Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Feast of Mercy.

 “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20: 21 - 23).

Sunday 19th April 2020, Divine Mercy Sunday.

“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in you. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world." Jesus had said to St Maria Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy. ( Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska).

The Divine Mercy Rosary is one of the most powerful devotions we have in the Church today. I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for all the blessings I have received through this wonderful devotion. Once upon a time, pressed by time to choose the Divine Mercy Rosary or another devotion, the thought came to me: Jesus Himself approves the Divine Mercy Devotion. And so does the Church. 

The Divine Mercy Devotion is simple and can be summarized by the ABC of Mercy:

A: Ask for Mercy.
B: Be Merciful.
C: Completely trust Jesus for Mercy.

“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in you."
The "JESUS I TRUST IN YOU" you see at the bottom of the Divine Mercy image is the direct request of Jesus.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

We must speak about what we have seen and heard.

"Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus." (Acts 4: 13).

Saturday 18th April 2020, Easter Saturday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Why does God use the weak and unlearned people to produce the amazement that leads to faith and conversion? The answer is in the chosen Scripture of today. Imagine two rustic and uneducated men from the fishing community standing before the Supreme Court of Israel and arguing why the Church is an essential service. This is exactly what Peter and John did in the first Reading of today. Their argument before the Supreme Court was forceful enough. Now comes the checkmate.

"Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply." (Acts 4: 14). The Justices became speechless. But that wasn't the end. Peter and John drove a nail into the coffin of the proud argument of the Justices who dared to raise their voice against the Holy Spirit:

"Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4: 19-20).

My brethren, the current pandemic presents a great opportunity to bear witness to the truth we hold dear. Does the Church provide an essential service or not?

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" (Luke 24: 38).

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

At the command of Jesus, we cast our net to the right and caught a large haul of fish.

“Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” (John 21: 6).

Friday 17th April 2020, Easter Friday in the Solemnity of Easter.

We have in the Gospel of today a delicately touching scene from John 21. What happened? The disciples had gone back to the their old job of fishing. But Jesus was not done with them. He sought them out. He knew they fished all night without catching a fish.
“Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” They obeyed and hauled in a massive catch of fish.
What lessons can we learn from today's event?

#1 We need the guidance of Jesus for the success of our ministry, career, marriage, life.

#2 Prayer of faith in the Name of Jesus activates  divine intervention.
"There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4: 12), we hear the Apostle Peter proclaim in the first Reading today.

Brethren, it is Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! He is the Key to every human desire and success.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Why are you still fearful and full of doubts?

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" (Luke 24: 38).

Thursday 16th April 2020, Easter Thursday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

The Apostles gathered in the Upper Room could still not shake off the gruesome events of Good Friday by now three days ago. Jesus had since appeared to Mary Magdalene and some women, to Peter and some Apostles, to Cleopas who was present with his companion reporting the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. In spite of all these, the Elect were still frightened with questions and doubts arising in their minds.

In the face of the Corona Virus pandemic, we can take comfort in today's Gospel.  We confess our fears, worries and doubts to Jesus who is in control of all events.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8). Jesus promises.

The Holy Spirit and power in the name of Jesus are the two Easter promises. We need the two today more than ever.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Trust the Dream-fixer to fix any broken dreams.

"We were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel." (Luke 24: 21).

Wednesday 15th April 2020, Wednesday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Have you ever lost hope in a certain and expected outcome? Maybe something as mundane as the result of a football or soccer tournament? Maybe a job or promotion you were absolutely certain was in the bag?
Then you know how painful a dashed hope could be. We have seen on television matured men and their wives and supporters crying profusely because they lost an election they believed was theirs.

Crushed dreams and hopes are very painful. The disciples of Jesus lost hope after His body was lowered into the grave and the entrance sealed with a Roman imperial wax. He is dead. Any hope of miracle is dashed to pieces.

Now that the dream of the Kingdom and a new way of life has been shattered, Cleopas and his companion decided to go home and look for a real job. Enters the Dream-fixer:  “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24: 25 - 26).

Once upon a time, I had a big dream. In a matter of days, one brutal event after the other happened to snuff out the dream. I was heart broken. Like Hezekiah pleading for his life, I turned to Abba Father at 5 am in the morning, weeping and asking why this must happen. Abba Father spoke one word that gave me hope. In 48 hours, I was on the way to a new dream. The Dream-fixer fixed my dream with something much better.

“Was not my heart burning within me while He spoke to me on the way and opened the scriptures to me?”

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Monday, April 13, 2020

The certainty of Apostolic Teaching.

"Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2: 36).

Tuesday 14th April 2020, Easter Tuesday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

What is the great Easter Proclamation? Abba Father because of the obedience of His Servant Jesus promoted Jesus as our Lord and Christ. This is the sum of the Kerygma, the great Apostolic Proclamation:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

If you believe the above truth, you must ask: “What are we to do, my brothers?” 

"Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit." (Acts 2: 38).

How do you determine whether you have truly believed and repented? The answer is simple: Have you received the Gift of the Holy Spirit?
My brethren, this is truly the Big Gift and Promise of the Father. This Gift comes with everything you have ever desired. Remember: God created you and knows exactly what you need and when you need it. And besides, you can never live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Fake news threatened the truth of the Resurrection.

"You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep." (Matthew 28: 13).

Monday 13th April 2020, Easter Monday in the Octave of Easter.

Many people today are familiar with the term "fake news." These are deliberate falsehood, misinformation and lies sown by the opposition to destroy the truth. The chief priests and elders confronted with the news of the Resurrection of Jesus, bribed the soldiers to lie and sow disinformation that the Body of Christ was stolen by His disciples.

Jesus said that the good seed was sowed by the Sower during the day but the Enemy came at night and sowed tares. Pope Benedict XVI said that one of the great threats to Christianity today is the existential threat to truth. Never before in human history has man been confronted by untruth and falsehood from every quarter in such a large scale. 

Although the Church has Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and Magisterium which work together as deposit of faith and source of truth, the Church is still buffeted constantly by flood of disinformation and fake news  even from inside the Church. Every Christian is bound to know the faith in other to bear witness to the truth. Not just to bear witness to the truth but very importantly to protect himself from falsehood. Many Catholics leave the Church because they "discovered scripture and the truth" somewhere.

Do not believe them when you hear "His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep."

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