Saturday, February 03, 2018

Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases.

"That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.  The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons."  (Mark 1: 32 - 34).

After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Spirit drove Him into the desert where He prayed and fasted for 40 days.  During this period too, He underwent vigorous temptation from the devil.  (Matthew 4: 1 - 11).  Now He was ready to start His ministry.  He exercised His ministry in three areas.
#1.  He taught everyone who had ears to listen.
#2.  On some occasions, He fed everyone who attended His revival meetings.
#3.  When the sick and the demon possessed were brought to Him, the Gospels report that He healed many and cast out many demons.

What does the Catechism teach about illness?

"Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death."  (CCC 1500)

"Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him."  (CCC 1501).

The Church exercises her healing ministry through the Anointing of the Sick:
"By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ."  (CCC 1499).

Prayer for the sick:
"God our Father, your Son accepted our sufferings to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness. Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brother/sister. May all who suffer pain, illness, or disease realize that they have been chosen to be saints and know that they are joined to Christ in his suffering for the salvation of the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Friday, February 02, 2018

Ask something of Me and I will give it to you.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said: Whatever you ask I shall give you."  (1 Kings 3: 5).

"Solomon answered:... Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil."  (1 Kings 3: 6, 9).

Solomon asked for the very best of God's gifts and the Lord was pleased.

"The Lord was pleased by Solomon’s request.... . I now do as you request. I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you.  In addition, I give you what you have not asked for: I give you such riches and glory that among kings there will be no one like you all your days."  (1 Kings 3: 10, 12 - 13).

God is always very pleased to give us the highest and best gifts.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"  (Luke 11: 13).

"... We ask that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding, you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will and so be able to lead a life worthy of the Lord, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects." (Colossians 1: 9 – 10)

The fruit of perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding is discernment of God's will for our life. Perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding come from regular reading and reflection of God's word and prayer.  Unless of course, it is given to you "here and now" like Solomon.  Most saints acquire it bit by bit. 

Sacred Scripture urges us to acquire wisdom and understanding at all cost.  These twin gifts are two of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

"The first principle of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; at the cost of all you have, acquire understanding! Hold her close, and she will make you great; embrace her, and she will be your pride; she will provide a graceful garland for your head, bestow a crown of honor on you."(Proverbs 4: 7-9)

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Jesus is presented in the Temple to His Heavenly Father.

"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,  just as it is written in the law of the Lord."  (Luke 2: 22 - 23).

The Church celebrates today the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

"The presentation of Jesus in the Temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior-the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel", but also "a sign that is spoken against". The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples".  (CCC 529).

"The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted  (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”   (Luke 2:  33 - 35).

The prophetic dimension of the ministry of Jesus would bring Him into confrontation with the Jewish leaders which would ultimately lead to His death.
Where are you called to bear witness to the Truth?

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

February 2nd , 2018 First Friday in February 2018.

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 2nd month of the year 2018, we look at Promise #2.

#2. "I will give peace to their families.

What is peace?
"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You."  (Isaiah 26: 3 AMP).

How would you like to enjoy this peace?
Why is it so important for families?
Peace is the foundation for joy, happiness and prosperity. The all encompassing Shalom that Jesus promises will make a great difference to you and your family.

"Perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events; this peace shall be put into, and kept in the possession of, whose mind is stayed upon God, because it trusts in him."  (Matthew Henry on Isaiah 26: 3).

“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”  (John 14: 27)

Peace and contentment do not depend on circumstances.  No, they do not depend on money, good health, great family, good job, nice home and tools.  Peace and contentment depend on what Jesus, our hope of glory is doing inside us here and now.  Where Jesus abides, there abide peace and contentment. 

Jesus is the direct and efficient cause of peace and contentment in the heart.  Any other presumed cause or agent is there to exploit our weakness and insecurity.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, February 2nd.

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Last Will of David.

"When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to Solomon his son:  “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and be a man!  Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, and wherever you turn."  (1 Kings 2: 1 - 3).

The Warrior gives his last testament as he departs this world. Let us consider another last testament in the Bible:

"After Moses, the servant of the Lord, had died, the Lord said to Moses’ aide Joshua, son of Nun: 
.........  Only be strong and steadfast, being careful to observe the entire law which Moses my servant enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you go."  (Joshua 1: 1, 7).

The two testaments above establishes the open secret of success in life:  It is observing closely God's Commandments.  If you are on your death bed tonight, will this be part of your Last Will to your son or daughter?

In His Last Will [Testament] the Night before He died, Jesus said among many important things:
"Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.   As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.   And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth." (17 - 19).

Are you consecrated in the truth?

"Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.  So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,  and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  (Ephesians 6: 13 - 17).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Where did the son of Mary, the village carpenter get all this learning?

"Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary."  (Mark 6:  3).

Let us consider for a moment how the home crowd see their homeboy, Jesus:

#1 Of course, he is the son of Mary, now a widow.
#2  He is the carpenter, the small business man with little success.
#3  The young man who refused to leave home and establish a family after his age group had become parents of grown children.
#4  The handsome young man who had no fiancee or girlfriend.

“Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!"  (Mark 6: 2).

The town's people were astonished that after less than a year Jesus disappeared from their town, he returned as a superstar.

But they could not reconcile themselves to this new reality.  And Jesus said to them:
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  (Mark 6: 4).

God promises that he who is in Christ is a New Creation. (2 Corinthians 5: 17).  St Irenaeus, a second century Church Father said that "The handsome man/woman is the glory of God."  Jesus came to make us beautiful but many reject Him.  Whatever you do, never allow familiarity to breed contempt.

"So he [Jesus] was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them."  (Mark 6:  5).
Very sad.  What a missed opportunity!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Do not be afraid; just have faith!

“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”  Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”  (Mark 5: 35 - 36).

Jairus approached Jesus believing that he could heal her daughter. Before Jesus reach his home, Jairus' daughter died. Everything seemed lost and hopeless. Jairus could have thought: "If only the Master had hurried and arrived while the child was still alive, he could have done something." Jesus knowing what Jairus was thinking, urged him not to waver in his original belief in spite of the New disconcerting development.

The Christian has a silver bullet in his armor against fear: Faith!  Faith is generated by prayer and nourished by the word of God. Faith destroys fear, worry and doubt.

"Fear is useless; what is needed is trust."  (Luke 8: 50; Mark 5: 36)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Go home and tell your people what the Lord has done for you.

“Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”  (Mark 5: 19).

Jesus has just freed the man called Legion from an overpowering demonic possession.  Out of sheer gratitude for the miracle, the man pleaded with Jesus to allow him to become one of His friends. Jesus had another mission for the man.  He sent him off to go and evangelize starting from his family.
Mary Magdalene had such an overwhelming joy and gratitude for the healing and rehabilitation that Jesus brought to her life.  She became a diehard follower of Jesus. She walked the Via Dolorosa with Jesus and witnessed the entire crucifixion and death of Jesus at the side of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed." (Mark 5: 20).

Has Jesus done any significant things for you?