Friday, July 20, 2018

Many feel the terms "Sabbath day" and "play day" are synonymous. . . . But I . . . know that remembering to keep the Sabbath day holy is one of the most important commandments we can observe in preparing us to be the recipients of the whisperings of the Spirit.

Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence. - Ralph Waldo Emerson: (1803 –1882was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.)

Gospel Text: (MT 12:1-8)
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them, "Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."

Just think that the greatest miracle takes place in your local parish church every Sunday when bread becomes the body of Jesus for you. Jesus died on Calvary for you and the grace of Calvary is offered to you anew in every Mass. Words cannot describe the gift or beauty or holiness of the Mass. Words cannot describe the love of God available to each of us in every Mass. If ever we complain about the Mass it shows that we have not yet grown to understand the love of God for us in the Mass. Try to grow more in understanding of the love of God for you in the Mass every time you celebrate the Eucharist.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers (John 16:33). Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that cost.

God gives us what we can bear, and no more… If you believe that God wants only our good, you will stay perfectly happy. Be comforted in Christ crucified, and don’t be afraid. – St. Catherine of Siena: (1347 – 1380: She is declared a saint and a doctor of the Church.)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:28-30)
Jesus said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Our Lord Jesus asks that we reflect on the question of whom we serve in our lives. Performing duties only for duties’ sake leads to great weariness. To carry out our obligations in order that another might have life and might be drawn closer to God: this is where we find rest, even in the midst of the workday. The yoke of the Cross is the virtue of love, the greatest virtue, by which we recognize the truth of Isaiah’s prophecy that it is the Lord who has accomplished all we have done.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.”

A pure heart is perhaps one which has no natural propulsion towards anything in any manner whatsoever. When in its extreme simplicity such a heart has become like a writing-tablet beautifully smoothed and polished, God comes to dwell in it and writes there His own laws. - Maximus the Confessor: (580 – 662: was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:25-27)
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

This is not the first time Jesus uses the children as a point of reference. In Lk. 18: 17 we read: anyone who does not welcome the reign of God like a child will never enter it. It is clearly not a matter of being childish, but of being childlike. What is so special about children that makes this revealed to them and not to the learned?

Children have an openness to trust and a keen way of grasping what we say and, more importantly, of grasping what we are. Children know their parents, know their friends, more than they know about them. They do not study their parents or friends, they are keenly perceptive about what the lives of their parents or friends convey to them.

In Jn. 17: 13 Jesus tells us: eternal life consists in this, to know you, Father, and to know the one you sent. To know you is different from knowing about you. The disciples first response to Jesus’ question who do people say that the Son of Man is? [Mt. 16: 13] reveals what they knew about Jesus. Knowing about another is an intellectual process, while knowing another is more of an existential process. It is the way we know our parents and friends without studying them, but by living with them and interacting with them.

Pascal wrote that the heart has reasons reason knows not of. We know others through heart reasons and this is how Jesus challenges us to know him in a childlike way. Christology helps us to know about Jesus. Christianity helps us to know Jesus. Christology is for the experts. Christianity is for all, perhaps especially for those with childlike receptivity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

“Money doesn't spend in hell.... The devil deals in a different coin.”

“Do not neglect the grace that is offered to you. The God who offers the sinner pardon, does not promise him tomorrow.”- St. Wolfrand: (640 March 703: was the Archbishop of Sens, France)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:20-24)
Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

In today’s gospel Jesus points out that those who did hear him, yet did not act on his words, would be less likely to fare well on the day of judgment than those who did not hear his words at all.  

We have heard the words of Jesus. Are we acting on them?