Saturday, September 12, 2020

Practical steps to help you forgive sins against you.

"Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan." (Matthew 18: 27).

Sunday 13th September 2020, 24th Week in Ordinary Time.

God self-revelation to Moses is:  I am a God of mercy and compassion.  Be holy as I am holy. If we receive mercy from God, we must show mercy to others. It is not okay to say that it difficult to forgive. Sirach in the first Reading today portrays a divine quid pro quo when it comes to forgiving our neighbor. "Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven." (Sirach 28: 2).

Notice the punch in Sirach: "A sinner like yourself."
"Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself, yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?" (Sirach 28: 4).

Jesus says the same in today's Gospel.
"I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.  Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?" (Matthew 18: 32 - 33).

I have struggled with the question of forgiveness. Below is what has helped me:

#1 Forgive the offense immediately. Everywhere, always, for everything, for everyone without discrimination.
#2 Pray blessings on the offender morning and evening. Continue to pray for the offender until you are healed of the hurt.
#3 Ask God to grant the grace to everyone you have offended to forgive you and set you free. I have practiced #1 and #2 for years before it occurred to me that there are people out there that I have offended.
#4 If you do not read the word of God regularly, you will never understand anything about God's mercy and will find it difficult to forgive.

Our Responsorial Psalm 103 for today is on the mercy of God.

"The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with kindness and compassion."

Daily Bible Verse @

Friday, September 11, 2020

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.

"My beloved, avoid idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10: 14).

Saturday 12th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Almost back to back on the celebration of the Birthday of Mary is the feast of her Most Holy Name. The Church in her teaching authority interpretes for us the role of Mary in the economy of salvation. Here is what the Church teaches about the feast of today, Most Holy Name of Mary:

"God the Father is glorified by the exalted role in salvation of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Thus her name is a name of honor, to be venerated and called upon with filial trust and devotion." (Roman Missal). There is a lot to unpack here.

In our key Scripture, St Paul warns the Corinthians to avoid idolatry. The Corinthians mixed meat offered to Idols with other food stuff. You can call idolatry impurity: mixing what is pure with what is impure. This is against the first Commandment that places God first and always first in our heart, mind and soul. "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.  You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons." (1 Corinthians 10: 21).

What can become idols for us today?
Family, health, job, money, food, possessions. If you worry too much about the future which is totally beyond your control, you make idol of it.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary especially through the Holy Rosary is a sure antidote to idolatry.

For the the 15 Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary, click the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Can a blind person guide another blind person?

“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?" (Luke 6: 39).

Friday 11th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time.

Whom did Jesus call the blind in the Gospel?
"Let them [Pharisees] alone; they are blind guides (of the blind). If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15: 14).

The dictionary defines pharasaical spirit as: "Adjective. Of or relating to the Pharisees.  Practicing or advocating strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct without regard to the spirit; self-righteous; hypocritical."

Do you know any such persons in your community? Do you know anyone who advocates the strictest law and order except when their children are involved.  Sometime ago, the daughter of a law and order judge in Texas was speeding drunk after midnight and had an accident. An undocumented immigrant who witnessed the accident went to help her until the police arrived at the scene. Her law and order father and judge argued in court that the immigrant who was at the scene to help his daughter should be disqualified as a witness and arrested as an illegal immigrant.

"I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6: 6).
When a blind judge guides another blind judge, will not the two judges fall into the ditch? Jesus defines His mission thus:
"I was born and came into the world for this one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to me." (John 18: 37).

Do you seek the truth? Do you endeavor to learn more and more about the truth that is Jesus? Can you stand up to what is right and the truth like the undocumented immigrant in Texas? If you answer Yes to all the questions, then you are not far from salvation. Now commit yourself to evangelization, to leading people to the truth.

Daily Bible Verse @

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Be merciful as your Father is merciful.

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6: 36).

Thursday 10th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time.

Our word for the day is from the Gospel of Luke 6: 27 - 38. How can we be merciful as the Father is merciful? What is mercy? The dictionary defines mercy as: "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm." In other words, mercy is a gratuitous forgiveness of an offense where the offender is rightly waiting the hammer to strike.

In my opinion, the greatest example of mercy is in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. This servant owes his master millions of dollars which he could never repay. His master would sell his entire family and all his possessions, put him into slave work for the rest of his life to recover a tiny portion of his debt. Then the miracle happened. He was forgiven everything. The servant did not forgive his fellow servant who owed him a tiny amount.

"You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.  Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’" (Matthew 18: 32 - 33).

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6: 36). Jesus teaches us that the merciful Heart of God is unfathomable. Like a bottomless ocean. Anyone could see this in the Old Testament. Covenant after Covenant that was shredded by His ungrateful People. Yet when they suffer the consequences of their sins, one cry to God and He is at their side, forgiving them and ready to start all over again.

Divine Mercy Devotion is Jesus' gift to the Church. He desires that no man should be ignorant of the infinite mercy of God. The heart of the Devotion is as simple as ABC and is summarized by the ABC of Mercy:

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

This is how we can be merciful as our Father is merciful.

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Feast of St Peter Claver of the Society of Jesus.

"Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied...
...But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."  (Luke 6: 21, 24).

Wednesday 9th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Peter Claver of the Society of Jesus. (1580 - 1654). Spanish. Priest, Religious and Missionary. St Peter Claver served for over 40 years African slaves dumped at the South American seaport of Cartagena now Colombia. During 40 years, he fed the slaves, cared for the sick and dying. He preached the Good News to them and baptized over 300,000.

Peter Claver and the slaves he served watched the powerful slave dealers and the Spanish bureaucratic officials eat, drink and dance while they were hungry.  Jesus has some harsh words for them in today's Gospel:
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep." (Luke 6: 24 - 25).

Jesus teaches in the Beatitudes and in the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus that the selfish rich have received their compensation here on earth. They "gained the whole world" for perhaps 50, 70, 90 or 100 years at most and lost eternity.

St Peter Claver, SJ is called the "Slave of slaves." God gave him great love and patience for the suffering slaves. Peter took many of them with him to heaven. Today we have the opportunity to be different from the the slave dealers and Spanish officials by loving our neighbors in deed and in truth.

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, September 07, 2020

Happy Birthday Mother Mary. We your children love you.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1: 23).

Tuesday 8th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time is the great feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her birth marks the moment when she who was to conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to our Savior Jesus Christ was born.

Who is Mary?
Why is her cult so passionate and universal?

Mary we have seen is the Mother of Emmanuel, God-with-us, Jesus "who will save his people from their sins."
The Blessed Virgin Mary was held in reverence by the Apostles and disciples in the earliest Christian community. That may be why so little was said about her in the Gospels.
The Mother of Emmanuel was the only person who knew Jesus from womb to tomb. She was always there in the most important moments in the life of Jesus:
* Annunciation.
* Birth in the Manger.
* Visit of the Magi.
* Presentation in the Temple and the encounter with the Prophet and Prophetess Simeon and Anna.
* The Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross).
* The Sacrifice of the Lamb of God at Calvary when it pleased the Father to make the Mother of His Son, our Mother through John the Evangelist.
* The Birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday.

Mary was faithfully there in all the great moments! Accident or Providence? Mary's role in salvation history was planned by the Most Holy Trinity before the beginning of the world.

It is with great joy that we honor Mary on her Birthday. Happy Birthday Mother. We your children love you very much. We join all the generations that have called you blessed to hail you:
Holy Mary full of grace, the fruit of your womb, Jesus is blessed forever!

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, September 06, 2020

What is lawful to do on Sunday?

"Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” (Luke 6: 9).

Monday 7th September 2020, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time.

You, what do you consider lawful to do on the Sabbath [Sunday]? The scribes and the Pharisees were probably seated when Jesus walked into the Synagogue with His disciples on this Sabbath. A man whose right hand was withered was sitting where everyone could see him. The scribes and Pharisees became tense as they watched Jesus glance at the man with the withered hand. "Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” The scribes and Pharisees knew the answer to the question but decided to keep quiet.
For Jesus, mercy triumphs always over law and order. His providence is wholly at the disposal of His merciful love.

The Sabbath Rest is a key aspect of Judaism. The Sabbath day is sacred. The Sabbath Rest is one of the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Christianity being the daughter of Judaism adopted the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). The Sacred Magisterium of the Church (Teaching Authority) made Sunday the Day of Rest instead of the Sabbath (Saturday) because of the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday.

Make no mistake about it, the requirement for the Sabbath Rest has not changed under Christianity. "Keep Holy the Lord's Day" is one of the most positive and beneficial commandments of the Decalogue. Let us list a few reasons:

#1 Sunday becomes a Day of Rest for the entire family.
#2 Sunday is the Day of mandatory worship of God in the Holy Eucharist.
#3 Sunday is a Day of exercise of faith in God who ordered the rest and promised to provide fully for the day.
#4 Sunday rest is rehearsal for eternal life. When this life ends, there will be no more work. It will be an eternity of enjoyment of the most beautiful liturgies and music and other things which eyes have not seen, nor eyes heard, nor has it ever entered the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love and obey Him.

Jesus observed the Sabbath scrupulously and desires His followers to do the same.
For the Teaching of the Church on Keep Holy the Lord's Day, click on the link below:

Daily Bible Verse @

Keep Holy the Lord's Day.


(Catechism of the Catholic Church) 

2168 The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD."92

2169 In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."93

2170 Scripture also reveals in the Lord's day a memorial of Israel's liberation from bondage in Egypt: "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day."94

2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.

2172 God's action is the model for human action. If God "rested and was refreshed" on the seventh day, man too ought to "rest" and should let others, especially the poor, "be refreshed."96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97

2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath."99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."102


This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103

The day of the Resurrection: the new creation

2174 Jesus ros from the dead "on the first day of the week."104 Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106

Sunday - fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday i exprssly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.112 The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful "not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another."113

Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. . . . We have often said: "This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."114

2179 "A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop."115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:

You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.116

The Sunday obligation

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

2181 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, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."120

A day of grace and rest from work

2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,"121 human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.122

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.124

2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country's legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this "festal gathering," this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."125