Saturday, February 19, 2022

Be merciful as Abba Father is merciful.


"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” (Luke 6: 27... 38).

"Be merciful, as your Father is merciful, says the Lord." (Luke 6: 36).

Sunday February 20th, 2022 in the 7th Week in Ordinary Time.

Jesus urges us to show pity on others, to be tender, compassionate, forgiving just as Abba Father treats us.

How is Father merciful to us?
A few examples from the Scriptures:

#1. Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts,
Who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills." (Psalm 103: 2 - 3).

#2." The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent;
They are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness!"
(Lamentations 3: 22 - 23).

“Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your covenant and show mercy toward those who love you and keep your commandments and your precepts!" (Daniel 9: 4).

The Scriptures have been constant in showing us that our God is the Father of mercies and the God of all consolations. He waits for the sinner to come home as in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

What does this God of mercy expect from His children? He expects three things that can be summarized under the acronym of ABC of Mercy:
#A: Ask for mercy.
#B: Be merciful.
#C: Completely trust Jesus for mercy.

Jesus is the face of mercy of God the Father. Abba Father is rich in mercy.

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Friday, February 18, 2022

This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.


"Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus." (Mark 9  :2... 13).

Saturday February 19th 2022, 6th Week in Ordinary Time. Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

What is the Transfiguration?
In the presence of Peter, James and John, witnesses chosen by Him, Jesus' face and clothing became dazzling with light. Moses and Elijah were present conversing with Jesus. The voice of the Father was heard testifying "This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him."

Why is the Transfiguration such an important event?
#1 To have 3 eyewitnesses to the testimony of the Father to Jesus as the beloved Son of God.
#2 To confirm the testimony of Moses and Elijah. [the Law and the Prophet].
#3. To show clearly the divinity of Jesus as God.
#4 To reveal the future of mankind. We shall be like Jesus at the Resurrection.
#5 To note the command of the Father to listen to Jesus as the Father's anointed Messenger.

These three witnesses of the Transfiguration: Peter, James and John were to become witnesses to the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ. They bore witness to these eye witness events with their lives. Our faith as Christians is built on solid foundation and not on "cleverly deviced myths." (2 Peter 1: 16 - 19)

The Transfiguration of Jesus gives us a foretaste of Christ's second coming when the Elect will be transformed and become like Jesus as He appeared in the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration prepares us for the great mystery of our own Resurrection.

Because of the Transfiguration, we see Christ as our hope. We also understand that the victory over death and sin will come via the Cross.  The Cross is the Means of Salvation, Redemption, Glorification and Eternal life. This is the gracious and mysterious will of the Father.

"Come to Me in the Sacrament of My love, and I will continue to instruct you. When you are bewildered or at a loss, have recourse to Me and I will send forth My light and My truth to bring you to My holy mountain, that is, to the place where I will dwell in the midst of My priests, loved by them, adored by them—even as I heal, refresh, and sanctify them from the Sacrament of the Altar." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, February 3, 2009).

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Thursday, February 17, 2022

My yoke is easy and my burden light.


"He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."  (Mark 8: 34 - 35)

Friday February 18th 2022, in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time.

We labor and are burdened in life over: Health, Family, Money, Job, Tools, Food, Future issues.  As the catechumens are advised in the Rite of Acceptance, the Cross of Christ is the only answer.   

Jesus laid down the grim cost of discipleship:
#1 Take up your cross and follow me. Your cross are the trials that you can't escape: health, joblessness, poverty, etc.
#2 Be prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice with your life if it becomes necessary. "For whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

As the God-Man filled with the Holy Spirit and Wisdom, Jesus knew that no one will respond to His challenge unless the bait is bigger than the sacrifice. And it is. Here is what Jesus promises:
1. The Holy Spirit is promised with His gifts and fruits.
2. The Presence of Jesus is always with the disciple.
3. Peace, comfort and joy, courage, contentment are always there on tap.

These are real and substantial benefits.  Think of this for a moment: How did so many Christians made up of mature men and women, boys and girls, princesses and peasants, clerics and lay faithful chose to give up their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ? Because they knew and believed that there is a better life waiting for them.

The saints who took up the challenges of discipleship believed Jesus. Do you believe Jesus?
"For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct." (Matthew 16: 27).

I believe that Jesus has designed a yoke for each of us that fits each perfectly and the burden we are given to carry from day by day is light.

"The exercise of faith increases faith. The exercise of confidence causes confidence to grow. One who approaches My tabernacle in faith is giving evidence of a complete reliance on My merciful love. The Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is My Heart, open to receive those who will respond to My timeless invitation: “Come unto Me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet, and My burden light.” (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, January 10, 2012).

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

You are Jesus the Messiah of God.


"Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8: 27... 35).

Thursday 17th February 2022, in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites also known as the Order of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (13th century).  Ecclesiastical recognition for the order as a religious order was given in 1304.  They lead a life of prayer and penance.

What happened in Caesarea Philippi in today's Gospel marks a pivotal moment in the ministry of Jesus. The Apostles have been with the Lord about three years. Now the ministry of Jesus is coming to a close. How much do they know about their Leader after three years? To Jesus' question: “Who do people say that I am?” The Apostles answered:  “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” From their response we know that the people think highly of Jesus because Elijah and John the Baptist were two of the most important prophets in the history of Israel.

“But who do you say that I am?" You who are reading this, most probably a baptized Christian. Who is Jesus to you? Every year we read this Gospel, we are supposed to show growth in the knowledge of Jesus.

When I was a child, Paul would say, I answered like a child. But today I answer thus: Jesus is my Savior, who reconciles me again and again with the Father after my sins. Jesus is Emmanuel who promised to be with me always and I know He keeps this promise. I am also updating my answer with this fact: Jesus is faithful to His promises as we expect God to be. Jesus is the God who heals me. He answers every prayer regardless of the lies of the Devil to the contrary.

Peter answered correctly, “You are the Christ.” The same Peter got the rebuke below for thinking like the world. If you think like the world, you will act like the world.

“Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

"If you could have heard the urgency and sorrow of My plea to Peter, James, and John! I did not merely ask them to watch and pray, I begged them to do so. I needed their prayer at that hour, just as I need the prayer of all My priests in this final hour that is coming and that is already upon My Church." (IN SINU JESU page 233).

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

People begged Jesus to heal the blind man.


"When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.........
Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.” (Mark 8: 22.... 26).

Wednesday February 16th 2022, in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time.

What caught my attention in the Gospel of today is this sentence: "When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him."

In many instances of healing in the Gospels, it is reported that people begged Jesus. Jesus responds to ALL beggings for miracle by healing. Not a single instance did people approach Jesus and begged Him for healing did He not cure.

"Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to." (Matthew 18: 32).

Why is it so important to pay attention to all the instances of "Begging" in all the Healing narratives of the Gospel? It may be because Begging is a stronger word for Asking and Praying.

Prayer is the Activator of Power. Prayer causes the release of the Divine Providence towards you. St Augustine teaches that for those gifts God has planned to give you which are outside the general provisions of God for mankind, you must obtain them by begging God. In other words by praying intensely with faith and persistence for them.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7: 7).

"If you could have heard the urgency and sorrow of My plea to Peter, James, and John! I did not merely ask them to watch and pray, I begged them to do so. I needed their prayer at that hour, just as I need the prayer of all My priests in this final hour that is coming and that is already upon My Church." (IN SINU JESU, March 28, 2013 Maundy Thursday).

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Monday, February 14, 2022

Feast of St Claude de la Columbiere, Confessor of St Margaret Mary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


"Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proven he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. Rather, each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death." (James 1 : 12.... 18). 

Tuesday February 15, 2022 in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Claude de la Columbiere of the Society of Jesus.  (1641 - 1682). French Jesuit priest. Father Claude was a great preacher and writer. He is famous in history because he was the confessor of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, the visionary and mystic whom Jesus communicated the message of His Sacred Heart. St Margaret Mary had great challenges in making these messages accepted either in her convent or outside. St Claude de la Columbiere, her confessor discerned the genuineness of the revelations and lent his support in spreading the word. St Claude de la Columbiere died in 1682 at the age of 41 and was beatified in 1929 and canonized in 1992.

Our key Scripture for today deals with the mystery of Sin and Temptation. 

"Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death."  (James 1: 14 - 15).

What are these sins?

"For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world." (1 John 2: 16).

When you are tempted, you are in a Desert place in your spiritual journey. The Desert is a place of spiritual combat in the Scriptures 

"Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,  for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him."  (James 1: 12).

Before you get to the Desert, you must be vigilant. 

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap." (Luke 21: 34.... 36).

"Release me from the snares they have hidden for me, for You are my refuge Lord." (Cf Psalm 31: 5). 

"Allow Me to speak words of peace to your soul. Trust Me in all things. Trust that I will not abandon you, nor will I deprive you of My friendship. My desire is to hold conversation with you, to speak to you, as I have often said, heart to heart, as a man converses with his best friend. Why do you doubt? Believe in My friendship for you. It is My gift to you, and I will not withdraw what I have given you out of the love of My Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, October 17, 2008 Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque). 

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Feast of the Great Missionary Brothers: Cyril and Methodius.


"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (James 1: 2 - 4).

How can you consider it a joyful thing when you are bombarded by trials in your marriage, health, finances and job?

Monday 14th February 2022 in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the two great missionary brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius (+869) & (+885),Priest and Bishop respectively.
They evangelized parts of Europe in the 9th century, notably Moravia (present-day Czech Republic).  Pope John Paul II proclaimed them patron saints of Europe, along with St. Benedict, the abbot.

Where are the storms in your life today? Family, Health, Finances, Job, Property or Tools? 

All storms and trials are sanctioned by God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence. Because the storms are sanctified, they are blessings in disguise.

Storm times are exam times.  Where do you place your trust?  Who is the first person you call upon to help you? Jeremiah tells us in last Sunday's reading:
"Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17: 5... 8).

When life throws you a knock out punch, ask why this is happening. Is this from God or is it an accident? David the man after God's heart is one who received far more punches from life than anyone in the Bible. The trials did wonders to shape his character. And character is destiny.  

St Paul teaches us the same lesson as St James in our key Scripture.
"We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,  and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Romans 5: 3 - 5).

David left us a winning formula for dealing with hard times. In one word, it is praise and thanksgiving.

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