Saturday, June 30, 2018

Woman, go in peace. You are free of your issues.

“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”  (Mark 5: 34).

Who heard this most beautiful words from the lips of Jesus?
"A woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.  She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse." (Mark 5: 25 - 26).

Sounds familiar?  First a few details about the woman.  After she had become bankrupt without getting cured, a friend suggested she try Jesus.  The amazing thing is that from hearing about Jesus and His ministry, she believed that Jesus would heal her.  The Scriptures say that faith comes from hearing. Not any type of hearing but hearing the word of God.  (Romans 10: 17).

“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”  (Mark 5: 34).

This woman had faith and humility. She was dogged in her perseverance to regain her health. She believed the story about Jesus. She committed to finding Jesus wherever He might be. When she found Jesus, she pushed everybody out of the way and did as she planned:   “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” (Mark 5: 28).

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do." (Pope St John XXIII).

Friday, June 29, 2018

Lord I am not worthy to receive You in my house.

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed."  (Matthew 8: 8).

Do you recognize the Scripture above as our prayer before Holy Communion?  These are the words of a Roman Centurion to Jesus.  The Church uses it as the most appropriate prayer to excite us to faith and humility. Ask yourself this question:  If a military officer from pagan Rome can rise to this level of faith and humility, why not you?  Why after years and years of Holy Communion  can one deny Jesus the faith and reverence He expects and deserves in this great Sacrament? I think of three possible reasons:

1. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."  (St Jerome).
2. "Ignorance of God is the principle and explanation of moral deviations." (CCC 2087).
3.  Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God."  (Matthew 22: 29).

The situation can be remedied.  You can start growing and enjoying your faith by resolving today to give 15 minutes of your time every day to reading the Bible.

I believe in prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in miracle.
I Ieave the rest to God.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The message of Peter and Paul still goes out through all the world.

"Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied: You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church."  (Matthew 16: 16, 18).

Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. These are the two great pillars of the Church.  Peter became the first Pope while Paul became the first missionary.  Both were martyred in Rome under Emperor Nero.

The message of these two Apostles still goes out through all the world.

"O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul
give us the noble and holy joy of this day, grant, we pray, that your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion.
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 on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The consequences of building on unstable foundation.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock." (Matthew 7: 24 - 25)

Who do you hire to build a solid family home that will last many years?  Will you not employ the best builder?

"Unless the LORD build the house,
they labor in vain who build.
Unless the LORD guard the city,
in vain does the guard keep watch."  (Psalm 127: 1)

The Lord Himself is the expert Builder.

Below are a few Gospel principles that ensure we build our spiritual life home on solid rock and not on sand:

"Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves." (James 1: 22)
Power comes from acting/doing.

"He [Jesus] replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11: 28)
Blessings come from obeying the word.

"For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified." (Romans 2: 13)
Emphasis again is on observing, acting and doing. 

"Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous." (1 John 3: 7)

Believe what you read.
Teach what you believe.
Practice what you teach.

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." (John 13: 17)
Change happens not because of what you know but because of what you do daily.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Their fruits will expose them.

"By their fruits you will know them."  (Matthew 7: 16 & 20).

Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets. They sneak in smiling and looking very innocent.  Give them a little time and they will be exposed by the bad fruits they bear.
The false prophets seek to corrupt sound doctrine and leave trails of  fruitless works of darkness:  "immorality, impurity, licentiousness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like."  (Galatians 5: 19 - 21).

To detect and expose the false prophets, we need the word of God and the spirit of discernment.

On discernment, the Church says:  "Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a "delight to the eyes" and desirable, when in reality its fruit is death."  (CCC 2847).

"By their fruits you will know them."  (Matthew 7: 16 & 20). Be Vigilant!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you.

 “Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah: Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by saying, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria." (1 Kings 19: 10).

You may call the above Scripture verse:  super power bravado.  We saw plenty of this recently between the US and North Korea.   The world had good experience of this throughout history.

This type of rant is not peculiar to dictators.  Who has not heard of doctors playing god and saying: "You have less than three months to live."  Or bank managers or supervisors boasting: "You are fired and will be completely ruined."

Now read the inspired response of Hezekiah King of Judah:
"Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the house of the Lord, and spreading it out before the Lord,  Hezekiah prayed in the Lord’s presence."  (2 Kings 19: 14).  Then Hezekiah poured out his heart before the Lord.

I have been inspired several times  to imitate Hezekiah literally.  The result  has been divine intervention.

Abba Father, I believe that You are watching over me night and day and that not a hair falls from my head without Your permission!
I believe that, in Your infinite Wisdom, You know better than I what is good for me.
I believe that, in Your infinite power, You can bring good even out of evil. 
In all the crises of my life, may I run to your holy Presence with confidence.  I ask for this in the mighty Name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Instruct the ignorant and admonish sinners.

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.  For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you."  (Matthew 7: 1-2).

Jesus affirms these spiritual principles: Criticism, Complaining and Condemning are vices of the world that has no place in the Kingdom.

But we still have the sacred duty to help our brothers and sisters who may be undergoing temptations using 3 of the 7 spiritual works of mercy:
#1 Instruct the ignorant.
#2 Counsel the doubtful.
#3 Admonish sinners.

When you perform the above with mercy, you fulfill a key Christian duty.   The Church teaches: "Ignorance of God is the principle and explanation of moral deviations." ( CCC 2087).

"Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."  (Matthew 9: 13)

Lord, you desire mercy and not sacrifice.  You show us so much mercy.  Give us  merciful hearts.  Help us this day to show mercy to everybody we encounter in thought, word and deed.  Thank you Jesus.