Saturday, December 07, 2019

Second Week of Advent - A Kairos of Grace.

"The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11: 2 - 3).

Second Sunday of Advent. The Prophet Isaiah prophesying some 700 years before the Birth of Jesus gives us the sharpest profile of the Messiah. In this profile, we see that the Son of Man and Son of Mary will be Son of God.

What the Church teaches as the Seven Gifts and 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit are attributes of God.

Fathers of the Church have taught for centuries that Jesus Christ became Man so that we humans may become gods. We become gods through the transformative work of the Holy Spirit. A transformation that starts in our Baptism. The Church's liturgical cycle provides some key growth points in this Journey of Faith. Lent and Advent are the principal seasons of the liturgical year.

"Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you."  (Isaiah 49: 8).

Faith is accepting the word of God as true.  Then act according to the the word you believe.

Advent is Now. A Time (Kairos) of divine favor.

Daily Bible Verse @

Friday, December 06, 2019

Feast of St Ambrose of Milan.

"Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus: Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10: 5, 6 - 7).

Saturday of the 1st week of Advent is the feast of St Ambrose (340 - 397), Bishop and Doctor of the Church. St Ambrose was still unbaptized and mayor of the imperial city of Milan when he was elected the Bishop of Milan. Aided by the Holy Spirit, Ambrose quickly rose to the challenges of his calling. God gave him the courage of an apostle and made him an outstanding teacher in the Church. He was famous for his care of the poor and his apostolic zeal and opposition to the Arian heresy which was the scourge of the Church in the 4th and 5th century. St Ambrose converted and baptized St Augustine.

The Twelve Apostles sent out to mission by Jesus in our Gospel of today has a worthy successor in St Ambrose. Why are the saints a critical part of our Christian heritage?

#1 Honoring the saints glorifies Jesus, the Prince of all the saints.
#2 How do we know that Christianity is true? Because of the lives of the saints. The saints modeled the life of Jesus Christ and many of them laid down their lives to defend the truth of the Faith.

"Lead us, who have been strengthened by the power of this Sacrament, O Lord, so to profit from the teaching of Saint Ambrose that, hastening fearlessly along your paths, we may be prepared for the delights of the eternal banquet.
Through Christ our Lord." (Prayer after Communion, feast of St Ambrose).

Daily Bible Verse @

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Do you believe that I can do this?

“Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him." (Matthew 9: 27 - 28).

Friday of the 1st week of Advent is the First Friday in December and the feast of St Nicholas (4th century). St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in present day Turkey. He was at the Council of Nicaea and signed the famous document, the Nicene Creed. His deep concern for the poor and needy netted him the title of Santa Claus throughout the centuries.

In our Scripture verse for today, Jesus asks a point blank question: “Do you believe that I can do this?” When you come to Jesus for intervention in your health, family issues, job, money, tools and possessions, do you come with expectant faith? Or is your attitude: If Jesus does not provide the health or money quickly, I will go to my expert doctor or my bank manager.

Brethren, read the dialog below. Believe what you read. Practice what you believe.
“Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” (Matthew 9 : 28 - 29).

Daily Bible Verse @

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday, December 6, 2019.

December 6th, 2019  -  First Friday in December.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 12th and last month of the year 2019, we look at Promise #12.

#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."

Friends, this is a tremendous promise. Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for such a generous offer. You will appreciate this promise when you are close to death. No fear. No worry. No doubt about your eternal destiny.

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:

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Have you ever trusted the Lord in health and in sickness?

"Trust in the Lord for ever,
for the Lord is the everlasting Rock." (Isaiah 26: 4).

Thursday of the 1st week of Advent. What a powerful Scripture we have today for our Advent 2019 Journey of Faith.

Trust in the Lord forever!
Do you trust in the Lord forever?
Have you ever trusted in the Lord forever?
In sickness and in health?
In poverty and riches?
In full stomach and empty stomach?
In popularity and loneliness?

The reason why you must trust in the Lord forever is because "the Lord is an eternal Rock."
God never fails.
He never disappoints.
He never delays.
The Lord is ever faithful (semper fidelis).

Faithfulness is said to be the very essence of God. When I did a word study on Faithfulness, I found it is one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. I found this on Faithfulness from the dictionary:

"True, devoted, staunch.
Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by a pledge, duty, or obligation: a faithful friend."

I liked what I read. With this in mind, I reread one of my favorite Bible verse with the word "faithfulness".

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3: 22 - 23 NIV).

In another version:
"The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent;
They are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness!"
(Lamentations 3: 22 - 23 NABRE).

I decided that I can trust in the Lord forever. I will take the Lord as my eternal Rock! I will be like a wise man who built his house on rock!

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Have you tried to imagine Heaven?

"On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines." (Isaiah 25: 6).

Wednesday in the 1st week of Advent is the feast of St John Damascene (675 - 749) priest, religious, Doctor of the Church. Before his ordination to the priesthood in 726, he was finance minister to the Caliph.  His work of life was mostly study and writing where he produced books in dogmatic theology. But his defense of the use of images is his striking contribution to the history of the development of theology. Without John Damascene, we may not be able to use these images in worship or in our devotions: Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy, Mary and the Saints. Thank you St John Damascene.

When we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King, we reflected on the nature of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ came to establish.
We noted the core themes of His Kingship. Now let us recall the key attributes of the Son of Man from Daniel 7:

#1 Dominion and kingship
#2 Splendor
#3 Everlasting /eternal
#4 Indestructible
#5 Universal

Daniel saw clearly in the vision of the night Jesus Christ and the Kingdom He established through His death on the Cross.

Today, we are served the vision of Isaiah of the Kingdom, the New Earth. Isaiah calls it: "The Mountain." Consider some of the characteristics:

#1 Great Banquet
#2 No death. No tears.
#3 No sin. No reproaches.
#4 Universal reconciliation.

When you put together a composite of these visions, a very striking picture of the King and the Kingdom begin to emerge. Paul writes that no eye has seen, nor ear heard nor has it ever entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love Him. The Sacred Scriptures give a tiny glimpse of that future.

Today's Gospel from Matthew 15 is a prefiguration of what will happen "on this Mountain."
"They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full." (Matthew 15: 37). Abundance and generosity of God will be in full display.

I am very excited. How about you?

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, December 02, 2019

Feast of St Francis Xavier, Model of Missionary Zeal!

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16: 15 - 16).

Tuesday of the 1st week of Advent is the feast of St Francis Xavier (1506 - 1552), priest and missionary. "Born in Navarre, Spain, he studied in Paris where he became a follower of St Ignatius Loyola. He was one of the first seven members of the Society of Jesus. Francis tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel in India, China and Japan bringing over 30,000 souls to Christ." (Roman Missal).

Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. This is exactly what St Francis Xavier did. This endeavor earned him the recognition as one of the greatest missionaries after St Paul. He is the co-patron of the Missions.

The world has changed greatly since the days of St Paul and of our St Francis Xavier who was born in the 16th century. Then, not everyone could participate in evangelization. Today, because of the wide availability of technology, everyone can distribute and share the word even if you can not create content. A good part of the work I do in evangelization is sharing and distributing content created by other people. I use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
To be able to do this effectively, one needs the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit and Prayer. There is so much fake content in the cyber world. "Buyer Beware!"

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." Most of us should be able to keep this sacred mandate.

St Francis Xavier pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Lord I believe Your one word can heal me.

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." (Matthew 8: 8).

Monday of the 1st week of Advent. Our daily Scripture verse today will be familiar to many people. Have you ever paused to wonder what it means and why we say it before Holy Communion?

When Jesus offered to visit the Roman centurion and heal his sick servant, the centurion said: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." We know the rest of the story.

The universal Church puts on our mouth the centurion's inspired words just before we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Imagine the dialog:
Jesus: "I am eager to come into your heart and bless you deeply."
You: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and I will be healed."

Do you truly believe what you receive in the Eucharist? If you do not believe, your words are ineffectual. But if you believe, this could be your moment of miracle.

Won't you like to hear this sweet music? "And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed." (Matthew 8: 13).

Do not waste the opportunity of a miracle during Holy Communion.
"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4: 16).

Daily Bible Verse @