Sunday, August 31, 2014

, Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, Matthew 16:21-27


Jeremiah 20:7-9, Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, Matthew 16:21-27

Jeremiah 20:7-9

My Beloved, having yielded to Your will and having given my life to You who loved me even unto death on the Cross, grant that I may return that love with all the love and passion I am capable of.

Help me not to count the cost for it is as nothing compared to the future You have in store for all who are faithful.

Those who belong to the world will always corn and ridicule the Way that leads to life.  Help us not to be afraid of being persecuted and mocked for it is better to obey and fear God than men.  Beloved Jesus, let there be a fire in my whole being if I should refrain from living the Gospel.

Romans 12:1-2

My Beloved, it is so difficult not to be shaped by the world and conformed to it for we are being bombarded by its demands and its aggressive intrusion into every area of our lives.  It takes great moral courage to refrain from being dragged into the mire of popular opinion, fashion, morals and tastes which is the way of death.  But You have shown us a better way - a life of sacrifice is a life that is pleasing to You as it is a life that satisfies, fulfills and brings with it joy and peace.

Our lives can only be transformed if we yield completely to grace received through the Sacraments.  How do we renew our mind?  By exposing it to the light of wisdom in Your Word and the teachings of the Church.  In order to discern You will, I need to be filled by Your Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who is my Comforter and Guide - He will lead me into the Truth.

Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9

My Beloved, You are my God, I belong to You.  It is You I need, You I long for.  It is for You along that I am hungry and thirsty.  I am like a land that is arid and parched and my whole being yearns for You as dry land longs for water.  I look at You my Beloved and I am satisfied for You return my look of love and longing with so much greater ardor than mine/  My Lord it is better to die loving You than to live long without knowing You and experiencing Your great love.

All my days I will recall the many blessing You have granted me and i will sing your praises with a heart filled with joy.  Thank You for feeding me with the heavenly manna that gives me strength on my journey in this valley of exile and tears.

You are my help and I cling to You safe in the knowledge that no harm can come to me when I am close beside You.

Matthew 16:21-27

Sin inevitably brings suffering but not all suffering is due to sin.

Sin is separation from You my Beloved who are all good and deserving of all my love and when I am separated from You, life loses its meaning, purpose and savor.

After Peter declared You to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God and You commended him declaring that only God could have revealed this truth to Him, You began to reveal Your mission.  It entailed suffering and death, but You also spoke of rising again on the third day.

Suffering is never welcome or easy under any circumstances and so Peter, speaking in the flesh took You aside and chided You for speaking about such an uncomfortable subject.  However, You knew that this was Your Father's will which is in direct opposition to what Satan wills.  Suffering is a part of our mission if we are to take it seriously.

Following You leads straight to the Cross, there is no getting away from it.  We are called to preach a crucified Christ for it is through the Cross alone that we are saved.  I too am invited to pick up my cross daily and follow You.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Psalm 33:12-13, Matthew 25:14-30


1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Psalm 33:12-13, Matthew 25:14-30

The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole race of mortals.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

My Beloved, never for a moment must we forget that all we have received and have is a gift freely given by You.  We merit nothing on our own.  You call, You choose and You give all that is necessary.  

It has always been God's way to choose the small the weak, those whom the world considers the least He uses to accomplish great things so it must be acknowledged that it God who is at work in and through them.  All glory is to be directed to God alone who is the Source and Giver of grace.  Therefore my Beloved, if all turns out well despite the greatest odds, we know that You are at work, You make the difficult possible. No problem is insurmountable with Your help.  

I am nothing Lord, use me for Your glory. Let me always be yielded to You in every way so in me You will always find a yes and amen.  Keep me humble and aware that it is not I but You in me that is always at work for God glory.

Psalm 33:12-13

My Beloved, from Your throne in heaven You look down upon this earth that You have redeemed and saved.  You watch over Your own, the ones called by Your Name.  Those who love and trust You are filled with grace.  Those who place their hope in You receive Your loving kindness day by day.  You deliver them from sin and You preserve them from spiritual hunger as You feed them with Yourself.

We look to You for help, comfort and protection, to shield us from the wiles of the enemy. Those who trust you are never disappointed.  We rejoice in Your love and rest in it in safety.

Matthew 25:14-30

My Beloved, You have given us all that we need to strive to be perfect and holy.  All the riches of grace is  ours to draw upon and we have a divine mandate to bring the good News to as many as we can during the course of our earthly existence.  You have not only chosen us but equipped us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We each are given different gifts according to our ability.  You do not expect more from us than we can deliver keeping this in mind we need not be discouraged nor ought we to envy anyone who has gifts that we don't.

We must answer the call to be disciples promptly, obediently and diligently and we will find that we are fruitful.  Our joy is in pleasing God who appreciates all we do and rewards us generously.

The Christian who is lazy, indifferent and careless - unmindful and uncaring of the seriousness of the call to discipleship received in baptism, who neglects spiritual growth and grows callous, will make all kinds of excuses and will even go to the lengths of accusing God for his failure to do God's will.  He loses everything for willfully ignoring God's call.  

Even the least we have done will be acknowledged by God but when we fail to do even that we condemn ourselves to eternal damnation.  The reward given to those who have been faithful will be far generous than anything they could ever have imagined.

Help me to be faithful Lord, help me to use the gifts small as they are for Your glory and to draw many closer to You through them.  Thank You!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Jeremiah 1:17-19, Psalm 71:1-6, 15 & 17, Mark 6:17-29



Jeremiah 1:17-19, Psalm 71:1-6, 15 & 17, Mark 6:17-29

Jeremiah 1:17-19

My Beloved, in these verses God calls the prophet to do His work it is the call given also to St. John the Baptist whose beheading by king Herod the Church recalls today.  The same call is give to all whom You desire to serve You as Your disciples.

It is the call to arms, the call to action, the call to put away self and to rise up and serve.  You will provide the words that need to be spoken.  You will grant the grace and the strength all You require from us is our availability.  If we refuse then woe to us.  With You fighting beside us we are invincible, with You justice w ill prevail.  

You have call me to serve.  Here I a Lord, do with me as You will.

Psalm 71:1-6, 15 & 17

My Beloved, only You can be trusted to deliver justice to all.  In all my years, from the moment I was conceived, I have known You as my refuge, my help and my deliverer.  You are my Rock, built upon You I cannot be moved but stand firm in Your strength.  I hide in You and I am safe.  Only my own wickedness can destroy me.  Deliver me Lord from the temptations of the flesh.  I place all my hope and trust in You confident of Your mighty protection.  May I praise You always as I recall Your saving help.  Grant me wisdom, understanding and knowledge so that I may speak of Your goodness.  

Mark 6:17-29

My Beloved, Herod arrested John the Baptist knowing quite well that he was a holy man. He used his power as king to do evil.  Herodias, Herod's wife hated John for accusing the king of adultery for he had married his brother's wife.  The truth is always unpalatable and we seek to hide from it.  She was prepared to add murder to her other grave sins against God's law.

For a time John's goodness kept him safe because Herod liked to listen to him although the things he said disturbed him.  But no one is truly safe with the wicked.

As enslaved as Herod was by his passion for his brother's wife whom he took for his own, he was not yet as completely depraved as Herodias and her daughter.  On his birthday, the girl danced in such a manner, captivating the senses of the king to such an extent, that in his drunken stupor he made many unwise oaths and promises before his high officials and guests.  He even swore to give girl half his kingdom if she so desired.  

Evil consults with evil and the plot to do evil is carried out.  She asked for the head of John the Baptist on a dish at her mother's behest and Herod was hoist on his own petard.  He counted the respect of man far above the honor due to God, so displeased as he was with the girl's request, he was not willing to risk being called a fool for he was a coward.

The girl got the head of the Saint, Herodias got her vengeance and Herod had to live for the rest of his days tormented for the evil upon evil that he had done.  

As You have promised Beloved, they could kill the body of St. John the Baptist but they could not touch his soul.  Let this comfort us when we see the atrocities that are taking place daily in the neighboring countries.  May God have mercy on us all.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Psalm 145:2-7, Matthew 24:42-51



1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Psalm 145:2-7, Matthew 24:42-51

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

My Beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I know that these verses are addressed by St. Paul to Your Church established in Corinth but I claim them for myself for I believe You speak these words of wisdom,encouragement and hope to me this morning.

You have sanctified me and called me to be holy along with my brothers and sisters who have received the same divine call from You who are our Lord.  

Once more You give me Your grace and peace, You have filled me with Your Holy Spirit. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding are Your gifts to me.  You assure me that I lack no spiritual gift and Your promise that You will keep me faithful and steadfast to the end as I look forward to Your glorious coming.  You will never forsake me after calling me and drawing me into fellowship with You and the Church.  This is Your covenant with me.  Thank You.

Psalm 145:2-7

My Beloved Jesus, may my whole life celebrate Your goodness, mercy, compassion and love  You are great, You are our awesome God worthy of praise adoration, love and worship.  May my whole life be a testimony of how You lift the weak and the sinful and You strengthen and make holy.

May my heart, my lips and my whole being sing all day long of Your loving kindness and goodness to this poor creature whom You saved in love. Thank You.

Matthew 24:42-51

My Beloved, here is a word of caution and warning for anyone who has ears to hear.  It is so easy to get caught up in the business of caring for our physical needs that one completely forgets about the more real aspect of life and that this is the spiritual dimension of life that will last eternally.  You give us a reality check in today's Gospel, "Wake up! The time for sleeping is at an end.  There is work to be done, time is running out and you will be called to account."

You do not want us to be caught napping.  Death can come at an hour we least expect and when it does may I be prepared to stand before You like the good servant.  You have held nothing back but poured upon all who belong to the Church You founded everything we require to live in holiness and grace through the Sacraments.  

If I have  used all that I have received wisely to draw others closer to You as well, then I can expect to be received into Your Kingdom to share in Your inheritance. Or I could choose to be stupid, lazy, negligent, wasteful, sinful and wicked believing that time is on my side and I will not have to give an account of the wealth of time I have squandered any time soon.

You have warned me Lord it is now up to me. But I need help, stay with me Lord always.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18, Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5, Matthew 23:27-32



2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18,  Matthew 23:27-32

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

My Beloved, a true Christian is not lazy. St. Paul points out we must guard against bad company choosing those wisely those we associate with.  Good like minded friends and good Christians live out their faith in every area of their life.  They encourage one and they help each other to grow in faith, hope and charity.  A person who is of sound health but allows himself to be a burden on the community through sheer laziness must be dealt with strictly or else he will not only ruin himself but will affect those around him who are diligent.

We must follow the example of those who have handed down a Christlike way of life.  Even though one who labors in the Lord's vineyard is  entitled to have all his material needs met in order to free him to work without worry, yet St. Paul and has his companions worked hard to provide for their their own needs.  How much more must we who have a duty and a responsibility to family work diligently to provide for those God has entrusted to our care?  

God's peace and blessings are assured on those who heed the advice of St. Paul.

Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5

My Beloved, You will bless all who walk in the way of truth, who live a well disciplined life of prayer and work, rest and labor, these You will bless and reward with the fruit of their toil.  You created and gave us the resources of the world to be used wisely.  You wrote Your law on our hearts and if we live and walk in Your ways of truth and light, obediently and joyfully, You will pour Your blessings on us always.

Matthew 23:27-32

My Beloved, You warn that there will be a much harsher and stricter judgement of those who were appointed to teach the faith - those whom the faithful trusted and believed in. Who were given honor and respect they did not deserve because what they preached in public did not conform to their secret, private lives.  

Those who lead and teach are called to uphold a higher standard that the rest as St. Paul pointed out.  God has no patience with hypocrites; as we speak so must we live there can be no dichotomy in what we say and what we do.  We can fool man not God and if we attempt to we do so at our own peril.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17, Psalm 96:10-13, Matthew 23:23-26


2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17, Psalm 96:10-13, Matthew 23:23-26

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17

My Beloved, in this world steadily darkening through the wickedness of sin You ask us not to lose heart. Do not be easily unsettled, do not be alarmed, do not be deceived. Why? Because You chose us eternally to be counted among those saved through true faith.  Faith that sanctifies through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to share in Your glory because You are the Spouse of Your Church, Your bride, Your Body of which we the faithful are members.

Beloved grant me the grace to stand firm not to be easily wounded, overly sensitive, I am after all a daughter of the King, the Queen of Heaven is my Mother, the Saints are my brothers and sisters.  You are mine as I am Yours.  You have put angels in charge of me lest I stumble.  What have I to fear but fear itself.  I walk in the Light that has overcome the darkness and I myself have been counted among the children of the Light.  Alleluia! 

Psalm 96:10-13 

My Beloved, all rule, power, authority and dominion are given to You.  This is the truth. While it may seem that the forces of darkness have overpowered the Light, we know that this is a lie for the father of deceit and lies is using his last ounce of power to destroy plunder and steal the souls of the children of God.  This is the hour of evil and it will pass. Your faithful will remain steadfast for You have triumphed, You have overcome evil.  The world and all creation rejoices for we know that You have won the victory, death has lost its sting and truth and justice prevail.

Matthew 23:23-26

My Beloved, You continue to berate hypocrites who do evil but deceive themselves that they good as they go about sanctimoniously and publicly condemning everyone.  We can be publicly and privately scrupulous about the little things and forget about what You truly desire of us, to be loving, compassionate, kind and merciful.  You desire that we help the one who stumbles or fall rather than to condemn them. 

Help me Lord to be holy as You are holy.  To frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order that I may be clean on the inside which will then impact my whole life for good.

Monday, August 25, 2014

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12, Psalm 96:1-5, Matthew 23:13-22


2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12, Psalm 96:1-5,  Matthew 23:13-22

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

My Beloved, I belong to the Church You founded, grace and peace are mine through Your merits and the Father's love for me.  Your Holy Spirit enables me to grow in faith increasing my love for You and neighbor.

The Cross is no longer an emblem of shame but of triumph and victory over sin and death. We receive the cross when we endure suffering and persecution because of our faith and for the sake of the Kingdom.  By our witness we reveal that we are prepared to suffer in order to have a share in Your Kingdom.

We pray for each other, encourage and support one another that we may be filled with our grace, strength and power to be obedient, living a life of faith, glorifying You always and enduring to the end.

Psalm 96:1-5

Beloved, the mark of a Christian is joy.  Keep me joyful Lord in all circumstances, may I never cease to sing Your praises always.  When I recall Your many blessings from the moment of my conception, may my heart overflow with praise and thanksgiving for all You have done for me.  Thank You for leading me from darkness to light through Your abiding Presence in me.

Matthew 23:13-22

My Beloved, You have nothing but scorn and contempt for hypocrites who abound in every age; people who make an outward show of piety but have no compassion or empathy for the weak.  There are many who know the faith but who do not live it and by their lack of witness prevent those around them from discovering the faith. We convert people to the faith but once they enter the Church offer no support at all so they may persevere and so they fall back to old sinful ways.

We make the inconsequential important and forget what living an authentic Christian is all about and we grow more blind and narrow in our vision every day.  We stumble and becoming a stumbling block to others well.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Isaiah 22:19-23, Romans 11:33-36, Psalm 138:1-3, 6 & 8, Matthew 16:13-20


Isaiah 22:19-23, Romans 11:33-36, Psalm 138:1-3, 6 & 8, Matthew 16:13-20

Isaiah 22:19-23

My Beloved, once again we see the new hidden in the old.  Those who were chosen by God, called by Him out of exile and slavery into freedom rejected You.  There will now be a new beginning, a New Covenant.  Those who rejected You freely will find the Good News preached to pagans, gentiles and foreigners.  You will command the apostles, Your disciples and all who are baptized to spread the joy of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Those whom You call You strengthen and You equip.  You chose Peter as Eliakim was chosen.  To Peter the Rock You gave authority as father of the Church You established.  we call his successor Papa, Pope - just as Eliakim was father to the people of Jerusalem.  Peter has been given the Key to the Kingdom of Heaven and the authority to bind and to loose, to open and to shut and heaven will stand by what Peter decrees.

Thank You for the authority You have given to Peter and his successors to lead Your Church and guide it safely to harbor.

Romans 11:33-36

God is a mystery, if He were not, He would not be God.  The Triune God is but one God - Three in One, One in Three and always but one God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

God however desires that we know Him in as much as it is possible for creatures to know the Creator for He is infinite in all His attributes.  We exist because God is the Great I am, if we have a hope and a future it is because this is what He desires for us.  Thanks be to God that someday when our journey in this valley of tears , in this place of exile has ended, we will return to the God of love and be united with Him eternally.  To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Psalm 138:1-3, 6 & 8

In these verses my Beloved the psalmist my song, a hymn of Your tender and loving care
for me who is nothing yet how You care for me and love me.  Thank You.

I thank you, O Lord, with all my heart,
for you have heard the word of my lips.
I sing your praise in the presence of the gods.
 I bow down towards your holy temple
and give thanks to your name,
for your love and faithfulness,
for your word which exceeds everything.
You answered me when I called;

you restored my soul and made me strong.

From above, the Lord watches over the lowly;
from afar, he marks down the haughty.
How the Lord cares for me!
Your kindness, O Lord, endures forever.

Forsake not the work of your hands.

Matthew 16:13-20

My Beloved, You have been with the disciples for a couple of years, they along with the crowds of people have witnessed the many signs and miracles You performed wherever You went.  The crowds of people who pressed around You clamored to be healed, touched and set free from possession of evils spirits and You did.  Now You ask them this questions, "Who do people say I am?" They give several responses.  From the general You now move to the particular, "But you, who do you say I am?" This is interesting.  Of all who gathered before You it is Peter who was inspired to speak, "You are the Messiah; the Son of the living God."  You knew that it was God who revealed this marvelous truth to Peter and through Peter to the world.

You then gave Peter the 'Keys of the Kingdom' whereby he and successors would be given all authority and power in heaven and on earth on the Church You established on the Rock, that is Peter.  Power to bind and loose which would subsequently be honored in heaven. We have Your guarantee that You will abide by Your Church and that she will be preserved from ever teaching error.  Thank You Beloved, we can, like children, put our trust wholly in Mother Church.  She will take us home.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ezekiel 43:1-7, Psalm 85:9-14, Matthew 23:1-12



Ezekiel 43:1-7, Psalm 85:9-14, Matthew 23:1-12

Ezekiel 43:1-7

My Beloved, the prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of Your Second Coming in glory, power and majesty.  You will come to claim dominion of all creation, over all that is seen and unseen. The three Apostles Peter, James, John had a glimpse of this glory with they witnessed the Transfiguration.  At the Resurrection there were no human witnesses, we only have the testimony of the angels.  But the Apostles and disciples did see Your glory as You ascended into heaven and when they could no longer see You, again angels appeared and promised that as You ascended so would You return.  

We long for Your return my Lord but in the meantime You have not abandoned us but continue to abide with us in Bread. Your glory hidden in perfect humility so we can approach You and consume You without fear.  If we saw You as You truly are, more brilliant than the sun, we would die.

Maranatha Lord Jesus! Maranatha!  

Psalm 85:9-14

Today my Beloved, the world hungers and thirsts for peace.  Where is the peace You have given the world? Yet, the lack of peace is not Your doing but ours, we have destroyed it by our sins.  We have rejected Your gift of peace and trampled all over it, and we now cry out and beg You for what we have already received.  We need to recover it and restore it in our hearts, homes, communities and in the world.

You are love and faithfulness incarnate. You are true to Your word. You do not take back Your gifts having given us all that is good but we have squandered it. Help us Lord!

Matthew 23:1-12

My Beloved the test of a true teacher  is when they live what they preach and teach and can confidently say that we must imitate them. But You advised the crowds and the disciples listening to You,  “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do,  for they do not do what they say." How damning this was to the teachers of the law, no wonder they hated You and plotted to kill You.
In my own life Beloved, help me to witness to the truths of our faith in word and to abide by them in truth in every area of my life.  You have taught us how to be humble by Your example help me to practice it.  All I have is what I have received from You because You are good and generous I in turn must share what I have received with the same generosity You have shown  me.
 " Let the greatest among you be the servant of all.  For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.” Teach me so I may understand what it means to be a servant, to be little, to be the least and all You to be God in all I think say and do.
I love You!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ezekiel 9:2-7, Psalm 113:1-8, Luke 1:26-38



Ezekiel 9:2-7, Psalm 113:1-8, Luke 1:26-38

Ezekiel 9:2-7

My Beloved, there is always a faithful remnant, they can be found everywhere they are leaven in the world.  They may be found in monasteries, convents, offices, factories, in homes, schools and hospitals.  They may be found among the powerful or the poor.  They are everywhere and they sigh, weep, mourn, pray and lift up their hands to You pleading for Your mercy on a world and people who have become blind and deaf to evil.

They live under the Sign of Victory, the Cross and because of them the hand of destruction and annihilation will be stayed.

Psalm 113:1-8

Everywhere my Beloved, from all parts of the world, is offered a holy and perfect sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving, adoration and worship. We recall Your work of salvation and we exalt Your Name for Your reign is over all the earth.  From Your throne in heaven You stoop low over the world that You have redeemed and sanctified with Your Blood.  While many still do not know You and many refuse to allow You to have authority and dominion over their lives, the poor and humble of heart know that without You life is meaningless.  These You lift up and exalt as You did Mary Your mother and ours.  You have seated her at Your right hand and have granted her a share in Your glory, crowning her Queen of heaven and earth. 

Mary, Mother of God and our Mother and Queen pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Luke 1:26-38

These verses reveal how God, in the fullness of time sent the Angel Gabriel to the little town of Nazareth in Galilee as His Messenger to a young virgin who was betrothed to Joseph of the house of David.

St. Luke paints such a vivid picture of the Annunciation that one can almost see the Angel looking with awe at this young girl on the threshold of womanhood, the most beautiful flower in Israel. Humble and wholly in love with God, she was quite unaware that she was endowed by God with the fullness of every grace and virtue.  Born without original sin, she walked in quiet beauty, innocence and purity.  

The Angel, fully aware of God's plan greets her, "Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Exult, the Lord who is with you has singled you out from all women in all times and in all ages for a singular privilege.

What is Mary's response?  Trembling with emotion, unable to grasp fully what the Angel meant by this extravagant and extra ordinary greeting she was troubled and anxious. Quickly the Angel reassures her, "Don't be afraid." One can almost her the loving and gentle voice of the Angel calming her nerves.  He goes on with the awesome revelation of God's plan of salvation and the major role she was to play in it. 

The Angel tells her that God has looked kindly on her and has chosen her to conceive and bear His Son and she was to call Him Jesus, the Name above all names.  Mary, who was young in years not in wisdom and common sense asks the logical question.  "How can this be if I am a virgin?"  In the next verses we see clearly something hidden in the old revealing itself with clarity in the new, "And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God."  We  see the true Arc of the Covenant.

The Angel also reveals that her cousin Elizabeth, long barren and long past the child bearing age had not only conceived but was now in her sixth month for with God nothing is impossible.

And Mary says with her lips said what her heart and her life have always said to God any other response would have been foreign to the Rose of Sharon, the bright Morning Star, “I am the hand­maid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ezekiel 36:23-28, Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19, Matthew 22:1-14


Ezekiel 36:23-28, Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19, Matthew 22:1-14

Ezekiel 36:23-28

My Beloved, no matter how grave our sins, no matter how far we have wandered away from Your way of truth, life and love You forgive us.  The waters of baptism have the power to cleanse us and remove all stain of sin from our souls.  You give us a new heart and a new spirit.  you melt the hardness of our heart and give us Your Holy Spirit who abides in us. Renewed again, restored and strengthened we will follow You and keep Your Word.  You grant to each of us our heart's desire and all that our spirit needs to be acceptable in the sight of God.

Thank You!

Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19

The psalmist echoes the  words of the prophet Ezekiel.  You alone can take the sinner and lead him to conversion and repentance.  If You cast us away from You, we will perish.  If You take Your Holy Spirit from us, we will cease to be.  When we come to offer You our sacrifice of praise at the Eucharistic table, the sacrifice of our life in union with  Yours is acceptable to the Father only when we are cleansed of all sin and are humble and contrite.  

Keep me meek and humble always Lord!

Matthew 22:1-14

My Beloved, God desires that everyone be saved.  Immediately after the fall God planned to save us despite our disobedience.  From all the nations, He chose Israel as His own and sent holy men and prophets through the ages revealing His plan of salvation. God loved the people He had chosen from all the nations, He rewarded them when they were faithful and punished them when they forgot His law and worshiped strange gods. 

God revealed from the first that He would send a Savior, a Messiah who would redeem His people from the slavery of sin and set them free.  However, they killed the prophets and holy men because they would not turn away from their sins.  At the appointed time, the Father sent You, His only Son into the world, You revealed who You were with amazing signs and wonders but the people refused to believe that You were God and the Son of God. 

You tell them this parable about guests being invited to a wedding banquet. You are  the Bridegroom, the King is the Father, the guests are God's chosen people who refused the invitation.  The servants who went to call the guests are the prophets who were treated with violence and killed.  The King sends more servants to the crossroads extending an invitation to everyone they met.  Because of the rejection of Your people, the whole world without any exception, received the invitation, they chose to accept and were granted the privilege to feast at the banquet.

Every guest wore the wedding garment that was handed out to them but when the King enters He noticed that one of the guests was not robed in the wedding garment and when he was questioned he was silent. He had refused it and found that without it there was no place for him at table and he was thrown out.

There is only one way to the Father my Beloved and that is through faith in You.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ezekiel 34:1-11, Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 20:1-16


Ezekiel 34:1-11, Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 20:1-16

Ezekiel 34:1-11

My Beloved, the call to be shepherds to the people of God is a vocation that cannot be taken lightly.  In these verses the Lord condemns the shepherds of Israel who had been appointed to guard His chosen people instead they exploited their position for personal gain and neglected their duty to care for the flock. As a result, the sheep suffered, they got lost, they fell prey to thieves, they got sick and injured from being forsaken for so long.  

The shepherd are warned that a day of reckoning will come when they will be asked to give an account and God will deal severely with those who put the sheep at risk.  He promised that He Himself will watch over and care for His flock and He will be their Good Shepherd.

God has been faithful to His promise - He sent You to be our Good Shepherd and You watch over us more tenderly than a mother her baby.

Psalm 23:1-6

My Beloved, You are my Good Shepherd and I am the sheep of Your flock.  You know me, care for me and provide all I need to live a fruitful life.  You know when I need to rest, to be fed, when I need a drink of cool, clear water to quench my thirst and refresh my soul.  You lead me through Your Ward and through the Sacraments so I will not stray from the path of truth.  Even when the way is dark and narrow, You are with me so I need not be afraid.  You hold my hand and carry me when I am weary, sick and have no strength of my own.  You feed me with the Bread of Angels, You bless me abundantly, the enemy knows I belong to You and will dare not approach to harm me.

I know that You will remain with me all my days and You will take me home to the place created for me in heaven there I will live with You eternally.

Matthew 20:1-16

My Beloved, we who are baptized are commissioned to go out to the ends of the earth with a mission to preach the good news of salvation.  Sadly, although we are equipped to do so we remain indifferent to our vocation. You remind us over and over again that the harvest is ready and there are no laborers to bring it in.  The workers stand idly by making excuses for not heeding the call.  But You are faithful and desire that all be saved and so You come after us until the last hour reminding us of our call to discipleship.  It is not enough that we save our own soul but we are also to required to save the soul of our brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ezekiel 28:1-10, Deuteronomy 32:26-28, 30, 35-36, Matthew 19:23-30


Ezekiel 28:1-10, Deuteronomy 32:26-28, 30, 35-36, Matthew 19:23-30

Ezekiel 28:1-10

'You are a man and not a god.' My Beloved, today many people live in delusion, there is a perception created that we do not need God anymore.  Technology and science have advanced at such a rapid pace that whole nations are quite convinced that God is irrelevant. The think that because they have access to all they need of this world's latest sophisticated gadgets they have no need for the divine, the sublime. They put their trust  in their material possessions and consider God irrelevant.  Then suddenly the wicked, the immoral, the violent, the fanatic crosses his path, mows him down and with him tens of thousands and there is nothing he can do to withstand the onslaught, the bloodbath and the annihilation of lives.  He is helpless before the desolation and terror that follows. Only then does he realize to his everlasting grief and shame that he is after all only a man and no god.  

There is no God but God alone and He has revealed Himself in You.

Deuteronomy 32:26-28, 30, 35-36

The enemy is on the prowl, roaring and devouring everything in its wake.  Evil believes its day has come and it has triumphed, death has descended and the stench of decay is everywhere.  The truth is that if the Lord, their rock and refuge had not permitted it the enemy could not harm a hair on their head.  May understanding dawn, may wisdom prevail and may Your people cry out with one voice for an end to the wave of terror and fear that has been unleashed on the world.  Act on behalf of Your people and grant peace and  justice to our brothers and sisters who are being crushed under the boot of evil.

May Your Kingdom, and may Your will be done.

Matthew 19:23-30

My Beloved, You tell us in no uncertain terms that if we cling to created things giving them the place that rightly belongs to God, to You, we will not be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven.  The rich are not condemned because they are wealthy rather they are condemned if their permit their riches possess them

Only God saves, only faith in the Son saves.

What about genuine disciples,will they be saved?  Oh yes! Beginning with the Apostles all who heed Your call to authentic discipleship will receive more than mortal understanding can ever hope to comprehend.  But a word of caution.  We may be surprised that those whom we considered of little or no consequence will be given first places in the Kingdom for it to the little ones, the meek and humble of heart, the peacemakers to whom the Kingdom belongs.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ezekiel 24:15-24, Deuteronomy 32:18-21, Matthew 19:16-22


Ezekiel 24:15-24, Deuteronomy 32:18-21, Matthew 19:16-22

Ezekiel 24:15-24

My Beloved, often it is our own actions that bring calamity upon us.  When we sin, Your Spirit departs from us and we have no one to blame but ourselves.  It is useless to weep and mourn for what is past but we can do is make amends, trust in God's mercy, ask forgiveness, believe that it has been granted and move on in faith and confidence stronger that we were before.  

Lord, help me!

Deuteronomy 32:18-21

My Beloved, we make sinful choices, we reject You in our foolishness and ignorance, we turn our back to You forgetting all You have done for us, how much You always love us and how You have always been close to us.  When we experience the consequences of sin which which is separation from You, we begin to mourn and lament.  We make sinful choices and we are surprised at our unhappiness.  

Grant me wisdom and understanding Beloved and I shall not stray from You.

Matthew 19:16-22

My Beloved, the rich young man approached You aware that despite the fact that he kept God's law something was still lacking. He has heard of You, has sought You out hoping that You would tell him what more he needed to do in order to live a spiritually enriched life.  He certainly asked the right question, what should he do in order to attain eternal life. You told him he should keep the commandments.  He wanted to know which ones.  You listed six from the ten, “Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, 19 honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  He replied truthfully that he had kept them all his life.  Wow! This man was sincerely trying to live a life that was pleasing to God.  However, he still did not feel fulfilled.  He believed there was more and so You revealed to him what he needed to do if he was really serious in growing in perfection.  

The earnest, well intentioned young man discovered that grace does not come cheap nor does it come without sacrifice. To gain the Kingdom we must be prepared to give up anything that holds us back from making a total commitment. In this man's case it was his great wealth that was holding him back. When You told him that he had to sell all he had, give the money to the poor and then return and  follow You his face fell and he went away sadder and emptier than he was when He first approached You. 

How often we find that in our own spiritual journey towards heaven we are only prepared to go so far and no further and this is why we are unable to make much headway in our growth to holiness and perfection.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7, Romans 11:13-15, 29-32, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, Matthew 15:21-28


Isaiah 56:1, 6-7, Romans 11:13-15, 29-32, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, Matthew 15:21-28

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

My Beloved, this is Your Church the one You established with the four marks that reveal her authenticity.  She is One, she is Holy, she is Catholic (Universal) and she is Apostolic. Every human person is invited to come to You through her and those who seek You and worship You in truth, whose lives are a joyful witness of faith in You and Your law, these are given a place in Your Kingdom.  No one is excluded who come to You with a pure heart and a humble and contrite spirit.

Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

My Beloved, sometimes we can have a tunnel vision, we are unable to either see or comprehend the larger picture.  St. Paul however understood perfectly well that God's call of faith in You is extended to all.  It was first given to the house of Israel true and it is also true that they as a nation rejected You with the exception of a few.  But this by no means that You failed.  God does not fail.  In this as in all things God is at work.  The ends of the earth receive the message of salvation and are being drawn into Your Body and become members of Your Church.  The day will come at the time of Your choosing when the people of God chosen by Him and sealed with His Covenant will come to know You and recognize You as God, the Son of God and the Messiah that they are still waiting for.  

What a day of rejoicing that will be my Beloved.  We pray for that day and long for it.

Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8

My Beloved, the Good News will echo from one end of the earth to the other, from horizon to horizon all will acknowledge that You are the Son of God and the Son of man who entered our history and brought life into the world, defeating death.  The whole world will ring with Your praised from sea to sea and God's mercy and love will be experienced by all to the glory of the Father who conceived this awesome plan of salvation.

praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit in whom we live and move and have our being.

Matthew 15:21-28

My Beloved, if all our prayers began and ended like that of the Canaanite women indeed we would all be blessed.

It is interesting my Beloved to see how You handled the entire incident and what You desire us to understand and learn from it. 

Here is the obvious foreigner, she is a woman and a mother who is deeply distressed  She has heard of You and she believes.  She has faith.  She addressed You as Lord and Son of David and she asks You to pity her and extend Your divine powers to heal her daughter.  Clearly she had greater faith than the Jews whom God chose from the first an through whom He sent You into the world as  Messiah.   They however did not believe yet  You ignored her wishing perhaps to see the reaction of the disciples.  They, instead of being moved with pity for her and interceding on her behalf  realizing that she was not a Jew wanted You to silence her and get rid o her.  Addressing the woman, You tell her that You were sent only to the lost of sheep of Israel, clearly excluding her as one who does not belong.  

She was not ready to give up in perfect humility she casts herself at Your feet and it would seem that You were still unmoved until she, refusing to accept Your response as final says that even the dogs are entitled to eat the scraps that would otherwise been thrown out.  It is then we see how You honor the woman for her extraordinary faith - a faith You did not find among Your own despite all the prophecies and the signs and wonders.  You responded to her faith by granting her the healing she sought for her daughter while the disciples learned that anyone who approaches You with faith will be heard and rewarded.