Saturday, October 26, 2019

God justified David who committed adultery, cover up and murder.

"The tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ (Luke 18: 13).

Sunday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time. "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." The attitude and prayer of the Tax Collector becomes our example of the type of prayer that justifies and the prayer that is heard by God. Here is what the Church teaches on the Prayer of Humility:

"The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that "we receive from him whatever we ask." Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer." (CCC 2631).

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions, " (Psalm 51: 3) cried King David after his sins of adultery, cover up and murder. His prayer was heard by God and David went home justified. The Lord hears the cry of the poor and the humble.

Because of the great mercy of God, God gave the Church Baptism as the great Sacrament of Reconciliation and Regeneration. Baptism wipes out our sins and the record of our sins. Does Baptism remove concupiscence, our ingrained tendency to certain sins? It does not. What then happens to sins that are committed after Baptism? Jesus Christ gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation to deal with this crisis of sin.

Those who are humble like the Tax Collector are justified by this Sacrament and enjoy the mercy and peace of God.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Starve the wolf to death.

"For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8: 2).

Saturday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Are you groaning from the compulsion to sin? Do you feel a secret hostility towards God? Or consider Christianity or the gentle yoke of Christ oppressive?

If your answer is Yes to any of the above questions, then you are clearly still under the yoke. You still live according to the flesh where your concerns are eating, drinking, dressing up and having a good time. By your daily choices, you reject the spirit of life and peace.

You ask: "Brother, what must I do?"
"Repent! Stop feeding the wolf. Allow it to starve to death."

Invite the Spirit of Jesus into your heart and experience the new life that is your birth right. With the Holy Spirit fully in control, you can embrace God's gracious and mysterious will in your life.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

The good, the bad and the grace.

 "For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand.  For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self,  but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7: 19 - 25).

Friday of the 29th year in Ordinary Time. The Scripture verses we have for reflection may well be some of the most important in the Bible. It addresses the most agonizing problem most Christians face.

How do we free ourselves from the impulsiveness of sinful actions? How do we overcome that annoying habit of confessing the same sins over and over again? The answer given is: by the power of God's grace working through Christ Jesus. But how does this work out in practice?

I have found helpful repeating this formula again and again sometimes doing it on Rosary beads.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Christians know who you are and set the world on fire!

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" (Luke 12: 49).

Thursday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (1807 -  1870). As Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, he fought for social justice for the slaves. Back home in Spain, Bishop Anthony led a revival in Spain. He founded in 1849 the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as the Clarentians.

Our key Scripture evokes the memory of St Catherine of Siena:
"Be who you are and you will set the world on fire." (St Catherine of Siena).
"I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" (Luke 12: 49).

Do you know who you are? I mean as God sees you?  How did Jesus and the saints set the world on fire?

Not all of the saints who set the world on fire are first class brain; not all are great orators, philosophers or teachers. But all of them found out who they were created to be. They knew their creator, Redeemer and Savior. They knew they could do nothing without the Christ who promised them His strength always and everywhere.

Christian, know who you are!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Much will be required of you because you have received much.

"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." (Luke 12: 48).

Wednesday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St John Capistrano (1386 - 1456), a Franciscan friar who was a successful lawyer before he became a Franciscan priest. John brought his natural gifts as a lawyer into his preaching ministry and brought about great revivals in various countries of Eastern Europe.

Much was required of St John Capistrano because much was given to John by Jesus. Happily John delivered much and no doubt earned the greatest accolade: "Well done John. You are a good and faithful servant."
How about you? How about me, brother and sister? Consider what Jesus has given to us:
#1 Holy Spirit, the Helper
#2 The Church
#3 The word of God
#4 The Sacraments

We have a cloud of witnesses in heaven who received exactly the same gifts and perhaps less than us because every day more saints are added to the clouds.

Let us use our gifts to build up the Body of Christ and give the People of God comfort in their trials.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

How to wait for the big Moment.

“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks." (Luke 12: 35 - 36).

Tuesday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. Today's reflection invites us to consider: How to wait for the big moment. Everyone on earth is waiting for something. Some are kicking, waiting to be born, others are in excruciating pain waiting to die. Christians are waiting for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.

Whatever you may be waiting for, Jesus gives us infallible rule on how to wait successfully for anything.
"Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to stand with confidence before the Son of Man." (Luke 21: 36). You must be vigilant at all times and use prayer as a means to maintain your vigilance.

In His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus warned the three disciples who accompanied Him into the Garden that unless they are awake and pray, they will be unable to resist the temptation of the devil. We know what happened.

Maybe you are waiting for God to fulfill a promise to you. Is there an infallible rule to follow so that you do not miss your promise? Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, David teach us how to wait in an active mode. The servant who waits like this is "ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks." That servant is praised by his boss:
"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.  And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants." (Luke 12: 37 - 38).

He who is faithful in little things will be faithful in great things. If you have mastered the principle of waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast, then you may be sure that you you can wait for the Return of Jesus.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Faith that empowers us...

"Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God  and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do." (Romans 4: 20 - 21).

Monday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time. The Church faces today unprecedented crisis of faith. The weakening of faith is at the root of all the problems that the Church is facing today.

Abraham did not doubt God's promises in unbelief. Imagine all the promises that Jesus makes to provide fully for all the needs of individuals, missionaries and the Church. If we are to be honest, some of us doubt these promises in unbelief. It is heart breaking to hear news of scandals with regard to Church banks and investments in the stock market. For a Church that trusts the Providence of God to provide its needs, what to make of banks, insurances and stock market investments that belong to the Church? What has Jerusalem in common with Athen?

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Luke 12: 15). Greed is the cause of hoarding. Hoarding is a sign of insecurity and weak faith.
If the Church exhibits lack of trust with regard to God's promises to provide fully for its needs, the faithful in the pew will notice this.

The love of God compels us to love our neighbor. Similarly, faith is like an engine which empowers us and propels us to fly.

Abraham who was the first man called by God to leave a pagan culture believed in the promises of God and hoped against hope that God would never fail to honor His promises. How about us? We have the Scriptures. We have the Church. We have 2000 years of Church history and we have clouds of witnesses. What more do we need to believe?

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