Friday, August 23, 2019

Love is as simple as the absence of self given to another.


“First we must understand that all of the world's deceptions flow from the belief that love is primarily for the fulfillment and comfort of the self. The world poisons love by focusing first and foremost on meeting one's own needs. Christ taught that love is not for the fulfillment of the self but for the Glory of God and the food of others. True love is selfless. It gives; it sacrifices; it dies to its own needs.” 

Gospel Text: (MT 22:34-40)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"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."

Reflect, today, upon your total love of God.  Are you all in?  Are you completely committed to serving our Lord and His holy will?  Don’t hesitate.  It’s worth it!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”


“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.” ― Marcus Aurelius, The Emperor's Handbook

Gospel Text: (MT 22:1-14)
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables
saying, "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."


All are invited to be part of his kingdom. But each person needs to respond to the God’s saving grace. I cannot do it for you. You cannot do it for me. We believe that our kind and merciful God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Let us pray for conversion of heart for those who have not come to know the living God. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”


“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919: was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.)

Gospel Text: (MT 20:1-16)
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Reflect, today, upon whether you see any traces of envy within your heart.  Can you sincerely rejoice and be filled with much gratitude at the success of others?  Can you sincerely be grateful to God when others are blessed with the unexpected and unwarranted generosity of others?  If this is a struggle, then at least thank God that you are made aware of this.  Envy is a sin, and it’s a sin that leaves us dissatisfied and sad.  You should be grateful you see it because that is the first step in overcoming it.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“Wealth often removes a posture of dependence upon God.”


He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. – Socrates: (470 – 399 BC: was a classical  Greek (Athenian) philosopher)

Gospel Text: (MT 19:23-30)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
"Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,

"For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible."
Then Peter said to him in reply,
"We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."

Reflect, today, upon the goal of building up treasure in Heaven and the eternal reward promised to those who live lives of fidelity.  There is nothing wrong with being well thought of by others in this world, but you must never allow such a desire to dominate you or dissuade you from keeping your eyes on that which is eternal.  Reflect upon how well you do this and seek to make the rewards of Heaven your exclusive goal.