Saturday, May 02, 2020

My Good Shepherd is my Provider and Protector.

"I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own sheep and my own know me." (John 10: 14).

Sunday 3rd May 2020, 4th Sunday in the Season of Easter is the Good Shepherd Sunday.

What does it mean that Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd?
The Church is a family, a sheepfold and Jesus is the necessary gateway into the Sanctuary. God has foretold in the Scriptures that God Himself would be the Shepherd of this flock and will appoint human beings to govern His flock. (Cf CCC 754).

What does it mean that we are the sheep of God's flock? The answer is in today's Responsorial Psalm 23:

"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit."

Psalm 23 is the personal experience of King David. If the Lord is truly your Good Shepherd, if you recognize His voice and follow Him, you can claim and own all the promises of Psalm 23. This is what Jesus means when He says: "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." (John 10: 10).

Go for the full life!

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Friday, May 01, 2020

The Bread of life Discourse exposed unbelief and hypocrisy.

"Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (John 6: 60).

Saturday 2nd May 2020, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is also the feast of St Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt (297 - 373) Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Athanasius was a key light at the Council of Nicaea (325) where he defended vigorously that Jesus Christ is true God (100%) and true Man (100%). He defended this truth all his life and suffered much persecution from the Arians including several exiles.

Our key Scripture for today shows that the disciples who witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus: feeding thousands, raising the dead, casting out demons, healing the sick, opening blind eyes and deaf ears never really believed in Jesus. It took the Bread of life Discourse to expose their unbelief and hypocrisy. Brethren, unbelief and hypocrisy are still very alive  in the Body of Christ today.
God raised up Athanasius to defend the truth of Christ's divinity. Who is the Athanasius of our day to defend the Church from unbelief and love of money?

"But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him." (John 6: 64).

Hundreds left Jesus and went home and never returned. But Peter spoke up for the Twelve who remained:
“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6: 68 - 69).

To whom shall we go? To what shall we go? Outside Jesus, there is nothing there. Everything is emptiness without Jesus.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Jesus the Carpenter.

“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?  Is he not the carpenter’s son?" (Matthew 13: 54 - 55).

Friday May 1st 2020, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is the feast of St Joseph the Worker and Labor Day in most countries of the world. Jesus was apprentice carpenter under Joseph and later became a self-employed small businessman as a carpenter.

What is God's plan for work for man and woman?
"God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth." (Genesis 1: 28).

Through our labors, we make ourselves holy and become in a certain way co-creators with God. Look at some beautiful cities in the world like Atlanta. Through simple landscaping, man has added so much value to the city carved out of  forest.

"Blessed are all who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat; blessed are you, and blessed will you be." (Psalm 128: 1-2).

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus Friday, May 1, 2020.

First Friday, May 1, 2020.

Jesus promised 12 special graces and favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 5th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #5.

#5.  "I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings."

The Sacred Heart of Jesus promises to pour abundant blessings on all the undertakings of those who honor Him especially on the First Friday of every month. Faced with unprecedented pressure to adapt our lives to the exigencies of the pandemics, who is so strong and so confident to despise extra help at this period?

Lord come to our help and prosper the work of our hands.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass or virtual Mass this Friday.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Eucharist is Jesus.

"I am the bread of life...... I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (Cf John 6: 48 - 51).

Thursday 30th April 2020, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is also the feast of St Pius V, Pope, Dominican Priest (1504 - 1572). He implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent, published the Roman Catechism and revised the Missal and Breviary.

We return to the Bread of life Discourse in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John. Today eternal life is promised to those who partake of the Bread of life with faith and integrity.

In the Eucharist, Jesus is our Priest. He is the Victim who is sacrificed for our sins. He invites us to consume Him as food and drink. This teaching was so radical that many of Jesus disciples abandoned Him and went home. But Jesus did not water down the teaching. Instead Jesus asked the remaining disciples: "Will you also go away?"

The Eucharist is Jesus, Emmanuel. God is with us, in this sacrament. He invites us to come receive Him and adore Him. For He is truly Jesus, our Lord.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Patron Saint of Plagues, Patron Saint of Italy, first Woman Doctor of the Church: St Catherine of Siena.

"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Wednesday April 29th 2020, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is the feast of a giant of the faith: St Catherine of Siena (1347 - 1380), Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

Catherine died at the age of 33 and accomplished for the Kingdom of God what most of us could never accomplish even if we live to be 90.
She brought about the renewal of the Church in a period of reckless gansterism. She was instrumental in reuniting the Church during the great Western Schism. She authored a spiritual classic, THE DIALOGUE. Catherine is the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church. She is the patron saint of plagues and Italy. There will be Masses today all over Italy to ask her intervention in the pandemics ravaging Italy. Catherine is very familiar with Plagues.

We skip the Bread of life Discourse today to draw inspiration from the Gospel from the special Mass to honor St Catherine:
"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

If you want to learn some of the mysteries of the kingdom Father God revealed to Catherine, read THE DIALOGUE, available on Amazon and elsewhere.

St Catherine of Siena pray for us.

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Monday, April 27, 2020

I am the Bread of life. 2

"Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: 35).

Tuesday 28th April 2020, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is also the feast days of two French saints: St Louis Marie de Montfort (1673 - 1716), Priest and founder of religious order. St Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr.

St Louis Marie is known in history from the best seller charismatic book he wrote: TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY. This book has been read by millions since publication over 250 years ago. Important people that have read the book included several Popes and saints. Pope St John Paul II has quoted from it. The book may deceptively appear light weight but the content must be anointed, which explains its longevity. I owe this book three favors I still enjoy today since reading it about 25 years ago: Commitment to daily Rosary, deeper devotion to Mary and making St Louis Marie de Montfort one of my patron saints.

St Peter Chanel died a martyr in the island of Futuna in the Oceania.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus continues the Bread of life Discourse. Today, Jesus stated a truth that committed Christians will testify to. The Eucharist effectively kills desires for material things: more money, bigger homes, flashy cars, upscale neighborhoods, etc.
If you receive the Eucharist regularly in the state of grace and this worldly desires are still part of your struggle, something is wrong.

I read St Louis de Montfort TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY over 10 times. He stated: "You cannot say the Rosary daily and continue sinning. Either you quit the Rosary or you quit sinning."
The same can be said about the Eucharist. Be steadfast with the Eucharist and No hunger or thirst for lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or pride of life will torture you. This is the promise of Salvation. These are the evils we are saved through the Cross.

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Why is the Eucharist Jesus greatest Sign of love for us?

"Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” (John 6: 27).

Monday 27th April 2020, 3rd Monday in the Season of Easter.

Jesus begins the famous Bread of life Discourse. This is crucial for our faith and life as Christians. We see in this Bread of life Discourse the full meaning in the word of God: "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4).

The Bread of life is the Flesh and Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, given for the salvation of the world. This Sacrament contains the full Body, Soul and Divinity of the Savior. It is the Medicine of life and Food for the Journey to Immortality.

Jesus Christ presents the Eucharist in the Bread of life Discourse as a Sign. For John the Evangelist, a Sign is a Miracle, a Sacrament. The crowd who ate the multiplied loaves wanted more of the same. They misunderstood completely the "Sign" language of the miracle. A bouquet of roses given to a girl is a sign. There is a problem when the girl uses the bouquet of roses as a vegetable.

The Eucharist is the greatest Sign of Jesus. How many little signs of love of Jesus do we miss daily?
Not even a single comfort you enjoy in life comes from chance or accident. They all come from God's gracious ordaining.

Rejoice always. Pray always. Give thanks always.

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