Monday, July 06, 2020

Do not sow the wind.

"When they sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind." (Hosea 8: 7).

Tuesday 7th July 2020, 14th Week in Ordinary Time.

The Prophet Hosea warned Israel bluntly of the inevitable consequences of their choices and actions: "When you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind." Why is God so displeased with Israel?
"They made kings, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my knowledge." Are we better?

When was the last time you heard about the will of God; what is God's will on this matter? Can we pray to discern God's will on this decision?
I suspect that there were prayers both individually and collectively to ask God for light and guidance before the lock down of Churches? We lost Masses, Confessions, Sacraments and Sacramentals, Holy water, etc. All this happened even before the government woke up to the threat of the pandemics?

St John Henry Newman says that God did not create human beings to be independent. He created man to depend on Him.
"But Israel has rejected what is good; the enemy shall pursue him." (Hosea 8: 3).
If you want a new king, consult your God O Israel. But when you do not,
you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind.

The Holy Spirit gives the Church the gift of the Discernment of Spirits to bless the Church with godly and wise decisions.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, July 05, 2020

My daughter, your faith has saved you.

“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” (Matthew 9: 22).

Monday 6th July 2020, 14th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Maria Goretti (1890 - 1902). Italian. Virgin and Martyr. Maria was barely twelve years old when she was attacked by Alessandro Serenelli, a 19 years old man who tried to rape her. Maria resisted fiercely.  Alessandro stabbed her to death.

Maria forgave him in her death bed. Alessandro spent 27 of 30 years in prison. Maria appeared to him in a dream and brought him flowers. Alessandro Serenelli was in the audience at the Vatican when Maria was canonized in 1950. He later joined the Capuchin monastery.
St Maria Goretti is the patron saint of purity, young women, rape victims and youth.

In our Gospel verse for today, Jesus said to another desperate woman: “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” This could have been said to St Maria Goretti.
Without faith, we can do nothing. "The just shall live by faith."

"What is Faith and why is it so important?
"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead." (Hebrews 11: 1 TLB).

Everyone who matters in the Bible from Abraham, David, John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Peter and Paul were not just people of faith but lived by faith. St Maria Goretti bore witness to her faith by accepting her martyrdom.
The woman with the issue of Blood in today's Gospel exercised her faith:
“If I only touch him, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned around and spoke to her. “Daughter,” he said, “all is well! Your faith has healed you.” And the woman was well from that moment." (Matthew 9: 21 - 22).

We are saved by grace through faith. You can start living by your faith right here and now.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, July 04, 2020

The little ones know the mysteries of the Kingdom.

"Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will...You have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom." (Matthew 11: 26, 25).

The gracious and mysterious will of the Father is to reveal to the "little ones" the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Who are the little ones and what secrets of the kingdom of God are revealed to them? We will take two examples:
St Therese of the Child Jesus popularly called the Little Flower and St Maria Faustina called the Secretary of Divine Mercy.

Therese had uncanny insight into the mystery of Divine Providence.
The Little Flower is a Doctor of the Church. She became a Doctor of the Church by teaching the little ways to Heaven she learned from God. Paragraph 274 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in my opinion echoes her teaching:

"Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe - even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature." (CCC 274).

St Maria Faustina brought us the message of Divine Mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is universally very popular in the Church. The summary is below.
The ABC of Mercy:
A: Ask for Mercy.
B: Be Merciful.
C: Confidently trust Jesus for Mercy.

This is all you need to attract Divine Mercy.

"Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will...You have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom." (Matthew 11: 26, 25).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, July 03, 2020

Feast of St Elizabeth of Portugal.

"I will restore my people Israel, they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits." (Amos 9: 14).

Saturday 4th July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Elizabeth of Portugal (1271 - 1336). Elizabeth married King Denis of Portugal when she was very young. She set an example of Christian charity in the court and was the peace-maker between her husband and the children. After her husband died, Elizabeth became a Franciscan tertiary.

July 4th is marked in the United States of America as Independence Day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

The message from Amos in the first Reading predicts an era of restoration. This nation needs peace and unity. God has given us abundance of material goods. Without peace, unity and justice they count for nothing.

Father, help us to serve each other in justice and mercy and share what we have for the welfare of all men and women. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Stop doubting Thomas.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20: 5).

Friday 3rd July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is also the feast of St Thomas, Apostle, missionary and martyr. Christians remember Thomas as the "doubting Thomas" but also as the Apostle who brought us that profound expression of faith: "My Lord and my God." Thomas ministered to the Indian people who made him a martyr. Today is also the First Friday in July.

Doubt, unbelief, fear, worry are not from God. They are the instruments of Satan. They are are top tools in the Satanic playbook. No Christian saint is too advanced for Satanic attacks using these tools. St Thomas the Apostle had the benefit of the kindly mercy of Jesus generously extended to him to recover from his unbelief and make progress in faith. Jesus who is Emmanuel is ready to do for us what He did for Thomas. He saw the pleading in the eyes of Thomas and exchanged his doubt with robust faith.

How do we overcome our doubts and unbelief?
#1 Not by stop going to Mass or praying or feeding on God's word.

#2 Not by stop using the outward signs of our faith: genuflection, bowing, kneeling, prostrating, bowing, silence but by intensifying these practices in periods of fear, worry and uncertainties.

#3 Prayer is the activator of power O Christians. Our enemy, Satan knows this and fears the Christian who prays. In the warfare we are engaged in day after day, the Christian who prays has only one method of advancing in the battle field: PRAYER. This is why Jesus calls Prayer, a vital necessity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus the Lord and Teacher Never commands us to Work Always. But He commands us to pray Always.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

First Friday in July 2020 - Sacred Heart of Jesus.

July 3, 2020 is First Friday in July 2020.

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 7th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #7.

#7.  "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

What is tepid?  Tepid is defined as lukewarm, slightly warm, unenthusiastic, apathetic, half-hearted.
Listen to what Jesus says about such persons:
"Because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  (Revelation 3: 16).

Are you lukewarm with regards to Jesus, to spiritual things? Regain your fire through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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, July 01, 2020

Get up and walk; your sins are forgiven.

“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9: 2).

Thursday 2nd July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time.

The worldwide pandemics have created the most intense philosophical and spiritual questioning since the Enlightenment. What is the cause? Who is the cause? Why is it happening? The religious narrative was greatly weakened in the society after the experience of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Now many pastors are wary of sharing their true reflections openly and publicly. Listen to the bland and meaningless chatters on public media on the pandemics.

The word of God cannot be chained. “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
Sin causes suffering and suffering leads to repentance and salvation.
Jesus can forgive sins. Jesus wants to forgive sins. If we say we have no sins, we call God a liar. (1 John 1: 10). Therefore we must confess our sins of thought, word, deed and omission.

Reconciliation with God is the deepest need of man. The Lord is full of mercy. "Your sins are forgiven. Get up and walk."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Seek good and not evil.

"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim.
Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph." (Amos 5: 14 - 15).

Wednesday 1st July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is also the feast of St Junipero Serra (1713 - 1784). Spanish Franciscan Priest who evangelized Mexico and California and firmly established the Church in these regions.

Junipero arrived in the New World and sought good and not evil. He fought for the cause of justice for the native people of the region.

The Prophet Amos in the first Reading is speaking to a people facing a pandemic crisis. He offered them an infallible vacine:
"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim.
Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph."

In the Gospel Reading, Jesus confronts the power of evil and conquers them. It is absolute folly for modern man who at the very best has only 20/20 physical vision to downplay the existence of the devil and his activities in the world.

May St Junipero Serra inspire us to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, June 29, 2020

Lord save us; we are perishing.

"They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”  He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8: 25 - 26).

Tuesday 30th June 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church. In 64 AD, the vicious Emperor Nero set Rome on fire. To escape the wrath of the Romans, he blamed the Christians. Then he ordered all Christians arrested and be put to death.

The Apostles with Jesus in the stormy sea faced another type of threat to life. Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea and there was deep calm. The Apostles did not realize that the presence of Jesus with them in the boat meant that they were safe. Jesus asked them at Caesarea Philippi "Who do you say that I am?" They followed Jesus but did not know who He is?
“What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” (Matthew 8: 28). They wondered after the calming of the storm.

Do you personally know who Jesus Christ is? This knowledge in crisis could be the difference between life and death.
"God's faithful promises are our armor and protection." (Psalm 91: 4). The Holy Scripture is filled with these promises. They are for you and your children. Invest some time in learning them. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." (St Jerome).

When I face a storm in life, I repeat several times:
"Jesus Emmanuel I trust in You. I surrender myself to You completely. Take care of everything Your way."
Do you know that the name of Jesus is a full prayer and an armor of protection against evil?

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

"Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied: You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 16, 18).

Monday 29th June 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

This great feast has been celebrated for Peter and Paul together from the earliest days of the Church. Why?
Peter and Paul are recognized as the principal pillars of the Church. We declare in the Creed: "I believe in the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." The one only Church founded by Jesus Christ on Pentecost Sunday is built on the foundation of the Apostles. Hence every Bishop in the Church enjoys legitimacy through Apostolic Succession from the original Twelve Apostles.

In Matthew 16, Jesus asked the Twelve and you and me:
"But who do you say that I am?"
In the past, I answered this with various faith formulas. Today I answer the question thus: "You are Jesus Emmanuel, the One who is with me, in me and for me always and everywhere." I repeat this formula often daily and it has helped me to draw from the two huge embedded promises in the sacred names of Jesus and Emmanuel.

And you my friend, who do you say Jesus is today?

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Do not be dismayed by the trials that you face.

"Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10: 28).

Sunday 28th June 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time.

Jesus so faithful and true did not over promise the rewards and privileges of discipleship. He did not under estimate the cost. The cost of discipleship may entail severe trials in health, family, finances, job and even death. Buyer beware. No need to be terrified. The Holy Spirit who is in you and always with you will help. He is the Helper, Paraclete, Friend, the Voice that speaks for you in court.

How do you activate this awesome power of the Holy Spirit? God has ordained Prayer as the Activator of Power. Use it as needed.
Pray always.
Pray everywhere.
Pray about everything.

"Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will come to free you." (Psalm 50: 15).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Feast of St Cyril of Alexandria.

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." (Matthew 8: 8).

Saturday 27th June 2020, 12th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Cyril of Alexandria in Egypt. (376 - 444). Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Cyril played a crucial role in the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD to defend the oneness of the person in Jesus Christ, true God and true Man and the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Theotokos (God bearer). As the Patriarch of Alexandria, he was a capable administrator and theologian.

The centurion said to Jesus in the Gospel of today: "Only say the word and my servant will be healed."
The centurion believed what he heard about Jesus and jumped to the conclusion that just as his word of authority is important in his army command, the word of God is infinitely more powerful.

Mary said to God at the Annunciation: "Be it done to me according to your word." Immediately the word became flesh. What happened when God said in Genesis "Let there be light?" There was light immediately. Or when Peter in the company of John said to the man born lame, "Stand up and walk?" It happened at once.

The Jews wondered: What is there in this man's word? The creative power of God is in His word. God created man in His image and likeness and gave him the power of life and death through his tongue.
In His ordinary Providence, God has ordained that prayer is the activator of power in man. The man who prays draws down divine power. The man who does not pray is insignificant.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Feast of St Josemaria Escriva, Founder of Opus Dei.

"A leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” (Matthew 8: 2).

Friday 26th June 2020, 12th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Josemaria Escriva (1902 - 1976). Founder of the Opus Dei, a society whose members include men and women, married and single and priests. Unique in many ways among the community of consecrated men and women. Opus Dei believes that it is God's will that people find their path to holiness no matter what your occupation is, viz: doctor, garbage collector, senator, office cleaner, professor, student, etc. The impact of Opus Dei and its spirituality in the modern Church can never be exaggerated. They operate in some 80 countries in the world.
Josemaria is a saint of our time. Died in 1976 and canonized in 2002.

We note the bold prayer of the leper in our lead Scripture for today:
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Do not miss the homage the leper paid to Jesus. The Dictionary defines homage as "special honor or respect shown publicly." Homage can be seen as worship. We know that at the heart of Religion is Worship. This man may be a leper but he knows one or two things about how to treat God.

It is therefore no surprise to anyone that Jesus "stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately."

Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday and today. He is still very much in the healing business. Healing broken hearts and minds, broken homes and careers, broken social order. Healing cancers and diabetes, etc.

Opus Dei helps people become holy in their daily work and activities. Holiness produces wholesomeness of soul, mind and body. The healed leper is now wholesome and can go back to his community to contribute his time, talent and treasure.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

He built his house on a shaky foundation.

“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." (Matthew 7: 24 - 25).

Thursday 25th June 2020, 12th Week in Ordinary Time.

How is the foundation of your house? Set on reinforced concrete or rock? Or on quickly baked sand and cement? In today's teaching, which is part of the Sermon on Mount Discourse, Jesus teaches us the importance of wisdom in living a life that is solid, safe and secure.

Wisdom deals with Choice - this or that? Build on rock or save money and compromise the foundation. UT Austin or Notre Dame? Marry Sharon or Mary? Do an annual retreat or take a vacation?

Scripture promises:
#1. "If anyone fears the Lord he will show him the path he should choose." (Psalm 25).

#2. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding/ Intelligence/Experience.
Seek/ (Submit/Embrace ) his will in all you do, and he will show/direct you which path to take." (Cf Proverbs 3: 5 - 6 ).

Jesus continues His teaching. Let us re-imagine the text below:

"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 [pandemics], the floods came [pandemics], and the winds blew [pandemics] and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” (Matthew 7: 26 - 27).

True wisdom lies in hearing and doing the word of God. How do we become wise? We have seen that the reverential fear of God brings wisdom. If your children love you and respect you, they will "fear" to do anything that will offend you. You do likewise to friends and people you value.

How do you make 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. Ask and you receive Him immediately.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist.

"A man was sent from God, whose name was John. He came to testify to the light, to prepare a people fit for the Lord." (John 1: 6 - 7; Luke 1: 17).

Wednesday 24th June 2020, 12th Week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist. Apart from the nativities of Jesus and Mary, John is the only other Nativity celebrated by the Church.

Who is John the Baptist?
The destiny of the great oak tree is contained in the tiny acorn seed.
"Before birth the Lord called me,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name." (Isaiah 49: 1).
John, whose name means "the Lord is gracious" or "God remembers" is the greatest in the line of powerful prophets that include Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

What is the mission of John? To prepare the Way for Jesus. John prepared for his life's mission with singleness of purpose. At a young age, he withdrew into the desert where he lived the solitary life of a hermit till God told him that the time was right for his manifestation to Israel.

John baptized Jesus the Christ in the River Jordan and introduced two of his disciples to Jesus. During his few years of ministry, he stirred consciences with the themes of righteousness and social justice.

John the Baptist paid the price with his life for witnessing to God's law to Herod Antipas.
John is noted for his profound humility. He was praised by Jesus as the greatest prophet.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Narrow Way. The Narrow Way!

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Matthew 7: 13 - 14).

Tuesday 23rd June 2020, 12th Week in Ordinary Time.

Show me O Lord the way to take. Man, take the Narrow Way. It is My Way. It is the Way of My Mother. It is the Way of the saints: Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Kolkata, John Paul II. They all took My Way: the Narrow Way.

What is the Narrow Way?
#1 Daily Prayer
#2 Daily Word of God
#3 Daily Communion
#4 Daily works of Charity.

Now that you know this, blessed are you if you do them. You will enjoy a life of peace, wisdom, security and contentment.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saints Thomas More, John Fisher and Paulinus of Nola - Great saints for our time.

"The word of God is something alive and active: it can judge secret emotions and thoughts." (Hebrews 4: 12).

Monday 22nd June 2020 is the feast day of three saints, all of them scholars who fed regularly on the word of God. St Paulinus of Nola (355 - 431). French Bishop. Over a thousand years separated him from the two English saints we honor today. St John Fisher (1469 - 1535). Bishop. And his friend, St Thomas More (1477 - 1535). Statesman and Chancellor of King Henry VIII.
John and Thomas were martyred under Henry VIII for not bending the knee to Caesar.

Our Scripture verse for today is from the Gospel Acclamation of today's Mass. They fit the lives of the three scholar saints we honor today. The Church is richer today from their scholarship and teaching. They all drank deeply from the word of God, the fountain of salvation. This word of truth is still alive and active today judging the secret emotions and thoughts of men good and bad.

O that today you will listen to His voice, harden not your hearts.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, June 20, 2020

What do you fear most?

"Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one." (Matthew 10: 26).

Sunday 21st June 2020, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

What Jesus says to the Bishops this Sunday, He says to you and to me. Do not fear Caesar. Do not fear Napoleon. Rather be afraid of God who can destroy both your body and soul in hell fire. Fear of man is the clearest sign that you are not prepared to embrace the gracious and mysterious will of the Father always and everywhere.
Consider John the Baptist, Jeremiah, St Paul. They feared neither Caesar nor Napoleon.
Jeremiah exclaimed: "The Lord is with me like a mighty Champion."

Are you afraid of man? It may be a sign that you are not aware of the presence of the Lord with you.
David proclaimed in exultant faith:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?" (Psalm 27: 1).

Brethren, know once and for all that fear, worry and doubt are never from God. They are from the Evil One who may still be controlling a part of your real estate. It is about time to give him the Quit Notice.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, June 19, 2020

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Jesus said to them,
“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2: 49).

Saturday 20th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Gospel for today is from Luke 2: 41 - 51. It is a revealing incident in the Infancy Narrative of the Gospel. Although Jesus was 12 years old at this point, this story is still considered part of the Infancy Narrative. The story reveals a number of of things about the Boy Jesus and His mother Mary.

#1 Jesus manifested very early that His Father's business is a top priority. Later, we will see that this business is the Kingdom of God. We know that up to His Ascension, Jesus has magnificent obsession for this intention.

#2 We see too in this Gospel story a pleasing side of Mary. She was highly perturbed like any mother who has lost a child. Mary is not a goddess. She is a human being that is full of grace.

#3 "His mother [Mary] kept all these things in her heart." (Luke 2: 51). For me, this is the lesson, the takeaway from this incident. Mary pondered what happened and grew in her knowledge that God is a Mystery and His ways are not our ways. This incident prepared Mary to embrace God’s gracious and mysterious will every moment of her life. She remembers this lesson at Calvary.

After this nice story, life continues as usual for the Holy Family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. "He [Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them." (Luke 2: 51).

"My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, who has been bountiful with me." (Psalm 12: 6).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.(1 John 4: 16).

Friday 19th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

What do we celebrate today? We celebrate the human fleshy Heart of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity whose name is Jesus. In His infinite wisdom, Jesus chose the symbol of the heart ♥ to make us reflect and believe in His love for us.

What does love demand? Very simple. If I love you, I want you to love me back. I don't want excuses, delays or postponement. St Mary Magdalene understands this dimension of love. When she became aware of the deep love of Jesus for her, she loved Him back. Heart talks to heart. So does St Margaret Mary Alacoque who brought us the private revelation of the Heart of Jesus crying for love.  Jesus gave Margaret Mary 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to all those who shall respond to His message of love.
Today we celebrate the intense love of Jesus for you and for me and His plea that we become aware of this love and return love for love.

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

This is how to pray.

"This is how you are to pray." (John 6 : 9).

Thursday 18th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time.

Jesus said to His disciples: "This is how you are to pray." (John 6 : 9).
This command makes what we call "Our Father" or "The Lord’s Prayer" normative. This means that Our Father becomes the most perfect of prayers and an example on how to pray. No prayer formulated by the Church or any saint rises to the lofty heights of the Lord's Prayer. This is why the Church has used it in its most sacred Liturgy from its beginning.

The Our Father contains all our desires and orders these desires according to a prescribed hierarchy of needs. Desire makes a man says St Ignatius Loyola. You can never be superior to the desires of your heart. So the Lord gives us the two things we are to desire most:

#1 The Holy Spirit.
#2 The Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

If you make the above two the constant and undying desires of your heart, not only will your request be satisfied but you will receive everything you need to live a holy, safe, secure and contented life.

Christians, let us believe the Gospel that declares that "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matthew 6: 8).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

I want a double portion.

“Request whatever I might do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”

Wednesday 17th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time.

Pentecost Sunday is barely 17 days ago and we are talking about another outpouring of the Holy Spirit! That is right. In the Bible, there are multiple outpourings of the awesome Spirit. Sometimes, you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and you still feel a certain hunger for more. Ask and you shall receive more.

One of the reasons I like and remember Prophet Elisha is because of his bold request:
“May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” This is how we should come to God in prayer:  With bold confidence! Did Jesus not say that the Father does not ration the Holy Spirit?

Elijah replied Elisha: “You have asked something that is not easy." (2 Kings 2: 9 - 10).
For God all things are easy and possible.

Ask and you will receive. I will ask for a double portion of the Holy Spirit. I will ask for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, June 15, 2020

How to love your enemies.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5: 43 - 44).

Tuesday 16th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time.

Love your enemies. Embrace and pray for the Nazi tugs who perpetrated such unspeakable horrors on your parents and grandparents. This is humanly speaking impossible Jesus.  "I know. This is why my Holy Spirit lives in you and is with you always. He will help you accomplish impossible things."

The life and virtues of Jesus are found in the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.

My friends, let us believe in the Gospel and not conform to the principles of this world. Let us conform to the model of Jesus in His life. He is our Way. The bridge we must walk through to eternal life is Jesus.

Daily Bible Verse
@ SeekFirstcommunity.com 


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Give to the one who borrows and never pays back.

"Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow." (Matthew 5: 42).

Monday 15th June 2020, 11th Week in Ordinary Time.

Our Scripture verse today is one of the most challenging teachings of Jesus to me. I have avoided it in my Blogs for over 20 years. As a freshman in college some 40 years ago, I tried to live this teaching. Not because of any love of Jesus or His Gospel but because this was the way to friendships and easy popularity in a campus where I knew nobody. To make a long story short, I loaned money and books to guys that appeared honest and well-bred. They never paid back the money in time or returned the books. What pained me most was they did not seem to mind what their attitude was shouting loudly: We don't care for your friendship.

The habit of what I called wreckless lending cost me many valuable friendships I thought. Solution: My friend: "Buddy, do you have this book?" Answer: No. Another friend: "Lend me $20. I will pay you back on Friday." Me: "Buddy, I don't have a dime!"

Why did I decide to blog on this today? Two weeks ago was the Solemnity of Pentecost. I did the Novena and I learned something. I can't do any good in my strength. Not even the least. The Holy Spirit is promised us as a Friend, Paraclete, Advocate, the Voice that speaks in court for us. How do I activate this Dynamite Power to work for me? PRAYER! PRAYERS! Expectant PRAYER!

Since Pentecost 2020, I have read five books on the Holy Spirit. They all confirmed this word of knowledge. So if a difficult person is walking towards me with the intention of borrowing, I will pray quietly and quickly: Holy Spirit, tell me what to do.

Expectant prayer is based on the promise of Jesus: "Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ).

"Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." (John 6: 53 - 55).

Sunday June 14th 2020, Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus). Today, the Church demonstrates her faith in the most precious Eucharist: the source, center and summit of her life. It is also the occasion of great thanksgiving for this immense gift and the radical faithfulness of Jesus to His Bride all these 2020 plus years.

Jesus I believe in Your Real Presence.
Jesus I believe in Your Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Jesus I believe in Your Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus I believe in Your Real Presence in me in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.

The mode of Christ's presence in these three forms is unique and very real. The whole of Jesus is present in each of these modes.
Thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

"This is Jesus, Emmanuel. God is with us, in this sacrament, come receive him, adore him, This is Jesus, our Lord."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Feast of St Anthony of Padua.

"Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one." (Matthew 5: 37).

Saturday 13th June 2020, 10th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony of Padua (1195 - 1231), Franciscan Priest and Doctor of the Church. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, trained in Italy, his outstanding talent as a preacher took him to Africa and France. Anthony is a great miracle worker but is fondly remembered for his help in finding lost objects. After he helped me find an important object I lost some years ago, he became one of my patron saints.

Are you a person of your word? Do you confess regularly the sin of untruth, exaggeration, white lies, etc. If we do not work to make truthful speech our standard, we may not be able to appreciate the faithfulness of God. God's Yes is always a Yes. His No is always a No. "His faithful promises are our armor and protection." (Psalm 91: 4). David prays in Psalm 51:12, "A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit."
Two causes of a lying tongue are:
#1 Lack of purity or clean heart.
#2 A spirit that lacks stability.

The remedy for the above is to pray often Psalm 51 to Jesus who is Truth Himself. "It [Psalm] is medicine for our spiritual health. Whoever reads it will find in it a medicine to cure the wounds caused by his own particular passions." (St Ambrose of Milan).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wait for the Lord. Again wait for the Lord.

"I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27: 13 - 14).

Friday 12th June 2020, 10th Week in Ordinary Time.

Are you waiting for any favors from the Lord? Any promises to be fulfilled by God? If you are not, why not?  Are you self satisfied and feel you have everything you need from life?  "Man's extremity is God's opportunity. Man's prosperity is Satan's opportunity," says an adage.

Our Scripture verse from the Responsorial Psalm 27 urge us to develop a habit of waiting for the Lord because it is in waiting for the Lord that we come to learn that the Lord is faithful. The Psalmist exclaimed in wonderment at God's faithfulness:  "Your faithful promises are my armor and protection." (Psalm 91: 4).

I have found that life is made up of a series of waiting: waiting for small things and waiting for the big items. We are all waiting all the time. This is life. No one is excused from waiting. Another word to wait is hope. We wait for the Second Coming of Jesus. We rejoice in Hope for this.

Let your waiting be strengthened by the unfailing promise of God:
"I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Feast of the good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.

"When Barnabas arrived [in Antioch] and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith." (Acts 11: 23 - 24).

Thursday 11th June 2020, 10th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Apostle Barnabas (+ 61).

St Barnabas, a Jew from Cyprus is profiled in Sacred Scripture as: "a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith." You won't find many Bible characters profiled with similar language. What else do we know about St Barnabas?
He was a levite. He discipled Paul the Apostle and mentored John Mark. He was generous in using all his time, talent and treasure in serving the Lord. He was a prophet, teacher and evangelist. Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus under the reign of Emperor Nero in 61 AD.

"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13: 2).

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Evangelization and Mission commissioned the first Missionary Journey of Paul and Barnabas.

"O God, who decreed that Saint Barnabas, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to convert the nations, grant that the Gospel of Christ, which he strenuously preached, may be faithfully proclaimed by word and by deed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son." Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Who do you serve? God or Baal?



"If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18: 21).

Wednesday 10th June 2020, 10th Week in Ordinary Time.

The apostate people of Israel had gathered with their leader, the apostate-in-chief King Ahab for a face off between the Prophet Elijah and the 400 plus prophets of Baal. Elijah threw the challenge to the people and their king: If Yahweh is God, follow Him. If Caesar is God, follow him. You must choose today whom you must serve. As for me and my household, we must serve the Lord. "The God who answers with fire is God.” (1 Kings 18: 24).

We know that only one God can answer with fire. We know how it fares with the gods of this world. Just a few months ago, Dubai was the center of attraction for investments of all sorts, technology magnets, tourism, night life and all illicit pleasures. The pandemics have changed everything and thrown a stable country into a wild spin.

Do you court other gods? You will only multiply your sorrows.
As for me, the Lord is my allotted portion and cup. He is my Prize. All that belongs to me is safe in His hands.

"Stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value." (Matthew 6: 20 TPT).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com


Monday, June 08, 2020

Feast of the Illustrious St Ephrem the Syrian.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?...... You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5: 13 - 14).

Tuesday 9th June 2020, 10th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Ephrem the Syrian (306 - 373) Deacon and Doctor of the Church. There is so much to write about the accomplishments of Ephrem the Syrian. I will pick a few:
Ephrem had a keen intellect. His pen was like a sharp sword. Part of his genius is that he used poems and hymns to combat the heresies of his time. He expounded the mysteries of Christ and the Glorious Virgin Mary. Ephrem had a great devotion to Mary and was not shy about it.

In our core Scripture for today, Jesus said to His disciples: You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.
What is salt? What is uncorrupted salt? Salt is doctrine. The core and unbending truth which the Church offers to the world, season and out of season; welcomed or not. This salt of the earth is found in the Creed of the Church which was fleshed out at the Council of Nicaea during the life time of St Ephrem the Syrian. It has not changed one iota.

What does Jesus our Teacher mean when He says that we are the light of the world? Jesus Christ Himself is the Light of the nations. The light of Jesus shines through missionary evangelization. We saw how this works in the lives of saints we celebrated recently. Pope St Gregory the Great sent [missio] St Augustine of Canterbury to evangelize England. Mission accomplished. Pope St Gregory II sent St Boniface from England to evangelize Germany. And so forth and so on.

Who is Jesus sending you to? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Mission. Let us ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth and missionary spirit in the Church.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, June 07, 2020

When the Brook dries up and the Ravens stop coming..

“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You [Elijah] will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” (1 Kings 17: 3 - 4).

Monday 8th June 2020, 10th Week in the Ordinary Time.

Do you serve God with all your heart? Do you make His Kingdom and His righteousness your first priority? Then you should be comforted by what happened to the Prophet Elijah when he was on the run for his life from King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel.

"So he [Elijah] did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.  The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." (Verse 5 - 6).

Ravens brought Elijah food morning and evening. What happened when the brook dries up and the ravens stopped coming? God's care and provisions for Elijah did not cease. God upgraded the sources. This narrative is in the Scriptures to give the man of God deep trust in God’s providence and provisions.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, And he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3: 5 - 6).

As I enjoy divine provisions and providence in my ministry, my heart is warmed up by the experience of Elijah in the Brook and the Ravens narrative. God Never Fails!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, June 06, 2020

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you." (2 Corinthians 13: 13).

Sunday 7th June 2020 is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

What is the the Most Holy Trinity? The Holy Trinity is the revealed truth that God is One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has always been one and undivided Unity that manifests in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
This is the central mystery of Christianity revealed by Jesus Christ Himself.

What does this mean for our day-to-day life as Christians? We can enter and enjoy rich personal relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The prayer of the Church is richly Trinitarian. The saints also have a Trinitarian spirituality. You too can enjoy a personal and intimate relationship with the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Start by observing how the Church prays and note when she prays to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You will reap a rich example on how to enjoy a Trinitarian spirituality.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, June 05, 2020

Perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.

"Proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4: 2).

Saturday 6th June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Nobert (1080 - 1134), Bishop. Nobert started life as a prodigal of some sort. The grace of Christ knocked him off his horse and then embraced him. Nobert quickly rose from the rubbles and showed his true colors. He became a priest and then a Bishop and worked hard to implement the reforms of Pope St Gregory VII. He was a noted preacher. He died as Archbishop of Magdeburg in Germany.

St Paul seems to have written our key Scripture for today for St Nobert and also the sequel:

"But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4: 5).

The life of St Nobert is an inspiration for those of us who started life as a prodigal. We learn that the grace and mercy of God are truly limitless.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, June 04, 2020

The Feast of the Apostle of Germany, St Boniface.

"In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3: 12).

Friday 5th June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Boniface (680 - 754), Bishop and Martyr. The well educated English priest St Boniface was sent by Pope Gregory II to evangelize the German tribes. Boniface was consecrated the first Bishop of Germany. He organized the Church in Germany but was martyred in Friesland (present day Netherlands) when he went to preach there. St Boniface is the patron saint of Germany.

Today is also the first Friday in June 2020.

"My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials." (Sirach 2: 1). No priest or prophet is ignorant of this truth. Paul is repeating a very obvious wisdom to Timothy. "In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Timothy 3: 12). Commitment to the service of God is not for the faint of heart. When the Bishop Boniface left his native shores to travel to Germany, he must have sensed that he would not be coming home alive to England.

The present age has been reputed to be the bloodiest for Christian missionaries. Consider the constant and undying persecution of the Church in China and Sudan. Missionaries compelled by the love of Christ are still finding their way into these hostile countries.

Jesus Christ is the light of the nations. He shines through His missionaries. The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday 5th June.

June 5th, First Friday in June 2020.

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 6th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #6.

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

June is the Month the Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Friday June 19, 2020 is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and glowing furnace of love, You are my sanctuary.  O adorable and glorious Savior, consume my heart with that burning fire that ever inflames Your Heart.
Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your Love.  Let my heart be one with, and in all things conformed to, Yours. May Your Will be the rule of both my desires and my actions. Amen."  (St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass, online Mass, holy hour, Rosary, etc.

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, June 03, 2020

Love God. Worship Him. Love your neighbor.

"And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions." (Mark 12: 34).

Thursday 4th June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time.

Jesus told the lawyer who asked: “Which is the first of all the commandments?” that he is not far from the kingdom of God. The scribe agreed with Jesus that love of God and love of neighbor is the greatest commandment.

How far are you from the kingdom of God? How far are you from the peace and tranquility of the kingdom? For Jesus, the criterion is love of God and love of neighbor. Let us measure how far we are.

In 1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7, we see the attributes of love. These attributes describe how God loves us and how God wants us to love our neighbor.

" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7).

Before we despair and think it is impossible to love always like this, let us remember that charity or love is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5: 22). Without the Holy Spirit, nobody is capable of meeting the standard of love.

Where there is love, there is God.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The Feast of St Charles Lwanga and Companions.

"For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1: 6 - 7).

Wednesday 3rd June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Charles Lwanga and 22 companions. (1886, 1887). On the feast of Ascension 1886, the powerful but immoral King Mwanga of Uganda mercilessly killed Charles Lwanga and 14 companions who resisted resolutely his homosexual advances. Eight of the companions were killed later.

This year, this feast is in the Octave of Pentecost. The short lives of these young men will help us appreciate the power of the Holy Spirit in bearing witness to Jesus. "The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians," Tertullian wrote in the 3rd century.

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you were baptized on Pentecost Sunday? "Stir into flame the gift of God." Paul said to Timothy in the first Reading. The big Gift of God is the Holy Spirit. The muscle that is exercised becomes strong and useful for service. No exercise can atrophy a muscle.

St Charles Lwanga and companions were baby Christians and pages in a royal court. Yet, they chose to die for their faith rather than compromise with Caesar. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of Your faithful.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, June 01, 2020

What is it that belongs to Caesar?

 "So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  (Mark 12: 17).

Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of two early martyrs of the Church St. Marcellinus, Priest and Peter, Exorcist (+ 304). In prison, they converted many of their fellow prisoners including the jailer. Both were martyred under Emperor Diocletian.

What do we owe to Caesar?
We owe to Caesar his taxes and obedience to just laws.
What does Caesar owe to us?
Caesar owes us protection from anarchy and freedom to worship.

Saints Marcellinus and Peter heard the message of Jesus Christ and became convinced that their purpose is more than mere biological life. They accepted Baptism and were transformed. Faced with the threat of death, they chose eternal life.

May we benefit from their example and prayers. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Feast of Mary Mother of the Church.

"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." (John 19: 26 - 27).

Monday 1st June 2020, 9th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Jesus in saying to Mary from the Cross, “Woman, behold, your son,” chose Mary to be the Mother of all disciples of Jesus.

One of the most touching scenes in the new Jesus Christ Superstar movie is where Jesus cried out from the Cross: "Where is My mother?" Mary was there under the Cross. The remarkable thing about the Blessed Virgin Mary is that she is the only human being that knew Jesus from womb to tomb to the birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday. She was the sole eyewitness in these peak critical moments in the life of Jesus and the Church.

After the Ascension of Jesus, Mary guided the disciples and evangelists with information on the life and mystery of Jesus the Christ. John the Evangelist became the son of Mary as every great saint in the Church. Are you a child of Mary?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, May 30, 2020

This is Pentecost! The Birthday of the Church.

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit." (John 20: 21 - 22).

Sunday May 31st 2020 is the Solemnity of Pentecost.

Brethren, this is Pentecost! This is the Birthday of our Mother, the Church. She is Mother and Teacher. Very old and ever young and beautiful. Virgin and Mother of many children. Queen of Peace and Seat of Wisdom. Happy Birthday Mother Church!

The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in the Cenacle "like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were." (Acts 2: 2). The waiting and praying are over. The Father has delivered the Big Gift He promised.

"The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection." (CCC 737).

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, May 29, 2020

His testimony is trustworthy.

"It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true." (John 21: 24).

Saturday 30th May 2020, eve of Pentecost 2020.

John the Beloved Disciple whom the Church believes is the author of the 4th Gospel invites us to trust the authenticity and inspiration of the Gospel he authored. What is trust based on? Ultimately, trust is based on credible witness. If the credible witness is an eye witness, so much the better. Consider this fact for a moment: If we consider the words of CNN or Fox News true, why should we doubt the word of God that changes lives and lasts forever?

"What we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you so that you too may have fellowship with us."  (1 John 1: 3)

John the Evangelist heard Jesus speak and touched Him several times.  He leaves us a compelling eyewitness account of the solid basis of our faith.  With this, we can better appreciate what St Paul says to the Ephesians:

"Our Household [Church] is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."  (Ephesians 2: 20)

The foundation of our faith is unshakeable.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Feast of St Paul VI, Pope.

"The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you." (John 14: 26).

Friday 29th May 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season is the feast of the gentle Pope St Paul VI, (1897 - 1978), Pontiff. Paul's papacy spanned the period of Vatican Council II which was followed by a period of change and ferment in the Church and society. In the midst of this, he authored a prophetic encyclical where he warned bluntly what would follow if the world go the way of contraception and abortion.
His prophecy has been vindicated to the letter.

The Magisterium of the Church draws from the prophecy of Jesus in our lead Scripture for today: "The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you." The Holy Spirit taught the Fathers and Doctors of Church throughout the ages. His degrees are true and reliable.

Without memories of the good things God is doing in our lives, we will never be able to give thanks to God and love God. God brought the Chosen People out of Egypt through mighty deeds. He led them in the desert, provided for them and protected them against fierce enemies. They forget and therefore never gave thanks.

Have you had the experience of the Holy Spirit reminding you of something important God did for you? I have several times. It helps me to give thanks to God for which I might have missed.

Ask the Holy Spirit to bless you  with His ministry of remembering.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May they all be one Father.

"With them in you and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me, says the Lord." (John 17: 21).

Thursday 28th May 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season.

The night before He died, in a long discourse with His disciples, which was mostly monologue, Jesus reserved His greatest words to the last in the form of a prayer to Abba Father. The prayer is called the High Priestly Prayer. Jesus is our able and eternal High Priest interceding always for the Church. He is removing His powerful physical presence with the Ascension. He cried out to the Father: "May they all be one."

Jesus prayed from the heart for Christian Unity. What are the facts today?
#1. The 16th century Reformation appears to have accomplished a privatization of Christianity. There may be over 60,000 sects that call themselves church.
#2. Over 50% of Christians do not believe the same thing. Nor do they believe in 100% of the content of Revelation.
#3. One of the core problem of evangelization of the world is that ETERNAL LIFE which is the core and very attractive promise of Christianity is rarely mentioned.
#4. Although mutual antagonism among Christians have diminished, grave suspicions still linger.

God could have prevented the 16th century splintering of the Body of Christ. Why did He allow it to happen? For some, this may be one of the greatest mysteries of Divine Providence.

As we near the Solemnity of Pentecost, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will restore unity in the Church.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury.

"Your word is truth, O Lord:
consecrate us in the truth." (John 17: 17).

Wednesday May 27th 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season is the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury. (+ 604). Christ is the light of the nations. Pope St Gregory the Great sent St Augustine and his companion monks to England as the light of Christ to convert the English people to Christianity. Augustine erected the Episcopal See at Canterbury, and the English hierarchy was born. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the high priestly prayer the night before His execution, Jesus prayed: "Your word is truth, O Lord:
consecrate us in the truth." He prayed for us. He asked the Father to set us apart for the purpose and mission of the truth. Remember that Jesus Himself is the Truth, the Way and Life.

St Pope Gregory the Great anointed St Augustine of Canterbury to the purpose and mission of the Truth to England. He preached the Gospel fearlessly to King Ethelbert of Kent and his subjects and they were baptized. This opened the way to the civilization of England. We celebrated a few days ago the life of St Bede the Venerable, (672 - 735).Doctor of the Church, Father of English history.

Sunday May 31st is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church.
Father of Truth, as we prepare for this feast, we pray: Consecrate us to the truth. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Feast of St Philip Neri.


"I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do." (John 17: 4).

Tuesday 26th May 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season is also the feast feast of St Philip Neri (1515 - 1595), Priest. 

St Philip Neri was an extraordinary priest filled with the Holy Spirit and ecstatic joy. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, the religious community of St John Henry Newman. He converted thousands through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He was a great catechist and spiritual director. He was noted for his joyful and cheerful disposition which attracted thousands to him.

Our daily Scripture verse today is the Farewell Discourse.  Jesus Christ glorified the Father through the Cross by overcoming evil.The Father glorified His Son through the Resurrection. The Cross is the ordained means of our salvation.  (CCC 272). Jesus embraced the pain and humiliation of the Cross so that we may be free. Those who are chosen and called for eternal life are justified by faith in the atoning work of Jesus and glorified by the Cross. We accept to embrace the inevitable trials in our lives. Rejection of the Cross is rejection of Jesus Christ.

We adore You O Christ and worship You. Because of Your holy Cross, You redeemed the world.

St Philip Neri understood the logic of Salvation: Sin > Suffering > Salvation. This is why he was a highly gifted confessor and administered the Sacrament of Penance with great skill and compassion.
St Philip Neri pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you were saved?

“Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” (Acts 19: 2).

Monday 25th May 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season is the feast day of three great saints:
1. St Bede the Venerable (672 - 735), English Benedictine Priest and Doctor of the Church. Bede was a theologian and known as Father of English history.
2. St Gregory VII, (+ 1085),Pope and  Monk of Cluny. Gregory incurred the wrath of Emperor Henry IV by fighting against the evils of Lay Investiture. The Emperor exiled him to Salerno where he died.
3. St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566 - 1607), Italian Carmelite from Florence. Great ascetic. Worked untiringly for the renewal of the Church.

Next Sunday, May 31, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church. St Paul asked some new converts he met at Ephesus: “Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” (Acts 19: 2).
Why did Paul ask them this question? Probably because of something he observed in their behavior. Examples:
#1 Prayer habits.
#2 Study of the Word of God.
#3 Sunday Eucharist.
#4 Sinful habits.

You: “Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” It is not too late to join the Pentecost Novena 2020.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ascension of the Lord 2020.





"Go, make disciples of all the nations. I am with you always; yes, to the end of time." (Matthew 28: 19, 20).

Sunday 24th May 2020, 7th Week in the Easter Season is the Ascension of the Lord.

Before departing this earth, the Lord Jesus repeated the Great Promise: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1: 8).

My friends, let me share with you a great insight I learned from a great Bible teacher, Father Al Lauer of Presentation Ministries. Father Al is today enjoying his well deserved rewards in Heaven. Father Al Lauer taught that YOU CAN BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT MULTIPLE TIMES. I was first filled in 1995, then in 2015. Today, I am expecting a deep filling on Pentecost Sunday. At the moment, I  join other disciples all over the world in the Cenacle making the Pentecost Novena.

Why prepare for Pentecost? Why make a Novena? The answer is plainly in the first Reading today:
"May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.  May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones,  and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe." (Ephesians 1: 17 - 19).

My friends, we have a glorious commission from our Lord Jesus Christ:
"Go, make disciples of all the nations. I am with you always; yes, to the end of time." The Scripture above from Ephesians tells us that the reward will be huge.

Let us embrace this sweet task with joy and excitement. Apart from the truth that this life is very short, what does it profit you if you gain the whole world and risk eternal life?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, May 22, 2020

God's faithful promises are my armor and protection.

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.  Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete." (John 16: 23 - 24).

Saturday 23rd May 2020, 6th Week in the Easter Season.

Today in the Last Supper Discourse, Jesus touched the subject of Prayer in the strongest and most persuasive language. "Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.  Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."

Do you believe that God answers prayers? We all affirm that God is true and faithful. Why then do we doubt Him when it comes to prayer? I discovered this Scripture a couple of weeks ago about God's trustworthiness: "God's faithful promises are my armor and protection." (Psalm 91: 4). Armor and protection mean the same thing. Scripture is using double equivalent words to describe God's faithfulness.

The most amazing thing to discover in religion is that God is true and faithful and He answers prayer. If your nine-year old son asks you for a big Harley Davidson Superbike for a birthday gift, how do you respond?  God our Father knows exactly what we need and when we need it. God answers prayers. Ask and keep asking. If you ask for something that would harm you, expect a No.

I will trust in God's faithfulness forever and ever.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Woman in Labor.

"When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. (John 16: 21).

Friday May 22nd 2020, 6th Week in the Easter Season is also the feast of the Italian mystic, St Rita of Cascia (1381 - 1457), Augustinian nun. Rita was able to stop a vendetta between the relations of her murdered husband and the murderers. That was a feat in those days. Rita subsequently entered a convent where she spent 40 years in contemplation, austerities and service to the poor and sick.

Many people will be familiar with the daily Scripture verse for today. But did you know that this gem of wisdom was given by Jesus on the night before His death in an intimate monologue with the Twelve in the Cenacle? A couple of weeks before Pentecost, the Scriptures are from the Last Supper Discourse (John 13 - 17). This is to prepare us for the glorious feast of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church.

What does a woman do when her expected delivery date is 10 days? She prepares for the big event. She does not focus on anxiety but the joy of the outcome: "a child has been born into the world."

The Pentecost Novena starts Friday, May 22, today. How have you prepared? The Holy Spirit is the Big Gift of God. He is the Abundant life promised by Jesus in John 10: 10.

Are you searching for a treasure? Search no further. There are acres of diamond in your backyard.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13: 44).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com