Monday, November 29, 2021

“The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is truly present in the consecrated Host by a Catholic Priest, not merely symbolically or metaphorically, but in a true, real and substantial way….. Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity!!….Sadly, according to a recent Pew Research Study 69% of all self-identified Catholics said they believed the bread and wine used at Mass are not Jesus, but instead "symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ." The other 31% believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, known as transubstantiation………Once you believe Jesus is truly present at the Mass, you will NEVER miss Mass, in fact, you will do your best to go to Mass daily, which in turn will change your life……..This Advent as all we prepare for the coming of the Child Jesus this Christmas and if you are part of the 69% noted in this most recent Pew poll……May I suggest a daily Advent practice to you?.....Say this simple prayer every night before you go to bed…”Jesus, I do not believe that you are truly present on the alter in the Mass, but I want to, help my unbelief”…If this is said sincerely and consistently, your eyes will be opened and your life will change in ways you never imagined…….Prepare your hearts for Christ this Christmas, the reason for the season.”

 

Gospel Text: (Mt 8:5-11)

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”  
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man 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 and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”

 

Advent is a time when we especially ponder the great mystery of the Incarnation.  It’s a time when we especially ponder the mystery of God coming and dwelling with us in physical form.  Though this happened over two thousand years ago, it continues to take place at each and every Mass.  And at each and every Mass we are called to express the same faith as this Roman centurion.

 

Reflect, today, upon your faith in the coming of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.  Each Mass is a manifestation of the God-Man who came to live among us and live within us.  If we but have the faith of this centurion, we, too, will be blessed by our God beyond measure.

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

“Persecution for Christians is not a possibility, it's a promise, it's not a maybe, it's a surely!.....To be perfectly honest with you… If a Catholic is not having tribulation in the world, there's something wrong…With that said…For two thousand years princes, kings, and other rulers of the world have used all their strength and cunning against the Catholic Church, yet it continues to endure and hold its own….That should make you think long and hard…… We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down, if the religion we profess is not popular, and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ … “The gate is narrow.” Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small… This is “the narrow way”….. Never forget….We cannot please all men but we can and will be a blessing to many!”


Gospel Text: (Lk 21:12-19)

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

 

Reflect, today, upon this promise from Jesus. Some will encounter little persecution in their lives at various times. But others will encounter severe persecution in various ways, even from their family. Reflect upon any ways that you have experienced the unjust treatment of another and then reflect upon your response. Were you able to immediately forgive? Were you able to set aside your anger, wounded pride and desire for revenge? Were you able to keep your eyes on Christ and rejoice that you have been found worthy to share in the ridicule, persecutions and sufferings that Jesus endured? Pray that you will always be open to the grace of this promise of Jesus so that you will always respond to everyone in accord with the wisdom of God.

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

“Thomas Aquinas taught, God is in all things, “by essence, presence, and power.” And mind you, since God is endowed with intellect, will, and freedom, He is never lacking in intelligence when present, but always personally and intentionally present, offering something of himself to us. Therefore, the search for God can commence right here, right now, with whatever is at hand both in the good and the bad events of life…..One of the questions in the old Baltimore Catechism was “where is God?” The correct answer was “everywhere.” Once that truth sinks in, our lives irrevocably change, for now every person, every event, every sorrow, every encounter becomes an opportunity for communion with God…..When bad things happen, we want answers……The truth is, you can’t know all the reasons why God lets bad things happen in the moment. We live in a world that is marred by sin, so difficulties and disappointments are bound to cross our path. Nevertheless, if you ask God for discernment, you can begin to understand why He allowed something to occur. You can also discover how God can redeem the situation and bring benefits to your life as a result of suffering….God will NEVER let any bad thing happen that will not ultimately bring you more good than destruction”


Gospel Text: (Lk 21:5-11)

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” 
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ 
Do not follow them! 
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.” 
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

 

Reflect, today, upon the undeniable fact that your life will involve difficulty. Sometimes that difficulty is self-imposed as a result of your sin, and sometimes it is unjustly imposed on account of the sin of another. Truth be told, we should only be concerned about our own sin. If other challenges come your way that are out of your control, then use those challenges as opportunities to trust. Entrust all things to God, every suffering, every persecution, every tragedy, every struggle, everything. If God the Father could bring about the greatest good ever known through the brutal murder of His own divine Son, then He can certainly do the same with all that you offer to Him in trust. Trust at all times and in all circumstances, and our all-powerful Lord will bring good from everything.

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

“Why are poor people more ready to share their goods than rich people? The answer is easy: The poor have little to lose; the rich have more to lose and they are more attached to their possessions. Poverty provides a deeper motivation for understanding your neighbors, welcoming others and attending to those who are suffering. ….Scripture tells us: "No man can serve two masters: You cannot serve God and mammon”……If you have been fortunate enough to have money in this world know this…No one has ever become poor by sharing…….Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have”


Gospel Text: (Lk 21:1-4)

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

 

Reflect, today, upon this poor widow. She was greatly blessed to have very little. This made it easier for her to remain detached from money and other forms of material wealth. And in that detachment, she gave all to God. She entrusted all to Him, and Jesus noticed and praised her. Reflect upon our Lord’s reaction to you and to the offering of your life to Him. If you are holding back from our Lord, then use the witness of this poor widow to inspire you to daily dedicate everything to the service of God in accord with His holy will.