Monday, September 17, 2018

Most of us wait until we're in trouble, and then we pray like the dickens. Wonder what would happen if, some morning, we'd wake up and say, "Anything I can do for You today, Lord?"


'We set forth our petitions before God, not in order to make known to Him our needs and desires, but rather so that we ourselves may realize that in these things it is necessary to turn to God for help.'  - St. Thomas Aquinas: (1225 –1274: was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church)

Gospel Text: (LK 7:1-10)
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.

Consider just one point of context. While we might focus on the humility of the centurion, reflect by contrast on the power of the Lord. The Lord’s power is such that physical proximity to the sick person is not necessary. The Lord needs only to “say the word”. This power evokes awe in the communicant because while in today’s Gospel passage Jesus did choose to heal from a distance, at Holy Mass Jesus deigns to enter into our very person, both body and soul. This intimate indwelling is a mystery for which we cannot possibly finish giving thanks.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.”


An ethic is not an ethic, and a value not a value without some sacrifice for it. Something given up, something not gained. - St. Jerome: (347 – 420: was a priest, confessor, theologian, and historian.)

Gospel Text: (MK 8:27-35)
Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that I am?"
They said in reply,
"John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets."
And he asked them,
"But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said to him in reply,
"You are the Christ."
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it."

What Jesus teaches in today’s Gospel ought to be spoken out loud by every Christian, every day of his or her life, upon waking and upon retiring: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”

Three times here, Jesus uses the word “whoever”. He’s not talking about an elite group like cloistered monks, or nuns on a par with Saint Teresa of Calcutta. “Whoever” includes you, if you wish to follow Jesus. “Whoever” includes you, if you wish to save your life. If you wish to live as a Christian, to die as a Christian, to be a Christian, then Jesus is speaking these words to you: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”


Friday, September 14, 2018

God gives grace to the humble!....God favors the humble!...God blesses all who are humble!


“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Mother Teresa: (1910 – 1997: Founded the Missionaries of Charity)

Scripture Text: (PHIL 2:6-11)
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Humility is one of the virtues, and silence is one form of humility. That’s why it’s often difficult to quiet ourselves down. When we’re forced to be silent, we usually want to talk instead.

Even though we have lots of opportunity to grow in humility, as human beings our greatest call to be humble is when we face death: the deaths of others whom we love, but eventually, our own death. This is where Christ reveals to us God’s love. This is what we celebrate today, on the Feast of the Triumph (or Exaltation) of the Holy Cross.

Picture in your mind the scene at Calvary. Saint John was the only apostle who stood at the foot of the Cross in silence, and it was into his care that Christ, the only child of Mary, entrusted His Blessed Mother. In turn, Christ entrusted John to the care of Mary. In these words we hear the only teaching that is possible from the Cross: that we must entrust ourselves to each other’s care, bound to each other by Our Father’s love.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

“How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car.” - Think about it………!


“Remember!--It is Christianity to do good always--even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love our neighbors as our self, and to do to all men as we would have them do to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to show that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in peace.” ― Charles Dickens: (1812 – 1870: was an English writer and social critic.)

Gospel Text:(Luke 6:27-38)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."

We all know that it’s very hard to live out these admonitions. But it’s good to remember that Jesus is not only our teacher, who set us an example on the Cross. He is also our Savior, who from the Cross on Good Friday bestows grace upon all who beseech Him as they strive to imitate Him.

In the final part of today’s Gospel passage Jesus offers us some rhetorical questions. The first is representative: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” By the questions that follow Jesus leads us to see the Face of His heavenly Father. When we live the Golden Rule, we will be “children of the Most High”. Finally, to sum up everything He’s been exhorting us to live, He offers a simple principle that you and I might take and repeat throughout this day whenever there is a quiet moment: “The measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
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