Friday, December 14, 2018

“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.”


“Consistency, constancy, and undeviating diligence to maintain Christian character are a must if the older generation is to command respect, or even a hearing, from the young.” ― William Franklin Graham Jr.: (1918 –2018: was an American evangelist)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:16-19)
Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."

Jesus did not come into this world to be popular with the crowds, but to be faithful to His Father’s will. Jesus’ Resurrection is the vindication of the Father’s divine wisdom in sending His only-begotten Son into the world to die for the very sinners who crucified Him.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

“A church that doesn't provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn't unsettle, a word of God that doesn't get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn't touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed — what gospel is that?”


A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call. – St. Óscar Romero: (1917 – 1980) was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence.)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:11-15)
Jesus said to the crowds:
"Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

John the Baptist was aware and preached that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, he saw the signs. He is known as the hinge prophet; the one who bridges the old to the new. And, while there has been none greater than John, he is least in the Kingdom of heaven (MT:11:11); perhaps the message the Scriptures invite us to hear is that humility is the gift needed to bring about the Kingdom of heaven.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

“There's no place too dark for God's light to penetrate and no heart too difficult to be set aflame by His love”


The man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.  - Thomas Merton: (1915 – 1968: was an American Trappist monk)

Gospel Text: (MT 18:12-14)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."

We must reflect often on this parable because in our Christian community there is always someone that is missing and has left leaving an empty spot. Sometimes this is discouraging and brings us to believe that it was an inevitable loss, a sickness without remedy. 

Always remember, God is not a good loser, and this is why, in order not to lose, He goes out on his own, and He goes, He searches…He searches for all those who are far away from Him, like the shepherd who goes to search for the lost sheep.

God does not know our current throwaway culture; God has nothing to do with it. God does not throwaway any person; God loves all, looks for all; one by one! God does not know this phrase 'throwaway people' because God is all love and all mercy.

Monday, December 10, 2018

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”


The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
From a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.” 

Gospel Text: (LK 5:17-26)
One day as Jesus was teaching,
Pharisees and teachers of the law,
who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem,
were sitting there,
and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed;
they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof
and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
into the middle in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
"As for you, your sins are forgiven."

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves,
"Who is this who speaks blasphemies?
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply,
"What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."

He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God.
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God,
and, struck with awe, they said,
"We have seen incredible things today."

To be saved implies being saved from something or someone. This is what the sentence, and the whole of Advent, demand that we ask ourselves: if we need salvation, what do we need salvation from?

Today’s Gospel answers this question. Jesus works a miracle to focus our attention not on His ability to work miracles, but on the fact that He is the Messiah. He comes to bring us salvation from our sins. Our Advent prayers, fasting and good works aim to help us enter into today’s Gospel and identify with the man who was lowered on the stretcher. Perhaps the Messiah’s response is unexpected, but it’s what each sinner longs to hear during Advent: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’”