Saturday, August 06, 2022

Watch and Pray is the only way to wait for the Lord.


"Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.

"Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Luke 12: 32....48).

Sunday August 7th of the 19th week of Ordinary Time.

Today's message could be personal. Are you waiting for something to happen? An answer to prayer for example. How do you know when God will deliver the answer? The Church answers the question thus:

"In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes...... In communion with their Master, the disciples' prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation." (CCC 2612).

When you keep watch in prayer, you will know the appointed time, the fullness of time. When you do not keep watch in prayer, you will fall into a dreadful sleep and temptation and see your bus speed by while you are not paying attention. In the 1st Reading, we are told:

"The night of the Passover was known before hand to our forefathers." (Wisdom 18: 6). How did our ancestors in the faith know that "THIS IS THE HOUR. THIS IS THE NIGHT?" Because they were told by the word of God through the ministry of Moses and Aaron. If you keep watch in prayer, God will be pleased to give you the privilege of knowing that the appointed time has come.

Live in hope. Rejoice in hope. God Never Fails!

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Friday, August 05, 2022

The Feast of the Transfiguration.


"Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up a mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusa­lem.

"Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying.

"While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen." (Luke 9: 28 - 36).

Saturday 6th August 2022 of the 18th Week of Ordinary is the great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

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.

"When a soul is abandoned to Me in obedience and in trust, I am free to carry out in her and around her all that I desire to do to satisfy the yearnings of My Heart and for the glory of My Father. Be that soul, abandoned to Me in obedience and in trust, and you will not be disappointed in your hope." (IN SINU JESU page 46).

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Thursday, August 04, 2022

The Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major.


"Jesus said to his disciples: “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 will find it.

"What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.” (Matthew 16: 24 - 28).

Friday August 5th of 18th Week of Ordinary Time 2022 is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major. It is also the First Friday of August 2022.
This Basilica was dedicated after the definition of the Dogma of Mary as the Mother of God in the Council of Ephesus in 431.  It was the oldest Marian Church in Rome and was consecrated by Pope Sixtus III about 435. The great Church was later renamed as St Mary Major. Pope St John Paul II wrote that it is an objective truth that the Mother of God is the Mother of the Church. Ephesus hailed Mary as Theotokus, Mother of God. Vatican II acclaimed Mary as the Mother of the Church.

Our Gospel this Friday is one of the greatest. Understand and embrace the message and you will understand the whole message and meaning of Christianity. Embrace the message and you will be happy forever.
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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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

August 5th, 2022 - First Friday in August.

Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion. In the 8th month of the year, we look at Promise #8.

#8.  "Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection."

Who are the fervent souls?
Fervent souls are people who hear the word of God and take it to heart. They allow the word to influence their thoughts, words and actions. They place the Kingdom of God and holiness of life above every other thing. Even while living in the world raising children and holding down jobs, they experience the peace, joy and contentment of the Blessed. Because they trust and honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus, they grow from strength to strength and experience the promised blessings.

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, Sacred Heart devotional prayers and prayer intentions click the link below:

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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Feast of St John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests.


"Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

"Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ."  (Matthew 16: 13.... 23).

Thursday 4th August 2022 of the 18th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast day of the patron saint of parish priests, the Curé of Ars, St John Vianney (1786 - 1859). French. What do you want from your parish priest?

#1 Celebrate Mass with reverence and devotion.
#2 Always be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be the face of the loving mercy of Jesus Christ.
#3 Assist the poor as best as they can.
#4. Be ready and available to assist you at the moment of death.

St John of Vianney set an excellent example as a parish priest. The Church noticed and made him the Patron Saint of Parish Priests.

St John Vianney said à propos the role of the priests in the mystery of salvation:
"Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord would be of no avail.... What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door?” John opened the door to the merciful love of Jesus to sinners through the Sacrament of Reconciliation where he spent hours upon hours every day.

Our Gospel of today is key to understanding Qahal, Ecclesia, Assembly, Church (all meaning the same thing) that Jesus Christ has built.

Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered for the 12:
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Was Jesus astonished by Peter's answer?  Jesus said to Peter in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16: 13... 23).

Jesus builds His Church on the rock of Peter's Confession. A Church that is defined as:

+ The People of God.
+ The Body of Christ.
+ The Temple of the Holy Spirit.

A Church which manifests these characteristics:

#1. Pillar and Foundation of truth.
#2. Always under attack by the Enemy.
#2a. Victorious and Invincible.
#3. Missionary and Catholic.
#4. Infallibility in doctrine by Peter and his successors.
#5. Hierarchy and sacred priesthood.
#6. The Church of the Eucharist.

Do you love the Church?  Saint Augustine writes, “We, therefore, receive the Holy Spirit if we love the Church, if we are joined together by charity, if we make the Catholic name and faith our joy. Believe it, brethren, to the extent that one loves the Church, to that extent he has the Holy Spirit within him”.

St John of Vianney is a trustworthy servant-priest. Let us pray constantly to the Lord to send numerous priests like St. John Vianney to the harvest.

"Yes, here I was speaking of the Eucharist, the gift of My abiding presence to My Bride, the Church, and this until the end of time. Not one soul who belongs to Me is left friendless in this world so long as the Church continues to do what I commanded on the night before I suffered, in memory of Me. The Most Holy Eucharist is not only My Sacrifice offered to the Father, although in a bloodless manner; it is not only the sustenance of souls, nourishing them with My very Body and Blood; it is also the Sacrament of My divine friendship, the pledge of My burning desire to remain close to all who seek Me, to all who need Me, to all who would spend time in My company." IN SINU JESU page 54).

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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Woman your faith is great. Have what you desire and deserve.


"At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her.

"His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”

"She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour." (Matthew 15: 21 - 28).

Wednesday 3rd August 2022 of the 18th Week of Ordinary Time.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus said to the Canaanite woman: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour." (Matthew 15: 28).

What is faith?
Before the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel, Mary knew God as Almighty, All-knowing, All-powerful, All-loving, All-merciful, etc. Her profound personal knowledge of God is the foundation of her faith.

The Canaanite woman is a believer who was searching desperately for a miraculous healing for her child. She heard about Jesus from a friend or a neighbor. She believed immediately what she heard about the miraculous powers of Jesus. She packed her bag and went in search of Jesus. Her strong faith and expectations created resilience in her. She was prepared to be rebuffed by Jesus and was determined to have her miracle.

The Bible praises faith as one of the greatest gifts of God and a profound mystery. A little child is capable of great faith as a very old woman. Saints Catherine of Siena and Therese the Little Flower came to great faith at the age of six.

Some quotes on faith:

#1 "The just shall live by faith." We live by faith and not by sight or feeling. Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, we live by the word of God that cannot fail.
#2 "We are saved by grace through faith."
#3 Faith comes by hearing the personal word of God to you and saying a firm Amen to it.
#4 God's grace is abundant to save us and fulfill the desires of our heart but you must accept the word you receive in faith.

The 11th Chapter of Hebrews is the list of some of the most important people in the Bible. They all achieved fame and greatness through their faith.

You too can overcome every challenge through faith. Two great tools to help develop your faith:
#1 Daily consumption of the word of God.
#2 Daily conversation with God through prayer.
Since you know this, you will be blessed if you do it.

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Monday, August 01, 2022

The Feast of St Peter Eymard, Founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers?


"Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.

"Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea.

"When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.”

"Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”  (Matthew 14: 22.... 36)

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 of the 18th week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Peter Julian Eymard (1811 - 1868). French. After his ordination, Peter joined the Marist Congregation in 1840. He then had an intense experience of the merciful love of Jesus in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament. This experience changed the course of his life and gave him a new mission. He fostered Eucharistic Adoration throughout the rest of his life and founded the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament who are priest-adorers of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

August 2nd is also the feast of St Eusebius of Vercelli in Sardinia in Italy.(+ 371). Bishop.   St Eusebius and St Athanasius fought the Arian heresy tooth and nail. The Arians  denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Arians tortured and exiled St Eusebius.

Have you ever faced a deep paralyzing fear in your life? For example: Being fired from a job, facing an ugly divorce, or doctor's life and death verdict? Have you ever lost a child for a couple of days as the Blessed Virgin Mary experienced? Or facing imminent death in a deadly weather disaster? All these are occasions for crippling fear.

In our key Scripture, we find the Apostles facing such a moment. Peter becomes the type for all of us in this drama.
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
So far so good. But things changed quickly.

"But when he [Peter] saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Why did Peter panic? He took his eyes off Jesus. You too will panic in any crisis if you take your eyes off Jesus. 

Fear entered Peter's mind through his eyes.  Fear, worry and doubt enter into us often through our physical senses.  The first order of business in combating fear, worry and doubt is to control our senses. The best defense in this case is offense. Make a habit of feeding your mind with God's word.  Learn to pray constantly.  You can close your eyes and block your ears. Prepare for any emergency in your morning prayer.

As Christians, we are urged to be prepared always. The enemy of mankind who is also the Merchant of Fear and Death does not sleep. He prowls everywhere seeking for the careless sheep to devour. Deny him every opportunity.

Fear is useless; what is needed is trust in Jesus our Good Shepherd.

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Feast of St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Founder of the Redemptorists.


August is the Month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary says: "In the end. My Immaculate Heart will triumph." I love this.

"[Jesus] said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”  But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”  Then he said, “Bring them here to me.” (Matthew 14: 16 - 18).

Monday 1st August 2022 of the the 18th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Alphonsus Liguori (1696 - 1787). Italian. Bishop and Doctor of the Church. St Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). Trained in civil and canon law, he was a great moral theologian and sought after for his gifts as a confessor. St Alphonsus Liguori is the patron saint of moral theologians.

In our Gospel of today, Jesus fed "five thousand men, not counting women and children."
This miracle is a foreshadow of the Eucharist.
"They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full."

This action foreshadows the Mass where what remains from distributing the Eucharist is preserved in the Tabernacle and worshiped as the Blessed Sacrament.

St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, imminent Canon and Civil lawyer, writer and publisher of many books, founder of the Redemptorists was gifted exceptionally by God. He was also a very sick man most of his long life. St Alphonsus Liguori is one of my favorite patron saints. I chuckled as I think of sharing this aspect of his life. Alphonsus was the target of a great deal of clerical envy. Would you imagine your holy bishop or priest envying another priest or bishop of his God given gift? It happens a lot in the Church. The Church is human and divine at the same time. Aaron and Mariam envied Moses. In the first Reading, we note the jealousy of the Prophet Hananiah on Jeremiah. The Apostles juggled for influence and envied one another in the competition. Pray always for the Clergy. They are human beings too.

One of the most delightful contributions of St Alphonsus Liguori is his teaching on the concrete doctrine of Divine Providence. God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence governs all things. There
is no exception to
this divine law. 


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