Saturday, March 28, 2020

Where do we celebrate Easter?

"Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live." (John 11: 25).

Sunday 29th March 2020 of the 5th week of Lent. Two weeks to the Most Solemn Feast of Easter.

The Hierarchy of the Church is faced with the greatest crisis in its over 2000 years history. Will the Churches be shuttered for the Easter celebrations? Jesus told Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live." (John 11: 25).
The question is: Will the Church today live after it dies?

Why does the Church pander to the governments in shuttering all the Churches instead of negotiating a workable and practical solution as befits a vital and indispensable institution? What if for the first time, the world thinks that the Church no longer believes what it teaches and preaches?  Can you imagine early Christians in Rome faced with execution by the Roman authorities recanting and saying: YES, YOU ARE RIGHT. JESUS IS NOT LORD. CAESAR IS LORD.

The question is: After this, will the Church ever recover the high spiritual and moral grounds? The Church has exposed its weakness and perhaps hypocrisy.

The Church is the People of God but in this crisis, we are seeing that it appears as if the Church is the Hierarchy, no longer the People of God. No longer the Body of Christ.


The Hierarchy is leading us today from a position of extreme weakness, fear, doubt and worry. The first principle of Discernment of Spirits is that God is not in Fear, Worry or Doubt. Where you find Fear, Worry or Doubt, you find the Spirit of Evil. Stop calling fear and doubt "Abundance of Caution."

"The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation." (CCC 2181).

"This is Jesus, Emmanuel. God is with us, in this sacrament, come receive him, adore him, This is Jesus, our Lord."

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Friday, March 27, 2020

You need perseverance to enter the Kingdom of God.

"Blessed are those who,
with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves
and yield a harvest through their perseverance." (Luke 8: 15).

Saturday 28th March 2020 of the 4th week of Lent. Our key Scripture is from the Gospel Acclamation. It has a very important message. Perseverance is the key to sustainable growth in the spiritual life. Perseverance now and all the way to Heaven.

How do you rate yourself on the virtue of perseverance? What percentage of new projects do you complete? 50%, 80%, 90%, 99%?
You may be surprised to learn that Jesus teaches in the Gospels that only 100% is the pass grade. Some dioceses require 100% attendance for young adults Confirmation classes. It is true. I have taught it for a number of years.

If you have a problem with finishing what you start, do not despair. Once upon a time, I became sad that I could never complete whatever I started: Bible Study, New Year resolutions, walkout programs, etc. Then it occurred to me that I could take this to Jesus in prayer. I prayed. Not one quick Hail Mary. I wrestled with Jesus over the issue possibly for a couple of years. I am happy to say that today my completion rate is close to 100%. One thing I must add is that I take counsel of the Holy Spirit before I embark on a new project.

As Jesus teaches, weigh carefully the cost of discipleship before you commit yourself. Once you put your hands on the plough and look back, you disqualify yourself.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

In the fullness of time, I will be glorified.

"So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come." (John 7: 30).

Friday 27th March 2020 of the 4th week of Lent. Why did the enemies of Christ tried to arrest Him during the Jewish festival of Tabernacles? The answer is laid out clearly in the first Reading from the 2nd Chapter of Wisdom:

The enemies of Jesus could not stand His probity and integrity. They considered Him a reproach to their transgressions. Like the high court judge who takes bribes, their conscience would give them no peace especially when they come in contact with Jesus. Therefore, Jesus must die. But Jesus' antagonists were ignorant of the prophecies about the Messiah. They said: "For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes."

In the fullness of time, Jesus would hand over Himself to be glorified on the Cross. For the Cross is the appointed means of the glorification of the Son of Man. Before that hour, nothing can happen to Jesus.

As followers of Jesus, our lives are hemmed in by God's loving and powerful Providence. If we make the Kingdom of God and His holiness the top priority of our life. God's promise of provision and protection for us is unbreakable.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My works testify that I Am.

"But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me." (John 5: 36).

Thursday 26th March 2020 of the 4th week of Lent. Today we look at the "testimony" of Jesus. We ask: What are the credentials of Jesus? How do we know that this man is who he claims to be?

In His trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus affirms that the purpose He came into the world is to bear witness to the truth. Jesus according to His own testimony is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
To validate that Jesus is who He claims to be, we match His claims with His works. If a person claims to be a surgeon and happens to be in a Trauma Center when the Trauma doctor cannot be found, if he is able to handle an urgent and critical case, he becomes believable. If not, he is considered an impostor, a fraud.

Jesus is genuine and authentic in every sense. He healed every type of sickness. He raised the dead. He cast out demons. He fed thousands from a few loaves and fish. He taught people the message of eternal life. Jesus fulfilled every profile of the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah and other prophets.
Finally, He was crucified and rose from the dead and appeared to those He chose to see Him.

The Church Jesus founded which shall never be destroyed by forces of evil is alive and following the Way of her Lord all over the world. The lives of the Saints continue to be irrefutable advertisements for the authenticity that the Church is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Solemnity of the Annunciation.

"Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38).

Wednesday 25th March 2020 is the Solemnity of Annunciation of the Lord. The Archangel Gabriel declared to the young Virgin Mary:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." (Luke 1: 30 - 31).

In this scene, Mary is the representative of humanity. Her Yes to God is the beginning of our salvation history, the beginning of the Church. Her Obedience of Faith is the standard God expects of all of us.
"I am the handmaid of the Lord... Could be a prayer all of us can use:

This is the heart of Marian spirituality: TRUST. OBEDIENCE. SURRENDER.

Behold I embrace Your gracious and mysterious will always, everywhere and in everything.

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Monday, March 23, 2020

In the fullness of time, God will say to you: Arise!

“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” (John 5: 7).

Tuesday 24th March 2020 of the 4th week of Lent.

Are you one of those who believe absolutely in human connections, having friends in high places to get that plumpy job, get your daughter into that Ivy league school? By hustling and bustling you think your smartness might cheat Divine Providence. No it won't. Throughout the Bible, God has revealed Himself as the God of mercies and Father of ALL consolations, ALL comforts. The Sacred Scriptures proclaim the Divine Providence of God in every page.

After 38 years of waiting for someone to help him into the pool in Bethesda, when the water is stirred, Jesus appeared one afternoon and said to the crippled man: “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”  Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked."
Coincidence or Providence? In His time, God makes everything beautiful. In the fullness of time, God will appear and bring you the healing or whatever your heart aches for.

"The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress, so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea. (Psalm 46: 2 - 3).

If the Lord is your shepherd, no fear, no worry, no doubt. You are OK in everything until He says Mary/John, it is time. Let us go home.

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

When Faith becomes Obedience.

"Jesus said to him [Royal Official], “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left." (John 4: 50).

Monday 23rd March 2020 of the 4th week of Lent is the feast of St Turibius de Mogrevejo (1538 - 1606) born in Spain and lived and died as Archbishop of Lima, Peru. Lima is the city that produced St Rose of Lima and St Martin de Porres. St Turibius was known for his unwavering love of truth.

In our key Scripture for today, we see an example of faith. Faith is the radical trust and confidence in the word of Christ. Jesus said simply to the Royal Official: “You may go; your son will live.” The Scripture records:
"The man believed what Jesus said to him and left." (John 4: 50).

If any Christian invests time and resources to learn what Faith is and how Faith works, the harvest will be incredibly huge and this gift will keep giving and giving all your life.

Consider Faith as Obedience. The Royal Official heard Jesus say: Don't worry. Go home. Your son is OK. He believes and went home. He obeyed the directive. No questions. No arguments. Are you able to imitate his action and show the Obedience of Faith?

Consider also that the man's faith was prepared by what he heard about Jesus before he met Him.
"When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death."

When we read the Gospel, we see many healings and miracles. The stories are preparing us to believe and deepen our Faith in Jesus. You do not know when you will stand face to face with Jesus needing His help. Faith comes from hearing. Hearing the word of God and believing it.

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