Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Romans 8:18-25, Psalm 126:1-6, Luke 13:18-21


Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
Mt. 11:25

Romans 8:18-25, Psalm 126:1-6, Luke 13:18-21

Romans 8:18-25

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Everyone who is baptized has been baptized into Your Body. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. We have a glorious destiny. Yes, our mortal body will perish but we have been given an imperishable soul that will live in glorious bliss with God Himself.

This is why we live each day with longing when You will come again and bring to completion our final end as mortal beings and grant us a share in Your glorious Resurrection.

All creation groans under the weight of corruption, all that lives in the world and our flesh must die for the natural end of all that is in the world must come to an end. This is the way God designed it. But death is only a doorway, an entrance to what no eye has seen, no ear has heard. This is our hope; this is why we endure with joy all the suffering, trials, and difficulties come our way, for we know that in the end we will be united with You, with the Father, and with the Holy Spirit along with all who have gone before us. 

Psalm 126:1-6

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You gave us a clue of what it means to be alive when You said, I came into the earth to set it ablaze and how I wish the fire were already kindled. I have a baptism to undergo and how distressed I am until it is accomplished. We too have a mission, a call, a purpose and to this end we live each moment of each day aware that we are called to first be set on fire with the Holy Spirit and then set the world ablaze with the love of God.

Each day brings with it its own set of challenges but we are not fighting alone we have the Holy Spirit within us who empowers us, guides us, helps us, convicts us of wrongdoing, leads us to repentance so we may begin anew. We truly live in a valley of tears but all that we undergo in this life and all the challenges we face in spreading the Kingdom of God will end in rejoicing before the Throne of God where there will be no death, no time, no sorrow only eternal joy in Your Presence. What a glorious destiny awaits those who believe and wait in hope.

Luke 13:18-21

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You ask the question and You provide the answer. What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can it be compared? The Kingdom of God is in the heart of every baptized Christian and it is their duty, their privilege, their work to ensure that they witness to the Presence of God who is alive. To know You, to love You, to serve You and to make You known and loved is my reason for being alive. I am the mustard seed. I am the yeast. I may be small, I may be insignificant but if I permit the Holy Spirit complete freedom to use me as He desires then I will have done my part and fulfill the purse for which I have been created - which is to make You known and loved among those I encounter every day.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Romans 8:12-17, Psalm 62:2, 4, 6-7, 20-21, Luke 13:10-17


Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth. Jn 17:17B, 17A

Romans 8:12-17, Psalm 62:2, 4, 6-7, 20-21, 
Luke 13:10-17

Romans 8:12-17

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Clearly discipleship is not an easy road, nor is it a road well-traveled. However, if we are Your brothers and sisters, and we are, then we are no long subject to the flesh but as co-heirs with You, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to put to death the clamor of the flesh and live.

You gave us the Holy Spirit as Your Gift to us before You ascended to Your Father in heaven. It is the Spirit that enables us not only to call God Father, Abba, as You taught us, but to know that we are truly His children because You bridged the chasm that was created between Him and us through the sin of our first parents.

We are no longer children of Adam but children of God and heirs to the Kingdom of God. Your Holy Spirit within us makes us witnesses to the Truth that indeed we are children of light and truth because You are Light and Truth and we are imbued  with Your Spirit. In this world, You have warned us, we will be persecuted because we do not belong to the world, but to You, and we are to be without fear for You my Beloved have overcome the world and we too have overcome it with the help of Your Spirit who is at work in us.

Psalm 62:2, 4, 6-7, 20-2

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Truly You have risen from the dead and Your enemies are scattered. They flee before Your Holy Presence and we who belong to You exult. We rejoice and are glad for God,our God with us. We have a God who saves. A God who is kind, and gentle, who cares for those whom the world prefers to forget, to ignore, to take advantage of believing that they are powerless. However, they are ignorant of the truth that they have a powerful adversary fighting against them - God Himself aligns with the widow, the orphan, the outcast, and fights their battles on their behalf. God vindicates those who trust in Him, have faith in Him. The victory belongs to God and to His people.

Luke 13:10-17

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Today's Gospel reading sums up what was said in the first reading and the psalm. We thee this woman crippled so horribly she is bent double. She has been this way for eighteen years. She suffered because she was unable to stand erect and view life around her as it ought to be viewed. Sin cripples our spirit and we are unable to see as God sees. Our vision is compromised because our vision is contorted. There is a remedy for sin if we are prepared to take it. You have made the Sacrament of Reconciliation available to us. All we need do is to approach You in this Sacrament and You will lay Your hands on us and heal us in every way.

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
"Woman, you are set free of your infirmity."
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
"There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day."
The Lord said to him in reply, "Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?"
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Exodus 22:20-26, Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51, 1 Thessalonians 1:5C-10, Matthew 22:34-40


Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him. Jn 14:23

Exodus 22:20-26, Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51, 
1 Thessalonians 1:5C-10, Matthew 22:34-40

Exodus 22:20-26

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You are a God of mercy, kindness and tender compassion and You require that we imitate You. We are called to show kindness to the widow, the orphan, those who are strangers among us. We are called to be welcoming. We are called to give of ourselves rather than of what we have. It is often so much easier to give people things and get rid of them than to sit and listen attentively and with compassion.

We are called to give without interest, for we are not moneylenders but brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. If we are less than honest, loving, giving, and compassionate with those less fortunate than ourselves, those who are hurting, God who is their Father and our Father will call on us for an answer for we are our brother's and sister's keeper.

Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I sing Your praises along with the psalmist and I declare that I love You for You are my Lord, my God, my strength, my fortress, my deliverer. All that I am and have comes from You.

You have saved me and have claimed me for Yourself. I desire to all Yours and Yours alone. Help me to give my whole being to You without question and without counting the cost. I am a weak, foolish creature and I need Your help every moment of every day in order.

I thank You Beloved, that You who are God claim me, as Your sister, Your friend. I thank You for keeping a loving, and watchful eye over me and for keeping me safe and in Your sight always.

1 Thessalonians 1:5C-10

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I thank You for leading me slowly but surely and steadily to follow You and imitate You. I thank You for Your Church and for the many witnesses who reveal to me all that is required of one who is grafted into Your Body. To the Church and to me as a member of that Church You have entrusted the Word that brings life, hope, joy, peace, and salvation. I thank You for using me in very small ways to bring about Your Kingdom and Your rule on earth. I thank You for calling me by name and giving me a mission. Thank You for grace made available to me through the frequent reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist that enable me to begin anew each day with fresh vigor and enthusiasm. Thank You for delivering me and for setting me on the path that leads to life.

Matthew 22:34-40

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

As long as we are in the world, those of the world will relentlessly come after us in order to bring us down just as the Pharisees and the Sadducees did. They were afraid of You and for Your ability not only to undermine their authority among the masses but they knew that they were no match for You when it came to discussions on Scripture and the Law. They tried to set traps for You but You always got the better of them and instead of admiring You, they only got more and  more furious and more determined than every to bring You down.

We see another instance when the Sadducees come to You and ask You a question to which they know the answer. 

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 19:2-5, Luke 6:12-16


We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.

Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude

Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 19:2-5, Luke 6:12-16

Ephesians 2:19-22

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I thank You for the awesome privilege of being born into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church whose cornerstone is You and whose foundation are the Apostles and the prophets. I am not a stranger in the word. I belong to the family of God. You acknowledge me as Your sister and You are my Brother, my Beloved, my Bridegroom, my Friend, my Lord and my God. In You I am alive because I have Your life in the Holy Spirit flowing from the Father and You flowing through me. I am alive in the Holy Spirit only because the Apostles were prepared, in perfect obedience to Your command to spread the Gospel, and who died horrific deaths but were prepared in imitation of You to lay down their lives for Your sake and the sake of the Gospel.

I am now a member of Your Church, which is Your Body. I am the temple where God makes His home. The Kingdom of God is here, in the New Jerusalem where God Himself dwells in the Holy Spirit. I am alive in You Beloved and You keep me alive through the Breath of Your Spirit in me. Thank You.

Psalm 19:2-5

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

The world, all creation, and all that lives, moves, and breathes are witnessing to the the glory of God, to the Creator, to You our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit who keeps all alive because His live imbues all. All of us are called beginning with Abraham to whom God first revealed Himself in the burning bush, through the prophets, the Apostles whom You called by name and whom You sent to preach the Good News to the ends of the earth, and to each of the baptized who receive the same mission and carry it out. The message continues to ring out unceasingly until You come again in glory when all who are to be saved will be saved which is everyone who hears and hearing believes.

Luke 6:12-16

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Prayer, intimate union with Your Father, was more necessary to You than food and drink. One with the Father You were strengthened once again, energized, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to begin anew. You were able to put aside all Your disappointments, the rejection, the hypocrisies of those with vested interests, the miseries of the people who pressed around You making demands from You wherever You went. They clamored for healing, miracles, signs. They hungered for the Word You preached which gave their lives hope and new meaning. By the end of each day You were exhausted emotionally, physically, mentally and You trudged up wearily to the mountain and lay You lay Your weary heard, aching heart, and bruised Spirit in the arms of Your Father. 

After one such night spent in prayer You come down the mountain to choose the twelve Apostles, eleven of which and later on Mathias and Paul who would become the foundation on which You would build Your Church. 

I too am called Beloved. May I do my part too to strengthen the foundation in my own small way. May I, with Your help and Your Spirit, never fail You.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Romans 7:18-25, Psalm 119:66, 68, 76-77, 93-94, Luke 12:54-59


Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. 

Mt. 11:25

Romans 7:18-25, Psalm 119:66, 68, 76-77, 93-94, Luke 12:54-59

Romans 7:18-25

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

As long as I am in the flesh I will struggle on the horns a dilemma whether to give in to my sinful flesh or obey the voice of my conscience. My heart desires to choose the good but sin which is constantly alive in my flesh drags me down especially in moments of weakness. The war between my flesh and my spirit is real, the battle is relentless. 

How well St. Paul understands this constant battle between good and evil within the body, between the flesh and the conscience that knows what I ought to do but fails to do it.

It would seem at first that the battle is already won by the forces of evil alive in my flesh but that's not true. The glorious shout of victory resonates from Bethlehem, to Calvary. We have been delivered from the flesh and from the cravings of our mortal body by You, Beloved. You Beloved, have delivered us from death, from the fowler's snare, You have set us free. If the Son of God has set us free we are free indeed.

Psalm 119:66, 68, 76-77, 93-94

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Psalm 119 is a hymn in praise of Your Word, Your Law, and the wisdom that comes from not only knowing Your Law of Love but obeying it.

If Your Word as a lamp guides our feet we will not stray. If we allow the Holy Spirit who makes our body His temple authority over us, then He will lead us safely to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is He who enables us to understand Your Word, recall it, and follow it. Your Word is also one that heals, comforts, brings peace, joy, and helps us to overcome the daily struggles of life. 

Your Word has power. It can move mountains if we have faith. If we truly desire to live as Your servants we will become familiar with Your Word and allow it to shape our lives and our actions. 

Luke 12:54-59

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Today You challenge the crowds for being able to foretell what the signs in nature predict. They know when to expect rain, or heat yet they who are the chosen people of God, who have had patriarchs, prophets, leaders, and kings to reveal God's will for them since Abraham still choose not to recognize You. Hypocrites were alive and well then and they are certainly alive and well in this day and age. There is one thing that You hate and that is a hypocrite. One who knows the truth but pretends he does not. Who says one thing and does what is totally contrary. All the signs, all Your preaching and teaching pointed out to who You were, who You said You were but they deliberately choose not to believe.

Today we have hypocrites who bludgeon us with lies, they are loud, they are shrill, they are hysterical in their desire to bend all the rules of commonsense, of nature, and above all the laws of God which are unchangeable. They are prepared do all in their power to bring laws into effect that cannot in anyway stand up against wisdom and truth and yet we find ourselves becoming helpless witnesses to a world gone completely mad because they refuse to accept You. 

Everything changes and yet everything remains just the same. Help us Lord. Help Your remnant to stay strong and to overcome.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Romans 6:19-23, Psalm 1:1-4, 5, Luke 12:49-53


I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Phil 3:8-9

Romans 6:19-23, Psalm 1:1-4, 5, Luke 12:49-53

Romans 6:19-23

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

St. Paul keeps hammering home the fact that as long as we are slaves of the flesh we are slaves to sin. This slavery has the power to strip us of our image and likeness to God. We are shorn of our identity as children of God and we become the tools of evil. When we become slaves of the dark that has the power to drag us into the mire we lose our peace and our joy.

We were created for joy. We were created to strive after the holiness and perfection of God our Father, for we are His children, created to share in His glory and in Your inheritance. However when we give ourselves over to sin, to licentiousness, to willfully choosing the way that is broad, and easy, we cut ourselves from the source of light and life.

Your Word is clear. If we choose sin we choose death but when we choose to allow the Spirit of God to help us to walk as children of the light we receive the gift of eternal life in You.

Psalm 1:1-4, 5

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

God our Father created us to know Him, to Love Him, to serve Him and to be happy with Him in this life and eternally in the next. How do we do this Beloved? How can we fulfill the destiny for which we are created? This is not possible for us - as You clearly told Peter. We cannot save ourselves. We need You and we need Your Holy Spirit. Both have been given to us. You gave Yourself to us completely. You emptied Yourself for us in order that we may be filled with Your life. You have given us a full measure of Your Holy Spirit, without whom it would be impossible to please God.

As members of Your Body, grafted to You in Baptism, we are now a new creation. In choosing to turn away from sin that leads to death, in closing our ears to the siren call of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and in zealously pursuing the things that lead to life, we do not struggle alone. You Yourself strengthen us, feed us, pour grace upon grace into our souls, and live in us. We are like trees planted beside running water and the fruits of the Holy Spirit grow in abundance because He ensures that we yield fruit in season and out of season fruit that will last.

Luke 12:49-53

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Where there is an absence of love, there is an absence of God.

You prayed a most heartfelt prayer to the Father before You accomplished the purpose for which He had sent You. You prayed that we may be one just as You and the Father are one. You prayed for unity. You came to bring peace. Peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our nations, in the world. However, this peace is only possible when we humbly and sincerely render to God our Father the things that are His. We cannot usurp the authority of God. We cannot pick and choose which of God's laws we will obey, and which we will not. 

Today the world has set itself up as the sole arbiter of how we live our lives. It dictates what is right and wrong. It has a different set of rules which are fluid and keep changing. The Truth is unchanging. The Truth is immutable. Because we do not consider it to be so we have the world at each other's throats for each believes that what they have is the truth which changes from person to person. This is the cause of division, of hatred, of evil. When we give ourselves over to the worship of our senses and we sacrifice our identity as children of God, we become idolaters of the worst kind.

Thank You Beloved, for not giving up on us. Thank You for remaining with us just as You promised. In the end Your Sacred Heart will triumph.

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father, 
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Romans 6:12-18, Psalm 124:1-8, Luke 12:39-48


Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. 

Mt 24:42, 44

Romans 6:12-18, Psalm 124:1-8, Luke 12:39-48

Romans 6:12-18

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

The worst kind of slavery is slavery to our flesh, our sinful habits, our self-will, our addictions which rob us of our ability to refuse to participate in choices that lead us further and further away from life, from freedom, for peace, from joy, from You.

It is so easy Beloved, to allow ourselves to be tempted by  distractions whatever they may be that rob us of precious time that could have been better spent in busying ourselves in the things of the Kingdom rather than of the world. We do have authority over ourselves. We do have authority over our will. We do have authority to direct our conscience on the path that leads to life however, when we give in to sin, to the flesh, slowly but surely we become weak and before we know it we are slaves to our passions. The world preaches are false gospel relentlessly however, if we use this great gift of freedom to choose the right, the true, the good, the noble, the beautiful, we will come under the law of grace. We will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to whom we have ceded authority over us and we will become joyful slaves of righteousness always choosing to put God's will over our own.

Psalm 124:1-8

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You have always been my help, my shield, my refuge. When I call out to You in my troubles You hastened to come to me, to deliver me, to comfort me. You have been at my side always even when I have deliberately chosen to turn away from You to walk in the path of sin. Yet, when I found myself like the prodigal son, far from home, hungry, naked, unhappy, and I longed to have once more what I had foolishly refused, thinking my happiness could be obtained away from You, You gave me the grace the repent and to return to You. You did not scold, You did not hold my folly against me, but welcomed me back to the place that You have reserved for me. That place in Your Heart that belongs to me alone.

Thank You Beloved for Your assurance that no matter how high the waves, how dreadful the storm, with You I am safe.

Luke 12:39-48

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

If we are familiar with Your Word in Sacred Scripture, if we are obedient to the Traditions handed down by the Apostles, if we remain close to Holy Mother Church, then we will be like the good servant who is vigilant and does all that is required of him. The good servant knows that is expected of him. He is aware of his duties. He is diligent in doing exactly what his master requires of him even if his master is away. The good servant would not dream of doing anything other than that which was his duty whether seen or unseen.  

You have warned us that we will be called to give an account at a time we least expect it. Will we be ready? Will we be able to stand before You and give a good account of our stewardship, or will we be ashamed before You knowing full well that we have been lax, we have ignored Your will, we have squandered what was Yours and are now deep in debt and unable to restore what we have lost. You warn us that there will be consequences for our actions.

Much has been given to us who belong to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church therefore our accountability is far greater for we have been entrusted with so much more. Grant my Beloved that I will be counted among the faithful. Amen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Romans:5, 12, 15, 17-19, 20B, 21, Psalm 40:7-10, 17, Luke 12:35-38


Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man. Lk 21:36

Romans:5, 12, 15, 17-19, 20B, 21, Psalm 40:7-10, 17, Luke 12:35-38 

Romans:5, 12, 15, 17-19, 20B, 21

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I thank You for giving us St. Paul who under the influence of  the Holy Spirit explains to us with such clarity the truths of our faith. Free will which is God's great to us was abused for in choosing to go against God we lost forever friendship and intimacy with the Father. Free will was to be the means to restore that friendship. You obeyed Your Father and You came into the world taking upon Yourself our wounded humanity and You restored what we had irrevocably lost. 

We inherited death through Adam, You became the new Adam and You restored us to life. You made it possible to now live a life of grace - an abundance of grace that streams into our soul through Baptism and the frequent reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.

It is no wonder that the Church Fathers call original sin a happy fault for were it not for the sin of Adam we would never know the height, the depth, the breadth and length of the Father's love for us.

Thank You Beloved for making it possible for us to know how precious we are in the Father's sight.

Psalm 40:7-10, 17

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You have shown us how sweet it is to do the will of God. In this is our food and drink to know You and to make You known.

The key to knowing You is humility and obedience. You are the Son of God and yet You were obedient to the Father accepting the horrific death of the Crucifixion in accordance with His will.

Sometimes it is difficult to bend our hearts and minds to Your will, in moments like these let me recall Your Sacrifice and make my own poor sacrifice by uniting my will to Yours always. Perfect joy is possible when we align our will to Yours no matter what the cost for You are able to use our offering, united with Your own perfect one for our good and the good of the world.

Luke 12:35-38 

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Here is a warning, a reminder, that we are to be ready always. The word is clear. Be prepared in season and out of season or like the fig tree we may find ourselves cursed and cast into the outer darkness, into the flames that do not go out. 

As children of the light we are to be like to faithful servant who is always on call even when the master is away from home. He does all that is expected of him from dawn to dusk and should his master arrive no matter the hour or the day, he is ready for him. It is as if the master had never left.

Grant that I be like this faithful and vigilant servant. Should my earthly life come to an end when I least expect it grant that I will be ready to come before You and to give an account of my life and my stewardship so I too, like the servant in the parable, may find the Master gladly inviting me to take my place at the table and to dine with him no longer Master and servant but friends.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Romans 4:20-25, Luke 1:69-75, Luke 12:13-21


Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:3

Romans 4:20-25, Luke 1:69-75, Luke 12:13-21

Romans 4:20-25

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Faith in You no matter how absurd it may seem is rewarded because we have placed our trust in You and have not wavered even though our circumstances tells us that it is foolish to do so. You never disappoint those who despite everything that points to the contrary, believe that You are always in control and nothing and in all things You are working for our good.  Just as Abraham was empowered by faith and glorified God so too will we be counted among the righteous because we have believed the Good News. What is the Good News that saves all who believe? It is this, God who asked that You lay down Your life in expiation for the sins of the whole world, has raised You up and exalted You, giving You a place above every other so at Your Name the whole of creation will bow down in worship and acknowledge that You are indeed the King of Kings and Lord of Lord who justifies before God all who believe in You.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Isaiah 45:1, 4-6, Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 7-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, Matthew 22:15-21


Shine like lights in the world
as you hold on to the word of life. Phil 2:15, 16

Isaiah 45:1, 4-6, Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 7-10, 
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, Matthew 22:15-21

Isaiah 45:1, 4-6

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You choose who you will to accomplish Your will. Here we see how God chooses a pagan king Cyrus and used him to send the people of God back home after years of exile. Our God is God of the unexpected, He does what He wills and who will say to Him, 'No.' This is why I must be docile in spirit knowing that God often chooses those who we might reject so there can be no dispute that it is Your work, Your power that brings about the impossible through the most unexpected people. All You need is a humble heart and a willing spirit.

Cyrus was successful because God was with him. God used him. God inspired him to do what He wished to accomplish through his office as king. It is good for us to always remember that if we are alive, it is because God wills it. It is You who choose, You who call, You who raise us up, You who prepare, You who equip, You who send - we are only Your instruments.  The work is Yours, the victory is Yours, the glory is Yours. Thank You Beloved for calling me and using me if only in very small to shine my little light which though small is really Your light and not my own.

Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 7-10

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

One of the best ways, a way most pleasing to You, is when we come together as God's family on the Lord's Day, and offer You, as one body, the glory, the praise, the worship, that is Your due as our Lord and our God.  The most fitting praise that can be offered is the Liturgy, in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, in the Holy Eucharist where we offer to the Father the Gift of His Son whom He sent into the world in expiation for our sins. 

Here we offer God a Sacrifice of Praise, Adoration, Worship, and we receive in turn the Flesh of the Son of Man to eat and the Blood of the Son of Man to drink so we can become what You are and receive strength on our journey to the Father's house. Let us not forget to wear the wedding garment when we come before You, the garment of righteousness, the garment received at our baptism, unstained and unwrinkled because they have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

We did not receive the Gospel cheaply. It came at a terrible price beginning with the price paid at Calvary and subsequently the price paid by all who in imitation of You laid down their lives for You and for the Gospel.

There is no such thing as cheap grace. Our salvation was bought on the Cross and in exchange for our death You have given us the hope of eternal life. We thank You Beloved for the long line of witnesses beginning with the Apostles who have endured much suffering even to the laying down of their lives so that the Good News could be preached to the ends of the earth. Thank You Beloved for each one of them and grant that I too may do my part faithfully, no matter how small it may be to carry on this wonderful mission given to me at my baptism to make You known and loved wherever I may be.

Matthew 22:15-21

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

There are many in the world who are wolves in sheep clothing. They want to devour, to plunder, to destroy, and are prepared to use guile and deceit in order to trap and ensnare just like the Pharisees who sent their disciples and the Herodians to do their dirty work. 

What they said was true, You are the embodiment of Truth and it is also true that You were not concerned with the opinion of men but of God, Your Father alone. They thought they were being very clever when they asked You a question that would damn You either in the eyes of the authorities or the people. Filled with malicious glee one can almost see them rejoicing that they had got You. Fools. You saw through them instantly and called them hypocrites to their face letting them know that You were not fooled by them for an instant. They had no way of responding to Your response for there was no response to the Wisdom of the Word. 

"Whose image is this and whose inscription?" 
They replied, "Caesar's."

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."

We are called to obey civil authorities, and civil laws no matter how unpleasant we find them for it is You who have given us those in the world who will govern us, just so long as they do not ask us to do what is evil, what is wrong, what goes against God's law. And we must be vigilant in rendering to You, our Lord and our God what belongs to God. Our love, our worship, our obedience always and everywhere.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Romans 4:1-8, Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 11, Luke 12:1-7


May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you. Ps 33:22

Romans 4:1-8, Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 11, Luke 12:1-7

Romans 4:1-8

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

All of us have sinned and all of us, without exception, are unworthy of the Father's love that prompted Him to You in sacrifice for the expiation of our sins. Nothing could heal the chasm that willful disobedience had created except that the Father, whose love is beyond our understanding, sent You into the world as a willing Victim to enter into our eternal death so we may receive Your eternal life.

Abraham, through no merit of his own, was chosen by the Father to become our father in faith because he believed that all that God had promised him, He would fulfill. He could boast of nothing except of what God had done for him and for all future generations through him.

St. Paul echoes what You said, "A laborer is required to work and is paid for it. His wages are not a gift but he has earned it. But we, who know that we have been saved by You through no merit of our own, are indeed blessed by God just as those whom You have chosen and blessed in the past, not for any work that they had done but because God chose to favor them and bless them. 

This is faith. This is pleasing to God, that we believe in You and in the One who sent You.  Our works no matter how worthy are as filthy rags before God. We are blessed because we have been forgiven by the Blood of the Lamb and for Your sake the Father has wiped away all record of our sins and our iniquities. 

All praise and glory be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 11

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

How can we thank You for the immeasurable gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation? The psalmist had no way of knowing when he wrote this psalm that those who were baptized and who belonged to the Church You instituted, would have this powerful experience of being forgiven so completely, that there would even be no record of the sin. Wow!

Once we confess our sins to the priest and we receive absolution in Your Name, God no longer has any remembrance of that sin. We begin anew. We are a new creation in His sight.  Once we acknowledge our sins to the priest, are contrite and resolve to sin no more, once we do the penance required of us, which is so easy it is laughable, and because You have already paid the debt that no amount of penance on our part could expiate, You take away our guilt, restore our wounded relationship with God, fill us with Your Holy Spirit so we receive help to sin no more. Each time we leave the confession we ought to be laughing, and leaping and praising God for doing for us what we could never to for ourselves. 

May I never be filled with such wicked pride that I ever doubt at any time that my sins are to great and too grave for Your mercy O Lord. In You there is always mercy, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness of any and all sin. 

Thank You for Your salvation, rich and completely free.

Luke 12:1-7

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

One can picture this scene, You were the center of attention and people came from miles around to listen to You for here was someone who spoke freely, spoke words of hope, and was unafraid to take on the establishment and vested interests whose only function seemed to be lining their pockets, and leading people away from God instead of to Him. The crowds were so great that the Pharisees could do little but gnash their death in fury when You pointed to them and called them out, naming and shaming them for failing in fulfilling their duties before God.

They concealed their wickedness by making a pompous show of their good works. You called them hypocrites to their faces and warned them that while they may imagine their evil to be hidden from the eyes of men, it was not hidden before God and a day of reckoning would come when all would be made known.

It is good for us to take not that the words spoken then are just as true for us today who believe that an outward show of piety which may fool people, does not fool God. The world today is so afraid of disciplining the body, and denying the spirit of the world the power to lure us just as the devil lured Eve and she in turn lured Adam into believing the lies of Satan. The world turns viciously upon those who call them out in their lies, their spurious science, their evil, facile explanations that all our disordered passions are not disordered and sinful because we are created that way and therefore have no choice. To believe that we are unable to make a choice is the biggest lie of all. The greatest gift we have received is the gift of our free will so we may always choose the right, the true, the good, the beautiful always. The world will even put to death those who steadfastly defend the truth. 

Today Your word assures us, not to be afraid of those who kill the body but can no nothing else once they have done so. Rather, You say, 
"Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one."

You close today's word with sweet assurance of the Father's watchful gaze tenderly upon His little ones, 

"Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."

Thank You Beloved.