JESUS IS LORD. ALWAYS!

Monday, February 19, 2024

JESUS TEACHES US HOW TO PRAY.

"Jesus said to his disciples:


“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.


“This is how you are to pray:


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6: 7 - 15).

I CANNOT SAY: FORGIVE ME MY SINS AS I FORGIVE THOSE THAT SIN AGAINST ME, IF I CONTINUE TO HARBOR A GRUDGE AGAINST ANYONE. 


"Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who ­trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

 (Matthew 6: 7 - 15).

Tuesday 20th February 2024 in the 1st Week of Lent. 

Jesus teaching on Prayer is without doubt His very best. Why? Prayer is the most important gift of God to His creation. Everyone needs Prayer. Even animals ask God for their food. "All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time." (Cf Psalm 104: 27). 

The absolute necessity of Prayer is summarized by St Alphonsus Liguori thus: If you pray, you will be saved. If you don't pray, you will be lost. 

Our reflection on the Our Father or the Lord's Prayer will focus on Forgiveness. 

Why did Jesus conclude the teaching on Our Father, the Lord's Prayer by stating unequivocally a precondition for the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with the Father?

This is obviously an important theme for Jesus because He taught it in Matthew 18:21–35, which concluded thus: "Then in anger his master handed him [the unforgiving servant] over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”


Reconciliation is crucial to enjoying the privileges of filial adoption. (Our sonship privileges from Baptism).

 A girl who ran away from home and lived a lawless life for a couple of years may be hesitant as she approaches home. The prodigal son understands that there are consequences for vagrancy and knows the importance of Reconciliation.

Many people claim that forgiveness of the other person is hard. Here are some lessons that can help forgiveness:


#1. Forgive at once.


#2. Forgive everyone without discrimination.


#3. Forgive always.


#4. Forgive everywhere.


#5. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Forgive everyone. This step is modeled for us from the Cross.  Jesus forgave in real time those who were killing Him. He did not wait until Easter Sunday when He rose from the dead to forgive.


#6.  Pray everyday for all those whom you have offended, known or unknown to forgive you and set you free.

Jesus Christ invites us to a life of continual conversion so that we can pray Our Father (the Lord's Prayer) with confidence. NEVER FORGET THE SWEETEST WORD IN ALL OF Scripture is in the Our Father Prayer:


"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him."


For Devotional prayer and prayer intentions to the Holy Family, click the link below:


http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-holy-family-devotion.html

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

LOVE YOUR BROTHER. LOVE YOUR SISTER.


"The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.

“You shall not steal. You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another. You shall not swear falsely by my name, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord.


“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer. You shall not curse the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the Lord.

“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly. You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the Lord.


“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove him, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19: 1 - 11-18).


Monday 19th of February 2024 in the 1st Week of Lent.

God is appealing to us in the first Reading today from Leviticus to be holy. 

The child of God must emulate the character of the Father. 

Why do we assume that holiness is impossible for many except a few? This is a big lie of the Devil.


 Jesus teaches that the shortcut to a happy fulfilled life is to make first priority His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything we need will flow to us. Do you realize that righteousness is another word for holiness? Trust in the Divine Providence. 

How do we become righteous or holy? The saints have taught us the secrets since the dawn of Christianity. The simplest formula may be: Embrace God’s gracious and mysterious Will every moment. When you do this, you keep ALL the commandments. 

Start by praying for the desire to embrace God’s gracious and mysterious Will every moment in everything.

St Ignatius Loyola teaches that Desire is the Key to holiness. Desire transforms a man. Desire produces a spiritual kinetic energy that moves you to action. Then in the Last Judgment, you can ask Jesus with a smile on your face:

"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?" (Matthew 25: 37 - 39).

"Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

For Devotional prayer and prayer intentions to the Holy Family, click the link below:


http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-holy-family-devotion.html

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

A GOOD LENT COULD BE A DESERT EXPERIENCE.


"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.


After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee ­proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1: 12 - 15).



Sunday 18th February 2024, 1st Sunday of Lent.


Today's short Gospel from Mark (Mark 1: 12 - 15) is packed with spiritual food.

Let us unpack the key words in our key Scripture for today:


#1. The Holy Spirit: He drove Jesus into the Desert, that is, He compelled Jesus to head to the Desert after His Baptism. 

#2. Desert: A place of spiritual combat inhabited by wild beasts. 

#3. Satan: The principal antagonist who tempts Jesus. Satan is the employer of the wild beasts. 

#4. 40 Days: Critical duration for the Desert experience, the period of the Test, the Struggle. Reminds us of Israel's 40 years in the Desert, Moses and Elijah's 40 days fasting. 

#5. Wild beasts: A symbol of unsavory characters that haunt the "deserts" of this world. The Prodigal Son was in the abode of wild beasts. 

The Temptation of Jesus in the Desert is a key Scripture in Lent to remind us of the real spiritual warfare we are engaged in day after day.


In the early days of my conversion, I heard this Scripture read from the lectern in a Sunday Mass:

I left the Mass that day very happy because I came to understand what was going on in my life. God was not destroying me. He was training me as a son. I emerged from the School of the Desert a couple of years later equipped with the 7-Way Plan to live the Christian life:

Will a Plan help you to organize your life in Christ? 



For Devotional prayer and prayer intentions to the Holy Family, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-holy-family-devotion.html

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com  


Friday, February 16, 2024

MATTHEW AND THE MYSTERY OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.

"Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. 


"Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. 

"The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 

"Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” (Luke 5: 27 - 32).

Saturday 17th February 2024 Saturday After Easter in the Season of Lent. 


“Come and be one of my disciples!”  So Levi left everything, sprang up, and went with him." (TLB Translation). 


The TLB Translation catches the enthusiasm of Levi better known as Matthew. If you have been waiting for a call, an opportunity for a long time, you understand Matthew's reaction. 


A vocation is a sacred call made by God to predestined souls. Usually, the soul would have a premonition that he is born for more. He is in a subdued mood of restlessness till the Teacher shows up. A Chinese proverb says: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."


Jesus sudden appearance at Matthew's Tax Office was not an accident. It was Divine Providence. Matthew, the Tax Collector became the Chronicler of the early Church. He was not perfect. None of the Twelve Apostles was perfect. 

Perfection took a long time in coming. It came through following Jesus every day and watching Him and doing what Jesus did. 



For Devotional prayer and prayer intentions to the Holy Family, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-holy-family-devotion.html

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

THE WORKS OF MERCY PLEASES THE LORD.

This is the fasting that God wants. 

"The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, 

“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” 


"Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9: 14 - 15). 

The Holy Scriptures today speak of fasting. The catechesis of Jesus and Isaiah converge in the question: What is the fasting that pleases God? 


The magesterium of the Church has taught from the very beginning that Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving are the three pillars of the Christian faith. Specifically, the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy cover everything that is required:


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

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

Do this and you will be blessed.

 For Devotional prayer and prayer intentions to the Holy Family, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2024/01/the-holy-family-devotion.html

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com