Saturday, July 06, 2019

I shall find my comfort in Jerusalem.

"In Jerusalem you shall find your comfort." (Isaiah 66: 13).

Sunday of the 14th week in Ordinary Time. The word to live by comes from Isaiah 66: 10 - 14).

The Lord God promises peace and prosperity and overflowing good fortune to Jerusalem after her period of chastisement. Jerusalem here is a type of the Church. We are urged to find our comfort in the Church and much more:
"Rejoice with her in her joy,
all you who mourn over her—
So that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
That you may drink with delight at her abundant breasts!" (Isaiah 66: 10 - 11).

What is this consoling breast, this abundant breast? Just think of the Church for a moment. What does the Church offer to the world? The Church offers to the world:

#1. The word of God.
#2. The 7 Sacraments.
#3. Light and wisdom through her authoritative teachings.

Everybody without exception is invited to "nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
and drink with delight at her abundant breasts!"

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed the man who seeks refuge in him." (Psalm 33: 9).

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Friday, July 05, 2019

The Choice and the Call of God is a mystery.

“Although the voice is Jacob’s, the hands are Esau’s.” (Genesis 27: 22).

Saturday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Maria Goretti (1890 - 1902), Virgin and Martyr. Maria died at the age of 12 defending her chastity. She witnessed to the power of Jesus Christ working in the little Ones. In her liturgy, the Church teaches us that God is the source of innocence and lover of chastity.

Our key Scripture is from Genesis 27: 1 - 29). We explore the mystery of the Call, the Choice and the Anointing. Why does God call Jacob instead of Esau, David instead of one of his brothers, Judas instead of Benjamin, Israel instead of Egypt? This is a great mystery.

"For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his treasured possession." (Psalm 135: 4).

God’s choice comes with blessings:

"May God give to you of the dew of the heavens and of the fertility of the earth abundance of grain and wine." (Genesis 27: 28).

Through the great mystery and gift of Baptism, we are all called, chosen and anointed as priest, prince and prophet.

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Thursday, July 04, 2019

I desire mercy and not sacrifice.

 “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9: 11).

Friday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time is the First Friday of July and the feast of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502 to 1539), Priest.

The Pharisees could not hide their disdain of Jesus for mingling with sinners and tax collectors. Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God will be like the net of a fisherman collecting both good and bad fish. Do you find this image of the Church disgusting? What type of Church do you secretly desire in your heart?

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.  Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9: 12 - 13).

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday, July 5th.

July 5, 2018 First Friday in July 2019.

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 7th month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #7.

#7.  "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

What is tepid?  Tepid is defined as lukewarm, slightly warm, unenthusiastic, apathetic, half-hearted.
Listen to what Jesus says about such persons:
"Because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  (Revelation 3: 16).

Are you lukewarm with regards to Jesus, to spiritual things? Regain your fire through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Richard Morrow of the Cathedral of Christ the King died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 90. For most of his 62 years as a priest, he was devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and honored the Sacred Heart every First Friday.

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, July 03, 2019

God put Abraham to test.

"God put Abraham to the test and said to him: Abraham! “Here I am!” he replied.  Then God said: Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you." (Genesis 22: 1 - 2).

Thursday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time is the Independence Anniversary of the United States of America.

As God guides creation in wisdom and goodness towards the fulfillment of its destiny in Christ Jesus, so is the Lord guiding America towards the fulfillment of its destiny. Therefore we pray:
"Father of the family of man, open our hearts to greater love of your Son. Let national boundaries not set limits to our concern. Ward off the pride that comes with worldly wealth and power. Give us the courage to open ourselves in love to the service of all Your people. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son." (Collect Independence Day Mass."

God put Abraham to test to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. Consider if God asks you to sacrifice your health, family, finances, job, possessions, country. How would you respond? This is how God responded to Abraham's obedience:

“I swear by my very self—oracle of the Lord—that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your son, your only one,  I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command.” (Genesis 22: 16 - 18).

Faith and obedience are always rewarded in the Bible.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

To believe and trust is human.

"DO not be unbelieving, but believe.” (John 20: 27).

Wednesday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Thomas the Apostle. Remember Thomas, the one who is nicknamed the Doubter? "I will not believe until I see. Until I touch." His feast day gives us the opportunity to reflect on why his unbelief was sharply rebuked by Jesus:
"STOP doubting and believe.” (John 20: 27 NIV).

Trust and belief comes naturally to most of us and we exercise this human trait continually every day.
We trust that our doctor knows what he is doing. We trust the pharmacist that the medication is not poison. We trust that the traffic light is programmed correctly. Husband and wife demonstrate trust of each other several times a day.

God created us to be trusting. Society can not function without the exercise of trust. But trust relies on one critical and often unspoken factor: Credible Witness. Thomas the Doubter was rebuked by Jesus because he doubted the credible witnesses (11 Apostles, Mary Magdalene, etc) who told him with certainty that Christ Jesus had risen and appeared to them.

I have never seen Jesus in the flesh. But I see and touch His Church every day. I believe because I believe in the 2000 years unbroken witness of the Church. Anywhere I am in this world, the Church is there for me to see and touch.

If you are one of those waiting for the mountain to come to you before you believe, Jesus says to you NOW: "Stop doubting and believe.”

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Monday, July 01, 2019

How to overcome acute fears.

“Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm." (Matthew 8: 25 - 26)

Tuesday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time. Our good news for today answers the question: how do we overcome acute fears?

Which of us has not experienced paralyzing fear in the area of health, family, finances, job, possessions, etc? In the Gospel of today, Jesus Christ puts His finger on the reason why fear masters our hearts: "O you of little faith?” Or No faith. The whole theme of the Sacred Scriptures is the story of how humble men and women came to trust in the word of God and grew to be giants and were able to overcome obstacles and nations through the power of faith.

The Bible asks the question:
"Who is it that overcomes the world?" (1 John 5: 5). And gives the answer:
"Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (ibid).

Now that we know this truth, we shall be greatly blessed if we pray thus: "Lord Jesus increase my little faith."

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Why did God single out Abraham?

"I have singled him [Abraham] out that he may direct his children and his household in the future to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord may put into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him." (Genesis 18: 19).

Monday of the 13th week in Ordinary Time. In our key Scripture for today, the Lord declared that He has singled out Abraham for blessings. What type of blessings?

#1 Father of a multitude of nations.
#2 Our exemplar of faith.
#3 Our intercessor and teacher of Intercessory prayer.

Before God chose Abraham, His eyes combed the whole world looking for a man of faith. God found that rock in Abraham. He believed a promise too good to be true. God liked what He heard and saw in Abraham.

You too can learn from Abraham's faith. You too have the word of God and His promises. You too has the choice today to believe or not to believe the promises of God. What is your inclination?

The Responsorial Psalm for today is one the Church uses constantly throughout the liturgical year because Psalm 103 speaks of promises the Lord has fulfilled for each of us.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

"He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

"Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
 slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever.

"Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him." (Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11).

Do you believe that the Lord is kind and merciful? Do you believe that God is faithful to His promises?

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