Saturday, November 07, 2020

Stay Awake and Be Prepared.

"Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’  But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25: 11 - 13).

Sunday 8th November 2020, in the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture shows how Jesus concludes the Parable of the Kingdom which compares the readiness of the Wise Virgins against the unpreparedness of the Foolish Virgins.

What is the point of the teaching of the Wise and Foolish Virgins? Is it to extol the incomparable gift of Wisdom which is the subject of the first Reading today? Wisdom is the gift that helps us to make good choices. In this parable, the Wise Virgins choose to prepare to wait for the Lord. The Foolish Virgins neglect to prepare and by default choose not to prepare.

We know this is a Parable of the Kingdom and the Bridegroom is the Lord Jesus. The whole point of the Parable is: how prepared are you to meet the Lord Jesus now?
People know they must prepare for a wedding, birth of a new baby, job interview, important overseas trip. What can be the most important preparation anyone can make? The transition into eternal life is by far the most critical preparation anyone can make. Not to know this is absurd and irresponsible. Death for most of us will be sudden and unforeseen.

How can we prepare for the sudden coming of Jesus? A good life which is built on the following plan:
#1 Daily Prayer.
#2 Daily Bible Reading.
#3. Daily Examination of your Conscience.

When we are faithful to the little things above, the Holy Spirit will show us more.

"Stay awake and stand ready,
because you do not know the hour
when the Son of Man is coming." (Matthew 24: 42, 44).

Daily Bible Verse @

Friday, November 06, 2020

The Secret of Contentment.

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." (Philippians 4: 11 - 12).

Saturday 7th November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time.

How do you deal with the ups and downs of life? Health and sickness, money and broke, job and unemployed, etc. This is the subject  of the first Reading from Philippians 4: 10 - 19. Paul says that he has mastered how to deal with these circumstances and remain in contentment. If we want to be stable and happy in this world where no condition is permanent, we need to master the lesson of Paul.

In the Gospel of today from Luke 16: 9 - 15, Jesus our Teacher talks about mammon, dishonest money. For many people, when they are under severe pressure about money, health, job or bills, they are ready to embrace whatever solution could get them quickly out of their problem. But Jesus said firmly: "You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16: 13). To do so is to pretend that you can work and get your pay in two different companies at the same time.

What therefore is the powerful lesson of Paul for us in our key Scripture? Know and trust that God has a loving design for our life that is called Divine Providence. Embedded in this gracious and mysterious plan of God are: winter and summer, hot and cold, good times and bad times. Some people want to alter this divine order. When they fail, they become depressed.

Paul concludes this great lesson by saying:
"In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him [Christ] who empowers me. (Philippians 4: 12  - 13).

Trust in Divine Providence. It never fails.

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Thursday, November 05, 2020

Prepare an account for your stewardship.

"Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.  He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward." (Luke 16: 1 - 2).

Friday 6th November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time is also the first Friday in November.

The Church teaches us to have constantly in mind the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. There is no escaping this truth. Our key Scripture for today deals with Judgment in accounting terms. Every steward knows that once or twice a year, he renders account of his stewardship to his master in terms of profit and loss. After our death, we will render an account of our stewardship to the Eternal and Merciful Judge, Jesus.

At our birth, we received gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure. How have you invested your gifts? What are the returns on the investments? If you show profits, you will hear  "Welcome" and be promoted to eternal life. If you do not report profits, you will hear "Depart from Me..."

This life is short. Even if you live to 90, it is still a short life especially compared to eternity. It is the duty of Religion to remind everyone of this truth. Do not put all your eggs in the one basket of money and material prosperity.

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday, November 6th 2020.

November 6th, 2020 First Friday in November.

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 11th month of the year 2020, we look at Promise #11.

#11. "Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced."

Promise #11 is not hard to fulfill.  Start small.  Order 20 to 50 Sacred Heart of Jesus cards from Amazon or from your local Catholic Bookstore.  Few dollars. Get the ones with the picture of the Sacred Heart in front and the Promises on the back. Give them to family, relatives and friends.  Leave some in the Church lobby.  You are already on the way as a promoter of the Sacred Heart devotion.

Remind the Lord often of these promises especially those that touch your present need. Jesus loves to be reminded of His promises.  Not that He forgets.  It is important for you to know deeply that the Lord is faithful.  Friends, this is really a question of whether you trust the promises Jesus or not.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday.

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

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Sharing the Good News: The Power of One.

"In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (Luke 15: 10).

Thursday 5th November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture for today teaches us the power of One. If one sinner who reconciles with God will make the angels happy, what does that teach us? One sinner is worth any investment. Politicians are convinced that One Vote counts. No good politician could afford to belittle one vote.

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. One tiny mustard seed that grew and grew until it becomes a huge tree where birds nest.

How can we give joy to the angels and saints in Heaven through the reconciliation of one sinner? Let us imagine:
#1 Set the target of sharing the Gospel with one person a day.
#2 In 30 days, you have shared the Gospel with 30 persons.
#3 Encourage each of the 30 persons to share the Good News with one person a day and you have another 30 evangelists.
#4 In 365 days, how many happy souls have you reconciled with their heavenly Father? The number will compound in your account.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His Reconciliation, and your reward will be huge.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2020

The Feast of St Charles Borromeo.

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14: 27).

Wednesday 4th November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Charles Borromeo. (1538 - 1584). Cardinal, Archbishop of the famous See of Milan, the See of St Ambrose. Borromeo was born into wealth and splendor but was not possessed by his wealth and patrimony.

Jesus concluded His teaching in the Gospel of today from Luke 14: 25 - 35 by saying: "In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
Some people like St Charles Borromeo are born into wealth but are detached from material things. Other people are born into poverty and become scrooges all their life. Great mystery. It profits a man nothing to own the whole world and lose his eternal soul. Here is one of the powerful sayings of St Charles Borromeo:

"Know and recall that there is no greater wealth and treasure, nothing more excellent and fruitful, than to love God and serve him, and that everything else passes like smoke and shadow."

St Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of catechists and seminarians.

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Monday, November 02, 2020

The Feast of Brother Martin de Poress, OP.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." (Philippians 2: 5 - 7).

Tuesday 3rd November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Martin de Poress (1579 - 1639). Martin de Poress, OP was a Dominican lay brother of mixed races. Born in Lima, Peru of a Spanish father and a black mother. His father gave Martin a decent education and His creator, the eternal Physician, endowed Martin with immense pharmaceutical and medical skills. He deployed these gifts in the service of the poor and animals.

Martin was not disgusted with the menial tasks he was alloted: cooking, cleaning and sweeping. He fed the unwanted and the hungry that came to the monastery looking for food. He cured the sick in the infirmary. He fed animals in the backyard.

Our key Scripture says that Christ Jesus humbled Himself before His Father and became obedient and accepted to die a shameful death on the Cross. For this reason, His Father promoted and bestowed a jewel crown of the name Jesus. The Father also made Jesus the First Born among His children.

Martin de Poress highly gifted and talented humbled himself and never raised his voice or showed off his skills. He accepted the humble place given to him by his brother Dominicans and worked cheerfully in the kitchen and as a doorkeeper. Even in these humble places, he still became the salt of the earth and the light of Christ. God blessed him with miraculous powers. After his death in 1639, the power of his intercession and miraculous power made Martin a favorite patron saint in the Church. I took Martin as my Confirmation name. 

St Martin de Poress pray for us.

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Sunday, November 01, 2020

The Feast of the Commemoration of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

"They [the dead] seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace." (Wisdom 3: 2 - 3).

Monday 2nd November 2020, 31st Week in Ordinary Time is the Commemoration of all the holy souls in Purgatory.

The Church teaches from the very beginning that:
"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (CCC 1030).

Where do people go to await the cleansing or purification after they take their last breath and close their eyes in death? "The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned." (CCC 1031).

The unbelievers think that the dead are lost and would decay in the ground like organic matters. They do not believe that man has a soul. Many protestant and evangelical sects believe that the dead bodies are decayed and stayed in the ground till the Resurrection. They are not sure what happens to the soul. This belief is born of churches fthat depend on Scripture alone for the full revelation of God's mysteries.

We celebrate the feast of All Souls because the Church teaches that the souls in Purgatory can benefit from our prayers. Because of this, the Church drawing from its authoritative Magisterium instituted a system of Indulgence. This is how the Church explains her teaching on Indulgence:

What is an indulgence?

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints." (CCC 1471).

The Book of Wisdom, our first Reading gives us the end game of Divine Providence on the Souls in Purgatory:

"Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself." (Wisdom 3: 5 - 6).

Remember the Poor Souls in Purgatory in your prayers.

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