Friday, September 28, 2018

“God is never late and rarely early. He is always exactly right on time--His time.”

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Scripture Text: (ECCL 3:1-11)
There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man's ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

In the first reading from Mass today we are told that everything happens in God's time. Whenever we are down, worried or troubled, we cannot hear enough about how bad things are. When we finally get out of the woods, we always agree that God's time is always perfect and only then do we understand why what happened happened. Jesus did tell us that whatever we ask in his name we will receive but he did not say when or how. The truth is that Jesus is the Messiah: so he knows what is best for us. He desires nothing more than for us to have good lives. Sadly, more times than not, our troubles and problems arise from our selfishness and sinfulness.

In Christian life, faith is key. If we have faith, we continue to pray and trust in God's timing. We take trials with open arms and worry less because we are confident that in his time and in his way we will receive the blessings we asked for.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The first ministers were the twelve disciples. There is no evidence that Jesus chose them because they are brighter or nicer than other people. Their sole qualification seems to have been their initial willingness to rise to their feet when Jesus said, "Follow me."

“The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord………. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.”  -  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Gospel Text: (LK 9:1-6)
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them."
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.

The word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent”.

Reflect today on the way in which you yourself have been sent by God in the past, and may be sent for a new mission today or very soon. At any point on one’s earthly journey, the Lord can surprise you with a new request. 

We must be ready to move as the Lord asks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

“I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor… I truly believe that when the rich meet the poor, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end.”

"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997: Founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata)

Scripture Text: (PRV 21:1-6, 10-13)
Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Today’s First Reading from Mass is from the Book of Proverbs. A “proverb” is a very short saying—often only one sentence long—that reveals some little bit of wisdom. Almost every culture in the world, and throughout time, has its own proverbs. In our own country, one of the Founding Fathers—Benjamin Franklin—spent a lot of his time creating proverbs for the first Americans to reflect on: such as, “A stitch in time saves nine”, or “A penny saved is a penny earned.” These proverbs, if we reflect on them, can help us be smarter in the way that we lead our lives in this world.

The proverbs that we hear in the Bible, though, come from God. These proverbs are not just about helping us lead a better life in this world: the Book of Proverbs also helps us get to the world to come, which is Heaven.

Today, we might take the very last sentence of today’s First Reading: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor / will himself also call and not be heard.” What does this mean? Is this proverb talking about you? Who are the poor in my midst, and what can I do to help them?

Monday, September 24, 2018

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Dr. Albert Schweitzer: (1875 – 1965: was a writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician)

Gospel Text: (LK 8:16-18)
Jesus said to the crowd:
"No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away."

The Lord says that you are the light of the world, not merely a light. What this means is that if we do not shine, the world is darker; no one can take our place. If we don’t shine by living our faith and proclaiming it, the world is in darkness. Buddha can’t help. Mohamed can’t pull it off. Science and humanism can’t substitute. Either we are light or there is none. Some may call this arrogant, but I just call it Scripture. The Lord said it, not us. We are either light or else the world is dark. And if the world is getting darker, whose fault is that?