Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Feast of St Martin of Tours, Veteran of Veterans.


“Increase our faith.”  The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." (Luke 17: 5 - 6).

Monday of the 32nd week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Martin of Tours (316 - 397), Bishop. 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 holiday 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 One was signed on the Feast of St Martin of Tours, November 11th. Hail Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace. Happy Veterans Day!

"Increase our faith." What is the connection between Faith and Prayer. I have two favorite quotations from two great men on faith and prayer.

#1. If you pray, you are saved. If you do not pray, you are lost. (St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).
#2. I pray, therefore I believe. (Karl Rahner, SJ hailed as one of the greatest theologians.

The only thing Jesus called a vital necessity is Prayer. Not work. Not fasting. (CCC 2742). Therefore if you want your faith to grow, start praying.
Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything. And before you know it, you too will be enjoying the fruits of the faith that moves mountain.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 09, 2019

We believe in the Resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.


"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.” (Luke 20: 37 - 38).

Sunday of the 32nd week in Ordinary Time. Do you know that November is the month the Church prays especially for the poor souls in purgatory? They are poor because the purification process is not a champagne party. Moreover, many of these souls have nobody to pray for them.

Do you scoff at the idea of the Resurrection of the dead, eternal life, heaven and hell? A Protestant friend of mine asked me once: "Why do you people pray to and for dead people?" I answered him by pointing to our Scripture verse for today. God Himself says that "He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Jesus silenced the Sadducees  through this Scripture. My friend had no answer.

We profess this faith:
"I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen."

If you believe in the Resurrection and life everlasting, live as you believe.

“In learning and professing the faith, you must accept and retain only the Church’s present tradition, confirmed as it is by the Scriptures…. Now I order you to retain this creed for your nourishment throughout life and never to accept any alternative, not even if I myself were to change and say something contrary to what I am now teaching, not even if some angel of contradiction, changed into an angel of light, tried to lead you astray. For even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which you have now received, let him be accursed in your sight.” (St Cyril of Jerusalem, Father of the Church).

If there is no Resurrection of the dead, then the Church has deceived billions of people for over 2000 years. St John Henry Newman said  that what so many people have believed for so many years cannot be wrong.

"The King of the world will raise us up to live for ever." (Cf 2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 08, 2019

The Feast and Dedication of the Mother of All the Church in the World.


"I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, for my name to be there forever. (2 Chronicles 7: 16).

Saturday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.
The Lateran Basilica in Rome is the Pope’s own church as the Bishop of Rome. It was dedicated in 324 AD. It is the Mother Church of all the Churches in the world and the sign of the unity of the Church built on the Apostles. All the Bishops of the world, successors of the Apostles manifest this unity through their union with the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter.

We the Faithful are the living and chosen stones that make up the edifice of our Basilica, Cathedral or our humble Parish Church. May God increase the growth of the Church.

On this day, let us also remember that each Basilica, Cathedral and Church in the world foreshadows the heavenly Jerusalem. It is in the holy Sanctuary we partake of the Sacraments.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 07, 2019

You have been found wanting in the management of the assets entrusted to you.

"What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward." (Luke 16: 2).

Friday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time. When the boss asks: "What is this I hear about you?" How do you react to the query?

Tell me how you have managed your time, talent and treasure, the boss queries. Like the fruitless fig tree, do you understand that you have less than one year to become fruitful? When your stewardship of time, talent and treasure is found wanting, cry out to the Holy Spirit for help. God will not tolerate a fruitless fig tree after the probation period is over.

O that you will hear His voice today, do not harden your heart.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

If one vote counts for the politician, should one helpless lost soul not count for you?

"I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15: 10).

Thursday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time. Today's Scripture verse calls our attention to the power of One. The businessman understands the power of one. One customer counts. One dollar counts. The politician understands the power of one. One vote counts. Why? It adds up. The preacher, the evangelist should understand clearly from the Parable of Jesus today that even in heaven, one sinner who is saved is a cause for celebration.

"I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Be prepared to preach or teach to whomever the Lord sends you. 100 people or just one person. Your Director, Christ the Lord has a good reason for whatever He does. He who is faithful in small things will be faithful in big things. The mustard seed is the smallest seed when planted. It grew to become a big shrub and all the birds of the forest delight in sheltering and nesting on it.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

When you understand the necessity of the Cross, you too will embrace it.

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14: 27).

Wednesday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time. Jesus proclaims the necessity of the Cross for His followers. Imagine an interview for a job. The potential employer declares upfront that those who would be considered must be prepared to give up the right hand. People would walk away and see the situation as crass insanity.

Jesus came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, the eternal reign of God among men. This Kingdom is unlike anything that has been seen on earth. Consider some of the characteristics of the Kingdom:

The Kingdom starts like a tiny mustard seed. The appointed king has no house, no money, no car, no servants. The king is powerless to resist arrest. He was tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion.  During the trial of the king, He told the judge: “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” (John 18: 36).

Jesus conquered evil on the Cross. Jesus Christ, King of the Jews reigned from the Cross.
"But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe". (CCC 272).

The Cross therefore became the cherished emblem of the disciples of Jesus. With this understanding, we can embrace the Cross.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 04, 2019

Rejoice always in hope.

"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." (Romans 12: 12).

Tuesday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time. Advent is round the corner.

"Be happy in your hope. Do not give up when trouble comes. Do not let anything stop you from praying." (Romans 12: 12 NLV).

Hope is confident waiting for something to happen. To hope and to wait is the same thing. Christian hope is a confident hope. Once upon a time, I prayed for a desire close to my heart. I came away from prayer with the deep impression that God was asking me to wait. I was happy and waited in hope. After a few years, nothing happened. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13: 12). My hope was beginning to slip. Then I suddenly found myself facing a great challenge. I woke early the next morning and prayed and cried about the issue. 24 hours later, God had resolved the issue. No deferred hope this time. I was very happy.

The same God who moved mountain in this problem is the God who asked me to wait. I came to see that there is a good reason why God is asking me to wait. Through the light of understanding I came to rejoice in hope. I pray and persevere in prayer. Both confident hope and steadfastness in prayer, help me endure trials as I wait on God.

Grant Father we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Once called by God always called.

"For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11: 29).

Monday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Charles Borromeo, Bishop (1538 - 1584). St Charles Borromeo was one of the architects of the successful conclusion of the Council of Trent. A great reformer, he worked hard for the implementation of the decrees of the Council. He established seminaries and had catechisms produced.

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call]." (Romans 11: 29 AMP). Thank You Abba Father for this promise. I am a huge beneficiary of this mercy and I give here testimony to this truth. Father, open the hearts and minds of those who are unsure of this truth to come to the throne of Your mercy and grace with great confidence to receive abundant mercy.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Zacchaeus succumbed to the charm of Jesus.

“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.” (Luke 19: 8).

Sunday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time. Zacchaeus experiences the irresistible power of the Presence of Jesus. Result: Instant and profound conversion. 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).

"But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook sins for the sake of repentance." (Wisdom 11: 23).

I will praise Your name forever my King and my God.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Feast of All Souls.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself." (Philippians 3: 20 - 21).

Saturday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time is the Feast of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed traditionally called the Feast of All Souls. Where are your loved ones who have departed from this life? They are no longer Australian citizens, or American or Mexican citizens. If they died in Jesus Christ, their citizens is now in heaven. Are they enjoying eternal life right away with Jesus? Possibly. Most likely, they "await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself."

This purification or transformation that most of us need is what the Church calls Purgatory. Furthermore, "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven...... The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned." (CCC 1030 - 1031).

"Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord,
and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened,
so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever." (Collect of the Mass of All Souls).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Solemnity of All Saints.

“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”.... “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7: 13 - 14).

The Church worldwide celebrates today a major feast in its Liturgical Calendar: The Solemnity of All Saints. In the Communion of Saints, we celebrate the Communion of holy people and holy things. Man is the apex of creation. It is therefore fitting that a holy person glorifies God's work of creation.

"Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness." (CCC 1024). The Church declared.

Our Scripture verse today teaches that in order to be among those in white robe, you must must make that robe white again in the blood of the Lamb. Brethren, do not be afraid of this for your Father is determined to give you the Kingdom. Make this Kingdom your first priority and the holiness it requires and everything else here on earth and in heaven shall be given to you.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Don't forget to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus also on the Solemnity of All Saints.

November 1st, 2019 - First Friday in November: Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 11th month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #11.

#11.  "Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced."

Friday, November 1st , 2019 is  the Solemnity of All Saints, a major feast in the Church Calendar. The Church remembers all the souls of the just who are in heaven with Jesus. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, who is true and faithful Witness promises us that "Those who propagate the devotion to His Sacred Heart shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced."

Do you trust the promises of Jesus or do you not?

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

http://sfjweb.com/?q=content/sacred-heart-12-promises

FOR BLOG ON ALL SAINTS, HEAD HERE: Seekfirstcommunity.com


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

When God is with you, you accomplish important things.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8: 31).

Thursday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time is the 31st of October.

Brethren, make our Scripture for today personal: "If God is for me, who can be against me?" If you do not know the powerful punch of this Scripture, it may be because you do not fully know who God is! "The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." (Daniel 11: 32 NKJV).

If God is for you in your job, who can be against you? When God is with you in your family, health, finances, possessions your objectives and heart's desire will be accomplished. What if you do not know your God or His plan for your life? You will be like a heir to a great estate and fortune who sleeps under the bridge as a homeless because he is ignorant of the fact that less than a kilometer from him is his father's estate.

Those who minister to the dying report that in the last few days of life, their greatest regret is not having invested time to know God.
Now that you know, you will be blessed if you do it.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

God can write straight with crooked lines.

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified." (Romans 8: 28 - 30).

Wednesday of the 30th week in the Ordinary Time. Brethren, what does Scripture mean by "All things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose?"

Our daily Scripture verse for today contains one of this most significant word: "ALL." Define simply, ALL here means No exceptions, No discriminations, No exemptions. It means the Whole, Todo, Tuus.

We have supreme confidence in Divine Providence based on this significant revelation in Romans 8: 28. God promises: "No matter whatever happens, you are covered. I am able to write straight lines with crooked lines. Where you are now is exactly where I want you to be. I AM GOD."

Come back to this Scripture again and again to nourish your soul. As you do, your insight into what it means for you expands more and more.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 28, 2019

Do not despise small beginnings

“What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’” (Luke 13: 18 - 19).

Tuesday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time. What is the significance of comparing the Kingdom of God with a mustard seed?

The mustard seed is a very tiny seed and therefore liable to be lost without regret, thrown away without remorse. Jesus gives us the best analogy of the the humble beginning of the Church in the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

After a night of prayer to His Father, Jesus chose, called and anointed 12 Apostles to go and announce the Kingdom of God. Imagine that you were there in the crowd on the day that Jesus appointed Peter, Simon and Jude and others as Apostles. Could you believe that 2000 short years after, this tiny mustard seed will be a family of some 3.5 billion people spreading out branches throughout the earth?

The Kingdom of God is a mystery. The life inside the tiny mustard seed is a mystery. The tiny spermatozoon is packed with a DNA which is a mystery.

Do not despise the small beginning. Do not thrash the Church and its mysteries because you do not understand them. The mystery of faith calls for only one thing: Belief. When you believe, you stand the chance that you can understand. Believe always comes first.

"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the Kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Accept the Kingdom of God like a little child.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude.

"Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles." (Luke 6: 12 - 13).

Monday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. These two are among the Twelve called by Jesus in the Gospel of today. Jesus did not choose people from the upper class, nor from the middle class. He did not select scientists or doctors of the law or people from the merchant class. He intentionally chose simple fishermen, uneducated, untraveled and men without influence in the society.

Those Jesus chose, He trained and qualified. He instructed them:
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19 - 28).

Jesus built His worldwide Church on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Each year, we celebrate the glory of Saints Simon and Jude and the other Apostles. We do not celebrate the glory of Caesar or King Henry VIII or Napoleon.

The message of the Apostles still go out throughout the world.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, October 26, 2019

God justified David who committed adultery, cover up and murder.

"The tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ (Luke 18: 13).

Sunday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time. "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." The attitude and prayer of the Tax Collector becomes our example of the type of prayer that justifies and the prayer that is heard by God. Here is what the Church teaches on the Prayer of Humility:

"The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that "we receive from him whatever we ask." Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer." (CCC 2631).

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions, " (Psalm 51: 3) cried King David after his sins of adultery, cover up and murder. His prayer was heard by God and David went home justified. The Lord hears the cry of the poor and the humble.

Because of the great mercy of God, God gave the Church Baptism as the great Sacrament of Reconciliation and Regeneration. Baptism wipes out our sins and the record of our sins. Does Baptism remove concupiscence, our ingrained tendency to certain sins? It does not. What then happens to sins that are committed after Baptism? Jesus Christ gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation to deal with this crisis of sin.

Those who are humble like the Tax Collector are justified by this Sacrament and enjoy the mercy and peace of God.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, October 25, 2019

Starve the wolf to death.

"For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8: 2).

Saturday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Are you groaning from the compulsion to sin? Do you feel a secret hostility towards God? Or consider Christianity or the gentle yoke of Christ oppressive?

If your answer is Yes to any of the above questions, then you are clearly still under the yoke. You still live according to the flesh where your concerns are eating, drinking, dressing up and having a good time. By your daily choices, you reject the spirit of life and peace.

You ask: "Brother, what must I do?"
"Repent! Stop feeding the wolf. Allow it to starve to death."

Invite the Spirit of Jesus into your heart and experience the new life that is your birth right. With the Holy Spirit fully in control, you can embrace God's gracious and mysterious will in your life.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The good, the bad and the grace.

 "For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand.  For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self,  but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7: 19 - 25).

Friday of the 29th year in Ordinary Time. The Scripture verses we have for reflection may well be some of the most important in the Bible. It addresses the most agonizing problem most Christians face.

How do we free ourselves from the impulsiveness of sinful actions? How do we overcome that annoying habit of confessing the same sins over and over again? The answer given is: by the power of God's grace working through Christ Jesus. But how does this work out in practice?

I have found helpful repeating this formula again and again sometimes doing it on Rosary beads.

"JESUS I TRUST IN YOU. I SURRENDER MYSELF TO YOU. TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Christians know who you are and set the world on fire!

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" (Luke 12: 49).

Thursday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (1807 -  1870). As Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, he fought for social justice for the slaves. Back home in Spain, Bishop Anthony led a revival in Spain. He founded in 1849 the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as the Clarentians.

Our key Scripture evokes the memory of St Catherine of Siena:
"Be who you are and you will set the world on fire." (St Catherine of Siena).
"I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" (Luke 12: 49).

Do you know who you are? I mean as God sees you?  How did Jesus and the saints set the world on fire?

Not all of the saints who set the world on fire are first class brain; not all are great orators, philosophers or teachers. But all of them found out who they were created to be. They knew their creator, Redeemer and Savior. They knew they could do nothing without the Christ who promised them His strength always and everywhere.

Christian, know who you are!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Much will be required of you because you have received much.

"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." (Luke 12: 48).

Wednesday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St John Capistrano (1386 - 1456), a Franciscan friar who was a successful lawyer before he became a Franciscan priest. John brought his natural gifts as a lawyer into his preaching ministry and brought about great revivals in various countries of Eastern Europe.

Much was required of St John Capistrano because much was given to John by Jesus. Happily John delivered much and no doubt earned the greatest accolade: "Well done John. You are a good and faithful servant."
How about you? How about me, brother and sister? Consider what Jesus has given to us:
#1 Holy Spirit, the Helper
#2 The Church
#3 The word of God
#4 The Sacraments

We have a cloud of witnesses in heaven who received exactly the same gifts and perhaps less than us because every day more saints are added to the clouds.

Let us use our gifts to build up the Body of Christ and give the People of God comfort in their trials.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 21, 2019

How to wait for the big Moment.

“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks." (Luke 12: 35 - 36).

Tuesday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Today's reflection invites us to consider: How to wait for the big moment. Everyone on earth is waiting for something. Some are kicking, waiting to be born, others are in excruciating pain waiting to die. Christians are waiting for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.

Whatever you may be waiting for, Jesus gives us infallible rule on how to wait successfully for anything.
"Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to stand with confidence before the Son of Man." (Luke 21: 36). You must be vigilant at all times and use prayer as a means to maintain your vigilance.

In His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus warned the three disciples who accompanied Him into the Garden that unless they are awake and pray, they will be unable to resist the temptation of the devil. We know what happened.

Maybe you are waiting for God to fulfill a promise to you. Is there an infallible rule to follow so that you do not miss your promise? Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, David teach us how to wait in an active mode. The servant who waits like this is "ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks." That servant is praised by his boss:
"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.  And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants." (Luke 12: 37 - 38).

He who is faithful in little things will be faithful in great things. If you have mastered the principle of waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast, then you may be sure that you you can wait for the Return of Jesus.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Faith that empowers us...

"Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God  and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do." (Romans 4: 20 - 21).

Monday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. The Church faces today unprecedented crisis of faith. The weakening of faith is at the root of all the problems that the Church is facing today.

Abraham did not doubt God's promises in unbelief. Imagine all the promises that Jesus makes to provide fully for all the needs of individuals, missionaries and the Church. If we are to be honest, some of us doubt these promises in unbelief. It is heart breaking to hear news of scandals with regard to Church banks and investments in the stock market. For a Church that trusts the Providence of God to provide its needs, what to make of banks, insurances and stock market investments that belong to the Church? What has Jerusalem in common with Athen?

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Luke 12: 15). Greed is the cause of hoarding. Hoarding is a sign of insecurity and weak faith.
If the Church exhibits lack of trust with regard to God's promises to provide fully for its needs, the faithful in the pew will notice this.

The love of God compels us to love our neighbor. Similarly, faith is like an engine which empowers us and propels us to fly.

Abraham who was the first man called by God to leave a pagan culture believed in the promises of God and hoped against hope that God would never fail to honor His promises. How about us? We have the Scriptures. We have the Church. We have 2000 years of Church history and we have clouds of witnesses. What more do we need to believe?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything.

"As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight." (Exodus 17: 11).

Sunday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Great teachings on Prayer this Sunday. Thank You Holy Spirit. Today is World Mission Sunday. Missionaries are those sent to preach the Good News. The Church is a Missionary People. A missionary that advances on his knees never retreats.

Prayer and not action is the greatest gift and tool of the missionary Church. Jesus commanded the Church to pray constantly but did not command the Church to work and to fast constantly. (Cf CCC 2742). Prayer is therefore a vital necessity for the missionary Church. Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything.

"Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed." (2 Timothy 3: 14).

God is faithful. Therefore, strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. God Never Fails!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

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Friday, October 18, 2019

How well do you know your Advocate?

"When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” (Luke 12: 11 - 12).

Saturday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints John de Br├ębeuf and Isaac Jogues of the Society of Jesus (17th century) and their companions. The blood of martyrs is a necessity for the life and growth of Christianity. John and Isaac with six other French Jesuits arrived in the New York area in the 17th century to evangelize the Native Americans. They succeeded in converting thousands. By their fortitude and charity under the severest torture, they vindicated the words of Jesus: The Holy Spirit, the Advocate and the Voice that speaks in Court will be at hand to help you with the appropriate response in your hour of need.

Do you know the Paraclete, the Voice that speaks in Court? Have you experienced His personal and delightful ministry in your life? Just as Solomon was given wisdom upon asking for it, so Jesus Christ promises that the Father is waiting to give the awesome Spirit to anyone who asks it.

Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Feast of St Luke the Evangelist.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation!" (Isaiah 52: 7).

Friday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. The feet of St Luke the Evangelist are the beautiful feet that bring glad tidings of peace, good news and the message of salvation. Today, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St Luke and rejoices in his gift to the Church.

Who is Luke? "A physician from Antioch, he converted to Christianity and accompanied Paul on two of his journeys. The author of both the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, Luke devotes attention to Christ's birth and childhood as well as to the universality of Redemption." (Roman Missal).

The narratives of Sacred Scripture provides us motivation and examples to guide our lives. God chose Luke the Evangelist to labor through preaching and writing. Through his writings, Luke provided us a permanent record of salvation history.

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Luke 10: 2).

Is the Lord speaking to you through the above Scripture? Perhaps you too are chosen to go and bear fruit that will remain. If you do not go, no one will fulfill the task marked out for you from eternity.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Feast of St Ignatius of Antioch.

"Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’" (Luke 11: 49).

Thursday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch (+ 107), Bishop, Martyr and Church Father.

St Ignatius appointed Bishop of Antioch by St Peter, suffered martyrdom in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Trajan. The fame of St Ignatius of Antioch was based on the inspired letters he wrote on his way to Rome for martyrdom. These letters were the earliest and richest documents of the Magisterium. St Ignatius wrote on the Eucharist, Incarnation, Authority of the Bishop, Marriage, etc. St John Henry Newman who was canonized this week probably had St Ignatius of Antioch in mind when he wrote: "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant."

The blood of martyrs is required for the life of the Church. It is a necessity. Abel and Zechariah were precursors of New Testament prophets who shed their blood for the faith.

"I am the wheat of Christ to be ground by the teeth of beasts,
that I may be found to be pure bread." (St Ignatius of Antioch, Communion Antiphon).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: St Margaret Mary Alacoque.

"Do you hold his [God's] priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God would lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2: 4).

Wednesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (1647 - 1690). What do you know about Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? First, this is an ancient devotion going back to many centuries before St Margaret Mary. But beginning in 1673, this young French nun started having mystical revelations concerning devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although it took about 100 years for the devotion to gain Church approval, it rapidly spread all over the world. Schools, hospitals, universities, Churches and Basilicas are named after the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Our daily Scripture verse for today warns us about holding in low esteem "God's priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience."

Jesus promises 12 great favors to those who honor His Sacred Heart. Please do not hold these promises below in low esteem.

The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.   

2. I will give peace in their families.

3. I will console them in all their troubles.

4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.

10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

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.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 14, 2019

The feast of the Mystic and Reformer, St Teresa of Avila.

"Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God." (Cf Psalm 41: 2 - 3).

Tuesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582), Virgin and Doctor of the Church. St Teresa played a key role in the reformation of the Carmelite Order. Aided by St John of the Cross, they largely succeeded in this arduous task. St Teresa is best remembered for her outstanding works in ascetical and mystical theology which earned her the title of Doctor of the Church. Her books continue to be popular today.

What does your soul yearn for more than anything else? Power, pleasure or fame? For St Teresa of Avila, to understand her, consider the Entrance Antiphon, our Scripture of today:
"Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God."

Teresa's great love for God gave her great confidence in the all loving and powerful Providence of God.
"Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices."  (St Teresa of Avila).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Your life purpose is hidden in Sacred Scriptures.

"Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God." (Romans 1: 1).

Monday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. Have you found your purpose in life? Purpose drives mission. Those who have made the greatest contribution to the world know their purpose. One of the things that attracted me to the study of Holy Scriptures is the promise that I will find my purpose in the Sacred Library. I was not disappointed.

It is true that your purpose is hidden in the Sacred Scriptures. God created us for a purpose. Jesus defines His purpose thus:
"For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." (John 18: 37). He further says: “I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14: 6).

Our Daily Bible Verse today sees how Paul defines his purpose. Note that he calls himself "a slave of Jesus Christ." That is to say: Total commitment, undivided loyalty. Paul's Master says: "You cannot serve two masters at the same time." Serving two masters will create divided loyalty. Note that Paul was not shy of claiming to be: "called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God." When you find your purpose through the Divine Scriptures or by whatever means, you too will have no false modesty in sharing it. Because purpose and mission are intertwined.

Through God's Divine Providence, we tend towards our purpose as the sunflower to the sun.

"To you all, then, who are God’s beloved [in Rome], called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send grace and peace." (Romans 1:7).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Do not deny God your sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

"And one of them [leper], realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;  and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan." (Luke 17: 15 - 16).

Sunday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. The first Reading from 2 Kings and the Gospel from St Luke point us to Prayer of Thanksgiving. “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?" Asked Jesus. Was Jesus hurt that ten lepers who were healed of the terrible malady of leprosy walked away without giving thanks. I bet he was. Here is why:

Worship is at the heart religion. At the heart of worship is Thanksgiving. God does not eat steak, barbecue or drink champagne or wine. He has no need for gold or silver. God feeds on: "Sacrifice of thanksgiving." And again in the same Psalm 50: "Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God." Imperative!

Do not walk away after realizing that you are pregnant, got the job, home, health, money, etc, Return and Give Thanks.

The Church teaches on Thanksgiving:
"Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head." (CCC 2637).

Do not deny God your sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, October 11, 2019

God's word never fails.

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Luke 11: 28).

Saturday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. Do you truly want to be blessed? Do you desire happiness above all things? Let us listen to the Blessed One, the Master teach us the secret of happiness.

First, note that Jesus points to His Mother Mary as a truly blessed One. She is "full of grace."
Blessedness, happiness (makarios) occurs 15 times in Luke.
In Luke 1: 45, Elizabeth pronounced Mary a blessed One for hearing God's incredible promise and believing it. In Matthew and Luke, the Beatitudes bring happiness and a blessed state.

Our Gospel pick for today gives us a sure, tried, proven means of being blessed:
"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Faith comes from hearing the word of God. The word of God is so powerful because God is in His word. The word of God brings wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord.
Do not forget that another name for Jesus is the "the word of God."

It is not possible to hear the word of God, understand it and not observe it. This is because the word of God is the word of life. But Jesus added for emphasis in our Scripture for today: "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

All things are established in the will (word) of God and nothing can resist God's will (word). (Cf Esther 4: 7).

John the Evangelist teaches that observing the word of God is not difficult. "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome." (1 John 5: 3).

Let us ask God to open our eyes to the beauty of His word and give us the grace to keep it so that we can enjoy happiness here on earth and life everlasting.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 10, 2019

You Jesus are the Lord of all.

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Luke 11: 23).

Friday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. Are you for Jesus or against Him? How do you know where you stand with Jesus? Ready for the test?

#1 Are you aligned with the mind of Jesus on the poor and the homeless?
#2 Are you helping as a shepherd to attract people to the Church or scattering them in all directions?
#3 What is your attitude to orphans, widows and immigrants?
#4 Where do you stand on life issues? 50% or 100%?

These are just a few questions. You see clearly that there can be no neutral position on these questions. No "Independents." You are either working with Jesus or hurting the cause of Jesus. Decide today to work with Jesus in building up His Kingdom.

"But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also." (Matthew 6: 33 AMP).

Jesus is the Lord of all the creation.
"Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all." (Cf Esther 4: 17).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

I will rebel against the Lord. No more prayers. No Mass. No nothing.

“It is vain to serve God, and what do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress in awe of the Lord of hosts? Rather must we call the proud blessed; for indeed evildoers prosper, and even tempt God with impunity.” (Malachi 3: 14 - 15).

Thursday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. I am enjoying the comforting message from the Prophet Malachi in the first Reading. Have you ever wondered why individuals or nations who do not fear the Lord seem to prosper while those who keep His laws and wait upon Him appear to lack everything? Well, you are not alone. We may say that this is the perennial preoccupation of the prophets.

Now consider this: What if you rebel against God and say: No more prayers or Mass! No more Bible reading or study! No more tithing or fasting! Will the rebellion help you in any way? Of course not. Our destiny is in the hands of God.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1: 17).

On Sunday, we read how God answered Prophet Habakkuk:
"Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to ful­fillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late." (Habakkuk 2: 2 - 3).

Today God answers the Prophet Malachi:
"The Lord listened attentively; And a record book was written before him of those who fear the Lord and trust in his name. And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my own special possession, on the day I take action. And I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. Then you will again see the distinction between the just and the wicked; Between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve him." (Malachi 3: 16 - 18).

Message: If you serve the Lord, be patient. Learn to wait for the Lord. In the fullness of time, the Lord will bless you mightily.

"The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him.  It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3: 25 - 26 TLB).

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5: 6).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Why we pray every day "Your Kingdom Come."

“Lord, teach us to pray... “When you pray, say:... your kingdom come." (Luke 11: 1 - 2).

Wednesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Denis. The first Bishop of Paris died with his companion martyrs under the persecution of Emperor Valerian about 258 AD.

Jesus teaches us to ask the Father every day: "Your Kingdom come." What does Jesus mean? First, the Kingdom is the realm, domain where the King exercises authority. The King makes laws but unlike earthly kingdoms has no need to enforce the laws. The Church is the seed and the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth.

We pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God every day because the Kingdom of God is the means of Restoration of mankind to fullness of salvation. Christ's death, Resurrection and Ascension ushered the inauguration of the Kingdom.

When we open our hearts and minds to the reign of King Jesus over our Time, Talent and Treasure, we are sincerely praying for "Your Kingdom come!" When we participate in the work of evangelization, catechesis, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, God is using us mightily in building up His Kingdom on earth. As the Church grows every day in charity, the Kingdom of God or what St John the Evangelist calls Eternal life is growing.

Be active builders of the Kingdom of God.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 07, 2019

Mary has chosen the better part.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10: 41 - 42).

Tuesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. If someone asks you this question: What is the one thing necessary in your life? How would you respond? To be in good health? To have a beautiful family? To have plenty of money? To have a great job or your own business? To have great home with everything in it? To have a pantry filled with good and exotic food?

In today's Gospel Reading, Jesus invites us to consider carefully our priorities. Martha hurriedly welcomed Jesus in her home and dived right back into the kitchen. When she emerged after some thirty minutes, she said: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

How do you welcome the presence of Jesus in Prayer? When you read the word of God? In the Blessed Sacrament and in the Eucharist? With an eye on your watch? Anxiously trying to anticipate the next deadline?

In the first Reading, Jonah successfully preached the message of repentance. Our Martha would have been very busy in the kitchen and missed the message of the Prophet. Correct thought is the key to correct action.

Jesus is saying to us today that He is the King and where He is, there is the Kingdom. If we seek first His Kingdom and His manner of doing things, every other thing will fall into place. (Cf Matthew 6: 33).

Lord Jesus, open our hearts and minds to the truth that makes us free.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Cf Luke 1: 28,42).

Monday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time is the feast Our Lady of the Rosary. I shared with a friend after Mass this weekend how I attribute my metanoia to the power of the Holy Rosary. In recognition and gratitude for such a momentous grace, I have said the Rosary every day for almost 25 years. Incredibly powerful prayer.

No prayer in the Church's Treasury of Grace has been commended and recommended by Pontiffs, Doctors of the Church and saints for centuries as the Rosary. This is what the Church says about Marian devotions and especially the Holy Rosary:

"All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary." (CCC 971).

Pope St John Paul II wrote àpropos the Holy Rosary:
"The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation." (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, #39).

The Rosary is a prayer that will never disappoint you.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Our God is the God of Divine Providence and not of Chance.

"Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to ful­fillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late." (Habakkuk 2: 2 - 3).

Sunday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. What a feast of Sacred Scriptures we enjoy this Sunday.

In the first Reading today, God asks the Prophet Habakkuk to write down the answer to what He plans to do in the future. Every plan, vision of God is for its intended time. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son. When this promise was fulfilled 25 years later, Sarah sang that it had pleased God to fulfill His promise at the time of His own choosing. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist praised God for answering her prayers for a son at His chosen time. In the fullness of time, the Angel Gabriel visited Mary of Nazareth and announced the birth of the Messiah.

Search throughout Sacred Scripture, you will not find anything  happening by haphazard. Our God is a Father of Divine Providence and not a god of Chance. Your future and your destiny does not belong to lottery or gambling. It is not from any chance that your comfort and happiness springs. Every joy, every good thing you enjoy in life comes from God's gracious ordaining.

Thank You O Faithful Father. I have learned that You are a Father who keeps His promises. You asked me to write down my dream so that I do forget it. I nearly forgot it but You reminded me and restored my dream. Thank You Father.

"Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all." (Cf Esther 4: 17).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, October 04, 2019

Are you aware of the power of the name of Jesus?

“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” (Luke 10: 17).

Saturday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time. Do you believe in demons? Do you believe in angels? How irrational it is to believe in one and not in the other.

I believe in demons because the Sacred Scriptures reveal and teach it. I believe in demons because holy Mother Church teaches it. I believe in demons because I had contended with demons and lost many battles. But today, thanks to the Name of Jesus, I win more battles than I lose.

“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” The name of Jesus is the Person of Jesus. The name of Jesus is the Power of Jesus. The name of Jesus is the Presence of Jesus. Jesus ordered us to bear witness to the power of His name. His disciples were ecstatic when they discovered the power of the name of Jesus. You too will experience unbelievable joy when you discover the power of this name.

How do you activate this power? When you remember Jesus, He promises to be present. You remember Jesus by calling His sweet name, by looking at His picture, by reading His word, by receiving Him in the Eucharist.  Form the habit of saying this sweet name often. The name of Jesus is a full prayer. By calling on His name often, you strengthen yourself against the snares and wiles of the enemy of mankind who prowl the world looking for easy victories.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Feast of St Francis of Assisi.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 3).

Friday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Francis of Assisi and the First Friday in October.

Who is St Francis of Assisi? (1182 - 1226). He became famous for imitating closely the poverty of Jesus Christ in spirit and in deed. Holiness always attracts. Francis soon attracted a group of like-minded young men who bound themselves together to live evangelical poverty, chastity and obedience. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Church has used simple men like Francis and the Franciscans to renew the Church which is ever in need of reform. Other pivotal figures raised up by Jesus for the renewal of the Church are:
Benedict, Clare, Dominic, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, etc.

Are you the next great Saint?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

October 4, 2019 - First Friday in October.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 10th month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #10.

#10.  "I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts."

Do not think: "I am not excited by this promise.  I am not a priest."  Error! We are all baptized and by virtue of this Baptism are priests, princes and prophets. Of course, Jesus Christ chose a tiny percentage of men and configured them to be ministerial priests to celebrate the Sacraments.  The first mission of the Church is evangelization.  You see where the 10th Promise is relevant for you?  Moreover, the first 3 Spiritual Works of Mercy instruct us:
#1. Instruct the ignorant.
#2. Counsel the doubtful.
#3. Admonish sinners.

Jesus promises to give you power to touch the most hardened of sinners.  They could be family. They could be friends or neighbors.  Will you refuse such a gift?

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

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

http://sfjweb.com/?q=content/sacred-heart-12-promises

Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The kingdom of God is here.

"The kingdom of God is at hand for you." (Luke 10: 9).

Thursday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time. Jesus appointed 72 disciples and sent them out on practice evangelization. He gave them a precise talking point. No beating about the bush. No disputations. No arguments. Just a simple message:
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’

We have seen that Jesus has magnificent obsession for the Kingdom. The Teacher knows that those who are ready will receive and understand this code. Mind you, Israel has been waiting for the Kingdom to come for centuries. Isaiah has prophesied it. John the Baptist came as a herald to prepare for it. Now Jesus commissioned 72 disciples to announce the imminent breakout of the Kingdom.

What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is the Reign of God. There cannot be a Kingdom without a King. ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ This is a code to alert the chosen ones that the King has arrived. Jesus is the King. But this King is different from worldly kings. He was born of the Virgin Mary in a manger. He was an apprentice carpenter and then a self-employed carpenter for all his working life. What do you make of this humble King?

The Church teaches that the Church is the seed of the Kingdom of God on earth.

"The kingdom of heaven was inaugurated on earth by Christ. "This kingdom shone out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ" (LG 5). The Church is the seed and beginning of this kingdom. Its keys are entrusted to Peter." (CCC 567).

Does the King Jesus reign in every situation in your life?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Angel of God my Guardian and my Friend...

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18: 10).

Wednesday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Our Guardian Angels. God blessed me with Christian parents. One of the legacies they bequeathed to me is strong devotion to my Guardian Angel. As an active and adventurous boy, I know how many times my Friend saved me from peril. Today I honor my Guardian Angel with a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

This is what the Church says of Guardian Angels: "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God." (CCC 336).

"Receive, O Lord, the offerings we bring before you as we venerate your holy Angels, and graciously grant that under their constant protection we may be delivered from present dangers and brought happily to life eternal. Through Christ our Lord." (Offertory Prayer on the Feast of the Guardian Angels).

The Angel of God my Guardian and dear Friend, thank you for your protection. Continue to enlighten and guard me till my last breath. Amen!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, September 30, 2019

Feast of St Therese, the Little Flower.

"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Tuesday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Therese of Lisieux (1873 - 1897), also called Therese of the Child Jesus and the Little Flower. Therese is Virgin and the youngest of the 35 Doctors of the Church. She died at the age of 24.

Father God loved her Little Flower, the Lily of Carmel and lavished on her immense spiritual favors. I like very much the application of Deuteronomy 32: 10 - 12 to this humble French Carmelite nun:

"The Lord led her and taught her,
and kept her as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle spreading its wings he took her up and bore her on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her guide." (Deuteronomy 32: 10 - 12).

Unlike other Doctors of the Church, Therese left us one book: THE STORY OF A SOUL, a best seller of all time. This is the autobiography of the Saint detailing how God taught her and through her taught the world simple principles of holiness.

"Thus says the Lord:
Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18: 3).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

"The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10: 45, Gospel Acclamation).

Monday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church (342 - 420). St Jerome is one of the foremost Scripture scholar in the Church. He translated the Bible into Latin and his translation, the Vulgate was used by the Church as the official version for over 1000 years.

St Jerome's most famous saying is:
"Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." Is your knowledge of Sacred Scripture scanty? The Church agrees with Jerome:
"The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." (CCC 133).

Consider our lead Scripture for today:
"The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10: 45). You cannot understand what this means until you have met Jesus in the pages of Sacred Scripture from the stories of Joseph in Genesis, David in the Book of Samuel, Daniel in the Book of Daniel and so forth. The Jesus of Scriptures say:
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24: 44).

What can you discover as precious as the Pearl of Great Price?
"When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight." (Jeremiah 15: 16 NLT).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Liturgical readings this Sunday focus on the Lazarus Principle.

"Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall." (Amos 6: 1, 4).

Sunday of the 26th week in Ordinary Time. All four readings in today's Liturgy address social conditions and justice. The poverty, ignorance and disease all around us cry for remedy.

In all the hopelessness in the current condition of the world, we are comforted by the truth of Scripture which reminds us of these perennial truths:

#1 God keeps faith forever.
#2 He gives food to the hungry.
#3 The Lord sets captives free.
#4 The Lord protects strangers.
#5 He sustains the widows and the orphans.

God our Father can do all the above directly by Himself. Why does He need our collaboration? God wants us to share in His work and glory. He wants us to build up credits for ourselves in heaven. The poor that we help here will speak up for us on the last day. Lazarus could not offer one good word in defense of the selfish rich man.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, September 27, 2019

Grant me the serenity to accept the cross I cannot change.

“Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men..... and they were afraid to ask him about this saying." (Luke 9: 44 - 45).

Saturday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time. Who will blame the disciples for not wanting to hear more of the cross, suffering and death. Let's face it: the Cross is an unpleasant subject. Imagine your friend throwing a party to discuss cancer, war and famine. How many will be his guests and how enthusiastic would they be? Friends prefer to come together on a Saturday evening to celebrate wedding, promotion, house warming, baby shower, etc.

Our fear of the Cross is totally irrational, especially in the light of the Resurrection and 2000 years of Christian witness. It is very encouraging to note that the Holy Spirit is teaching us that the disciples of Jesus were terrified of the Cross at first. The important lesson is to know that they overcame the fear of the Cross and came to witness to the power of the Cross. Jesus Christ overcame Satan and death through the Cross. Since He is the Way. The Cross is also our Way.

Whether you are open to the Cross or dread it profoundly, know that no human being can escape the Cross. It is comforting to know that your Cross is tailor-made to fit you alone. As you say the prayer below every morning, your heart and mind will be conditioned to embrace your Cross.

"Grant me O Father the serenity to accept the cross I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference. Amen."

"Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death and he has proclaimed life through the Good News." (Cf 2 Timothy 1: 10).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Is head knowledge of Jesus enough?

“Who do the crowds say that I am?”  They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”  Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Luke 9: 18 - 20).

Friday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1581 - 1660). For many people around the world, St Vincent de Paul needs no introduction. His name and prestige blesses the world-wide charitable organization that ministers spiritually and materially to the needs of the poor, the homeless and the very needy.

Toward the end of His public ministry, Jesus asked His disciples who He is. Through an inspiration from above, Peter got the answer correctly: “The Messiah of God.”
Today, Jesus has billions of followers. How many of Jesus followers know their Leader? Knowing Jesus involves two interconnected areas of knowledge:

#1 Facts about Jesus: Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and buried. He rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven. These facts are in the Creed of the Christian Churches.

#2 The second type of knowledge is spiritual knowledge of Jesus. This knowledge is experiencial. It comes through personal encounter with Jesus in Prayer, the word of God, Eucharist, Reconciliation and Ministry. The Holy Spirit whom we receive in the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation reveals to us who Jesus truly is.

Peter and the other disciples of Jesus could not truly know who Jesus is until they had experienced the shock of the Crucifixion and the Restoration of the Resurrection. With the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they received the gifts and the tools to live their new life and embark on their mission.

Our Journey of Faith may follow this trajectory:
Head knowledge of Jesus >> Spiritual knowledge of Jesus >> The Holy Spirit power.
Where are you on this Journey?

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me and sent me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted." (Cf Luke 4: 18).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Some hear the Good News and are perplexed. Others hear and believe.

"Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed." (Luke 9: 7).

Thursday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the twins, Saints Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (+303). Both were known for their medical skills and offered their services free of charge. Both were martyred under the Emperor Diocletian.

Faith comes from hearing. Hearing and believing the testimony of a credible witness is God's plan for transmission of faith. Those who have desperate needs come to faith much easier than people with no problems. King Herod heard about the miracles of Jesus and was greatly perplexed. He did not believe that something supernatural was happening in his backyard. Why? He felt he had no need that Jesus could relieve. See below people who heard about Jesus and believed:

"The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant." (Luke 7: 3 NIV).

#1. Syrophoenician woman: (Mark 7: 26, Matthew 15: 22).
#2. Zacchaeus: (Luke 19: 1 - 2 10)
#3. Timaeus: (Mark 10: 46 - 52).
#4. Father of the Demoniac: (Matthew 17: 14 - 20, Mark 9: 14 - 29, Luke 9: 37 - 43).
#5. Jairius: (Mark 5: 21 - 43, Matthew 9: 18 - 26, Luke 8: 40 - 56).

Principle: These people had needs. They heard about the miracles of Jesus. They believed. They sought out Jesus. They obtained their miracle. Jesus is still in the business of miracles.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com