Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything.

"As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight." (Exodus 17: 11).

Sunday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Great teachings on Prayer this Sunday. Thank You Holy Spirit. Today is World Mission Sunday. Missionaries are those sent to preach the Good News. The Church is a Missionary People. A missionary that advances on his knees never retreats.

Prayer and not action is the greatest gift and tool of the missionary Church. Jesus commanded the Church to pray constantly but did not command the Church to work and to fast constantly. (Cf CCC 2742). Prayer is therefore a vital necessity for the missionary Church. Pray always. Pray everywhere. Pray about everything.

"Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed." (2 Timothy 3: 14).

God is faithful. Therefore, strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. God Never Fails!

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Friday, October 18, 2019

How well do you know your Advocate?

"When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” (Luke 12: 11 - 12).

Saturday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints John de Br├ębeuf and Isaac Jogues of the Society of Jesus (17th century) and their companions. The blood of martyrs is a necessity for the life and growth of Christianity. John and Isaac with six other French Jesuits arrived in the New York area in the 17th century to evangelize the Native Americans. They succeeded in converting thousands. By their fortitude and charity under the severest torture, they vindicated the words of Jesus: The Holy Spirit, the Advocate and the Voice that speaks in Court will be at hand to help you with the appropriate response in your hour of need.

Do you know the Paraclete, the Voice that speaks in Court? Have you experienced His personal and delightful ministry in your life? Just as Solomon was given wisdom upon asking for it, so Jesus Christ promises that the Father is waiting to give the awesome Spirit to anyone who asks it.

Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Feast of St Luke the Evangelist.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation!" (Isaiah 52: 7).

Friday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. The feet of St Luke the Evangelist are the beautiful feet that bring glad tidings of peace, good news and the message of salvation. Today, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St Luke and rejoices in his gift to the Church.

Who is Luke? "A physician from Antioch, he converted to Christianity and accompanied Paul on two of his journeys. The author of both the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, Luke devotes attention to Christ's birth and childhood as well as to the universality of Redemption." (Roman Missal).

The narratives of Sacred Scripture provides us motivation and examples to guide our lives. God chose Luke the Evangelist to labor through preaching and writing. Through his writings, Luke provided us a permanent record of salvation history.

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Luke 10: 2).

Is the Lord speaking to you through the above Scripture? Perhaps you too are chosen to go and bear fruit that will remain. If you do not go, no one will fulfill the task marked out for you from eternity.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Feast of St Ignatius of Antioch.

"Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’" (Luke 11: 49).

Thursday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch (+ 107), Bishop, Martyr and Church Father.

St Ignatius appointed Bishop of Antioch by St Peter, suffered martyrdom in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Trajan. The fame of St Ignatius of Antioch was based on the inspired letters he wrote on his way to Rome for martyrdom. These letters were the earliest and richest documents of the Magisterium. St Ignatius wrote on the Eucharist, Incarnation, Authority of the Bishop, Marriage, etc. St John Henry Newman who was canonized this week probably had St Ignatius of Antioch in mind when he wrote: "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant."

The blood of martyrs is required for the life of the Church. It is a necessity. Abel and Zechariah were precursors of New Testament prophets who shed their blood for the faith.

"I am the wheat of Christ to be ground by the teeth of beasts,
that I may be found to be pure bread." (St Ignatius of Antioch, Communion Antiphon).

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: St Margaret Mary Alacoque.

"Do you hold his [God's] priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God would lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2: 4).

Wednesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (1647 - 1690). What do you know about Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? First, this is an ancient devotion going back to many centuries before St Margaret Mary. But beginning in 1673, this young French nun started having mystical revelations concerning devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although it took about 100 years for the devotion to gain Church approval, it rapidly spread all over the world. Schools, hospitals, universities, Churches and Basilicas are named after the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Our daily Scripture verse for today warns us about holding in low esteem "God's priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience."

Jesus promises 12 great favors to those who honor His Sacred Heart. Please do not hold these promises below in low esteem.

The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.   

2. I will give peace in their families.

3. I will console them in all their troubles.

4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

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

10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

The feast of the Mystic and Reformer, St Teresa of Avila.

"Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God." (Cf Psalm 41: 2 - 3).

Tuesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582), Virgin and Doctor of the Church. St Teresa played a key role in the reformation of the Carmelite Order. Aided by St John of the Cross, they largely succeeded in this arduous task. St Teresa is best remembered for her outstanding works in ascetical and mystical theology which earned her the title of Doctor of the Church. Her books continue to be popular today.

What does your soul yearn for more than anything else? Power, pleasure or fame? For St Teresa of Avila, to understand her, consider the Entrance Antiphon, our Scripture of today:
"Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God; my soul is thirsting for God, the living God."

Teresa's great love for God gave her great confidence in the all loving and powerful Providence of God.
"Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices."  (St Teresa of Avila).

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Your life purpose is hidden in Sacred Scriptures.

"Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God." (Romans 1: 1).

Monday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. Have you found your purpose in life? Purpose drives mission. Those who have made the greatest contribution to the world know their purpose. One of the things that attracted me to the study of Holy Scriptures is the promise that I will find my purpose in the Sacred Library. I was not disappointed.

It is true that your purpose is hidden in the Sacred Scriptures. God created us for a purpose. Jesus defines His purpose thus:
"For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." (John 18: 37). He further says: “I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14: 6).

Our Daily Bible Verse today sees how Paul defines his purpose. Note that he calls himself "a slave of Jesus Christ." That is to say: Total commitment, undivided loyalty. Paul's Master says: "You cannot serve two masters at the same time." Serving two masters will create divided loyalty. Note that Paul was not shy of claiming to be: "called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God." When you find your purpose through the Divine Scriptures or by whatever means, you too will have no false modesty in sharing it. Because purpose and mission are intertwined.

Through God's Divine Providence, we tend towards our purpose as the sunflower to the sun.

"To you all, then, who are God’s beloved [in Rome], called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send grace and peace." (Romans 1:7).

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