Saturday, January 09, 2021

The One who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

"I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.” (Mark 1: 8).

Sunday 10th January 2021 is the great feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

John the Baptizer bore witness to Jesus as the expected Messiah who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1: 8). Who is the Holy Spirit and why is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit the ultimate Christian experience?

This Sunday Liturgy is full of Holy Spirit themes. Here are a few:

#1. "All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come, buy grain and eat;
Come, buy grain without money,
wine and milk without cost!" (Isaiah 55: 1).
This is invitation to grace and mercy. Of all God's gifts, the Holy Spirit is the Big Gift. The Free Gift.

#2. "With joy you will draw water from the fountains of salvation." (Isaiah 12: 3).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of joy and consolations. We are promised in the Responsorial Psalm from Isaiah 12 that a rich experience of joy and consolations await us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

#3. "The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5: 6).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who leads us to all the truth about the person and work of Jesus the Christ.

The Baptism of Jesus launches His mission. Our Baptism with the Holy Spirit should similarly launch our mission. This is because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Mission and specifically the Spirit of Evangelization. The Church exists for only one purpose: to evangelize. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to accomplish this mission.

Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Yes. At your Baptism. And the grace of the Holy Spirit you received at Baptism was strengthened or confirmed in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

What if you say: I have been baptized and confirmed but I don't experience the joy and consolations of the Holy Spirit. Why? There could be two principal reasons:
#1. Activate the Holy Spirit in you. Like a new credit card, you need to activate it before you can start to use it and enjoy it. How do you activate the Holy Spirit? The way I did was to make a 9 - Day Novena. There are many sites with Holy Spirit Novena templates.

#2. The second reason why you may not experience the promised joy, peace and comforts of the Holy Spirit is SIN. Get rid of the sin in your life and peace, joy and consolations will flow into your life.

Daily Bible Verse @

Friday, January 08, 2021

Jesus must increase. I must decrease.

"He [Jesus] must increase; I must decrease." (John 3: 30).

Saturday 9th January 2021, last day in the Season of Christmas.

In the fullness of time, Jesus left Nazareth and after part-hiking and part walking, He got to the River Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist. Later John was asked about Jesus:  “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” (John 3: 20). Then John added this thought provoking words:
"He must increase; I must decrease."  John is saying: Jesus is the Messiah. I am only the messenger. No hint of jealousy from John. Compare this attitude to what we know of clerical jealousy in the Church. John knew that the Bridegroom is the star and therefore deserves the place of honor.

Where must Jesus increase in your life? Where must you decrease? Do you struggle with pride and envy? We have a perfect answer in the first Reading:
"We have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours." (1 John 5: 14 - 15).

Through prayers, I have gotten every good thing in my life. This is why I affirm:
+ I believe in Prayer.
+ I believe in the word of God.
+ I believe in Miracle.
+ I surrender everything to God's time and ways.

Daily Bible Verse @

Thursday, January 07, 2021

If you wish, you can make me clean.

"When he [the leper] saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately." (Luke 5: 12 - 13)

Friday 8th January 2021, in the Season of Christmas.

In our Gospel Reading today, we learn of a man "full of leprosy", a disease as dreaded in the days of Jesus as cancer is today. But there is one important difference. Cancer does not carry any social stigma as leprosy. The leper was driven out of the society, forbidden to mix with people and not allowed to take part in synagogue worship. Life was hell on earth for the leper. The leper in today's Gospel by an act of Providence heard about Jesus and His miracles. He tracked Jesus down. Consider how he won the heart of Jesus:

#1. He prostrated himself. Posture of prayer.
#2. He said to Jesus: "If you wish.." This could mean: I want to be healed badly but I respect your sovereignty.
#3. "You can make me clean." I know all things are possible for God.

"Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately."

Note the action of Jesus. He touched the leper, followed by these comforting words: “I do will it. Be made clean.”

What can we learn from this? Whatever problem you may have, whether it is equivalent of being "full of leprosy," approach Jesus with confidence and expectant faith. Jesus will help you. The healing of the leper is a testimony, an example to encourage us to have full faith in Jesus.

Daily Bible Verse @

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The Feast of St Raymond Penăfort.

"Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region." (Luke 4: 14).

Thursday 7th January 2021, in the Season of Christmas is the feast of St Raymond Penăfort (1175 - 1275). Spanish Dominican Priest. Very erudite and advanced the knowledge of Canon Law. He died at the age of 100.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit our key Scripture informs us. We can draw two insights from this statement:
#1. After His Baptism, Jesus was immersed in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit became a permanent resident in Jesus. The people noticed the change in the Man.
#2. Power is the dominant attribute of the Holy Spirit. It is through the power of the Spirit that Jesus teaches, evangelizes, performs all types of Miracles. The Holy Spirit is first and foremost the Spirit of power.

Why does this matter to us? As disciples of Jesus, we too have received the big Gift, the Promise of the Father: the Spirit of truth and power. We too can teach, evangelize and perform miracles in the power of the Spirit. What is then lacking in us? Faith! We learn from our first Reading today: "The victory that conquers the world is our faith." Faith is a mighty power. The Holy Spirit is activated by faith, dwells and works in the environment of faith.
Remember He, the Holy Spirit is the Gift of the Father. He is in you through faith and not through your hard and filthy works.

How then do you receive the greatest Gift. Ask for Him in faith and believe that you have received Him as promised and start giving thanks and praises. As you exercise your faith in loving God and your neighbor, you prove from your experience that He is in you and working through you.

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

The Feast of the Miracle Worker, St André Bessette.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.(1 John 4: 18).

Wednesday 6th January 2021, in the Season of Christmas is the feast of St André Bessette, popularly known as Brother André. (1845 - 1937). Canadian. Religious Brother of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Miracle worker when alive. More miracles now from Heaven. What is the contribution of Brother André to the building up of the mystical Body of Christ?
#1. Great devotion to St Joseph, the holy Spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
#2. Special commitment to the afflicted and the poor.

Pope Francis declared December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021 a special Year of St Joseph. I discovered the power of St Joseph as a powerful intercessor from the life of St Teresa of Avila.

What does it mean that "perfect love drives out fear?" God is love. His love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. If you know this truth and believe it, this truth will make you free. Free from foolish fears, worries and doubts. Example:

Jesus tells His disciples in our Gospel Reading:  “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mark 6: 50).
Why were the disciples so terrified when they saw Jesus walking on water? Their knowledge of Jesus was still so imperfect. Look at this true formula:

As your knowledge of Jesus increases, your love for Jesus will increase. As your love for Jesus increases, your fears, worries and doubts will begin to decrease. Love and fear cannot exist in the same compartment. St Jerome teaches:
"Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ." Ignorance of Scripture is at root of most of our problems.
Want to know Jesus? Immerse yourself in the Scriptures and ask Jesus constantly to reveal Himself to you.

Daily Bible Verse @

Monday, January 04, 2021

The Feast of St John Neumann.

"Everyone who has given up home,
brothers, or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life." (Matthew 19: 29 Communion Antiphon).

Tuesday 5th January 2021, in the Season of Christmas is the feast of a great missionary priest, Bishop, Church planter, pioneer in the Catholic Schools system in USA. His name is St John Neumann (1811 - 1860). Born in Bohemia. Became Bishop of Philadelphia. Became a Redemptorist priest. Worn out by his labors, John died at the age of 49.

Did you notice the extraordinary promise in our key Scripture for today?
"Everyone who has given up home,
brothers, or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life."

The Church is great because the Church has legions of women and men who have given up home,
brothers, or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property to serve Jesus and to be salt of the earth and the light of the nations. This was true at the beginning of the Church. It remains true today.
Although these missionaries are enjoying their promised reward here in form of the peace of Christ and certainty of everlasting life, they rejoice every day because of their beautiful allotted portion and their inheritance: to serve the King.

Do you perhaps wonder how you can participate in the missionary work of the Church? Consider these ways:
#1. Pray for the success of the missions. St Therese of the Child Jesus (the Little Flower) is the patron saint of missionaries. She never left her convent for one day. She gained this status by her prayers and sacrifices.
#2. Missionaries do many things from education to health care, etc. Contribute financially to mission work.
#3. Offering up your trials and disappointments are great way of contributing to mission work.

The Lord Jesus is inviting us to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives. (Cf Luke 4: 17). What is your response?

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, January 03, 2021

The Feast of the Educator, St Elizabeth Ann Seton.

"Beloved: We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us." (1 John 3: 22 - 23).

Monday 4th January 2021, in the Season of Christmas is the feast of St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774 - 1821). American. Wife, mother, religious, educator and founder of the Sisters of Charity. Elizabeth founded the first Catholic School in America for girls. She is the first native born American to be canonized saint. St Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of educators and widows.

Our key Scripture for today reinforces my deep trust in Prayer.
I believe in Prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in Miracle.
I leave the rest to God.

God promises us:
"We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him."

My God, I desire to receive from You all the good things in life You have for me. If the price is doing what pleases You and keeping Your commandments, I am for it. Give me Your grace and mercy for I cannot live without them.

In the Gospel for today, Jesus in His very first preaching urges us: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4: 17).
Lord Jesus, I believe in Your promise on prayer. Give Your brothers and sisters the grace of repentance and constancy in Your service. Amen.

St Elizabeth Ann Seton lived the evangelical virtues of chastity, obedience and poverty until her death at the age of 46.
St Elizabeth Ann Seton pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @