Saturday, May 08, 2021

How to obey Jesus command: Love one another.

"This I command you: love one another." (John 15: 17).

Sunday 9th May 2021, in the 6th Week of Easter.

The Church repeats this Sunday part of the Gospel that we heard this Friday because the message of love is very important. "This I command you: love one another." This is a command from Jesus. Not a suggestion. We can't love anyone if we don't understand what love is. This is how God loves us and what He commands us to apply to everyone.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated,  it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,  it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7).

St Paul believes that love is key and absolutely foundational in Christian life:
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]." (1 Corinthians 13: 1 AMP).

Given our fallen human nature, we are not capable of genuine love without the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit we receive in Baptism activates the presence of Jesus in us. Now Jesus in us says: Let Me love this person through you.   Cooperate with My actions in faith.
"God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; (1 John 4: 9 JB).

Here is what the Church teaches on the important subject of Love:

"Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification."

Let us ask the Holy Spirit living inside us to love others with the love of Christ. Jesus in us is the Spirit and He is the hope of glory.

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Friday, May 07, 2021

You will be persecuted because of My Name.

"Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." (John 15: 20).

Saturday 8th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

Our key Scripture for today shows the reality of persecution in Christian ministry. The disciple of Christ is the bearer of the Good News. He is kind, gentle and generous in his ways. Naturally he expects to be welcomed with smiles and open arms. This does not always happen. What he experiences is the outright rejection of his message. He is treated as a bearer of Bad News who deserves persecution.

This is why Jesus teaches naive disciples this basic lesson: Remember! Remember! Remember! Forget this lesson and you will be fried as a fish. I Jesus am the Lord, you are my servants. I am the Rabbi. You are my disciples. The people I am sent to reject My message. They curse me and maltreat me. Before your eyes, they will crucify Me. Tell Me honestly: How do you think they will treat you? You bear my name. My name provokes their hatred.

Since God cursed the Ancient Serpent, the warfare between Satan and man has not abated:  "From now on you and the woman will be enemies, as will your offspring and hers. You will strike his heel, but he will crush your head.” (Genesis 3: 15).

We see in the Old Testament, the types and shadows of Jesus Christ:
Abel persecuted by Cain, Jacob by Esau, Joseph by his brethren, David by Saul, Elijah by Ahab. These are examples to drive home the teaching of Jesus.

If the disciples of Jesus do not take special care to study the Scriptures and remember the message of Jesus, they will merit a rebuke from the Master:
“You are such foolish, foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures!  Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?” (Luke 24: 25).

Never forget the words and works of the Lord. Because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Cf Revelation 19: 10).

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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Chosen, Called and Anointed by Jesus to bear rich fruit.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you." (John 15: 16).

Friday 7th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter is also First Friday in May. To read the First Friday promise for May 2021, click below:

In our key Scripture for today, we reflect on the Call, the Choice and the Anointing we have from God our Father. When God wanted to start His family, He called Abraham. Through faith and obedience, Abraham became fruitful. Other examples of people in the Bible that God chose, called and anointed are:
Moses, Joseph the Prince of Egypt, David, John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle.  All of them responded to God with faith and obedience and became fruitful. 

Today Jesus reminds us of His Call on us: "To go and bear fruit that will remain." We know that the only fruits that remain and abide are fruits produced by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus is looking for a generous response:

"I will be a witness to You in the world O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of Your name among my brothers, Alleluia! " (Psalm 18:50;  22 :23 RM)

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this First Friday.

First Friday, May 7, 2021.

Jesus promised 12 special graces and favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 5th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #5.

#5.  "I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings." I like this one very much.

We celebrated the feast of St Joseph the Worker on May 1st. St Joseph is the patron saint of men and women who earn their livelihood from any kind of work.  St Joseph will intercede for workers for success and prosperity in all their understandings. Don't hesitate to ask for his help and do it often.

Sacred Heart of Jesus come to our help and prosper the work of our hands.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass or virtual Mass this Friday.

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

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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Be steadfast in believing in My love for you.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love." (John 15: 9 - 10).

Thursday 6th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

A Bible translation renders our key Scripture thus:
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts." (John 15: 9 TPT).

In John 15: 10, we see the condition for remaining in the love of Christ:
" keep my commands." Love and obedience go together. You cannot love God and disobey Him constantly. Jesus gives us His supreme example: "I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love."

It is impossible for anyone to understand how much Jesus loves him until he commits to obeying Jesus and embracing His love in little and big things in their daily lives. He comes to understand with awe that "T'is not from chance our comfort springs O Lord. They are from Your gracious ordaining O Lord our God."

You can confirm from your daily experience this truth:
"What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us." (2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4 TLB).

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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

7-Daily Habits for bearing abundant fruit.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." (John 15: 5).

Wednesday 5th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

The three things St Augustine urged Christians to study every day so that they may abide in Christ and produce rich harvest are:
#1. Commandments.
#2. Examples.
#3. Sacraments.

Examples or biographies or lives of the Saints are important because examples are the best teachers. In our key Scripture for today Jesus says that if you want to bear much fruit in the Christian life, you must abide in Him. Without Him, you can do nothing. Not a little. But nothing.  Here are 5 saints who embraced this teaching of Jesus and bore abundant fruit. All these saints are still bearing fruit today through their religious families.

#1. St Francis of Assisi.
#2. St Dominic.
#3. Mother St Teresa of Kolkata.
#4. St. Ignatius Loyola.
#5. Mother Angelica of EWTN.

What are the 7 Daily Habits of these  saints.

#1. Prayer.
#2. Word of God.
#3. Eucharist.
#4. Penance: About weekly.
#5. Examination of Conscience.
#6. Spiritual Reading.
#7. Ministry (Faith sharing).

Their lives shone with the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.

You too can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Cf Philippians 4: 13).

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Monday, May 03, 2021

How I overcame demonic fear through the Peace of Christ.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you." (John 1 4: 27).

Tuesday 4th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

The Gospel for today is a practical solution to the problem of fear, worry and doubt. Jesus gave this comforting message the night before His death. He was leaving His disciples a farewell Gift. Not a huge bank account or a sprawling real estate in the city center. But PEACE!

Jesus calls this Gift "My Peace." This is true because Scripture calls Jesus "our Peace." He is also the Prince of Peace. We are talking here about perfect peace. First let us see what the Peace of Christ is not. It is not Pax Romana, the peace imposed on a conquered nation by force by the conqueror. It is not the peace of a welfare state. It is not the peace you feel if you are in good health, the kids are behaving and your 401K is fantastic.

The peace that Jesus bequeaths to Christians is His own peace. Peace in the midst of crisis because you know who your Security is. The world does not know this peace and cannot know it until they bend their knees to Jesus. This peace is supreme remedy for fears, worries and doubts.

Once upon a time, I believed that the key to peace is financial stability and to have a perfect credit score in the 800 range. And I had this for a number of years. Suddenly without warning, my business became shaky and I did all I could to meet my obligations to my creditors in order to maintain my credit score. At this point, I moved to a new residence and my landlord was not happy with me. He reported me to the credit reporting agency who promptly reported it to one of my banks. A letter to me from the bank followed. The bank jacked up my interest rates.

I took the letter to Jesus in my Prayer Place and spread the letter before the Lord. I asked for one favor: I asked for peace so that I could sleep that night. Jesus gave it to me. I slept like a baby. The following afternoon, I called the Credit Agency. They reversed the decision. I called the bank and they restored my privileges.

The Peace of Christ is real. It is for us Christians. Claim it. It banishes fear.

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Sunday, May 02, 2021

Do you believe God's promises on Prayer?

"And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." (John 14: 13 - 14).

Monday 3rd May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter is the feast of the Apostles Philip and James. Philip and James were among the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Philip introduced Bartholomew (Nathanael) to Jesus. According to tradition, he was crucified in Phrygia.
St James was the cousin of Jesus. He was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He was thrown down from the terrace of the Temple and then stoned to death.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus repeats for emphasis: "Ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."  Why the emphasis? According to Catholic tradition, most writers on the subject of Prayer would answer simply: Because Jesus means every word of His promises on Prayer. How about the man in the pew, how does he view the promises of Jesus on Prayer? A lot of scepticism.  Scepticism that is born of ignorance. They know neither the Scriptures or the power of God. (Cf Matthew 22: 29).
"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23: 19).

How about me, the writer? Do I believe in the promises of Jesus on Prayer? Absolutely! I would not have answered with such certainty a decade ago. Investment in the study of Sacred Scripture and the writings of the saints on Prayer made the difference. There are two rich resources on Prayer by St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church and St Claude de la Colombiere under the titles of UNIFORMITY WITH GOD'S WILL and TRUSTFUL SURRENDER TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE respectively. These two works are pamphlets that you can read several times in a day. Both will change your mind on Prayer.

How can we test Jesus' faithfulness to His promises on Prayer if we do not pray? My friend, there is only one way to prove this truth: JUST PRAY!

"This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us." (1 John 5: 4 AMP).

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