Saturday, June 29, 2019

We have freedom now because Jesus made us free.

"For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5: 1).

Sunday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time. The word to live by today is from Galatians 5: 1. Here is an alternative translation:

"We have freedom now because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law." (International Children Bible)

How do we stand firm so that the dog does not go back to his vomit? It will be impossible for us to maintain our freedom as Christians without a solid plan for living our Christian faith day by day. That plan may consist of the following elements:

#1 Daily Prayer: Jesus calls Prayer a vital necessity.
#2. Word of God (God’s Manual).
#3.  Eucharist (Bread of life and Food for the Journey).
#4.  Penance and Examen (Medicine for the Journey).
#5.  Spiritual Reading (Our GPS: When you pray, you talk to God. When you read, God talks to you. St Ambrose, St Augustine, St Vincent de Paul).
#6.  Ministry (Sharing your gifts & making them more abundant).

Habit has power. The above 6 Daily Habits of Saints will help anyone retain the freedom that Jesus bestows on us.

"Live by the Spirit." (Galatians 5: 16).

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Friday, June 28, 2019

The Feast of the Pillars of the Church.

"Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied: You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 16, 18).

Saturday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul. Yesterday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today we celebrate the holy feast of the principal Apostles of the Christian faith. The very faith that these Apostles transmitted to us is what we profess today. Who are Peter and Paul?

"SS Peter and Paul are the principal pillars of the Church founded by Christ. Peter was chosen by Christ to be his first Vicar on earth; he was endowed with the powers of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16: 13 - 19) and charged with the role of Shepherd of Christ's flock. (John 21: 15 - 17).
Paul was chosen to form part of the apostolic college by Christ himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1 - 16). Selected to bring Christ's name to all peoples (Acts 9; 15), he is the greatest missionary of all time." (Roman Missal).
This is the great feast we celebrate today.

"These men, conquering all human frailty, shed their blood and helped the Church to grow. By sharing the cup of the Lord's suffering, they became the friends of God." (Entrance Antiphon).

SS Peter and Paul pray for us.

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly." (Romans 5: 6).

Friday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Hosea characterizes the love of God for us thus: "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them." (Hosea 11: 4). Was he writing about the Heart of Jesus?

Do you know personally the love and mercy of Jesus? Have you experienced His forgiveness, healing, peace, answered prayers etc? What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus and why do we celebrate this feast? Here is what the Church says :

"Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me." He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception." (CCC 478).

"Deep calls to deep." When you experience deep love, respond with deep love. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus with reverence and love.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28).

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Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday the 28th.

Friday the 28th of June is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Honor the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with a Mass and adoration.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The house built on rock did not collapse.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse."(Matthew 7: 24 - 25).

Why did the house not collapse? Because "it had been set solidly on rock." 

Thursday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Cyril of Alexandria (376 - 444), Bishop and Doctor of the Church. St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt is famous for his defense of the oneness of the Person of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is One Person, then the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos).

St Cyril listened to the words of Christ, meditated long on them.  During the crisis of faith that engulfed Christiandom in the middle of the 5th century, Cyril did not collapse from the virulent and battering attacks of heretics. His house "had been set solidly on rock."

Listen daily to the words of Christ and do what it tells you.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Abraham believed the impossible and what happened?

"Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great." (Genesis 15: 1).

Wednesday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Josemaria Escriva, Priest (1902 - 1975), the Founder of Opus Dei. His memories are still fresh for some reading this. Josemaria is a man of deep faith like Abraham and experienced both the shield and great reward of God during his life on earth and now in heaven. A few words about him from the Roman Missal:

"St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, opened a new path of holiness in the Catholic Church, teaching that people can become holy by performing their work and daily duties with a Christian spirit."

"He [God] took him[Abraham] outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be.  Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness." (Genesis 15: 5 - 6).

Note what Abraham did to be declared righteous by God. He believes the humanly impossible promise of God. What did the Blessed Virgin Mary do when a similar but greater promise was communicated to her by the Angel Gabriel? "I am the Lord's handmaid. Let what you have promised be done to me." In both cases, God fulfilled His promises. As a young man in Spain before the Spanish civil war, Josemaria heard the call from God to start a radical ministry with a new teaching. He did not walk away from the challenges. Today the world is blessed by the ministry of Opus Dei working in many countries of the world.

Has God put any dreams in your heart? Do not be afraid.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Do not be fooled by the Broadway.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many." (Matthew 7: 13).

Tuesday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time. The Lord Jesus gives us a counsel that is counter intuitive but full of wisdom. In the first Reading from Genesis 13, Abraham's nephew chose the Jordan Plain that looked like "the Lord's own garden." Abraham chose the "narrow gate."

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many."

"Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold." (Genesis 13: 2). Abraham was filled with faith and the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God guided his investment decisions. The Responsorial Psalm paints the character of Abraham:

"Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; he who does not slander with his tongue.

"He who does no wrong to his brother, who casts no slur on his neighbour, who holds the godless in disdain, but honours those who fear the Lord.

"He who keeps his pledge, come what may; who takes no interest on a loan and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm for ever. (Psalm 15: 2 - 5).

A Rabbinic writing says that When God found Abraham, He said that He has found a rock to make the foundation of the world.

Let your faith show like Abraham and Mary's.

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist.

“No. He will be called John.” (Luke 1: 60). And John the Baptist was called John as Elizabeth his mother insisted.

Monday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist. Only three birthdays are celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Church: Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist. Who is John the Baptist?

"John the Baptist is "more than a prophet." In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God." (CCC 719).

The core ministry of St John the Baptist is Reconciliation: "Come back to Me." (Joel 2: 17; Jeremiah 3: 14, 3: 22, 4: 1; Hosea 11: 2).

"He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light,
preparing for the Lord a people fit for him." (John 1:7; Luke 1: 17).

Jesus gives John His greatest recognition of any human being:
"Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11: 11).

St John the Baptist pray for us.

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The Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him, says the Lord." (John 6: 57).

Sunday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. (CCC 1324). The Eucharist is also the new Covenant ratified with the Blood of Jesus.  (Mark 14: 24).

"While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many."  (Mark 14: 22 - 24).

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him, says the Lord."  (John 6: 57).

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