Saturday, July 07, 2018

My grace is sufficient for you.

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  (2 Corinthians 12: 9).

If the grace of Christ is sufficient for the Apostle Paul, the same grace of Jesus will do exactly the same for us. To enjoy this favor, understand and trust the Divine Providence.  Then adopt these three steps to peace of heart and mind:

#1 Accept all that has happened.
#2 Accept everything that is happening.
#3  Cooperate with everything except what is sinful.

St Paul understood the mystery of Divine Providence and the Sufficiency of the Grace of God. His attitude underwent 360 degree change. Read St Paul's insight into mysteries of faith:

"I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong."  (2 Corinthians 12: 9 - 10).

Before you can boast of the things Paul boasted about, you must accept them.
Help us O Lord to know Your power working in us.

Friday, July 06, 2018

The Lord promises full restoration.

"Thus says the Lord: On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David;
I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old." (Amos 9: 11).

God castigated His people through His word proclaimed by Prophet Amos. God's anger lasts a moment. His mercy lasts forever.  The Chosen people that once dwelt in palaces and big mansions now lived in dilapidated huts.  From riches to rags.  God's ways are not our ways.  He strikes and He heals.

"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance."  (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 4).

The Lord promises restoration to a long suffering people.  Are you waiting for restoration in any areas of your life? This promise is for all of us.
"I will restore my people Israel, they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, Plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits."  (Amos 9:  14).

"I, the LORD will do it." (Amos 9: 12).

Thursday, July 05, 2018

When will the new moon be over?

"See what days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
days when I will bring famine on the country, a famine not of bread, a drought not of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord.
They will stagger from sea to sea,
wander from north to east,
seeking the word of the Lord
and failing to find it."  (Amos 8: 11 - 12).

Can a day actually come when people will hunger so much for the word of God?
"O God, when will this day come?" could be the unsurprising response of modern prophets worn out by constant rejection of their message. 

“When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain,
And the sabbath, that we may open the grain-bins?"  (Amos 8: 5).

The people rejected the Sabbath Rest which is a bonus bestowed by a loving God on His people. 
"They must realize that the Sabbath is the LORD's gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day."  (Exodus 16: 29 NLT).

"Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord."  (Matthew 11: 28).
Who will respond to this cry of Jesus?
"Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks."  (Matthew 4: 4), Jesus teaches.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of July 2018.

July 6, 2018 First Friday in July 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 7th month of the year 2018, we look at Promise #7.

#7.  "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

What is tepid?  Tepid is defined as lukewarm, slightly warm, unenthusiastic, apathetic, half-hearted.
Listen to what Jesus said about such persons:
"Because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  (Revelation 3: 16).

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, July 04, 2018

Is it easier to heal the body or the soul?

"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”  (Matthew 9:   2).

Jesus was ministering in a room packed with people.  The friends of the paralytic man lowered him from the roof and dropped him in front of Jesus.  Their action is the "faith" that Jesus saw.  So you can see faith.

The bigger theme of the Gospel of today is the sin of the paralyzed man.  Since Jesus came to suffer and die for sin, He dealt first with the root and source of illness.  “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." (Matthew 9: 2).  Jesus was immediately attacked for forgiving the man's sins. “This man is blaspheming.” (Matthew 9: 3).

The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world knows more than anyone the intricate connection between Sin, Suffering and Salvation.  He proves it:
"Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”  (Matthew 9: 5 - 6).

"Lord, send your mercy and your truth to rescue us from the snares of the devil, and we will praise you among the peoples and proclaim you to the nations, happy to be known as companions of your Son."  (Psalm Prayer, Lauds Thursday, July 5th, 13th Week in Ordinary Time).

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The message of Prophet Amos on the occasion of the Independence Anniversary.

"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim. Hate evil and love good,
and let justice prevail at the gate;
Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph."  (Amos 5: 14 - 15).

America celebrates its Independence Anniversary today.  The exhortation from the Prophet Amos in today's Scripture reminds us that genuine freedom is a gift from God.   To safeguard this freedom, the nation must pursue goodness and justice.
The prophet concludes his persuasive nudge to the nation thus:
"But if you would offer me burnt offerings, then let justice surge like waters, and righteousness like an unfailing stream."  (Amos 5:  22, 24).

"Father of all nations and ages,
we recall the day when our country
claimed its place among the family of nations; for what has baen achieved we give you thanks,
for the work that still remains we ask your help, and as you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, grant that, under your Providence, our country may share your blessings with all the peoples of the earth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen." (Collect of the Mass of Independence Day).

Happy Independence to you all.

Monday, July 02, 2018

I command you stop doubting and you start believing now.

"Do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  (John 20: 27).

The above text is a sharp rebuke of of Thomas the Apostle by Jesus. Thomas insisted that he had to see with his two eyes, stick his fingers into the nail holes before he would believe.
What is the principal error of Thomas? Against reason, he refused to believe the testimony of credible witnesses.  He discounted the affirmation of Peter and the other apostles and Mary Magdalene who had become eye witnesses to the apparitions of Jesus after the Resurrection.  Faith comes from believing the testimony of credible witnesses.   There are just a few things in life you can see and touch. Vast majority of things we believe because someone we trust tells us so.

Disbelief, unbelief, unreasonable doubt are crippling mental states. Can you believe that there are folks among us today who deny the Holocaust? Victims of these barbarism still live among us.

Jesus told Thomas, "Stop doubting and believe.”  (John 20: 27).  This command was all that Thomas needed to make him a super believer.  Jesus too can command our doubts, fears and worries disappear.  Let us ask Him:

Lord Jesus, command that we no longer be faithless but strong believers in You and Your mission.   Say but a word Jesus and our doubts will be gone. Amen.

Today is the feast of St Thomas the Apostle, martyr and great missionary to India.  This feast is a Solemnity in India.
St Thomas pray for us.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

How far and how long are you prepared to follow Me?

“Teacher,  I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”  Another of [his] disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”  But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”  (Matthew 8: 19 - 22).

Two enthusiastic would be disciples received one answer to their application to follow Jesus:
You must count carefully the cost of discipleship.  How far and how long are you prepared to follow Me? What will you do when the going becomes tough?  I will show you what a prudent and faithful disciple looks like.  That disciple followed Me from the beginning of my ministry to the end.

“What sort of servant, then, is faithful wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at his employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns.” (Matthew 24: 45 – 48)

Pope St John Paul II writing on faithfulness says:
It is good to be faithful for one day.
It is better to be faithful for ten years.
It excellent and blessed to be faithful day after day to the end.

This is why the Blessed Virgin Mary is called the most excellent and faithful disciple of Jesus.  She received the message of salvation from the Archangel Gabriel. She followed Jesus learning everything she could. She walked the Via Dolorosa with her Son to Calvary.  She received the body of her Son from the Cross from the Roman soldiers. She laid Him in the tomb and witnessed the sealing of the tomb.
Call this: faithful from womb to tomb.
A disciple of Jesus must be prepared to give all.