Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Nothing is impossible for God.

"And coming to her, he [the Archangel] said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus."  (Luke 1: 26-
.... 38).

Wednesday 8th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is the patronal feast of the United States of America.

What is the Immaculate Conception and why does it matter?  In the first Reading today from Genesis, God said to the Serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel." (Genesis 3: 15). This is the promise of our Redemption after the fall of Adam and Eve. God chose Mary before the foundation of the world and prepared her to be the sinless Mother of His Son. God preserved the Blessed Virgin Mary from original sin by virtue of the Death of her Son, Jesus the Christ which God foresaw.

Only a pure Vessel can hold a pure God. Why does this matter? Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man. Although Mary is 100% human, it is absolute necessity that the Mother of the Redeemer be not tainted with the least sin.

Mary's generosity in giving her Yes made the Incarnation possible.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38).

The total faith and surrender that Mary displayed here is rewarded by God's special revelation to Mary:

"For nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1: 37).
Let this words nourish our faith today and always. When you are afraid, when you worry, when you are tempted to doubt God's power and promises, redouble your trust in God and remember that nothing will be impossible for God.

"Honour My Mother in the mystery of her Immaculate Conception. This is a mystery full of grace and of light for those who ponder it. It is the remedy for many of the ills that afflict My priests and poison their souls. Invoke My Mother conceived without sin and she will communicate to you something of the purity and brightness of her all-holy and immaculate Heart." (IN SINU JESU, November 29, 2008 After First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, December 06, 2021

Feast of St Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.  (Matthew 18: 12... 14).

Tuesday 7th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the feast of St Ambrose of Milan (340 - 397). Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Italian. Ambrose was a high civil servant in the Roman imperial government in the city of Milan when Jesus Christ tapped him to shepherd His Church.
A man of immense talent and holiness, he brought along all his gifts to his new vocation of priest and Bishop. Great preacher, he touched the cold heart of the young Augustine and converted him. He was also a great politician who dealt with emperors without fear. Last but not the least, he left the Church volumes of theological works that continue to nourish the Church.

Friends, I call the Gospel of today the Power of One. You may not believe it, our God cares a lot about details. One sheep, one coin, one little child. The world does not waste time on details. They are only interested in the arithmetic of large numbers: millions, billions, etc.

I still regret the years when I apply this arithmetic to my ministry. Write, teach only to large groups. I am deeply impressed that in many parishes where I have attended daily Mass, sometimes only a handful of people are present. Yet the priest celebrates the Eucharist and preaches with gusto. Remember:

"In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

"My Heart is moved to pity for this little flock and My love is stirred to help them according to the desires that I have placed deep within them." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, February 8, 2008 At D., Ireland).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Feast of St Nicholas, the Santa Claus.

"Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing." (Isaiah 35: 4 - 7).

Monday 6th December 2021 of the 2nd Week of Advent is  the feast of St Nicholas (4th century). St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in present day Turkey. He was at the Council of Nicaea and signed the famous document, the Nicene Creed. His deep concern for the poor and needy netted him the title of Santa Claus throughout the centuries.

In the first Reading today we hear some of those great prophecies and divine promises from Isaiah we tend to brush aside. Instead of hearing this word of God with unbelief, why don't ask the Lord: "When will these things happen?"
Jesus gave an answer to a mystic to a similar question:
"Trust Me with the TIMING of ALL THINGS." Personally, I am deeply satisfied with the answer.

In the Gospel Reading, we see the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy:
"Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”  He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God." (Luke 5: 23 - 25).

In the healing of the paralytic man, Jesus performed two miracles. He first healed the soul, which is the most important and then healed the body in front of the religious leaders.

In the Book of Revelation, the Spirit declares "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." What Jesus has done once in His earthly ministry, He continues to do today through the Church.

"In every priest I would speak and act, delivering souls from the powers of darkness and healing the sick—but most of all, I desire to offer myself in every priest and to assume every priest into My own offering to the Father." (IN SINU JESU, November 29, 2008 After First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com


Saturday, December 04, 2021

Trust Me with the timing of ALL THINGS.

"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 1: 4....11).

Sunday December 5th 2021 in the 2nd Week of Advent.

If you read the Scripture servings for this Sunday, what message do you get from the word of God? I get  joy. In fact, I am very joyful because of what the Lord did for me today.
I took this message of Jesus from IN SINU JESU as a personal gift:
TRUST ME WITH THE TIMING OF ALL THINGS.

I am waiting on Jesus for a couple of things. Jesus spoke to me again through the 2nd Reading from Philippians 1:
"I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

I know that Jesus began the good work I am doing in catechesis and evangelization. I have often wondered: "Lord, what is the next step?" The answer came early this morning:
TRUST ME WITH THE TIMING OF ALL THINGS.

Lord Jesus, You are the faithful and true Witness. Your promises are my armor, my protection and my wealth. Deepen my faith, hope and love this Advent 2021, O Jesus.

"He will come in the end, he will not deceive: wait, he will surely come without delay.
Only a little while now, a very little while, and the One that is coming will have come. Wait, he will surely come without delay."  (Responsory from the Office of Reading).

"At the right time the path will open before you, and you will have a great joy in following it. Everything will be clear, because all will have been prepared in advance by the foresight of My merciful love and by the interventions of My most holy Mother. On that day you will have nothing to fear. Live these days in a pressing, constant prayer. Draw closer to My Sacred Heart. Drink from the refreshing streams of My love. Allow yourselves to be prepared by My secret but so efficacious action in you. Great graces are in store for you, but to receive them you must be very little, like children who have a limitless confidence in the love of their papa. When you seek to reason out everything, to know everything ahead of time, to control everything by human means, you keep Me from acting as the God of love that I am. I ask neither for ability nor for great preparations on your part; I ask only for confidence, your confidence in Me, in the love of My open Heart for each one of you." (IN SINU JESU, The Vigil of October 13th , Anniversary of the Great Miracle of Fatima.)

Daily Bible Verse@ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, December 03, 2021

Feast of St John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. 
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Matthew 9: 35 - 38).

Saturday 4th December 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St John Damascene. (675 - 749). Religious Priest and Doctor of the Church. Born in Damascus. Before his ordination to the priesthood in 726, St John was the finance minister to the Caliph.  His work of life was mostly study and writing. He produced books in dogmatic theology. St John Damascene wrote a significant book on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But his defense of the use of images is his striking contribution to the Church. Without John Damascene, we may not be able to use these images in worship or in our devotions. For example: Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy, Mary and the Saints. Thank you St John Damascene.

We see in our key Scripture for today the compassion of Jesus for the crowds who were troubled and appeared totally abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus healed many of their disease and illness and preached to them the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Yet Jesus was sad because the need is so great and the human resources needed for the work are paltry. A mystic asked Jesus about the acute vocation crisis in the Church. Jesus answered below:

"When I asked Our Lord about more vocations: Trust Me with the timing of all things. One plant must be deeply rooted before another one can be planted beside it. I am alive in the Sacrament of My love and, at every moment, divinely active, doing from My place upon the altar all that I did during My sojourn on earth. From the Sacrament of My love I heal the sick, I give sight to the blind, I cause the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak. I am the healer of souls and of bodies." ( IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, March 2, 2010).

What can you do to help? Become an evangelist. From here, you may be led to your proper path.

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Feast of St Francis Xavier SJ, the Missionary.

"As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened." (Matthew 9: 27.... 31).

Friday 3rd December 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus (1506 - 1552). Priest and Missionary. Spanish.
This Friday is the First Friday in December. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus today.

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

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

Jesus asked the two blind men: “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened."

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday 3rd December.

December 3rd, 2021  -  First Friday in December 2021.

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 12th and last month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #12.

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

Friends, this is a tremendous promise. Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for such a generous offer.  I was once close to death.  My priest came and brought the healing Presence of Jesus in His precious anointing.  Whenever I think of Promise #12, I remember that awesome occasion and privilege. You will appreciate this promise when you are close to death. No fear. No worry. No doubt about your eternal destiny. If you are unable to receive  Jesus in Holy Communion this First Friday, you can make a Spiritual Communion. You can click on the link below to see the Prayer for Spiritual Communion:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/12/prayer-for-spiritual-communion.html?m=1

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

The wise man builds his house on rock.

"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." (Cf Matthew 7:21, 24-2).

Thursday 2nd December in the first Week of Advent.

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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

"On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines." (Isaiah 25: 6...10).

Wednesday 1st December 2021, in the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Edmund Campion of the Society of Jesus. Born January 25th, 1540 and hanged, drawn and quartered in Tyburn, London on December 1st, 1581.  St Edmund Campion could have chosen to remain a Fellow at Oxford University and enjoy this life to the fullest. But he believed in the promises of Jesus. "There is something better." St Edmund Campion is the most famous of the English Catholic martyrs. He is acclaimed universally as a great poet.

On the Mountain in today's Gospel, Jesus cured the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. (Cf Matthew 15: 30).  All signs pointing to the Messianic Kingdom.

"On the same Mountain, "[Jesus] took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full."  (Matthew 15: 37).  One more Messianic Sign.

The rich food and choice wines of Isaiah and the baskets of bread and fish are types of the Eucharist which will provide sufficient and super satisfying nourishment in the Kingdom of God on earth.

Does this vision seem unrealistic? Not at all! God will fulfill all His promises as Isaiah declared below:

"On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain."  (Isaiah 25:  9 - 10).

Amen. Trust in God forever!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle.

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

Tuesday 30th November 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle, brother of Simon Peter. (+ 60). Martyred in Greece circa 60 AD. Patron saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland.

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

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

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

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

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10: 13 - 15).

How can people hear of a new product unless there is a salesman or advertising? Friend, Jesus invites you to be the sales person. You can do this through word of mouth, text messaging, emails and sharing social media Catholic Blogs.

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

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Lord Jesus, Your divine word said here can heal my servant.

"When Jesus entered Caper­naum, a centurion ap­proa­ch­ed him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8: 5..... 11).

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

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

I was a Christian for many years before I understood what faith means.  I remember that the first time I came to realize that faith means believing or trusting in what God says to us, I was surprised.  It sounded so simple.  My immediate reaction to this was:  “Would anybody doubt what God says?”  In fact, we disbelieve and doubt God always.

How did the Centurion come by his faith?  He applied  his experiences as a senior Roman officer to understand how God's power works. God's word is a divine command. For example: "Go, Come, Do this, Don't do that." St Hildegard of Bingen, Physician, Theologian and Doctor of the Church calls the word of God a Divine Command. This is why our faith contains our obedience.

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

Happy Advent!

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Behold I am coming soon.

"The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah....... In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The Lord our ­justice.” (Jeremiah 33: 14.... 16).

Sunday 28th November 2021, is First Sunday of Advent.

What is Advent? Advent is a period of waiting and expectation for a big event. Advent is the Season we wait for the Coming of the Lord.  We wait for two Comings of Jesus:  The first Coming of Jesus as a poor child born in a Manger in Bethlehem.  This has happened. We celebrate the feast every year at Christmas. The second Coming is His Coming in majesty at the end of the ages to judge the world. When Jesus comes again in glory and majesty and we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope, teaches the Church.

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

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

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

Lord Jesus, we are Your people and Your inheritance. Save us in Your mercy.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 26, 2021

Do not be careless and allow yourself be caught in a trap.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap." (Luke 21: 34.... 36).

Saturday 27th November 2021, in the 34th Week in Ordinary Time. We shall honor our Blessed Mother today as Mother of Perpetual Help.

Are you familiar with a trap? Mouse trap, bird trap, large animal trap? One thing they all have in common is camouflage, secrecy and built to spring and enclose the unsuspecting victim.

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

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6: 10 - 17).

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The word of God is everlasting.

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

Friday 26th November 2021, in the 34th Week in Ordinary Time.

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

We are just a day away from the beginning of the Advent Season. A season of prayer. A season of waiting. A great season of opportunity. On 17th of December a couple of years ago, about a week to Christmas, I attended a noon Maas at the Cathedral. The celebrating priest whom I did not know well said something that caught my attention. "God the Father has a big gift for you this Christmas if you prepare yourself for the gift." The message was personal. I received it in faith. After the Mass, I asked for the identity of the priest and. I returned home and pinned the message on the wall.

The promise Abba Father made through Father M is still good for you and me today. What is the Big Gift in Scripture?
"And when they came together, he gave them this order: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised." (Acts 1: 4 GNT).
The Big Gift, the Promise of the Father is the Holy Spirit. The greatest Gift.

God is faithful and fulfills all His promises especially if you ask for the Holy Spirit. Do not say 'But I have received the Holy Spirit.' Have you received the fullness of the Gift? Do you know that every morning can be a new Pentecost?

"The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; They are renewed each morning - great is your faithfulness!
The Lord is my portion, I tell myself,
therefore I will hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one that seeks him;
It is good to hope in silence for the Lord’s deliverance." (Lamentations 3: 22 - 26).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thank You Abba Father for the beauty and wealth of America.

"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? The chalice of salvation I will raise, and I will call on the name of the Lord." (Psalm  116:12-13).

"Sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts, always thanking God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus." (Ephesians 5:19 - 20).

"I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth." (Psalm 138 :1).

Thursday, 25th November 2021, in the 34th week in Ordinary Time is Thanksgiving Day in America.

America is God’s own country. God has blessed America mightily. Yes, everyone wants to come to America. Yes, everyone has the right to come to America to enjoy God's benevolence and thank our most loving God and Father.

On Thanksgiving Day, let us lift our hearts and minds to God in praise and thanksgiving:
"Father all-powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite; as we come before you on Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for your kindness, open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child, so that we may share your gifts in loving service. 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, Thanksgiving Mass).
Let the Church say together AMEN!!!

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Feast of St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions.

"Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute." (Luke 21: 12... 19).

Wednesday 24th November 2021, 34th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions martyrs.

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

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

Martyrdom is the badge of honor for Christians. Tertulian, the 2nd century African theologian stated that "The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity."
See how the Church and vocations are flourishing in Vietnam today.

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Feast of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, SJ, Martyr.

"While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” (Luke 21: 5... 11).

Tuesday 23rd November 2021, 34th Week in Ordinary Time. The Church affirms and honors three saints today:
St Clement 1 (+ 99) Pope and Martyr. Italian. Clement was the third Pope after St Peter and is famous in history for his letter to the Corinthian Church where he asserted the universal jurisdiction of the Pope. Clement was martyred under Emperor Trajan.

St Columban (545 - 615). Abbot. Irish. Columban founded monasteries in France and Italy.

St Miguel Augustin Pro (1891 - 1927). Mexican. Priest of the Society of Jesus and Martyr during the fierce Mexican persecution of the Church in the 1920s. Because of the demonic opposition to the Church in Mexico, Miguel traveled to Europe to do his theological studies. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to Mexico and ministered to the people in secret escaping arrests by hiding and disguises. He was eventually captured and executed by firing squad.  Miguel Pro spread his hands in form of a cross and shouted Cristo Rey (Christ the King) as the executioners rained bullets into his body.

From time to time, I walk through the downtown on my way to the noon Mass at the Basilica. There are always many shiny glass and steel constructions going up and up. I frequently stop at the sidewalk to stretch my neck and gaze at the towering skyscrapers. I remember Christ's  warning in today's Gospel. “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Is the prophecy of Jesus as applied to our era farfetched? Not at all. Rome was destroyed. Berlin was leveled to the ground. Moscow was burnt down by Napoleon. Of course the prophecy in the Gospel of today is specific to Jerusalem. Jerusalem met its nemesis in 70 AD when Emperor Vespatian and his son Titus executed God's judgment on Jerusalem.

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Feast of St Cecilia, the musician.

"When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (Luke 21: 1 - 4).

Monday 22nd November 2021 of the 34th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Cecilia. Italian. (+ 3rd century). Virgin and Martyr. St Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians. Her name is mentioned in the Roman Canon. Music plays a central role in the worship and liturgy of the Church. St Augustine says that to sing is to pray twice.

The Gospel today from Luke 21: 1 - 4 is not a parable but actual event, what Jesus observed in the Temple. Jesus is a great Teacher. He teaches from life's experiences and from parables.

Today I want to reflect on Tithes and Giving to God. Consider these three points:

#1. Everything we have comes from God.
#2. It is true that we can never out do God in generosity.
#3. To give God with generosity is a clear sign of our faith. Examples: The Widow in today's Gospel, Abel, Abraham, David, etc.
#4. We are not born generous givers. We learn to give.

As a Catholic I knew nothing about tithing until I ran out of money when I was building a house. I could not finish the house in the planned time. "If you want to finish this house at all, bring your tithe to God," advised my Protestant friend. Because I was desperate, I was disposed to believe. I paid my tithes to God and the house was completed at the stipulated time. God taught me a great lesson. This happened 30 years ago. Today I can not afford not to tithe. The rewards are huge. Just a few:
#1. Locusts cannot devour my money. Any attempt at this, I cry out to God and remind Him of this promise in Malachi 3.
#2. I have had minimal financial worries.
#3. Like the Widow in today's Gospel, generosity does not mean giving big. Sometimes I give $1 or $2. But I always try to give something. God says "Do not appear before me empty-handed." (Cf Deuteronomy 16: 16). I take this injunction seriously.

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

“My kingdom does not belong to this world..... “Then you are a king?” [Pilate asked Jesus]. Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
(John 18: 33.... 37).

Sunday November 21st 2021 is the Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 19, 2021

How to save Marriage.

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

Saturday 20th November 2021, in the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time. Let us keep the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of All Saints this Saturday.

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

Marriage may be saved through:
#1. Re-evangelising the marriage candidates. This may take more than six months. RCIA/OCIA process takes between one year and three years.
#2. Strong and effective catechesis.
#3. Basic sacramentalization especially on the meaning of Baptism in the Christian dispensation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 18, 2021

My House is a House of Prayer.

"Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Luke 19: 45..... 48).

Friday 19th November 2021, in the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time.

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne.

"As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes..... you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19: 41... 44).

Thursday 18th November 2021, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne. (1769 - 1852). French. Virgin and Religious. The French Revolution disrupted her religious formation. She waited for 11 years to join a new Congregation: The Society of the Sacred Heart. At the age of 49, St Rose undertook her missionary journey to America. She founded schools to educate girls.

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

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

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

Jesus wept for Jerusalem because they did not recognize what makes for peace. Do we recognize what makes for peace? I like the answer provided in Romans 12: 2 :
"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."

Father, in Your will is our peace!

"When nothing is clear, when nothing is foreseeable, it is the moment to make many acts of confidence. You will repeat them as often as necessary and, in them, you will find peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (IN SINU JESU, The Vigil of October 13th , Anniversary of the Great Miracle of Fatima).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary, Mother and Franciscan Tertiary.

"He [Noble man] called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return." (Luke 19: 11.... 28).

Wednesday 17th November 2021, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time is also the feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary. (1207 - 1231) Religious. Born Hungarian Princess. Married a German Prince. In her short life of only 23 years, Elizabeth had four children and then became a Franciscan Tertiary after the death of her husband. She spent the rest of her life bringing comfort to the poor, the sick and the aged.

Our Gospel today is the Gold Coins Parable. The Ten Gold Coins represent the Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure God has entrusted to each of us. I asked myself: What particular talent does God entrust me with? Not Treasure since I have little money and little love for money. Not talent since I do not feel specially gifted in any particular area. But I find that God has gifted me with Abundant Time.
Time for what?
Time for Prayer, Word of God, Eucharist and Ministry.

My great prayer and desire is to hear Jesus say to me:
‘Well done, Emmanuel! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten ministries."

The bystanders said to Jesus:
"Sir, Emmanuel has ten gold coins.’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Feast of St Margaret of Scotland & St Gertrude.

"At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” (Luke 19: 1....10).

Tuesday 16th November 2021, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Margaret of Scotland (1046 - 1093). Born Hungarian and married to King Malcolm of Scotland. Mother of 8 children who raised her children in the fear of the Lord. She is noted especially for her love for the poor. Margaret is the Patroness of Scotland.

Today is also the feast of St Gertrude. (1256 - 1301). Virgin. German. Known as Gertrude the Great, she was a respected scholar and mystic. Over 300 years before St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Gertrude, a mystic like Margaret Mary introduced the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pope Benedict XVI, says that St Gertrude “shows us that the heart of a happy life, of a true life, is friendship with the Lord Jesus.”

Our Gospel for today deals with the lovely story of Zacchaeus. Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Jesus changed his plan in order to stay with Zacchaeus for the night. From what we learn from the Gospel, Zacchaeus is a very interesting and nice man. Jesus delights to hang out with these types of personality. Remember Matthew the Tax Collector who became St Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist?

The story of Zacchaeus teaches us the following lessons:

#1. Zacchaeus is a better human being than many of his critics.
#2. Jesus delights in showing mercy to people like Matthew and Zacchaeus.
#3. Zacchaeus seized the opportunity of his accusations to volunteer a restitution. His wealth did not possess Zacchaeus.
#4. Zacchaeus welcomes Jesus in his home with joy. How do we welcome Jesus after Holy Communion?

Jesus shows His delight with Zacchaeus by saying:
“Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

The Son of Man came to seek and save the likes of Zacchaeus and Matthew and us.

"Make it your first care to find the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 The kingdom of God is present in all its fullness, though in a hidden manner, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. He who seeks out My Eucharistic presence is seeking the kingdom of God. He who approaches Me in the Sacrament of My love will find the kingdom and therein all that he desires according to My Spirit. Come first to Me in the Sacrament of My love. Let this become the supernatural instinct of your soul: always to come to Me, always to seek My Eucharistic Face." (IN SINU JESU, Monday, August 25, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 14, 2021

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

"As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” (Luke 18: 35... 43).

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

The Gospel of St Mark has Bartimaeus as the name of the man in today's Gospel. Bartimaeus without sight represents a person without faith. Bartimaeus with his sight restored is the type of person who believes. Bartimaeus wanted his sight so badly that he shouted above the noise of the crowd trying to silence him. “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

All I have enjoyed in life is as a result of faith.
I am saved by grace through faith.
Scripture says that the man whom God has made righteous shall live by faith. I believe it.
I believe in Prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in Miracles.
I believe in the mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence of God.
I believe that in the will of God is our peace and prosperity.
I surrender every thing to God.

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 13, 2021

My words will not pass away.

"Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Matthew 24: 34 - 35).

Sunday 14th November 2021, in the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time.

With the end of the Church Liturgical Year in one week, the Gospel of this Sunday focuses on the End Times. When will it be? How will it happen? Who are the big players? How do we recognize the signs of the times?

The Church devotes paragraphs #675 to 679 of the Catechism to answer the questions of the End Times. Below is a very illuminating paragraph into what to know and what to expect:

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." (CCC 675).

For those who may not take Christ's pronouncements on the End Times seriously, Jesus says:
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."

Come Lord Jesus!

"If you would abide in Me, according to My word, you must begin by abiding with Me. The union to which I have called you, a fruitful union with Myself, will begin in the time you dedicate exclusively to Me and to My companionship. Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear My voice, and open to Me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. (Apocalypse 3:20). Those souls who never abide with Me remain closed to the graces of union with Myself that I so desire to give them. Time spent in My presence softens the heart and makes it permeable to the love that radiates from My Eucharistic Heart. Time spent in My presence allows the eyes of the soul to adjust, in faith, to the brightness of My Eucharistic Face." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, April 7, 2016).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Feast of St Frances Xavier Cabrini.

"Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary." (Luke 18: 1.... 18).

Saturday 13th November 2021, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Frances Xavier Cabrini. (1850 - 1917). Virgin. Italian. Patroness of Immigrants.

Our saint for today overcame the first obstacle to her vocation: fear of drowning.  She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to serve immigrants in schools, hospitals and parishes in the United States. Before she died in 1917, St Frances Xavier Cabrini had traversed the seas about 30 times planting missionary services to the vulnerable in many countries of the world.

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

Jesus Christ chose St Frances Xavier Cabrini to be a symbol of His tender care for immigrants. This is why the Church honors her today. In honoring her, we glorify Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of all immigrants.

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Feast of St Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr.

"Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it."  (Luke 17: 33).

Friday 12th November 2021, in the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr.  (1580 - 1623). Born in Poland, ministered and martyred in Ukraine. Josaphat spent his life working for the reconciliation and unity of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church. He paid the supreme price for this with his life.

"Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it."  How do you seek to preserve your life? Example:  After the Corona Virus vaccine was approved in the US, there was a great scramble to get the shot. Why? People were terrified of dying from the virus. They did everything within their power to preserve their lives.

Is their great scramble to get to the Church on Easter Sunday or Christmas? Or Ordinary Sunday?
Our saint of today, St Josaphat had the opportunity to preserve his life by hiding from his killers. He chose to die as Jesus did when He refused to come down from the Cross when His enemies taunted Him to do so and prove that He is the Son of God.

No man can serve two masters at the same time. If you elect to serve the world, you must be running here and there trying to preserve your life. First from any pandemics, next from any terminal disease, then from inflation and so forth and so on.

Stop running and realize that it is impossible for any human being to preserve his life. When God, the Lord of life calls a soul home, there is no negotiation.

"The attack on My priesthood that appears to be spreading and growing is, in fact, in its final stages. It is a satanic and diabolical onslaught against My Bride the Church, an attempt to destroy her by attacking the most wounded of her ministers in their carnal weaknesses; but I will undo the destruction they have wrought and I will cause My priests and My Spouse the Church to recover a glorious holiness that will confound My enemies and be the beginning of a new era of saints, of martyrs, and of prophets."  (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, March 2, 2010).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Feast of St Martin of Tours.

"I shall raise up for myself a faithful priest who will act in accord with my heart and my mind, says the Lord." (1 Samuel 2: 35 Entrance Antiphon).

Thursday 11th November 2021, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Martin of Tours. (316 - 397). Bishop. St Martin was born of pagan parents in modern day Hungary.

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

Our key Scripture for today is taken from the Entrance Antiphon on the Feast of St Martin of Tours. The Lord made Martin a faithful priest who embraced God's will in everything. Martin founded a monastery in France and was consecrated later as the Bishop of Tours. He sent missionaries to evangelize France. France is one of the earliest Christian countries in the world and is known as the Elder Daughter of the Church.

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

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

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

"As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” (Luke 17: 11... 19).

Wednesday 10th November 2021, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of a giant of our faith: St Leo the Great. (+ 461). Pope. Italian. Doctor of the Church.
Leo was from a Roman aristocratic family. He was the first of three popes in the history of the Church to be called "the Great."

Pope Benedict XVI said that Leo's papacy "was undoubtedly one of the most important in Church history." Leo is remembered in history for many things. Here are the two things that stand out for me:
#1 Leo put his stamp on the authoritative definition of who Jesus Christ is: Jesus Christ is true God (100%) and true Man (100%).
#2 The mighty Roman Empire was collapsing right and left during the pontificate of Pope Leo. Leo persuaded Attila the Hun to turn back from the gates of Rome and Rome was spared destruction.

The Gospel of today deals with the cleansing of Ten Lepers. “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” The Ten were all healed on their way to the priest.
"As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him."

Why did the other nine not come back to give thanks to God? Every parent teaches their young ones to always give thanks for gifts they receive or favors done to them. "Junior, have you said 'thank you"? You hammer this lesson in until it is learned. Why then do adults forget this lesson as they grow older?

The Scripture teaches us to give thanks to God always and for everything. When this sacred and simple injunction is not obeyed, it is a symptom of deep spiritual malaise: The offender has not realized that all the good things he enjoys in life come from God alone. There is no such thing as luck or chance in life. "T'is not from chance comes our blessings but from Your gracious ordaining O Lord our God." (Cf 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4).

The Eucharist is God’s greatest gift to us. Eucharist means Thanksgiving to remind us to give thanks always for this tremendous gift.

"Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

"Believe in My promises, and go forward full of thanksgiving and hope. I will teach you all that you need to know as you go forward. I will not give you My words ahead of time, but I will give them to you as you need them, at the moment chosen by My loving providence. Renounce the desire to control and arrange things ahead of the time that I have decreed. Each thing has its own moment, and that moment alone and no other brings with it the grace sufficient to your need, to your weakness, and to the task at hand. I am proceeding this way with you because I want you to trust Me completely, to trust Me in all things, great and small."  (Thursday, July 10, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 08, 2021

The Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran Basilica.

"Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.....
Jesus made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” (John 2: 13.... 22).

Tuesday 9th November 2021, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. The Church of the Pope as the Bishop of Rome. The Lateran has been known as the "Mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world."

Why is this an important feast and why are we celebrating it? In the Gospel of today,  Jesus expressed an outrage at the way the holy Temple was desecrated. It is therefore appropriate to reflect on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica the theme of the sanctity of the Place of Abode of God. Every Catholic Church is consecrated to be holy and equipped with the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament. Below are other reasons why today's feast is very important.

#1 The Church is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The destiny of the Church is prophesied in the key Scripture for today: "A new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband."
#2 The Lateran Basilica is the Church of the Pope, Successor St Peter and Universal  Pastor of the flock of Jesus Christ.
#3 This feast is celebrated worldwide and makes the faithful remember these important truths of our salvation. Especially the truth that the Church is Catholic, that is, universal.
#4 It is God's desire to dwell with us. The physical church is a symbol of this mystery. (Cf Revelation 21: 3).

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

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Lord Jesus increase our faith.

"And the Apostles said to the Lord, “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: 1... 6).

Monday 8th November 2021, in the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture deals with the all important question of faith.
"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).

I thank our Lord Jesus for the mustard size faith that I have. Because of this small faith, I am who I am. Everything I enjoy in life like the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Sunday leisure, etc comes from faith.

In the 11th Chapter of Hebrews, we see the portrait of faith drawn through the key characters of the Hebrew Scriptures. For example: Abraham, David, Elijah, etc. We may add to this list: Mary, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, Paul, etc. All these people lived by faith and fulfilled the spiritual law that "the just man shall live by faith." (Cf Habakkuk 2: 4, Romans 1: 17, Galatians 3: 11, Hebrews 10: 38).

How do we get faith?
"So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ." (Romans 10: 17 AMP).

Do you believe the message below?
"God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life." (John 3: 16).

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

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, November 06, 2021

The Widow trusts God’s Providence.

"He [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”  (Mark 12: 38.... 44).

Sunday 7th November 2021 in the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture, the Widow's Mite and the first Reading from first Book of Kings teach us lessons on how to give to God.

Before you give, know that God owns everything and needs absolutely nothing. Giving to God actually is a test of how much you trust God. Then consider all that God has given for you: life, health, family, job, food, etc.
Then respond to what your heart tells you knowing that you can not out do God in generosity.

"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose, near restful waters he leads me." (Psalm 23:1 - 2).

"So much time and energy is wasted in futile worrying and in endless discussions about what is needed and how to go about getting it. Simply present your needs to Me with a trusting heart and I will show you that I am a lavish provider for those who let Me take charge of their needs. The obstinate desire to control all things and to obtain by purely human means the things necessary to My work is an affront both to My merciful love and to My infinite generosity. Has this not been My message all through sacred history: “Trust Me, and you shall see wonders”?  (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, February 3, 2009).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, November 05, 2021

Go for the genuine riches.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “...... The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?
...... No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Luke 16: 9.... 15).

Saturday 6th November 2021, in the 31st Week in Ordinary Time is the First Saturday in November. We celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Gospel today shouts one clear lesson:
We are stewards of God's Time, Talent and Treasure.
The conclusion of Jesus is simple to understand:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
Invest part of your money in spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Contribute to missionary endeavors, distribute Bibles and Rosaries. Sponsor seminarians.

When you arrive at the gate of Heaven after your death, there will be a crowd to welcome you. "Without you, I wouldn't have been a priest, a Christian, a missionary, etc."

You will find that "dishonest wealth" has procured your salvation. This is taught St John Chrysostom, St Ambrose and other teachers.

"Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father." (Communion Antiphon Cf. Luke 11: 27).

"Above all there is My Holy Mother, My all-beautiful and Immaculate Mother Mary. She is where I am. She is close to the priest who is close to Me in the Sacrament of My love. Nothing gives so much joy to her Immaculate Heart as seeing one of her priest sons in adoration before My Eucharistic Face. She opens her hands over him—as she is doing over you at this very moment—and causes a shower of graces to fall into his soul. Love My Mother, love My Mother more and more. You will never approach the love of My own Heart for her by yourself, but I, by My free gift, can and will unite you to the love of My Sacred Heart for her. Thus will you come to experience the ineffable union of our two Hearts in your own heart."  (Thursday, April 24, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this First Friday. November 5th.

November 5th, 2021 First Friday in November.

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 2021, 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."

Promise #11 is not hard to fulfill.  Just promote the Sacred Heart Devotion.  Since nobody can give that which he has not, make sure you have some testimonies in case someone asks you: "What has the Sacred Heart done for you?"

Start your promotion small.  Order 20 to 50 Sacred Heart of Jesus cards from Amazon or from your local Catholic Bookstore.  Few dollars. Get the ones with the picture of the Sacred Heart in front and the Promises on the back. Give them to family, relatives and friends.  Leave some in the Church lobby.  You are already on the way as a promoter of the Sacred Heart devotion. I have left some cards in public libraries.

Remind the Lord often of these promises especially those that touch your present need. Jesus loves to be reminded of His promises.  Not that He forgets.  It is important for you to know deeply that the Lord is faithful.  Friends, this is really a question of whether you trust the promises Jesus or not. Review the 12 Promises about once a month to see which promises have been fulfilled.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

For the Sacred Heart of Jesus Promises, Prayers, Prayer intentions, click the link below:

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

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