Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Tale of Two Prisoners

“Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?"  (Matthew 27: 17 RM)

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.  Our word to live by is the above Scripture.  You may call it: A tale of two prisoners.
One is Jesus called Christ.  The other prisoner is Barabbas.
Jesus the Christ has during His public ministry healed the sick, raised the dead, fed multitudes.  Most of His public life was devoted to teaching the people.
Barabbas was a notorious criminal branded a "revolutionary."

“Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?"  (Matthew 27: 17 RM)
The crowd answered Pilate, "Barabbas."  
"Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  (Matthew 27: 22).

This is the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world.  The sacrifice of Christ will vanquish it.

Friday, April 07, 2017

I was dead but now I am alive forever.

 “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live."  (John 11: 25 NABRE)

Jesus claims here that in His Person, you see the fulfilment of the Promise of Resurrection and Eternal life for all God's children.  As if John 11: 25 is not clear enough, Jesus said:  "Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever."  (Revelation 1: 18 NABRE)

The question is:  Do you believe this or not?  Like so many things that affect the promises of God, belief is critical.  Do you find it difficult to believe the claims of Jesus in the Gospel? Are you a cafeteria Christian? Do you pick and choose what you believe? Faith in Christ is like a seamless robe. Either you believe everything or nothing.

On Saturday in the 5th Week of Lent 2017, Do not be afraid.  Open your heart and mind to Jesus.  "Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”  (Mark 9: 24)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

First Friday: April 07, 2017

April 07, 2017 First Friday

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

#4.  "They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death."

The above is #4 of 12 of The  Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary.

I consider Promise #4 a great Promise.  St Augustine says:  "If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, all is well."  To die well therefore is what every human being must pray for.  It is already promised by the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass.

Our weapon has divine power to demolish strongholds - 04/07/17

"All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he can be tricked; then we will prevail, and take our revenge on him.”  (Jeremiah 20: 10 NABRE)

Relentless spiritual warfare is the norm in Christian life.  If you want to serve God, prepare for trials.  (Cf Sirach 2: 1)

Your enemy the devil prowls like a lion seeking whom to devour.  (Cf 1 Peter 5: 8).  Therefore, be sober and alert. (Ibid)

Do not forget that He who is with us  is stronger than our enemy.  (Cf Matthew 12: 29)

"But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not prevail.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion."  (Jeremiah 20: 11)

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."   (2 Corinthians 10: 4).

"In my distress I called out: Lord!
I cried out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry to him reached his ears."  (Psalm 18: 7)

On Friday of the 5th Week of Lent 2017, be sober. Be alert.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

God who did not spare His own Son will refuse us nothing which is good for us.

"He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?"  (Romans 8 : 32 NABRE)

Remember the above Scripture when you stand before the Father to ask for anything for yourself, your family, friends or even for the world.
Remember also:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."  (John 3 : 16)

God bound Himself with a covenant oath to be our God forever.

To enjoy continually the Peace of Christ:
#1.  Accept all that has happened.
#2.  Accept everything that is happening.
#3.  Cooperate with everything except with what is sinful.
(Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ)

On Thursday  of the 5th Week of Lent 2017, the Father wants us to rejoice in our filial adoption.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

When you make My word your home, then.....

"Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   (John 8: 31 - 32)

Are you one of the Blessed Ones who believe in Jesus?  Are you enjoying all your privileges?  John 8: 31 - 32 is one of the greatest Scriptures in the New Testament.  There are three great promises laid out by Jesus the Teacher:

#1.  You abide and become the disciple of Jesus.  To serve God is to reign. Pure and simple.
#2.  You know the Truth. The Truth promised is Jesus Himself.  This Truth comes with the knowledge of the Way, Jesus.  See the Beatitudes. (Matthew 5: 3 - 12)
#3.  You enjoy unlimited freedom and victory in your life.  The freedom that is promised is  primarily freedom from sin which is the root cause of illness, divorce, poverty, ignorance, joblessness, aimlessness, etc.

The Secret of appropriating these treasures is:  REMAIN IN THE WORD. That is, make your home in the word of God.

"The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed."  (Isaiah 50: 4)

On Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent 2017, make the word your home.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Thou shalt not condemn nor criticize the Lord our God or complain against Him.

"But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”  (Numbers 21 : 4-5 RM)

No matter your frustration or anger, restrain yourself and No Complain, No Criticize, No Condemn the Lord our God.

In punishment for sinning with their mouth against God, "the Lord sent among the people seraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of the Israelites died."  (Numbers 21:  6). The punishment worked.   “We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord to take the serpents from us.”  (Numbers 21 : 7).

The Lord instructed Moses:  "Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover."  (Numbers 21: 8)

Now lessons for us:
"These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come."  (1 Corinthians 10: 11 NABRE)

"Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled."  (Romans 15: 4 NLT)

On Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent 2017, No Complain, No Criticize, No Condemn the Lord our God.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Story of 2 Women accused of Adultery.

“Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery."  (John 8: 4 NABRE)

"A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her."  (Daniel 13: 37 NABRE)

Monday in the 5th Week of Lent, we hear the story of two women accused of adultery.
Susanna was accused by two elderly lustful judges but was innocent.  The other woman in the Gospel of John was accused by the Scribes and Pharisees and was guilty. The punishment for adultery according to the Law of Moses is death.

God's overflowing compassion and mercy intervened through the Prophet Daniel to save the life of Susanna.  Jesus Christ, the Merciful Savior intervened to save the other woman in John's Gospel.  Susanna trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly and the Lord heard her prayers.  (Daniel 13: 42 - 44).  The other woman after her reprieve became a disciple of Jesus.  Both stories ended well.

We must trust in the Mercy of God at all times, guilty or innocent.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me."  (Psalm 23:  4)