Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ask for the Holy Spirit and keep asking for Him.

"If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11: 13).

Sunday of the 17th week in Ordinary Time. Luke gives us Jesus' delightful teaching on prayer. Let us recap the main points:

#1 Each day, ask the Father for what to eat.
#2 Always remember to ask for forgiveness for your sins. He who says I have no sin is a liar.
#3 The Father is committed to forgiving you all your sins. You must likewise forgive your neighbor.
#4 Pray with perseverance. Ask and keep asking.
#5 Believe me if I tell you this: The best thing to pray for is the Holy Spirit.

"Prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God's commandments. "[We] ought always to pray and not lose heart." (CCC 2098). This is a teaching we can use.

"On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart:
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple." (Psalm 138: 1 - 2)

Daily Bible Verse @

Friday, July 26, 2019

Where have the weeds come from?

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off." (Matthew 13: 24 - 25).

Saturday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time. The Lord Jesus proposes a parable of the weeds growing with the wheat. The night before He died, Jesus prayed that His disciples would remain one as the Father and Himself remains one. This was not to be because in every age, there arise people who judge the Church as compromised by apostasy. This parable and the Genealogy of Jesus Christ shout that God is not a fool. He knows what He is doing. No apostasy can stop His design for the world He created and loves dearly.

"The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’  He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’  He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.  Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13: 27 - 30).

Summary: It is the plan of God that the weeds will live side by side with the wheat till the end of the world.

“Gather my loyal ones to me, those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Psalm 50: 5).

Daily Bible Verse @

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of Mary and Grandparents of Jesus.

"Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20: 12).

Friday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Church says about Anne and Joachim:

"It was in the house of Joachim and Anne that the Virgin Mary received her training to be the Mother of God. Thus, devotion to Anne and Joachim is an extension of the affection Christians have always shown toward our Blessed Mother. We, too, owe a debt of gratitude to our parents for their help in our Christain formation." (Roman Missal).
Our 1st Reading today gives us a commandment with a promise:

"Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you."

Jesus obeyed Joseph and Mary:
"He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them." (Luke 2: 51).

"O Lord, God of our Fathers,
who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever." (Collect, Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne).

Daily Bible Verse @

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Feast of St James, Apostle.

"As he walked by the Sea of Galilee,
Jesus saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother
mending their nets and he called them." (Cf. Matthew 4: 18, 21).

Thursday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time, feast of St James, Apostle. James and John were sons of Zebedee. James was one of the Apostles with Peter and John who witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mountain and the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was condemned to death under King Agrippa I and beheaded in 42 AD.

James like the other Apostles held the treasure of God's calling and ministry in earthen vessels. When we look at the human weaknesses of the Apostles, we see how the enormous power of God can work even in us.

"I chose you from the world to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last, says the Lord." (Cf. John 15:16).

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I will test them to see if they will obey Me.

"Here in the wilderness the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron." (Exodus 16: 2).

Wednesday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time. Thank You O Lord for Your lesson to us today from Exodus 16. First, we learn that the Desert is the place for testing. God's intention in testing us is not to crush us. Rather, God is pruning us so that that we can produce more fruits.

"The Israelites said to them [Moses and Aaron], “If only we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our kettles of meat and ate our fill of bread! But you have led us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of famine!” (Exodus 16: 3).

Notice the cause of the complaint: Food. God may choose to test us in any of the 7-War Zones: Health, Family, Finances, Job, Possessions, Future.

In response to their childish complaints, God says: : "I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you." (Exodus 16: 4).

Here too, God attached a little test to see if the people will obey Him.
"Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not.  On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days." (Exodus 16: 4 - 5).

Do you recognize from above the principle of the Sabbath Rest? Not everyone in the camp obeyed this benevolent order.

When will our testing come? In what area? Our life as  Christians demands continually vigilant watch and prayer so that when and where and what area the test comes, we will be ready.

"In their heart they put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They even spoke against God. They said: ‘Is it possible for God to prepare a table in the desert?’" (Psalm 78: 18 - 19).

O that today, we would listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd.

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, July 22, 2019

How you can become a brother, sister and mother of Jesus.

"For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12: 50).

Tuesday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Bridget of Sweden (1303 - 1373). St Bridget, a mother of 8 children became a Franciscan tertiary after the death of her husband. She founded a religious order and dedicated her life in contemplation and wrote many ascetical and mystical works.

Our daily bible verse today fits the profile of St Bridget. Through study, prayer and contemplation, she discerned the will of God. She became the sister and mother of Jesus.

Many of us imagine that the will of God is burdensome. Like teenagers, we feel that the will of God constrains our liberty. I thought like this myself until I discovered the intent of God's will through His commandment: "You must keep holy the Lord's Day." I asked myself: 'Why does God give us this commandment?" To punish us? I had worked for decades. Never once did my boss say: "Take off Friday and enjoy yourself. You will receive full pay for the day." This is what Father God does in giving us the 4th Commandment. Every one of the 10 Commandments is to enhance our liberty and enjoyment of life. Satan deceived Adam and Eve about God's intent in asking them not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.

"The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eye." (Psalm 19: 8 - 9).

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Who is St Mary Magdalene?

"Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her." (John 20: 17 - 18).

Monday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time is the Memorial of St Mary Magdalene. St Mary Magdalene is one of the powerful women of the Bible. How did Mary Magdalene earn her place in history?

#1 She knew Jesus personally, touched Him and heard Him.
#2 She provided for Jesus which means she probably cooked His food and washed His clothes and cleaned His sandals.
#3 Mary was one of the few close disciples of Jesus that witnessed the entire passion and death of Jesus from A to Z.
#4 Jesus rewarded her for her loving loyalty by granting her the privilege of being the first to see the Lord after His Resurrection and commissioned her to take the Good News to the Apostles.

My brethren, the love of Christ controlled and compelled the life of Mary Magdalene after this beautiful soul realized what Jesus did for her. (Cf 2 Corinthians 5: 14).
Mary Magdalene must have wondered how she came to love Jesus insanely and then tumbled upon the reason: Jesus the Christ first loved her. (Cf 1 John 4: 19).
Yes, it is true. Jesus first loved us. It the magnetic power of this love that drew us to Jesus. O Mary Magdalene help me to understand the love Jesus has for me.

The Sacred Scriptures proclaim triumphantly: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5: 17). Just as Mary of Magdala becomes a new creation with the embrace of Jesus, so you and I can become the same today.

St Mary Magdalene pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @