Saturday, June 09, 2018

Who is this Woman?

"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel."  (Genesis 3: 15).

Who is the Woman of Genesis 3: 15?  Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church and the constant teaching of the Magisterium identified the Woman as the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In 2 Corinthians 4: 13, Paul teaches:
"Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak."   Yes indeed, we too believe and therefore we speak.

For the avoidance of doubt of the tight integration between the ministry of the Redeemer and the Woman, please read:

"Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted  (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”  (Luke 2: 34 - 35).

And further,
"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother....... When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."  (John 19: 25 - 27).

The salvation of mankind was wrought on the Cross.  The Blessed Virgin Mary was not just an eye witness or a spectator but an active participant from womb to tomb?

"O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it.
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: 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time).

Friday, June 08, 2018

Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus said to them.

"They [Mary and Joseph] did not understand what he said to them." (Luke 2: 50).

Today is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The feast follows immediately the Saturday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Heart of Jesus and Heart of Mary.  Two hearts. One heart beat in the divine mission given mother and Son.

The Gospel for the feast is one of my favorite.  Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple after three days of agonising search for Him. Neither Mary or Joseph understood Jesus' reply to them.  But "his mother kept all these things in her heart."  (Luke 2:  51).  In our Journey of Faith, there will many things we cannot understand.  We do well to imitate Mary and surrender them to God who knows everything.  If it pleases God , He will enlighten you in His own time and His own way.

"O God, who prepared a fitting dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant that through her intercession we may be a worthy temple of your glory.
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:  Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary).

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred."  (Hosea 11: 8).

Today Friday is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death, and to keep them alive in famine."  ( Psalm 32: 11, 19).

Jesus loves every human being with a total, generous and unconditional love.   Obedient to the express wish of Jesus communicated through the mystic, St Margaret Mary Alacoque, the Church made the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a universal feast in 1856 to be celebrated the Friday after Corpus Christi.

The Church teaches:
"The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior's steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.". (CCC 2669).

O Sacred Heart of Jesus wounded for our sins, bestow on us in mercy the boundless treasures of Your love.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Law of the LORD is perfect giving freedom and victory in life.

"Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the "Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12: 29 - 31).

Jesus quoted the above Scripture in response to the question of a sincere scribe.  The scribe wanted to know how he could fulfill more perfectly the will of God.  What is your attitude of the Commandments and laws in general?  Most kids and adolescents view them as negative and restrictive.  In reality, Commandments and good laws are gateway to freedom and victory in life.  A few examples:

"The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eye.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The statutes of the Lord are true,
all of them just; More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold,
Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb. By them your servant is warned; obeying them brings much reward."  (Psalm 19:  8 - 12).

Our love for God is in direct proportion to our awareness of His love for us.  As you become more aware of God's patience, kindness and compassion toward you, you become the same toward your neighbor. Right?

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

"Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?"  (Mark 12:  24).

Jesus offered this blunt appraisal to the Sadducees who do not believe in the Resurrection.  Whenever I read this Scripture, my mind goes to the modern "Sadducees" who pick and choose what they believe in the Christian Faith. The Resurrection of the dead is not the only tough doctrine in the Christian Faith.  Let us consider the Eucharist:

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”  (John 6: 51).

Why is this a difficult teaching for many people?
"Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?"  (Mark 12:  24).

St Jerome, the Church Father and Doctor of the Church teaches:
"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."  Jesus concluded His conversation with our Sadducees by saying:  "You are greatly mislead"  if you imagine you can understand the plan and power of God without knowledge of the Scriptures. (Cf Mark 12: 27).

Invest in the word of God and enjoy grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (Cf 2 Timothy 1: 2).

Monday, June 04, 2018

Render to God what belongs to God.

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  (Mark 12: 17).

The power of Caesar comes from God. (Romans 13: 1). Caesar has the power to make laws, levy taxes, conscript an army, etc.

God's right is supreme as the apostles lay down in this principle:
"But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than any human authority."  (Acts 5: 29).

What is your opinion about this Law of God?
"Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates."  (Exodus 20 : 8 - 10).

Render to God what belongs to God.  (Mark 12: 17).

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Know your God. Know His promises.

"Beloved: may grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."  (2 Peter 1: 2).

When you invest about 10 minutes a day in knowing God through the Scriptures, what do you get for your effort?
You get grace and peace.  You experience the unmerited favor of God touching every area of your life: Your family, health, finances, job and relationships.
But how about peace? Peace is the Shalom of God. You experience pervasive peace in your body, mind and soul.

"His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power."  (2 Peter 1: 3).

Those who know their God shall stand up and be recognized. (Cf Daniel 11: 32).

Jesus Christ is the Faithful Witness that God is faithful to His promises. (Revelation 1: 5).  Think about it: God was faithful to you yesterday. Has He not been faithful to you so far today? If God gives you tomorrow, He will not fail you.

Know your God. Know His promises.  "Amen, I say to you:  Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you will receive it, and it will be yours, says the Lord."  (Mark 11: 23, 24)