Saturday, September 07, 2019

Before embarking on a new project, count the cost.

"This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish." (Luke 14: 30).

Sunday of the 23rd week in Ordinary Time. When you embark on a new project: building a home, a new career, volunteering for a new ministry, etc. Rule #1 is sit down and count the cost. This will save you embarrassment and mockery from friends, family and neighbors. The stakes are higher when you make a vow to God. You can not walk away from it.

The message of the 23rd Sunday can be expressed thus: God approves of those who seek first His Kingdom and give it their All. Jesus our Captain invites us to take His yoke upon ourselves and learn from Him.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14: 6). Don't deceive yourself by looking for an easy way. The only way is the Cross. If we are the first to go through this way, you may be excused if you consider it an impossibility. But we have a cloud of witnesses that have gone this way before us.

This morning, I was humbled to sit in the exact spot Mother St Teresa of Kolkata sat when she visited the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Atlanta, Georgia in 1995. Some other people have been in the very spots Pope St John Paul II was in his various visits to the US. Some of the clouds of witnesses might be sitting beside you in your parish this Sunday.

If Jesus is the light of the world, then follow Him. "I am the light of the world; who ever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8: 12).

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Friday, September 06, 2019

Why are doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?

“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” (Luke 6: 2).

Saturday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time. What are you doing on the Sabbath? We should be doing Praise and Worship. The Lord of the Sabbath teaches that there could be discrete exception to this rule.

"Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy." (Exodus 20: 8). The command to set apart the Sabbath is very important as seen from the way it is treated in Sacred Scriptures. It is the exaggerated concern for the obligation and sanctity of the Sabbath Rest that gave rise to hundreds of minutiae rules concerning the basic command to keep holy the Lord's Day. Throughout the Christian history, the Magisterium of the Church has not only expounded on the sacred character of the Sabbath but has taught that the Sabbath was instituted for the enjoyment of the People of God. It is a day of worship of God. A day of rest for the whole family from the hustle and bustle involved in making a living. It is a day to enjoy the parks, watch Christian movies. It is a day to visit the sick in the hospital.

The Sabbath Rest is Rehearsal for Eternal life. One day, there will be no work. By obeying the law of the Sabbath, you build up your faith in this promise of God. God plans to redeem man and creation from the present servitude.

It is more enjoyable to keep holy the Lord's Day than to do anything unlawful on the Sabbath Rest.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Jesus is the Icon of the invisible God.

"He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God." (Colossians 1: 15).

Friday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time is First Friday in September. We honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The first Reading from Colossians 1 is a beautiful celebration in words of the Preeminence of Jesus Christ both in His Sacred Person and His work.

Jesus is the image [icon] of our God who is invisible. He is the pleroma (fullness) of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Consider the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit for a moment: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord. Let us complete the picture of Deity by bringing in the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control and Chastity. Both the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit form the complete picture of Jesus Christ.

"O Lord, you are good and forgiving, [Just as Jesus is good and forgiving] full of mercy to all who call to you." [Just as Jesus is full of mercy to all who call to Him.] (Psalm 85: 5).

John wrote that in the fullness of time, we shall all be like Jesus. We shall be God as St Basil the Great wrote. "Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations – we become God." At the moment, we are being christified degree by degree through the molding of our character by the Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters, do you know of any obstacles to this process of christification in your life today? Reject it. It is not worth it.

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

September 6, 2019 - First Friday in September.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which Jesus made through St Margaret Mary Alacoque to all who honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month. In the 9th month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #9.

#9.  "I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored."

This is a very easy condition to fulfill. Buy the Sacred Heart of Jesus picture from a Catholic Bookstore or Amazon and place it in a prominent place in your home. Now you can pray to Jesus: Bless my home as You promised. I honor Your Sacred Heart image displayed in my home.

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:

To read the Blog proper to today, Friday - 09/06/2019, visit:
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Wednesday, September 04, 2019

I will do whatever You command me.

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” (Luke 5: 4 - 5).

Thursday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time. How would you react if someone who apparently knows nothing about cars walked into your garage and tells you how to fix a complex problem your mechanics have been grappling with for many hours? Peter told Jesus that as experienced fishermen, they had done everything possible and caught no fish. And then he added something absolutely inspired: "But at your command I will lower the nets.” O that I may have such common sense and inspiration if I am in such a situation!

This Gospel incident reminds us of the Wedding feast at Cana. Mary told the stewards: “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2: 5).

Obedience to God even when the command makes absolutely no sense yields a miracle. This is the pattern throughout Sacred Scripture. May the Lord grant us the obedience of faith.

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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

I have been sent to proclaim the kingdom of God.

“To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4: 43).

Wednesday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time. Jesus made a solemn declaration of the Purpose for His Incarnation in our chosen Scripture for today: To preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

Let us unpack the message in Luke 4: 43. First Jesus stated that the Good News must be preached everywhere and not just in some towns with the exclusion of others. God's will is the salvation of the whole world.

What is the core of the Good News? The core of the Good News is the substance of the preaching of Peter and the other Apostles after the experience of Pentecost. This is also called the Apostolic Kerygma. It is Kerygma (Proclamation) and not arguments or futile debates. It is the word of God, the word of life without error. Accept it or not accept it.

The central element of the Good News and the Proclamation is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the Reign of God in the world. It has its seed in the Church. It is here and now. Its fullness will come in the future (Parousia) when there will be the new heaven and the new earth. The kingdom was inaugurated by Jesus Christ on the cross where the Son of Man inflicted a humiliating defeat on Satan and opened for us the gate of life everlasting. Anyone who believes in the truth that Christ died, rose from the dead and in His name salvation comes to all is enjoying eternal life here and now. Jesus Christ already reigns in the person. The person lives and knows that King Jesus is in control of his health, family, finances, job, possessions, etc.

If Jesus is your King, then you must join Him to bring these glad tidings everywhere.

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Monday, September 02, 2019

Jesus taught with authority. Feast of St Gregory the Great.

"Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority." (Luke 4: 31 - 32).

Tuesday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Gregory the Great (540 - 604), Pope and Doctor of the Church. St Gregory was a prominent prefect (mayor) of Rome who used his wealth to found six monasteries before he was elected Pope. He is noted in history for instituting liturgical reforms and initiating missionary endeavors. It was due to St Gregory that missionaries were first sent to England.

We know that the most popular title of Jesus among the people is Rabbi (the Teacher). In today's Gospel Reading, we find out why. Jesus taught the people with authority. (verse 32). This contrasts with the teachings of the Pharisees and the lawyers who were fond of long quotations of references to support whatever they say. It also contrasts with the teachings of modern professors and authors who teach like the Pharisees and lawyers of the time of Jesus: long quotations and references. Jesus taught with simplicity and authority.

Lord Jesus, You gave Your Church the mission to teach all nations what You taught the Apostles, give our teachers the gift of the Holy Spirit so that they can teach the Faith with simplicity and authority.

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Sunday, September 01, 2019

This Scripture is fulfilled Today.

"He [Jesus]... went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day....... He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4: 16 to 19).

Monday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time. In our Scripture for today, Jesus did in the synagogue in His home town Nazareth what He had never done before. He stated clearly for everyone to hear that He is the Man, the Messiah chosen to fulfill the long held promises and desires of the people.

“Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 21). What does this bold proclamation remind us?

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2: 29 - 32).
Simeon the Prophet, a devout man filled with the Holy Spirit testified that "Today" God fulfilled His promise to Israel when he held the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Does the Spirit of God in you ever tug your heart to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free?
Consider these ministries:
#1 Social Justice
#2 Prison Ministry
#3 Cathechesis
#4 Evangelization

Lord Jesus, lead us, guide us and use us.

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