Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

"Those preceding him [Jesus] as well as those following kept crying out:
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11: 9 - 10).

Sunday 28th March 2021, is the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.

Notice the enthusiastic Hosanna. Hosanna sang by the jubilant crowd? Why did they sing? Why did they spread their clothes on the way that Jesus would pass.
First, they recognized Jesus as the Son of David and Heir to the promised throne of the Davidic dynasty. But unfortunately, they misunderstood the nature of the kingdom that Jesus came to found or how it would come about. Not by clash of steel but by crucifixion.

Why did Jesus accept the homage that He had previously refused? The time had come when the Jewish leaders must know that Jesus is indeed the Messiah and the King of the Jews. Riding on a colt into Jerusalem shows clearly that the nature of His kingship and kingdom will be radically different from that of Caesar.

As we enter the holiest week of the Year, consider walking along with Jesus the Way of the Cross through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Saints and Popes have said that the Holy Rosary is probably the smartest way to know the mysteries of the Life of Jesus Christ. Here are the five Sorrowful Mysteries :
I. The Agony in the Garden.
II. The Scourging at the Pillar.
III. The Crowning with Thorns.
IV. The Carrying of the Cross.
V.  The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.

Have a grace-filled Holy Week.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

He must die.

"He [Caiaphas] did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God." (John 11: 51 - 52).

Saturday 27th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

The prophecy of the high priest Caiaphas that Jesus must die for the salvation of all mankind reminds us of the encounter of Jesus after His Resurrection with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus said that Scripture testifies that the Messiah would suffer and die and would rise again.

God permitted the compromised high priest Caiaphas to add his prophetic voice to the testimony of Scripture. As we prepare to enter the holiest week of the year, may we be nourished by the truth of Sacred Scripture. May our faith in the plan of God for our lives be strengthened. Amen.

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Know who I am by my works and fruits of my life.

"If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10: 37 - 38).

Friday 26th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

The enemies of Jesus were not just ignorant of the ways of God, they also suffer from unbelief. Unbelief may be the deadliest sin in the Bible. Unbelief could be described as seeing the sun shining and you maintain that it is total darkness. The Israelites saw the work of God in the Red Sea. They ate manna and drank fresh water in the desert and still refused to believe in God's goodness and power.

Jesus appealed to His work. The Jews should know the works of the Messiah from the Scriptures. Healing, casting out demons, feeding the masses, raising the dead, teaching and preaching should make someone of good will examine the claims of Jesus more deeply before rejecting Him. They refused to believe His works and paid  very costly consequences. No miracle. No participation in the fruits of salvation were available to the unbelieving group.

The Bible urges us to beware of the deadly sin of unbelief. Unbelief leads to the sin of rebellion like in Massah and Meribah. (Cf Ps 95).

When we look at Jesus as a faithful and credible witness, we cannot but note the quality of His life style. A tree is known by its fruits says Jesus. The fruits everybody can see from the life of Jesus are: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness and more. These are the very fruits by which a Christian can be recognized in the world.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

"Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7: 14).

Thursday 25th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

The first Annunciation of the Lord probably took place in about 730s BC in the prophecy of Isaiah announcing the momentous event. Nobody could have imagined in the intervening 700 plus years that the birth of the Emmanuel would mean the physical Incarnation of God amongst us.

What does it mean to you that God became a little baby, suckled by a woman, raised as any other little boy and trained by the foster father as apprentice carpenter? It boggles the imagination. Like Ahaz, the complacent king of Israel when Isaiah made the prophecy, you might sigh and say: "Please leave me alone."  Let us consider a few of the consequences of the truth that God becomes Emmanuel and Emmanuel is 100% God and 100% man.

#1. The curse of Adam was canceled.
#2. Salvation becomes the right and privilege of All people and not just one ethnic group or nation.
#3. The Church was founded and became a New Nation where All mankind is welcome.
#4. The Holy Spirit promised by prophets actually descended on the gathered Church and dwelt in men and women giving them the hope of salvation and empowering them to take the good news of salvation to all the nations.
#5. Jesus became truly Son of God and Son of Mary. Mary became after our Eternal High Priest and Intercessor-in-Chief Jesus, the most important intercessor for mankind.

And Mary said: Be it done to me according to Your Plan. And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Truth shall make you free.

"Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31 - 32).

Wednesday 24th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

How does the truth set us free?
First, believe in Jesus. "I believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God. Born of Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate. Was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From here, He will come to judge the living and the dead."

Now that we know who Jesus is and what He has done, the next step is abide or remain in Jesus. How? Through prayers, being nourished daily by His word, receiving Him in Holy Communion when you can, making use of the Sacrament of Penance when you fail, engaged in ministry and deepening the knowledge of the Faith through study.

When you commit to the above, you come to know the truth that sets you free from fears, worries and doubts. Sets you free from compulsive behaviors.

The Church teaches: "Ignorance of God is the principle and explanation of moral deviations."  (CCC 2087). St Isidore of Seville writes that "Ignorance nourishes vices and is the mother of all errors." Jerome: "Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ."

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Monday, March 22, 2021

The Feast of St Toribius of Mogrovejo

"The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” (John 8: 29).

Tuesday 23rd March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent is the feast of St Turibius of Mogrovejo (1538 - 1606). Spanish. Missionary Bishop and Archbishop of Lima, Peru. St Turibius spoke up for the rights of the native peoples of South America and defended them against the rapacious instincts of the Spanish colonizers. The Archbishop saint is remembered in history for his unwavering love of truth.

Jesus delights to do the will of His Father at all times because the Father is always with Him. His relationship with Abba Father is intimate. We see this in His prayer life, teaching and ministry in general.

Who are you inclined to please always? Wife, husband, children, boss? Many people because of job insecurity or desire to make rapid progress in their career choose to please the Caesar. No material condition is permanent. We know that the Caesar may be overthrown. The husband may walk away. Health may decline without warning.

For Jesus, pleasing the Father always, everywhere and in everything was not an occasional election. It is a way of life. And it should be the same for us. Why?
"Father, in Your will is our peace!"

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Two women surprised by mercy.

"Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” (John 8: 10 - 11).

Monday 22nd March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

Today's first Reading and the Gospel celebrate Divine Mercy and Divine Intervention. Call it the Story of two women: Susanna and the woman caught in the act of adultery. Susanna was framed up by two lustful old judges who wanted her condemned to death as a cover up for their attempted rape. The woman in the Gospel (John 8: 1 - 11) was guilty.

Susanna and the Adulterer were surprised by Mercy. Divine intervention at the nick of time through Daniel saved Susanna's life. Jesus became the Face of Mercy for the Adulterer who gazed into the Face of God and heard these words:  “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

The Bible has many examples of the merciful love of God. When you hear this testimony of mercy, put yourself in the place of the beneficiary of mercy and claim it for yourself.
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10).
What does this mean? Scripture is filled with examples of mercies and miracles that you can claim as prophecy, that is divine promise to you.  I discovered this incredible truth recently and it is changing the way I read Scriptures.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

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