 7, 2007).

For information on the Compendium of the the Church, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2021/03/compendium-of-catholic-teachings.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Do you believe I can do all things?

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." (St Augustine).

"As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,

“Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and

"Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.

"Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

"And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land." (Matthew 9: 27 - 31).

This Friday December 2nd of the first week of Advent is also the First Friday in December. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus today.

Two blind friends who have heard of the miracles of Jesus sought Him out until they found Him. They cried excitedly: “Son of David, have pity on us!” Jesus who delights in mercy can never resist those who ask Him for mercy.

Jesus asked the two blind men: “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.

FAITH IS TRUSTING IN THE WORD OF GOD. BEFORE THE BLIND MEN APPROACHED JESUS, THEY BELIEVED ALREADY IN THEIR HEART THAT JESUS CAN HEAL THEM. NOW FACE TO FACE WITH JESUS, THEY CONFESSED WITH THEIR MOUTH AND WERE HEALED OF BLINDNESS.

“Let it be done for you according to your faith.” Jesus said. "And their eyes were opened."

"Be it done to me according to Your word." The word of Jesus is a Divine Command. Belief in this word is faith.
What do you seek from Jesus?
Faith, Health, Family, Job, Money?
Do you believe that Jesus can do this for you?
Are you prepared to wait for His perfect timing? Are you willing for example to accept another model of car, woman/man, health plan if that is the will of Jesus for you?

You may receive little from Jesus if you do not see that Jesus knows exactly what you need, when you need it. “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord.”

"The loss of faith that afflicts so many souls is incompatible with a life of adoration. Souls do not stop adoring because they have lost their faith; they lose their faith because they have stopped adoring Me. This is why I would have you hold fast even to the outward forms of adoration. When even these things are cast aside, there is nothing left to invite the soul to the inward adoration in spirit and in truth by which I am glorified. I speak here of the genuflection, the prostration, the profound bow and all the other marks of attention to My presence that provide the soul with a language in which she can express her faith and her desire to adore Me." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday December 2nd by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

December 2nd, 2022  -  First Friday in December 2022.

Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion. In the 12th and last month of the year 2022, we look at Promise #12.

#12. "The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour."

What is the grace of Final Repentance? This is tantamount to the grace of Perseverance in being a good Christian to the end of your life. This is one of the best things anyone can ask for.

Friends, this is a tremendous promise. Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for such a generous offer.   You will appreciate this promise when you are close to death. No fear. No worry. No doubt about your eternal destiny.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacred Heart prayers and prayer intentions, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/12-promises-of-sacred-heart-of-jesus.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

The Feast of St Edmund Campion SJ, Priest and Martyr.

“We human beings are story-tellers, we pass on our values through the stories we tell. ..." (St Edmund Campion, SJ).

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

"The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

"And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.

"And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” (Matthew 7:21, 24-2).

Thursday 1st December of 2022 of the first Week of Advent is the feast of St Edmund Campion of the Society of Jesus. Born January 25th, 1540 in London. He became a junior fellow at Oxford University at 17. Confused by the adulation his intellectual prowess attracted, Edmund abandoned his Catholic roots and became an Anglican, even a deacon in the Anglican church. He soon saw the true light. He went to Rome and studied for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus. After ordination, he returned to England secretly and ministered to Catholics. He was betrayed by one of his flock and tried and condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered in Tyburn, London on December 1st, 1581.

St Edmund Campion could have chosen to remain a Fellow at Oxford University and enjoy this life to the fullest. But he believed in the promises of Jesus. "There is something better." St Edmund Campion is the most famous of the English Catholic martyrs. He is acclaimed universally as a great poet.

Our key Scripture instructs us to build our lives on rock. That Rock is Jesus. If we do not build on Him, we build on sand.

To build your life on rock, you need Wisdom. Wisdom is the gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us make good choices and decisions. Wisdom deals with Choice - this or that? To build the foundation of your family home on rock or try to save money and compromise the foundation with inferior material..
True wisdom lies in hearing and doing the word of God, the will of God, the command of God. How do we become wise?

How do good and godly choices become a habit?
#1. Pray for Wisdom every day. You will surely get it.
#2. Read and ponder the word of God daily. It is the source and foundation of Wisdom.
#3. Practice daily examination of conscience. You will see where you have been wise and foolish in the course of the day. You resolve to act appropriately in the future.

Wisdom is listed as the first of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ask for the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Ask and you receive Him immediately.

"Trust Me with all the events of your life. I will not abandon you. You are Mine and I will not forsake you. The decisions of men are all in My hands. Nothing will befall you that I do not permit. I will give you My grace to accept the changing circumstances of your life. It is I who am behind all that happens to you. Nothing escapes My wisdom; nothing escapes My love; nothing escapes My omnipotence. Trust Me, and be at peace. I bless you with all the love of My Sacred Heart. Do not be afraid. Tell Me again and again that you trust in My merciful love for you." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, June 17, 2008 ).

The Church honors the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the Month of December. The preeminent feast of Mary is December 8th, the great Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Honor Mary under her Immaculate Conception every day this December.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Feast of St Andrew the Apostle.

“Love is acceptance. When you love someone . . . you take them into your heart, and that is surely why it hurts so much when we lose someone we love, because we lose a part of ourselves. (St Andrew the Apostle).

"As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him." (Cf Matthew 4: 18 - 22).

Wednesday 30th November 2022 of the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle. (+ 60). He is the brother of Simon Peter, the Chief Apostle. 

Who is Andrew?
Andrew was a disciple of St John the Baptist. Andrew saw John point to Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36).  Andrew said to his brother Simon: “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).  Andrew was a seeker and an evangelist at heart.

After the Resurrection and  Pentecost, Andrew embarked on his apostolic missions.  St Andrew was martyred in Greece circa 60 AD.  Tradition says that he died in an X shaped Cross. He is the Patron saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland.

Andrew is my Evangelist par excellence. He hears the divine command in the Gospel. He believes it and obeys it instantly. Immediately he goes to share this treasure with the first person he meets who happens to be his brother Simon Peter. How do we respond at once to the call of Jesus like Andrew and become committed and enthusiastic evangelist? There are two necessary steps:

#1. Formation or Training: Spending time with Jesus in prayer and His word. This enables us to become like Jesus. Before we can start acting like Jesus, we must spend time listening to Him and watching His every move in order to imitate Him.

#2. Field training: The student teacher or student nurse needs to be grounded in the theory he learns in the classroom before he steps into  the real world. This is the practicum.

The core mission of the Church is to evangelize. Pope St Paul VI writes that the Church exists in order to evangelize. This is a profound statement. Where is your place in this scheme? In the first Reading we hear:

"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? (Romans 10: 13 - 15).

How can people hear of a new product unless there is a salesman or advertising? Friend, Jesus invites you to be the sales person. You can do this through word of mouth, text messaging, emails and sharing social media Catholic Blogs. One of the best faith sharing apps on social media is WhatsApp. It provides many platforms: Text, audio, images and graphics, music, video and movie. It is completely free.

"When I choose a soul for a work of Mine, I begin always by drawing that soul very close to Me with the leading bands of My most sweet love. I have given you the gift of My divine friendship, just as I gave it to John and to the other apostles in view of the great work that I entrusted to them: the foundation and growth of My Mystical Body, the Church on earth. Every work of Mine begins in this way." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, April 10, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit.

"Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God: The Father is your table, the Son is your food, and the Holy Spirit waits on you and then makes His dwelling in you."  (St. Catherine of Siena).

"Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,

“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

"Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father.

"No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

"Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Luke 10: 21 - 24).

Tuesday 29th November 2022 of the First Week of Advent.

Jesus rejoices! Jesus is full of joy as He thinks of the Holy Spirit. What in your experience makes you full of joy? For me it used to be memories of answered prayers. Now as I get to know the ever present Holy Spirit, the thought of His incessant inspiration and power fills me with joy.

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life. Spiritual life and abundant life. He is our ever present and near Helper. He is our Advocate and the Voice that speaks in Court for us.

How do we receive and enjoy the Holy Spirit? Nothing can be easier:

#1  Desire! Desire! Desire!
#2. Confess your sins
#3. Ask Him in bold prayer to come and reside in you.
#4. Believe that you have received after asking in faith. Then start giving thanks immediately. Remember we walk by faith and not by sight or feeling.

For the titles of the Holy Spirit, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/11/the-titles-of-holy-spirit.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Amazing Faith of the Roman Soldier.

"Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern."
(Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata).

"When Jesus entered Caper­naum, a centurion ap­proa­ch­ed him and appealed to him, saying,

“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

"Jesus said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

"The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

"When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those ­following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8: 5 - 11).

Why does Jesus praise the faith of the Centurion?  Faith is a rare commodity and one of the greatest gifts of God.  The opposite of faith is Unbelief and Doubt.

How does faith work?  Jesus said to the Centurion:  “I will come and cure him.” The Centurion heard this and believed.  The faith of the Centurion is much deeper.  He said to Jesus: 'No need to come to my house.  Just heal my servant with a word said right here, right now.'

How does Faith work?

Faith comes from hearing and believing the promises of God.  As you obey the Divine Word or Command your faith  grows.

Here are 7 examples of Faith from the Gospels to reflect on this Advent:

1. The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation.
2. The shepherds at the Nativity.
3. The 3 Magi at the Hut of the Holy Family.
4. Simeon and Anna at the Presentation.
5. The Calling of Matthew and Zacchaeus.
6. The Good Thief at the Crucifixion.
7. The Roman Soldier at the Crucifixion.

What is the common factor in all these 7 cases?
They heard. They saw. They believe.

Happy Advent!

"Why do you think I have spoken to you so often of My Eucharistic Face? It is because “face” signifies “presence.” The devotion to My Eucharistic Face is the remedy to the loss of faith in My real presence that has swept through My Church at every level, extinguishing the fire of Eucharistic charity and causing even My elect, My priests, to grow cold and distant from Me. This is My word to you tonight and this is why I brought you to this place. Any loneliness you may feel is an invitation to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My divine friendship and to console My Eucharistic Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Sunday, October 19, 2008 Saint Paul of the Cross).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 26, 2022

First Sunday of Advent - O Come. Let us adore Him.

“O Father, in your Truth (that is to say, in your Son, humbled, needy and homeless) you have humbled me. He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin, needy in the manger of the sheep, and homeless on the wood of the Cross. Nothing so humbles the proud sinner as the humility of Jesus Christ’s humanity.”  (St. Anthony of Padua).

"Jesus said to his disciples:

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

"In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.

"So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.

"Therefore, 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.”  (Matthew 24: 37 - 44).

Sunday 27th November 2022 is the First Sunday of Advent.

What is Advent?
Advent is a period of waiting and expectation for a big event. Advent is the Season we wait for the Coming of the Lord.  We wait for two Comings of Jesus:  The first Coming of Jesus as a poor child born in a Manger in Bethlehem.  This has happened. We celebrate the feast every year at Christmas.

The second Coming is His Coming in majesty at the end of the ages to judge the world. When Jesus comes again in glory and majesty and we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope, teaches the Church.

How do we wait? "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come." (Mark 13: 33).

In order to be fully awake and take full advantage of all the blessings that God has prepared for us this Advent, we need an Advent Plan.
Your Advent may just be more of your daily devotions:
Prayer, Word of God, Eucharist, Adoration, Penance, etc.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap."

Lord Jesus, we are Your people and Your inheritance. Save us in Your mercy.
Wishing our friends a grace-filled and prosperous Advent.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 25, 2022

This is the Last Day. The Last Hour. Wake up!

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6: 11 - 12 NIV).

"Jesus said to his disciples:

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.

"For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 34 - 36).

Saturday 26th November 2022 of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time. This is the Last Day. The Last Hour. The Final Hour.

Christians wake up! Our Redemption is very close. Yet, there are intense spiritual warfare to be fought.

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap."

The Enemy will use a well tried and successful game plan to entrap you. He will wear you out with foolish and unnecessary worries about home parties, church parties and office parties. Crazy shoppings and bargain huntings.

St Paul uses the image of a fully dressed and equipped Roman soldier to teach us how to be ready always so that we may not be surprised by the traps of the Devil.

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Cf Ephesians 6: 10 - 17).

You may also consider the Full Armor as the 7 Daily Habits of Saints:

Prayer, Word of God, Eucharist, Confession, Examination of Conscience, Ministry or Faith Sharing, Spiritual Reading.

If you do this diligently, that day will  "not catch you by surprise like a trap."

"I want to draw a veil between your soul and the world. I want to reserve you for Myself alone, and hide you far from the gaze of demons and of men. I want to cover you with a veil and draw you into the sanctuary of My Heart, there to exercise with Me, through Me, and in Me, a hidden priesthood and a hidden victimhood." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, December 10, 2015).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Feast of St Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Martyr.

"Lord Jesus Christ, my God, I thank Thee for having firmly set my feet on the rock of the Faith and directed my steps on the pathway of salvation. Open now Thy arms wounded on the cross to receive my soul, which I offer in sacrifice to the glory of Thy Name." (St Catherine of Alexandria).

"Jesus told his disciples a parable.

“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.

"Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Luke 21: 29 - 33).

Friday 25th November 2022 of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Catherine of Alexandria. (+ 310). Virgin and Martyr. African.

Catherine was well educated and articulate.  No surprise because she was from the upper class of society in Alexandria, one of the foremost center of learning and culture at that time. She was courageous and fearless. She defended the faith before Emperor Maxentius. The Emperor was taken aback at the erudition and courage of the young girl. He flew into a rage and condemned Catherine to death. Catherine is the patron saint of philosophers, lawyers and preachers.

Where does the power, eloquence, wisdom of St Catherine of Alexandria come from? We don't have to look far.

"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." (Luke 21: 14 - 15).

Jesus concluded the Parable of the Fig Tree in today's Gospel by asserting this great proclamation on the Word of God. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” The word of God is permanent. It is eternal. This world is temporary. It is vanishing as anybody can see from the consequences of global warming.

So far, the words of Jesus have not passed away after 2000 years. How do we prove this?
#1 Preachers still preach this word day and night in churches, on TV, Radio and Blogs.
#2 Missionaries leave their countries every day to bring this word to people who have not heard this word before.
#3 People search constantly on the Internet for this word, making the Bible one of the most searched key word.
#4 Printing presses all over the world keep rolling out millions of copies of the Bible.

Friends, do you consider this phenomenon of the enduring power of the word of God an accident? Can you find a parallel for this in history?

Consider this question:
If Jesus Christ could be so absolutely correct in His prediction about the iteration and durability of His word, what else could He be correct about? Other prophecies of Jesus Christ:
#a. I am surely coming back.
#b. I am with you always.
#c. The gates of hell shall try very hard but cannot prevail against my Church.
#d. My Kingdom is universal. It is also everlasting.
#e. No eye has seen, no ear has heard of the eternal plan I have for you who believe in Me and follow Me.

"Be alert; stand firm in the faith; be valiant and strong, and the God of peace will be with you." (1 Corinthians 16:13)

You can be the next Catherine if you let the word of God nourish you daily. If you trust in Jesus to lead you to your purpose in life. If you accept His unconditional love for you and embrace His gracious will for you.

Here is something I learned about Catherine today:
Before St Catherine was executed, she promised to obtain favors for all those who seek her intercession on personal problems. This reminds us of St Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower who promised to be a powerful intercessor in Heaven for any person who seeks her help.

"Even if you have to die, says the Lord, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2: 10).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Feast of St Andrew Dung Lac and Companion Martyrs.

"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count." (Neal A. Maxwell).

"Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.

"Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.

"Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.

"People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

"And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:20 - 28).

Thursday 24th November 2022 of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time is
the feast of St Andrew Dung-Lac and his companion martyrs.

St Andrew, a Vietnamese priest was martyred in 1839 along with 117 others, 96 of whom were Vietnamese. The rest were foreign missionaries. Has any other religion the same experience of martyrdom in modern history as the Christian faith?  Why do Christians accept martyrdom? Christians know that death is not the end of their life. We believe in the Resurrection. Jesus Christ has promised. His word is true.

Today is also Thanksgiving Day in America. Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends.

The first Reading from the Book of Revelations and the Gospel message from Luke today both from the universal lectionary are grim messages. They deal with the last days. They may seem unpalatable for Thanksgiving celebrations but they are tonic and nourishment for the soul. Why? Because the Bible warns by example and narrative that it is during celebrations that disaster strikes.

Which would you prefer? To be called to the wedding feast of the Lamb or sit down before a table piled high with roasted turkey, deserts and wine? The Wedding Feast of the Lamb is the mother of all celebrations.

The message of the End Times whether from the Prophet Daniel, Jesus or John in the Book of Revelations is the easiest Scripture to understand. It is concise and straightforward:
ARE YOU READY TO GO?

How to be ready and fired up to go in a moment's notice:

#1 Pray all the time.
#2 Pray everywhere.
#3 Pray about everything.

To prayer add daily nourishment from the word of God. Do not be tired of doing good to your neighbor.

For a list of good works mandated by the Church, click the link below:

https://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/11/works-of-mercy.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Feast of Blessed Miguel Pro SJ, Priest and Martyr.

“We ought to speak,
shout out against injustices,
with confidence and without fear.
We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love,
without forgetting that it is also a reign of JUSTICE!” (Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ).

"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 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.” (Luke 21: 12 - 19).

Wednesday 23rd November 2022 of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time
is the feast of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, SJ. (1891 - 1927). Mexican. Priest of the Society of Jesus and Martyr during the fierce Mexican persecution of the Church in the 1920s. Miguel Pro traveled to Europe to complete his theological studies for the priesthood because of the demonic opposition to the Church in Mexico. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to Mexico and ministered to the people in secret escaping  arrests by hiding and disguises. He was eventually captured and executed by firing squad.  Miguel Pro spread his hands in form of a cross and shouted "CRISTO REY" (Christ the King) as the executioners rained bullets into his body.

Our key Scripture is from Luke 21: 12 - 19. This is one of the most powerful and comforting promises Jesus made to His followers. Soon after the experience of Pentecost, Peter and John confirmed the truth in their encounter with the Sanhedrin (the Supreme Court of Israel). Other Apostles including Stephen and Paul confirmed the reliability of this promise of Jesus in their ministry. This promise has blessed me on a number of occasions. Hence I call the Holy Spirit the Voice that speaks in Court.

Martyrdom is the badge of honor for Christians. Tertulian, the 2nd century African theologian stated that "The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity."

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 10).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Feast of St Cecilia, Patron Saint of Music.

"Express the joy of the situation and the joy to play this music, to sing this music, it’s really fantastic.”  (St. Cecilia. Patron saint of musicians).

"While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, 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?”

Jesus answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!

"When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.”

"Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”  (Luke 21: 5 - 11).

Tuesday 22nd November 2022 of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Cecilia. Italian. (+ 3rd century). Virgin and Martyr. Cecilia came from a noble Roman family. She was betrothed to Valerian, a noble Roman gentleman. Cecilia convinced Valerian to respect her perpetual vow of chastity. She also led Valerian to embrace Christ and Christianity. Valerian gave his life to Christ as a martyr. St Cecilia was tortured and left to die slowly. St Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians. Her name is mentioned in the Roman Canon. Music plays a central role in the worship and liturgy of the Church. St Augustine says that to sing is to pray twice. Let us thank God for the gift of music.

"While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, 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.”

From time to time, I walk through the downtown on my way to the noon Mass. There are always many shiny glass and steel constructions going up and up. I frequently stop at the sidewalk to stretch my neck and gaze at the towering skyscrapers. I remember Christ's  warning in today's Gospel. “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.”

Can this prophecy of Jesus be applied to our era? Rome was destroyed. Berlin was leveled to the ground. Moscow was burnt down by Napoleon. Russia is destroying Ukraine one city at a time. Of course the prophecy in the Gospel of today is specific to Jerusalem. Jerusalem met its nemesis in 70 AD when Emperor Vespatian and his son Titus executed God's judgment on Jerusalem.

What is the meaning of the prophecy for us today?
Don't take too seriously what is going on in this nation and the world  today. Watch rather the signs of the End Times. The End is near. Watch and pray that you may not succumb to vile temptations.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house.
Put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you,
and pour down upon you blessing without measure!" (Malachi 3: 10).

"When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.

"He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (Luke 21: 1 - 4).

Monday 21st November 2022 of the 34th week of Ordinary Time is
the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.

What are we celebrating in this feast?  This feast celebrates an event in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast remembers the occasion when Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne presented the little girl in the Temple to be educated by priests. This event calls a lie to some teachers who postulate that Mary was a simple peasant girl who did not know how to read or write.

This great feast is not recorded in the Scriptures. It is nonetheless an ancient feast of the Church.

The Church affirms that along with Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and the authoritative Magisterium are the sources of the truth we subscribe to in the Church. The Church has this ancient sacred maxim:
"Lex credendi, lex orandi, lex vivendi." It means that the rule of prayer is the rule of faith and the rule of living. As you pray, so you believe. As you believe, so you live.

The Gospel today from Luke 21: 1 - 4 is not a parable but an actual event.  What Jesus observed in the Temple was an opportunity for a great teaching on trust in God, tithing and generosity. Jesus is a great Teacher. He teaches from life's experiences and from parables. Some lessons from this Scripture.

#1 The widow was able to give her ALL because she had experienced God's faithful provisions.
#2. It is not the largeness of the gift that counts but what the gift costs you.
#3 The poor contribute more to the upkeep of the Church than the rich.
#4 "Give and there will be gifts for you." You can never outdo God in generosity.
#5 Wherever your treasure is, there lies your heart.
#6. Insecurity for tomorrow is the curse of the rich who are ignorant of the biblical blessings of giving.

The annual Thanksgiving is a few days away. Read some Scriptures on the blessings of giving and rendering thanks for the blessings you have received from God.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Luke 11: 9 - 10).

"I bless those whom you present to Me, lifting them into the light of My Face. I will give to each one according to his need, but also according to his readiness to receive My gifts. Those who are poor in spirit are those most ready to receive what I would give them." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, January 8, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Great Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.

“Christ, has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped but His,
by essence and by nature.”
(St Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

"The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”

"Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”

"Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

"Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”

"Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 35 - 43).

Sunday November 20th 2022 is the  Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

Our God and Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness as eternal Priest and King of all creation. (Preface of the Mass)

Jesus said to Pilate: “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate was puzzled about the meaning of truth. The Truth was standing before Pilate. Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Ruler of an eternal and universal kingdom,
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

Jesus proclaimed that the truth shall make you free. Where there is truth, there is freedom. Freedom is opposed to slavery as falsehood is opposed to truth.

How do we become truly free and enjoy this heritage of the children of God? Does Christ the King have absolute dominion over your life? Does Jesus reign over your family, health, money, job, etc? It may seem risky and even foolish to surrender everything to Jesus. Pope St John Paul II preaches again and again: "Do not be afraid. Open the door fully to Jesus."
How do I know that this is safe and trustworthy? Simple. Look at the Communion of the Saints. The billions of people who have trusted Jesus with their lives. They are now in Heaven and they are all praying for us and urging us to trust Jesus as they did.

Let us trust Jesus who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. (Cf Revelation 1:5-8).

"The riches of My kingdom are for all whom I have redeemed with My own Blood, but it pleases Me to bestow them through My Mother, the Queen and Mediatrix who stood at the foot of My Cross, offering Me and offering herself with Me. Today she reigns with Me in paradise. All that I won for souls from My Father on the altar of the Cross, with My Mother at My side, I will now pour out on souls through her Heart and through her hands. This, too, is the secret of a fruitful priesthood. In every priestly act and in all of life, place your hands in the hands of My Mother and your heart in her Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, January 8, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 18, 2022

God Himself is the Author of Marriage.

"GOD HIMSELF IS THE AUTHOR OF MARRIAGE, AND HE HAS GIVEN IT A PURPOSE." (UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS).

"Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.

"Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”

"Jesus said to them, “The children of this age ­marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to ­attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.

"They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.

"That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

"Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything." (Luke 20: 27 - 40).

Saturday 19th November 2022 of the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time. Let us keep the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Families this Saturday.

The Sadducees asked Jesus a question about the Resurrection using marriage between one man and one woman as an example. They assumed that in the Resurrection the married couple will be automatically in Heaven.
Given the disruption of the institution of marriage in our time, we may ask: How can the Church save Marriage today?

Marriage may be saved through:
#1. Re-evangelising married couples and marriage candidates. This may take more than six months.  We may think of the RCIA process.
#2. Strong and effective catechesis rooted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and lives of Saints.
#3. Basic sacramentalization especially on the meaning and actualization of Baptism in the Christian dispensation.

Jesus Christ provides the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance which if used with faith and integrity can save many marriages. Below is a typical Examination of Conscience to be used by those seeking healing through this unparalleled free gift of healing.

Examination of Conscience for those who desire a healthy and joyous Marriage:

You shall not commit adultery:
Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage?
Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control in marriage?
Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life?
Have I been guilty of masturbation?
Have I sought to control my thoughts?
Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects?
Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?
Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words and actions?
Am I careful to dress modestly?

The list above is not exhaustive. Add your personal areas of struggle for example: Texting, Email, Phone, Social Media.

How often do you use Reconciliation? Start with once every month. As you make progress, you can make it twice a month. The great thing about this Sacrament of Jesus is that it is absolutely free. Try to find out how much it will cost to get a marriage counselor or psychotherapist for an hour.

"My priests should be the first to seek Me out in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They should be the first to run to Me as soon as they experience the pangs of an uneasy conscience and the regret of their sinful weaknesses. The single greatest service My priests can offer one another is the readiness to hear each other’s confessions and to pronounce over each other the healing words of absolution. In this way, they carry out the example I gave you when, at the Last Supper, I washed the feet of My disciples. Frequent confession, weekly confession is, more than ever, necessary to My priests." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, July 31, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin, Missionary and Educator.

"My house shall be a house of prayer."

"Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them,

“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

"And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words." (Luke 19: 45 - 48).

Friday 18th November 2022 of the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne. (1769 - 1852). French. Virgin and Religious. The French Revolution disrupted her religious formation. She waited for 11 years to join a new Congregation: The Society of the Sacred Heart. At the age of 49, St Rose undertook her missionary journey to America. She founded schools to educate girls.

St Rose Philippine Duchesne left her native country France at the age of 49 to travel to America. She heard the urgency of the Gospel to educate little girls in America and show them the way of Peace of Christ. The Lord blessed her ministry. 170 years after the death of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, Duchesne Academy continues the work of educating girls in America.

Jesus entered the Temple and was shocked by what He saw. He censored the traders defiling the holy place:  "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

The Temple/Church is a consecrated place for the worship of God. The civil society understands the idea of respect for certain places. The first time I went to a traffic court, I had unintentionally my baseball cap on as I stepped into the court. The police man shouted at me to remove the cap. I obeyed.

The Church should welcome everyone into its Sanctuary for Sunday worship. The Church teaches that it is Jesus who is the celebrant in the person of the priest whom we see. Have you noticed that on Sundays, the priest is dressed in the best sacred vestments? Some people attend Sunday Mass in baseball game outfit? If the mayor or the governor invites you for a lunch, how do you dress? Jesus Christ deserves no less respect.

My house shall be a house of prayer. Please do not make it a marketplace.

The Prophet Malachi foresaw the degradation of the sacred ministers of the Temple and prophesied:

"For he will be like a refiner’s fire,
like fullers’ lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, that they may bring offerings to the Lord in righteousness." (Malachi 3: 2 - 3).

Let us continue to lift up the Church and the clergy to the mercy of God.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

St Elizabeth of Hungary, Queen, Wife and Mother and Franciscan Tertiary.

"How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!" (St Elizabeth of Hungary).

"As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying,

“If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19: 41 - 44).

Thursday 17th November 2022 of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time is
the feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary. (1207 - 1231) Religious. Born Hungarian Princess. Married a German Prince. In her short life of only 23 years, Elizabeth had four children and then became a Franciscan Tertiary after the death of her husband. She spent the rest of her life bringing comfort to the poor, the sick and the aged.

In our key Scripture from Luke 19, Jesus wept over Jerusalem for two reasons:
#1. Jerusalem failed to recognize the time of the visitation of her long awaited Messiah.
#2. Jerusalem thirsted desperately for peace but the people are totally ignorant of what makes for peace.

These two conditions apply to our world today. As we near the end of the Church Year, we are served more and more with Scriptures of the End Times.


Jesus wept for Jerusalem because they did not recognize what makes for peace. Do we recognize what makes for peace?
Jesus the Prince of Peace knows what makes for peace. He is in truth our peace.

Romans 12: 2 shows us the secret of peace.
"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." Conforming your thoughts, words and actions to the will of God is exactly what makes for peace.

Father, in Your will is our peace!

"I bless you and I bless those whom you entrust to the mercy of My open Heart. The light of My Face shines upon you. Believe in My love for you. I will never abandon you, never disappoint you. My plans are for your happiness, for your holiness, for your peace. Have no fear. I will do for you all that I have promised, and your heart will rejoice, and you will praise and glorify Me forever." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, December 19, 2007).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Feast of St Gertrude the Great, Mystic and so much more.

"Bodily and spiritual affliction are the surest sign of Divine predilection. ... Man should always firmly believe that God sends just that trial which is most beneficial for him." (St Gertrude the Great).

"While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.

"So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them,

"‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’

"His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’

"But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.

"The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’

"He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’

"Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’

"Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’

"He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’

"And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’

"But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’

"He replied, ‘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. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”

"After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem." (Luke 19: 11 - 28).

Wednesday 16th November 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Gertrude the Great.  (1256 - 1301). Virgin. German. Known as Gertrude the Great, she was a respected scholar and mystic. Over 300 years before St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Gertrude introduced the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to her community and wrote much about it. The Lord Jesus appointed St Margaret Alacoque in the 1600s to establish the Sacred Heart Devotion worldwide.

Pope Benedict XVI, says that St Gertrude “shows us that the heart of a happy life, of a true life, is friendship with the Lord Jesus.”

Our Gospel for today is from Luke 19: 11 - 28. It is called the Parable of the Ten Gold Coins. By the standard of Gospel parables, it is long. It is purposely detailed because Jesus is making a very important point. We are heading to the End of the Liturgical Year and theme of the lectionary readings inspired by the Holy Spirit for the universal Church is End of the World themes. Jesus is heading to Jerusalem for the end of His earthly life. But He will come again.  

What may be considered as the main points of the Parable of the Ten Gold Coins?

#1. Every human being is given the gifts of time, talent and treasure.
#2. At the End of Time, there will be an accountability for the use of every gift.
#3. If you do not know your gifts and your purpose in life, prayerfully invest whatever is necessary to find out the most important information about you, your God-given Purpose. It may be the One Thing Necessary Today and this Advent.

St Gertrude the Great foresaw the universal introduction of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by over 300 years.
“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed." (St Gertrude the Great).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 14, 2022

St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

"Banish, therefore, from thy heart the distractions of earth and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys, that thou mayest learn at last to repose in the light of the contemplation of God." (St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

Zacchaeus succumbed to the charm of Jesus.

“At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.

"Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.

"So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.

"When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”

"And Zacchaeus came down quickly and received him with joy.

"When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”

"But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”

"And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19: 1 - 10).

Tuesday 15th November 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
(1206 - 1280) German. St Albert belongs to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). He is an eminent theologian and scientist and Doctor of the Church.
Albert the Great combined his human wisdom and divine faith to advance knowledge and science.
St Albert wrote a great deal on Divine Providence. One of the most comforting is this one below:
“The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask.”
St Albert the Great is the patron saint of scientists.

Our Scripture for today is from Luke 19: 1 - 10. We read exactly the same Scripture on October 30th. Why is the Church offering us the same menu today? Perhaps to dig into this Scripture more. Discover deeper spiritual nourishment, new insights.

Listen to what Zacchaeus says:
"But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”

Zacchaeus says: If I have cheated you in any way, come forward and lay down your case. I am willing and ready to make full restitution and more. Unfortunately, we don't know whether anyone took up the challenge.

Because Zacchaeus is a tax collector, many commentators decide that Zacchaeus is a corrupt man. The text of the Scripture does not say that. It is like saying that every politician and every lawyer is a liar and corrupt. God says: "I do not judge a man from his lofty height and stature. I read the heart." (Cf 1 Samuel 16: 7).

Many thieves and fraudsters who are caught red handed try to negotiate the terms of the settlement. Not Zacchaeus. His attitude is: Lord, I give up everything to be a part of You and Your Enterprise.

Taking a cue from the conversion of Zacchaeus, the Church teaches:
"Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."......... It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life." (CCC 1427).

"Above all there is My Holy Mother, My all-beautiful and Immaculate Mother Mary. She is where I am. She is close to the priest who is close to Me in the Sacrament of My love. Nothing gives so much joy to her Immaculate Heart as seeing one of her priest sons in adoration before My Eucharistic Face. She opens her hands over him—as she is doing over you at this very moment—and causes a shower of graces to fall into his soul. Love My Mother, love My Mother more and more. You will never approach the love of My own Heart for her by yourself, but I, by My free gift, can and will unite you to the love of My Sacred Heart for her. Thus will you come to experience the ineffable union of our two Hearts in your own heart." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday April 14, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Bartimaeus, a story of incredible persistence and audacity.

Man's extremity is God's opportunity.  Man's security is Satan's opportunity.
Bartimaeus got back his sight and became a disciple of Jesus.

"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!”

"The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

"Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him,

“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied,

“Lord, please let me see.”

Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

"He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God." (Luke 18: 35 - 43).

Monday November 14th 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time.

The Gospel of St Mark identifies the blind man as Bartimaeus.  Bartimaeus blind and without sight represents a person without faith. Bartimaeus with his sight restored is the type of person who has come to believe. Bartimaeus wanted his sight so badly that he shouted above the noise of the crowd trying to silence him. “Son of David, have pity on me!”

What incredible faith, persistence and audacity. The Bible teaches that audacity of faith pays off every time. (Cf Hebrews 11).

Jesus ignored the crowd trying to shout down Bartimaeus. He stopped and ordered that he be brought to him.
“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and followed Jesus, giving glory to God. You too can receive anything you ask for with faith.

"Faith in this mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist grows in proportion to the time one gives Me in adoration. It is not enough that My priests should celebrate Holy Mass daily, even correctly and devoutly, if they do not approach Me and remain with Me, who wait for them in the Sacrament of My love. Nothing can replace the intimate experience of My Eucharistic friendship—and this is the experience that I offer to you and to all who seek My Eucharistic Face, all who offer a sacrifice of time to My Eucharistic Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Great Opportunity to bear witness.

 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days." (2 Timothy 3: 1).

"While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive ­offerings, 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?”

"Jesus answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.”

"Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however, 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 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.” (Luke 21: 5 - 19).

Sunday October 13th 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time. Next Sunday will be the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It marks the end of the current Liturgical Year. Can you hear from the Scriptures the drumbeat that shift our gear to reflections on the end times?

In brief, before the end comes, there will be a shakedown of the faith of everyone. Only those who have learned to be faithful from the daily practice of the faith will survive. Those who have put their faith on hold will run to their parents, siblings, children, neighbors and friends. They will bang on the door and cry in panic: "Please give us some oil for our lamp!"

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives." (Luke 21: 19).

Do not postpone the practice of your faith. There will be no opportunity to go to the Church, get into your home to search for your Bible or Rosary.

"Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?"

O that you hear His voice today, harden not your hearts.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Feast of St Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr.

"It is important to persevere in prayer because if we do, God will not simply answer the prayer, He will reveal His will to us - this is much more important.  Perseverance in prayer reveals the quality of our faith. James says, "I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:18).   Anonymous.

"Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.

"He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,

"‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’

"For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’”

"The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.

"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?” (Luke 18: 1 - 8).

Saturday 12th November 2022 of 32nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr.  (1580 - 1623).

Born in Poland to Orthodox parents, Josaphat became a Catholic. As Bishop, he worked for the unity of the Orthodox and the Roman Church and was martyred for his efforts in Ukraine.

"Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary." The Widow in today's Gospel proves that even with God, persistence breaks resistance. So pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything. God hears the prayers of the widow, the orphan and the immigrant. He hears the prayers of all who call on Him in faith and persistence.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!"
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." (Psalm 27: 14, Romans 12: 12).

St Augustine teaches that "God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what He is prepared to give."

"There are no sufferings that cannot be borne peacefully, so long as a soul is praying the Rosary. Through the Rosary, all the grace and power of My mysteries passes through My Mother’s Immaculate Heart into the hearts of the little ones who invoke her, repeating the angel’s “Ave” over and over again. There are illnesses that can be cured through the Rosary. There are clouds of darkness and confusion that only the Rosary can disperse, and this because it is My Mother’s favourite prayer, a prayer that originated in the heights of heaven and was carried to earth by My Archangel, a prayer echoed and amplified in the Church through the ages, a prayer loved by all My saints, a prayer of disarming power and of immense depth." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, December 2, 2014).

To see the 15 Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary, click the link below Or copy and paste::

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-15-promises-of-mary-to-those-who.html?m =1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Feast of St Martin of Tours.

"Hitherto I have served you as a soldier; allow me now to become a soldier to God. ..." (St Martin of Tours).

"[Chosen Lady:] I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father.

"But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another. For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.

"Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.

"Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son." (2 John 4 - 9).

Friday 11th November 2022 of the 32nd week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Martin of Tours. (316 - 397).  St Martin was born of pagan parents in modern day Hungary.

Martin was a soldier in the imperial army of Rome. After he encountered Jesus Christ, he became a Christian and a man of peace. Today is also Veteran Day in the USA, Armistice Day in other countries. November 11  served in the past as a day of memorial of signing peace treaties.  The treaty to end World War 1 was signed on the Feast of St Martin of Tours, November 11th. Hail Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace. Happy Veterans Day!

The lectionary readings for Daily and Sunday Mass contain strong language condemning false teachers. We read in today's first Reading:
"Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son." (Cf 2 John 4 - 9).

The great teachers of the Christian faith are unsparing in their total condemnation of peddlars of falsehood and doctrines. Who are these teachers? Jesus, Peter and Paul, James and John.

Why does it seem that there is this deadly and embarrassing silence today in confronting false teachers inside and outside the Church?

St Hilary of Poitiers, great friend and protégé of St Martin of Tours was happy to suffer multiple exiles to defend the doctrine of faith on Christ from Arian heretics and emperors. Other saints who were persecuted and exiled are Athanasius, John Chrysostom and Pope St Martin I.

Ecumenism is great. But let us be discerning that ecumenism does not lead us to easy Christianity of Live and Let Live.

St Martin de Tours can help us appreciate the truth that God's gracious and mysterious will is our peace and prosperity.  Lust for power and greed for riches lead nations to war. Consider the end of these nations: The France of Napoleon, the Germany of Hitler, the liquidation of the Soviet Union of Stalin. The Prince of Peace warns that those who live by the sword will perish by the sword. (Cf Matthew 26: 52).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The Feast of Pope St Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church.

"Recall how you had been wrested from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13). Through the sacrament of baptism you were made a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away such a dweller by your wicked actions and subject yourself again to servitude under the devil, because your price is the very blood of Christ, because he will judge you in truth who has redeemed you in mercy." (St Leo the Great).

"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.”

" Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.

"There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.

"But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17: 20 - 25).

Thursday 10th November 2022 of the 32nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of a giant of our faith: St Leo the Great. (+ 461). Pope. Italian. Doctor of the Church.
Leo was from a Roman aristocratic family. He was the first of three popes in the history of the Church to be called "the Great."

Pope Benedict XVI said that Leo's papacy "was undoubtedly one of the most important in Church history." Leo is remembered in history for many things. Here are the two things that stand out:

#1 Leo put his stamp on the authoritative definition of who Jesus Christ is: Jesus Christ is true God (100%) and true Man (100%).
#2 In 452, Pope Leo confronted Attila the Hun and persuaded the conqueror of the whole of the Italian Peninsula from sacking and torching Rome, the capital of the Roman empire.

"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.”

One fact is absolutely certain:  Jesus spent most of His preaching and teaching ministry talking about the Kingdom. Even after His Resurrection, Acts 1 informs us that Jesus continued to speak about the Kingdom. How do we address these questions about the identity and operations of the Kingdom?

"The Kingdom of God is among you."
What does this mean to you?
What is the Kingdom?
Where is the Kingdom?
Why the Kingdom?
How does the Kingdom operate?
Any signs of the Kingdom here and now?

The Kingdom is the King Jesus. Where the King is, there is His Kingdom. The Kingdom has certain similarities with earthly kingdoms. But the differences are striking.
The Kingdom of God is the reign of God in hearts and minds of people who believe in Jesus and have committed to allow Jesus to reign in their hearts and minds. For example: The Kingdom of Belgium comprises all the people who live in the geographical area that is recognized as Belgium. They obey the laws of Belgium. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Belgium have officers and structures for their operations. That is where the similarities end.

The Kingdom of God is worldwide. It is eternal and indestructible. The mighty Roman Empire and many kingdoms of the world have been destroyed. The Kingdom of God launched by Jesus Christ in the course of His earthly ministry will never be destroyed. God will never allow the powers of hell to wipe out the Church. The Church will be there at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

What does all this mean to you here and now? There are two types of people: those who are aware only of the earthly, material and physical kingdom. Others who belong to the the Kingdom of God whose seed is the Church. St Leo the Great spent his life building up the Church, the Kingdom of God on earth which we can see and touch.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.

The Lateran Basilica is the Church of the Pope, Successor St Peter and Universal  Pastor of the flock of Jesus Christ.

"Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.

"He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said,

“Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

"His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.

"At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”

"Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

"The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”

"But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had ­spoken." (John 2: 13 - 22).

Wednesday 9th November 2022 of the 32nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. The Church of the Pope as the Bishop of Rome. The Lateran has been known as the "Mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world."

Why is this an important feast? In the Gospel of today,  Jesus expressed an outrage at the way the holy Temple was desecrated. “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

It is therefore appropriate to reflect on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica the theme of the sanctity of the Place of Abode of God. Every Catholic Church is consecrated to be holy and equipped with the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament. Below are a few reasons why today's feast is very important.

#1 The Church is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The destiny of the Church is prophesied in the Entrance Antiphon for today:
"I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband." (Cf Revelation 21: 2).

#2 The Lateran Basilica is the Church of the Pope, Successor St Peter and Universal  Pastor of the flock of Jesus Christ.

#3 This feast is celebrated worldwide and makes the faithful remember these important truths of our salvation. Especially the truth that the Church is Catholic, that is, universal.

#4 It is God's desire to dwell with us. "Behold God’s dwelling with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself with them will be their God."  (Cf Revelation 21: 3 Entrance Antiphon).  The physical church is a symbol of this mystery.

As we celebrate this feast with joy, we remember that we are the chosen and living stones that form  the eternal Temple of the Most Holy God.

Let us pray especially today for the growth of the Church, for the unity of all Christians, for many vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, missionaries, catechists and evangelists and of course for the Holy Father Pope Francis.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com