Tuesday, September 22, 2020

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.”

  

Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.      

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: (Luke 8:19-21)

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers 
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

 

Reflect, today, upon the invitation of Jesus to be a member of His intimate family.  Hear that invitation and say “Yes” to it.  And as you say “Yes” to this invitation, be ready and willing to let His voice and His divine will change your life.

 

Monday, September 21, 2020

It is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost.

 

“Deep sorrow does not come because one has violated a law, but only if one knows he has broken off the relationship with Divine Love. But there is yet another element required for regeneration, the element of repentance and reparation. Repentance is a rather dry-eyed affair; tears flow in sorrow, but sweat pours out in repentance. It is not enough to tell God we are sorry and then forget all about it. If we broke a neighbor's window, we would not only apologize but also would go to the trouble of putting in a new pane. Since all sin disturbs the equilibrium and balance of justice and love, there must be a restoration involving toil and effort. To see why this must be, suppose that every time a person did wrong he was told to drive a nail into the wall of his living room and every time that he was forgiven he was told to pull it out. The holes would still remain after the forgiveness. Thus every sin after being forgiven leaves “holes” or “wounds” in our human nature, and the filling up of these holes is done by penance, a thief who steals a watch can be forgiven for the theft, but only if he returns the watch.” ― Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop


Gospel Text: (Matthew 9:9-13)

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

 

Reflect, today, upon your willingness to imitate this Apostle.  What do you say and do when God calls each day?  Where you see a lacking, recommit yourself to a more radical following of Christ.  You will not regret it.

 

Friday, September 18, 2020

The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.

  

“If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


Gospel Text: (Luke 8:1-3)

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.

 

Reflect, today, upon two things.  First, have you allowed Jesus to pour forth an abundance of grace into your life?  Have you allowed Him to touch you, change you, forgive you and heal you?  If so, have you then repaid this grace by making the absolute choice to follow Him?  Following Jesus, wherever He goes, is not just something these Apostles and holy women did long ago.  It’s something that we are all called to do daily.  Reflect upon these two questions and recommit yourself where you see a lacking.

 

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

“The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.”

  

In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You. - Saint Augustine: (354 – 430 ADwas a theologian, philosopher, and the bishop)

 

Gospel Text: (Luke 7:36-50)

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
“If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But he said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

Reflect, today, upon your own sin.  Unless you know your sin, you cannot manifest this type of humble sorrow.  Do you know your sin?  From there, consider getting down on your knees, bowing your head to the ground before Jesus and sincerely asking for His compassion and mercy. 

 

Then go to a Sacramental Confession with a priest. 

 

Try literally doing that.  Make it real and total.  The result is that Jesus will treat you in the same merciful way He did this sinful woman.