Saturday, October 12, 2019

Do not deny God your sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

"And one of them [leper], realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;  and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan." (Luke 17: 15 - 16).

Sunday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. The first Reading from 2 Kings and the Gospel from St Luke point us to Prayer of Thanksgiving. “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?" Asked Jesus. Was Jesus hurt that ten lepers who were healed of the terrible malady of leprosy walked away without giving thanks. I bet he was. Here is why:

Worship is at the heart religion. At the heart of worship is Thanksgiving. God does not eat steak, barbecue or drink champagne or wine. He has no need for gold or silver. God feeds on: "Sacrifice of thanksgiving." And again in the same Psalm 50: "Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God." Imperative!

Do not walk away after realizing that you are pregnant, got the job, home, health, money, etc, Return and Give Thanks.

The Church teaches on Thanksgiving:
"Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head." (CCC 2637).

Do not deny God your sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

God's word never fails.

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Luke 11: 28).

Saturday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. Do you truly want to be blessed? Do you desire happiness above all things? Let us listen to the Blessed One, the Master teach us the secret of happiness.

First, note that Jesus points to His Mother Mary as a truly blessed One. She is "full of grace."
Blessedness, happiness (makarios) occurs 15 times in Luke.
In Luke 1: 45, Elizabeth pronounced Mary a blessed One for hearing God's incredible promise and believing it. In Matthew and Luke, the Beatitudes bring happiness and a blessed state.

Our Gospel pick for today gives us a sure, tried, proven means of being blessed:
"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Faith comes from hearing the word of God. The word of God is so powerful because God is in His word. The word of God brings wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety and fear of the Lord.
Do not forget that another name for Jesus is the "the word of God."

It is not possible to hear the word of God, understand it and not observe it. This is because the word of God is the word of life. But Jesus added for emphasis in our Scripture for today: "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

All things are established in the will (word) of God and nothing can resist God's will (word). (Cf Esther 4: 7).

John the Evangelist teaches that observing the word of God is not difficult. "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome." (1 John 5: 3).

Let us ask God to open our eyes to the beauty of His word and give us the grace to keep it so that we can enjoy happiness here on earth and life everlasting.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

You Jesus are the Lord of all.

"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Luke 11: 23).

Friday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. Are you for Jesus or against Him? How do you know where you stand with Jesus? Ready for the test?

#1 Are you aligned with the mind of Jesus on the poor and the homeless?
#2 Are you helping as a shepherd to attract people to the Church or scattering them in all directions?
#3 What is your attitude to orphans, widows and immigrants?
#4 Where do you stand on life issues? 50% or 100%?

These are just a few questions. You see clearly that there can be no neutral position on these questions. No "Independents." You are either working with Jesus or hurting the cause of Jesus. Decide today to work with Jesus in building up His Kingdom.

"But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also." (Matthew 6: 33 AMP).

Jesus is the Lord of all the creation.
"Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all." (Cf Esther 4: 17).

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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

I will rebel against the Lord. No more prayers. No Mass. No nothing.

“It is vain to serve God, and what do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress in awe of the Lord of hosts? Rather must we call the proud blessed; for indeed evildoers prosper, and even tempt God with impunity.” (Malachi 3: 14 - 15).

Thursday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. I am enjoying the comforting message from the Prophet Malachi in the first Reading. Have you ever wondered why individuals or nations who do not fear the Lord seem to prosper while those who keep His laws and wait upon Him appear to lack everything? Well, you are not alone. We may say that this is the perennial preoccupation of the prophets.

Now consider this: What if you rebel against God and say: No more prayers or Mass! No more Bible reading or study! No more tithing or fasting! Will the rebellion help you in any way? Of course not. Our destiny is in the hands of God.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1: 17).

On Sunday, we read how God answered Prophet Habakkuk:
"Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to ful­fillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late." (Habakkuk 2: 2 - 3).

Today God answers the Prophet Malachi:
"The Lord listened attentively; And a record book was written before him of those who fear the Lord and trust in his name. And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my own special possession, on the day I take action. And I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. Then you will again see the distinction between the just and the wicked; Between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve him." (Malachi 3: 16 - 18).

Message: If you serve the Lord, be patient. Learn to wait for the Lord. In the fullness of time, the Lord will bless you mightily.

"The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him.  It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3: 25 - 26 TLB).

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5: 6).

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Why we pray every day "Your Kingdom Come."

“Lord, teach us to pray... “When you pray, say:... your kingdom come." (Luke 11: 1 - 2).

Wednesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Denis. The first Bishop of Paris died with his companion martyrs under the persecution of Emperor Valerian about 258 AD.

Jesus teaches us to ask the Father every day: "Your Kingdom come." What does Jesus mean? First, the Kingdom is the realm, domain where the King exercises authority. The King makes laws but unlike earthly kingdoms has no need to enforce the laws. The Church is the seed and the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth.

We pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God every day because the Kingdom of God is the means of Restoration of mankind to fullness of salvation. Christ's death, Resurrection and Ascension ushered the inauguration of the Kingdom.

When we open our hearts and minds to the reign of King Jesus over our Time, Talent and Treasure, we are sincerely praying for "Your Kingdom come!" When we participate in the work of evangelization, catechesis, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, God is using us mightily in building up His Kingdom on earth. As the Church grows every day in charity, the Kingdom of God or what St John the Evangelist calls Eternal life is growing.

Be active builders of the Kingdom of God.

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Monday, October 07, 2019

Mary has chosen the better part.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10: 41 - 42).

Tuesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time. If someone asks you this question: What is the one thing necessary in your life? How would you respond? To be in good health? To have a beautiful family? To have plenty of money? To have a great job or your own business? To have great home with everything in it? To have a pantry filled with good and exotic food?

In today's Gospel Reading, Jesus invites us to consider carefully our priorities. Martha hurriedly welcomed Jesus in her home and dived right back into the kitchen. When she emerged after some thirty minutes, she said: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

How do you welcome the presence of Jesus in Prayer? When you read the word of God? In the Blessed Sacrament and in the Eucharist? With an eye on your watch? Anxiously trying to anticipate the next deadline?

In the first Reading, Jonah successfully preached the message of repentance. Our Martha would have been very busy in the kitchen and missed the message of the Prophet. Correct thought is the key to correct action.

Jesus is saying to us today that He is the King and where He is, there is the Kingdom. If we seek first His Kingdom and His manner of doing things, every other thing will fall into place. (Cf Matthew 6: 33).

Lord Jesus, open our hearts and minds to the truth that makes us free.

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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Cf Luke 1: 28,42).

Monday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time is the feast Our Lady of the Rosary. I shared with a friend after Mass this weekend how I attribute my metanoia to the power of the Holy Rosary. In recognition and gratitude for such a momentous grace, I have said the Rosary every day for almost 25 years. Incredibly powerful prayer.

No prayer in the Church's Treasury of Grace has been commended and recommended by Pontiffs, Doctors of the Church and saints for centuries as the Rosary. This is what the Church says about Marian devotions and especially the Holy Rosary:

"All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary." (CCC 971).

Pope St John Paul II wrote àpropos the Holy Rosary:
"The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation." (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, #39).

The Rosary is a prayer that will never disappoint you.

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