Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Blessed Trinity is a mystery.

"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
the God who is, who was, and who is to come." (Cf Revelation 1: 8).

Sunday of the 11th week in Ordinary Time is Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so revealed our Lord Jesus Christ. So believes all who call themselves Christians and are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

How do we go about describing the God who is One in Three and at the same time the most perfect Unity. I would rather trust what the Church teaches:

"The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God". To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit." (CCC 237).

"Blest be God the Father,
and the Only Begotten Son of God,
and also the Holy Spirit,
for he has shown us his merciful love." (Entrance Antiphon).

Friday, June 14, 2019

Become a new creation.

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

Saturday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time. We can be "a new creation" or remain the old creature. But we can not be both. This is the word to live by for today.

Brethren, how do we become a new creation? What does the Scriptures say? Listen:
That old self corrupted by worldly and deceitful ideas must be discarded. Then you must allow the daily consumption of the word of God to reshape and renew your thoughts, words and actions. When this is accomplished, you will no longer conform to the sinful patterns of this world. Your desires will be transformed. Your friends will say: "What happened to you? You are different." You will smile and bear witness to the power of the name of Jesus. (Cf Romans 12: 2, Ephesians 4: 22 - 23. Etc)

It is all God's work. (Cf 2 Corinthians 5: 14 - 31).

Thursday, June 13, 2019

We hold fragile genuine riches in clay vessels.

"But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us." (2 Corinthians 4: 7).

Friday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time. Treasure in earthen vessel? We are the vessels. What treasure are we holding? Much genuine treasures:

#1 The Holy Spirit
#2 The Eucharist
#3 The Gift of Reconciliation
#4 The word of God
#5 Faith

All these and many more give us extraordinary power to be used by God for ministry. Let us consider our weaknesses as earthen vessels:

#1 Physical
#2 Spiritual
#3 Mental
#4 Moral

No government, company or business can entrust its critical resources and assets to the baggage that we present to God. Yet what happens? The The Father embraces us "so that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us."

Consider some extraordinary people God used in our days:
#1 Mother St Teresa of Kolkata.
#2 St John Paul II.
Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, they said YES to God and the rest is history.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I shall not be discouraged in the wonderful ministry God gave me through His mercy.

"Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged." (2 Corinthians 4: 1).

Thursday of the 10th week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church. St Anthony of Padua (1195 to 1231) was a Franciscan friar who was filled with the Holy Spirit and faith and was never discouraged by setbacks in the ministry the Lord entrusted him. His preaching ministry took him from North Africa to Italy and France. He is known as the Evangelical Doctor because he based all his teaching and preaching on the Gospel.

St Anthony is renowned also as a ready helper in difficult cases. Some years ago, Microsoft seized one of my important email addresses. I did everything to get it back but no success. Then I had the inspiration to pray to St Anthony of Padua and within a few hours got back the email address.

St Anthony believed that God in His mercy gave him a wonderful ministry of spreading His Good News to others and discouragement is not an option. Today's key Scripture inspires me to believe the same.

St Anthony of Padua pray for us.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Not many of us should become teachers.

"Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 19).

Wednesday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time. Call the message from our Master and Teacher today "a double-edged sword." Teacher beware! You teach not only by what you say. Every action of yours is closely scrutinized. I have heard people talk about teachers and preachers in these terms: "He is real. He is not real."

How do you react with this kind of warning from St James?
"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also." (James 3: 1 - 2).

Are you concerned or discouraged by the warnings? No need to.  We take consolation from the promise of the Spirit:
"Live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh......  In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.Galatians 5: 16, 22-23).

We are not qualified to take credit for anything in our ministry. Our qualification comes from God,  who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant by giving us the Holy Spirit. (Cf 2 Corinthians 3: 4 - 6).

Monday, June 10, 2019

This man encourages us to remain faithful to Jesus.

"When he [Barnabas] arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,  for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith." (Acts 11: 23 - 24).

Tuesday of the 10th week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Barnabas the Apostle. Barnabas introduced St Paul to the other Apostle in Jerusalem and later did missionary work with Paul.

Barnabas' special gift of the Holy Spirit is encouraging the brethren. The gift of encouragement is sorely needed in the Church today. Without encouragement, many people will give up fruitful ministry at the first setback.

Who is the Barnabas in your life? Who are you encouraging to remain faithful to Jesus in firmness of heart? How do you encourage? You encourage as the Lord encourages you. (Cf 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4). You can encourage with words via text messages, emails, letters. You can pray for the servant of God regularly. You can offer financial help. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on how you can become an encourager of the brethren.

"I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
But I have called you friends,
because I have told you
everything I have heard from my Father." (John 15: 15).

Sunday, June 09, 2019

New Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

"The disciples devoted themselves with one accord to prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus." (Cf Acts 1: 14).
Today is Monday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time. Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, a brand new feast "instituted by Pope Francis on February 11, 2018 — the 160th anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Lourdes."

“Behold, your son.... Behold, your mother.” (Cf John 19: 26 - 27).

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the only human being that witnessed all the mysteries of our salvation from Conception to Death of Jesus to the Birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday. Is this an accident or mere coincidence?

O God, Father of mercies, Your Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother, to be our Mother also; grant with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary that Your Church will grow to embrace all people. (Cf Collect of the feast).

"Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise,
for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God." (Gospel Acclamation).