Saturday, January 05, 2019

The Magi saw and believed.

"We [The Magi] saw the star at its rising and have come to do him homage."  (Matthew 2: 2).

Today is the Solemnity of the the Epiphany.  The star called forth the three Wise Men from the East to follow the star and they found and recognized the infant Jesus as Son of God and King of the Universe.  Every day, the star of freedom beckons men and women from everywhere to America, God's own country to their idea of paradise.

Where is your star pointing to?  Is it pointing to the Child Jesus born in poverty in a stable? Or is it pointing to “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” (Revelation 17: 5).

"They [Magi] were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother." 
(Matthew 2: 10 - 11).

Consider this for a moment: These 3 kings and scientists were able to recognize the Infant Jesus in such an unlikely environment.  How could this be when 2000 years after His birth, not everyone on earth has bent the knee at the Name of Jesus?

You that acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King, follow the example of the Magi:
"They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2: 11).

"Lord, every nation on earth will adore you."  (Cf Psalm 72).

Friday, January 04, 2019

The Lord is my allotted portion and my cup.

"O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.  For me the measuring lines have fallen on pleasant sites; fair to me indeed is my inheritance."  (Psalm 16 :5 - 6: Entrance Antiphon).

There are Scriptures that affirm who you are.  They bring you comfort and encouragement  when you need it most.  I delight to rest in Psalm 16 and savor the sweet sentiment that this Psalm exudes. If the Lord Himself is your allotted portion and cup, it means that you have the best part.  You may not feel that you have the privileged part, but your feelings do not matter at all.

Faith is complete confidence in the word of God, in His promises.  To live by faith is to live by the promises of God and not by the evidence of your senses or feelings.  I am trying to put this teaching into practice daily.  How do I do this? Not by reading books on faith and praxis. But rather, I include in my morning prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to live this day as I believe and as I pray.

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

It is said that prayer is the efficient cause of every comfort in life.  St Augustine puts it this way:
"If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, then all is well."

Thursday, January 03, 2019

The price of our freedom is huge.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"  (John 1: 29).

It is impossible to understand Sin until you sit still and contemplate a life-size Crucifix.  A crucifix is a cross with a corpus (body).  I have often wondered why the Blessed Virgin Mary urges mystics and those who desire to advance in spiritual life to look at the crucifix often. The cross is the means and instrument of our redemption. The sacrifice of a human being who is equally God is how the price of our salvation is paid.

"The Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil."  (1 John 3: 8).

What are the works of the devil?

"Now the works of the flesh [devil] are obvious: 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).

These are works/sins that keep us enslaved, depressed, miserable, unfulfilled.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"  (John 1: 29).

"We have found the Messiah."
(John 1: 41).  Have you?

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus..

January 4, 2019  -  First Friday in January.

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 1st  month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #1.

#1.  "I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life."
What is your state of life?
A.  Married
B.  Single
C.  Divorced
D.   Adolescent

Each state has its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  Jesus promises us here more than sufficient grace to cope with whatever happens.  There can be only one response to this magnanimous offer of Jesus:  Yes and Thank You Jesus!

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, January 02, 2019

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

"At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Philippians 2: 10-11).

Today is the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  Jesus is the name given to our Redeemer before He was born. The name Jeshua in Hebrew means God Saves!  It is a name that is so appropriate for Jesus because He saves everyone who puts his faith in Him.

From the dawn of Christianity, Christians have discovered the mysterious power in the name of Jesus.  They have invoked this name out of love and for protection.  I recently laughed aloud when I was reading a book of Pope Francis and he asked his audience how many times a day they mention the name of Jesus.  When my alarm rings in the morning, the first sound I make is the name of Jesus. And throughout the day over a hundred times.  If you say the Rosary every day, you mention the name of Jesus at least 60 times.

One other thing I would like to say about the name of Jesus is that it is a full prayer. Have you heard about the Jesus Prayer? Packed into that one word is love, joy, adoration, petition, protection and power.

"The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
To all who received him he gave power to become children of God."  (John 1:14,12).

It is said that the name of Jesus is the sweetest sound in every language.

Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Who are you?

“Who are you?”..... “What are you then?.... What do you have to say for yourself?” (John 1: 19, 21, 22).

The priests, levites and Jewish leaders have been watching the ministry of St John the Baptist for a while. At long last, they decided to hear from the horse's mouth the identity of this austere prophet.  John did not beat about the bush:  “I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord.”  (John 1: 23).

And you? Who are you? What is your purpose on earth? What do you do for the Church of God?  All these are apt questions to reflect on as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ on January 13th marking the end of the Christmas Season.

We celebrate today, January 2nd, two great Bishops and Doctors of the Church: Saints Basil the Great (329 to 379)and Gregory Nazianzen (329 to 389).  Both men, great friends in this world "proclaimed Christ crucified; Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God." (Cf 1 Corinthians 1: 23 - 24).

Monday, December 31, 2018

When the fullness of time...

"When the fullness of time had come..... The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger."  (Galatians 4: 4, Luke 2: 16).

Today is January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  God our Father in His mercy begins all good things and brings them to fulfillment. He is pleased to grant us new beginnings in this Year of grace.

"The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!"  in 2019. (Numbers 6: 24 - 26).

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever."  (Hebrews 13: 8).

May God bless us all in 2019 in his mercy.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

How to be a new person in 2019.

"Children, it is the last hour.........we know this is the last hour."  (1 John 2: 18).

Today indeed is Monday, December 31, 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas.  The beloved Apostle and Evangelist screams in the first Reading: LAST HOUR!

What shall we do? First review 2018 and note carefully the blessings and mercies of God. Then give thanks.
This is the hour that many people fine-tune the New Year Resolution.  I will share with you frankly a very simple and easy to keep resolution that can transform your life and bring you much peace and joy.

#1.  Pray always.
#2.  Pray about everything.
#3.  Pray everywhere.
(Cf Philippians 4: 6 - 7).

The most powerful prayer is just one word: Jesus.

St Augustine teaches:  "If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, all is well."

If you start with prayer, your day will be blessed.  A body in motion continues in motion. (1st law of motion).

"The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him
he gave power to become the children of God."  Jn 1:14, 12).

Be a new creation in 2019!
"Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."  (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

SeekFirst Community wishes you and your family a 2019 full of faith, peace, patience, kindness and good health and prosperity.
Amen. Come Lord Jesus!