Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Father blesses us with every blessing in the heavens.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens." (Ephesians 1: 3).

The above text is from Ephesians 1: 3 - 14, the second Reading in the Sacred Liturgy of this Sunday.  Savor the message of the Holy Spirit for the Church.

I asked Abba Father for the Holy Spirit. The Father gave me not only what I asked for but gave me as well:
Prayer, Word of God, Eucharist, Penance, Ministry.
He gave me peace, pardon, power, purpose, Presence, protection and provision.
He gave me Faith, Patience, Wisdom, Courage and Contentment.

Let us bless "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens" for He is a Promise-Maker and a Promise-Keeper.

"In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,  which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1: 13 - 14).

Amen.  Alleluia!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lord send me.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”  (Isaiah 6: 8).

The Prophet Isaiah had a vision of God in His Temple. In this vision, the Almighty has a message for the world.  “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”  “Here I am,”  said Isaiah “send me!”  (Isaiah 6: 8).

In today's Gospel (Matthew 10: 24 - 33).  Jesus once again instructs His disciples on the cost of discipleship.  In your missionary endeavors, I warn you to be prepared for anything. He concludes by giving them a great assurance of Divine protection and provision.  Without God's great faithfulness in keeping this promise, there will be no Church or missionaries today.
Read Christ's assurance and believe the word as the word of God and not the word of man.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.  Even all the hairs of your head are counted.  So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."  (Matthew 10:  29 - 31).

You are indeed worth more than many sparrows.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Honey, please come back.

"Thus says the Lord:
Return, Israel, to the Lord, your God;
you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words, and return to the Lord; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and take what is good.  Let us offer the fruit of our lips."  (Hosea 14: 2 - 3).

Yahweh God in the above Scripture is pleading with His spouse, Israel who offended Him and keeps offending Him by her flagrant prostitution: "Honey, please come back. I am prepared to forgive and forget everything.  Only tell Me that you are sorry and we can start all over as if nothing happened."

This is no melodrama here. This is the true Heart of God as presented in Sacred Scripture.  We are all the wayward woman.

The Response the Holy Spirit prompts the Church to use in today's Sacred Liturgy is the very response of David when he was cornered by Prophet Nathan to admit his guilt of adultery and murder.

"Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom. O purify me, then I shall be clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise.
(Psalm 51:3-4,8-9,12-14,17).

Ask for Mercy.
Be Merciful.
Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Join hands with Me to complete this mission.

"Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."  (Matthew 10: 8).

In Matthew 10: 1 - 7, Jesus chose the Twelve Apostles and commissioned them to start building the new Church He came to found:  Heal the sick, cast out demons and preach the arrival of the Kingdom of God. He lays down two principles to guide their missionary work:

#1.  They had full scholarship. Tuition and board were free.  Their healing and teaching ministry will be done free of charge.
Christ recognizes that the Apostles still need food and lodging. He lays down the second principle of missionary work.
#2. "The laborer deserves his keep."  (Matthew 10: 10).
They are not to be anxious about their needs. The people they serve will be inspired to provide what they need.

Seekfirst the Kingdom of God and live as simply as I do.  If you take care of My business, I promise to take care of yours.
"Master, this is a deal."

The mustard seed continues to grow and has become a huge tree where every kind of bird makes its home.
Will you trust Jesus?  Will you join hands with Him to complete this project?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

To understand Jesus, you must understand the Kingdom He came to build.

"Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness."  (Matthew 10: 1).

The Twelve is now formally constituted into a body to speak and act as Jesus. Cast out evil spirits and cure every disease and illness.  Then Jesus mandated the definitive mission of the Twelve and the Church they would oversee:
Make the proclamation everywhere:

This is our mission. To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33).

But what is the Kingdom of God?
Pope Francis has something important to say about the Kingdom of God and our personal involvement in its realization.  In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, "Rejoice and Be Glad."

"Just as you cannot understand Christ apart from the kingdom he came to bring, so too your personal mission is inseparable from the building of that kingdom: “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Your identification with Christ and his will involves a commitment to build with him that kingdom of love, justice and universal peace. Christ himself wants to experience this with you, in all the efforts and sacrifices that it entails, but also in all the joy and enrichment it brings. You cannot grow in holiness without committing yourself, body and soul, to giving your best to this endeavor. (Gaudate et Exsultate: REJOICE & BE GLAD).

To understand Jesus, you must understand the Kingdom which is His life's work. To be a Christian, you must seek first the kingdom of God and live as Jesus lived.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Wherever love and joy is to be found, there is God.

"But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”  (Matthew 9: 34).

Jesus cast out a demon from a mute demoniac and the Pharisees accuse Him of working under the power of the prince of demons.

Joy, peace, encouragement can never come from the Devil.  UBI CARITAS (wherever love is to be found, there is God) is a popular song in the Church teaches that love comes only from God.  Jesus is love, peace, joy and mercy incarnate.  How can the Pharisees not see this?

St Paul advices his spiritual children:
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4: 8).
These qualities come only from God.

"Every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit."  (Matthew 7: 17 - 18). The Pharisees and their likes are known by their fruits.

How do you recognize the actions of God in your life?  What are the fruits? Joy, peace, love, encouragement? They are from God.  Sadness, fears, worries and doubts? They are from the Evil One.
Swing into spiritual warfare and reject them in the mighty Name of Jesus.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The unbelievable faith of the official.

 “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”  (Matthew 9: 18).

An official whose daughter has just died said to Jesus: I believe that if You come with me to my house and lay Your hand on my dead daughter, she would be alive again.
Whence come the faith of this man? Why does one person have faith and another no faith? Can faith be developed?

The world today is witnessing an unprecedented crisis of faith.  It reminds us of the time of Hosea in the 8th century BC when the Kingdom of Israel had become very prosperous and experienced mass idolatry: idols of money, business, pleasure and all types of distractions.  Sounds familiar?  Large portions of the world today live in unbridled materialism.  Materialism has always opposed faith in the individual and society.

The official in the Gospel of today believed in Jesus.  He believed that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. (Hebrews 12: 2).  The official believed that the words and person of Jesus produce miracles.

How can we develop such strong faith?  Faith is a pure gift of God which God is more willing to give than we to receive. Ask for faith with boldness. Study passages like the message of today in the Gospels and learn all that you can about faith.

How about the materialism that infects all of us?  This is a prayer I would like to make every day:

“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."  (Proverbs 30: 7 - 9).