Saturday, March 25, 2017

Learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

"Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord."  (Ephesians 5: 10 NABRE)

On Day 26 of 40 of Lent 2017, the word of God asks us to learn what is pleasing to God.  We know that many saints have ran this race and finished well. There are no better examples to teach us about what is pleasing to God than the saints.  Let us consider the example of one saint:

When the Angel Gabriel asked Mary the impossible:  to become the mother of the Son God in her virginhood, Mary replied, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."  (Luke 1: 38).  Mary discerned that what is pleasing to God is to surrender to the will of God.

The shortest route to be a saint is to discern the will of God for your life every day and do it.

Awake, O sinner, and arise from your sleep, and Christ will give you light.  (Cf Ephesians 5: 14)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Do not be afraid Mary.

"Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."  (Luke 1: 30 NABRE)

Everybody is familiar with the above scene in the Gospel.  Today the Church everywhere in the world celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. We have seen two Solemnities in the Season of Lent.  The Church following the custom of ancient Israel is full of festivities. It is the will of God and delightful to us.

What are we celebrating today? The beginning of the fulfilment of the promise made to us after Eve ate the forbidden fruit.  The Son of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.   (Genesis 3: 15)

What if any of us has the power to create his mother, what would you do? I will make my mother the most beautiful, the most virtuous, a queen of unparalleled dignity and power.  Jesus Christ has this power and He used it.  Mary was not an accident. She is not just any woman who can conceive and bear a son. She was especially chosen from time immemorial to be the Mother of the Redeemer.

How did the early Church and the same Church today discover the identity of Mary? The Holy Spirit taught the Church.  This knowledge is hidden in the hearts of all believers in every age. This is the Lord's doing. It is wonderful in our eyes. (Cf Psalm 118: 23)

On Day 25 of 40 of Lent 2017, the Church suspends Lent again to celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.  Happy Feast Day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our God is an awesome God.

"Assyria will not save us, nor will we mount horses;
We will never again say, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.” (Hosea 14 : 4 NABRE)

I call this 3rd Friday in Lent "NO to IDOLS Friday".  Who is your Assyria? And horses?

"Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, for you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God."  (Psalm 86: 10 RM)

No god to compare with our God:
Not technology, not money, not science, not job or health.  Our God do wonderful things every day.

On Day 24 of 40 of Lent 2017, remember that Jesus was crucified on Friday.

Stations of the Cross.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jesus Christ is the Savior of all people.

"I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord.
Should they cry to me in any distress,
I will hear them, and I will be their Lord for ever."  (Entrance Antiphon Thursday, 3rd Week of Lent)

Jesus Christ is the Hope of Salvation. His name Jesus means Savior (Joshua). Salvation means deliverance, freedom from whatever distress we may have.  Jesus promises to save us if we cry out to Him.

On Day 23 of 40 of Lent 2017, the Liturgy reminds us that Easter is near.  Press forward soldiers of God to the Great Feast!

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."  (Psalm 95: 8)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Believe the word. Teach the word. Practice the word.

"But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 19 NABRE)

Learn the word, ie commands, statutes, promises, law of God. Believe what you read. Teach what you believe to your children, friends and colleagues. Practice what you teach.

On Day 22 of 40 of Lent 2017,
we commit to persevere in learning the word of God and sharing the fruits of our study.

"However, be on your guard and be very careful not to forget the things your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart as long as you live, but make them known to your children and to your children’s children."  (Deuteronomy 4: 9)

"Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."   (John 6: 63)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Struggling with Unforgiveness, pray for the person daily.

"At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’  (Matthew 18: 26 NABRE)

The servant in the above story owed the master a very large debt which he could not possibly repay.  He knew His master and knew what to do and what to say.   "Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan."  (Matthew 18: 27).  How much do you know the most merciful Heart of Jesus?

Why did this servant not follow up by forgiving his fellow servant who owed him a much less debt?  This is the question for our reflection on Day 21 of 40 of Lent 2017.  Do you notice we have done 50% of the Lent?  Congratulations and keep up the good work. Persevere!

Consider too Jesus' words to this unforgiving servant:
"You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.   Should  you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?"  (Matthew 18: 32 - 33).
Struggling with Unforgiveness?  Start by praying daily for the person.

Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Behold a faithful and prudent steward, whom the LORD set over His Household.

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her."  (Matthew 1: 20 NABRE)

On Day 20 of 40 of Lent 2017, the Church suspends Lent for today to honor St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   No fasting. No abstinence. We celebrate the Solemnity of St Joseph with joy and Gloria is sang or said at Mass.  His feast is March 19. March 19, 2017 fell on Sunday.  The feast is celebrated today.

Why honor St Joseph?  St Joseph is a pivotal person in Salvation history.  He was a just man, full of courage, humble and chosen by God to protect Mary and her Son, Jesus.  He suffered patiently as a self-employed business man.  He showed great fortitude when he took his family into Egypt as refugees.  He is a powerful Intercessor.

St Joseph pray for us!