Saturday, July 16, 2022

Martha you worry too much.


Martha, why are you so anxious and distracted?

"Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  (Luke 10: 38  -  42).

Sunday July 17th of the 16th Week of Ordinary Time.

Martha and Mary are sisters and live in the same house. Their differences in outlook gives Jesus a teaching opportunity to address a problem that is endemic in our society today. Our lives are distracted by too many gadgets, information overload, mindless multitasking and many other things.

Jesus says to Martha and us:
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

What is the better part that Mary has chosen? Mary chose to honor their Guest. Mary chose the will of God for her at this moment.

When you choose the will of God for you here and now instead of your own will, you have chosen the better part. The will of God is always the better part. In God's will is our peace. Our Shalom!

How do we know the will of God? It is not complicated at all. The easiest way is to ask God. "Lord what will You have me do?" God is our Father who wants the very best for His children. He can never deceive us. He promises us to ask and we shall receive.

God speaks to us in Sacred Scripture. Scripture is the very word of God. As you sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary each day to listen to Scripture, little by little you begin to know "the better part" for you in everything. This is what Scripture calls wisdom. Wisdom is the gift of choosing what God wants you to choose in every given situation.

About four months ago, I started saying this prayer at the beginning of the day and then several times during the day: "Most Holy Spirit, I surrender to You my time and all my activities this day. Take control of everything."

This simple prayer has increased my peace and serenity. When I catch myself hurrying or anxious, I say the prayer. It has worked for me every time.

7. 17. We honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in July.

“You heard me, only Friend whom I love. To ravish my heart, you became man.You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!”  (St Therese de Lisieux).

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Friday, July 15, 2022

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.


Some years ago, a friend of mine in the RCIA Ministry gave me a Brown Scapula. I hung it on the wall in my Prayer Area. On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel a couple of years ago, I was inspired to put on that Brown Scapula. It was on my neck day and night. A few months ago, it fell apart from constant use. I prayed to Our Lady on inspiration on how to replace it. The prayer was answered immediately. Do not neglect Sacramentals.

Jesus is The Chosen Servant.
"When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many [people] followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known.  This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12: 14 - 21).

Saturday of the 15th week of Ordinary Time is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

My Servant shall not brawl or shout in the street.

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." (Matthew 12: 18).

What words do we associate with Mount Carmel? The Prophet Elijah, the Carmelite Order, St. Simon Stock.

On July 16, 1251 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St Simon Stock, the Superior General of the Carmelites in England and gave him the brown scapula. Mary promised her protection to all those who wear the scapula. This is the origin of the devotion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Brown Scapula. The brown scapula is one of the numerous sacramentals of the Church.

Isaiah tells us that our Gospel of today applies to Jesus the Messiah. Jesus makes a tactical withdrawal from Galilee in order to avoid head on collision with the Pharisees who had decided that Jesus must die. Huge crowd followed Him. He healed all those who were sick. Isaiah affirms the healing ministry of Jesus the Messiah whose mission is to make man whole in body, mind and soul.

Although Jesus did not brawl or shout during His public ministry, nor did anyone hear His voice in the street, He was nevertheless tried as a public criminal and suffered the death reserved for the worst criminal. What does this tell us about the plan of our salvation?

Have you not understood that just as the Son of Man must suffer before His victory and triumph, so must we suffer and accept some suffering in our life.
Do you not remember all the miracles performed by Jesus to prove that He is truly God?  How about all His miraculous interventions in our life?

Let us give thanks to God with a shout!

7.16. July is the Month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

“Blood of Christ, inebriate (intoxicate) me.”  (St Ignatius of Loyola).

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Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Feast of St Bonaventure, OFM. The Seraphic Doctor.


"Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.” (Matthew 12: 1 - 8).

Friday 15th July 2022, 15th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Bonaventure (1221 - 1274). Italian. Franciscan, Bishop, Cardinal and Doctor of the Church. Bonaventure is known as the Seraphic Doctor because of his mastery of mystical theology. He became friends with St Thomas Aquinas, another doctor of the Church in the University of Paris. St Bonaventure who succeeded St Francis of Assisi as the Superior General of the Franciscans wrote the first thorough biography of the great saint.

St Bonaventure, a great man of God by all standards was a very meek and humble man. Although Superior General of the Franciscans for 17 years, Cardinal of the Church, eminent Theologian and Professor of Theology at the University of Paris and later to become one of the 37 Doctors of the Church, Bonaventure is childlike in character.

In the Gospel for today, Jesus reminded the Pharisees of God’s purpose for the Sabbath.

"Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy." (Exodus 20: 8).

The command to set apart the Sabbath is very important as seen from the way it is treated in Sacred Scriptures. It is the exaggerated concern for the obligation and sanctity of the Sabbath Rest that gave rise to hundreds of minutiae rules concerning the basic command to keep holy the Lord's Day.

Throughout the Christian history, the Magisterium of the Church has not only expounded on the sacred character of the Sabbath but has taught that the Sabbath was instituted for the enjoyment of the People of God. It is a day of worship of God. A day of rest for the whole family from the hustle and bustle involved in making a living. It is a day to enjoy the parks, watch Christian movies. It is a day to visit the sick in the hospital.

The Sabbath Rest is Rehearsal for Eternal life. One day, there will be no work. By obeying the law of the Sabbath, you build up your faith in this promise of God. God plans to redeem man and creation from the present servitude to work.

It is more enjoyable to keep holy the Lord's Day than to do anything unlawful on the Sabbath Rest.

"With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God. "The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath."  (CCC 2173).

Rejoice in God's generous provision of the Sunday Rest and use it to grow in spiritual and human maturity.

7. 15. We honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in July.

“O my Most Sweet Jesus, O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, keep Thy priests in the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where no one can hurt them. Keep their anointed hands unsullied, which daily handle Thy Sacred Body. Keep pure the lips which are reddened with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unworldly their hearts which are sealed with the sublime token of Thy glorious priesthood. Cause them to grow in love and loyalty to Thee and protect them from the contamination of the world. With their power of transforming bread and wine, give them the power of transforming hearts. Bless their work with rich fruit and grant them one day the crown of eternal life. Amen.”  (St Teresa of Avila).

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Feast of St Kateri Tekakwita, Virgin and Lay Religious.


Your yoke is tailor-made to fit you alone.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11: 28 - 30).

Thursday July 14th of the 15th week in Ordinary Time. The Church commemorates the life of St Kateri Tekakwita and  St Camillus de Lellis.

#1. St Kateri Tekakwita (1656 - 1680). Born near New York. Daughter of a Mohawk chief. Kateri died at the age of 24. She had great devotion to the Eucharist and Jesus Crucified. She is known as the "Lily of the Mohawks" and is the patron saint of ecologists, environmentalists, and Native Americans.

#2.  St Camillus de Lellis.  (1550 -1614). Italian. Priest. Camillus gave his life to Jesus after a troubled youth. He worked in Giacomo Hospital. While working here, he heard the call from God to found an order dedicated to the care of the sick. God gave St Camillus a special love for the sick. He founded the Order of the Camellians and improved the treatment and care of hospital patients.

The short Gospel for today fits St Kateri as hand in glove. God in His merciful and powerful Providence chooses the weak to accomplish great things. Kateri became a shining star for the Indigenous People of the Mohawk nation in North America.

What are your personal yokes and burdens today?

How many people today find the yoke of marriage unbearable? Or their daily employment intolerable? Think about the burden of debt or financial insecurity? Will this century turn out to be the century with the highest suicide rate among the youth?

Christ Jesus seems to proclaim in the short Gospel of today: "Listen to me! O that you will listen to Me! I have a solution to your dilemma. The Good News is that what you call unbearable yoke and burden are tailor-made to fit you alone. The burden is truly light and the yoke is easy, believe Me."

Four simple steps to turn around your unbearable yoke and transform it into a goldmine:

#1. Embrace God’s gracious will every moment of your life. Don't try to change God or His loving Providence and Plan for your life.
#2. Enjoy the Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Present Moment. Jesus is Emmanuel, the God who is always with us.
#3. Learn to offer continuously a Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving. Thank God always even for what you see as little favors.
#4. Learn the power of Sweet Surrender. Letting Go and letting God is very powerful.

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." (Revelation 3: 20).

"I am glorified when you honor my saints." Lord Jesus remember us who delight in honoring your saints.

"This is why it so grieves Me" , said Jesus to a mystic, "that churches are locked and that I am left for days on end alone in the tabernacle. I would draw souls to My open Heart, I would have them experience what it is to abide in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face, I would give Myself in intimate friendship to souls drawn to Me in the Sacrament of My love, but you priests, shepherds of souls, have forgotten that keeping open your churches is integral to your sacred ministry." (IN SINU JESU page 54).

7. 14. We honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in July.

“Upon receiving Holy Communion, the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ really flows in our veins and His Flesh is really blended with ours.” (St John Vianney).

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Feast of St Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor.


"At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will." (Matthew 11: 25 - 26).

Wednesday 13th July 2022,  of 15th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Henry II. (973 - 1024). German. Crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII as Emperor Henry II. He was a powerful man of the world, a man of war and international politics. He became a saint.  It shows that anyone can become a saint. Henry used his wealth and power to promote the Kingdom of God by supporting missionary work. In spite of his cares of the earthly Roman Empire, his gaze was on Heaven, the eternal Kingdom.

In our Gospel of today, there is a note of joy in the voice of Jesus as He talked about the secret of how the gracious and mysterious will of the Father works. We know that Abba Father has a tender love or preferential options for the widow, orphans and migrants. This is an Old Testament teaching. Jesus added another class of people to the preferential group: the "Childlike."

Who are the Childlike?

God in His merciful and powerful Providence chooses the weak to accomplish great things. He chose Mary, the 14 year old Virgin of Nazareth to be the Mother of the Son. He chose Saints Catherine of Siena and Therese, the Little Flower and revealed to them the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He called and chose St Maria Faustina and revealed to her the secrets of the Divine Mercy.

The childlike therefore are people like the above mentioned saints but also these old and tried warriors: Moses, David, Elijah, Paul, Mother Teresa, Sister Angelica. God makes known His inner life and His ways to them. God who does not ration His Holy Spirit wants to make the same gift of the Holy Spirit to all His children.

"It is the little and the poor who come to Me in the Sacrament of My love and who console My Heart by their presence to Me. It has always been so. The proud and the worldly have no time for Me, because I am hidden, because I am poor, because I am silent, in the Sacrament of My love. But those who are themselves humble and poor are drawn to the humility and the poverty of My Eucharistic presence. I welcome them. I take comfort in their presence, and I recognize them as those blessed of My Father to whom belongs already the Kingdom of Heaven." (IN SINU JESU page 229).

7. 13. July is the Month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?”  (Hebrews 9:14).

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Monday, July 11, 2022

The Sin of Unbelief is dangerous.


"Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes." (Matthew 11: 20.... 24).

Tuesday 12th July 2022, of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus taught that those who have received more are expected to give back more.  They are expected to produce more fruits. They should make more saints and send out more missionaries. Chorazin and Bethsaida received more of Jesus teaching and miracles. But both cities were obstinate when it comes to belief and repentance. Their hardness of heart is caused by UNBELIEF.

Why was Jesus stern in His reproach of Chorazin and Bethsaida?
The citizens of both cities locked up their hearts in unbelief. They were very cynical brood of vipers. Unbelief is very dangerous. Look around the society today and see for yourself what unbelief can produce. Where there is unbelief, there will be no repentance.  It may well be the Sin of Unbelief that make some Christian theologians like St Augustine postulate a belief in predestination. Without repentance one cannot be saved. Unbelievers have no time for repentance. For example,
robbers who are caught red-handed on camera have sworn that they are innocent. This is the result of Unbelief. By their fruits you will know them.

Brethren, we are Chorazin. We are Bethsaida. Let us come before Jesus in humility and have our sins washed away in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The merciful love of Jesus is waiting to give us a new mind and a new heart.

"If souls understood what treasures of love are freely given to those who approach Me in the Sacrament of My love, My churches would be filled day and night, and unable to contain the multitudes drawn to them. But the Evil One has schemed and plotted to cover the mystery of My presence with a dark veil of neglect, of irreverence, of forgetfulness, and of unbelief. He has obscured the mystery of My real presence, and so My faithful, beginning with My priests, have walked away from Me, one after the other, even as they did when first I spoke plainly of Myself as the living Bread come down from heaven to give life to the world." (IN SINU JESU page 226).

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

7. 12. July = The Most Precious Blood of Jesus Month.

“I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin’s heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.”  (St Albert the Great).

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Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Feast of St Benedict of Nursia OSB, Abbot.


"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10: 34.... 11:1).

Monday 11th July 2022, of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of a pivotal figure in the history of Christianity: St Benedict of Nursia, Abbot. (480 - 547). Italian and founder of the Benedictine Order. His twin sister St Scholastica embraced religious life and became a leader in monastic movement for women.
St Benedict is the co-patron saint of Europe. He is also the patron saint of monks, witchcraft, diseases among others. His rules for monastic life is still widely used. His motto is: "Pray and Work."

Do you find anything difficult in today's Gospel? I find many tough challenges. There are No Half Measures in the words of Jesus!! Jesus did not say:
It is OK if you love your father or mother 50% and love Me Jesus 50%. It is OK when you pick up your cross whenever you feel like and follow Me.
Jesus says what He means. He means what He says. If you follow Me, it has to be fully if you want to reap the full benefits.

Do you now understand why some people say that Christianity does not work for them? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:
"First and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also." (Matthew 6: 33 AMP).

If you desire all your needs to be met, you know what to do. You  make God's business your top priority.

Thank You Jesus for the promise below.

"My Heart is open to your prayers and I receive them with favour because it is I who inspire you to speak to Me in this way. This is the secret of prayer pleasing to My Heart: it rises out of a grace that I have already planted in the soul, even before you come into My presence, even before you open your mouth, or take up your pen, or begin to formulate words. These are the prayers that I answer most readily; these are the prayers that I answer unfailingly, because they are the fruit of the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul, teaching the soul to pray in perfect harmony with the desires and designs of My own Sacred Heart." (IN SINU JESU page 120).

7. 11. July is the Month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

“Sometimes let us kindle in our souls an ardent affection, considering his great affection towards us, which upon the cross he declared and manifested to the whole world. And the benefit which he bestowed upon us in his passion, because he bought us with the inestimable price of his precious blood, of which only, we reap the benefit and commodity.”  (St. Peter of Alcantara).

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