Thursday, December 30, 2021

Is this the Last Hour?

"Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour." (1 John 2: 18).

Friday 31st December 2021, 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas is also the feast of St Sylvester I.

On the Last Day of 2021, we celebrate the life and sanctity of Pope St Sylvester 1st. Sylvester was elected to the Papacy on the last day of 314 and he died on the last day of 335. Today is the last day of 2021.

Sylvester served the Church at a very turbulent transition in Church history. Arian heresy and the Donatist schism threatened to destroy the Church. Then Constantine appeared by Divine Providence and offered the Church relief and peace in 312 AD by legalizing and granting amnesty to Christians. Pope St Sylvester attended the famous Council of Nicaea where the Nicene Creed recited by Christians of all faith today was ratified and promulgated. Pope St Sylvester contributed a great deal in the expansion of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

This is the last hour. The Apostle John warned.
The "Antichrists have appeared." Have you seen any? These are some of the characteristics of the Man of lawlessness from the Christian Scriptures :

Deceit
Temporary success
Mass seduction
Adversary
Son of perdition
Opposed Christ.
Rival of Christ
(Cf 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 - 12; Matthew 24: 23 - 26).

Before he became Pontiff, Pope St John Paul II warned in 1976 at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia that we are now facing the final confrontation between the Antichrist and the Church. Remember how King Henry VIII caught over 300 English Bishops napping in 1535? Only Bishop St John Fisher earned the crown of Martyrdom. Below is a prophetic teaching of the Church on the Antichrist from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."   (CCC 675).

Is the current pandemics the beginning of the Last Hour?
Do not be asleep. Be vigilant and pray at all times so that you may not fall into severe temptation. Do not become an Anti-Witness. This is the Last Hour.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Anna spoke about Jesus to everyone who was expecting the Messiah.

"There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." (Luke 2: 36 - 37).

Thursday 30th December 2021, 6th Day in the Octave of Christmas.

Anna, the Prophetess dominates the Gospel Reading as if today is her patronal feast day. Who is Anna and why is she one of the humble and powerful evangelists in the Gospel?

#1 Anna lived in the Temple for decades and gave herself completely to worshiping God, praying and fasting.
#2 Apart from Mary, Joseph and Simeon, Anna was one of the very first people to see Jesus as an Infant. She knew who He is at once and she carried Him in her arms! Wonderful!
#3 Anna is one of the very first Evangelist to announce the Good News.
"And coming forward at that very time, she [Anna] gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem." (Luke 2: 38).

What can we say about the character of Anna? The answer is from the first Reading: 1 John 2: 15 - 17).

"Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." (1 John 2: 15 - 17).

Anna retired to the Temple after she lost her husband as a young woman. She chose not to remarry or hang around and enjoy her husband's wealth.

Brethren, the story of Anna teaches us that it is good to serve the Lord faithfully. Anna and Mary are two examples of great faithfulness in serving God not for one year or 10 years or 50 years but day after day all life long. But what is most admirable is the faithfulness of God. The Bible says that faithfulness is the essence of who God is. Both Anna, Mary and Joseph responded to the faithful love and mercies of God to them.
May we do the same.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Feast of St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr.

"There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord." (Luke 2: 25 - 27).

Wednesday 29th December 2021, 5th Day in the Octave of Christmas is the feast of St Thomas Becket. (1118 - 1170). English. Martyr. St Thomas Becket, also known as St Thomas of Canterbury was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder on December 29th 1170.

Our key Scripture introduces us to a man whose name is Simeon. Who is this holy old man? According to the testimony of holy Scripture, Simeon is:
#1 A righteous and devout man. (Reminds us of Saints Joseph, Stephen, Barnabas).
#2 Simeon was one of the faithful who actively awaited the coming of the Messiah Jesus, foretold over 700 years before. With the appearance of John the Baptist, the expectation for the coming of the Messiah became fever pitch.
#3 Simeon was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit promised Simeon that he would not die until he sees Jesus with his eyes.

Simeon is immensely important in salvation history. This is why:
He was inspired to present himself in the Temple the very day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus for His presentation to the Lord, His Father. Here is what Simeon said, words that are used by the Church in prayer every night:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2: 29 - 32).

Simeon gave an eloquent testimony to the faithfulness of God. God made a promise over 700 years ago. He had not forgotten it. In the fullness of time, God fulfilled His promise to the letter and here is the Prophet Simeon to bear witness to the truth.

Whenever I read this Scripture, I am reminded of the radical faithfulness of God. Our God is a Promise Maker and a Promise Keeper.

"My Immaculate Mother also knew sin in all its ugliness and horror. She saw all that sin wrought upon My Body, the very Body she bore in her virginal womb, and, in seeing the ravages of sin on My Body and on My Face, her Heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow in fulfilment of Simeon’s prophecy." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, March 31, 2016).

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Monday, December 27, 2021

The Feast of the Holy Innocents.

"The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2: 13).

Tuesday 28th December 2021, in the Octave of Christmas is the feast of the Holy Innocents.

Why this feast and why does it matter?

#1 The Church celebrates the memory of about 20 baby boys whom King Herod slaughtered in his attempt to kill Jesus. These children are martyrs who gave their lives for Christ and are members of the Communion of the Saints.
#2. This feast is perhaps a rude reminder to all of us that the Mission of Jesus is to be Savior and Redeemer. Salvation from Sin and Redemption from the debt of Sin was purchased at the cost of blood. 
#3. The massacre of the Holy Innocents teaches us the mystery of God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence. 

God could have eliminated the tyrant Herod, but instead He willed His Son and family to go into exile in Egypt in a cold winter.
Other instances of God's mysterious providence:
#1 God allowed Adolf Hitler to rule for 12 years and caused the suffering and death of millions.
#2 God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and Pharaoh's stubbornness caused the death of many Egyptians.
#3 Other tyrants that were given long ropes are: Nero, Napoleon, Stalin, etc.

Long-suffering is part of God’s divine attributes. Some people have taken this for God's weakness. NO!!! Scripture says:  "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1: 25).

The Church honors the Holy Innocents because they "were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the Lamb and sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord." (Entrance Antiphon).

"The movement of persecution that is about to break out against My Church will focus on three objects. In fact, this has already begun. I will be attacked in My priests; they represent My Eucharistic Face. The face of the priesthood is My Face, once again mocked and covered with mud, spittle, and blood. I will be dishonoured in the Sacrament of My Body and Blood. You will see an increase of sins against the mysteries of My Body and Blood: sacrileges, desecrations, and mockeries. I will be attacked in the weakest and most vulnerable members of My Mystical Body. This too has already begun, but it will increase until it reaches proportions that will oblige My Father to avenge the blood of His beloved innocents." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, November 12, 2008). 

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist.

"What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." (1 John 1: 3).

Monday 27th December 2021 is the Feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist. John wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Book of Revelation. John is an eye witness and a faithful and credible witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the will of God that we learn the truth of the Gospel from credible witnesses. The Church is the credible witness of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ for over 2000 years.

St John's writing of his Jesus experience is an eye witness account. He saw. He heard. He touched. He then bore witness.  His witness which is faithful and true have unlocked for us the secrets of the Word of God.

Our Scripture text for today challenges me to ask: What have I seen today?
+ I have seen the Church gathered for the Eucharist on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ.
+ I have seen people come up to receive the Eucharist with great reverence.
+ I saw the beautiful Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in full worship mode on Christmas Day.
+ I have seen Jesus Christ in the person of the priest at the Altar.

What have I heard?
+ I have heard the Good News proclaimed from the Altar.
+ I have heard it proclaimed on television, radio and music.

"This is John, who reclined on the Lord’s breast at supper,
the blessed Apostle, to whom celestial secrets were revealed
and who spread the words of life through all the world."  (Entrance Antiphon).

"Above all, I renew for you the words I uttered for Saint John from the Cross: “Behold your Mother.” Live in her presence. Honour her at every occasion and in every way possible. Every time you show love and devotion to My most holy Mother, you honour the words I spoke from the Cross, and you put them into practice. “Behold your Mother.” She desires nothing more than to look after you, just as if you were her only son. Her attention for you is not divided, nor is it in any way impaired by the attention she gives to the vast multitude of her children through the ages. Trust in her care for you. Pray her Rosary. Honour her as you have been doing."  (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, January 31, 2008).

Father, we pray that with St John the Evangelist we may share in the hidden wisdom of your eternal Word which You reveal to us at the Eucharistic table. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

"Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged." (Colossians 3: 12... 21).

Sunday 26th December 2021, is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Our key Scripture for today is not my first choice. I am constrained to use it.
This text is sometimes cut out from the proclamation of the message from Colossians 3: 12 - 21. Why is it left out? Are the liturgists afraid of offending some fashionable women in the congregation.  Some women may think that it is old fashioned to talk about: "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord."

"Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord." may well be the key to the success and integrity of marriage. I know I was challenged in the RCIA class on the text. The example of St Monica, the mother of St Augustine has been helpful. Augustine wrote about the experience of his mother in the CONFESSIONS. St Monica is the patron saint of married women and counseled many married women. She used the revelation in Colossians 3: 13 - 21 in her counseling. Monica was married to Patricius who was not a Christian. Patricius was ill mannered and a drunkard. "Patricius never for once laid hands on me or abused me in any way." How is that, the women wanted to know. Simple. Monica quoted Colossians 3: 13 - 21 and explained it to the women.

Pope Benedict the XVI advised the Austrian Bishops during an apostolic visitation to preach the WHOLE Gospel season and out of season. This works, stated the Pontiff.
What would become the message of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary if he announced: "Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Bye bye." The world would still be waiting for the Incarnation.

It could be said that women bear disproportionate yoke for peace in the home. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a family where Mary's human, womanly and spiritual gifts found the fullest expression and left us a holy example.

Holy Family of Mary, Jesus and Joseph pray for us.

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Friday, December 24, 2021

The Christmas Mystery.

"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 11 - 12).

Saturday 25th December 2021, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Solemnity of Christmas.

Our key Scripture for this Christmas Day proclaims how God's grand and mysterious works come to us. They come through SIGNS. God is a spirit and invisible. We humans are flesh and blood and material. This is why the Word of God became flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary.  We can see Him and touch Him.

In the Christmas story, let us imagine ourselves for a moment to be Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, Jesus' grandparents Anne and Joachim, the Magis. All these people were able to touch Jesus physically. These people are exceptionally blessed.
We are also exceptionally blessed because we are able to touch Jesus in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, Jesus is fully present to us: His soul, body, blood and divinity.

Without faith, the touching of the infant Jesus by Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, Jesus' grandparents Anne and Joachim, the Magis is meaningless. Without faith, our receiving of Jesus in the Eucharist is totally meaningless.

Faith is the key to a Happy Christmas.

Have a Happy Christmas filled with faith, hope and love.

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

You are my Father, my Rock, my Savior.

“He [David] shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.” (Psalm 89 Responsorial iii).

Friday 24th December 2021, 4th Week of Advent, Mass in the morning.).

Our key Scripture for today is from the Responsorial Psalm verse iii. I never read this dialogue between God the Father and David without feeling of some emotion. Call it sibling rivalry.  Why can't I say to Abba Father:  "You are my Father,
my God, the Rock, my Savior." In fact I can. You can. This is the whole meaning of Christmas.

"O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death."

"A child shall be born for us, and this is the name they shall give him: Mighty God. He shall sit upon the throne of David, his father, and rule; dominion shall be laid upon his shoulders." (Responsory - Office of the Reading).

"When you come into My presence, pour out your heart before Me: all that you suffer, all that you question, all that you fear, give all to Me. This you do already when you pray the psalms. It was through the psalms that I poured out My own Heart to My Father, and in the prayers of David and the holy ones of Israel, My Father heard My voice and inclined to listen to the prayer of My Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, December 3, 2014).

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Feast of St John Kanty, Priest and Teacher.

"When they [Relatives of Zachariah] came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, ­asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God." (Luke 1: 57.... 66).

Thursday 23rd December 2021, 4th Week of Advent is the feast of St John Kanty. (1390 - 1473). Polish. Kanty is priest, professor, philosopher, physicist and theologian. What is striking about the life of St John Kanty is that this brilliant and highly educated man spent his entire priestly vocation in the ivory tower. Yet, he had the heart of a pastor of flocks. He seized every opportunity to help his needy students and the poor he encountered.

Our key Scripture for today are the words of the parents of John the Baptist affirming almost with vehemence that the name of their son is John and not something else. But what is in a name?

In ancient Hebrew theology, a name denotes and contains a person, a presence and a power.
No one assigns names to offsprings lightly. The name John means God is gracious. In this child, God promises to be gracious to the world through the birth of a holy Prophet who would herald the birth of His Son Jesus.

As we near the Solemnity of Christmas, we thank God for the life and work of St John the Baptist. We remember too St John Kanty our saint of the day who continue to inspire us by his teaching and exemplary life.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

I dedicate this little boy to You my God.

"Then Hannah spoke up: “Excuse me, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here near you, praying to the Lord.  I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.  Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” Then they worshiped there before the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:  26 - 28).

Wednesday 22nd December 2021, 4th Week of Advent.

This Wednesday, our key Scripture is the extraordinary generosity of Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel. We know the story. This is the testimony of Hannah, the mother of Samuel to the high priest Eli.  Hannah is one of my favorite Bible characters. Why?
+ Hannah believes in prayer.
+ She believes in miracle.
+She has an incredible spirit of gratitude.

Hannah was barren. She pleaded with God for a son. At last, the Lord heard Hannah and granted her the little Samuel. When Samuel was 3 years old, Hannah brought Samuel to the Temple of the Lord and dedicated him to the Lord.  Look at the image. The little boy had never seen anyone like the high priest with his huge beard and robed in the high priestly vestment. Little Samuel was frightened and clung tightly to his mother's gown. After the dedication, Hannah went home empty handed.

Where have we noticed such extravagant generosity to God?
#1 The Widow's Mite. (Mark 12:41–44, Luke 21:1–4).
#2 The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:25–35).

What are the lessons for us from Hannah's gesture to God?

#1 You can never out do God in generosity.
#2 Do not be afraid to dedicate all your time, talent and treasure to God.

God raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap He lifts up the poor, to seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage. (Cf 1 Samuel 2: 8).

"The Virgin Mary, my Mother of Perpetual Help, the Mediatrix of all graces, will look after all the details, even as she did in Saint John’s home when she lived with him." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, October 4, 2007 Saint Francis of Assisi).

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Monday, December 20, 2021

The Feast of St Peter Canisius SJ, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Tuesday 21st December 2021, 4th Week of Advent is the feast of St Peter Canisius SJ, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"Besides being a sage, Qoheleth taught the people what he himself knew, having weighed, studied and emended many proverbs. Qoheleth took pains to write in an attractive style and by it to convey truths(Ecclesiastes 12: 9-10).

Peter Canisius was born in Nijmegen, Holland in 1521. Peter studied canon law at Cologne University and Louvain. After his studies, he joined the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and distinguished himself in teaching, preaching and writing. Peter Canisius became a type of Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes 12: 9-10, 12). He was a sage who shared liberally the fruits of his arduous studies in many books. "When I discovered your teaching, I devoured it. Your words brought me joy and gladness; you have called me your own, O Lord my God." (Jeremaiah 15:16) Peter Canisius could say the same thing.

In 1555, St Peter Canisius published his famous Catechism, (Summa Doctrinae Christianae), which was the Catholic answer to Luther's great work. This Catechism which was translated into more than 16 languages during Peter Canisius's life became a model for catechisms up to this day. The Lord sustained him in the priesthood till the end of his life: "The Lord has sworn an oath and he will not retract; you are a priest forever, in the line of Melchisedech" (Psalm 110:4)

St Peter Canisius died in 1597 and was canonized and declared a saint and Doctor of the Church in 1925. "He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 24: 5-6) His feast day is December 21.

In our key Scripture from Luke, Elizabeth made two revelations through the power of the Holy Spirit :
#1. The Mother of my Lord visits me.
#2. Mary, you are made completely righteous because like Abraham and David you dared to believe the promises of God to you.

And you Reader, do you believe in the promises of God to you?
The period of waiting and expectations will soon be over. You receive in proportion to your desire and expectations.

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Behold I am the maid servant of the Lord.

"In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1: 26.... 38).

Monday 20th December 2021, 4th Week of Advent.

In our key Scripture for today, we find an apt response to every good promise of God to us in Holy Scriptures. The Bible is a record of God's dealings and interactions with human beings across centuries and geographies. They contain also the word of God or divine command to the men and women who live in Bibleland and their responses to God.

This Monday, we read of how God sent the Angel Gabriel to a young woman with an astonishing promise. Gabriel told Mary that through the power of God, she will become the Mother of God. Once Mary fully understands the implications of the message, she replies:  "I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me. (Luke 1: 38).

"To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace." (CCC 490).

The Child we are expecting in five days will "be ruler in Israel."
He is the King of the Universe and His origin is "from ancient times."  (Micah 1: 1).
He is the Lord who is always with us. The Emmanuel. He is the Lord who is Peace.

Has God put any dreams in your heart? Do not be afraid.

"I am your Mother, the Mother given you by my Son Jesus, from the Cross, in the solemn hour of His sacrifice. And you are my son, dear to my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, precious to me, and ever under the mantle of my protection. Let me live with you as I lived with John, the second son of my Heart and the model for all my priest sons down through the ages. Speak to me simply and with complete trust in the compassion of my maternal Heart and in the power given to my maternal intercession." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Annunciation).

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Who am I that the mother of my Lord will visit me?

"When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1: 39.... 45).

Sunday 19th December 2021, 4th Sunday of Advent.

The Gospel of today from Luke 1 will be familiar to many people. This is the scene of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. We contemplate this mystery in the 2nd Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. Elizabeth is the host and filled with the Holy Spirit made three important prophetic utterances:

#1. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

#2. "And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy."

#3. "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Sacred Text elevated Elizabeth's utterance here to highly inspired by saying: "Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

God called Abraham and David righteous not because of works but because they believed the promises God made to them. (Cf Romans 4: 3, 6).
Mary said to the Angel:  "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done for me according to your word." Elizabeth said "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The word of God through Isaiah is fulfilled through Mary.
"Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7: 14).

"Here I answer prayers and I will continue to do so, for this house is founded upon a great love and rooted in a profound faith. It is My desire that hope, too, should flourish within these sacred walls. My Eucharistic Heart has a special love for this house and for the souls who dwell within it, loving Me, serving Me, living to be so many living flames of adoration before My Eucharist Face. Comfort them with My words." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, February 8, 2008).

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Friday, December 17, 2021

Who is St Joseph?

"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her."  (Matthew 1: 20).

Saturday 18th December 2021, of the 3rd Week of Advent.

Here comes Joseph! The three members of the Holy Family are named in our Gospel of today: Mary, Joseph and Jesus-Emmanuel.
Who is Joseph?

St Joseph is the man chosen by God to be the foster father and guardian of Jesus.

God communicates with us through a variety of ways, viz:
#1. Inspiration
#2. Locution
#3. Sacred Scripture
#4.  Prophetic person /message
#5.  Dream

St Joseph is a man of dreams.  Matthew recorded 4 Dreams of Joseph in the Infancy Narrative:
1. Matthew 1: 24
2. Matthew 2: 13
3. Matthew 2: 19
4. Matthew 2:  22

"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home."  (Matthew 1: 24).
Joseph is a very docile and obedient man.

Joseph is a just and considerate man.  Consider what he did faced with the evidence that Mary was carrying a child not his own:
"Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly."  (Matthew 1:  19).

Joseph is a man of high purity and chastity. God chose him to be the husband of Mary because God had fitted him with the appropriate graces to protect the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Joseph the humble carpenter is the patron saint of workers.  He understands that genuine labor is collaborating with God where, what and when you are assigned.

The Church considers St Joseph the greatest Saint after the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joseph is so fittingly named the Patron of the Universal Church.  Remember that he was the Guardian of Jesus and in his intercessory role, you can believe that Jesus will deny nothing to Joseph.

One week today is the end of Waiting. The Glorious Christmas!

"O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!"

"Such a man was Saint Joseph. He was the living image of My Father, and he was chosen by My Father to be a father to Me in My sacred humanity. Let My priests go to Saint Joseph. He will obtain for them this priceless gift of spiritual fatherhood, and he will guide them in the delicate and difficult work of being true fathers to souls." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, November 15, 2013).

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

The true picture of the family of Jesus.

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham........Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah."  (Matthew 1: 1 - 2 & 15 - 16).

Friday 17th December 2021, 3rd Week of Advent. From 17th December, we are one week to the Eve of Christmas Day. Pay attention to the readings at Mass.

Do you consider the Genealogy of Jesus Christ boring? Not when you understand the purpose for its inclusion in Sacred Scriptures. The Holy Spirit, the Author of the Sacred Text does not waste words as human authors do. Here are a few reasons for the Genealogy or Family History of Jesus Christ:

#1 Jesus Christ is truly God and truly Man. He descended from the lines of Abraham and David.
#2 His human family is not perfect (like His Church is not perfect). It contains saints and sinners. Jesus was not ashamed of His family nor was He ever tempted to deny them.
#3 His family lineage was planned by God from the foundation of the ages. So do not be scandalized by what you see.
#4 By the time Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, gone were the days of the great patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and great kings like David and Solomon. What we have are common folks like Joseph and Mary. God has a plan that will lead us to the humble stable in Bethlehem where Jesus will be born, the King of the Jews. He will be born the poor son of the Virgin of Nazareth.

The Genealogy teaches us that God is merciful and faithful. God did not choose the best and filtered humanity. He chose whom He pleases, a mixed bag.
"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." (Ephesians I: 5 NLT)

"Such a man was Saint Joseph. He was the living image of My Father, and he was chosen by My Father to be a father to Me in My sacred humanity. Let My priests go to Saint Joseph. He will obtain for them this priceless gift of spiritual fatherhood, and he will guide them in the delicate and difficult work of being true fathers to souls." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, November 15, 2013).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

St John the Baptist, exceptional prophet and messenger.

"When the messengers of John the Baptist had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. “What did you go out to the desert to see—a reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet." (Luke 7: 24..... 30).

Thursday 16th December 2021, of the 3rd Week of Advent.

Jesus has more to say about John the Baptist. When the ancient Romans consider a man exceptional, they proclaim him a god. Hence the Divine Augustus, Divine Julius, Divine Tiberius, etc.
When Christians consider one of their brethren exceptional, they proclaim him a Saint after his death, hence St Teresa of Kolkata.

But Jesus canonized John the Baptist while he was still in the flesh. "This is the one about whom Scripture says:
"Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you."

St John the Baptist is an exceptional prophet in more than a couple of ways.
"I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”

John was sanctified in the womb of his mother. His path in life was ordained before his birth. Hence he did not succeed his father, Zachary as a Temple priest but rather was carried to the desert by the Holy Spirit as a young man to be prepared and trained as a prophet. John the Baptist's ministry was radical even by the standard of Elijah. He knew martyrdom was facing him. Just as Jesus did not come down from the Cross, John the Baptist did not run for cover.

"This is the hiddenness into which I drew My most holy Mother, beginning with her Presentation in the temple and perfected in her glorious Assumption. This is the hiddenness into which I drew the friend of the Bridegroom, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint John, the disciple beloved of My Heart. This is the hiddenness into which I still draw souls who consent to renounce appearances and enter into a state of apparent death, of silence, of uselessness, of nothingness in the eyes of the world." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, December 10, 2015).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

You can also know who I am by what I do.


“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”......
And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (Luke 7: 18.... 23).

Wednesday 15th December 2021, of the 3rd Week of Advent.

In today's Gospel, the disciples of the Baptist asked Jesus:
Are you Jesus the Messiah or who are you in fact?
The way Jesus answers the question gives us an insight on how to think about our destiny as disciples of Jesus.
Jesus queried the disciples of John the Baptist:
What have you noticed about Me?
What do I do from day to day?
What do you hear me say?
What type of people hang out around Me?

Let us put the answer of Jesus in a little lullaby:
If you bark, you are a dog.
If you sing, you are a mockingbird.
If you fly, you are an eagle.

Jesus told His adversaries: If you do not believe that I am the Messiah, check out what I do and say and be honest and believe that I am the Genuine Article. By your fruits, you shall be known.

Friends, what do you do to show that you are a follower of Jesus? How would your non-Christian neighbor suspect that you are a Christian? By the fruits you manifest, you will show who you are. The fruits are the fruits the Holy Spirit produces in us:
Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control and Chastity.

Before you think this is impossible, note well that it is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit to produce these fruits in us. Jesus said: Without Me, you can do absolutely nothing.

Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard.

"This is the hiddenness into which I drew My most holy Mother, beginning with her Presentation in the temple and perfected in her glorious Assumption. This is the hiddenness into which I drew the friend of the Bridegroom, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint John, the disciple beloved of My Heart. This is the hiddenness into which I still draw souls who consent to renounce appearances and enter into a state of apparent death, of silence, of uselessness, of nothingness in the eyes of the world." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, December 10, 2015).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Feast of St John of the Cross, Priest, Mystic and Doctor of the Church.

"The Lord hears the cry of the poor." (Psalm 34).

Tuesday 14th December 2021, in the 3rd Week of Advent is the feast of St John of the Cross.  (1542 - 1591). Born in Spain near Avila, he cooperated with St Teresa of Avila, another Carmelite mystic and Doctor of the Church for the reform of the Carmelite Order.  John was a Priest and Doctor of the Church. Called Doctor of Mystical theology because of the depth of his understanding and writings on mysticism.  He was the author of the classic: "The Dark Night of a Soul."

St John of the Cross endured terrible persecutions from his confreres in his religious community of the Carmelites. They imprisoned him for nine months, flogged him publicly and imposed other forms of maltreatment.

Our key Scripture is from the beautiful Psalm 34.
Do you believe that the "Lord hears the cry of the poor?" The poor are not the people whom the economists tell us live with less than $2 a day. Neither are they the majority of the people in the third world countries. Not prisoners or the homeless. Who then are the poor and where can they be found? The poor are the Anawin of the Scriptures.

According to Sister Joan  Roccasalvo, C.S.J, "The anawim of the Old Testament were the poor of every sort: the vulnerable, the marginalized, and socio-economically oppressed, those of lowly status without earthly power. In fact, they depended totally on God for whatever they owned. The Hebrew word anawim (inwetan) means those who are bowed down."

Our Responsorial Psalm 34 are for people who are poor, who depend entirely on God for their provision and protection. Some widows, orphans and immigrants qualify for the Anawin today. Can you imagine their delight when they hear the message from the Responsorial Psalm 34?

I. "Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him."

II. "When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them."

III. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
The Lord redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him."

"Those who think that they can succeed by planning and by calculating and by making use of human means as the world makes use of them, these I cannot use for the upbuilding of My Church. I want the little and the poor, those who have nothing apart from an immense trust in My merciful love; I want them to come to Me and to offer themselves to My Eucharistic Heart for My own designs and purposes." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, April 10, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Feast of St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr.

"When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21: 23.... 27).

Monday 13th December 2021, 3rd Week of Advent is the feast of St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr.  (+304). Lucy died a martyr under Emperor Diocletian. Lucy was tortured severely before her death. The last thing the torturers did to her was to gorge out her eyes. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind and all those who have eye trouble. Lucy had been venerated as a saint from antiquity. Her name is included in the Roman Canon.

In today's Gospel, the chief priests and elders confronted Jesus over Authority. Consider the following facts:

The kingdom that Jesus came to set up has some commonalities with earthly kingdoms. For example :
1. King
2. A realm/domain
3. A government
4. Laws
5. Citizens

When Jesus threw out the money changers from the Temple, the Temple authorities were shocked and wanted to know who authorized Jesus.
"Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” By this question, Jesus points to the chief priests and elders the existence of a different type of authority.

In the trial of the Apostles Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, we see the Teacher Gamaliel allude to a different authority:
"But if it [the power/authority] comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5: 38 - 39).

The Kingdom of God is already here and now. The Church is the seed of that Kingdom on earth.
Where does the Pope get his authority?  Jesus answered that question to Pontius Pilate:
"My kingdom is not of this world."
Jesus did not claim any earthly authority.

The critical question for us is:
Does King Jesus reign over our heart and mind and finances? If not, Advent is the Season of grace to place our life under the authority of Jesus Christ.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Rejoice! Rejoice! And Rejoice Sunday!

"Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  (Zephaniah 3: 14... 18).

Sunday 12th December 2021 of the 3rd Week of Advent is Gaudete Sunday. What is Gaudete? Gaudete means rejoice. Why be so joyful this 3rd Sunday of Advent? The Holy Spirit who assigns the Scriptures for the Liturgy urges us to rejoice and be glad. I will not interfere with any exposition of this Sunday's Scriptures. Read it slowly for yourself. Savor the word of God. Remember the word of God is Divine Command.  It accomplishes what it says. As you obey it and rejoice, joy will fill your heart and you will become aware of many reasons to be joyful. Here are my four reasons to be joyful this Sunday:

#1. "Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation." (Isaiah 12).

#2. "Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4: 4 - 7).

#3. "Alleluia, alleluia. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. Alleluia, alleluia." (Alleluia Verse).

#4. “What should we do?” He [John the Baptist] said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” (Luke 3: 10.... 18).

"Whenever you want to intercede with Me for another, it is enough for you to make your prayer as it comes to you through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, knowing that I will hear you and that My Heart is, at every moment, open to your supplications. I am more attentive in listening to your prayers than you could ever be in making them. Trust in Me. Believe in My tender and faithful love for you. I am your Friend, and I have chosen you to be the friend of My Eucharistic Heart. Why then would I not listen to your prayers and, in My infinite wisdom and merciful love, respond to them as I see fit?" (IN SINU JESU, December 13, 2009 Gaudete Sunday).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Feast of St Damasus, Pope.

“Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;  but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased."  (Matthew 17: 11 - 12).

Saturday 11th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the feast of St Damasus 1 (305 - 384). Pope. Born in Rome but of Spanish descent. Damasus presided over the See of Peter when the Church was rocked by many heresies. Arian heresy had not yet been crushed. He defended the Church against schismatics.  Damasus is the Pope who commissioned St Jerome to translate the Bible into common Latin. This translation called the Vulgate made the Latin language the official language of the Church.

Elijah the great prophet is the subject of the first Reading and the Gospel of today. Elijah came back in the persona of John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight His paths. People did not recognize the hour or the opportunity he represented.  Although he appeared like a fire whose words were as a flaming furnace, yet people took little notice. The noise in the world was too loud and impenetrable for the message of salvation to get through.

In less than fourteen days, we shall be in the season of Christmas and the Season of Advent with its opportunities and graces will be over. Arise from your sleep.  Do not allow Christmas shopping and any other frenzied activities to obscure the true meaning of the Season.

The Lord is surely coming in splendor to visit His people. Prepare to welcome Him.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, December 09, 2021

The Feast of Our Lady of Loreto.

"Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea." (Isaiah 48: 17.... 19).

Friday 10th December 2021 is the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto.
What is Loreto? According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived, born and raised in the Holy House of Loreto. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Loreto. This is how Loreto became a Holy House of Prayer.

The House of Loreto which was completed in the 16th century became a famous pilgrimage site. All the 3 recent popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have all made pilgrimages to the Holy House of Loreto.

How do we respond to the reprimand of Jesus in the first Reading? "If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea."

Come Lord Jesus and renew my heart and my life. I had not paid attention to Your voice in the past. I was my own Lord and Master. You said to me Jesus: "Forget the past. I am doing a new thing in you. My Name is not I WAS. My Name is not I WILL BE. MY NAME IS I AM."
These words are very comforting Jesus. Come Lord Jesus!

"The Mystical Body of Christ needs the gentle and perfect ministrations of the most pure hands of Mary. She is sent from heaven—without leaving her glorious heavenly throne—to nurse the ailing members of the Mystical Body and to restore health to the Church wheresoever she is weakened by sin or poisoned by evil. There cannot be—and there will not be—a full restoration of unity until the divinely appointed role of the Mother of Jesus is recognized and confessed. The same is true when it comes to the healing of broken lives and of souls poisoned by sin." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, January 29, 2009).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Feast of St Juan Diego.

"Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11: 11.... 15).

Thursday 9th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the feast of St Juan Diego. (1474 - 1548). Mexican. Hermit and visionary. Our Blessed Mother appeared to this humble and simple Indian and used him to transform the nation of the Aztecs. "Behold the humble maid servant of the Lord. Be it done to me according to Your promise." God can use you and me to accomplish great things in the world. All He needs is humility and faith.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus praised John the Baptist. "Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Pope St John Paul II in the Mass of canonization of St Juan Diego in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2002 praised Juan Diego as a great example of holiness for our times. Juan Diego, a lay man accepted the difficult mission that the Blessed Virgin Mary entrusted to him.

John the Baptist, the son of the Priest Zachary and saintly mother Elizabeth abandoned his rights to a priestly inheritance and a comfortable life to embrace the purpose of God for his life. He was the voice crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord." He accomplished his mission and at the end was martyred by King Herod.

Let us live justly and devoutly in this age as the two Johns in this message. Let us await the blessed hope and the coming of the glory of our great God. (Cf Titus 2: 12 - 13).

"Be on your guard, then, and be prudent, but without fear, because I am your Mother and, just as I said to my beloved little son Juan Diego, I hold you beneath my protecting mantle, in the crossing of my arms, close, very close to my Immaculate Heart. Trust in my protection. Yes, I am your Mother of Perpetual Help, every ready to come to your rescue, ever ready to provide for your needs, to deliver you from danger, and to console you in sorrow. Approach me with childlike confidence and you will never be disappointed." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, December 9, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Nothing is impossible for God.

"And coming to her, he [the Archangel] said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus."  (Luke 1: 26-
.... 38).

Wednesday 8th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is the patronal feast of the United States of America.

What is the Immaculate Conception and why does it matter?  In the first Reading today from Genesis, God said to the Serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel." (Genesis 3: 15). This is the promise of our Redemption after the fall of Adam and Eve. God chose Mary before the foundation of the world and prepared her to be the sinless Mother of His Son. God preserved the Blessed Virgin Mary from original sin by virtue of the Death of her Son, Jesus the Christ which God foresaw.

Only a pure Vessel can hold a pure God. Why does this matter? Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man. Although Mary is 100% human, it is absolute necessity that the Mother of the Redeemer be not tainted with the least sin.

Mary's generosity in giving her Yes made the Incarnation possible.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38).

The total faith and surrender that Mary displayed here is rewarded by God's special revelation to Mary:

"For nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1: 37).
Let this words nourish our faith today and always. When you are afraid, when you worry, when you are tempted to doubt God's power and promises, redouble your trust in God and remember that nothing will be impossible for God.

"Honour My Mother in the mystery of her Immaculate Conception. This is a mystery full of grace and of light for those who ponder it. It is the remedy for many of the ills that afflict My priests and poison their souls. Invoke My Mother conceived without sin and she will communicate to you something of the purity and brightness of her all-holy and immaculate Heart." (IN SINU JESU, November 29, 2008 After First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, December 06, 2021

Feast of St Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.  (Matthew 18: 12... 14).

Tuesday 7th December 2021, 2nd Week of Advent is the feast of St Ambrose of Milan (340 - 397). Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Italian. Ambrose was a high civil servant in the Roman imperial government in the city of Milan when Jesus Christ tapped him to shepherd His Church.
A man of immense talent and holiness, he brought along all his gifts to his new vocation of priest and Bishop. Great preacher, he touched the cold heart of the young Augustine and converted him. He was also a great politician who dealt with emperors without fear. Last but not the least, he left the Church volumes of theological works that continue to nourish the Church.

Friends, I call the Gospel of today the Power of One. You may not believe it, our God cares a lot about details. One sheep, one coin, one little child. The world does not waste time on details. They are only interested in the arithmetic of large numbers: millions, billions, etc.

I still regret the years when I apply this arithmetic to my ministry. Write, teach only to large groups. I am deeply impressed that in many parishes where I have attended daily Mass, sometimes only a handful of people are present. Yet the priest celebrates the Eucharist and preaches with gusto. Remember:

"In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

"My Heart is moved to pity for this little flock and My love is stirred to help them according to the desires that I have placed deep within them." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, February 8, 2008 At D., Ireland).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Feast of St Nicholas, the Santa Claus.

"Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing." (Isaiah 35: 4 - 7).

Monday 6th December 2021 of the 2nd Week of Advent is  the feast of St Nicholas (4th century). St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in present day Turkey. He was at the Council of Nicaea and signed the famous document, the Nicene Creed. His deep concern for the poor and needy netted him the title of Santa Claus throughout the centuries.

In the first Reading today we hear some of those great prophecies and divine promises from Isaiah we tend to brush aside. Instead of hearing this word of God with unbelief, why don't ask the Lord: "When will these things happen?"
Jesus gave an answer to a mystic to a similar question:
"Trust Me with the TIMING of ALL THINGS." Personally, I am deeply satisfied with the answer.

In the Gospel Reading, we see the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy:
"Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”  He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God." (Luke 5: 23 - 25).

In the healing of the paralytic man, Jesus performed two miracles. He first healed the soul, which is the most important and then healed the body in front of the religious leaders.

In the Book of Revelation, the Spirit declares "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." What Jesus has done once in His earthly ministry, He continues to do today through the Church.

"In every priest I would speak and act, delivering souls from the powers of darkness and healing the sick—but most of all, I desire to offer myself in every priest and to assume every priest into My own offering to the Father." (IN SINU JESU, November 29, 2008 After First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent).

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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Trust Me with the timing of ALL THINGS.

"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 1: 4....11).

Sunday December 5th 2021 in the 2nd Week of Advent.

If you read the Scripture servings for this Sunday, what message do you get from the word of God? I get  joy. In fact, I am very joyful because of what the Lord did for me today.
I took this message of Jesus from IN SINU JESU as a personal gift:
TRUST ME WITH THE TIMING OF ALL THINGS.

I am waiting on Jesus for a couple of things. Jesus spoke to me again through the 2nd Reading from Philippians 1:
"I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

I know that Jesus began the good work I am doing in catechesis and evangelization. I have often wondered: "Lord, what is the next step?" The answer came early this morning:
TRUST ME WITH THE TIMING OF ALL THINGS.

Lord Jesus, You are the faithful and true Witness. Your promises are my armor, my protection and my wealth. Deepen my faith, hope and love this Advent 2021, O Jesus.

"He will come in the end, he will not deceive: wait, he will surely come without delay.
Only a little while now, a very little while, and the One that is coming will have come. Wait, he will surely come without delay."  (Responsory from the Office of Reading).

"At the right time the path will open before you, and you will have a great joy in following it. Everything will be clear, because all will have been prepared in advance by the foresight of My merciful love and by the interventions of My most holy Mother. On that day you will have nothing to fear. Live these days in a pressing, constant prayer. Draw closer to My Sacred Heart. Drink from the refreshing streams of My love. Allow yourselves to be prepared by My secret but so efficacious action in you. Great graces are in store for you, but to receive them you must be very little, like children who have a limitless confidence in the love of their papa. When you seek to reason out everything, to know everything ahead of time, to control everything by human means, you keep Me from acting as the God of love that I am. I ask neither for ability nor for great preparations on your part; I ask only for confidence, your confidence in Me, in the love of My open Heart for each one of you." (IN SINU JESU, The Vigil of October 13th , Anniversary of the Great Miracle of Fatima.)

Daily Bible Verse@ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Friday, December 03, 2021

Feast of St John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. 
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Matthew 9: 35 - 38).

Saturday 4th December 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St John Damascene. (675 - 749). Religious Priest and Doctor of the Church. Born in Damascus. Before his ordination to the priesthood in 726, St John was the finance minister to the Caliph.  His work of life was mostly study and writing. He produced books in dogmatic theology. St John Damascene wrote a significant book on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But his defense of the use of images is his striking contribution to the Church. Without John Damascene, we may not be able to use these images in worship or in our devotions. For example: Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy, Mary and the Saints. Thank you St John Damascene.

We see in our key Scripture for today the compassion of Jesus for the crowds who were troubled and appeared totally abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus healed many of their disease and illness and preached to them the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Yet Jesus was sad because the need is so great and the human resources needed for the work are paltry. A mystic asked Jesus about the acute vocation crisis in the Church. Jesus answered below:

"When I asked Our Lord about more vocations: Trust Me with the timing of all things. One plant must be deeply rooted before another one can be planted beside it. I am alive in the Sacrament of My love and, at every moment, divinely active, doing from My place upon the altar all that I did during My sojourn on earth. From the Sacrament of My love I heal the sick, I give sight to the blind, I cause the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak. I am the healer of souls and of bodies." ( IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, March 2, 2010).

What can you do to help? Become an evangelist. From here, you may be led to your proper path.

For information on the Compendium of the the Church, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2021/03/compendium-of-catholic-teachings.html?m=1

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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Feast of St Francis Xavier SJ, the Missionary.

"As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened." (Matthew 9: 27.... 31).

Friday 3rd December 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus (1506 - 1552). Priest and Missionary. Spanish.
This Friday is the First Friday in December. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus today.

Francis Xavier is one of the seven men along with leader St Ignatius Loyola who founded the Society of Jesus, which is popularly known as Jesuits. Francis Xavier will rank as one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Church. We know who has the title #1: St Paul. Francis is said to have baptized over 30,000 souls in his 10 years of missionary endeavors. He worked in India and Japan and died facing the coast of China in 1552 at the age of 46.

Two blind friends who have heard of the miracles of Jesus sought Him out until they found Him. They cried excitedly: “Son of David, have pity on us!” Jesus who delights in mercy can never resist those who ask Him for mercy.

Jesus asked the two blind men: “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened."

"Be it done to me according to Your word." The word of Jesus is a Divine Command. Belief in this word is faith.
What do you seek from Jesus?
Health, Family, Job, Money?
Do you believe that Jesus can do this for you?
Are you prepared to wait for His perfect timing? Are you willing to accept another model of car, woman/man, health plan if that is the will of Jesus for you?

You may receive little from Jesus if you do not see that Jesus knows exactly what you need, when you need it. “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord.”

"The loss of faith that afflicts so many souls is incompatible with a life of adoration. Souls do not stop adoring because they have lost their faith; they lose their faith because they have stopped adoring Me. This is why I would have you hold fast even to the outward forms of adoration. When even these things are cast aside, there is nothing left to invite the soul to the inward adoration in spirit and in truth by which I am glorified. I speak here of the genuflection, the prostration, the profound bow and all the other marks of attention to My presence that provide the soul with a language in which she can express her faith and her desire to adore Me." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday 3rd December.

December 3rd, 2021  -  First Friday in December 2021.

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 12th and last month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #12.

#12. "The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour."

Friends, this is a tremendous promise. Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for such a generous offer.  I was once close to death.  My priest came and brought the healing Presence of Jesus in His precious anointing.  Whenever I think of Promise #12, I remember that awesome occasion and privilege. You will appreciate this promise when you are close to death. No fear. No worry. No doubt about your eternal destiny. If you are unable to receive  Jesus in Holy Communion this First Friday, you can make a Spiritual Communion. You can click on the link below to see the Prayer for Spiritual Communion:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/12/prayer-for-spiritual-communion.html?m=1

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:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/12-promises-of-sacred-heart-of-jesus.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

The wise man builds his house on rock.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock." (Cf Matthew 7:21, 24-2).

Thursday 2nd December in the first Week of Advent.

Our key Scripture instructs us to build our lives on rock. That Rock is Jesus. If we do not build on Him, we build on sand.

To build your life on rock, you need Wisdom. Wisdom is the gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us make good choices and decisions. Wisdom deals with Choice - this or that? To build the foundation of your family home on rock or try to save money and compromise the foundation with inferior material..
True wisdom lies in hearing and doing the word of God, the will of God, the command of God. How do we become wise?

How do good and godly choices become a habit?
#1. Pray for Wisdom every day. You will surely get it.
#2. Read and ponder the word of God daily. It is the source and foundation of Wisdom.
#3. Practice daily examination of conscience. You will see where you have been wise and foolish in the course of the day. You resolve to act appropriately in the future.

Wisdom is listed as the first of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ask for the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Ask and you receive Him immediately.

"Trust Me with all the events of your life. I will not abandon you. You are Mine and I will not forsake you. The decisions of men are all in My hands. Nothing will befall you that I do not permit. I will give you My grace to accept the changing circumstances of your life. It is I who am behind all that happens to you. Nothing escapes My wisdom; nothing escapes My love; nothing escapes My omnipotence. Trust Me, and be at peace. I bless you with all the love of My Sacred Heart. Do not be afraid. Tell Me again and again that you trust in My merciful love for you." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, June 17, 2008 ).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Feast of St Edmund Campion SJ, Priest, Martyr and Poet.

"On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines." (Isaiah 25: 6...10).

Wednesday 1st December 2021, in the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Edmund Campion of the Society of Jesus. Born January 25th, 1540 and hanged, drawn and quartered in Tyburn, London on December 1st, 1581.  St Edmund Campion could have chosen to remain a Fellow at Oxford University and enjoy this life to the fullest. But he believed in the promises of Jesus. "There is something better." St Edmund Campion is the most famous of the English Catholic martyrs. He is acclaimed universally as a great poet.

On the Mountain in today's Gospel, Jesus cured the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. (Cf Matthew 15: 30).  All signs pointing to the Messianic Kingdom.

"On the same Mountain, "[Jesus] took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full."  (Matthew 15: 37).  One more Messianic Sign.

The rich food and choice wines of Isaiah and the baskets of bread and fish are types of the Eucharist which will provide sufficient and super satisfying nourishment in the Kingdom of God on earth.

Does this vision seem unrealistic? Not at all! God will fulfill all His promises as Isaiah declared below:

"On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain."  (Isaiah 25:  9 - 10).

Amen. Trust in God forever!

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle.

"As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him." (Matthew 4: 18 - 22).

Tuesday 30th November 2021, First Week of Advent is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle, brother of Simon Peter. (+ 60). Martyred in Greece circa 60 AD. Patron saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland.

Andrew is my Evangelist par excellence. He hears the divine command in the Gospel. He believes it and obeys it instantly. Immediately he goes to share this treasure with the first person he meets who happens to be his brother Simon Peter. How do we respond like Andrew and become committed and enthusiastic evangelists? There are two necessary steps:

#1. Formation or Training: Spending time with Jesus in prayer and His word. This enables us to become like Jesus. Before we can start acting like Jesus, we must spend time listening to Him and watching His every move in order to imitate Him.

#2. Field training: The student teacher or student nurse needs to be grounded in the theory he learns in the classroom before he steps into  the real world. This is the practicum.

The core mission of the Church is to evangelize. Pope St Paul VI writes that the Church exists in order to evangelize. This is a profound statement. Where is your place in this scheme? In the first Reading we hear:

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10: 13 - 15).

How can people hear of a new product unless there is a salesman or advertising? Friend, Jesus invites you to be the sales person. You can do this through word of mouth, text messaging, emails and sharing social media Catholic Blogs.

"When I choose a soul for a work of Mine, I begin always by drawing that soul very close to Me with the leading bands of My most sweet love. I have given you the gift of My divine friendship, just as I gave it to John and to the other apostles in view of the great work that I entrusted to them: the foundation and growth of My Mystical Body, the Church on earth. Every work of Mine begins in this way." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, April 10, 2008).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Lord Jesus, Your divine word said here can heal my servant.

"When Jesus entered Caper­naum, a centurion ap­proa­ch­ed him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8: 5..... 11).

Why does Jesus praise the faith of the Centurion?  Faith is a rare commodity and one of the greatest gifts of God.  The opposite of faith is Unbelief and Doubt.

How does faith work?  Jesus said to the Centurion:  “I will come and cure him.” The Centurion heard this and believed.  The faith of the Centurion is much deeper.  He said to Jesus: 'No need to come to my house.  Just heal my servant with a word said right here, right now.'

I was a Christian for many years before I understood what faith means.  I remember that the first time I came to realize that faith means believing or trusting in what God says to us, I was surprised.  It sounded so simple.  My immediate reaction to this was:  “Would anybody doubt what God says?”  In fact, we disbelieve and doubt God always.

How did the Centurion come by his faith?  He applied  his experiences as a senior Roman officer to understand how God's power works. God's word is a divine command. For example: "Go, Come, Do this, Don't do that." St Hildegard of Bingen, Physician, Theologian and Doctor of the Church calls the word of God a Divine Command. This is why our faith contains our obedience.

Faith comes from hearing and believing the promises of God.  As you obey the Divine Command your faith  grows.

Happy Advent!

"Why do you think I have spoken to you so often of My Eucharistic Face? It is because “face” signifies “presence.” The devotion to My Eucharistic Face is the remedy to the loss of faith in My real presence that has swept through My Church at every level, extinguishing the fire of Eucharistic charity and causing even My elect, My priests, to grow cold and distant from Me. This is My word to you tonight and this is why I brought you to this place. Any loneliness you may feel is an invitation to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My divine friendship and to console My Eucharistic Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Sunday, October 19, 2008 Saint Paul of the Cross).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com