Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.

This Scripture is fulfilled Today.

"He [Jesus]... went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day....... He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4: 16 - 19).

Sunday 23rd January 2022, in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time.  In our Scripture for today, Jesus did in the synagogue in His home town Nazareth what He had never done before. He stated clearly for everyone to hear that He is the Man. The Messiah chosen to fulfill the long held promises and desires of the people.

“Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 21). What does this bold proclamation remind us?

“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 the Prophet, a devout man filled with the Holy Spirit testified that "Today" God fulfilled His promise to Israel when he held the Child Jesus in the Temple. For thirty years, Jesus spent His life in Nazareth most of it as a self-employed carpenter hidden from the world.

Does the Spirit of God in you ever tug your heart to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free?

In the Baptism of the Christ (Matthew 3: 16 - 17), Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit for a Mission:
#1 Bring the Good News to the poor.
#2 Proclaim liberty to captives.
#3 Recovery of sight to the blind.
#4 Grant freedom to the oppressed, etc.

Our own Baptism and Mission are intertwined with the Baptism and Mission of Jesus. When we own our Baptism and accept our Mission, we blossom and become saints.

Consider these ministries:
#1 Social Justice
#2 Prison Ministry
#3 Catechesis
#4 Evangelization
#5. Food Pantry
#6. Hospital Ministry

Lord Jesus, lead us, guide us and use us.

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Let God fight for us.

“The same Lord who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17: 37).

Saturday 22 January 2022 in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time is
observed in USA as a day of prayer and penance for all Pro-life causes.

From the Scriptures, the Church continues to teach us  from the profile of David how to trust in God in the great battles of life.  Abolition of Slavery, Emancipation of Women count among the great battles of life. King Saul trusted in himself. David trusted in God. Saul consulted a necromancer. David consulted always the true prophet of God.

One great character trait of David is that he never forgets anything God does for him. The Psalms are filled with joys and sorrows of David. He knew that sooner or later, he would meet the same challenges again. This is one attribute of very successful people. They remember favors.

"All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle belongs to the Lord, who shall deliver you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17: 47).

God favored David at such an early age with wisdom. There are people today in their 70's and 80's who believe that life's battles are won by big tanks and armies and billions of dollars. Not David.  Stalin famously asked:  "How many military divisions does the Pope have?" The Bible teaches that wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord. It is His gift to those who honor Him and respect His laws. David had plenty of wisdom as did Pope St John Paul II who with President Ronald Regan were instrumental in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand." (1 Samuel 17: 50)

How did David overcome Goliath?
With sling and stone. The victory of Christians will come through faith in the name of Jesus. Not through $$ dollars, military divisions and hard work. The Holy Spirit gives us the life of David to inspire us.

Let us trust God to fight the great moral battles of good and evil for us. In the fullness of time, God makes everything beautiful. (Cf Ecclesiastes 3: 11).

"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 8).

Our God is in full control of His world.

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Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Feast of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr.

"Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;.... (Mark 3: 13... 19).

Friday 21st January 2022, in the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Agnes (+ 304). Virgin and Martyr. Agnes who made a private vow of chastity to Jesus Christ resisted the attempt to force her into marriage. She was martyred at the age of 13. St Agnes is the patron saint of young girls and purity.

When we suffer with Christ, we can then shout with joy when His glory is revealed. No birth pang, no joy of nursing.
St Agnes whose feast is today suffered deprivation and martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Today she is enjoying her crown and glory in heaven. Her life is still remembered and celebrated throughout the world. Many churches and schools are named after her.

Jesus built His worldwide Church on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Each year, we celebrate the glory of Saints Simon and Jude and the other Apostles. We do not celebrate the glory of Caesar, King Henry VIII, Napoleon, Churchill or Stalin.
The message of the Apostles still go out throughout the world.

It is the mind of Christ that the Church He founded be built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. What are the characteristics of this Church by which she can be recognized all over the world? There are four marks. As we profess every Sunday, the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. What do these words mean?
#1 One = One faith, one Baptism, one Shepherd.
#2 Holy = The Holy Spirit that indwells the Church is the source of her holiness. The Holy Spirit continually cleanses the Bride of Christ from defilements.
#3 Catholic = Universal. Found in all the countries of the United Nations and every other place of human habitation.
#4 Apostolic = Every Bishop is directly traceable to the original 12 Apostles who were constituted in today's Gospel.

"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).

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Feast of Sts Fabian, Pope and Martyr & Sebastián, Martyr & Blessed Michael, Priest.

"He [Jesus] told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known." (Mark 3: 7...12).

Thursday 20th January 2022, in the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of: Pope St Fabian (+ 250). Italian.
* Fabian divided the diocese of Rome into seven diaconates. This facilitated aid to the poor. He suffered martyrdom under Emperor Decius.
* St Sebastian (+ 288). Italian from Milan. Officer in the Imperial Guard under Emperor Diocletian. Martyred when he converted to Christianity.
* Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964). Nigerian. Trappist monk and priest. Beatified in Nigeria by Pope St John Paul II in 1998.
Why do we honor the saints? Jesus is glorified when we honor His saints. Their intercession is powerful.

"He [Jesus] had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him."

What is it about illness that affects the human being so profoundly? In the trial of Job, Satan said to God:
"But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."  (Job 2: 5 NIV).
I read recently of a billionaire who was near death. He was asked: "What do you desire most now?" His amazing answer was: "I want God."

Jesus is still healing today. He is still healing body, mind and soul every day and everywhere. He healed my sick heart in July 2021. Click below to read the testimony.

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Testimony of how Jesus healed my heart.

I am sharing with you below how the Lord Jesus Christ healed my sick heart in July 2021. 

Years ago I had serious problems with my heart. At one point about seven years ago, 

I thought I was dying and wrote my final Will.  Although I saw no doctor, all symptoms pointed to a sick heart. I love walkouts and in good days made between 3 and 5 miles. With the intensification of the heart problem, I could not enjoy walkouts as I before. Besides, I had  pain in the chest. Climbing steps was painful. 

July is the month Catholics honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. I was unaware of this till June 30th, the end of the month of honoring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Mary said IN SINU JESU that we should apply the Most Precious Blood of Jesus to ourselves, family, etc and ask for healing. I have always maintained a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. So when I read Mary's testimony on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, I believed it. 

Below are the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a mystic on the matter IN SINU JESU book. . 

"The Blood of my Son brings purity and healing and new life wherever it flows. Implore the power of the precious Blood over yourself and over all priests. Whenever you are asked to intercede for souls, invoke the power of the precious Blood over them, and present them to the Father covered with the Blood of the Lamb." (Mary, IN SINU JESU pg 37).

At First Friday Mass (July 2nd 2021) at my Parish, following Mary's words above, I prayed to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus to heal my sick heart. I repeated the prayer at critical points in the Mass. (Consecration, Elevation of the Sacred Host and Chalice, Communion). 

From July 1st, in my morning prayers, I placed my right hand on my heart and asked the Lord to heal my sick heart. On 1st July, I placed this prayer intention in the Parish's Book of Prayer Intentions.

At the end of July, the pain in  my chest had gone. My walkout was slightly better. I gave myself till the end of August to review the situation. Walkout was better by the end of August. I promised Jesus that I would give testimony if He healed me. Upto the end of August, I had not told anyone. I said that I should wait until the end of September. By the end of September, the situation remains stable. I could no longer delay my testimony. The Lord might reproach me of lack of faith or not being a serious guy. 

Following a painful walkout on November 9th, I queried the Lord if I am truly healed. I understood Him answering YES. OK. I will not doubt. I WILL REMAIN STEADFAST IN my Conviction that I am healed. 

 I stopped daily Ibuprofen  of 4 x 250 grams.

September 30th - I struggled to log home a heavy backpack full of groceries. This was a negative sign. 

Man's extremity is God's opportunity. Soon after the incident of 30th September, I was in upward trend. I walked fast as before. I can now run part of the way to the bus stop which I could not do before. 

End of September, I shared the Testimony with 5 of my prayer partners. 

On 121621, I walked out for 4.54 miles. I have not been able to do this for a long time. A good sign.

How far? So far: July, August, September, October, November, December. Today is past mid January 2022. Health is getting better every day. I am enjoying walkouts again. 

Jesus Christ continues to heal body, mind and soul every day, always and everywhere. I believe. I believe. I believe. 

🙏 🙏 🙏 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath.

"Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored."  (Mark 3: 1... 6).

“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” (Mark 3: 4).

Wednesday 19th January 2022, in the 2nd Week in OrdinaryTime. 

In Mark 2: 23 - 28, Jesus was entangled in a Sabbath controversy with the religious leaders. Jesus silenced them by saying: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” (Mark 2: 27 - 28).

We have today another Sabbath controversy. Here we see Jesus on the offensive: “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” (Mark 3: 4). We know the answer to Jesus question from the previous Sabbath controversy quoted above. . The adversaries of Jesus did not answer the question. They knew the answer but they had ill-will and hardness of heart and decided to keep silent.

The man with the withered hand represents all of us. What the Pharisees miss is that the great day of healing is the Sabbath, Lord's Day / Sunday and the Healer is still the same: Jesus Christ healing His ailing sisters and brothers through His word and through the Eucharist.

Is it good to increase the minimum wage or is it unlawful to so do?
Is it good to give some relief to undocumented immigrants or it unlawful to do so?
We all can be Pharisees and Herodians in what we consider good and bad.

Jesus speaks to us every day through the Scriptures proclaimed in the Sacred Liturgy. Same Scripture, same Liturgy all over the world. This is the beauty of Catholicism. One Faith. One Pope. One Liturgy. Worldwide.

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Monday, January 17, 2022

The Choice, Call and Anointing of King David.

“Surely the Lord’s anointed is here before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his [Eliab] appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.... .”  (Samuel 16: 1... 13).

Tuesday 18th January 2022, in the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time.

God does not choose His Anointed through a general election. Human wisdom is limited.
“The Lord has not chosen any one of these.” Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”

"Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.” Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The Lord said, “There—anoint him, for this is he!”

God chose David, the youngest and most insignificant son of Jesse and
Samuel "with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David."

What do you think of the choice, the call and the anointing of David as King?

“Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.”   (1 Samuel 16: 11).

Note that David is the youngest of the 8 sons of Jesse.  Jesse at first presented Eliab, first son, with the appearance and manners of a General.  "But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart." (1 Samuel 16: 7).

"Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David."  (1 Samuel 16: 13).

God has found David and anointed Him as King of Israel. In spite of the human failings of David, God did not reject him. Instead He said of David:

"He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock of my salvation!.....
Forever I will maintain my mercy for him; my covenant with him stands firm. "  (Psalm 89: 27, 29).

David was especially chosen, called and anointed as a key stone in salvation history.

"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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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Feast of St Anthony the Abbot.

"The Lord anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission
........ Why then have you disobeyed the Lord? You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the Lord.”

Note the response and insolent excuses of King Saul:
“I did indeed obey the Lord and fulfill the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban... "

Samuel would have nothing of this boyish nonsense:
"But Samuel said: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams. For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he, too, has rejected you as ruler.” (Samuel 15:16 - 23).

As St Paul teaches us, every piece of Scripture is written for our instruction and encouragement.

Monday 17 January 2022, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony, Abbot (251 - 356). Also called St Anthony the Great and St Anthony of the Desert. It is said that Anthony heard one day in the Gospel Reading at Mass: "If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have. Distribute the money to the poor. Then come and follow Me." St Anthony literally sold all he had, distributed the money to the poor and marched off to the desert where he lived a life of fasting and prayer for the rest of his life. He was 18 years old when he made this radical decision. He lived to be 105. 

Our lead Scripture today is: "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams."
This is a word that the Church and Christians need to hear today and every day. Why? Because disobedience is rebellion against God. It is idolatry to prefer your will to the will of God. Here is the attitude and character of our Savior Jesus Christ:
“Sacrifice and offering you [Abba Father] did not desire, but a body you prepared for me [Jesus]; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God." (Hebrews 10: 6 - 7).
The will of God became the food of Jesus.

Anything short of obedience is displeasing to Abba Father. The "will of God" seems to have disappeared from the language of the Church. In former times, it is the bench mark for all decisions and discernment. If we want God to guide and bless our decisions and projects, the will of God must return to our thinking and decisions. If not, we must be prepared to be treated like King Saul in our first Reading today:
"Because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”

O Christians, “Why do you recite my statutes, profess my covenant with your mouth, though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” (Psalm 50: 16 - 17.)

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