Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Baptism of the Lord.

"After the Lord was baptized, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and the voice of the Father thundered: This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Cf Matthew 3: 16 - 17).

Sunday 12 January 2020, the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. This feast concludes the Season of Christmas.

Why is the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ a very important mystery of faith?

#1 The Holy Spirit anoints Jesus for His mission.
#2 The Father testifies that Jesus is His beloved Son.
#3 The Most Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit is revealed.

Why is the feast of the Baptism of Jesus important for us Christians?

#1 In our Baptism, we are anointed with the Holy Spirit for our mission. 

#2 Our Baptism is the beginning of our Christian life. 

#3 Our Baptism makes us the adopted children of God. 

#4 Our Baptism makes us brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. 

#5 We become new creation as soon as we are baptized. 

Brothers and sisters, on this day, we have the opportunity to renew our Baptismal Promises. We sweep away the old yeast so that we can truly be who we are in Jesus: a new creation.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Whatever you ask in accordance with the will of God is yours.

"And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours." (1 John 5: 14 - 15).

Saturday 11 January 2020, last day in the Season of Christmas.

We have an amazing promise in our Scripture pick for today from 1 John 5. Whatever we ask God in prayer is ours! Not so fast. That is: "If we ask anything according to his will." There should be no problem with this condition if we know and believe this truth: GOD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED AND WHEN WE NEED IT." If you believe this and bring this to your prayers of petition, you will be surprised that what you have asked for is yours.

To further convince us that God is not playing games with His promises, remember this:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7: 7).

Ask the saints who are credited with miracles how they are able to perform miracles, they will point to the promise in Matthew 7: 7. And may add: God is always faithful to His promises.

Ask God in accordance with His will and what you ask for is yours. If you are are not sure what the will of God is, then ask your saintly intercessor like the Blessed Virgin Mary or your patron saint. The Communion of the Saints is one of the understated doctrine and truth in the Church.

Ask, seek, knock and receive what you ask for. Find what you seek. The door you knock on will be opened to you.

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Thursday, January 09, 2020

The joy of praising the Lord.

"O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
Zion, praise your God!" (Psalm 147

Friday 10 January 2020 in the Season of Christmas. Two more days to the end of the beautiful Christmas Season. The word of God to live by today comes from the Responsorial Psalm. The Psalms have been forever the Prayer Book of the Church. Its treasures are inexhaustible. Today, we are urged to praise the Lord; to praise our God.

To suck out the marrow in this Psalm, we must ask: Why should I praise the Lord? Now the answer:

"He has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed the children within you." (Psalm 147: 13).
What does the bars of your gates mean? This is a military defense language. We can look at our life as  7 War Zones:
Family, health, job, finances, tools and possessions, food and future. Each of these war zone has a gate for protection against intruders. Each gate is made of hardened steel.
"He has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed the children within you." God offers impregnable protection to His children who acknowledge and praise Him.

That is not all. God promises further:
"He established peace on your borders, he feeds you with finest wheat." (Psalm 147: 14).

He promises to feed us with the finest wheat. Which wheat could possibly be finer than the Eucharist? For all this, it is fitting and right to "praise the Lord, Jerusalem! Zion, praise your God!"

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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Jesus set His face to His Mission after His Baptism.

“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: 18 - 19).

Thursday 9 January 2020, post Epiphany Sunday. Sunday January 12 is the Solemnity of the Baptism of Jesus the Christ.

In the Baptism of the Christ (Matthew 3: 16 - 17), Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit for a Mission:
#1 Bring the Good News to the poor.
#2 Proclaim liberty to captives.
#3 Recovery of sight to the blind.
#4 Grant freedom to the oppressed.

Our own Baptism and Mission are intertwined with the Baptism and Mission of Jesus. When we own our Baptism and accept our Mission, we blossom and become saints. In the history of mankind, the saints are the only successful people. This is why their lives are celebrated year after year. We still celebrate the memories of Peter, Paul, Jude, Stephen, Cecilia, Agatha. Catherine, etc. This is what true success means. The world has a different standard for success. The club of the saints are open every day for enrollment. The game starts with ownership of our Baptism and embracing our mission. We can never embark on our Mission without the Holy Spirit. Therefore ask for the Holy Spirit. Ask for Him again and again.

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Tuesday, January 07, 2020

I am with you. Do not be afraid.

“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mark 6: 50).

Wednesday 8th January 2020 in the Season of Christmas. It was a terrifying scene. Utter darkness. Roaring waves. Although many of the Apostles were seasoned fishermen, they had never seen anything like this before. Where is Jesus? They left Him to dismiss the crowd.

"But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out." (Mark 6: 49). When we allow fear to overcome us, our eyes can see double. We see crouching tigers in the dark ready to spring on us where there is only an empty box.

How do the Christian deal with fear? The answer is all over the Gospel.
"I am with you always."
"Do not be afraid. It is I."
"Fear is useless. All you need is trust."

Consider the Sacrament of the Present Moment. This is a technique for remembering the Presence of Jesus through for example, the invocation of His name.
"When you remember Me, I will be present."

The name of Jesus is a bulwark against demons and fears.

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Monday, January 06, 2020

A good food that comes with promises.

"They all ate and were satisfied." (Mark 6: 42).

Tuesday 7th of January 2020 is the feast of St Raymond of Peñafort, (1175 - 1275), Dominican Priest. Raymond is known in history for two key contributions: Like the Curé of Ars, he had an extraordinary charism in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ask Jesus to lead you to such a priest. One confession is all you need to turn around your life. Raymond wrote volumes which are part of the Canon Law.

Our Scripture for today proclaims: "They all ate and were satisfied." (Mark 6: 42). What does this mean? For me, this points to the immense generosity of God. The Scripture is from the story of the multiplication of loaves where Jesus fed 5000 men and there were 12 baskets of leftover. Remember the story of the manna in the desert where a whole nation ate of the heavenly food for years. Both the manna and today's incident of the Multiplication of loaves point to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a daily food that shows the kindness and generosity of God as perhaps no other thing can show. Day after day, millions are fed all over the world. "They all ate and were satisfied." (Mark 6: 42).

Thank You Jesus for this abundant food of your Body and Blood.

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Sunday, January 05, 2020

Repent of your independence from God.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4: 17).

Monday 6 January 2020 in the Season of Christmas is the feast of St André Bessette (1845 - 1937). André Bessette is a Religious Brother, born near Quebec in Canada and lived out his life in the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Montreal. The life of St André Bessette confirms that holiness attracts. Although St André performed only humble tasks assigned to him, the sick and the poor flocked to his cell. He committed them to the care of St Joseph the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and through the intercession of St Joseph obtained numerous miracles for the people.

In the very first week of 2020, Jesus urged us: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4: 17).

What are we to repent of?

"First and foremost, it is a realization of who we are. We are created by God; we are creatures of God who are totally dependent on him. We are the “anawim,” the poor people of the Lord, the little people who know that they are totally dependent, who “lean” on God, ­knowing that without God they can do nothing.
This is the first step to prayer—to know who we are: saved sinners, entirely dependent on God. We are ­dependent. To the proud, this is anathema. We look at ourselves and we say, “I depend on no one.” (Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty).

We are to repent of our foolish pride and nonsensical idea of independence and self-sufficiency.

"The child of God can fear no ill,
His chosen dread no foe;
We leave our fate with thee, and wait Thy bidding when to go.
‘Tis not from chance our comfort springs, Thou art our trust, O King of kings." (Liturgy of the Hours: #52 Lauds Hymn).

The comforts we enjoy are not from Chance but from God's gracious ordaining. (Cf 2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4).

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4: 17).

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