Saturday, January 14, 2023

Behold the Lamb of God.

The Holy Spirit came and rested on Jesus. That is the Sign. The fullness of time is here.

"John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”

"John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” (John 1: 29 - 34).

Sunday January 15th in the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time.

In the Gospel of this Sunday, three personalities in salvation history are presented to us.
St John the Baptist whose mission is to prepare the people for the coming of Christ at the appointed time. John fulfilled this mission through calling the people to repentance and a return to the ways of the Lord. The symbol of that metanoi is acceptance of the water Baptism.

In the fullness of time, Jesus appeared in the River Jordan and asked to be baptized by John. John recognized who Jesus is and protested that he is not worthy to administer Baptism to Jesus.
Don’t worry Johnny. Go ahead and baptize. The Father's providential plan must be adhered to.

After the Baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit confirms that Jesus is truly the Son of God, the expected Messiah. "On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit Baptism is what makes the sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, priests, princes and prophets. From this Baptism, we receive our vocation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to live out this vocation. As we are led by the Spirit, we start to manifest the fruits of the Spirit. People notice the transformation in us and desire what we have.

The Mission and the Goal of the Church is Evangelization. The Holy Spirit is the Source and power of Evangelization.
Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of Your faithful. Kindle in us the fire of Your divine love.

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Friday, January 13, 2023

Divine Providence in the Choice and Call of Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist.

The Choice, Call and Anointing of St Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist is a good example in the workings of Divine Providence.

"Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.

"As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus.

"While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.

"Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

"Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Mark 2: 13 - 17).

Saturday 14 January 2023 of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time.

The Pharisees were scandalized to see Jesus in table fellowship with a large group of sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. The Pharisees not known to hold back their judgment on moral failure were quick to pass judgment and condemn Jesus. There are a number of teaching points in this situation, but let us  consider the workings of Divine Providence.

Our life in Christ is never about what we do or are doing at any time. It is about what Jesus is doing in us. I learned this great truth in the last Week of Advent 2022. There was a long preparation in study and prayer before this truth sank in. Many thanks to the
Eucharistic theology of the Benedictines. They teach: 
After Holy Communion, SHUT UP and give Jesus the opportunity to do all He cares to do in you. It is Jesus in you through the Eucharistic species that wants to transform you.

The first application of this insight is the way I record my daily Journal. Before this point, my daily Journal records the highlights of the day. Example: I attended the noon Mass at St John, I bought fruits at Aldi. I received from Mary TRUSTING GOD IN THE PRESENT by Father Jacques Philippe. It goes on and on day after day. I I I I and I.

What changed at the end of Advent?

Everything I experienced in the course of the day is the ACTION of Jesus on me. Example: Jesus led me St John for the noon Mass. He made me experience a happy moment at Aldi where I got fresh fruits, etc.

My daily Journal is the daily record of what God is doing in my life. No longer IIIIII...

Our Gospel of today is the Choice and Call of Matthew also known as Levi.
"As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus." The initiative and action is Always by Jesus.  
This is Divine Providence in action Not Chance.

Jesus has shown and said that He is not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters. He knows who we are and the stuff of which we are made. Remember the Genealogy of Jesus Christ Son of David? That's the whole point. He came to redeem and save His kith and kin.

If Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother and sister. Do not be ashamed to call Him your Lord.

I live by the promises of Jesus. Jesus expects me to trust His Promises, His Providence, Plan, Purpose, Design, Blueprint for my life.  I am learning to do this one event, one place at a time. It is an exciting learning experience. St Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist and Recorder aid me with your intercession.

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Feast of St Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

“There is no space where God is not; space does not exist apart from Him. He is in heaven, in hell,
beyond the seas; dwelling in all things and enveloping all. Thus He embraces and is embraced by, the universe, confined to no part of it but pervading all.” (St Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

"When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

"They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

"Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

"Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?

"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”—he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

"He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2: 1 - 12).

Friday 13th January 2023 in the 1st Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of St Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
(315 - 368). French.
Why is France called the eldest daughter of the Church? Look at the dates of St Hilary and you will see why. Before 315 AD, the Church hierarchy already existed in France.

Hilary is remembered in history especially for these reasons:
#1. Hilary helped us understand and profess the Divinity of Jesus Christ. This is contained in the Nicene Creed.
#2.  He worked to undermine the Arian heresy which had plagued the Church for a long time.
#3. Hilary developed an authoritative doctrine on the Holy Trinity.
#4. He helped the Church understand the deeper significance of the Incarnation.

Hilary understood that bad theology inevitably leads to heresy.

Is it easier to heal the body or the soul, asks Jesus in our Gospel for today.

How do you reckon with sin?
"She [Mary] will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Mary's Son will be named Jesus (Yeshua, that is Savior) because He will save His people [us] from sin.

In our key Scripture for today, we see Jesus answer the challenge of the lawyers as to His power to forgive sin. The background of the story is the crippled man lowered from the ceiling to the presence of Jesus. Jesus could have commanded the man to stand up and go home. But instead He said: “Child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2: 5).
Why did Jesus do this? Perhaps to teach that there is a connection between Sin, Suffering and Salvation.

The doctors of the law who challenged Jesus believe that the authority to forgive sins belongs to God alone. Jesus answered them by saying: I will prove to you that as Messiah, I can forgive sins by healing this crippled man. “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”  He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone." (Mark 2: 11 - 12).

Jesus dealt first with the root and source of illness.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world knows more than anyone the intricate connection between Sin, Suffering and Salvation.

Every Sunday, we repeat in the Creed:
"I believe in the forgiveness of sins."
There is no salvation without the elimination of sin. Sin is the one cancer that blocks the benefits of salvation in our lives. When Jesus appeared to His disciples in the Upper Room after His Resurrection, He first said to them: "Peace be with you." Then He said: "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20: 23). Thus Jesus gave us the great gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession or Penance.

Let us pray through the intercession of St Hilary Poitiers to learn the truths of our faith and express it in gentleness and works of charity.

Daily Bible Verse @

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

How does Jesus touch us in the Eucharist?

"The Eucharist is the bread that gives strength... It is at once the most eloquent proof of His love and the most powerful means of fostering His love in us. He gives Himself every day so that our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful." (St  Damien of Molokai, the Leper Priest).

"A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”

"Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

"The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

"Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

"The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.” (Mark 1: 40 - 45).

Thursday 12th January 2023 of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time.

Below is an interesting rendition of our key Scripture for today.
"On one occasion, a leper came and threw himself down in front of Jesus, pleading for his healing, saying, “You have the power to heal me right now if only you really want to!” (Mark 1: 40 TPT).

Note the following:
The leper threw himself down in front of Jesus. A gesture of worship. He did not just ask but pleaded for his healing. Then the punchline:
“You have the power to heal me right now if only you really want to!” An act of faith.

Let us make some observations from what we have learned about Jesus from the Gospels:

#1. Jesus is always ready to do good.
#2. Jesus heals everyone who comes to Him in faith.
#3. Jesus did not heal all the lepers in Israel. He healed only those who come to Him. Ask and Receive.
#4. The Bible teaches: "The nearer you go to Jesus, the nearer He comes to you." (Cf James 4: 7-8,10).
#5. What will happen if you pray with the same desperation and faith of the leper?
#5. If today you hear Jesus speaking to you, harden not your heart. (Cf Psalm 95).Remember the leper heard about Jesus and believed what he heard and got up to search for Jesus.

Conclusion: Nobody who comes to Jesus is turned away. Seek out Jesus today with expectant and confident faith and He will heal you.

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Prayer is the Key to a Happy life and death.

"Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness."
(St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church).

"On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.

"Simon’s ­mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

"When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

"Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

"Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee." (Mark 1: 29 - 39).

Wednesday 11th January 2023 of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time.

Our key Scripture for today reveals something of the habit and prayer life  of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus taught a great deal about Prayer. He called Prayer a vital necessity. Jesus taught us to pray with expectant faith, with persistence and humility. Prayer is key to the life of faith. St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church says that if you pray, you will be saved. If you do not pray, assume that you are lost.

How is your prayer life? Let us consider 3 points:

#1. Time of Prayer:
For Jesus, we see that His sacred time for prayer is early in the morning. First thing in the day. Note that not when it is convenient.

#2. Place of Prayer:
Our Guide to Prayer, Jesus does not pray in the marketplace, Starbucks Café or restaurant. Jesus goes to an isolated place where He can be alone with His Father without distraction and interruption.

#3. Prayer Intention:
Jesus prays a lot for His ministry and His followers. This is His persistent sacred intention in Prayer. "Father, I pray for those You have given Me..."

We can learn something from the prayer habits of Jesus to bless our prayer life. The Bible teaches us to:

#1. Pray always.
#2. Pray everywhere.
#3. Pray about everything.

This is the habit of Prayer of Saints. If we can pray like Saints, our faith will grow; our mental life will be healthy. We will be able to overcome most of the trials that life hurls at us.

Daily Bible Verse @

Are you Ready for Spiritual Warfare?

"Sin is the assassin of the soul."
(Saint John Vianney).

"Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.

"The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

"In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

"Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

"All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. (Mark 1: 21 - 28).

Tuesday 10th January 2023 of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time.

What do you know about demonic attacks and spiritual warfare? Our key Scripture for today gives us the opportunity to reflect on these important realities of Christian life and experience. If you are ignorant of these facts, you may accuse yourself of spiritual malpractice against yourself. What does Scripture say about this? A couple of examples:

#1. "For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens." (Ephesians 6: 12).
Discernment of Spirits can help pinpoint the source and cause of your problem.

#2. "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5: 8).

Satan, Devil, Demon, Evil Spirit has been a force of contention for mankind since the Fall of Adam and Eve.
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” They know Jesus. They know who you are.

The Church has contended with demons since Jesus said to Peter:
"He [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

How do you protect yourself from demonic attacks or engage in spiritual warfare? The Church has taught a number of strategies which have been helpful to people.

#1. Prayer: Exercise your vigilance through constant prayer. Watch and pray that you do not enter into spiritual combat.
#2. Scripture: When Jesus was in the desert facing off the Devil in spiritual warfare, He used Scripture three times to defeat Satan thrice. Ignorance of the word of God is one of the greatest problems of Christians.
#3. Use the Sacraments frequently especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These Sacraments are the heavy weapons in our spiritual arsenal.

"The weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10: 4 - 5).
#4. Do not neglect Sacramentals. Example: holy water, crucifix, bible,  chaplet/Rosary, holy pictures, Name of Jesus. If an enemy enters your house and sees these weapons of spiritual combat, the evil spirit may do a tactical withdrawal without engaging in combat.

If you are faithful to the above battle tested strategies from the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the Church, you may never avoid spiritual warfare but you will win most battles and prove to yourself that these means are effective.

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, January 08, 2023

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

"The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic." (St Augustine).

"Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

"Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

"Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3: 13 - 17).

Monday 9th January 2023 is the great feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

"I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.” (Mark 1: 8).

John the Baptizer bore witness to Jesus as the expected Messiah who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1: 8). Who is the Holy Spirit and why is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit the ultimate Christian experience?

#1. The Holy Spirit is the Big Gift. The Free Gift.

#2. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of joy and consolations.  A rich experience of joy and consolations await us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

#3. "The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5: 6).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who leads us to all the truth about the person and work of Jesus the Christ.

The Baptism of Jesus launches His mission. Our Baptism with the Holy Spirit should similarly launch our mission. This is because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Mission and the Mission is Evangelization. The Church exists for only one purpose: to evangelize. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to accomplish this Mission.

Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Yes. At your Baptism. The grace of the Holy Spirit we received at Baptism was strengthened or confirmed in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

What if you say: I have been baptized and confirmed but I don't experience the joy and consolations of the Holy Spirit. Why? There could be two reasons:

#1. Activate the Holy Spirit in you. Like a new credit card, you need to activate it before you can start to use it. How do you activate the Holy Spirit?
Ask with expectant faith for the Holy Spirit to come to you and become active in you.
You can make a 9 Day Novena to increase your desire and preparation. There are many websites on the internet with Holy Spirit Novena templates.

#2. The second reason why you may not experience the promised joy, peace and comforts of the Holy Spirit is Sin. Any unconfessed sin will block the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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