JESUS IS LORD. ALWAYS!

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