JESUS IS LORD. ALWAYS!

Friday, February 03, 2023

Do not neglect to do good..

First Saturday in February - Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 


Do not neglect to do good. 


"Brothers and sisters: Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.


"Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you.


"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13: 15 - 17, 20 - 21).


Saturday February 4th in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time. Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today is the first Saturday of February 2023. 


Our reflection is from the first Reading, Hebrews 13: 15 - 17, 20 - 21. 

Brethren, the Spirit urges us: "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind."


You may ask: What good does the Holy Spirit wants me to do? Holy Mother Church has prepared for us a suitable list:


CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY

1. Feed the hungry

2. Give drink to the thirsty

3. Clothe the naked

4. Shelter the homeless

5. Visit the sick

6. Visit the imprisoned

7. Bury the dead


SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY

1. Instruct the ignorant

2. Counsel the doubtful

3. Admonish sinners

4. Bear wrongs patiently

5. Forgive offences willingly

6. Comfort the afflicted

7. Pray for the living and the dead


In considering our individual gifts and abilities, I like to be guided by the example of the Apostles Peter and John:

"Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, [rise and] walk.” (Acts 3: 6). Peter gave the crippled man a lot. While many of us will not be able to perform such miracle, we can all pray for the needy. Scripture teaches that the effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have. 


The Responsorial Psalm 23 encourages us to trust in the Lord our Good Shepherd who will never let us be wanting of anything we need for ourselves and the extra to do good to our neighbors. 

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose.

Beside restful waters he leads me;

he refreshes my soul." (Psalm 23).


Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Believe God on money.

Feast of Saints Blaise and Ansgar. 


"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have" 


"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.


"Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. 


"Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.


"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you. Thus we may say with confidence:


"The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?


"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13: 1 - 8).


Friday 3rd February in the 3rd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Blaise and Ansgar. It is also the First Friday in February. 


 St Blaise (+316), Bishop and Martyr. St Blaise is famous for the cures through his intercession of diseases of the throat. Hence the blessings of the throat in all Churches in the world during Mass today. I have taken advantage of this grace for many years.

Today is also the feast of St Ansgar (801- 865) Bishop. Born in France, Ansgar ministered in Denmark and Sweden where many miraculous cures were attributed to him.


Our key Scripture for reflection is from Hebrews 13: 1 - 8. This famous Scripture deals with three themes: Marital purity, Hospitality and Money. 


We shall reflect on Money. Of the 7-War Zones in the Christian life: Health, Family, Money, Job, Tools and possessions, Food and Worry about the future, the hardest to submit to the authority of faith is Money. 

"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you. Thus we may say with confidence:


"The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" 


By faith, Saints Blaise and Ansgar believed that God is rich enough to provide all their material and spiritual needs. They left everything behind and followed Jesus into the missionary fields where they spent their lives building a Kingdom that will last forever. 


You and I have the opportunity to embrace the obedience of faith and be freed from the anxieties caused by Mammon. 


Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this First Friday in February 2023.

February 3, 2023  -  First Friday in February. 


Dear friends, what will you do if you know for certain that each of of the 12 Promises of Jesus to the devotees of the Sacred Heart is true? You will feel like a man or woman who has won a lottery. You will say: Merciful God, thank You. Now I can start living. 


Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  HOW:

 BY ATTENDING MASS AND RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION on 9 consecutive First Fridays. 


In the 2nd  month of the year 2023, we look at Promise #2.


#2.  "I will give peace in their families."


Peace in the family is the foundation of health and prosperity. Do not doubt this. Moreover, if there is peace in the family, there will be peace at work and school, peace in the nation and peace on earth! 

What is Peace? Peace is the calmness, tranquility, deep security you feel in the depth of your heart, soul and mind because you know that in spite of the apparent turbulence, All is well.  All is well because Jesus is in control of the world and everything that affects you. You come to appreciate this peace most when civil war is raging in your family, health, finances, job, your possessions and tools. All things  fall apart and the center can no longer hold. Enters the Peace of Christ. 


This is the peace that Jesus promises us today. 


Jesus is our peace. He is the Prince of Peace.  Would you accept today His generous offer of peace in your family? 

Father, in Your will is our peace! 

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, Prayers and Prayer Intentions click the link below:


http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/12-promises-of-sacred-heart-of-jesus.html?m=1


Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com 

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus.

THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD. 


In the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, we have a new opportunity to encounter Jesus anew as the great Light of the World. 


"When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:


“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

"The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,


“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted—and you yourself a sword will pierce—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

"There was also a prophetess, Anna, the ­daughter of ­Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was ­eighty-four. She never left the temple, but ­worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the ­redemption of ­Jerusalem."


"When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him."  (Luke 2: 22 - 40).


Thursday 2nd February 2023 in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. 


Forty days after the Nativity of Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph presented Him in the Temple in obedience of faith. 


Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the holy Prophet Simeon and the Prophetess Anna appeared in the Temple in obedience of faith to bear witness to the faithfulness of God to His promise. 


Brethren, in the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord, let us renew our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar so that we can experience the a transformative encounter with Jesus who is very eager to embrace us with His merciful love. 


Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

By faith, I accepted the Father's discipline.

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." (Psalm 103).

"Brothers and sisters: In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:

"My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.

"Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as his sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

"So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

"Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled."  (Letter to the Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15).

Wednesday February 1st 2023 in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time.

I heard the above Scripture in a Sunday Mass for the first time after tumbling down the mountain top of corporate ladder to the dark hole in the valley. I have never imagined that misfortune can be engineered by God to serve our higher purpose.

So I was happy and delighted to read again at home this glorious message of Abba Father to me, the once prodigal son:
"Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as his sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it."

My response to the Father is best expressed in the Responsorial Psalm 103 of today's Mass:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.

"But the kindness of the Lord is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children’s children among those who keep his covenant." (Psalm 103).

Now consider this question: Where would I be today if not for the residue of grace I received at Baptism? By faith I recognized at once that the Reading from Hebrews that Sunday morning was for me.

You too my friends, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves, He disciplines; He scourges every son and daughter He acknowledges.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, January 30, 2023

The Feast of St John Bosco, Founder of the Salesians.

"We do not go to Holy Communion because we are good; we go to become good..." (St John Bosco).

"When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”

"Jesus went off with him and a large crowd followed him.

"There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

"Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”

"But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, Who touched me?” And he looked around to see who had done it.

"The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.

"Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

"While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”

"Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official,

“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

"He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him.

"Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.

"He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat." (Mark 5: 21 - 43).

Tuesday 31st January 2023 in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St John Bosco (1815 - 1888), Italian Priest. John Bosco is called the "Apostle of Youth." He was a great educator and father to the young. He founded the Salesian School to educate boys and girls.
St John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, young people and Catholic publishers and editors.

The Gospel today from Mark 5: 21 - 43 confirms our reflections in the past few days on the power of faith.

By faith the woman afflicted with hemorrhages touched the hem of the garment of Jesus and was healed instantly.

By faith, Jairus the synagogue official sought out Jesus to heal his daughter who was at the point of death. By faith Jairus believed Jesus when he was told:“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

By faith St John Bosco heard the call of Jesus to be a father and educator to the fatherless and established the Salesian Congregation to educate young boys. By faith the Salesians are today still engaged in this work of faith and labor of love.

Lord Jesus, grant us the faith that moves mountains. St John Bosco, pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Do you know the power of faith?

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

"Brothers and sisters: What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders.

"Women ­received back their dead through resurrection. Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection.

"Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point; they went about in skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented.

"The world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and on mountains, in caves and in crevices in the earth.

"Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect."

Monday 30th January 2023 of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time.

We continue our reflection today on the first Reading: Hebrews 11: 32 - 40. God intended faith to deliver a nuclear-like power to those who believe.

"Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders."

The above paragraph is evidence of the power of faith. All the cited cases happened in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Mary by faith said Yes to become the Mother of God. Simon-Peter, Andrew, James and John left their occupation at once by faith and followed Jesus when Jesus said to them: "Come. Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

In the Christian Era, Saints Paul, Timothy and Titus, Angela Merici, Thomas Aquinas, St John Bosco, etc, heard the call of Jesus Christ and left everything by faith and followed Jesus.

Brethren, without faith, one can not please God and one is condemned to accomplish little or nothing in life.

Faith is a supernatural gift of God. The easiest and most direct way of getting faith is to ask for it. God who is faithful and true promises: "Ask and you shall receive."

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, January 28, 2023

HE chose me.

Why does God choose the weak and poor of the world? Moses, David, Abraham Lincoln, Cyrus, Barack Obama, Popes Benedict and Francis?

"Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.

"Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

"Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.

"It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 1: 26 - 31).

Sunday January 29th 2023 of the 4th week in Ordinary Time.

Brethren, our reflection this Sunday comes from First Corinthians 1: 26 - 31.

We know that as the Baptized, we are the Chosen, Called and Anointed. We are called to be the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. We are called to be priest, prince and prophet. From this same call, you become the salt and light of the world.

But who am I to be called and elevated to so high a pedestal? I have less than a great education. I have next to zero pedigree. I don't consider myself to be a physically strong person. Yet, Christ Jesus chose me, called me and anointed me and I was transformed. I believe and I know that I can do all things because of Jesus Christ who empowers me.
You too my dear friend can claim this truth without hesitation.

Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Rejoice and be glad; your reward will be great in heaven.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, January 27, 2023

Feast of St Thomas AQUINAS OP, PRIEST & DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.

"The things that we love tell us what we are." (St Thomas Aquinas, OP. Doctor of the Church).

"On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.

"A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.

"Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”

"The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

"They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” (Mark 4: 35 - 41).

Saturday January 28th 2023 in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas, OP. (1225 - 1274). Italian. Dominican Priest. Doctor of the Church. He wrote the Summa Theologica and other great books. Apart from being one of the greatest theologians in the Church, Thomas is noted for his humility and holiness.

“Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” This is the apparently exasperated rebuke of the disciples by Jesus.  The disciples had seen signs and wonders performed by Jesus.

Were are the storms in your life today? Family, Health, Finances, Job, Property or Tools?  Or have you nothing to worry about but your future?

All storms are sanctioned by God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence. Because the storms are sanctified, they are blessings and more often than not blessings in disguise.

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

Storm times are testing times.  Where do you place your trust? Who is your security? Who is the first person you call upon to help you?

"My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
in you I place my trust.
I praise the word of God;
I trust in God, I do not fear.
What can mere flesh do to me?"  (Psalm 56: 3 - 5)

The whole of Sacred Scripture teaches one lesson:  Love God with all your heart and put Him first in everything.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."  (Matthew 6: 33 -34)

When we put God and His interests first in our affairs, we experience a state that can be described as "No fear, No Worry, No Doubt."   Because Jesus Himself has promised that:
"Fear is useless; what is needed is trust."  (Luke 8: 50, Mark 5: 36)

As we open our hearts and minds to the word of God with confident trust, we experience the power of faith to rule and calm the furious storms that arise in our lives.

"Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."  (Isaiah 41: 10).

"They cried to the Lord in their distress; from their straits he rescued them, he hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled." (Psalm 107).

God works silent miracles all the time for us. Show appreciation like the sailors. God is very pleased by our gratitude.

"They rejoiced that they were calmed, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness and his wondrous deeds to the children of men." (Psalm 107).

Such lessons from the Scriptures build up our faith. Don't miss them.

Daily Bible Verse @
Seekfirstcommunity.com

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Feast of St Angela Merici, Virgin and Foundress of the Ursulines.

"Do not lose heart, even if you should discover that you lack qualities necessary for the work to which you are called. He who called you will not desert you, but the moment you are in need he will stretch out his saving hand. Strive to be faithful to that which God has called you." (St Angela Merici).

"Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction; at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated. You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.

"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need ­endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

"For, after just a brief moment, he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him. We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life." (Hebrews 10: 32 - 39).

Friday 27th January 2023 in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Angela Merici, (1474 - 1540), Virgin.  Italian. She founded the Ursuline Order, the first women teaching order in the Church. St Angela believed that the formation and education of Christian women is society's greatest investment.
Convinced of this truth, St. Angela Merici founded the Company of St. Ursula,  [Ursulines] a secular institute devoted to educating young women to be Christian wives, mothers, teachers, and catechists. The Ursulines are flourishing today in their teaching ministry.

Our key Scripture for today is from Hebrews 10: 32 - 39. Specifically, we focus on this injunction:

"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need ­endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised."

The Christian life is a warfare. A daily battle with the forces of evil. In this battle like real life battles, there are mountain-top moments and there may be plenty of valleys. How can you fight to win?

#1. Your confidence of victory comes from the word of God. Forget it and you are doomed.
#2. The soldier of Jesus Christ must be imbued with a hardened spirit of endurance. Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without peserverance. The enemy will be coming at you again and again. As one battle ends, he may begin another without pulse.
But your persistence will break the resistance.
#3. Remember that your brethren all over the world are fighting the same battle. (1 Peter 5: 9; 1 Corinthians 10: 23).

You will emerge from the valley stronger and renewed with deeper conviction in:

#1. The just person lives by faith. Faith in the promise of God which can never fail.
#2. A firm conviction that the gracious and mysterious will of God is the best thing for you always, everywhere and in everything.

Armed with this new knowledge, you resolve never again to neglect daily prayer, daily nourishment from the word of God. You commit yourself never to slacken in doing good to your neighbor.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Feast of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops.

Saints Timothy and Titus fanned into huge flame the gift of the Holy Spirit they received on their ordination.

“Jesus said to his disciples:
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”

"He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.

"To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mark 4: 21 - 25).

Thursday 26th January 2023 in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus. Bishops.
Timothy (+ 97). Jewish mother and a Greek father. He was ordained by St Paul as Bishop of Ephesus. He was a disciple of Paul and traveled with Paul in some of his missionary journeys.

Titus (+ 96 or 107). A native of the island of Crete. Ordained Bishop of Crete by St Paul. Both Timothy and Titus had very difficult churches to oversee in Ephesus and Crete respectively.

Brethren, let us consider the last paragraph of today's Gospel:
"To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

I know this teaching is absolutely true because I have experienced it personally in my life and as a catechist. The greatest gift of God to us is the Precious Holy Spirit. Once you activate the Gift in your life, you start to grow in all manner of ways in everything, everywhere, all at once. Beautiful experience.

What if you reject the Holy Spirit by a life of sin without any effort to reconcile with God through the Sacrament of Penance? You start shrinking in  the divine life within you. You will be like a dying 230 pound man who shrunk to about 80 pounds in his last weeks on earth.
The good news is that if you come back to your senses and seek God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you recover your life.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, the Apostle.

“Paul’s conversion matured in his encounter with the Risen Christ, it was this encounter that radically changed his life. What happened to him on the road to Damascus is what Jesus asks in today’s Gospel, Saul is converted because, thanks to the divine light, “he has believed in the Gospel.... ”  (Pope Benedict XVI).

"Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.

"These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16: 15 - 18).

Wednesday 25th January 2023 in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the important feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

Why is the feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul a very important feast in the Church?

#1. Christ Jesus undertook the conversion of St Paul Himself. No delegation of duty. No intermediary. Like all the other Apostles, it was a personal choice, call and anointing.
#2. Paul is the greatest missionary and evangelist in the Church.
#3. Paul wrote most of the New Testament.

What do we learn from the Conversion of St Paul?
#1. We share a vocation with the great Apostle: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16: 15).
#2. People are converted through hearing the testimonies of converted people. Testimony also means witnessing.  This is why autobiographies and biographies are powerful genre of literature. They leverage the power of example and testimony.

It is not an accident that the Conversion of St Paul is repeated three times in the Acts of the Apostles in considerable length. The Holy Spirit is teaching the Church the best practice in Evangelization. Do not hide the blessings of God. Shout them.

"They [converts] only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” So they glorified God because of me." (Galatians 1: 23 - 24).
This powerful example of Paul encouraged the faith of all.

The Church exists for only One Thing: Evangelization. Jesus is appealing to us:

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16: 15).
How do you start?
"You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses..." (Acts 1: 8).
No Holy Spirit, No power. Ask the Lord Jesus with confident boldness for the Gift of the Holy Spirit for Evangelization. And you can start evangelizing right away with your smart phone. Do you have a phone with Internet connection? Do you  have an address book on your phone? Start sharing Scriptures and the blogs you like.

"If there are so few priests in certain places, it is above all because those that are there have forsaken Me in the Sacrament of My love and no longer live in My friendship. Let every priest present himself as a friend of Jesus, and his ministry will soon take on the efficacy and fruitfulness that characterized that of Saint John, of Saint Paul, and of My first apostles. The friend speaks with the authority that only experience can confer." (IN SINU JESU, March 30, 2008 Sunday of Divine Mercy).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Feast of St Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

How do you make important decisions in life? According to Pope Francis in a letter celebrating 400th anniversary of St Francis de Sales whose feast day is today: "Where the greatest love is to be found?"

“The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.

"A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.”

"But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

"And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3: 31 - 35).

Tuesday 24th January 2023 in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622), Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Born in France, he was the Bishop of Geneva where he combatted Calvinism. He founded with St Jane Frances de Chantal the Order of the Visitation Nuns. St Francis de Sales is an accomplished author and the patron saint of authors and journalists.

"Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God."  (Cf Hebrews10:1-10). Mary too lives by the Will of God. So should we her children.
If knowing this truth, you bend to any other will but the Will of God, you are a little lapping dog. Sorry, I am not yet as gentle as St Francis de Sales. I say it as I see it.
Wake up now brethren and let us ask the grace to conform our will to the Will of God. (Cf Romans 12: 2).

Not my will but Thy Will be done O Most Loving and Adorable Father.

St Francis de Sales is patron saint of writers and journalists. He is one of my patron saints. St Francis de Sales pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Let us celebrate life.

As we pray for the legal protection of all life, let us remember that the battle belongs to Jesus. The victory is ours to enjoy.

"The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

"Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.

"But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.

"Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3: 22 - 30).

Monday 23rd January 2023 is  the 3rd Week of Ordinary Time and the Day of Prayer for the legal Protection of Life in the United States.

The scribes filled with envy accused Jesus of being insane. (Mark 3: 30).  Jesus used the opportunity of this drama to teach us the reality of two kingdoms in constant war with each other. Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God. 

Brethren, it is clear that a divided kingdom cannot stand. Can a divided Church stand? NO! Now let us listen to Jesus:
"No one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house."  (Mark 3: 27).

Who has tied up the Church?
The Church tied up itself in nuts when the Church departed from the supreme law of the Kingdom:
"SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND EVERYTHING ELSE WILL BE GIVEN YOU BESIDES." (Cf Matthew 6: 33).

Now the remedy:
Let Bishops seek first the kingdom.
Let priests seek first the kingdom.
Let moms seek first the kingdom.
Let politicians seek first the kingdom.
Let the youth seek first the kingdom.

The Church shall then be united organically. United we stand. Divided we shall surely fall.

The evil of Abortion will be dealt with by Jesus Christ at His own time and manner. The battle is His. We shall enjoy the victory.

To read the irrefutable proof of the Church as the Pillar and Foundation of truth, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2022/01/presenting-truth-of-catholic-church.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Celebrate the Word of God Sunday.

"The statutes of the Lord are true,
all of them just;
More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold,
Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.
By them your servant is warned;
obeying them brings much reward." (Psalm 19: 10 - 12).

Sunday 22nd January 2023 of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the Word of God Sunday.

Below is the way Pope Francis suggests we observe the Word of God Sunday:

*1. Enthrone the sacred text.*
*2. Highlight the proclamation of the Word of the Lord.*
*3. Emphasise the honour due to the word of God in the homily* .
*4. Celebrate the Rite of Installation of Lectors or a commissioning of Readers.*
*5. Provide training for Readers.*
*6. Give a Bible, or one of its books, to everyone.*
*7. Encourage people to read and pray with Scripture daily,* *especially through the practice of Lectio Divina.

I rejoiced when Pope Francis established the Word of God Sunday in 2019 to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. I love Sacred Scripture and Sacred Scripture has loved me back. It has given me joy, peace, hope and wisdom. On the 18th of January 2023, I clocked 6000 reflections on Daily Mass Scripture. Thank You Holy Spirit.

I celebrate the Word of God Sunday with the Responsorial Psalm 27 in today's Liturgy. Why? Because of the incredible promises in this Psalm 27. As mentioned above, Scripture has been good to me and on my part, I am greedy for all God's promises in Sacred Scriptures.

The Responsorial Psalm 27:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

"One thing I ask of the Lord;
this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple.

"I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord."

If you can wait for the Lord for the fullness of time, you will enjoy every one of the promises the Lord inspired you to appropriate and pray for.

Happy Word of God Sunday to all our readers.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Feast of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr.

"Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation, derangement and anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God." (St Padre Pio).

"Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3: 20 - 21)

Saturday 21st January 2023 in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Agnes (+ 304). Virgin and Martyr. Agnes who made a private vow of chastity to Jesus Christ resisted the attempt to force her into marriage. She was martyred at the age of 13. St Agnes is the patron saint of young girls and purity.

When we suffer with Christ, we can then shout with joy when His glory is revealed. No birth pang, no joy of nursing. No trials, no triumph. No cross, no crown.
St Agnes whose feast is today suffered deprivation and martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Today she is enjoying her crown and glory in heaven. Her life is still remembered and celebrated throughout the world. Many churches and schools are named after her.
Our Gospel of today gives us a peek into Jesus very busy ministry: teaching, feeding His hungry followers, healing the sick and casting out demons. The demand on His time and energy is relentless. His relatives had little sympathy for His work routine and
when they heard that the crowd made it impossible for Jesus and His disciples to eat, "they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Do you know that one of the greatest obstacles to following Jesus is: "What will the family say about me? What will the neighbors and colleagues think of me?" They may think that personal failure has driven you into religion, or something worse. Does it really matter what they think?

If you have never met the reproach of walking with and standing up to your faith, then you are a novice. Jesus Christ experienced it. He is the Way, the Truth and Life. What he experienced, be prepared. It might come to you one way or another, sooner or later.

St Padre Pio faced all types of trials as a priest. The numerous spiritual warfare he fought and won helped him to develop immense wisdom. He is still healing and helping many of his clients from Heaven.
“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.” (St Padre Pio).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Feast Saints Fabian, Sebastián and Cyprian.

The martyrs shed their blood for the Lamb of God. We glorify Jesus Christ when we honor them, especially on their feast days.

"Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.

"He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons:

"He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him." (Mark 3: 13 - 19).

Friday 20th January 2023 in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of Pope St Fabian (+ 250). Italian.
* Fabian divided the diocese of Rome into seven diaconates. This facilitated aid to the poor. He suffered martyrdom under Emperor Decius.

* St Sebastian (+ 288). Italian from Milan. Officer in the Imperial Guard under Emperor Diocletian. Martyred when he converted to Christianity.

* Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964). Nigerian. Trappist monk and priest. Beatified in Nigeria by Pope St John Paul II in 1998.

Why do we honor the saints? Jesus is glorified when we honor His saints. Their intercession is powerful.

Our Gospel today from Mark 3: 13 - 19 deals with one theme: the Choice, the Call and the Anointing of the Twelve to be close friends and companions of Jesus Christ. Jesus sent them out as Apostles to continue His ministry until He returns. In the representing of this Gospel today, Jesus is renewing His call to you and me. The Original Twelve are dead. The Gospel still needs to be proclaimed.

Lord Jesus, I have heard Your Call. Grant me the grace to respond generously. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Jesus is still healing today.

“Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.” (St. Teresa of Calcutta).

"Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.

"He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.

"And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3: 7 - 12).

Thursday 19th January 2023 in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time.

"He [Jesus] had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him."

What is it about illness and disease that affect human spirit so profoundly? In the trial of Job (the Book of Job), Satan said to God:
"But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."  (Job 2: 5 NIV).
Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, our bodies are subject to disease and illnesses. They become a football field for the demons.

I read recently of a billionaire who was near death. He was asked: "What do you desire most now?" His amazing answer was: "I want God." That is the right answer. Do not wait until the last minute to discover this wisdom.

Jesus is still healing today. He is still healing body, mind and soul every day and everywhere.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Who is Melchizedek?

"Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; "holy, blameless, unstained," "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross." (CCC 1544).

"Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High,
met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings
and blessed him.

"And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything.
His name first means righteous king, and he was also "king of Salem," that is, king of peace.
Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

"It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.
For it is testified:

"You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 7: 1 - 3, 15 - 17).

Wednesday January 18th in the 2nd week of the Ordinary Time.

Our choice of Scripture is from the first Reading: Hebrews 7: 1 - 3, 15 - 17.

1. Who is Melchizedek, the chief character in the narrative?
2. What is the purpose of the sacred Priesthood?
3. What is the Priesthood of All Believers?
4. What is the ministerial Priesthood?
5. Why is Melchizedek a type of Jesus Christ?
6. Why is Jesus Christ the perfect Priest? A Priest, a Victim and the Altar of Sacrifice?

Brethren, there is so much meat in today's Scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit for light and guidance as you ruminate on the questions above.

You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, January 16, 2023

Feast of St Anthony the Abbot.

“The illusions of this world soon vanish, especially if a man arms himself with the Sign of the Cross.
The devils tremble at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord, by which He triumphed over and disarmed them.” (St Anthony the Abbot).

"Brothers and sisters: God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.

"We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

"When God made the promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you. And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise. Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves; for them an oath serves as a guarantee and puts an end to all argument.

"So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose, he intervened with an oath, so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.

"This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6: 10 - 20).

Tuesday 17 January 2023 of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony, Abbot (251 - 356). Also called St Anthony the Great, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Hermit, Anthony of Egypt.

Anthony inherited vast wealth from his parents who died when he was about 20 years old.
It is said that Anthony
"On his way to church one day, he found himself thinking about the words of Jesus, where He said, "Sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and come follow me." When he got to church, he heard the preacher speaking on those very words. He took this as a message from God for him, so having provided for the care of his sister, he gave his land to the tenants who lived on it, and gave his other wealth to the poor, and became a hermit, living alone for twenty years, praying and reading, and doing manual labor."
St Anthony is called the Father of Monasticism. He died at the age of 105.

Our key Scripture for today is from Hebrews 6: 10 - 20. I am lifted up by how God nourishes us through the Scriptures. As part of the penitential rite of the Liturgy, the priest may say to God: "You give us the consolation of the Scriptures. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy..."

Today God is giving us plenty of consolation from holy Scriptures. An example:

"Brothers and sisters: God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones."

God will never forget any of your prayers or sacrifices on His behalf. Rejoice! Rejoice!

"This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

St Anthony the Abbot pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Jesus Christ is our able and eternal High Priest.

You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

"Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.

"No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him:

"You are my Son: this day I have begotten you;

"just as he says in another place,

"You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

"In the days when he was in the Flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." (Hebrews 5: 1 - 10).

Monday 16th January of the 2nd week of Ordinary Time.

The 1st Reading today from Hebrews 5: 1 - 10 gives me the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the 91st Birthday anniversary of a great friend, priest, teacher, mentor and intercessor. His name is Ugo R of the Society of Jesus. His birthday is today, Monday January 16th.

What do I remember most about him? The over 20 years when his vocation and ministry appeared like  a roller-coaster so to speak. His love for people and sensitivity to Social Justice got him into trouble after trouble with his religious superiors and government after government in countries where he was a missionary. Ugo never quit the priesthood. Like the biblical Job, at the end of about 20 years, it pleased the Lord to restore him. And what a restoration!

At 91 years, Ugo is healthy and active in a number of ministries the Lord has bestowed on him.
I remind Ugo that St Anthony the Great or Anthony the Abbot did not die till he was 105 years. Moses lived till 120.
Happy Birthday to you Ugo. ­čÄé­čî┐­čÖĆ❤️

Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people and bestow your peace on our times. Through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Able and Eternal High Priest. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @. SeekFirstcommunity.com