Saturday, August 05, 2017

This is My beloved Son. Please listen to Him.

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  (Matthew 17: 5).

"The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me." (John 10: 27)

Whose voices are competing with Christ's voices for our attention today?

Media, Family, Friends, Teachers, Parents?
Why do we listen to our parents?
Why do we listen to our teachers?
Why do we listen to our government?
Why don't we listen to our Bishops?

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matthew 17:5)

Thank you Father for pointing Jesus to us. Open our hearts to listen to the words of your Son. Move our wills to obey him. 

We listen to Jesus in the Scriptures. St. Jerome says that ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. We listen to Jesus especially as the Scriptures are proclaimed in the Eucharist. We also listen to Jesus in prayers.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary who bore the Son of the Eternal Father.

"All generations will call me blessed, for God has looked on his lowly handmaid."  (Luke 1: 48 RM).

Who is the subject in the above Scripture? The Blessed Virgin Mary on the occasion of her visit to her cousin Elizabeth.  She uttered through the Holy Spirit this prophecy which has proved true for every generation.  (Luke 1: 48).

As Jesus was busy ministering, a woman approached and blessed Jesus thus: Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father.  (Cf Luke 11: 27)

On the Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major,
the Church says:
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb."  (Cf. Luke 1: 28, 42).

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday in August, 2017.

August 04, 2017 First Friday in August.

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 8th month of the year, we look at Promise #8.

#8.  "Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection."

What do you think of the above Promise?  If this world is your stomach, you may be pitied if you think little of this Promise. (Cf Philippians 3: 19.)

But Jesus who knows exactly what we need, gave us 12 great promises to motivate us to strive for the Best.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, August 4th.

Jesus performed few miracles in His home town because the people did not believe in Him.

"Because they did not have faith, he [Jesus] did not perform many miracles there. [Nazareth] (Matthew 13: 58 GNT).

No faith. No miracle.
Which is better? To have faith and enjoy all the good things God has in store for your life or to stubbornly stuck in your unbelief?

I would rather have faith and dwell in Your Sanctuary than to remain in the deep cold of faithless hopelessness.

What is faith brothers and sisters?
"To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.  It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God's approval."  (Hebrews 11: 1-2 GNT).

The people of Nazareth who knew Jesus as a home boy, knew His father and mother, knew all His relatives but allowed familiarity to breed contempt.  They refused to believe that He could perform any miracle.

For your faith to grow, pray and be nourished by the word of God every day.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

I had rather one day in Your Sanctuary than a thousand in Las Vegas.

"How lovely your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!" (Psalm 84: 2).

In Exodus 40, Moses built the Dwelling Place of God, the Ark of the Covenant not haphazardly but strictly according to God's detailed instructions.  Solomon followed this pattern.  Cathedrals and the Churches are built not with cheap materials or in slipshod fashion but with deliberate purpose as  lovely Dwelling Places of God.

"Better one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked."  (Psalm 84:  11). 

I love beautiful Churches and Cathedrals. I hope you do too.

"Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God!" (Psalm 84: 4).

How come it that the tiny sparrows and swallows worth 5 for a penny chose the best place in the world (near the Altar of the Most High) to build their nests and lay their young ones?  You may call this pure divine instinct.

"My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and flesh cry out for the living God."  (Psalm 84: 3).

Have you experienced the pure Pearl of Great Price that is the Sanctuary of God?  Why deprive yourself of this ocean of peace and mercy that is available to all?

"Blessed are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you." (Psalm 84: 5).

As David writes this line, he heaved a sigh of envy at the priests whose duty is to minister in the Sanctuary of God day and night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."  (Matthew 13: 45 - 46).

Are you the merchant searching for the pearl of great value.  What if you realize that Jesus is the Pearl.  Are you prepared to sell everything to follow Jesus?

Lord Jesus, may you equip me with a generous spirit and a courageous heart to respond to You fully.

"More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ"  (Philippians 3: 8)

Jesus Christ is the Good News.  The Good News is Jesus Christ.  He is the top price, the Pearl of extraordinary value.  The idols that compete with Christ Jesus - health, family, money, job, property/tools, food are all considered as dung compared to the genuine and priceless Pearl which is Christ Jesus. 

"O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.  For me, the measuring lines have fallen on pleasant sites, fair to me indeed is my inheritance."  (Psalm 16: 5 - 6).

"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."  (Matthew 19: 29)

Lord, may we respond fully to Your extraordinary challenge. Amen.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy.

"So the Lord passed before him [Moses] and proclaimed: The Lord, the Lord, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity, continuing his love for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin."  (Exodus 34: 6 - 7).

"The Lord came down in a cloud and stood with him [Moses] there and proclaimed the name, “Lord.”  (Exodus 34: 5).

Why is it so important to God to reveal who He is to us?

God reveals Himself to us so that as we get to know Him better, we may come to love Him and trust that He really cares for us. (Cf 1 Peter 5: 7).

“Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.  I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.” 
(Exodus 34:6-7 NLT)

Ask the Holy Spirit to grant you this intimate knowledge of God.  This knowledge will make you happy beyond anything you can imagine.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

To know the Heart of Jesus intimately, to love Him passionately and to follow Him everywhere.

"At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Cf Philippians 2: 10 - 11 RM).

The Church honors today the memory of St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.  After his conversion, he attracted a group of like minded men. They wanted to form a group to serve God in a radical way. "What will you call this new body?"  "Society of Jesus."  This appeared too radical at the time. No other religious order or congregation for 1500 years had Jesus as part of its name.
St Ignatius and his companions wanted to be truly "companions of Jesus." Intimate friends of Jesus.

The Society of Jesus was a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds planted in 1540. Now it has grown into a giant tree. Jesuits work all over the world in all types of ministries.

"O God, who raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola in your Church
to further the greater glory of your name, grant that by his help we may imitate him in fighting the good fight on earth and merit to receive with him a crown in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever."  (Collect on the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola).