Saturday, September 05, 2020

A message of reconciliation we can appreciate.

"God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled." (2 Corinthians 5: 19).

Sunday 6th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time.

One word to sum the theme of the Scripture messages this Sunday may be Reconciliation. Between God and man - first Reading. Between man and man - second Reading and the Gospel.

God desires reconciliation with the sinner. He can do it by Himself but He wants our partnership. This is why the Father sent His Son to become man and reconcile humanity to God.

If man is able to love his neighbor as himself, there will be no need for a ministry of Reconciliation.  "Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13: 10).

Our love for God is in direct proportion of our awareness of God's love for us. Our love for our neighbor is in direct proportion to our awareness that our neighbor is like ourselves created in the image and likeness of God therefore we all are children of God. It is the responsibility of parents to inculcate this lesson in their children even before the age of reason.

The Church exercises its ministry of Reconciliation through catechesis, evangelization and the sacraments. We do this best when two or more people are gathered in the name of Jesus and reconcile members and pray for healing in the community. Jesus promises to be always present.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, September 04, 2020

Feast of Mother St Teresa of Kolkata.

"What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?" (1 Corinthians 4: 7).

Saturday 5th September 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time.  Most Masses today may honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as today is the First Saturday in September.  Today is also the feast of St Teresa of Kolkata (1910 - 1997). Founder of the Missionaries of Charity. She won the Nobel Prize.

How did I find myself in the beautiful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on September 4th 2016 for the Mass of the Canonization of St Teresa of Kolkata happening in Rome that very day? Coincidence or Providence?  St Teresa of Kolkata became my patron saint from that day. She is the Saint of Mercy.

Our key Scripture for today is a challenging one: "What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?"
Everything is a gift from God: Country, race, education, wealth, health, job, family, etc. Do we forget this sometimes? Have you not heard people claim:  'We built this and that?' Consider this comforting truth from the Liturgy of the Hours:

"T'is not from chance our comfort springs but from Your gracious ordaining O Father of mercies." (Cf 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4).

We honor on this First Saturday of September two great Mothers:

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Hope and Mercy and Mother St Teresa of Kolkata, Mother of the Poorest of the Poor and Saint of Mercy. We ask our Mothers to pray for us who are in most need of mercy.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Comparing Jesus with the Baptist and the Pharisees.

"The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink.” (Luke 5: 33).

Friday 4th September 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time. Also First Friday in September.

Everything Jesus said and did during His public ministry was done openly and in the day time. Why? He wants people to hear and see for themselves and judge who He is. A tree must be judged by the fruit. Jesus clearly is greater than John the Baptist whose mission was to prepare His way. As for comparing Jesus with the Pharisees, judge for yourselves if there is any basis for this.

How do we judge? People, races, countries, churches, individuals, etc? First, the Scripture teaches us not to judge at all. Leave all judgment to God who is most qualified to judge. Human beings see only the outward appearances, God sees the heart and inner reality of everything.

As for the concern of the scribes and the Pharisees with regard to fasting and prayers, Jesus has a short answer for His challengers:
"New wine must be poured into fresh wineskins." (Luke 5: 38). Meaning: Open your eyes and see. I am doing New Things!

"I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life." (John 8: 12)

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of September.

September 4, 2020 - First Friday in September.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which Jesus made through St Margaret Mary Alacoque to all who honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month. In the 9th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #9.

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

This is a very easy condition to fulfill. Just buy the Sacred Heart of Jesus picture from a Catholic Bookstore or Amazon and place it in a prominent place in your home. Now you can pray to Jesus: Bless my home as You promised. I honor Your Sacred Heart image displayed in my home.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

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

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

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First Friday in September 2020.

September 4, 2020 - First Friday in September.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which Jesus made through St Margaret Mary Alacoque to all who honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month. In the 9th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #9.

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

This is a very easy condition to fulfill. Just buy the Sacred Heart of Jesus picture from a Catholic Bookstore or Amazon and place it in a prominent place in your home. Now you can pray to Jesus: Bless my home as You promised. I honor Your Sacred Heart image displayed in my home.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

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

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

Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

He left everything and followed Jesus.

"Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” (Luke 5: 5).

Thursday 3rd September 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Servant of the Servants of God, St Gregory the Great. (540 - 604). Pope and Doctor of the Church.  When God found David, He exclaimed with delight: "I have chosen David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be with him; my arm will make him strong." (Psalm 89: 21 - 22). This Scripture can be applied to Pope Gregory the Great.

In our Gospel of today, Jesus calls Peter, James and John from professional fishing to fishers of men. Scripture says:  "They left everything and followed him." (Luke 5: 11). Gregory the Great was called from the City Hall where he was the Mayor of Rome to be fisher of men. He too left everything and followed Jesus.

Our key Scripture for today is very personal to me. I remember when I was a salesman knocking on doors. Sometimes, I would work an entire week without making a single sale. To add to the pain, I was on 100% commission. I would moan to Jesus:
“Lord, I have worked hard all week and caught nothing." Note the next words of Peter: "But at your command I will lower the nets.”

Here is the lesson:
#1 Our faith implies our obedience.
#2 The just man shall live by faith.
#3 Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

The Lord Jesus called Gregory from civic life to be an apostle. He called Peter, James and John from professional fishermen to be apostles. Is Jesus calling you to serve Him as an apostle, evangelist, catechist, missionary?

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com 

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

I was born for this One Purpose.

"[Jesus] said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4: 43).

Wednesday 2nd September 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus says that He must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God EVERYWHERE because He was born for this very purpose. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was a King, the King of the Universe replied: "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."  (John 18: 37).

Jesus came into the world for one grand Purpose: To inaugurate the Kingdom of God. He does this through teaching and preaching; through healing and feeding the hungry. Most importantly, He ushers in the Kingdom through His passion and death on the Cross.

Jesus created a permanent Apostolic College to ensure the historical growth of the Church till His Return. The seed of the kingdom exists in the Church. (Cf CCC 671). Why does all this matter to you? It matters a great deal because Jesus says to you:  "Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6: 33). Put simply, this means: If you want to be a stockholder in the Kingdom Enterprise, you must make this Enterprise your priority in everything. When you join the Enterprise, you sign the code of conduct which you are expected to adhere to. This is the code of holiness. Three things are tied together in the great promise of Matthew 6: 33:
#1 Make the kingdom top priority.
#2 Be holy or righteous.
#3 Believe firmly that God will provide all your needs.

These three stand together. What God has joined together, let no man tear asunder.

What are the rewards and privileges of living Matthew 6: 33? Jesus promises ALL YOUR NEEDS will be met. Besides, you will receive the greatest gift: the Awesome Holy Spirit. He comes to you with Seven Gifts: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. With all these, you are ready to say with Jesus:

"The Lord has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives." (Luke 4: 17).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, August 31, 2020

The People were amazed at the teaching of Jesus.

"He taught them on the sabbath,  and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority." (Luke 4: 31 - 32).

Tuesday 1st September 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time.

The common folk in the Synagogue in Capernaum were amazed at the teaching of Jesus. They recognized its quality and authority. We know that Jesus exercised His ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. What exactly did the worshippers in the Synagogue observe about the teaching of Jesus?
#1 Simplicity.
#2 Clarity.
#3 Truth.

Even the enemies of Jesus conceded that He spoke the truth because He fears no man. A great obstacle to communicating the Gospel today is that there is existential threat to the truth. There is so much falsehood, fake teaching and news. Jesus guarantees the truth to the only Church He founded. The Holy Spirit will teach the Church every truth that Jesus has communicated during His public ministry. How does this work in practice?

#1 The Sacred Magisterium: The Pope is the Pastor-in-Chief and the Supreme Teacher in the Church.
#2 Sensus Fidelium: The Holy Spirit works through the People of God (the men and women in the pew) to guarantee faithful and trustworthy doctrine. If the Bishops err in the formulation of doctrine, they are corrected by the infallible "INSTINCT OF FAITH" (Sensus Fidelium) planted in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Why do people with the spirit of the world not accept the truth? The answer is in today's first Reading.

"Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually." (1 Corinthians 2: 14).

How do you avoid the trap of falsehood prevalent in the current environment?

#1 Make the Holy Spirit your partner.
#2 Read the word of God with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
#3 Those who say the Holy Rosary regularly are promised protection from heresies. (#4 of the 15 Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary) Checkout below:
http://seekfirstcommunity.com/2020/08/the-15-promises-of-mary-to-those-who.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sacred Heart 12 Promises

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.

+ Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernard, Vic. Gen.,  Westmonasterii, 1954

“Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us.  ‘The Son of God ….loved me and gave himself for me.’  He has loved us all with a human heart.  For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that….love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’ without exception.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #478)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"Seek first the kingdom of God and 
his righteousness, all these things

will be given you  besides." 
(Matthew 6:33) 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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The 15 Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary.

The Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary

1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.  Oh, that soul would sanctify themselves by this means!
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise him in His justice; he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in Paradise.
9. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who recite the Rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
🙏🙏🙏🌹🌹🌹🙏🙏🙏🌹🌹🌹

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

TODAY This Scripture is FULFILLED.

"Jesus said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 21).

Monday 31st August 2020, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time. We start the reading of the Gospel of Luke for weekday Masses all the way to Advent.

Two words capture my interest in the key Scripture for today: TODAY, FULFILLED. On the Sabbath in the Synagogue in Nazareth, it was Jesus turn to read the Scriptures. He carefully selected a passage from Isaiah about the job description of the expected Messiah and read it. Then He rolled up the scroll and sat down. Then Jesus said:  “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Let us consider our keywords TODAY and FULFILLED.

#1 TODAY: Just as every human being has his birthday, so does a prophecy has its fulfillment Day. That Day is called in Scripture the Fullness of time. "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3: 1).

At the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the Prophet and Prophetess Simeon and Anna mysteriously appeared in the Temple on the Day of the Presentation.

What promises are you waiting their fulfillment? Write down the promise in bold letters and put it on the wall in your bedroom where you can see it every day. Don't forget to put the date on it. "For the vision [promise] is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late." (Cf Habakkuk 2: 2 - 3).

God is faithful to every single promise He makes. But every promise has its Day of Fulfillment. In the fullness of time, God makes everything beautiful. (Cf Ecclesiastes 3: 11).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com