Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Spirit helps us when we pray.

"Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will."  Romans 8: 26.... 30).

Wednesday 27th October 2021 in the 30th Week in Ordinary Time.

The Spirit prays in us.  This is the great promise and gift of Prayer. Are you aware of this promise? Do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pray well?
The Spirit of God knows the mind of God. He knows the plan of God for our life. The Spirit knows the providences of God laid out for our entire life.

The best thing we can do is to befriend the Holy Spirit. Writing of the Holy Spirit St Basil, the great Father of the Church writes:

"From the Spirit comes foreknowledge of the future, understanding of the mysteries of faith, insight into the hidden meaning of Scripture, and other special gifts. Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we enter into eternal happiness, and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations – we become God." (St Basil).

To learn more about the Holy Spirit click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-abc-of-holy-spirit.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 25, 2021

Nobody can escape suffering in this world.

"Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us."
(Romans 8: 18.... 25).

Tuesday 26th October 2021, in the 30th Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture  highlights the opportunity of suffering. Only Christianity has an answer to the problem of suffering. The Catholic Church has the most complete and inspired teaching on the question of suffering.

St Paul who wrote the Letter to the Romans suffered a lot in the course of his ministry and at the end of his life was beheaded by Emperor Nero.   Jesus Himself predicted the sufferings of St Paul. "For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)

Suffering may be a mystery to man but not to God. Suffering is in God's grand design for the salvation of mankind.

Everyone must suffer one thing or the other  he before leaves this earth.
Kings suffer; common man suffers. Popes and priests suffer. Doctors and nurses suffer.

All sufferings come from disease, ignorance and poverty. Ultimately, Sin is the cause of human suffering.

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1: 2 - 4).

The Church teaches that all suffering can be salvific as shown above by the Letter of St James to the Universal Church. If you invest in understanding the teaching of the Church on sufferings, you will be happy and enjoy peace and contentment in life.

"You cannot see from where you are in this life now the power and value of sufferings united to My own. Anything given to Me, anything placed in My priestly hands, I lift up and offer to the Father, covered with My precious Blood. It is this that makes your sufferings, even the smallest ones, precious to Me, and precious in the sight of My Father." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Woman you are set free.

"Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God."  (Luke 13: 10....17).

Monday 25th October 2021, in the 30th Week in Ordinary Time.

A woman who was shackled by an illness that crippled her for 18 years was set free by Jesus in an instant. The lesson is clear. What Jesus did for the woman, He can do for you. It is sad to note that some people think that the age of miracle is past. Not at all. Do not hide your unbelief by such unwarranted assertion.

In Romans 1 last week we saw that Abraham and David learned how God justified them. God did not declare Abraham and David righteous because of their hard work. He declared them justified because of their faith. In order words, because they trusted God.

In the first Reading from Romans 8, Paul declared:
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”

In the Gospel, Jesus called the crippled woman, "This daughter of Abraham."
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."

Why must you be shackled by illness, debt, poverty, joblessness if these conditions are not the express will of God for the daughter of Abraham or the son of God?

Our God is the Father of orphans and the defender of widows and He dwells in His holy place.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
He leads forth prisoners to prosperity." (Cf Psalm 68).
Your blessings are ordained by God. Stretch out your hands and receive them.

"The Blood of my Son brings purity and healing and new life wherever it flows. Implore the power of the precious Blood over yourself and over all priests. Whenever you are asked to intercede for souls, invoke the power of the precious Blood over them, and present them to the Father covered with the Blood of the Lamb." (Mary, IN SINU JESU pg 37).

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

The reward of the faith and persistence of Bartimaeus.

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”.... Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way." (Mark 10: 46.... 52).

Sunday 24th October 2021 in the 30th Week in Ordinary Time.

We have the beautiful story of Bartimeus for our reflection.

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” (Mark 10: 47).

This is the desperate cry of a blind man called Bartimaeus.  First lesson in today's Gospel:
#1.  Man's extremity is God's opportunity.  Man's security is Satan's opportunity.

Jesus encourages Bartimaeus to step forward to his presence. Jesus asks him:
“What do you want me to do for you?”  (Mark 10: 51).

#2.  Bartimaeus did not beat about the bush after he was told:
"Jesus is calling you." (Mark 10: 49). 

Bartimeus had waited for this opportunity since the day he heard the story of Jesus and His miracles from his family. He rehearsed what to do when the opportunity presents itself:
“Master, I want to see.”  (Mark 10: 51).

The ever merciful Jesus never redeems in halves. With Him is always full redemption:
“Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way."  (Mark 10: 52).

The enduring lesson is the faith and persistence of Bartimaeus.

Hand over your extremities to Jesus and see what happens.

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Friday, October 22, 2021

The Feast of the Soldier Priest, St John Capistrano.

"And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13: 1... 9).

Saturday 23rd October 2021, 29th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St John Capistrano.  (1386 -1456). Italian Franciscan Priest. His charismatic preaching brought about great revival in the countries of Eastern Europe. John was one of the few clerics in history who led an army into battle. He did so to defend Europe against the menacing advances of the Turks.

Our key Scripture is the Parable of the barren Fig Tree. This is an allegory for the People of Israel. God wants a good return on His investment in Israel, the Church and in you and me.

How do we bear much fruit? Remain in Jesus.  What is the principle of productivity?  Abide in Christ.  How do we abide in Christ?

We live in Christ through the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a holy exchange of gift. Through it, Jesus shares with us His divine life. Another word for God's divine life in us is sanctifying grace.

Our fruitfulness depends therefore on this dynamic relationship with Christ living in us.
"Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit."  (John 15: 14, 15).

Fruitfulness is not addiction to activity.  It is believing God. It is knowing the will of God for you and doing it. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He will accomplish the work.

"I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion that he may live." (Ezekiel 33: 11).

"I am the source of all fruitfulness in the vineyard that is My Church. Apart from Me, you can do nothing. Come to Me, then. Remain with Me. Act for Me, guided by My Holy Spirit, and return to Me with thanksgiving. This is the secret of a priestly life that will be pleasing to Me, will build up My Church, and will glorify My Father." (IN SINU JESU page 103).

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Feast of Pope St John Paul II.

"Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain —and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot—and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to ­interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" (Luke 12: 54.... 59).

Friday 22nd October 2021, in the 29th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of of our beloved Pope St John Paul II. (1920 - 2005). Polish. First non-Italian Pope in 455 years.  Beatified May 1, 2011 and canonized April 27, 2014. Accomplished writer. He traveled all over the world to promote understanding between nations and between different cultures and religions.  He and President Ronald Regan contributed to the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

John Paul II wrote many important encyclicals. His enduring legacy is the Catechism of the Catholic Church which he promulgated in 1992.

In our key Scripture, Jesus reproached the crowd for being able to predict the coming of storms, tornados and hurricanes and failing to see the more important signs of the times. What are the Signs of the Times? The following historical events can be listed as examples of Signs of the Times:
1. Founding of the USA.
2. Ending of Slavery.
3. Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima.
4. World War II.
5. The Papacy of John Paul II.
6. The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
7. The Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
8. The Corona Virus Pandemics.
 
All that is required to know the Signs of the Times is Faith. Faith that God is the Author of history. He is the Alpha and Omega of history. You do not need a high school diploma or PhD to read and interpret the signs of history. Jesus asked:
“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?"

Pope St John Paul II is adept in reading the Signs of the Times as you can see when you read his biography. The Devil did not like this. He got him shot in Rome and caused him to suffer a lot. The Blessed Mother saved his life.

"My bishops, too, must give the example of a personal devotion to My Mother’s Rosary. Let them look at the example given, in this regard, by My servant Pope John Paul II. The desire of My Heart is that every bishop should live in the intimacy of My most pure Mother, and learn the meaning of belonging entirely to her, Totus tuus." (IN SINU JESU, January 10, 2008 Thursday Hour of Adoration and Reparation).

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The wicked are like chaff.

"Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes." (Psalm 1: 3).

Thursday 21st October 2021, in the 29th Week in Ordinary Time.

We use today the Responsorial Psalm 1 for reflection. The theme of this beautiful and short Psalm can be: God’s Promises, Faith and Fulfillment.

"Blessed are they who hope in the Lord." Do you hope in the Lord? Or do you place your hope in the Government, Dollar, Supreme Court? Are you a happy person? Are you fulfilled?

Psalm 1 declares happy or blessed
"the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the Lord
and meditates on his law day and night."

That man is "like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers."

When does the promised fruit come? "In Due Season." That is in the fullness of time.

How about the wicked?
"Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes." (Psalm 1: 4).

I recently read two books on Hitler and Napoleon back to back . These men were the two most powerful and wicked men in their time. What did I learn from the study? The wicked are indeed like chaff. They will not last. Their memories will not endure.

"I will not abandon or forsake you. I am faithful. I have chosen you and you are Mine. Why do you doubt My love for you? Have I not given you signs of My favour? Have I not shown you that My mercy has prepared for you a future full of hope? Did I not promise you years of happiness, of holiness, and of peace? My blessing is upon you and the designs of My Heart are about to unfold for you. You have only to trust Me. Believe that I will keep you as the apple of My eye." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, February 14, 2008).

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Feast of St Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  (Luke 12: 39.... 48).

Wednesday 20th October 2021, in the 29th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Paul of the Cross. (1694 - 1775). Italian. Priest, mystic, Founder of the Passionists. The charism of St Paul of the Cross is a profound understanding of the mystery of the Cross and translating this understanding into a plan of life. The Passionists founded by St Paul of the Cross were noted for preaching and retreat. I have been blessed to attend a Parish Mission preached by a Passionist.

The core theme of our key Scripture is:  "You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” This Scripture will be a perfect delight to the Passionists. The whole point of a retreat is the transformation of life and readiness for transition to the next life. Nobody knows when the hour or the place the call will come. What we know is that it is not negotiable.

What do you do if you can not negotiate your final moment or place of transition from this world? Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray for everything. Scan the word of God every day. Receive the Eucharist as often as you can.
Jesus Christ, the Leader of our Faith has bestowed a lot on His Church.

"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

"You did the right thing in coming to Me with your feelings of aloneness. I am here for you, and you, you are here for Me, only for Me, and for no other. Do you think that I will not honour the sacrifice you made in coming to live here for Me, with Me, close to Me by day and by night? Understand just a little the sorrow of My Eucharistic Heart that is utterly forsaken in countless tabernacles all over the world. Why do I multiply My glorious presence in so real and miraculous a way, if not to be close to the souls whom I love with a burning passion and with a consummate tenderness? And I am left alone. Often I am forgotten from one week to the next or, worse yet, I am treated like a thing, like a commodity kept in reserve in case of need. This was not My intention in instituting this Sacrament of My redeeming love." (IN SINU JESU, Sunday, October 19, 2008 Saint Paul of the Cross).

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Monday, October 18, 2021

The Feast of St John de Brebeuf, Isaac Joques and the Companion Martyrs.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them."

Tuesday 19th October 2021, 29th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the North American Martyrs: John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues and companions. All French and all of the Society of Jesus. 8 in all, 6 priests and 2 brothers. They labored day and night under harsh conditions with almost the certainty of martyrdom to bring Jesus Christ to the Native Americans. In faith these martyrs believed Jesus that He came to found an everlasting Kingdom of peace, joy and happiness for ever and ever. It is God's will for all people to be saved. They lost their lives in bringing this message to Native Americans.

In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of the urgency of the Kingdom of God.

#1. I stand by the door and knock. Please open to Me that I may come in and dine with you.

#2.  Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.

#3. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

What is your attitude to the urgency of Christ's message?
The North American Martyrs we honor today were well educated young men from France. They heard the same message and each decided to respond to it with believing action.
"O that you will hear his voice today; harden not your heart."

"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).

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist.

"At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it." (2 Timothy 4: 16 - 17).

Monday 18th October 2021, in the 29th Week in Ordinary Time.
Today, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St Luke the Evangelist and rejoices in his gift to the Church.

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

When I first became acquainted with our key Scripture, I was in the midst of a struggle in a corporate company. What struck me was this sentence. "But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength."  I was storming heaven with prayers.  I received strength and encouragement from Jesus.  Since then, I have grown a bit in experience of the word of God and spirituality.

I have learned and I believe that Jesus strengthens us in our tribulations and struggles. The Scripture provides consolations and counsels:

#1. Do not put your trust in princes or any mortal man.
#2. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and mind and not in your experience, knowledge, contacts. Only God can stand by you come what may.

Jesus inside you and me is the hope of glory. There is nothing we cannot do because of Jesus who strengthens us from the inside. Call it INSIDE JOB. Jesus promises us:
"I will never leave you nor forsake you." I don't know about you but these proven promises make my heart palpitate with joy.

"Let every priest present himself as a friend of Jesus, and his ministry will soon take on the efficacy and fruitfulness that characterized that of Saint John, of Saint Paul, and of My first apostles. The friend speaks with the authority that only experience can confer." (IN SINU JESU, March 30, 2008 Sunday of Divine Mercy).

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Come to Jesus our Compassionate High Priest with Supreme Confidence.

"Brothers and sisters: Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help." (Hebrews 4: 14 -16).

Sunday 17th October 2021, in the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture is from the 2nd Reading this Sunday. I have always liked the message.
Come to Jesus our merciful and compassionate High Priest with trust and confidence to receive grace and mercy at the nick of time. That is, at the very moment you are in need of grace and mercy.

We are told by the Evangelist John that the Law comes through Moses but grace and mercy come through Jesus Christ. (Cf John 1: 17).

How do we get hold of this grace and mercy? That is the lesson that Abraham learned from God. (Cf Romans 1). It is not from our might or hard work but in trusting confidence in God. David the man after God's heart learned too the same lesson.  Prayer is the Activator of Power.

"So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."

"Here in My presence I will fill you, not only for yourself, but also for all those to whom it will be given you to transmit My messages of love and of mercy. I want also that you should speak to them of My solitude in the tabernacle. Certain sophisticated minds will laugh at this. They forget that I am not there like some inanimate object. It is My Heart that waits for you in the tabernacle; it is My gaze that, full of tenderness, fixes itself, from the tabernacle, on those who draw near to it. I am not there for My own sake. I am there to feed you and to fill you with the joys of My presence." (IN SINU JESU, Monday, October 29, 2007 - BEFORE VESPERS).

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Friday, October 15, 2021

The Feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque & St Hedwig.

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

Saturday 16th October 2021 in the 28th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647 - 1690). St Margaret is the French Visitation Nun that brought the world the private revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus owe St Margaret Mary eternal gratitude for her great work.

Today is also the feast of St Hedwig (1173 - 1243). Wife of the Duke of Poland and mother of 7 children. After the death of her husband, Hedwig took the habit of a Nun and lived the rest of her life in a Cistercian monastery that she and her late husband had founded.

I have always loved the key Scripture for today. "When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
Do you believe this to be true? Yes. I believe it to be true because I have experienced the truth several times. The Lord has been by my side and given me wisdom words to say when I was in most need of such counsels. I have been full of amazement and have never forgotten the experience.

St Margaret Mary, our Saint for today is full of confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Abraham and David taught us that trust and confidence in God cause God to make us righteous.  We are not justified by our works.

"Allow Me to speak words of peace to your soul. Trust Me in all things. Trust that I will not abandon you, nor will I deprive you of My friendship. My desire is to hold conversation with you, to speak to you, as I have often said, heart to heart, as a man converses with his best friend. Why do you doubt? Believe in My friendship for you. It is My gift to you, and I will not withdraw what I have given you out of the love of My Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, October 17, 2008 Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque."

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Feast of St Teresa of Avila, Mystic and Doctor of the Church.

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?  If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4: 1 - 3 NIV).

Friday 15th October 2021, 28th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of a great Church woman: St Teresa of Jesus, known also as St Teresa of Avila. (1515 - 1582). Spanish Carmelite and a great Reformer. She was a mystic and talented spiritual writer. St Teresa is best remembered for her outstanding works in ascetical and mystical theology which earned her the title of Doctor of the Church. Her books continue to be popular today.

Teresa's great knowledge and love for God gave her great confidence in the mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence of God.
Here is how St Teresa expresses her total trust in God's Providence.

"Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices."  (St Teresa of Avila).

Our key Scripture from Romans 4 teaches us about what Abraham and David learned about God. God is not interested in how hard you work or pray. God is interested in how much you trust Him. How do you respond to His words to you? In obedience of faith like Abraham, David and Mary or in scorn and disobedience like Cain and Saul?
David spoke of the happiness of those declared righteous by God without working for it.

"I spoke to you in the words of Psalm 90 to give you an assurance of My protection and of My care for you at every moment, but especially now in these days that will lead you into the fulfilment of My plan. Trust in My protection. Go forward without fear. I will illumine the hearts of those with whom you will have to deal, and the doors will open before you, because this is My work and its hour has come." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 15, 2011 Saint Teresa of Jesus).

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Feast of St Callistus.

"But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are."  (Romans 3: 21 - 22 NLT).

Thursday 14th October 2021, 28th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Callistus (+222).Pope and Martyr.
How does history remember Pope St Callistus? From slave to pope to martyr. Pope St Callistus reminds us of our current Pontiff, Pope Francis. A Pope opposed openly by his Bishops, clergy and theologians. Why? Because of the uncompromising stand of Callistus that the Church must show mercy and forgive even the worst of sinners. This struggle in the Church with the Rigorist faction outlived St Callistus who was martyred by Emperor Alexander Severus. Pope Francis faces the same opposition over the sacramental discipline of Marriage.

Our key Scripture for today is a wonderful proclamation of the truth of God, of the consolation of Scriptures:
"The just shall live by faith." This is a timeless truth and appears in many Scripture passages:
(Habakkuk 2: 4, Romans 1: 17, Galatians 3: 11, Hebrews 10: 38).

All the saints of God live by faith. It is not possible to live otherwise.
Abraham is called the Father of faith because he lived by faith and not by sight or feelings. The Blessed Virgin Mary through faith replied to the Angel's message: "Let it be done to me according to Your word."

Our saint of today Callistus whose name means "Shinning" is a man of deep faith otherwise how could he have given his one life for the faith.

How do we grow in faith? We grow in faith when we perform frequently acts of faith. For example:
Prayer, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Almsgiving, Fasting, Acts of Charity, etc.  All these will be meaningless without faith.

Grow your faith and begin to live the promised abundant life.

"The Eucharist is transforming for all who receive Me with faith and with confident devotion, but it is especially so for My priests. It is by the reception of My Body and Blood that you will grow in My friendship and in the shining priestly holiness by which I want to be glorified in you and in all My priests." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, January 3, 2008 The Holy Name of Jesus).

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Do not judge so that you will not be judged harshly.

"You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true. Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" (Romans 2: 1... 11).

Wednesday 13th October 2021, in the 28th Week in Ordinary Time.

The first Reading from Romans deals with harsh, ignorant and hypocritical judgements.

Let us stop judging the so-called public sinners. God shows no partiality.
If you commit abortion,
If you commit fornication or adultery,
If you cheat on your taxes,
If you haul racial insults on your neighbor,
God shows no partiality in dealing with you. He who breaks one law has broken all the laws. (James 2: 10).
So stop judging that you may not be judged harshly.

"If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel." (Psalm 130: 3 - 4).

"The blessing of the priest is a great means by which good is made to triumph over evil, love over hatred, and mercy over judgment. Similarly, the blessing given with the relics of My saints pleases Me much. I am glorified in My saints, and I pass through them to distribute the riches of My Heart in the universe of souls." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, October 10, 2007).

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Monday, October 11, 2021

I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

"Brothers and sisters: I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek. For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”  (Romans 1:16... 25).

Tuesday 12th October 2021, in the 28th Week in Ordinary Time.

Why did Paul say: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel." Because the Gospel was so new at the time and has not become socially acceptable. Mind you Jesus was officially condemned to death and crucified naked like a criminal. It takes guts to be associated with such a fellow.

The Gospel or Good News is Jesus and vice versa.
These people were not ashamed of the poverty, nakedness and crime imputation to Jesus:
#1. Mary stood under the Cross for hours.
#2. The 3 Magi from the East saw the new born King of the world under abject poverty and were not ashamed to bow down and worship Him.
#3. The holy elderly prophet and prophetess Simeon and Anna were witnesses to the truth that Mary and Joseph made an offering of the poor for Jesus.

Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Do you see it as power? Three things that might indicate that you are ashamed of the Gospel:

#1. Missing Mass on Sunday.
#2. Making light of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
#3. Ashamed to say the grace before meal in a restaurant.

"Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luke 9: 26).

"When you bring to your Mass all that you have experienced—your whole life story—you allow Me to redeem those things that are most dark, bitter, and painful by taking them into the mystery of My sacrifice. Come to the altar with your sins, even with those of which you are most ashamed, and I shall show you that I have already taken them upon Myself and expiated them in My Blood." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, January 28, 2016).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR GOD.

"There is no need for you to become fearful and anxious. All will come to pass as I promised, but according to My perfect plan and at the time I have chosen, the best possible time for you and for all concerned. Continue to trust Me and tell Me often that all your trust is in the merciful goodness of My Heart. I will not fail you nor will I leave you open to the destructive influences that are seeking to undermine this work that is Mine. I chose you, the most broken and sin-sick of all My priests, in order to fill your poverty with My gifts and to display My power in your weakness.  Your soul was marked by deep wounds, the wounds inflicted by impurity and by sin at so tender an age. You could have continued down the path of evil prepared for you by Satan and his instruments, but My Mother intervened to save you, and she obtained from Me that you should carry out this work of adoration, reparation, and service to My beloved priests." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, May 27, 2010). 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Called and anointed to spread the Name of Jesus.

"Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1: 1... 7).

Monday 11th October 2021, in the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, is the feast of Pope St John XXIII. (1881 - 1963). Italian. Pontiff.
Pope St John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council which transformed the Church. He wrote the popular encyclical Pacem in Terris. He was a humble and well beloved Pope and was popularly called the Good Pope. I like very much this quote below from him:

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do." (Pope St John XXIII).

The Church starts reading the Letter to the Romans today. We draw our key Scripture from Romans 1: 1 - 7.  Paul was not boasting when he said that he was called and set apart to preach the Good News to the nations. One prerequisite for greatness is to know and believe that you are unique and irrepeatable not just in your DNA but in your Mission DNA.
Everyone has a unique and special purpose. Because of Paul's special charism, Jesus Himself reveals Paul's special mission:
"But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites." (Acts 9: 15).

Do you know your purpose on earth? The excitement that St Paul felt throughout his ministry came from his knowledge of his purpose. Paul knew what he was doing and why he was doing it.
How do you find out your purpose in life? There are many books on how to do this. Most are in the area of self-development psychology.
If you really want to find out your purpose on earth, JUST ASK GOD.
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7: 7 NLT).
This is THE PROMISE FROM GOD. JESUS KEEPS HIS PROMISES AS GOD.

"Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

"If there are so few priests in certain places, it is above all because those that are there have forsaken Me in the Sacrament of My love and no longer live in My friendship. Let every priest present himself as a friend of Jesus, and his ministry will soon take on the efficacy and fruitfulness that characterized that of Saint John, of Saint Paul, and of My first apostles. The friend speaks with the authority that only experience can confer." (IN SINU JESU, March 30, 2008 Sunday of Divine Mercy).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, October 09, 2021

The Spirit of Wisdom is very precious.

"I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands." (Wisdom 7: 7 - 11).

Sunday 10th October 2021, in the 28th Week in Ordinary Time.

The Spirit of Wisdom is more precious than gold and silver. This is the message of the first Reading in this 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. A rich young man in today's Gospel comes to Jesus to ask for wisdom for his life. Jesus looks at him, loves and offered him the best of the best wisdom: “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

What would you do if you are this rich young man? I might say to Jesus: "This is a hard saying. Let me think about it for a while."
The Gospel reports that when the man heard the reply of Jesus,  "his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions."

At the root of the young man's response is: Lack of faith and lack of wisdom. It is a sad and tragic response. The many possessions of the man have now possessed him and made him a slave. We see this situation too often in life. The Lord Jesus provides a solution in Matthew 6: 33.

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (NLT).

"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, October 08, 2021

Feast of St Denis of Paris and St John Leonardi.

"While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11: 27 - 28).

Saturday 9th October 2021, 27th Week in Ordinary is the feast of St Denis, First Bishop of Paris, martyr and companion martyrs. (3rd century).
We honor too St John Leonardi (1541 - 1609). Italian priest. John qualified first as a pharmacist before he decided to become a priest. He founded the Order of Clerics Regular to serve sick people and those in prison.

In the short Gospel of today, Jesus praised His Mother saying: "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  What does it mean to be counted among the very happy because we hear the word of God and keep it? A clearcut example is the words of Jesus below:

"Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6: 27.... 38).

When we love our enemies,
When we do good to those who hate us,
When we bless those who curse us,
When we pray for those who mistreat us,
Then we do what Jesus says to us.

How about the joy and happiness that should follow our obedience? This is automatic. You may not notice the change at once. It could take months or even years. But when you notice the change you are happier.
I have two examples on this:
Last night before going to bed, I had a serious headache. It was as if my head was on fire. I turn to God the Father in such emergencies. I was inspired to take four tablets of Ibuprofen. I slept very soundly and felt good in the morning. It took some time before I remembered my condition last night. When I did, I thanked God.

I prayed to God for years to remove from me anxiety about money. A little while ago, I was reading something when I realized I had not worried about money for a long time. How long? Possibly a couple of years. Why did God not act as human and say to me: "SEE I HAVE JUST ANSWERED YOUR PRAYER!" That is not the way of the Almighty. God wants us to walk by faith and not by sight or feelings.

“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: 5.... 13).

The Archangel declared to Mary and she was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  "Behold I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as You promised."  At that instant, the Word became flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Weep for your priests.

"Gird yourselves and weep, O priests! wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation. Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the Lord, your God, and cry to the Lord!"  (Joel 1:13 - 15; 2:1).

Friday 8th October 2021, in the 7th Week in Ordinary Time. We shall honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our devotiins.

In our key Scripture for today, the Prophet rang out a dire warning to priests and all ministers of the Altar. Weep, wail, spend the night in sackcloth. Do your pastors need to hear these words? Now listen my fellow Christians.

No priest, No Eucharist.
No Eucharist, No Church.

Satan's design for the Church is no longer a secret.

#1. Infiltrate the Church with lying lips who have political agenda.
#2. Strike the priesthood with a mortal blow.
#3. Attack the magisterium with a withering, coordinated campaigns.
#4. Once the mighty Roman Church totters, wipe out the remnants with a mop up operation.

St Paul teaches that every prophecy in the Bible is there to warn us and prepare us for what will happen. Jesus says in Revelation 19: 10, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."  What the word prophesies will happen.

What shall we do brothers and sisters?
#1. Repentance and Sacramental Reconciliation.
#2. Prayer and the Eucharist.

"Reparation is at the heart of this work: adoring Me for the priests who do not adore Me; seeking Me for those who flee from before My Face; trusting Me for those who place all their trust in themselves and in the ways of the world. Above all, love Me. Love Me for the sake of those priests of Mine whose hearts have grown cold. Priests must offer themselves as victims for their brother priests. This is how I intend to purify, and heal, and sanctify, and restore the beauty of holiness to My priesthood: by associating victim priests to My own Sacrifice renewed on the altar, and by taking the offering of their sufferings into My own, so as to make them co-redeemers with Myself, co-redeemers of those priests who must be brought back from the distant regions of sin where Satan has held them captive for too long."  (IN SINU JESU, Friday, July 10, 2009).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.



“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: 5.... 13).

Thursday 7th October 2021, 27th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is known as Lady under many titles: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, etc.  Our Lady of the Rosary celebrates Mary as a powerful intercessor using the instrument of the Rosary Prayer.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus gives one of His most profound teaching on the Prayer of Petition. Here is what I got from reflecting on Jesus' teaching on the Prayer of Petition:

#1. Prayer works more than our expectation.
#2. Ask the Lord to open your mind and heart and show how prayers are answered. You will be amazed by God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence.
#3. Do not be unbelieving. Believe and experience the joy of answered prayer. It is sweet.

Here is what the Church teaches about the Rosary:

"The Rosary is very pleasing to our Mother in heaven; she herself has recommended it. There are two elements of the Holy Rosary: meditation on its mysteries and vocal prayer. The Rosary surely reaches the motherly heart of Mary and moves her to obtain abundant graces for us." (Roman Missal).

Two recent popes, Pope St Paul VI and Pope St John Paul II have highly recommended the Rosary. Most saints since the 1500s have said the Rosary without fail.

"Your Rosary is like a ladder that you climb step by step, drawing you closer to our Lady, which means finding Christ. It is a devotion which leads us to Christ through Mary." (Pope St Paul VI, Marialis Cultus).

St Louis Marie de Montfort, a man I have never heard of before my conversion and return to the Church introduced me to the Holy Rosary through his anointed book: THE SECRET OF THE HOLY Rosary.
I have said the Rosary every single day since over 25 years. The Rosary confirms every word of Jesus in the Gospel of today.

For the 15 Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary, click the link below:

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

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Feast of Saints Rose Marie Durocher and Bruno.

“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”  (Luke 11: 1... 4).

Wednesday 6th October 2021, in the 27th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Marie Rose Durocher. (1811 - 1849) Virgin. Canadian. Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary.

Today is also the feast of St Bruno (1030 - 1101). Priest. German. Founder of the Carthusian Order.

In Our Gospel of today, Jesus teaches His disciples and ourselves how to pray. The Our Father or the Lord's Prayer is the Prayer known and recited by all Christians. It is the model of what a pleasing Prayer to God should be. It lays down the sequence and order of both our praises and prayer intentions  according to St Augustine.

Let us reflect on the Our Father Prayer:

#1. Can you truly call God
FATHER, if you do not demonstrate this relationship in daily living?

#2.   Can you say HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME, if you , who are called by His name, do not endeavor to live a holy life?

#3.  Can you say YOUR KINGDOM COME, if you are unwilling to embrace God's sovereignty and accept Kingdom principles in your life.

#4.  Can you ask God with confidence GIVE US EACH DAY OUR DAILY BREAD if you refuse to work or if you refuse to share your bread with the needy?

#5. Can you honestly pray FORGIVE US OUR SINS FOR  WE OURSELVES FORGIVE EVERYONE IN DEBT TO US?

#6. Do you understand what you pray when you say AND DO NOT SUBJECT US TO THE FINAL TEST?
Are you prepared to put on the full armor of Christian warfare at all times and fight for Christian victory?

The two saints whose lives we celebrate today, Saints Bruno and Rose Marie Durocher are familiar with the meditation on the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer is the foundation of spirituality and the life of Prayer.

"My Father’s goodness and love remain hidden from so many souls. They have not understood that I came into the world to reveal My Father who is all love, and to draw souls to Him in filial confidence and in the joy of abandonment to His goodness. Love our Father. Trust our Father. Depend upon our Father in every weakness. This revelation of God as a Father who cherishes His children, and so loves them that He sent Me, His only-begotten Son, into the world to suffer and to die, lies at the very heart of My Gospel. Love My Father and open your heart to the immensity of His love for you. Thus will you become for Him, in Me, a beloved son in whom He takes delight." (IN SINU JESU, Monday, March 21, 2011).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, October 04, 2021

The Feast of St Maria Faustina.

"Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” (Luke 10: 38. .... 42).

Tuesday 5th October 2021, 27th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Secretary of Mercy, St Maria Faustina Kowalski (1905 - 1938). Polish. Nun of the Blessed Sacrament.

Jesus Christ our Merciful Savior communicated with St Maria Faustina His desire to have the Divine Mercy Devotion established. Maria was not well educated but she worked very hard to accomplish this divine purpose. Before she died in 1938, she left the world a book which has since become a classic: "Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalski." This book recounts the conversations of the mystic, Maria Faustina had with Jesus. This book is instrumental in the establishment of the Divine Mercy Devotion.

Our key Scripture for today is from the Gospel for today Luke 10: 38 - 42.  We meet Martha and Mary. Two sisters but different temperaments. Martha is the super charged fixer. Mary is the quiet contemplative type. To Martha's complaint, Jesus replied:

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

Jesus entrusted the Divine Mercy Devotion to Sister Maria Faustina. Maria did not have a theological education. No PhD. No Masters degree. Barely literate. This is the person Jesus chose to be His Secretary in the Divine Mercy project. Maria needed only one thing: Complete trust in Jesus. This is grace that No one can take from her.

The Divine Mercy Devotion may be summarized through the ABC of Mercy:

A = Ask for mercy.
B = Be Merciful.
C = Completely trust Jesus for mercy.

To learn how to recite the Divine Mercy Rosary, click on the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-to-recite-divine-mercy-rosary.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, October 03, 2021

The Feast of the Apostle of Care of Creation and Safe Environment: St Francis of Assisi, OFM.

"Francis, the man of God, left his home behind, abandoned his inheritance and became poor and penniless, but the Lord raised him up." (Entrance Antiphon on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi).

Monday, 4th October 2021 in the 27th week in Ordinary Time is the great feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Little One.

Who is St Francis of Assisi? (1182 - 1226). Italian. Deacon and Founder of the Order of Friars Minor, popularly known as the Franciscans. We Salute all our Franciscan friends all over the world who have labored in the Lord's Vineyard since the 1220s in all fields of the Apostolate. Persevere to the end and your reward will be huge.

Francis became famous for imitating closely the poverty of Jesus Christ in spirit and in deed. Holiness always attracts. After Francis was seized by Jesus and said Yes to the Lord, Francis soon attracted a group of like-minded young men who bound themselves together to live evangelical poverty, chastity and obedience. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Church has used simple men like Francis and the Franciscans to renew the Church which is ever in need of reform.

What comes to your mind when you hear of St Francis of Assisi in 2021?  Many people would think of a man of peace. "Lord, make me an instrument of peace..." Others will think of radical evangelical poverty... "The little poor man of Assisi." Both are salient attributes in the profile of this exceptionally gifted holy man. I want to mention too Francis' deep love of creation and care of the earth.  Most people that are aware of the impending disaster from Global Warming will know Francis of Assisi and his contribution to this topical debate.

Other pivotal figures raised up by Jesus for the renewal of the Church are:
Benedict, Clare, Dominic, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Teresa of Kolkata, etc.

Are you the next great Saint? You too can be a saint. You too can be an instrument of Peace. You too can be committed to preserving the beauty and goodness of the environment for future generations and become an apostle of Care for Creation and Safe Environment.

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

"We thank you for the beauty of creation: may the work of man not disfigure it, but enhance it to your greater glory."  Amen.

"For some time already, Our Lord has made me desire to have adoration on Thursday in thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist, and also in thanksgiving for the mystery of the priesthood. After Mass, I made my confession to the chaplain of the monastery. He confirmed certain things having to do with the resistances to grace that I confessed. He directed me towards the saints, something that corresponds exactly to the strong attraction to the friendship of the saints that has always marked my life." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, October 4, 2007 Saint Francis of Assisi).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Let the children come to Me.

“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them." (Mark 10: 2... 16).

Sunday 3rd October 2021, 27th Week in Ordinary Time.

The kingdom of the God belongs "to such as these." That is, to the childlike. How childlike are you? Scripture teaches that God resists the proud and uplifts the humble. The childlike are humble in their own eyes. They do not walk straight to the front seat or have an air of entitlement.

The childlike recognizes that God is the Father of all human beings and therefore prohibits discrimination between men and women, Jew and Gentile, Black and White.

If you are in Christ, you become a new creation. The old stuff in you has died. The new childlike personality who lives through the power of of Christ in you is the You who blesses the world.

As a baptized Christian, the only thing keeping you from being the childlike Christian you are called to be is Sin. Sin has been dealt with by Jesus Christ the Savior on the Cross. Do not allow the regrets of Sin to depress you. We have in Jesus a faithful and true Advocate who pleads our case before the throne of mercy of God.

Take advantage of this stream of mercy through the readily available Sacrament of Reconciliation today.

"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

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Feast of the Guardian Angels.

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

Saturday 2nd October 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

Our Father God in His loving Providence has provided each of His children a Guardian Angel. Are you aware of this stupendous truth? Fortunately for us, whether we are aware of our Guardian Angel that accompanies us on the journey of life or not, the Angel still performs all its duties lovingly towards us. Our Guardian Angels report to God not to us. Here is what the Church teaches about our Guardian Angels:

"Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God." (CCC 336).

Your Guardian Angel is a friend who protects you in danger and can direct your steps when you are lost. It shepherds you away from moral dangers and situations that can imperil your soul. When you have a warm and personal relationship with your Guardian Angel, you enjoy more privileges. Saints recommend praying to your Guardian Angel when you wake up in the morning and when you are ready to go to bed at night. I have prayed to my Guardian Angel ever since I learned my first prayers. I have enjoyed few close encounters with my Guardian Angel.

As an active and adventurous boy, I know how many times my Friend saved me from peril. Today I honor my Guardian Angel with a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Angel of God my Guardian and dear Friend, thank you for your protection. Continue to enlighten and guard me till my last breath. Amen!

"Listen to the inspiration that I give you through your guardian angel, and you will prosper in all that you do." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, February 19, 2011).

For a Guardian Angel Prayer, click the link below:

http://seekfirstcommunity.com/2020/10/guardian-angel-prayer.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Feast of St Therese of the Child Jesus.

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

Friday 1st October 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Little Flower, St Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as St Therese of Lisieux. (1873 - 1897). French. Carmelite Nun and Doctor of the Church. Today is also First Friday in October.

St Therese is one of the most beloved saints in the Church. She is a powerful intercessor and her contribution to spirituality can be summarized thus:

#1 Utter simplicity in everything.
#2 Profound trust in Divine Providence.

St Therese you may say was chosen to be St Therese before she was born. At the age of 6, she had a profound faith in the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament. Asked one day how she was so sure of this, her response was disarming and profound: Jesus said: "This is My Body. This is My Blood." Since Jesus is God and Almighty, nothing is impossible for Him. Does this not remind us of the Blessed Virgin Mary? To the word that She would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God, she replied: "Be it done to me according to Your word."

Is there a connection between faith and simplicity?  Simplicity in thoughts and habits may facilitate the habit of believing.
"Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18: 3).

Be simple like Jesus and Therese. Dare to Believe.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we honor You this First Friday in October 2021.

October 1, 2021 - First Friday in October.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 10th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #10.

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

Do not think: "I am not excited by this promise.  I am not a priest."  We are all priests by virtue of our Baptism. Jesus Christ chose and ordained a tiny percentage of men to celebrate the Sacraments.  The first mission of the Church is evangelization.  You are an evangelist. Moreover, the first 3 Spiritual Works of Mercy instruct us:
#1. Instruct the ignorant.
#2. Counsel the doubtful.
#3. Admonish sinners.

Jesus promises to give you power to touch the most hardened of sinners.  These sinners could be in the family. They could be friends or neighbors.  Will you refuse such a gift? Moreover, you can apply the grace of this promise to any priest of your choice.

"In the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present, with His Body and Blood, with His Soul and His Divinity. He is personally present, not by a mere sign or image, not in a spiritual manner only. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, as expressly declared by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, is essentially the same as devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It honors the Divine love of our Eucharistic God which revealed itself in His Passion and Death and continually reveals itself in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, the Sacred Heart devotion is the most agreeable to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament."
(DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS by the Benedictine Sisters of Missouri).

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

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

Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Feast of St Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"Blessed indeed is he who ponders the law of the Lord day and night:
he will yield his fruit in due season." (Cf Psalm 1: 1 - 2. Entrance Antiphon on the Feast of St Jerome).

Thursday 30th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Jerome (342 - 420). From Dalmatia in former Yugoslavia. Priest, Doctor of the Church. Jerome translated the Bible into the Latin Vulgate, which became the official version of the Bible for the Church for over 1000 years.

We chose our key Scripture for today from Psalm 1, the great promise of God for those who love His word and study it season and out of season. Note that a similar promise is made to Joshua:
"Do not let this book of the law depart from your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may carefully observe all that is written in it; then you will attain your goal; then you will succeed." (Joshua 1: 8).

If you are still not excited by the promises of investing in the word of God, consider this:
"When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart." (Jeremiah 15: 16).
When Jeremiah devoured the word of God, what did he find? Incomparable happiness and joy.

I too discovered the word of God in a career crisis while working for a large  company. The word that was waiting for me to discover was Exodus 14: 13 - 14. I was blown away by God's utter faithfulness to His gracious promise. I resolved to read the Scriptures everyday from that day.

I am enchanted by these quotes from St Jerome:

+  "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

+ "As often as the world’s vain ambition delights you, as often as you see in mundane affairs something that vaunts itself, transport yourself in your thoughts to paradise: begin to be what you shall be. And you shall hear from your Bridegroom: Put me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm."

Lord, help us to follow the example of St Jerome in reflecting on Your word day and night. May Your word prepare us to offer You a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving always and everywhere. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Raphael and Gabriel.

“Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1: 47....51).

Wednesday 29th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Angels are mentioned many times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus' encounter with Nathanael (Bartholomew) in the Gospel of today confirms the existence of angels. A fact that is known in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Here is the meaning of the names of the Archangels:

Micha-El: Who is like God?
Gabri-El: God’s strength” or “Power of God”
Rapha-El: “God heals”
El means God.

By the ministry of the angels, our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving come before the presence of Almighty God. The Archangel Michael is assigned to guard the Church. ( Cf Daniel 12: 1). Pope Leo XIII who had a vision of this in the Sanctuary of his Church composed the Prayer to St Michael which became an inspired and principal prayer in spiritual warfare. Many Catholics say this prayer daily.

How do we enter into personal relationship with the angels? Exactly the same way we enter into relationship with our patron saints. We honor the saints by praying to them, asking them favors and their protection. We celebrate their feast as we do this day. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Saints says that when we honor the saints and angels, we glorify Him. Besides the three Archangels we honor today, each human being is assigned a Guardian Angel when he is created. We celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2nd.

Click the link below for the St Michael the Archangel Prayer:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/09/st-michael-archangel-prayer.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, September 27, 2021

Feast of two martyrs: Saints Wenceslaus and Lawrence Ruiz.

"On the way [to Jerusalem] they [Jesus and His disciples] entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village." (Luke 9: 51... 56).

Tuesday 28th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of two martyrs:  St Wenceslaus (907 - 929). King and Martyr. Saintly monarch. Murdered by his own brother in a sibling rivalry that reminds us of Cain and Abel.
St Lorenzo (Lawrence) Ruiz (+1630). Filipino layman and his companions. Martyred in Japan with other Christian missionaries.

Our key Scripture for today reinforces the lesson I learned as a salesman. A good salesman does not force himself or his product on people. Make the best presentation and product demonstration you are able to. At the end, if the prospect says no, move on to the next prospect. I have found sometimes that the next prospect might actually be very happy to make a purchase. It was a very hard lesson for me to get. I took No as a personal rejection. Jesus taught His disciples that the field of Evangelization is very wide. He shares His way of winning souls below:

"My way is one of gentleness, of mercy, and of compassion. I offer My Cross to souls, but I never impose it, and when a soul begins to say “Yes” to the sweet and terrible exigencies of My love, I fit My Cross to her shoulders, and then help her to carry it step by step, increasing its weight only as that soul grows in love and in the fortitude that comes from the Holy Spirit." (IN SINU JESU, September 23, 2011, Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Feast of St Vincent de Paul.

"An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” (Luke 9: 46... 50).

Monday 27th September 2021, in the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1581 - 1660). French.

For many people around the world, St Vincent de Paul needs no introduction. His name and prestige blesses the world-wide charitable organization that ministers spiritually and materially to the needs of the poor, the homeless and the very needy. St Vincent de Paul is known in history for his love of the Poor and for deep humility.  He also had great interest in the formation of priests.
St Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity with St Louise de Marillac. After this, he founded the Congregation of the Mission.

After the Twelve heard the Second Prediction of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, we were told that they did not understand what Jesus was talking about. They did not want to ask Him any questions. They however launched into a worldly competition as to who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God. 

St Vincent de Paul learned the lesson in our key Scripture in a very personal way. After his ordination, he discerned the greatest need of the Church in France as the training and formation of the clergy. He threw himself into preparation for this ministry. Imagine his dismay when his Bishop sent him hundreds of miles from Paris to the provinces to the home of a prince, friend of the king of France. He remained in the castle for several years teaching the two young sons of the prince.
St Vincent de Paul went to this mission in obedience. For the years he spent in the castle trying to teach the boys who did not want to learn anything, he wondered the strange ways of Divine Providence. He was soon to learn on his return to Paris.

"Jesus took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

True greatness in the eyes of Jesus is: humility, a loving concern for the little ones, the poor and the needy and homeless. This became the new ministry of St Vincent de Paul in Paris. Because of the connection with the Prince and his family, St Vincent de Paul got to know who is who in the court of the king of France. These nobles provided the funds for the ministry of St Vincent de Paul to the poor and downtrodden of Paris. St Vincent de Paul did not forget the second love of his life: the formation of the clergy.

All through out his life, Vincent marveled at God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence. What happened to the Twelve who wanted to be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. They all followed their Master to the Cross and achieved a different kind of greatness. They became Princes in Heaven and Princes in the Church on earth. 

"I give you Saint Vincent ² to prepare the way. I give you Saint Thérèse to move the hearts and wills of those who, by their word, will open the way before you. I give you Mother Mectilde and Abbot Marmion to instruct you in the life of hiddenness and of praise to which I call you for the sake of My priests and of My Church. I give you My angels to keep a guard about you and to preserve you from the plots and intrigues of the unseen Enemy of your soul and of the souls of all priests. I give you Mother Yvonne-Aimée as a close friend and intimate companion. She will remind you of her little invocation and spur you on to act with a manly courage in all My interests."

²Saint Vincent de Paul, who helped Mother Mectilde de Bar when she and her daughters were homeless after fleeing the war in Lorraine." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, September 28, 2011).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The freedom of the Spirit.

"At that time, John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us."  (Mark 9: 38.... 48)

Sunday 26th September 2021, in the 26th Week in Ordinary Time.

Once upon a time, a learned and devout pastor of my parish said in a homily that one of the most profound mysteries of God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence in his opinion is allowing Martin Luther to tear the Church apart. I had reflected much about this comment. My consolation comes from the words of St Augustine: "God will never permit any evil unless He can draw a greater good from it."

The first Reading from Numbers 11: 25 - 29 and the Gospel Reading reminds us that God's ways are not our ways and God's thoughts are not our thoughts. Our mistake is to think that God's ways and thoughts are similar to ours but much more bigger.

In the first Reading from the Book of Numbers, we see a type and shadow of Pentecost where the Spirit of God works independently of human expectations.
In the Gospel, we read:
"At that time, John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”

A propos the sovereignty and independence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says:  "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 8 NIV).

Are you trying to block the action of the Holy Spirit in your life or in the life of someone else?
“Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us."

"My Heart thirsts for the love of the saints. To those who come to Me, I will give love and holiness. And in this shall My Father be glorified.  And this shall come to pass through the intimate action of My Spirit. Where I am present in the Sacrament of My love, there also is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. It is by the Holy Spirit that My Eucharistic presence is My glorious presence to the Father in heaven, and it is by the Holy Spirit that My Eucharistic presence touches the souls who adore Me to unite them to Me, and to bear them up even before My Father’s face."  (IN SINU JESU, Monday, October 29, 2007).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com