Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Lord is angry with His priests.

"And now, priests, this commandment is for you: If you do not listen,
And if you do not take to heart giving honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you and your blessing I will curse."  (Malachi 2: 1 - 2).

A chilling warning for our priests.  How do we support our priests in their onerous vocation?  The one that comes to mind is to pray for them.  I do this every day but I could and should do more.

God's anger is not abated against His priests. The Almighty God continues:

"But you have turned aside from the way, and have caused many to stumble by your instruction;
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of Hosts. I, therefore, have made you contemptible and base before all the people,
For you do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your instruction."  (Malachi 2:  8 -  9).

What fraternal advice can we offer to our priests in the light of this terrible indictment?

Do you preach but not practice?
Then practice what you preach.

Friday, November 03, 2017

He chose and called me.

"For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable."(Romans 11: 29 NRSV).

"For the gracious gifts of God and his calling are irrevocable." (Revised English Bible). 

"There is no change of mind on God's part about the gifts he has made or his choice." – (New Jerusalem Bible).

"God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded."  (MSG).

"For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises."  (TLB).

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].  (AMP).

The original application of Romans 11: 29 are the Jewish people, our Elders in the Faith.  But there is also an individual application for all of us.  Rejoice fellow Christians in the gracious mercies of Abba Father.

This Scripture is so critical to my self understanding that when it was revealed to me, I tried to read all the versions of it I saw.
I shudder when I apply this Scripture to myself. I flash back to my high school days when I had a great desire to be a friend and companion of Jesus. I abandoned the dream for many years.  Then many years ago, the dream started slowly but surely to come back to me. Today I regard everything rubbish compared with the hope of knowing the Heart of Jesus intimately, loving Him passionately and following Him everywhere. I want to be a friend and companion of Jesus. Certainly God has not revoked his gracious gifts to me or His calling.

My God, I thank You for Your faithful love and mercies. May Your gifts and call to me not be ineffective in Jesus name. Amen!

They kept silent.

"Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him."  (Luke 14: 3 - 4)

Why did they keep silent?  Probably because of malicious intent.  They did not care for the condition of the man with dropsy and watched intently to see what Jesus would do on the Sabbath.

Only a few days ago, we read:
"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."  (Luke 13: 10 - 11).

The Pharisees and the law makers opposed her healing.

Who are the scholars of the law and Pharisees today?  May we say politicians and law makers, community leaders and all of us who are unaware of the reason for our vocation in life:  to enhance and save lives.  Man needs God today more than ever before in the history of the world

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

Thursday, November 02, 2017

First Friday in November: the 4th. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

November 4th, 2017 First Friday in November.

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 11th month of the year, we look at Promise #11.

#11. "Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced."

I love this promise. I covet it.  How do I live out this promise?  I invest a tiny amount of money on 500 First Friday cards with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   I drop some of the cards in the Narthex of my parish Church and two other Churches during the week.  If I have the opportunity to hand them to someone face to face, I point out Promise #11.

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

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

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus!!!

Below are the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will give peace in their families.

3. I will console them in all their troubles.

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

5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.

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

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

+ Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernard, Vic. Gen.,  Westmonasterii, 1954

“Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us.  ‘The Son of God ….loved me and gave himself for me.’  He has loved us all with a human heart.  For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that …. love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’ without exception.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #478

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed.

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. (Wisdom 3: 1 - 3).

Today is All Souls Day. The Church commemorates All the Faithful Departed this Day. Who are the Souls involved here? Let the Church speak:

"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven."  (CCC 1030)


"The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned..... (CCC 1031).

"But they are in peace."  ( Wisdom 3: 3)
The souls in Purgatory are in peace because they hope that one day, they will be welcomed into Heaven.

"Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our heart through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."  (Romans 5: 5).

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  (Matthew 25: 34).

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Solemnity of All Saints.

"After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands."  (Revelation 7: 9).

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints today.  A holy day of obligation.

Who are the Saints? Our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children, neighbors, ancestors who have died and are already enjoying the blessed assurance of immortality.

How can one join the club?
“[Saints] are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."  (Revelation 7: 14).

What does the above Scripture mean? This world is not our home. We are on a long Journey? There will be delays, disappointments, obstacles, frustrations, bumps, hunger, wars, refugees, immigrants dumped on us on the way.  How do you handle these unforeseen developments? How you do cope with these makes you a Saint or not.

"As we adore you, O God, who alone are holy and wonderful in all your Saints, we implore your grace,
so that, coming to perfect holiness in the fullness of your love,
we may pass from this pilgrim table
to the banquet of our heavenly homeland.
Through Christ our Lord."  (Prayer after Communion on All Saints).

Monday, October 30, 2017

My friend, wait for the Lord with courage.

"For in this hope we were saved.But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."  (Romans 8: 24 - 25).

Beautiful HOPE has been the dominant theme since we started reading Romans in daily liturgical cycle. I hope you are uplifted by the message. You must be if you nurse some secret hope in your heart.  I am immersed in immense joy and consolation.  As a young school boy, we bantered with this phrase frequently:  "Where there is hope, there is life."  How true! But the Bible puts it better:  "Hope never fails." (Romans 5: 5).

The Prophet Jeremiah who suffered a great deal and waited and waited for the Lord, knew one or two things about trusting, hoping and waiting.  He committed his experience in these immortal words :

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit."  (Jeremiah 17: 7 - 8).

"Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."  (Psalm 27: 14)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Woman, you are free of your infirmities.

"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."  (Luke 13: 10 - 11).

This story of a woman incapable of standing erect reminds me of Caroline.  Caroline was in her seventies when I met her in morning Mass.  After the Mass, she approached me and gave me a  miraculous medal. I accepted it and believed her testimony about it. Although I upgraded the medal and the chain, the miraculous medal found a comfortable home around my neck for the past 20 years.

Although Caroline may still be bent over, Jesus must have said to her before we met:  “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”  (Luke 13: 12). Our greatest infirmities are not bodily but spiritual.  St Paul teaches:  "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!”  (Romans 8: 15).

Abba Father, give us the light, the grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit!  Strengthen us in this Spirit, that we may never lose Him, never sadden Him, and never allow Him to become weaker in us. Amen.