Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Great Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.

“Christ, has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped but His,
by essence and by nature.”
(St Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

"The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”

"Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”

"Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

"Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”

"Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 35 - 43).

Sunday November 20th 2022 is the  Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

Our God and Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness as eternal Priest and King of all creation. (Preface of the Mass)

Jesus said to Pilate: “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate was puzzled about the meaning of truth. The Truth was standing before Pilate. Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Ruler of an eternal and universal kingdom,
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

Jesus proclaimed that the truth shall make you free. Where there is truth, there is freedom. Freedom is opposed to slavery as falsehood is opposed to truth.

How do we become truly free and enjoy this heritage of the children of God? Does Christ the King have absolute dominion over your life? Does Jesus reign over your family, health, money, job, etc? It may seem risky and even foolish to surrender everything to Jesus. Pope St John Paul II preaches again and again: "Do not be afraid. Open the door fully to Jesus."
How do I know that this is safe and trustworthy? Simple. Look at the Communion of the Saints. The billions of people who have trusted Jesus with their lives. They are now in Heaven and they are all praying for us and urging us to trust Jesus as they did.

Let us trust Jesus who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. (Cf Revelation 1:5-8).

"The riches of My kingdom are for all whom I have redeemed with My own Blood, but it pleases Me to bestow them through My Mother, the Queen and Mediatrix who stood at the foot of My Cross, offering Me and offering herself with Me. Today she reigns with Me in paradise. All that I won for souls from My Father on the altar of the Cross, with My Mother at My side, I will now pour out on souls through her Heart and through her hands. This, too, is the secret of a fruitful priesthood. In every priestly act and in all of life, place your hands in the hands of My Mother and your heart in her Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, January 8, 2008).

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Friday, November 18, 2022

God Himself is the Author of Marriage.


"Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.

"Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”

"Jesus said to them, “The children of this age ­marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to ­attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.

"They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.

"That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

"Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything." (Luke 20: 27 - 40).

Saturday 19th November 2022 of the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time. Let us keep the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Families this Saturday.

The Sadducees asked Jesus a question about the Resurrection using marriage between one man and one woman as an example. They assumed that in the Resurrection the married couple will be automatically in Heaven.
Given the disruption of the institution of marriage in our time, we may ask: How can the Church save Marriage today?

Marriage may be saved through:
#1. Re-evangelising married couples and marriage candidates. This may take more than six months.  We may think of the RCIA process.
#2. Strong and effective catechesis rooted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and lives of Saints.
#3. Basic sacramentalization especially on the meaning and actualization of Baptism in the Christian dispensation.

Jesus Christ provides the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance which if used with faith and integrity can save many marriages. Below is a typical Examination of Conscience to be used by those seeking healing through this unparalleled free gift of healing.

Examination of Conscience for those who desire a healthy and joyous Marriage:

You shall not commit adultery:
Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage?
Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control in marriage?
Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life?
Have I been guilty of masturbation?
Have I sought to control my thoughts?
Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects?
Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?
Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words and actions?
Am I careful to dress modestly?

The list above is not exhaustive. Add your personal areas of struggle for example: Texting, Email, Phone, Social Media.

How often do you use Reconciliation? Start with once every month. As you make progress, you can make it twice a month. The great thing about this Sacrament of Jesus is that it is absolutely free. Try to find out how much it will cost to get a marriage counselor or psychotherapist for an hour.

"My priests should be the first to seek Me out in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They should be the first to run to Me as soon as they experience the pangs of an uneasy conscience and the regret of their sinful weaknesses. The single greatest service My priests can offer one another is the readiness to hear each other’s confessions and to pronounce over each other the healing words of absolution. In this way, they carry out the example I gave you when, at the Last Supper, I washed the feet of My disciples. Frequent confession, weekly confession is, more than ever, necessary to My priests." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, July 31, 2008).

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Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin, Missionary and Educator.

"My house shall be a house of prayer."

"Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them,

“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

"And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words." (Luke 19: 45 - 48).

Friday 18th November 2022 of the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Rose Philippine Duchesne. (1769 - 1852). French. Virgin and Religious. The French Revolution disrupted her religious formation. She waited for 11 years to join a new Congregation: The Society of the Sacred Heart. At the age of 49, St Rose undertook her missionary journey to America. She founded schools to educate girls.

St Rose Philippine Duchesne left her native country France at the age of 49 to travel to America. She heard the urgency of the Gospel to educate little girls in America and show them the way of Peace of Christ. The Lord blessed her ministry. 170 years after the death of St Rose Philippine Duchesne, Duchesne Academy continues the work of educating girls in America.

Jesus entered the Temple and was shocked by what He saw. He censored the traders defiling the holy place:  "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

The Temple/Church is a consecrated place for the worship of God. The civil society understands the idea of respect for certain places. The first time I went to a traffic court, I had unintentionally my baseball cap on as I stepped into the court. The police man shouted at me to remove the cap. I obeyed.

The Church should welcome everyone into its Sanctuary for Sunday worship. The Church teaches that it is Jesus who is the celebrant in the person of the priest whom we see. Have you noticed that on Sundays, the priest is dressed in the best sacred vestments? Some people attend Sunday Mass in baseball game outfit? If the mayor or the governor invites you for a lunch, how do you dress? Jesus Christ deserves no less respect.

My house shall be a house of prayer. Please do not make it a marketplace.

The Prophet Malachi foresaw the degradation of the sacred ministers of the Temple and prophesied:

"For he will be like a refiner’s fire,
like fullers’ lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, that they may bring offerings to the Lord in righteousness." (Malachi 3: 2 - 3).

Let us continue to lift up the Church and the clergy to the mercy of God.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

St Elizabeth of Hungary, Queen, Wife and Mother and Franciscan Tertiary.

"How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!" (St Elizabeth of Hungary).

"As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying,

“If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19: 41 - 44).

Thursday 17th November 2022 of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time is
the feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary. (1207 - 1231) Religious. Born Hungarian Princess. Married a German Prince. In her short life of only 23 years, Elizabeth had four children and then became a Franciscan Tertiary after the death of her husband. She spent the rest of her life bringing comfort to the poor, the sick and the aged.

In our key Scripture from Luke 19, Jesus wept over Jerusalem for two reasons:
#1. Jerusalem failed to recognize the time of the visitation of her long awaited Messiah.
#2. Jerusalem thirsted desperately for peace but the people are totally ignorant of what makes for peace.

These two conditions apply to our world today. As we near the end of the Church Year, we are served more and more with Scriptures of the End Times.

Jesus wept for Jerusalem because they did not recognize what makes for peace. Do we recognize what makes for peace?
Jesus the Prince of Peace knows what makes for peace. He is in truth our peace.

Romans 12: 2 shows us the secret of peace.
"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." Conforming your thoughts, words and actions to the will of God is exactly what makes for peace.

Father, in Your will is our peace!

"I bless you and I bless those whom you entrust to the mercy of My open Heart. The light of My Face shines upon you. Believe in My love for you. I will never abandon you, never disappoint you. My plans are for your happiness, for your holiness, for your peace. Have no fear. I will do for you all that I have promised, and your heart will rejoice, and you will praise and glorify Me forever." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, December 19, 2007).

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Feast of St Gertrude the Great, Mystic and so much more.

"Bodily and spiritual affliction are the surest sign of Divine predilection. ... Man should always firmly believe that God sends just that trial which is most beneficial for him." (St Gertrude the Great).

"While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.

"So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them,

"‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’

"His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’

"But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.

"The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’

"He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’

"Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’

"Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’

"He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’

"And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’

"But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’

"He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”

"After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem." (Luke 19: 11 - 28).

Wednesday 16th November 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Gertrude the Great.  (1256 - 1301). Virgin. German. Known as Gertrude the Great, she was a respected scholar and mystic. Over 300 years before St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Gertrude introduced the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to her community and wrote much about it. The Lord Jesus appointed St Margaret Alacoque in the 1600s to establish the Sacred Heart Devotion worldwide.

Pope Benedict XVI, says that St Gertrude “shows us that the heart of a happy life, of a true life, is friendship with the Lord Jesus.”

Our Gospel for today is from Luke 19: 11 - 28. It is called the Parable of the Ten Gold Coins. By the standard of Gospel parables, it is long. It is purposely detailed because Jesus is making a very important point. We are heading to the End of the Liturgical Year and theme of the lectionary readings inspired by the Holy Spirit for the universal Church is End of the World themes. Jesus is heading to Jerusalem for the end of His earthly life. But He will come again.  

What may be considered as the main points of the Parable of the Ten Gold Coins?

#1. Every human being is given the gifts of time, talent and treasure.
#2. At the End of Time, there will be an accountability for the use of every gift.
#3. If you do not know your gifts and your purpose in life, prayerfully invest whatever is necessary to find out the most important information about you, your God-given Purpose. It may be the One Thing Necessary Today and this Advent.

St Gertrude the Great foresaw the universal introduction of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by over 300 years.
“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed." (St Gertrude the Great).

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Monday, November 14, 2022

St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

"Banish, therefore, from thy heart the distractions of earth and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys, that thou mayest learn at last to repose in the light of the contemplation of God." (St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

Zacchaeus succumbed to the charm of Jesus.

“At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.

"Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.

"So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.

"When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”

"And Zacchaeus came down quickly and received him with joy.

"When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”

"But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”

"And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19: 1 - 10).

Tuesday 15th November 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Albert the Great OP, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
(1206 - 1280) German. St Albert belongs to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). He is an eminent theologian and scientist and Doctor of the Church.
Albert the Great combined his human wisdom and divine faith to advance knowledge and science.
St Albert wrote a great deal on Divine Providence. One of the most comforting is this one below:
“The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask.”
St Albert the Great is the patron saint of scientists.

Our Scripture for today is from Luke 19: 1 - 10. We read exactly the same Scripture on October 30th. Why is the Church offering us the same menu today? Perhaps to dig into this Scripture more. Discover deeper spiritual nourishment, new insights.

Listen to what Zacchaeus says:
"But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”

Zacchaeus says: If I have cheated you in any way, come forward and lay down your case. I am willing and ready to make full restitution and more. Unfortunately, we don't know whether anyone took up the challenge.

Because Zacchaeus is a tax collector, many commentators decide that Zacchaeus is a corrupt man. The text of the Scripture does not say that. It is like saying that every politician and every lawyer is a liar and corrupt. God says: "I do not judge a man from his lofty height and stature. I read the heart." (Cf 1 Samuel 16: 7).

Many thieves and fraudsters who are caught red handed try to negotiate the terms of the settlement. Not Zacchaeus. His attitude is: Lord, I give up everything to be a part of You and Your Enterprise.

Taking a cue from the conversion of Zacchaeus, the Church teaches:
"Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."......... It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life." (CCC 1427).

"Above all there is My Holy Mother, My all-beautiful and Immaculate Mother Mary. She is where I am. She is close to the priest who is close to Me in the Sacrament of My love. Nothing gives so much joy to her Immaculate Heart as seeing one of her priest sons in adoration before My Eucharistic Face. She opens her hands over him—as she is doing over you at this very moment—and causes a shower of graces to fall into his soul. Love My Mother, love My Mother more and more. You will never approach the love of My own Heart for her by yourself, but I, by My free gift, can and will unite you to the love of My Sacred Heart for her. Thus will you come to experience the ineffable union of our two Hearts in your own heart." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday April 14, 2008).

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Bartimaeus, a story of incredible persistence and audacity.

Man's extremity is God's opportunity.  Man's security is Satan's opportunity.
Bartimaeus got back his sight and became a disciple of Jesus.

"As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.

"They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

"He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

"The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

"Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him,

“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied,

“Lord, please let me see.”

Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

"He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God." (Luke 18: 35 - 43).

Monday November 14th 2022 of the 33rd week of Ordinary Time.

The Gospel of St Mark identifies the blind man as Bartimaeus.  Bartimaeus blind and without sight represents a person without faith. Bartimaeus with his sight restored is the type of person who has come to believe. Bartimaeus wanted his sight so badly that he shouted above the noise of the crowd trying to silence him. “Son of David, have pity on me!”

What incredible faith, persistence and audacity. The Bible teaches that audacity of faith pays off every time. (Cf Hebrews 11).

Jesus ignored the crowd trying to shout down Bartimaeus. He stopped and ordered that he be brought to him.
“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and followed Jesus, giving glory to God. You too can receive anything you ask for with faith.

"Faith in this mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist grows in proportion to the time one gives Me in adoration. It is not enough that My priests should celebrate Holy Mass daily, even correctly and devoutly, if they do not approach Me and remain with Me, who wait for them in the Sacrament of My love. Nothing can replace the intimate experience of My Eucharistic friendship—and this is the experience that I offer to you and to all who seek My Eucharistic Face, all who offer a sacrifice of time to My Eucharistic Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

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