Saturday, March 10, 2018

Why is this man born blind?

"As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him."  (John 9: 1 - 3).

Many adverse human conditions are not associated with sin.  Of the poor, sick, homeless, refugees, lonesome, Jesus says:  "It is so that the works of God might be made visible through him."  (John 9: 3).

St Francis of Assisi said:  "Alms are an inheritance and a justice which is due to the poor and which Jesus has levied upon us."

"Wealth … is like a snake; it will twist around the hand and bite unless one knows how to use it properly."  (St Clement of Alexandria.“).

"The rich man who gives to the poor does not bestow alms but pays a debt."  ( St. Ambrose of Milan).

"Our prayers and fastings are of less avail, unless they are aided by almsgiving."  (St Cyprian).

On Day 26 of Lent 2018, where are you on almsgiving?

Friday, March 09, 2018

Humility is the foundation of Prayer.

"The tax collector stood at a distance, beating his breast and saying:
O God, be merciful to me, a sinner."  (Luke 18: 13).

The tax collector went home justified before God.  But the Pharisee was condemned because of his righteous posture.

Mother Church has something to say on Prayer:
 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God." But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer.  Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought," are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. "Man is a beggar before God."  (CCC 2559).

"Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him."  (CCC 2560).

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Behold now is a very acceptable time.

"Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.  Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.”  (Hosea 14: 2 - 4).

Lent is the best and most fruitful time for Reconciliation with God. Don't take my word for it.  Listen rather to the word of God:

“In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.”
Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."  (2 Corinthians 6: 2).

Now listen to holy Mother Church:
"The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
- reconciliation with the Church;
- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle."  (CCC 1496).

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions."  (Psalm 51: 3).

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Come let us kneel before the Lord who made us.

"Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.  (Jeremiah 7:  23).

Like a mother pleading with her teenage daughter to move back home, Abba Father has been pleading with us since the beginning of Lent to heed His words and come home to a place of peace, joy, abundance, prosperity and security.

On Day 23 of Lent 2018, is it time to respond or not? Let us use Psalm 95 and say Yes to Abba Father who is full of love and faithfulness.

"Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to him."

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

"Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides."

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

"Oh, that today you would hear his voice: “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works.”

Respond today.  No fear. No worry. No doubt. No procrastination.

"Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart.
for I am gracious and merciful." (Joel 2:  12 - 13).

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Those who share the word of God will have unbelievable reward.

"See, I am teaching you the statutes and ordinances as the Lord, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe them in the land you are entering to possess."  (Deuteronomy 4: 5).

Obedience to the Law of God is evidence of your "wisdom and intelligence."  (Deuteronomy 4: 6)
In these times, presidents, senators, governors, priests, soldiers, etc have been caught breaking the Law.  Some of them are still in jail.

"But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."   (Matthew 5: 19).

Every disciple of Jesus must be a teacher of the word of God. Mothers and fathers must teach it at home.  Others will teach it in offices, malls, gas stations, street corners, everywhere.

"Where there is no Law, the people perish."  (Cf Hosea 4: 6).

+ Teach the word of God.
+  Believe what you teach.
+  Practice what you believe.

Monday, March 05, 2018

I forgave you everything because you begged Me.

"I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to." (Matthew 18:  32).

"Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’  Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan."  (Matthew 18: 26 - 27).

This servant certainly knew how to beg for relief. He knelt down and asked his Lord.  He knew something else for which we commend him.  He knew his master was compassionate and kindly.  How much do we know the Heart of Jesus?  The Sacred Heart waiting for us to come and to shower us with His forgiveness and love.

"Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan." (Matthew 18: 27).

The master forgave him everything.  Not 50%. Not 90%.  But everything.

"You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.  Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ (Matthew 18: 32 - 33).

Do not miss this: "I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to." Asking for forgiveness is very important.

Look! This unforgiving servant is me and you. Consider how much God has forgiven us throughout our lives.  Not 77 times. But each and every time we approach Him with a repentant heart.

Remember the ABC of Mercy? 
A.  Ask for Mercy. 
B.  Be Merciful. 
C.  Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

Do this and you will never have to fear this:
"So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”  (Matthew 18: 35).