Saturday, April 07, 2018

Celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy with the ABC of Mercy.

"Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  (John 20: 21 - 23).

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter, DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY.

The universal Church celebrates today the Solemnity of Divine Mercy. (Always 2nd Sunday of Easter).  Jesus is the Face of Mercy of Abba Father.  Mercy is the name and essence of God the Father revealed to us through His Only Son, Jesus the Christ. The open Heart of Jesus is the symbol and seat of Mercy.  Mercy is promised to all. 

To prepare yourself to receive and retain Mercy, follow the ABC OF MERCY.  It is called  ABC because, it is an acronym that can be remembered easily and secondly it is as simple as ABC.

A:  Ask for Mercy. 
B:  Be Merciful. 
C:  Completely Trust Jesus for Mercy.

Mercy, mercy. Nothing but mercy!
"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by."  (Psalm 57: 1)

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. (The Diary 950).

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Eleven refused to believe the testimony of credible witnesses.

"[But] later, as the eleven were at table, Jesus appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised."  (Mark 16: 14).

Why did the Eleven and close companions of Jesus refused to believe the testimony of credible witnesses that Jesus has risen from the dead and appeared to them?  Let us not look further than the very words of Jesus, eternal wisdom who knows what is in each human being. (Cf John 2: 24).
They refused to believe because of a spiritual condition that is called Unbelief and Hardness of heart. If you find it difficult to believe the truths of the Bible or the teachings of the Church, you may be suffering from one or both of these conditions.  Seek a wise spiritual counselor filled with the Holy Spirit to help you.

"Father, You restored Your
people to eternal life by raising
Christ Your Son from death.
Make our faith strong and our
hope sure. May we never doubt
that You will fulfill the promises
You have made. Grant this
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son." (Collect in the Season of Easter)

Thursday, April 05, 2018

What is in the Name of Jesus?

“By what power or by what name have you done this?” [healed the crippled man] (Acts 4: 7).

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, the Voice that speaks in court (Cf Matthew 10: 20) answered them as a matter of fact:  "it was in the name of Jesus Christ  the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed."  (Acts 4: 8, 9 - 10).

"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”  (Acts 4: 12).

What is in the Name of Jesus to make It so powerful?  In Sacred Scriptures, name and mission are always linked. 

“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.

Jesus means Savior (Yeshua).  Jesus Name means what it signifies (Savior) and signifies what it means. (Savior/Salvation).

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."

My Heart is assured refuge for those who honor My Sacred Heart.

April 06, 2018 First Friday in April in the Octave of Easter.

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 4th month of the year 2018, we look at Promise #4.

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

The key word in this promise to me is DEATH.  Do you find the subject of death scary?

I consider Promise #4 a great Promise.  St Augustine says:  "If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, all is well."  To die well therefore is what every human being must pray for.  Most of the post Ascension apparitions of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary to mystics promises succor at the time of the last struggle of death to those who honor them in the manner they specified.  The Church declared St Joseph patron saint of Happy Death.  I said to myself:  "I must think of my death and my dying more than I did in the past." The thought of dying no longer scares me.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass.

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

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Allow the Prince of Peace to flood your heart with peace.

“Peace be with you.”   (Luke 24: 36).

Where do you hear this sweet words?  Of course at Mass.  But do you know that PEACE is the dominant gift of Jesus to us at Easter?  Read the post Resurrection events and see how many times Jesus says it in His encounter with His beloved brothers and sisters.  It is no accident that you hear it many times at Mass. Jesus, the Prince of Peace is truly present at Mass in the persona of the priest.  He actually is the Celebrant.  TAKE AND EAT. TAKE AND DRINK. IT IS ME! Going to Mass frequently keeps one from depression and the psychiatrist's couch.

After wishing His frightened Apostles Shalom, "Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid? Why do you have doubts in your hearts?"

What is the killer of peace in the heart and soul? Doubts. Fears. Worries. The Peace of Christ is opposed to these fruits of darkness and destroys them in mid air as they rush towards you.

"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful."  (Colossians 3: 15).

"God our Father, you give us the joy of celebrating the Lord’s resurrection each passing year.
Let this yearly feast bring us to eternal joy and peace.
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.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Why are you scandalized by my suffering?

 “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  (Luke 24: 25 - 26).

The only things necessary in life according to Jesus are:
#1.  Prayer (Cf Luke 18: 1).
#2.  Suffering (Luke 24: 25 - 26).

You try to avoid them to your own peril.

Why are you scandalized by my suffering?  Jesus seemed to ask His disciples after His Resurrection. If you had read the Scriptures, you would have been wiser.

There is a divine necessity that Jesus must suffer.  It was clearly predicted by the Scriptures.
No cross, no crown is also a divine law for you and for me.

"Then Jesus said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 
(Luke 24:44).

Are you paying attention?

“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”  (Luke 9: 22)

Why is the Spirit giving us this Scripture now?  Consider these reasons:

#1.  Are you fully aware of the power of the cross and the necessity of your own suffering? 
#2.  No following of Christ without suffering.  Rejection of the cross is rejection of Jesus Christ.  (Pope Benedict XVI). 
#3.  The Son of Man must suffer before His glorification.  (Luke 24: 26).  What is a divine necessity for Jesus is true for us.

"You are witnesses of all these things."  (Luke 24:48 NLT)

Monday, April 02, 2018

I have seen the Lord.

"But Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping."  (John 20: 11).

Have you noticed that we have been hearing a lot about Mary Magdalene in the past few days? There is a reason for this.  Not because she was the "wife" of Jesus. That was a crazy Da Vinci myth. Happily and predictably that fake news has died and  consigned to the dust heap of history. Mary Magdalene was a significant personality in the early Christian community.

The Scripture below is taken from the feast of Mary Magdalene on July 22st.

"The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves — I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
 in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves."  (Song of Songs 3: 1- 2).

This is the first Reading chosen for the feast of St Mary Magdalene.  It illustrates the intense love of Mary Magdalene for Jesus.  She sought the dead among the dead and found the Risen Jesus waiting for her.  Jesus promised "Seek and you shall find."  ( Matthew 7: 7). Jesus rewarded Mary by saying to her:  
"Go to my brothers and tell them:
I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  (John 20:  17).

And Mary responded and announced to the disciples: “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her."  (John 20: 18).

This made Mary Magdalene both the first person to see Jesus after His Resurrection and the first messenger of the Gospel.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Go give my brothers this message.

"Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”   (Matthew 28: 10).

In spite of the betrayals, the abandonment, Jesus calls His Apostles "My brothers."   Our mission is to teach and proclaim everywhere that there is hope even for the worst sinners.

Today is April 2, Monday in the Octave (8 days) of Easter.  Each of the 8 days following Easter is a solemnity.  Easter is celebrated as feast for 50 days. Till Pentecost.  The ways of God are mysterious. 40 days of Lent. 50 days of celebration after Lent.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it."  (Psalm 118:  24).

We Christians, the Redeemed have every reason to rejoice and be glad for the awesome gift of Easter.  Let the joy of the Lord be our strength.  (Nehemiah 8: 10).

Our Civilization today is based on the reality of the Resurrection.

"I have risen, and I am with you still, alleluia.
You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia."  (Entrance Antiphon, Solemnity of Easter Sunday).

"O God, who on this day,
through your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
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 on the Solemnity of Easter Sunday).

Brothers and sisters, do you fully realize that our faith, all missionary endeavors, starting with St Paul to the humble missionary today in Honduras, all Church schools and hospitals throughout the centuries, all Bibles, spiritual books, libraries and universities is all based on one truth:  The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If Christ is not risen from the dead, I will be not only a liar but the greatest fool.  Look at all the sacrifices I have made over many decades promoting this "fake news".  You too reading this will be a liar and a fool.  But are we really liars and fools?

Happy Easter Family.  We are no fools. No liars!