Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Mustard Seed is the smallest seed.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.  It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches."  (Matthew 13: 31 - 32).

The mustard seed of God's word is alive, potent and sharper than a two-edged sword even if it comes in a tiny form. The origin of Christianity bears witness to this truth. What started very small with a handful of men grew into the biggest shrub. Many "birds of the air" today shelter in its shade. Many women and men make a decent living from this huge shrub. The beginning of a project may be small but if that enterprise is God's will, it will grow.

When Peter and the Apostles were arraigned before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel, a leading member of the Sanhedrin prophesied: "If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. " (Acts 5: 38). The history of Christianity proved that the enterprise is from God.

In the parable of the Mustard Seed, savor the truth of of small beginnings. Do not despise small beginnings.   Work of grace in the soul follows the principle of the mustard seed.  Small steps.  Small beginnings.  Silently.  Steady progress.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tell me, Mary, what did you see on the way?

"The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves — I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
 in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves."  (Song of Songs 3: 1- 2).

This is the first Reading chosen today for the feast of St Mary Magdalene.  It illustrates the intense love of Mary Magdalene for Jesus.  She sought the dead among the dead and found the Risen Jesus who was waiting for her.  Jesus promised "Seek and you shall find."  ( Matthew 7: 7). Jesus rewarded her by saying to her: 
"Go to my brothers and tell them:
I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  (John 20:  17).

And Mary responded:
"Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her."  (John 20: 18).

This made Mary Magdalene whose feast we celebrate today both the first person to see Jesus after His Resurrection and the first messenger of the Gospel.

St Mary Magdalene pray for us.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."  (Matthew 12: 7).

Jesus Christ brought grace and mercy.  Grace is unmerited favor.  Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown to someone who expects or deserves punishment.  Sacrifice is working hard to cancel or eliminate a debt.   "I have done my time in prison. So leave me alone."

Jesus is the Face of Mercy of Abba Father.  Mercy is the name and essence of God the Father revealed to us through His Only Son, Jesus the Christ. The open Heart of Jesus is the symbol and seat of Mercy.  Mercy is promised to all. 

Moses brought the law.  Experience shows that even for the best of us, it is impossible to observe the law perfectly.  Jesus Christ brought grace and mercy. 

"Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy."  (Matthew 5: 7).

Learn about how to be merciful from Jesus. Learn the ABC of Mercy:

A:  Ask for Mercy. 
B:  Be Merciful. 
C:  Completely Trust Jesus for Mercy.

Practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy:

1.Instruct the ignorant
2.Counsel the doubtful
3.Admonish sinners
4.Bear wrongs patiently
5.Forgive offences willingly
6.Comfort the afflicted
7.Pray for the living and the dead

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Come to me with your burdens and I will give you rest.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."  (Matthew 11: 28 - 30)

Gracious invitation from Christ.  But how do we come to Christ?  We come to Christ in prayer, in His word, and especially in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance. 

What are the labors and burdens that we bring to Christ, the Doctor to heal?  We bring our burdens of sin.  We are overwhelmed with fears, worries and doubts about our health, family, finances, job, tools, food and the future.  We bring all these to Jesus.

How does Christ give us the promised rest?  He cancels our sins and relieves us once and for all from guilt.  Sometimes He heals our bodies and finances.  At other times, He gives us a supernatural perspective from which to view our woes.  You may call this indepth perspective therapy.  People go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France for physical healing.  Many such people receive the indepth perspective therapy and decide to stay in Lourdes to minister to pilgrims sicker than themselves..

What yoke does Christ invite us to take upon ourselves?  The yoke of Christ is the Gospel of Christ.  The yoke of Christ is the Sermon on the Mount.  Christ Himself says that this yoke is both easy and light. John the Apostle says that to keep the commandments is not burdensome. (1 John 5:3). Paul writes of the weight of glory that awaits us after some light suffering.  (Romans 8: 18;  2 Corinthians 4: 17).

"Learn from me," pleads Christ.  Christ is the Teacher and the Lesson.  Learn to be with me.  Learn to be like me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


"Now indeed the outcry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them.  Now, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."  (Exodus 3: 9 - 10).

After over 300 years in slavery in Egypt, God said that He was just noticing the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt.  Seriously?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55: 8 - 9).

Moreover, God does not measure time as we do:
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."  (2 Peter 3: 8).

The conversation of God and Moses continues:

"But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  God answered: I will be with you."  (Exodus 3: 11-12).

When God chooses, calls and anoints you for a job, all you need as credential is:  I WILL BE WITH YOU!"

Monday, July 17, 2017

O that today you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes."  (Matthew 11: 21).

What is it of Bethsaida and Chorazin in your life? Where is the last outpost of resistance in your relationship with Jesus? Let us do a brief examination of conscience with the First Commandment:

#1.  "I am the Lord your God:  You shall have no strange gods before me."

Do I love anybody or anything more than God?

Do I give God time everyday for prayer?  Do I seek to love him with my whole heart?  Have I been involved with superstitious practices?

Have I been involved with the occult?  Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church?  Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin?  Have I deliberately told a lie in Confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in Confession?

Turn to the Lord in your need and you will live.  (Psalm 69).

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Had the Lord not been with us, our enemies would have swallowed us alive.

"A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt."  (Exodus 1: 8)

A new president... came to power.
A new sheriff.... came to power.
A new manager... came to power.

The above words presage dramatic changes in statusquo.
Israel had grown populous, rich and powerful in Egypt. Now things were about to change.  Had they perhaps forgotten the promise to Abraham? The Promised Land? Wealth and prosperity have their hazards.

"Accordingly, they set supervisors over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor."  (Exodus 1: 11)

God's providence has its special tools for arousing us from deep slumber.

"So the Egyptians began to loathe the Israelites.... reduced the Israelites to cruel slavery,  making life bitter for them with hard labor, at mortar and brick and all kinds of field work—cruelly oppressed in all their labor."  (Exodus 1: 12 - 14).

At last the pilgrims were ready to resume their journey to the Promised Land so that God could fulfill His promises to Abraham.

Where are you today in your Journey of Faith?