Saturday, May 19, 2018

It is Pentecost!

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said...... “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.”  (Cf John 20: 19 - 23).

Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church.  Happy Birthday Mother Church, ever young and yet ancient.  A Virgin and yet have given birth to billions of children.  Your journey to the heavenly Jerusalem will be crowned with success.

"It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

"For, bringing your Paschal Mystery to completion, you bestowed the Holy Spirit today on those you made your adopted children by uniting them to your Only Begotten Son....

"Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory.... "(Preface of the Feast of Pentecost).

Friday, May 18, 2018

Paul evangelized Rome as a prisoner.

"He [Paul] remained for two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him,  and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ."  (Acts 28: 30 - 31).

The above scripture text is the remarkable end of the Acts of the Apostles.  Tomorrow is Sunday, May 20th, Pentecost Sunday. We started reading Acts of the Apostles 50 days ago from Easter Sunday. Let us recap a few salient points with regard to the mission of Paul:

1.  Acts 1: 8, Jesus predicted: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.”  Paul has fulfilled this prophecy on behalf of the Church.
2.  "The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." (Acts 23: 11).

The remarkable thing about Paul's ministry in Rome is how it came about.  Paul was in house arrest and could not move from place to place. Yet he was able to evangelize Rome thanks to Divine Providence.

Never diminish the force and power of Divine Providence.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55: 8 - 9).

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lord You know that I love You.

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he [Jesus] had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”  (John 21:  17).

Why did Jesus ask Simon Peter three times if he loved him.  Peter denied Jesus three times on the night of His trial.  It is clear that Peter has come a full circle with his awareness of his sin and repentance.  Jesus wanted to let Peter put this misfortune once and for all behind him. Jesus wants a new beginning for the Prince of the Apostles.

What if Jesus asks you the same question:  "Do you love Me?" How would you answer?  I may answer thus:  "Yes Lord Jesus, I love You. Please take my weak and compromised love and make it strong."  Then Jesus says to me:  "Bring Me all your heart, all your mind, all your will. Bring Me all your time, talent and treasure. Bring Me all your weaknesses. Then come and follow Me."
Thank You Jesus.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Father, imbue powerfully with spiritual gifts.

"With boldness let us approach the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace as a timely help, alleluia." (Hebrews 4: 16).

This is Pentecost.  Three days to go! The Liturgy is filled with sounds and smells of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the Birthday 🎂 of the Church. A glorious day!  Are you ready? All you need to get the action is great Desire and ability to Ask.  Everybody can say:  "Give me. Help me."  Come with boldness and ask for that Promise of the Father which He cannot refuse.

"May your Spirit, O Lord, we pray,
imbue us powerfully with spiritual gifts, that he may give us a mind pleasing to you and graciously conform us to your will.
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. Amen."  (Collect Thursday, May 17th, 7th Week of Easter).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Beware of false prophets.

"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock.  And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them."  (Acts 20: 29 - 30).

Paul the Apostle spoke of savage wolves whose only objective is to destroy Church unity.  Throughout Church history, we have seen a string of these wolves that inflicted deep wounds in the the Body of Christ. I will mention just one: the Arian Heresy.  Arius was a wily Egyptian priest who lived in the 4th century. He denied that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. It took the Church probably over 200 years to overcome this heresy.  Today this heresy is recycled in groups like Jehovah Witness.

What is the solution to these demonic attacks on the truth? Paul advices:  "So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears."  (Acts 20: 31). Jesus prays:  "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are."  (John 17: 11).  And He warned:  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves."  (Matthew 7: 15).

Lord Jesus, consecrate us in the truth. "Your word is truth."  (John 17:  17).

Monday, May 14, 2018

You can start enjoying eternal life now.

"Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."  (John 17: 3).

To know God is to enjoy right here and right now attributes of eternal life. What does it mean to know God as Father?

+ To know that God is truly your Father and that you are His adopted child.
+ God is your Father at every single moment of your life. He never changes.
+ He loves you with an infinite love which can never increase or decrease.
+ God watches over you day and night and not a single hair falls from your head without His permission.
+ In His infinite wisdom, God knows exactly what you need and when you need it.
+ Even when you experience evil in your life, God can bring good out of the situation because of His infinite power.
+ In His infinite goodness, God makes everything to the advantage of those who love Him.

When you know God like this, you will experience abundant life here on earth.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

God chose you before the foundation of the world for some good works.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain."  (John 15: 16).

It is hard enough to believe that God planned for you to be where you are at this moment doing what you are doing. But to be told that God chose you before the foundation of the world to be who you are at the this time will simply be incredible beyond compare.  Read what follows below from Ephesians 1: 3 - 4 and believe and stop being a Doubting Thomas. (John 20: 24 - 29).

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him."  (Ephesians 1: 3 - 4).

What do you know about Divine Providence?  Below is some of what the Church teaches about Divine Providence:

"God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word, the Son "upholding the universe by his word of power" (Heb 1:3), and by his Creator Spirit, the giver of life."  (CCC 320).

321 "Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end." (CCC 321 and follows).

Today is the feast of St Matthias who was chosen before the foundation of the world to replace Judas.