Saturday, July 04, 2020

The little ones know the mysteries of the Kingdom.

"Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will...You have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom." (Matthew 11: 26, 25).

The gracious and mysterious will of the Father is to reveal to the "little ones" the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Who are the little ones and what secrets of the kingdom of God are revealed to them? We will take two examples:
St Therese of the Child Jesus popularly called the Little Flower and St Maria Faustina called the Secretary of Divine Mercy.

Therese had uncanny insight into the mystery of Divine Providence.
The Little Flower is a Doctor of the Church. She became a Doctor of the Church by teaching the little ways to Heaven she learned from God. Paragraph 274 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in my opinion echoes her teaching:

"Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe - even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature." (CCC 274).

St Maria Faustina brought us the message of Divine Mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is universally very popular in the Church. The summary is below.
The ABC of Mercy:
A: Ask for Mercy.
B: Be Merciful.
C: Confidently trust Jesus for Mercy.

This is all you need to attract Divine Mercy.

"Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will...You have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom." (Matthew 11: 26, 25).

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Friday, July 03, 2020

Feast of St Elizabeth of Portugal.

"I will restore my people Israel, they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits." (Amos 9: 14).

Saturday 4th July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Elizabeth of Portugal (1271 - 1336). Elizabeth married King Denis of Portugal when she was very young. She set an example of Christian charity in the court and was the peace-maker between her husband and the children. After her husband died, Elizabeth became a Franciscan tertiary.

July 4th is marked in the United States of America as Independence Day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

The message from Amos in the first Reading predicts an era of restoration. This nation needs peace and unity. God has given us abundance of material goods. Without peace, unity and justice they count for nothing.

Father, help us to serve each other in justice and mercy and share what we have for the welfare of all men and women. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Stop doubting Thomas.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20: 5).

Friday 3rd July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is also the feast of St Thomas, Apostle, missionary and martyr. Christians remember Thomas as the "doubting Thomas" but also as the Apostle who brought us that profound expression of faith: "My Lord and my God." Thomas ministered to the Indian people who made him a martyr. Today is also the First Friday in July.

Doubt, unbelief, fear, worry are not from God. They are the instruments of Satan. They are are top tools in the Satanic playbook. No Christian saint is too advanced for Satanic attacks using these tools. St Thomas the Apostle had the benefit of the kindly mercy of Jesus generously extended to him to recover from his unbelief and make progress in faith. Jesus who is Emmanuel is ready to do for us what He did for Thomas. He saw the pleading in the eyes of Thomas and exchanged his doubt with robust faith.

How do we overcome our doubts and unbelief?
#1 Not by stop going to Mass or praying or feeding on God's word.

#2 Not by stop using the outward signs of our faith: genuflection, bowing, kneeling, prostrating, bowing, silence but by intensifying these practices in periods of fear, worry and uncertainties.

#3 Prayer is the activator of power O Christians. Our enemy, Satan knows this and fears the Christian who prays. In the warfare we are engaged in day after day, the Christian who prays has only one method of advancing in the battle field: PRAYER. This is why Jesus calls Prayer, a vital necessity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus the Lord and Teacher Never commands us to Work Always. But He commands us to pray Always.

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First Friday in July 2020 - Sacred Heart of Jesus.

July 3, 2020 is First Friday in July 2020.

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 7th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #7.

#7.  "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

What is tepid?  Tepid is defined as lukewarm, slightly warm, unenthusiastic, apathetic, half-hearted.
Listen to what Jesus says about such persons:
"Because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  (Revelation 3: 16).

Are you lukewarm with regards to Jesus, to spiritual things? Regain your fire through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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:

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Get up and walk; your sins are forgiven.

“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9: 2).

Thursday 2nd July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time.

The worldwide pandemics have created the most intense philosophical and spiritual questioning since the Enlightenment. What is the cause? Who is the cause? Why is it happening? The religious narrative was greatly weakened in the society after the experience of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Now many pastors are wary of sharing their true reflections openly and publicly. Listen to the bland and meaningless chatters on public media on the pandemics.

The word of God cannot be chained. “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
Sin causes suffering and suffering leads to repentance and salvation.
Jesus can forgive sins. Jesus wants to forgive sins. If we say we have no sins, we call God a liar. (1 John 1: 10). Therefore we must confess our sins of thought, word, deed and omission.

Reconciliation with God is the deepest need of man. The Lord is full of mercy. "Your sins are forgiven. Get up and walk."

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Seek good and not evil.

"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim.
Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph." (Amos 5: 14 - 15).

Wednesday 1st July 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is also the feast of St Junipero Serra (1713 - 1784). Spanish Franciscan Priest who evangelized Mexico and California and firmly established the Church in these regions.

Junipero arrived in the New World and sought good and not evil. He fought for the cause of justice for the native people of the region.

The Prophet Amos in the first Reading is speaking to a people facing a pandemic crisis. He offered them an infallible vacine:
"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you as you claim.
Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph."

In the Gospel Reading, Jesus confronts the power of evil and conquers them. It is absolute folly for modern man who at the very best has only 20/20 physical vision to downplay the existence of the devil and his activities in the world.

May St Junipero Serra inspire us to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Lord save us; we are perishing.

"They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”  He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8: 25 - 26).

Tuesday 30th June 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church. In 64 AD, the vicious Emperor Nero set Rome on fire. To escape the wrath of the Romans, he blamed the Christians. Then he ordered all Christians arrested and be put to death.

The Apostles with Jesus in the stormy sea faced another type of threat to life. Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea and there was deep calm. The Apostles did not realize that the presence of Jesus with them in the boat meant that they were safe. Jesus asked them at Caesarea Philippi "Who do you say that I am?" They followed Jesus but did not know who He is?
“What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” (Matthew 8: 28). They wondered after the calming of the storm.

Do you personally know who Jesus Christ is? This knowledge in crisis could be the difference between life and death.
"God's faithful promises are our armor and protection." (Psalm 91: 4). The Holy Scripture is filled with these promises. They are for you and your children. Invest some time in learning them. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." (St Jerome).

When I face a storm in life, I repeat several times:
"Jesus Emmanuel I trust in You. I surrender myself to You completely. Take care of everything Your way."
Do you know that the name of Jesus is a full prayer and an armor of protection against evil?

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

"Peter said to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus replied: You are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 16, 18).

Monday 29th June 2020, 13th Week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

This great feast has been celebrated for Peter and Paul together from the earliest days of the Church. Why?
Peter and Paul are recognized as the principal pillars of the Church. We declare in the Creed: "I believe in the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." The one only Church founded by Jesus Christ on Pentecost Sunday is built on the foundation of the Apostles. Hence every Bishop in the Church enjoys legitimacy through Apostolic Succession from the original Twelve Apostles.

In Matthew 16, Jesus asked the Twelve and you and me:
"But who do you say that I am?"
In the past, I answered this with various faith formulas. Today I answer the question thus: "You are Jesus Emmanuel, the One who is with me, in me and for me always and everywhere." I repeat this formula often daily and it has helped me to draw from the two huge embedded promises in the sacred names of Jesus and Emmanuel.

And you my friend, who do you say Jesus is today?

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