Saturday, January 06, 2018

The Infant Jesus is manifested to the whole world.

"We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”  (Matthew 2: 2).

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord this Sunday.
Epiphany means the manifestation of divine effect or power.  This is the day when the Divine Child Jesus was shown or revealed to Gentiles represented by the three Wise Men.

"They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother." (Matthew 2: 10 - 11).

"They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."  (Matthew 2: 11).

What lessons does the mystery of the Epiphany hold for us?   Consider these three :

#1.   Salvation is for all people, Jews and Gentiles. 
#2.  The power and sovereignty of God is universal.  All people and all things obey Him. (Psalm 119:  91) 
#3.  The three Wise Men brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.  Bring your sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to Jesus every Sunday in the Eucharist.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Do you accept the testimony of the Father on behalf of His Son?

"If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater."  (1 John 5: 9).

Consider the following anomaly:
Many people have no problem trusting the following entities:

But they have the greatest difficulty in trusting the Church.  But the Church is by far, a faithful,  trustworthy and credible witness to truth than the above entities.
Consider the following facts:
#1.  2000 years of recorded history.
#2. Sent missionaries to pagan and barbaric Britain and France in the 5th and 3rd century respectively.
3#. Founded the first University in Bologna, Italy in 1088.
#4. Witnessed the birth of all the modern countries in the world.

"The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered:
This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."  (Cf Mark 9: 6).

The Church has borne continuous witness to Jesus Christ by word, miracle and by blood.

"Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son."  (1 John 5: 9).

Do you believe the testimony of the Father on behalf of His Son?

"Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son."  (1 John 5: 10).

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Can anything good come from Nazareth?

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:  46).

The above statement was the disparaging remarks of the future apostle Nathaniel (Bartholomew) when Philip told him about Jesus. Jesus was very gracious when the two men met face to face.  Jesus did not refer to the prejudice. Instead, he complimented Nathaniel:  “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” (John 1: 47).

There are many prejudices in the world: racial, sex, class, those who come from the North against the South, linguistic prejudices, etc.

No matter your situation, there are people out there who believe you are inferior to them.  How do you handle such situation?
Think of Jesus encounter with Nathaniel.  Be gracious.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of 2018.

January 5th, First Friday in 2018.
Start the Year strong by honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus. See yourself stronger by July and finish in December in top form and count your blessings.

Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.

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

What does Jesus mean by the state of life? Every human being lives in one of two states:  married life for majority of people and single state.  In the single state, there are men and women who have committed themselves to Consecrated life. Look at at the needs below and see that they are not the same always for the two groups.  Wherever you find yourself is your predestined means for holiness and passport to heaven.

In Promise #1, the Lord promises to provide all the graces necessary in all the circumstances of life, viz:
Family, Health, Money, Job, Possessions and Tools, Food, Future.   Please remember that the Lord Jesus knows exactly what you need and when you need it. Trust Him.

Remind the Lord often of these promises.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, 5th of January 2018.

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

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Let no one deceive you.

"Let no one deceive you."  (1 John 3: 7).

St James gave this grim warning:  "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."  (James 3: 1).

There are today proliferation of teachers and teachings about the Christian faith. And there are many contradictions among the teachings.  Are we in the Last Days?  Listen to the Apostle Paul instructing Timothy:
"Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons."  (1 Timothy 4: 1).

What are you to do if Scripture urges you:  "Let no one deceive you."  (1 John 3: 7).  Is Scripture saying that you are responsible for your faith? For what you believe? For your eternal destiny?

The Scriptures also say:
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."  (1 John 4: 1).

Do not believe that every teacher with a big church, a long resume, many academic credentials after his name has necessarily the seed of God in him and is begotten of God. (1 John 3: 9).

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?"  (Matthew 7: 16).

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

What is in the Name of Jesus?

“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." (Philippians 2:9-11).

"She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1 : 21)

“I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”  (Acts 3: 6).
The crippled man rose and walked.

What is in a name?  In Sacred Scriptures, name and mission are always linked.  A special name is often a pointer to one's destiny.

Consider the following:
#1.  "Hallowed be Thy Name." (Matthew 6: 9)
#2.  "Thou shall not invoke the Name of the Lord thy God in vain." (Exodus 20: 7)
#3.  "At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bend.."  (Philippians 2: 10 - 11)

Jesus means Savior (Yeshua).  Jesus Name means what it signifies and signifies what it means.   According to St Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the Church, "The sweet name of Jesus produces in us holy thoughts, fills the soul with noble sentiments, strengthens virtue, and nourishes pure affections.... This name is the cure for all diseases of the soul."

Do you know that the Name of Jesus is a complete prayer?   "Jesus Son of David have mercy on me."  In emergency, you may simply pray: JESUS.  This invocation brings the Presence, Power and Person of Jesus to you.  It is not magic.  You must invoke it with faith.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Who are you?

“Who are you?” (John 1: 19).

"Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.  (1 John 2: 24).

At the end of 1986, following a serious career crisis while working for Unilever in Paris, the Lord used Exodus 14: 13 - 14 to assure me of His Presence and help. God wanted me to remain a spectator while He would be the Actor. The problem was resolved with wonders.  As a result of this incident, I vowed to read Sacred Scripture every day of my life.  That was 30 years today.

At the end 1996, 10 years later, the Holy Spirit inspired me to switch from reading the Bible chronologically to reading it with the Church using the Roman Missal. That was 20 years today.

Brothers and sisters, "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."  (1 Thessalonians 5: 24).

Do whatever Jesus tells you.

"Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King, who rules heaven and earth for ever."  (Cf. Isaiah 9: 1, 5; Luke 1: 33 RM, Entrance Antiphon - Solemnity of Mary).

The Church world-wide celebrates today, January 1st 2018, the Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God).

Mary's chief role in the economy of salvation is that of Intercession.  "Do whatever He tells you."  (John 2: 5).

All the readings for today's solemn liturgy points to how eager God is to bless you and me.  We shall take the First Reading from the Book of Numbers:

"The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:  This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”  (Numbers 6: 22 - 27).

Abba Father is a gracious, merciful and loving Father who wants to give His children the very best of gifts.  Ask therefore for the very best.  Ask for the Holy Spirit. (Luke 11: 13). Plead for Wisdom. (1 Kings 3: 11; 2 Chronicles 1: 11; 1 Kings 4: 29). Ask for Faith (Luke 17: 6; Matthew 17: 20).  Be bold. Ask for great gifts.  Not peanuts.

SeekFirst Community wishes you and all your loved ones a 2018 filled with the Presence of the Holy Spirit, Wisdom and Faith.