Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Deuteronomy 31:1-8, Deuteronomy 32:3-4ab, 7-9, 12, Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14


Deuteronomy 31:1-8, Deuteronomy 32:3-4ab, 7-9, 12, Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14


Deuteronomy 31:1-8

My Beloved, the one true way to show You that we love You and honor You is to believe completely in Your promises.  To have no fear but to walk boldly and trustfully knowing that not a hair of our head will be harmed for You are true to Your promises.

This is what Moses wants to remind God's chosen people and he does not want them to ever forget that You, our Lord and our God are true to Your word and loving in all Your deeds.

Verse 6, 7, 8
"Be valiant and strong, do not fear or tremble before them for Yahweh, Your God is with you; He will not leave you or abandon you."
"Be valiant and strong, you shall go with this people into the land which Yahweh swore their ancestors he would give them and you shall give it to them as their possession."
"Yahweh shall go before you. He shall be with you; He shall not leave you or abandon you. Do not fear, then, or be discouraged."

Deuteronomy 32:3-4ab, 7-9, 12

My Beloved, just as God chose the people of Israel from all the nations to be His own and through whom salvation would come into the world, in the same way all of us who are called by Your Name have been chosen by You, and are saved, sanctified and made one with You and with each other.

You are unshakeable, trustworthy, faithful, loving and just.  You know that we are weak and You show us compassion.  My Beloved, every time we falter all we need do is look back and see how good and kind You have always been and how You have seen us through every difficulty and our feet will grow steady once more.

Thank You my Beloved for choosing me as I now choose You as my own forever. 

Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

My  Beloved, every soul is precious in the sight of God and He desires that not one be lost.  We are so precious that if just one soul needed a Savior He would have sent You for that one soul alone. How then do we dare to make distinctions between each other - those of other faiths, cultures, countries and the list goes on ad infinitum, ad nauseam?

God has created each one of us and each soul has been created for eternity with Him. This is why we ought to take our role as missionaries seriously.  Every soul is marked for heaven and I am responsible to get my brother and sister there with me.  We are Your Body, my Beloved and we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Deuteronomy 10:12-22, Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20, Matthew 17:22-27


Deuteronomy 10:12-22, Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20, Matthew 17:22-27


Deuteronomy 10:12-22

My Beloved, You have called me by my name, You have chosen me,  I who am less than nothing and everyone else who is privileged to be baptized.  What do You ask of me in return my Lord?  That I love You more than life, that I remember that of all the people in all the world You looked at me and desired that I belong to You alone.  You who made the heavens both seen and unseen, the many billions of galaxies that are beyond the most powerful telescopes man can invent to peer into the heavens and all that is on this planet belongs to You.  At Your word all things came to be and are sustained.

You who are almighty and all powerful desire the  love of this poor, puny, sinful creature.  You are a God of love, mercy, compassion and justice, You love the widow, the orphan and the stranger and You desire that I imitate You.  I praise You and love You and I will follow You and serve You and love You all the days of my life.  

Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20

You my Beloved are the Prince of Peace and this peace You give to all who belong to You.  All those who deny You my Lord will be constantly at war and terror will dog their footsteps and they themselves will spread only fear, terror and death. But to those who have accepted You, You have give the privilege and the right to call Your Father our Father.  You feed us with the heavenly manna that is Your Body and Blood and we receive life.  Thank You for choosing us to know You, love You and serve You and grant that we may live to make You known and loved everywhere.

Matthew 17:22-27

My Beloved, there are many kinds of death.  There is natural death, there is the death of the soul and then there is a death that we receive because we are Your followers.

You showed us the way and You taught that we ought not to be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul.  Yes, You were put to death because Your Father willed it so that we may be saved.  You lay down You life and You took it up again in three days.

As long as we live in this world we must obey legitimate authority and the laws of the land yet we must never forget that we are choidren of God and citizens of heaven where You are King and we are co-heirs to the Kingdom.

Thank You for revealing in verse 27 Peter's primacy and his place beside You in the Church. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Numbers 13:1-2, 23---14:1, 26-29, 34-35; Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23, Matthew 15:21-28


Numbers 13:1-2, 23---14:1, 26-29, 34-35; Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23, 
Matthew 15:21-28


Numbers 13:1-2, 23---14:1, 26-29, 34-35

To the leaders of the 12 tribes was given the responsibility of going on a fact finding mission.  Their report would decide the fate of their fellow Israelites.  They were   to survey a land already promised to them by God.

On entering they discovered how fertile the land was and how richly blessed by God. They spent 40 days exploring the land thoroughly and returned to give Moses a feedback of all that they had found out about the land that they were to occupy.  All 12 agreed that it was indeed a land of milk and honey just as the Lord had said.  However, instead of focusing on the promises of God they focused on their human limitations and allowed their fears to exaggerate the difficulties and they made the people believe that victory in claiming the promised land for themselves was impossible.  

Fear has a way of spreading its infection rapidly and we begin to lose hope.  The whole community began to wail and lament and pretty soon they were all discouraged and disheartened except Caleb and Joshua who believed in God's promise and His faithfulness.  The wrath of God struck down all above the age of 20 years who had doubted and grumbled because of their lack of faith despite God demonstrating His power mightily to them when He took them out of the land of Egypt and they were to wander in the desert for 40 years until that entire generation of grumblers and whiners had died with the exception of the the families of Joshua and Caleb.

Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23

My Beloved, how long did it take for man to commit his first sin after he was created? In that short span of time humankind was exactly as the Father meant us to be.  Since that first sin, we continue to offend You by our willful disobedience to Your law of love.  We break the cardinal commandment all the time.  We have such short memories my Beloved, so quickly we forget all Your blessings when calamity strikes; even when we are surrounded by Your blessings and our bellies are full, we forget You and begin to sin giving way to sinful passions.

We keep forgetting You and the perfect perfect sacrifice You made to the Father in atonement for the sins of all mankind but You do not give up on us. Thank You for making intercession for us night and day before God.  Thank You for Your faithful love.

Matthew 15:21-28

Verse 21 
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Beloved, You were always on the move not because it was pleasant to be constantly going from one place to another but because You had a mission to a accomplish.  We don't wish to budge from our comfort zone.  We dislike change and grumble or are afraid when change is inevitable.  We would not choose it for ourselves and yet it is imperative for us to understand that we are only pilgrims and the more we move out into mission territory the greater impact we will have for good and to influence others for good in imitation of You.

In today's Gospel reading we see how You are once again presented with a beautiful teaching moment and You being the Teacher par excellence would certainly use it to drive home a very important lesson to those around You and to those will will read this text in Scripture through the ages.

Here is a foreigner - that fact alone puts her outside the circle of those who belong and believe that they have a right to be helped.  The Canaanite woman began to shout and cry out, she recognizes You just as Bartimaeus the blind beggar did and said, "Lord, Son of David, have pity on me!" You heard her cry but unlike Bartimaeus whom You also heard and called, Your response to this woman's heartrending cry for help for her daughter was met with complete and utter silence.  Did it deter her? Of course not! She shouted even louder.  Immediately those around became uncomfortable and embarrassed they wanted You to shut her up and get rid of her just like us my Beloved who call ourselves Christians yet are ready to consign everyone we consider on the outside to hell and damnation forever. We lack compassion, understanding and mercy.  We expect it for ourselves but not for others.

When You did respond, it was certainly not what she wanted to hear.  You put her firmly in her place, outside the circle exactly as those around You wanted to. You rejected her verbally while they rejected her in the courtroom of their minds and from the judgment seat of their hearts without giving her a fair hearing.  But she was a woman of valor, courage, faith hope and above all a mother's fiery and tender love for a child who desperately needed aid.  You knew exactly what her response would be when You said, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs.”  She responded, “It is true, sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Thus You were able to not only commend her faith loudly to all present but You taught us an unforgettable lesson on how we too can approach You and receive what we have asked.  You also taught us that no one is excluded from the mercy, compassion and love of God.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 Peter 1:16-19, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9; Luke 9:28b-36



Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; 2 Peter 1:16-19, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9; Luke 9:28b-36

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

My Beloved, those who have had visions of heaven like the prophet Daniel try their best to express what is inexpressible in words   The wonder, the awe, the majesty are beyond human experience.

The One of Great Age is God of course who is beyond time, who is eternal.  His throne is flames, the wheels a blazing fire, before Him fire springs forth, a sanctifying fire.  Before Him are a multitude of angels who serve Him and all those who are saved by the Blood of the Lamb.  A countless multitude stand before Him as they behold the beatific vision.

Daniel then saw You riding on a cloud, our resurrected Lord, brighter than the noonday sun standing in the Presence of Your Father and receiving the reward for Your perfect, obedient submission to His will.  The prophet concludes with what all the living will offer You.  14 Dominion, honor and kingship were given him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; his kingdom will never be destroyed.

2 Peter 1:16-19

What Daniel saw in a vision came to be pass a long, long time later and many years after the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, Peter James and John witness this in truth in the transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor.  They saw the Beloved glorified Christ in the presence of Moses and Elijah priest and prophet and the voice of the Father was heard confirming that His Beloved Son is the one chosen to be the means of salvation for the whole world.

Peter, James and John who belonged to the inner circle and were the Beloved's closest companions are reliable witnesses who saw Him as He really is and they testify to us what they had seen in order that we too may believe.  
19 Therefore, we believe most firmly in the message of the prophets which you should consider rightly as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the break of day, when the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

We worship and adore You almighty God and we exult in the knowledge that all sovereignty, authority and power belong to You. We rejoice because You are a God of mercy and justice.  You rule all creation with fairness unlike humans. We have seen Your glory and majesty and we believe in the testimony of those who have seen.

There is no god like our God to Him be glory, honor and praise forever.

Luke 9:28b-36

My Beloved, of the 12 You chose three of Your disciples into a deeper, closer intimacy with Yourself and when You wanted to go to the top of Mount Tabor to pray, You invited them to go with You.  It was here that the event of Your transfiguration took place when Your divinity radiated intensely through Your human body.  Peter, James and John saw You as You are, God and Man. This experience was necessary in order to increase and strengthen their faith and to give them hope after You were arrested, and entered into Your passion leading to Your crucifixion and death on the Cross.  

Moses and Elijah appeared to You to speak to You about Your passion and to strengthen You for the terrible sacrifice of Your life that was to come. This memory of Your supernatural glory would stay with them, comfort and give them the necessary strength needed after witnessing Your ignominious death on the Cross.  These witnesses to Your glory have left their testimony that You are the Christ, the only Son of the Living God Beloved of the Father who ardently desires that we His adopted children  should listen to You and obey.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Numbers 11:4b-15, Psalm 81:12-17, Matthew 14:13-21


Numbers 11:4b-15, Psalm 81:12-17, Matthew 14:13-21


Numbers 11:4b-15

My Beloved, so often we forget that we are both body and soul.  We get so caught up with the needs of the flesh and its appetites and cravings, we get so involved in doing everything in our power to pampering and catering to them in order to satisfy what is insatiable because the more we give into them the more they will return demanding more.

If we give in soon the loud demanding clamor of the flesh will drown out the desires and the needs of the soul that longs to be united with Your Spirit.  We need to pay greater attention to the soul's desires to be fed, nourished and filled with You and Your love and truth.

Moses was right, it was impossible for a mere man to carry the burden alone. He could not love as You love, with the passionate, all consuming, all encompassing love of a Father, Mother, Brother, Protector, Beloved, Spouse, Guide and Friend.  You choose to love as as You do, You desire to conceive us and carry us and nurse us and teach us.  The burden is never too much for You because You love Your poor, sinful, weak creatures too much.

Thanking You for doing all that it took, even to Your dying in order that we may live.

Psalm 81:12-17

Verse 14-17

14 If only my people would listen,
if only Israel would walk in my ways,
15 I would quickly subdue their adversaries
and turn my hand against their enemies.
16 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their panic would last forever.
17 I would feed you with the finest wheat

and satisfy you with honey from the rock.”

These beautiful verses continue to be You lament over us my Beloved because we are hardhearted, cold and foolish.  You have a covenant with us and if we would only return Your love You would deliver us from the snares of the enemy.  In our folly we continue to dally daily with the devil instead of clinging to You who are ready to feed us and nourish us and strengthen us at the Banquet of Love where You give Yourself to us as our Food and Drink at every worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Matthew 14:13-21

My Beloved, when You heard of the death of Your cousin John, the precursor, You wanted to withdraw and be alone.  The time had come to begin Your mission and You naturally wanted to be alone with Your Father but the people were always clamoring for Your attention giving You no rest.  The more You gave the more they desired.  The ever present crowd were to be found with their sick, in both body, soul and spirit and they cried out to be touched and healed and consoled.  Their needs always moved You to tenderness and to action in order to alleviate their misery and suffering.

Our reaction to our fellow human beings is so different from Yours as we see in verses 15 & 16 .  We want to send the crowds always but You desire that we do something to help.  Often we believe we have no resources at all but You invite us to take another look and we find that we have some negligible  ineffectual scrap that we think is too insignificant to be of much use.  But You are God and You take the little we have t give and united it with Your help and we find that You are able to feed a multitude with plenty left over.

Keep me Lord ever focused on You and Your power to do the impossible with my poor, little offering of 2 loaves and 5 fish and there will be more than enough if I will only believe.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23, Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11, Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17, Luke 12:13-21



Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23, Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11, Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17,
Luke 12:13-21

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

My Beloved, verse 2 is a timely reminder that everything in the world is ephemeral. Nothing will last, like the wild flowers in the field that bloom a while and then dies, dries, crumbles and becomes dust.

We must separate human activity which feverishly desires more and more of what the world can offer and the activity that involves spending time in studying the faith, growing in the wisdom of knowledge of God and contemplating His Eternal Word.  There is no comparing the two at all for the first is worthless and the second will assist us in our journey to the Kingdom.

All the events in our life are not meaningless if we accept them in the light of the Cross.  Everything is truly worthless and meaningless if it is not done and lived in union with You.

Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

My Beloved, every Christian baptized in You is a new creation.  He has risen to life in You and is grafted on to Your Body.  Because this is true we have to stop grubbing about in the dirt and lift our entire being to spiritual things - they satisfy our hunger and slake our thirst in a way that is lasting.

Every Christian worthy of bearing the name will one day share in Your glory.

Every unruly passion must be nailed to the Cross in order in order for the Holy Spirit to give us what we need.  

Verse 9 "Do not lie to one another." Lies trip of our tongue and our lives are so often a blatant contradiction to what our lips say making us colossal liars.  It is time we ceased such deceit and as committed believers and followers robe ourselves in You, my Lord and my God.

Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 1

My Beloved, it is You alone who gives life it's sweetness and fragrance, its pleasure and its joy. With You life is beautiful even if it is filled with sorrows and hardships for You deign to yoke Yourself with us and thus all things are made easier to bear.

Time is fleeting and the years go by in a flash.  Soon we will stand on the threshold of eternity may this knowledge kindle in us a desire to grow in wisdom and knowledge of all that is true, good and beautiful.  Fill us each morning with Your love and bless us in the evening of our life.  Stay with us Lord and remain with us until journey's end.

Luke 12:13-21

Verse 15
15 Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”

Help me Lord to stand guard against anything that would create a barrier between You and I.  It is easy to get fascinated with all the fancy, pretty, clever toys the world dangles before our eyes.  Precious time that ought to be used purposefully is frittered away and lost forever.  We gain nothing from such useless pastimes and yet we have a wanton craving for the things of earth and we are in blissful ignorance of our spiritual poverty and destitution.

Time is short eternity never ends.  The time to set my course heavenward is now before it is too late.

Leviticus 1, 8-17, Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8, Matthew 14:1-12


Leviticus 1, 8-17, Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8, Matthew 14:1-12

Leviticus 1, 8-17

God's law is perfect for it is a law of love.  We must live on earth as exiles and pilgrims; no clinging to any created thing lest we begin to believe we are citizens of earth rather than of heaven.

A jubilee year makes restoration of all that was bought or sold from another whether land, houses or slaves.  A jubilee year is a holy year, it is  time of receiving once again our inheritance which was lost.

Jesus is our Jubilee, He gives us back that which we had sold over to another.  He purchased it by His Blood and now we belong wholly to Him alone.  He is our birthright through the waters of Baptism and He is our Inheritance through His Passion, death and Resurrection.

Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8

My Beloved, You are the Light of the world and in Your Light we see light.  The light of Truth, Beauty and Goodness emanate from You and are received by all who walk in the Shadow of Your Presence.

Matthew 14:1-12

My Beloved, how many of us would have the courage to stand up before those in power, who are leading immoral lives and tell them unequivocally that they are living in sin and must repent.  John the Baptist dared to stand up to King Herod and named his sin to his face and this was not the first time.  The enraged Herod put him in chains and consigned him to a dungeon.  Herod was living openly in sin with his brother's wife Herodias.  She enjoyed all the trappings of a queen and hated John with that vicious kind of hatred that only a truly evil, sinful, unrepentant woman can hate.  She sought to destroy.  Patiently she waited for the right moment to strike and spit her venom.  Alert and ready she found the perfect opportunity when Herod was drunk at a lavish party he threw for his birthday.  Salome danced before him and his guests and the besotted, befuddled man who was king lost his last shred of decency when with loud oaths he vowed to give her anything she asked for even if it were half his kingdom.

Herodias had her opportunity at last and she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, it was a warning to anyone who dared to mess with her.  Herod suddenly became stone cold sober at the request of Salome who at the bidding of her mother made her ghoulish demand.  In order to save face he gave her what she asked for even though he knew quite well that he was committing murder.

No harm can come to us if God does not permit it.  Nor a hair of our head can be touched if God does not allow it. Persecution will come to those who preach the world boldly and fearlessly and to these is guaranteed a place in the Kingdom of God.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37, Psalm 81:3-6, 10-11, Matthew 13:54-58


Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37, Psalm 81:3-6, 10-11, Matthew 13:54-58


Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37

A holy assembly is a gathering of the people of God, His Church. 

God desires that we celebrate Him and His love as feast days as we recall His faithfulness and His love for us.

The Day of the Lord is a day of rest in the bosom of God. Six days we labor for bread for our body but on the seventh day God desires to become Bread for our soul to strengthen us for the week ahead.  He desires us to spend the day away from things, places and people that distract us and He wants us to walk with Him beside green pastures and rest with Him beside clear streams of living water so we an be refreshed and energized so we can take up the mundane routine of the week again with renewed vigor.  God commands this from us it is not optional.

Psalm 81:3-6, 10-11

My Beloved, music is an integral part of worship.  It helps us to worship and adore God by bringing to life our senses and our entire being with the desire to offer the Creator the best of ourselves.  It helps to express our sorrow for the sins we commit.  Music has the power to kindle our longing for God's presence and it enables our soul to soar to the highest heavens where the cherubim, seraphim and choirs of angels sing God's praises unendingly.

The greater our hunger and thirst for the divine the more will God pour Himself into us through His Holy Spirit.

Matthew 13:54-58

My Beloved, our lack of faith can actually curtail God's power to work miracles in our lives.  No wonder people who indulge in self-pity and wallow in their circumstances will not allow themselves to believe that God can actually lift them from the mire in which they are stuck.

Coming home after a period of time should be a joyful experience, it is a homecoming.  The people we love and freq up with are there yet often it is not so especially when people who have remained behind see how you've changed and grown and are so much more confident.  So different from the person they once knew.  They compare you to who you once were and if you had humble beginnings they are secretly jealous that you have become so successful.  They look down on you and look for ways to pull you down instead of celebrating you.Just as they refused to let go of the mold in which their past remembrances of you was cast.

It takes courage, generosity of spirit, humility and above all love for Truth to readjust our old opinions and see them in the present light rather than bind and restrict and hem them in our old memories of them in the past.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38, Psalm 84:3-6a, 8a, 11, Matthew 13:47-53



Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38, Psalm 84:3-6a, 8a, 11, Matthew 13:47-53


Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38

My Beloved, in the Ark of the Covenant was placed the 10 Commandments written by the Finger of God, a jar of manna, bread from heaven provided to feed the Israelites in the desert and the budding rod of Aaron.  The Ark was made according to the precise and elaborate instructions given to Moses by God Himself.  Only the finest wood, the purest gold and silver and the finest cloths were used.  The best craftsmen worked on it to fashion its woodwork and carvings, to make the intricate designs in gold, bronze and silver.  The bowls and basins were made of the finest quality for God deserves the best that our human hands can offer.

Once the Ark was ready the power of the Most High overshadowed it in a cloud of glory and rested on it.  The whole Tent was filled with His Holy Presence which remained with the people until their wandering in the desert ended.  In the night a fire shone in the cloud providing light, keeping at bay the things that prefer to lurk in the dark.

The Ark of the New Covenant was also carefully prepared but this one was created and fashioned by God Himself.  She was chosen and fashioned so exquisitely that she was the flower of His creation. In the fullness of time and after she lovingly submitted to the will of the Father, God's power overshadowed her and the Holy Spirit who is the Fire of Divine Love came upon her and she conceived the Eternal Word of God in her womb.  The Ark was her virginal, immaculate body which gave a Body to the Son of God and He became the Son of Man as well. He will accompany us in our exile here on earth and will take us safely to our journey's end. 

Psalm 84:3-6a, 8a, 11

My Beloved, there is no place in all the world that is as beautiful as the place where You make Your home.  When You come to reside in our hearts and make it a temple of the Holy Spirit we can approach You at any time to worship, adore and lovingly unite ourselves to You.  In this loving union we are strengthened and refreshed and we are able to go out into the world sustained by Your love.

The disciple can lay her head on Your breast and be perfectly content and happy for she possesses all things when she possesses You.

Matthew 13:47-53

My Beloved, through the parables You give us insights into what the Kingdom of God is like.  All are invited to eternal and blissful union with You however not all accept the invitation. No one is saved by force but by freely choosing to be saved in the way that God the Father planned in  His wisdom and love.  "Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friend."

Yet, if one has never heard of You but is still living by the Law of Love then You who are the only judge will decide whether they will enter the Kingdom or not. But those who are worthless, those who have only grubbed on the surface and sated their appetites at the expense of all that is good, true, noble, holy and beautiful will find that by choice they are left in the outer darkness eternally.