Saturday, February 08, 2020

What type of light am I?

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house." (Matthew 5: 14 - 15).

Sunday February 9, 2020 in the 5th Week in Ordinary Time. You may call this Sunday the Light Sunday. There are 12 mentions of Light in the liturgical texts. A strong message.

Christ Jesus says to me this Sunday: Emmanuel, you are the light of the world. Jesus leaves me to figure out what this means for me as a lay person in the Church. I find that the synonyms of light are:
Illumination, brightness, brilliance, glow, dazzle, sunlight, etc.

Consider light as a means. What is the end? The glory of God. Just as the Cross is a means and the end is the glory of Jesus Christ.

How can I shine for Jesus in "my world?" How can I glorify Jesus? What words of Jesus are continually tugging at my heart?

#1 "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6: 33).
The world is in the dark about this great design and promise. I will shine this light everywhere because I know it is true.

#2 "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5: 14).
God's word  teaches that the "Will of God" is the key to our peace, success and prosperity. This is my light. I share and shine this light by urging my friends and everyone to: "Pray to accept God's gracious and mysterious will always, everywhere in everything."

Below is what the Church teaches on how lay people can fulfill their mission as the salt and the light of the world:

"They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ." (Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem).

Frequent Holy Communion and Sacrament of Reconciliation are indispensable tools.
" The sacraments, especially the most Holy Eucharist, communicate and nourish that charity which is the soul of the entire apostolate." (... Apostolate of the Laity).

How do you respond to the summons of our Lord Jesus Christ to New Evangelization?

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Friday, February 07, 2020

Solomon chose wisdom.

"Whatever you ask I shall give you."
(1 Kings 3: 5).

Saturday 8th February in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Jerome Emiliani (1481 - 1537), Priest and St Josephine Bakhita (1869 - 1947). "Josephine Margaret Bakhita, F.D.C.C., was a Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister active in Italy for 45 years, after having been a slave in Sudan. In 2000 she was declared a saint by the Catholic Church." (Wikipedia).

God said to Solomon in a dream: "Whatever you ask I shall give you."
(1 Kings 3: 5). Solomon chose wisdom and God is very pleased.
"Because you asked for this—you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies—but you asked for discernment to know what is right—  I now do as you request." (1 Kings 3: 11 - 12). God granted Solomon a very wise mind and heart and topped the gift with riches and glory.
Jesus teaches us to go for the highest gift:
"The Father in heaven [will] give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11: 13). The Holy Spirit is the mother of all gifts. He is the Abundant life promised by Jesus in John 10: 10.

Like Solomon, let us take God at His word seriously and ask Him with confident and expectant faith that we may receive all that He plans to give us.

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Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Eulogy of David.

"With his every deed he offered thanks to God Most High, in words of praise. With his whole heart he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung." (Sirach 47: 8 - 9).

Friday 7th February in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is also the First Friday in February.

The first Reading is from the Book of Sirach, written about 100 years before the birth of Jesus by a Jew of Alexandria. The Book of Sirach has been part of the the Canon of Holy Scriptures from the earliest time. The study in the profile of David reaches its crescendo today.
Just as the Blessed Virgin Mary is blessed among all the women, the author of Sirach wants to show why  David is first among all  kings.

According to the author of Sirach, 
David is compared to a choice fat selected with care for sacrifice. His victory over Goliath with a slingstone was recognized by the people as a miracle and a sign that God is with him. 

After God confirmed His choice of David with a royal crown, God supported his military campaigns by granting him victory after victory. 

David's greatness lies in the attributes below:

"With his every deed he offered thanks to God Most High, in words of praise. With his whole heart he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung." (Sirach 47: 8 - 9). 

The author of Sirach goes on to say:
"He added beauty to the feasts
and solemnized the seasons of each year With string music before the Altar, providing sweet melody for the psalms so that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary would resound." (Verse 10).

At the the very center of religion is worship and sacrifice is the very essence of worship. David knew this secret of God. The high road to the heart of God is worship, praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder God is pleased to wipe out all the sins of David. 

"The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever;
He conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel." (Sirach 47: 11).

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this First Friday in February.

February 7, 2020  -  First Friday in February.

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 2nd  month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #2.

#2.  "I will give peace in their families."

What is Peace? Peace is the calmness, tranquility, deep security you feel in the depth of your heart, soul and mind because you know that in spite of the apparent turbulence, All is well. You come to appreciate this peace most when civil war is raging in your family, health, finances, job, your possessions and tools. All things  fall apart and the center can no longer hold. Enters the Peace of Christ.

This is the peace that Jesus promises us today.

Jesus is our peace. He is the Prince of Peace.  Would you accept today His generous offer of peace in your family?

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:

The Feast of St Paul Miki and Companions.

Looks like "When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to Solomon his son:  “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and be a man!  Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, and wherever you turn." (1 Kings 2: 1 - 3).

Thursday 6th of February in the 4th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Paul Miki of the Society of Jesus (+ 1597), Priest and 25 Companion Martyrs. St Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit and his 25 companions faced death courageously in Nagasaki, Japan in 1597 and thus were the first Christian martyrs in East Asia. The bloody persecution of the Church in Japan wiped out the Church in Japan and seemed to have obliterated the missionary efforts of St Francis Xavier and others. The mystery of Divine Providence is inscrutable!

Our hero David, the warrior and champion is ready to go back to God.  David calls his son and successor Solomon and gave him the Last Testament. He tells him all he needs to know to succeed as king of Israel. This sounds similar to what God says to Joshua after Moses died:
"Only be strong and steadfast, being careful to observe the entire law which Moses my servant enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed wherever you go." (Joshua 1: 7).

Solomon and Joshua are to adhere scrupulously to God's commandments. This is the principle of success for earthly rulers and for all of us. The Bible teaches that it is God who promotes and demotes. He reveals all the questions to us. Have God's principles of success changed?
No! History continues to validate these laws for success every day.

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The people at first liked the Rabbi Jesus.

"When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished." (Mark 6: 2).

Wednesday 5th February 2020 in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Agatha (+250), Virgin and Martyr. St Agatha was martyred under the Emperor Decius. Agatha has been venerated from ancient times. She is the patron saint of breast cancer and other breast diseases. Jesus Christ is glorified when we honor the saints.

Teaching is the core ministry of Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So Jesus is both the Teacher and the Subject. The people listening to Jesus on this Sabbath day in His town soon noticed the simplicity, authority and power of His teaching. They moved quickly from amazement to query His credentials.

Jesus taught His disciples not to worry about credentials and long resumes. The Holy Spirit will teach you all you need to know and will remind you everything you have learned from Me.
We witnessed Jesus' words validated when Peter and John appeared before the Sanhedrin for criminal prosecution for teaching without license. (Acts 4: 1 - 22). St Stephen the first Martyr before the Sanhedrin at his trial (Acts 7)and when he debated the Jewish apologists.

Do not fear those who demean or contradict your faith. Put all your trust in the Holy Spirit in you. He is your Paraclete, Advocate and the Voice that is promised to speak in court for you.

Jesus, I trust in You. I surrender myself completely to You. Take care of everything.

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, February 03, 2020

My son Absalom, ho ho ho ho!

"The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate and wept. He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 19: 1).

Tuesday 4th February 2020 in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time.

David was crowned in Hebron at the age 30 and reigned in Jerusalem for 33 years. For the past couple of weeks, we have been studying the profile of King David. David is a most worthy subject of study because God calls David "a man after my heart", champion and promises a dynasty to David from where Jesus Christ the everlasting King will come from. Not surprisingly, David emerges to be the most lofty personage in the Bible after Jesus the Christ. What are the qualities that catapulted David to numero #1?
Enter COMPASSION. Compassion is Mercy, the attribute that makes us divine. God is Mercy and Mercy is God.

David mourns tenderly for Absalom whom the court of public opinion says deserves to die. From the Cross, Jesus Christ prays: "Father forgive them for they know not what they have done." He goes on to forgive the repentant thief: "This day, you shall be with me in paradise."

Jesus Christ, Son of David is the Face of the Mercy of God. God made the threshold of mercy so low that it is ridiculous not to reach up and grasp it. It is the ABC of Mercy:

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Throat diseases and St Blaise.

"As David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went." (2 Samuel 15: 30).

Monday 3rd February 2020 in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Blaise (+316), Bishop and Martyr. St Blaise is famous for the cures through his intercession of diseases of the throat. Hence the blessings of the throat in all Churches in the world during Mass today. I have taken advantage of this grace for many years.

Today is also the feast of St Ansgar (801- 865) Bishop. Born in France, Ansgar ministered in Denmark and Sweden where many miraculous cures were attributed to him.

Our key Scripture for Monday shows David in dire crisis. A coup d'etat is in progress in Jerusalem led by Absalom, David's son. David was compelled to leave Jerusalem in a hurry. An incident happened on his way to exile which demonstrates David's profound faith in God and His Divine Providence. David was verbally assaulted by Shimei from the same clan of King Saul. He hauled stones on David as he followed David and the army guarding David. The army asked permission from David to kill Shimei.
"Suppose the Lord has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?" (2 Samuel 16: 5). Again we see David resisting the suggestion by his military to shade blood even when he might have been justified in public opinion. David understands that court of public opinion is different from the judgment of God.

What lessons can we learn from today's Scripture:

#1 Even kings and presidents are not spared crisis. St Teresa of Avila advises us to be always prepared for trials. Trial and crisis are part of God's sovereign governance of the world.

#2 "So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5: 6 - 7).

David teaches us how to be faithful and trusting in God under an extreme crisis. May this lesson be a light for our path today.

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