Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yes, I will do it. Be made clean.

"A leper came to Jesus [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean."  (Mark 1: 40 - 42).

Many today need healing for their infirmities.  This leper approached Jesus with expectant faith and knelt before Jesus and asked for healing if it is in accordance with His will. 

Nothing is too marvelous for God to do for us.  (Cf Genesis 18: 14).  Since God has excellent plan for each and every one of us, since He knows exactly what we need and when we need it, can you trust His plan for your future?  He grants our prayers in accordance with His will and purpose for us. When our prayer is made with faith, it aligns us with God's will for our lives. 
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  (Matthew 6: 10).
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."  (Luke 22: 42; Matthew 26: 39).  Jesus' perfect prayer is a model for all of us.

I believe in prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in in miracles.
I leave the rest to God.

The Christian is never afraid of God's will.  He knows that perfect love drives out all fear. (1 John 4: 18).   Are you still not sure of God’s perfect, unconditional love for you?
Don’t miss the opportunity that Lent 2018 starting on Ash Wednesday, February 14 provides.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Come and eat bread and be satisfied without money.

"They ate and were satisfied."  (Mark 8:  8).

Jesus fed 4000 people with seven loaves and a few fish. They all ate and were satisfied with plenty leftover. 

Only Christ the Bread of life who knows exactly what we need and when we need it can perform such a miracle.  Remember the Wedding Feast at Canna? (John 2: 2 - 5). The people drank the best wine until they could drink no more.

Jesus fulfilled admirably the prophecy in Isaiah 55: 1 - 3).

"All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money, come, buy grain and eat;
Come, buy grain without money,
wine and milk without cost!"  (Isaiah 55: 1).

The Miracle of the feeding of 4000 people prefigures the Eucharist.
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  (John 6: 51)

The Fathers of the Church sees the Eucharist as Food for the Journey. St Ignatius of Antioch, an early Church Father called the Eucharist the Medicine for Immortality.

Every single day, Jesus continues to feed millions of people with the finest wheat, the Bread of life.   (John 6 : 35;  Matthew 26: 26; 1 Corinthians 11: 24)

“It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God."  (Matthew 4: 4 AMP)

"He fed them with the finest wheat
and satisfied them with honey from the rock."  (Cf.  Psalm 81 (80): 17 RM)

Food and Medicine for the Journey.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Noon Confession on.  Holy Mass will start in 13 minutes.  Msgr Steve Churchwell will be celebrant. Expect a great homily.
The Eucharist is Food for the Journey towards our permanent residence.  Reconciliation is the Medicine for the Journey.  The road we traverse is a dangerous jungle full of poisonous reptiles and other wild beasts.

Thank Jesus for the Food and Medicine for the Journey.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Jesus does everything well.

"They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”  (Mark 7: 37).

People who witnessed the healing of the deaf and mute man exclaimed that Jesus does everything well.
He heals all who were brought to Him.  He feeds everyone in His rallies.  He teaches with simplicity and authority.

The following Bible characters lived heroic lives and did all things well.

#1 Joseph the Prince of Egypt.
#2  Mary Mother of the Son.
#3  Joseph husband of Mary, the silent man.
#4  Stephen the first martyr, filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.

Although Jesus did all things well, He had nevertheless more than His fair share of enemies.  It is the same with each of the above Bible characters.  No surprise at all.
"My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials."  (Sirach 2: 1).

How can we do all things well like the elect?  Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit.  "I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.  But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law."  (Galatians 5: 16 - 18).

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Persistent Prayer is Confrontation with God.

"Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.  She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter."

Jesus at first refused to do it, setting up a battle royale between Himself and a woman.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Prayer is a battle.  Read the entire paragraph below and mark it very well.

"Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer."  (CCC 2725).

This Syrophoenician prayer warrior has practiced the battle of Prayer for a long time before her confrontation with Jesus.

Other battles of Prayer in the Bible:

#1.  Abraham praying to God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18: 16 - 33).

#2.  David praying that God spares his child of adultery with Bethsheba.  (2 Kings 12: 13 - 18).

#3.  The struggle of the persistent widow with the unjust judge. (Luke 18: 1 - 8).

St Augustine teaches that you can overcome God through persistent prayer.

“For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.” When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone."  (Mark 7: 29 - 30).

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

What is it that defiles a man or a woman?

“But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.  From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,  adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.  All these evils come from within and they defile.”  (Mark 7: 20 - 23).

This is the word proclaimed by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Supreme Teacher and Healer of mankind. What does the Doctor say about how to heal the evil heart?

#1. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."  (Psalm 119: 11).

#2.  "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John 6: 27)
Jesus is talking here about His Body and Blood given to us the Night before He died.  The Fathers of the Church call this wonderful Gift, the Food for the Journey. Journey of Faith. Journey of Life.

#3. The Sacrament of Reconciliation:  This is the Medicine for the Journey. This takes care of all the spiritual sicknesses, snake bites, fractures that are inevitable during the Journey to our Homeland.

When your heart and mind are cleansed by Doctor Jesus then what comes out of you will be pure and life sustaining.

"The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is right. God’s teaching is in his heart;
his steps do not falter."  (Psalm 37: 30 - 31).

Monday, February 05, 2018

Why do you promote human traditions?

“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”  (Mark 7: 5).

The Pharisees and the Scribes in their zeal for the law of Moses put human traditions on the same level as the word of God. Jesus said Not So.  But who determines what is the authentic word of God and human traditions?

"You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”   (Mark 7:  8).

We see today the crisis of obedience and authority and what Pope Benedict calls the "tyranny of relativism." 
Jesus cautions against making social traditions, government traditions, military traditions, family traditions, denominational traditions as the word of God.

This is why Jesus instituted authority in the Church to interpret authentic Tradition. Imagine what America will look like without the Supreme Court!

"You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”  (Mark 7: 13).

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Feast of St Agatha, the Virgin Martyr.

"The five wise virgins brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Then at midnight, the cry went up:
Behold the Bridegroom is coming;
come out to meet Christ the Lord."  (Matthew 25: 4, 6).

Today is the Feast of St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.  Agatha died at the age of 20 in 251 AD under the persecution of Emperor Decius.
Along with Saints Agnes and Lucy, she is mentioned in the Roman Canon in Eucharistic Prayer 1.

Agatha is the patron saint for these causes and more:
Breast cancer, sterility, nurses, rape victims, single lay women and so on. (Source: Laudate App).

"May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favor with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity.
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, Feast of St Agatha, February 2nd).