Saturday, April 13, 2019

Behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat.

“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,  but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31 - 32).

Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. We remember Christ's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem to accomplish His mission through the Cross.

Just as Satan was given permission to sift Job like wheat, Satan has again been given permission to sift you and me like wheat. Our most merciful Savior and Teacher has prayed for us and has given us a cheat sheet to pass this test.

“Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.” Jesus said. (Luke 22: 46).

Your cheat sheet from the Master is: STOP SLEEPING AND PRAY.
Jesus taught that Prayer is a vital necessity. While Jesus never taught that we WORK Always,  Jesus asks us to pray always. A Christian who does not pray will not experience miracles. His faith is dying. He cannot overcome temptations. He has a wide open door for Satan to tempt him in all sorts of ways.

Through the power of Prayer, Jesus is strengthened in His inner self and ready to embrace the will of His Father during His temptations.
"Father, if this chalice cannot pass without my drinking it, your will be done." (Matthew 26: 42).

"Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!" (Philippians 2: 8 - 9).

Friday, April 12, 2019

We come to faith by hearing the word of God and seeing His marvelous works.

"Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done [the raising of Lazarus] began to believe in him." (John 11: 45).

On Saturday in the 5th week of Lent 2019, we see that faith comes also from seeing or witnessing the wonderful works of God. Yesterday, we read:
"Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.”  And many there began to believe in him." (Cf John 10: 40 - 42).

So, how do we come to faith?
#1 By hearing and believing the testimony of credible witnesses. As above.
#2 By seeing or witnessing the wonderful works of God. Some people have come to faith by surviving terrible auto accident, health crisis, financial meltdown, etc. They become convinced that nothing short of divine intervention saved them. If you are open to the supernatural, you must have examples from your life or others of divine interventions.

We have about one week to the end of Lent 2019. Everyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life. Eternal life starts here and now. Do you experience the deep peace of the Kingdom? Are you an overcomer of the problems of life through your faith?

"Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son:
everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!" (John 3: 16).

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Is your faith growing?

"He [Jesus] went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.  Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.”  And many there began to believe in him." (John 10: 40 - 42).

On Friday in the 5th week of Lent 2019, our word today is: "And many there began to believe in him." (John 10: 42).
Is your faith growing? If you have been feeding on the word of God in this Lenten series, then the unqualified answer is Yes! For anything to grow, there is need of constant nurturing. That is why Jesus said that you cannot know the truth and the truth cannot make you free unless you persevere day after day in His word. Thank You Jesus for Your precious words this Lent. Thank You for strengthening our faith.

"Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross,so that dead to sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds we have been healed." (1 Peter 2: 24).

"Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!" (Matthew 4: 17).

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Abba Father keeps all His promises.

"Here is my covenant with you: you are to become the father of a multitude of nations." (Genesis 17: 4).

On Thursday in the 5th week of Lent 2019, we choose a word of God that can set us free from anxiety and doubt. "The Lord remembers his covenant forever." God remembers all His promises to Abraham and fulfills every one of them. He remembers His promises to the Blessed Virgin Mary and fulfills every promise. Joshua reminded the people that God has not defaulted in a single promise He made to Israel. The Lord remembers all His promises to David and fulfills all.

Our God is a Father who keeps His promises. This truth which I know from Scripture and believe, sets me free from anxiety and doubt. Thank You Father, O Faithful God!

"Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!" (John 6: 63, 68).

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

You can enjoy unbelievable freedom by persevering in My word.

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31 - 32).

On Wednesday in the 5th week of Lent 2019, we hear in the Scripture above a message we can use at once. The Jewish crowd who heard Jesus wanted to know what He meant by being "set free." Set free from illness, poverty, prison, joblessness? We are happy they asked because Jesus used their question to instruct us on the true nature of freedom and the true freedom that sets us free from all types of harmful dependencies and slavery. Listen to Jesus:

"Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin." (John 8: 34). And therefore not free.
Jesus is saying that directly or indirectly sin is at the root of all the evil that torments man. Jesus came to deal with sin decisively through the Cross.

If the Son of God sets you free,  then you will truly be free. (Cf. John 8: 36).
How does Jesus set you free?
#1 Feed on His word every day.
#2 Feed on His Body.
#3 Completely trust in Jesus.

"Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!" (Matthew 4: 4).

Monday, April 08, 2019

Moses interceded for the people and the Lord had mercy on them.

"We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him." (Numbers 21: 7 - 8).

When the people got frosty in their attitude on the way to the Promised Land, they took it out on God and Moses. The punishment was swift and deadly. Quickly repenting of their sin, they begged Moses to intercede for them. Moses interceded for them. Those of them who repented and became obedient were healed.

Prayer is a key component of most religious traditions. We have seen that throughout Sacred Scripture, Intercessory prayers are conditio sine qua non of a living faith. The prophets and priests owe their continued relevance to this necessity. Jesus Christ is our able High Priest who intercedes for us day and night at the Father's right hand. The Blessed Virgin Mary owes her exalted position in Heaven as Queen and Mother to her Intercessory prowess. A giant Prayer Warrior. Saints in Heaven pray for us all the time. Our Guardian Angels and the Archangels protect us and intercede for us.

Where is the Prayer of Intercession in your spirituality? Who do you intercede for and how much time do you devote to interceding for your loved ones who have passed into eternity? Remember the Four Last Things: Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell. Many souls destined for Heaven will of necessity need purification. The Church calls this stage and process Purgatory.

"When I am lifted up from the earth,I will draw all to myself, says the Lord." (John 12: 32).

"Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!" (Gospel Acclamation).

"O God, who choose to show mercy not angerto those who hope in you,grant that your faithful may weep, as they should,for the evil they have done,and so merit the grace of your consolation.Through Christ our Lord." (Prayer Over the People).

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Your word O Lord is the light of the world.

"I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8: 12).

On Monday in the 5th week of Lent 2019, we receive a great light from the Light of the world. What does Jesus mean when He claimed emphatically that He is the light of the world? Jesus means exactly what Sacred Scripture proclaims in Psalm 119: 105.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Jesus is the word. He is in the word and that word is light. The light of His word shines in many dark areas of the world: Abortion, atheism, materialism, pornography, cruelty to the poor, homeless and immigrants.

When you order your life with the word of God, your thought, word and action will be guided by the Holy Spirit of truth. You will have the light of life and see things as they are. REALITY. Consider this example:
Many people play a game of chance, lottery to win money and become rich. What if they know this truth?

"The child of God can fear no ill,
His chosen, dread no foe;
We leave our fate with thee, and wait Thy bidding when to go.
‘Tis not from chance our comfort springs, Thou art our trust, O King of kings."  (Lauds - Liturgy of the Hours).

The above exposition of 2 Corinthians 1: 3 shines the light on the truth that the comforts we enjoy in life comes directly from the Father of mercies and God of all comforts and not from Chance. Playing lottery, a game of chance or luck denies this truth. The player risks falling into the trap of the enemy, the father of lies.

The Church shines the light of Christ in the world. The Church is protected from error through the infallible ministry of the Holy Spirit.

"Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Now is the favourable time: this is the day of salvation.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!" (2 Corinthians 6: 2).