Saturday, December 03, 2022

Now is the time to produce the fruits of repentance.

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life. Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.” (St Pope John Paul II).

"John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

"A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

"John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

"When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them,

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

"I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals.

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  (Matthew 3: 1 - 12)

Who is John the Baptist?
Isaiah describes him as “A voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths."  (Isaiah 40: 30)

John the Baptist has a simple profile.  Although born into the priestly nobility, he forsook the privileges that were his by birth to serve Jesus.
"John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey."  (Matthew 3: 4) In order not to compromise his mission, he took extraordinary steps to safeguard his independence.

He was direct and bold in his preaching, fearing no one.
"Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance."  (Matthew 3: 8) He urged the great and the powerful who came to him at the River Jordan. 

His humility was profound.
"I am not worthy to carry his sandals."  (Matthew 3: 11) He said of Jesus.  Jesus returned the compliments by calling John the greatest of the prophets.

Lord Jesus grant us the singleness of purpose, courage and humility of John the Baptist.

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Friday, December 02, 2022

The Feast of St Francis Xavier SJ, Priest and Missionary.

"It is impossible to find a Saint who did not take the 'two P's' seriously, Prayer and Penance." (St Francis Xavier SJ. 1506 - 1552).

"Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.

"At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

"Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

"Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

"Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

"As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8).

Saturday 3rd December 2022 of the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Francis Xavier of the Society of Jesus (1506 - 1552). Priest and Missionary. Spanish.
This Saturday is also the first Saturday in December. Honor the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Francis Xavier is one of the seven men along with leader St Ignatius Loyola who founded the Society of Jesus, which is popularly known as Jesuits. Francis Xavier will rank as one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Church. We know who has the title #1: St Paul. Francis is said to have baptized over 30,000 souls in his 10 years of missionary endeavors. He is called the Apostle of the East. He worked in India and Japan and died facing the coast of China in 1552 at the age of 46.

We see in our key Scripture for today the compassion of Jesus for the crowds who were troubled and appeared totally abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus healed many of their illnesses and preached to them the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Yet Jesus was sad because the need is so great and the human resources needed for the work are paltry.

What can you do to help?

"No one takes this honor on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case." (Hebrews 5: 4)

A vocation is a call from God, an appointment by God. God appoints those he chooses to share in a particular manner in the work of redemption with his son, Jesus. When we are baptized, God chooses us to be his adopted children. This is also when we receive our vocation. While some are called to the ministerial priesthood like Aaron, every baptized is called to a particular ministry.

Become an evangelist. From here, you may be led to your proper path.

"My Eucharistic Heart overflows with love for My priests. I would give to each of them the grace I gave Saint John, My beloved disciple: that of intimacy with My Heart and with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. I would renew the priesthood of My Church in this way. I would make My priests resplendent with holiness. I would impart to their tongues and to their hands the very graces that I poured out upon My Apostles in the beginnings of My Church." (IN SINU JESU, Friday, December 7, 2007).

For information on the Compendium of the the Church, click the link below:

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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Do you believe I can do all things?

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." (St Augustine).

"As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,

“Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and

"Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.

"Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

"And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land." (Matthew 9: 27 - 31).

This Friday December 2nd of the first week of Advent is also the First Friday in December. Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus today.

Two blind friends who have heard of the miracles of Jesus sought Him out until they found Him. They cried excitedly: “Son of David, have pity on us!” Jesus who delights in mercy can never resist those who ask Him for mercy.

Jesus asked the two blind men: “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.


“Let it be done for you according to your faith.” Jesus said. "And their eyes were opened."

"Be it done to me according to Your word." The word of Jesus is a Divine Command. Belief in this word is faith.
What do you seek from Jesus?
Faith, Health, Family, Job, Money?
Do you believe that Jesus can do this for you?
Are you prepared to wait for His perfect timing? Are you willing for example to accept another model of car, woman/man, health plan if that is the will of Jesus for you?

You may receive little from Jesus if you do not see that Jesus knows exactly what you need, when you need it. “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord.”

"The loss of faith that afflicts so many souls is incompatible with a life of adoration. Souls do not stop adoring because they have lost their faith; they lose their faith because they have stopped adoring Me. This is why I would have you hold fast even to the outward forms of adoration. When even these things are cast aside, there is nothing left to invite the soul to the inward adoration in spirit and in truth by which I am glorified. I speak here of the genuflection, the prostration, the profound bow and all the other marks of attention to My presence that provide the soul with a language in which she can express her faith and her desire to adore Me." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, October 25, 2008).

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Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday December 2nd by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

December 2nd, 2022  -  First Friday in December 2022.

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 12th and last month of the year 2022, we look at Promise #12.

#12. "The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour."

What is the grace of Final Repentance? This is tantamount to the grace of Perseverance in being a good Christian to the end of your life. This is one of the best things anyone can ask for.

Friends, this is a tremendous promise. Let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for such a generous offer.   You will appreciate this promise when you are close to death. No fear. No worry. No doubt about your eternal destiny.

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 prayers and prayer intentions, click the link below:

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The Feast of St Edmund Campion SJ, Priest and Martyr.

“We human beings are story-tellers, we pass on our values through the stories we tell. ..." (St Edmund Campion, SJ).

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

"The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

"And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.

"And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” (Matthew 7:21, 24-2).

Thursday 1st December of 2022 of the first Week of Advent is the feast of St Edmund Campion of the Society of Jesus. Born January 25th, 1540 in London. He became a junior fellow at Oxford University at 17. Confused by the adulation his intellectual prowess attracted, Edmund abandoned his Catholic roots and became an Anglican, even a deacon in the Anglican church. He soon saw the true light. He went to Rome and studied for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus. After ordination, he returned to England secretly and ministered to Catholics. He was betrayed by one of his flock and tried and condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered in Tyburn, London on December 1st, 1581.

St Edmund Campion could have chosen to remain a Fellow at Oxford University and enjoy this life to the fullest. But he believed in the promises of Jesus. "There is something better." St Edmund Campion is the most famous of the English Catholic martyrs. He is acclaimed universally as a great poet.

Our key Scripture instructs us to build our lives on rock. That Rock is Jesus. If we do not build on Him, we build on sand.

To build your life on rock, you need Wisdom. Wisdom is the gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us make good choices and decisions. Wisdom deals with Choice - this or that? To build the foundation of your family home on rock or try to save money and compromise the foundation with inferior material..
True wisdom lies in hearing and doing the word of God, the will of God, the command of God. How do we become wise?

How do good and godly choices become a habit?
#1. Pray for Wisdom every day. You will surely get it.
#2. Read and ponder the word of God daily. It is the source and foundation of Wisdom.
#3. Practice daily examination of conscience. You will see where you have been wise and foolish in the course of the day. You resolve to act appropriately in the future.

Wisdom is listed as the first of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ask for the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Ask and you receive Him immediately.

"Trust Me with all the events of your life. I will not abandon you. You are Mine and I will not forsake you. The decisions of men are all in My hands. Nothing will befall you that I do not permit. I will give you My grace to accept the changing circumstances of your life. It is I who am behind all that happens to you. Nothing escapes My wisdom; nothing escapes My love; nothing escapes My omnipotence. Trust Me, and be at peace. I bless you with all the love of My Sacred Heart. Do not be afraid. Tell Me again and again that you trust in My merciful love for you." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, June 17, 2008 ).

The Church honors the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the Month of December. The preeminent feast of Mary is December 8th, the great Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Honor Mary under her Immaculate Conception every day this December.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Feast of St Andrew the Apostle.

“Love is acceptance. When you love someone . . . you take them into your heart, and that is surely why it hurts so much when we lose someone we love, because we lose a part of ourselves. (St Andrew the Apostle).

"As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him." (Cf Matthew 4: 18 - 22).

Wednesday 30th November 2022 of the First Week of Advent is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle. (+ 60). He is the brother of Simon Peter, the Chief Apostle. 

Who is Andrew?
Andrew was a disciple of St John the Baptist. Andrew saw John point to Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36).  Andrew said to his brother Simon: “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).  Andrew was a seeker and an evangelist at heart.

After the Resurrection and  Pentecost, Andrew embarked on his apostolic missions.  St Andrew was martyred in Greece circa 60 AD.  Tradition says that he died in an X shaped Cross. He is the Patron saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland.

Andrew is my Evangelist par excellence. He hears the divine command in the Gospel. He believes it and obeys it instantly. Immediately he goes to share this treasure with the first person he meets who happens to be his brother Simon Peter. How do we respond at once to the call of Jesus like Andrew and become committed and enthusiastic evangelist? There are two necessary steps:

#1. Formation or Training: Spending time with Jesus in prayer and His word. This enables us to become like Jesus. Before we can start acting like Jesus, we must spend time listening to Him and watching His every move in order to imitate Him.

#2. Field training: The student teacher or student nurse needs to be grounded in the theory he learns in the classroom before he steps into  the real world. This is the practicum.

The core mission of the Church is to evangelize. Pope St Paul VI writes that the Church exists in order to evangelize. This is a profound statement. Where is your place in this scheme? In the first Reading we hear:

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10: 13 - 15).

How can people hear of a new product unless there is a salesman or advertising? Friend, Jesus invites you to be the sales person. You can do this through word of mouth, text messaging, emails and sharing social media Catholic Blogs. One of the best faith sharing apps on social media is WhatsApp. It provides many platforms: Text, audio, images and graphics, music, video and movie. It is completely free.

"When I choose a soul for a work of Mine, I begin always by drawing that soul very close to Me with the leading bands of My most sweet love. I have given you the gift of My divine friendship, just as I gave it to John and to the other apostles in view of the great work that I entrusted to them: the foundation and growth of My Mystical Body, the Church on earth. Every work of Mine begins in this way." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, April 10, 2008).

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Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit.

"Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God: The Father is your table, the Son is your food, and the Holy Spirit waits on you and then makes His dwelling in you."  (St. Catherine of Siena).

"Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,

“I give you praise, 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. All things have been handed over to me by my Father.

"No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

"Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Luke 10: 21 - 24).

Tuesday 29th November 2022 of the First Week of Advent.

Jesus rejoices! Jesus is full of joy as He thinks of the Holy Spirit. What in your experience makes you full of joy? For me it used to be memories of answered prayers. Now as I get to know the ever present Holy Spirit, the thought of His incessant inspiration and power fills me with joy.

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life. Spiritual life and abundant life. He is our ever present and near Helper. He is our Advocate and the Voice that speaks in Court for us.

How do we receive and enjoy the Holy Spirit? Nothing can be easier:

#1  Desire! Desire! Desire!
#2. Confess your sins
#3. Ask Him in bold prayer to come and reside in you.
#4. Believe that you have received after asking in faith. Then start giving thanks immediately. Remember we walk by faith and not by sight or feeling.

For the titles of the Holy Spirit, click the link below:

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Amazing Faith of the Roman Soldier.

"Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern."
(Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata).

"When Jesus entered Caper­naum, a centurion ap­proa­ch­ed him and appealed to him, saying,

“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

"Jesus said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

"The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

"When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those ­following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8: 5 - 11).

Why does Jesus praise the faith of the Centurion?  Faith is a rare commodity and one of the greatest gifts of God.  The opposite of faith is Unbelief and Doubt.

How does faith work?  Jesus said to the Centurion:  “I will come and cure him.” The Centurion heard this and believed.  The faith of the Centurion is much deeper.  He said to Jesus: 'No need to come to my house.  Just heal my servant with a word said right here, right now.'

How does Faith work?

Faith comes from hearing and believing the promises of God.  As you obey the Divine Word or Command your faith  grows.

Here are 7 examples of Faith from the Gospels to reflect on this Advent:

1. The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation.
2. The shepherds at the Nativity.
3. The 3 Magi at the Hut of the Holy Family.
4. Simeon and Anna at the Presentation.
5. The Calling of Matthew and Zacchaeus.
6. The Good Thief at the Crucifixion.
7. The Roman Soldier at the Crucifixion.

What is the common factor in all these 7 cases?
They heard. They saw. They believe.

Happy Advent!

"Why do you think I have spoken to you so often of My Eucharistic Face? It is because “face” signifies “presence.” The devotion to My Eucharistic Face is the remedy to the loss of faith in My real presence that has swept through My Church at every level, extinguishing the fire of Eucharistic charity and causing even My elect, My priests, to grow cold and distant from Me. This is My word to you tonight and this is why I brought you to this place. Any loneliness you may feel is an invitation to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My divine friendship and to console My Eucharistic Heart." (IN SINU JESU, Sunday, October 19, 2008 Saint Paul of the Cross).

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