Saturday, June 02, 2018

The Eucharist is the New Covenant ratified with the Blood of Jesus.

"While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many."  (Mark 14: 22 - 24).

Today is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. (CCC 1324). The Eucharist is also the new Covenant ratified with the Blood of Jesus.  (Mark 14: 24).

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him, says the Lord."  (John 6: 57).

Friday, June 01, 2018

The world needs authority. The world needs the Catholic Church.

“By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” (Mark 11:  28).

You guess right who the above question is directed to.  Of course Jesus.  Who are the questioners?
"As he [Jesus] was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him.... “ (Mark 11: 27 - 28).

This is a good opportunity to see what the Bible says about Authority:

First, all authority comes from God. (Romans 13: 1). This is all sweeping:  authority of the federal, state, local governments and everything downstream.

How about the the authority of Jesus, the Son?  “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me."  (Matthew 28: 18). "Power" = "Authority".

Authority of the Church: 
#1 "The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them...... Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:  16 - 20).

#2  "Whoever listens to you [Apostles] listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”  (Luke 10: 16).

#3 "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16: 18 - 19).

On the question of authority, how confident will you be for a surgeon without license (authority) to operate on your only son? Or a lawyer without license to represent you on a felony case?

The world needs authority. The Sanhedrin was the supreme court of Israel.  In the USA, we respect the Supreme Court.  You may not always agree with them, but you understand the wisdom of the existence of the institution.
Why should it be different with the Church?  The Church is the Seed of the Kingdom of God here on earth and Jesus provided the Church with authority.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3: 5 - 6).

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Where can we see faith that moves mountains?

"Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God.  Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him."  (Mark 11: 22 - 23).

Do we still see faith that moves mountains?  We do indeed.  I have seen a few myself in everyday small matters and in huge international affairs.
Who could believe that apartheid in South Africa could be brought to an end in 1993 without a huge blood bath? A lot of prayers went up from all over the world to see this happy outcome.

St Peter teaches that faith is more precious than gold and silver. (Cf 1 Peter 1: 7). Whenever God plans to do a big thing in my life, first He gives me the faith and boldness to ask for it.  The rest is formality.

Jesus continues His teaching on prayer,  "Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours."  The person who doubts when he prays "must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways."  (James 1: 7 - 8).  A double-minded person may never receive anything he asks from God, says James.

Strong faith is a critical factor in all successful prayers but there is one other element without which no prayer can be answered:
"When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”  (Mark 11: 26).

The Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus in June.

June 1st, 2018 First Friday in June 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 6th month of the year 2018, we look at Promise #6.

#6.  "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy."

June is the Month the Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  If you ask me, the promise this month is the greatest.  If you are not a sinner, stand up and shout it to the world!

Let us pray together:
"O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and glowing furnace of love, You are my sanctuary.  O adorable and glorious Savior, consume my heart with that burning fire that ever inflames Your Heart.

Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your Love.  Let my heart be one with, and in all things conformed to, Yours. May Your Will be the rule of both my desires and my actions. Amen."  (St Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church).

"Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me." He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception."  (CCC 478).

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, May 30, 2018

The Mother of my Lord has come to visit me.

"Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."  (Cf Luke 1: 45).

The Church celebrates today the visit of Blessed Virgin Mary to her elderly pregnant cousin, Elizabeth.  Why is this feast very important?
Because of two key prophecies that were uttered in the course of the exchange between the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth:

#1  “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"  (Luke 1: 42 - 44).  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth recognized Mary as Theotokos, "The Mother of my Lord.".

#2  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed."  (Luke 1:  46 - 48).
All generations have been saying to the Theotokos:  "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus."

"Almighty ever-living God,
who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray,
that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times.
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 of the Feast of the Visitation).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

You do not know what you are asking.

“What do you wish [me] to do for you?”  They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking."  (Mark 10: 36 - 38).

Could the best practice with regards to asking God for favors lodged in these two Scripture texts?

#1 "Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" (Matthew 6: 8).

#2  "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." (Romans 8: 26).

I just finished reading TREASURE IN CLAY - The Autobiography of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  When I started the book, I was overwhelmed by this man's gifts and felt like a grasshopper before this towering moral, intellectual and saintly giant of a man.  He reminds me in a number of ways of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman but Sheen was much more erudite, versatile and charismatic.  By the time I finished the book, I felt peace and came to sympathize with James and John for not knowing what they were asking.  (Mark 10: 38).  God has an excellent plan for every person. (Jeremiah 29: 11).

Never compare yourself to any person, saint or sinner.  Accept who you are.  Accept all that has happened in your life.  Accept everything that is happening now. Cooperate with everything happening around you except what is sinful.

Monday, May 28, 2018

God's will is that we become Saints.

"Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,  for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.”  (1 Peter 1: 14-16).

"Become a saint, and do so quickly,"  a quote attributed to St John Paul the Great.  If God your Creator thinks you can be a Saint, why not!
Consider these two truths:

#1 "All things are possible for God."  (Luke 1: 37; Matthew 19: 26).
#2  "Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?"  (Genesis 18: 14). For you?

Why then could I ever imagine that it is impossible for God to make me a Saint?  Clearly this is His expressed will. But how much do I desire it?

"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)

May God so confirm our hearts in holiness that we may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints. (Cf 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Why do you refuse to follow Me?

“You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  (Mark 10: 21).

The young man who asked Jesus,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  (Mark 10: 17) is too attached to the wealth he worked hard to accumulate. He had no faith and could not believe that He who asked him to follow him gave him the power to accumulate all his wealth and could do more for him.

What is your principal attachment?
Money, family, job, easy life? Do you believe Jesus when He says: Come follow Me and you will have treasure in heaven?  Or?  "At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions."  (Mark 10: 22).

The antidote to attachment, hoarding and fear of poverty is total surrender of your All to Jesus.  Trust Jesus completely. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it.

"The Lord became my protector.
He brought me out to a place of freedom; he saved me because he delighted in me."  (Cf. Psalm 17: 19-20).