Saturday, February 05, 2022

Do whatever Jesus tells you.

We worked hard but accomplished nothing.

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing." (Luke 5:1... 11).

Sunday 6th February 2022, in the 5th Week in Ordinary Time.  

“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”  (Luke 5: 10).

Today's Gospel shows how Jesus called His first disciples.  There are plenty of lessons for everyone.

"After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5: 4).

Where you are and what you are doing now is no accident. You are where you are meant to be.  Jesus sees you.  He knows all about your successes and frustrations.

Jesus tested Simon, a seasoned fisherman to do something that professional fishermen would consider absurd.
"Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”  (Luke 5: 5 - 6).

Mary said to the servants at the first miracle at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you.”  (John 2: 5).  Would you do ridiculous things if Jesus asks you to?
Remembering Peter and the miraculous draught of fish and the servants at the Wedding at Cana would be a great inspiration at your moment of testing.  This sacred memory will be grace to anyone when such opportunity comes. It also helps greatly to know who Jesus is:
"The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, the world and those who dwell in it."  (Psalm 24: 1).  Jesus is the Lord of the earth.

“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  (Luke 5:  8).  Most of us will react like Peter in the presence of manifest holiness and power.
Let not thoughts of your unworthiness discourage you.  Remember this:
"And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified."  (Romans 8: 30).

"Lord Jesus, You came to set the world on fire with the good news, Your Gospel. You prayed that its flames would race through our hearts. Send Your Holy Spirit upon us to give us the courage to spread the Good News of Your burning love for us.  May all our hearts be open to change as the light of Your love and message reaches every corner of Your holy Church. May it chase away the darkness of sin and lead even those most distanced from You back into Your loving arms.
We pray to You, Lord Jesus through Mary Your Mother whose plea You will never refuse.  Amen."
(Office of Evangelization. Archdiocese of NY).

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Friday, February 04, 2022

Feast of St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.

"The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”..... When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things." (Mark 6: 30 - 34).

Saturday 5th February 2022, in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time.  Today is the Feast of St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.  Agatha died at the age of 20 in 251 AD under the persecution of Emperor Decius.
Along with Saints Agnes and Lucy, she is mentioned in the Roman Canon in Eucharistic Prayer 1.

Agatha is the patron saint for these causes and more:
Breast cancer, sterility, nurses, rape victims, single lay women and so on. (Source: Laudate).

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” This is one of the most endearing statements of Jesus.

What does it mean that Jesus is our Good Shepherd?
Jesus was moved with pity for the welfare of those who followed Him seeking to hear the word of God.  When we seek Jesus, we shall find Him.  When we knock on His door, He shall open for us.

The wise old man gave this testimony worthy of notice:
"Neither in my youth, nor now in old age have I seen the righteous one abandoned or his offspring begging for bread."  (Psalm 37: 25)

If you follow Jesus, trust Him for your welfare and all your provisions.  Jesus knows your deepest needs.
Jesus the Good Shepherd is still with us today. It is in the Eucharist that we experience everything that the Good Shepherd offers.

Jesus says to a mystic:
"Do not the sheep follow the shepherd? Where are the green pastures prophesied by the psalmist king, if not in My Eucharistic presence?" (IN SINU JESU page 55).

"May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favor with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever."  Collect, Feast of St Agatha, February 5th).

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Thursday, February 03, 2022

Herod wanted badly to meet Jesus.

"King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” (Mark 6: 14.... 29).

Friday 4th February 2022,  4th Week in Ordinary Time is First Friday in February 2022.

"Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him."
Luke in his account of the martrydom of St John the Baptist informed us that Herod  "kept trying to see him. [Jesus]"

Why was Herod anxious to see Jesus? Herod had reasons to believe that John the Baptist whom he beheaded was a mysterious and great prophet. After the beheading of John the Baptist, Jesus launched His ministry in earnest and there was great excitement everywhere and people were talking. The chatter about Jesus reached the palace and Herod could not resist his curiosity to meet Jesus.

You who are reading this Blog Now has met Jesus. You meet Him one-to-one in prayer. You meet Him when you read His word. You meet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. You meet Him in a substantial real way in the Most Holy Eucharist. Whenever you remember Him, Jesus is present to you.

If one of the Herods of our world were to ask you today: "Who is this Jesus?" Can you satisfy his curiosity to such a degree that you lead him to faith in Jesus?

It is St Jerome, Doctor of the Church and one of the greatest Scripture scholars who said: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus Christ." Jerome said this over 1500 years ago. The Church has affirmed from its experience down the ages the truth of this maxim. Will you ignore it?

In the first Reading from Ecclesiasticus, we read of the eulogy of King David. In the Gospel, we read of the great witness of life of St John the Baptist. Who will be the King David and John the Baptist of our time?

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday February 4th.

February 4, 2022  -  First Friday in February.

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.  HOW: BY ATTENDING MASS AND RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION.
In the 2nd  month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #2.

#2.  "I will give peace in their families."

My friends, many people like this promise. Why? Because peace in the family is the foundation of health and prosperity. Do not doubt this. Moreover, if there is peace in the family, there will be peace at work and school, peace in the nation and peace on earth!

What is Peace? Peace is the calmness, tranquility, deep security you feel in the depth of your heart, soul and mind because you know that in spite of the apparent turbulence, All is well.  All is well because Jesus is in control of the world and everything that affects you. You come to appreciate this peace most when civil war is raging in your family, health, finances, job, your possessions and tools. All things  fall apart and the center can no longer hold. Enters the Peace of Christ.

This is the peace that Jesus promises us today.

Jesus is our peace. He is the Prince of Peace.  Would you accept today His generous offer of peace in your family?
Father, in Your will is our peace!

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Prayers and Prayer Intentions click the link below:

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

The apostolic success of the students fishers of men.

"Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic." (Mark 6: 7.... 13).

Thursday 3rd February 2022, in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of two Bishops: Saints Blaise and Ansgar. Blaise (+ 316). Armenian. Martyred under Emperor Licinius. Blaise is known for his cures of throat ailments.

St Ansgar: (801 - 865). French. Worked in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Known as the Apostle of the North for his great success in evangelizing these nations.

Our key Scripture for today from Mark 6 can be themed: How to succeed in the ministry of Evangelization.

Christ's disciples who we may call student fishers of men are now ready for practicum. This would be their first practice teaching. They were to take no worldly backup: food, plenty of clothes, laptop, smart phones, wallet with many credit cards and plenty of cash. They were not to plan for every contingency to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Jesus Christ wanted the student fishermen to travel completely free of baggage and totally dependent on God for their provisions. They would learn that God is trustworthy as a Provider. Hospitality has been fully arranged. The Providence of God leaves nothing to chance.

Not trusting and not obeying this principle of the kingdom is probably the principal reason why many churches have dire money problems today. They rush to banks for loans and more loans. They carry the heavy burdens of debt.  "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness above every other thing and all your needs shall be met." (Cf Matthew 6: 33). Holiness consists in acting as Jesus will act in every situation. "Do this and then try Me and see if I do not provide all your needs."

"So they [the Apostles] went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them."

Without Jesus, we can do absolutely nothing.
"The doing must be Mine. Yours it is to trust Me, to wait upon Me, to abide close to My Heart like the beloved disciple. When you are to do something that springs from My plan for you, you will find that thing easy to do, for I will give you light and strength and perseverance in the doing of it." (IN SINU JESU pg 261).

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Tuesday, February 01, 2022

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord. Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord." (Luke 2: 22.... 40).

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

The Presentation of the Lord is a Joyful Mystery because Jesus is presented to us as Christe Lux Mundi:  Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light that enters our mind and heart and drives out darkness.

This light is first given us at our Baptism when a lighted candle is given to the parents of the child. This is a symbol of the true light that has been kindled in the new child of God. The parents promise to fan this light through Christian formation.

What does the light of Christ mean?  As Christians, we receive the light of Christ through the word of God. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. When the Gospel is proclaimed in Church at Mass, it is Jesus Christ Himself speaking to us.  Lighted candles on both sides of the lectern indicate the presence of Jesus who is speaking to the Church through the deacon or priest.

The word that we receive from the proclamation of the Gospel and the breaking open of the proclaimed word (homily) should light up our mind with the truth we need to guide us. We carry this light to our homes, work, everywhere.  Correct thought is the key to correct action. The word of God which is light for every occasion provides the key to correct action.  

Lord help us to shine our light without fear.

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Consecration of the Family to the Holy Family. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph, hallowed domestic life by Your ineffable virtues; grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example of Your holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship; Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.  ( Roman Missal). 

Monday, January 31, 2022

Jesus praises the faith of the woman with hemorrhage.

Woman, happy shall you be always because of your strong faith.

"One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him." (Mark 5: 22 - 24).

Tuesday 1st February 2022 in the 4th Week of Ordinary.  The Church remembers and honors the Holy Family in the month of February.

The Gospel for today contains two important stories about the importance of faith in healing:
A Woman with a Hemorrhage and Jairus’s Daughter. The afflicted woman and Jairus had heard about Jesus before they sought Him out and encountered the Lord.

Jesus praised the faith of the woman. “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” When the crowd wanted to pour cold water on the faith of Jairus, Jesus said to him: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” One translation renders this: "Fear is useless. What is needed is trust." When Jairus heard this, his faith was strengthened. Jesus went into the house where He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded."

Your trust in Jesus is in direct proportion to your awareness of who He is and how much He has done for you.
"Love Me and believe in My unconditional love for you. Trust Me. Show Me that you have confidence in My merciful goodness, especially when you experience weakness, or shame, or fear, and I will renew the grace of My love in your heart. I will uphold you with the gift of My unfailing presence." (IN SINU JESU).

"Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see. It was this kind of faith that won their reputation for the saints of old." (Hebrews 11: 1 - 2 Phillips).
The Woman with a Hemorrhage and Jairus have this type of faith.

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Feast of St John Bosco, Priest and Founder of the Salesians.

"Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he [the Demoniac] ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (Mark 5: 1... 20).

Monday 31 January 2022 in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St John Bosco (1815 - 1888), Italian Priest. John Bosco is called the "Apostle of Youth." He was a great educator and father to the young. He founded the Salesian School to educate boys and girls.
St John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, young people and Catholic publishers and editors.

In the dramatic encounter of Jesus with the Demoniac, we see how the healed and transformed man became an effective evangelist.

“Go home to your family and ­announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
This is the divine command of Jesus. What is the result?
"Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed."

The former Demoniac did not go to school or seminary before he started evangelizing.  He "began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed."

Testimonies convert people and strengthen the faith of many. Today after the 10 am Mass, I shared the testimony with our Rosary group about how Jesus Christ healed my sick heart in July 2021. On my way home from the Church, I shared the same testimony inside a bus with a good friend I hadn't seen for a long time. It wasn't easy sharing this testimony. When you have an inspiration to share, you dare not disobey.  You act like the Demoniac.

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