Saturday, May 04, 2019

Bearing witness to who we are is a duty.

"We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5: 32).

Today is the 3rd Sunday of Easter. During the Holy Week 3 weeks ago, we stood in the crowd and watched the Passion of the Christ. On Easter Sunday, we were huddled in fear with other disciples when the Risen Jesus appeared and said to us: "I was dead but behold I am alive forever." (Cf Revelation 1: 18). We rejoiced and danced for joy.

Today, "the true and faithful Witness" is inviting us to bear witness to what we have seen and heard. Are you ready? What does it mean to bear witness or to be sent on a mission? What does the Church say?

"The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known." (CCC 2472).

To make a long story short, bearing witness to Jesus is a duty and a necessity from our privileges as Christians.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you."  (John 15: 16).

Friday, May 03, 2019

What you do when you are terrified.

“It is I. Do not be afraid.” (John 6: 20).

Saturday in the 2nd week of Easter. The disciples were terrified when they see Jesus walking towards their boat in the lake. Jesus said: "It is I. Do not be afraid.” And they became pacified. Have you ever been in a fearful situation when the word of God brought you peace and comfort?

Once upon a time, I spent the night in the countryside in a house that was fenced with a brick wall. In the middle of the night, I heard a loud noise that seemed like someone of over 300 pounds had jumped over the wall. I woke up with a cold sweat wondering how to defend myself. Then a Scripture that I know and repeat often came to my mind:
"Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain." (Psalm 127: 1).
I asked myself: "Who is my security?" Peace and calm returned to me and I went back to sleep.
Jesus promises to be with us always. (Matthew 28: 20). If we cultivate the sense of His presence, this will bring peace and security in fearful moments.

"O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia." (1 Peter 2: 9).

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Feast of Saints Philip and James.

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14: 6).

First Friday in the 2nd week of Easter. Today is the feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles.

What does Jesus mean when He says that He is the Way? We say that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Jesus is the direct way to the Father. When Jesus says: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things you need will come to you." (Cf Matthew 6: 33). He gives us the most direct way to the good life. Jesus Christ is the Good News.

Jesus Christ is not only the Way, He is also the Truth and the Life. What is the meaning of life, you may wonder from time to time. The answer is in the Truth that is Jesus. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. In His light, we see all light. Jesus Christ is the Top Prize.

"I have come that you may have life and have it to the full." (John 10: 10). Jesus is that life which we yearn for. This is why He gave us His flesh and blood for our food. He took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to you and said: "Take and eat. This is my body." He did the same with the cup of wine.

Just as Saints Philip and James heard Jesus say "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and believed Him and followed Him so should we respond to His message.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday, May 3.

First Friday, May 03, 2019.

Jesus promised 12 special graces and favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 5th month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #5.

#5.  "I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings."

We celebrated the feast of St Joseph the Worker on May 1st. St Joseph is the patron saint of many workers who intercede for them for success and prosperity in all their understandings.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus promises to pour abundant blessings on all the undertakings of those who honor Him especially on the First Friday of every month.

Lord, prosper the work of our hands.

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, May 01, 2019

We must obey God rather than men.

“We gave you strict orders [did we not?] to stop teaching in that name." (Acts 5: 28).

Thursday in the 2nd week of Easter. The Memorial of St Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (297 - 373).St Athanasius defended the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Arian heresy. The heretics, a group not unlike the modern Jehovah Witnesses in their beliefs and arrogance. The Arians at this time had immense political power and they used it effectively to advance their pernicious doctrine. Athanasius the metropolitan Archbishop of Alexandria in Egypt suffered many exiles from Arian administrators but did not compromise the integrity of the Catholic Faith which is once and for all delivered to the saints.

"But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5: 29). The Apostle Peter and his brother Apostles laid down an important principle here. It is better to suffer than to deny the faith. This is a principle that our saint of today followed all his life.

"We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5: 32).

We believe in the infallible word of God. We believe in the Teaching of the Catholic Church. We believe in the concrete experiences God has given us to support our faith. We obey God and therefore we too are witnesses of these things as is the Holy Spirit that God has given us.

"In the midst of the Church [Athanasius] opened his mouth,
and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory, alleluia. (Cf Sirach 15: 5)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Feast of St Joseph the Worker.

"Is he not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13: 55).

Wednesday in the 2nd week of Easter. Today is May Day, the feast of St Joseph the Worker. The Church teaches that God laid down for human beings the law of work. Jesus Christ, a man in all things but sin was not exempt from the law of work. He followed the profession of His foster father Joseph the Carpenter. After Joseph died, Jesus became a self employed business man running the family carpentry shop until he was 30 years when he left Nazareth to start His ministry.

The feast of St Joseph the Worker "reminds us that honest work, no matter how seemingly menial, can be sanctified. Through work we can sanctify ourselves and others, making each of us participants in the work of redemption." (Roman Missal).

May the Lord prosper the work of our hands.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Apostles bore powerful witness to the Resurrection of Jesus.

"With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all." (Acts 4: 33).

Tuesday in the 2nd week of Easter. The first Reading from Acts 4: 32 - 37 answers our curiosity: How did those very first Christians live? They had no doubt great community life. But our key Scripture for today deals with one crucial aspect: The Apostles testified with powerful sermons to the Resurrection of Jesus. The Resurrection of the Lord became their magnificent obsession. This is a very important and interesting point given their initial timidity after the Crucifixion. What made the difference? Let us hear from Jesus.

"You must be born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified]." (John 3: 7 AMP).

In plain language it means: "To understand and believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and bear witness to it by your life day after the day, you must receive and activate the gift of the Holy Spirit."

All things are created twice. The first creation is earthy and earthly. Like Adam. The second creation is heavenly like Jesus.

Do you embrace your mission of bearing witness to the Resurrection of the Lord by sharing your gifts of time, talent and treasure?

"Alleluia, alleluia!
You, O Christ, are the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, you have loved us and have washed away our sins with your blood. Alleluia!" (Revelations 1: 5).

Sunday, April 28, 2019

How to set the world on fire.

"As they prayed... they were all filled with the holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4: 31).

Peter and John reported all that happened during their imprisonment and trial to their community. The community thanked God and prayed for courage to continue the work of evangelization. God answered their prayers.

Today is the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1347 - 1380). God set St Catherine on fire with divine love and boldness in the service of the Church.

"Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire." St Catherine of Siena said and lived this maxim. One of the poignant lessons of our key Scripture from Acts 4: 31 is the power of prayer. God answers prayers.

"Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18: 19).

How often do you pray and agree with someone over a need or intention?