Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Psalm 66:1-3a, 5 and 8, 16-17
Today is Wednesday of the nineteenth week in ordinary time. Think about that: ordinary time. We know what that means liturgically but I think that it describes how many of us live our lives spiritually. Anyone who sets out on the journey of becoming like Jesus embraces certain spiritual practices. Service, prayer, worship, meditation on Scripture, and other disciplines become important to us.
The chapter 18 begins with Jesus teaching us about our need for humility (verses 1-5).
He uses the analogy of body parts to show the importance of not offending little ones (verses 6-10). He then gives the Parable of the Lost Sheep to show His concern for every sheep (verses 11 - 14). He instructs about how we should deal with offenses among us (verses 15-20). All chapter is great teaching of Forgiveness , the only way to save ourself and obtain forgiveness for our sins .
This day gospel is ending with sublime encouragement to pray for each other , with entrustment that our Lord shall be present in the midst of us .
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Every faithful christian has the presence of Christ with him; but the promise here refers to the meetings where two or three are gathered in His name, not only for discipline, but for religious worship, or any act of Christian communion .
When we come together, to worship God in a dependence upon the Spirit and grace of Christ as Mediator for assistance, and upon his merit and righteousness as Mediator for acceptance, having an actual regard to him as our Way to the Father, and our Advocate with the Father, then we are met together in his name.
Thank you Lord for your Holy Word and Divine Mercy , thank you for being always with us !
Monday, August 10, 2009
Almighty God, Who called Your deacon Laurence to serve You with deeds of love, and gave him the crown of martyrdom: Grant that we, following his example, may fulfill Your commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving You with all our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The Lord reveals His glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but He makes it shine with such splendor that His face becomes like the sun in glory, and His garments as white as snow.
The great reason for this Transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of His disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of His voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.
With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the Hope of Holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as His gift. the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.
The Lord had himself spoken of this when He foretold the splendor of His coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the Apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared to the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place He says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
This marvel of the Transfiguration contains another lesson for the Apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with Him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?
The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the Transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling Him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through His presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
In the preaching of the Holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.
God Bless each one of you !
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25,
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
They found him on the other side of the sea, v. 25 .
Christ will be found of those that seek Him, first or last; and it is worth while to cross a sea, to go from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, to seek Christ, if we may but find Him at last.
"Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled. "
The Savior reveals to them the true motives which induced them to seek him. Not because He taught them, but because He fed them; not for Love, but for loaves. People are more interested for earthly bread, than anxious concerning food for their souls .
Bible text continue : "So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
Jesus reveals that God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls.
Coming to Jesus, and believing on Him, signify the same.
Christ shows that He is the true Bread; He is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life.
He is the Bread of God.
Bread which the Father gives, which He has made to be the food of our souls.
Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is Himself living Bread, and nourishes by His own power.
The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was.
He is the Bread which came down from Heaven.
That denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and His authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through Him.
May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Aploste Matthew's gospel tells the tragical story of John the Baptist’s beheading. The story itself of the imprisonment and martyrdom of John.
These extraordinary sufferings of him who was the first preacher of the gospel, plainly show that bonds and afflictions will abide the professors of it. As the first Old-Testament saint, so the first New-Testament minister, died a martyr. And if Christ's forerunner was thus treated, let not his followers expect to be caressed by the world.
That is the death by which he must glorify God; and because it was his who died first after the beginning of the gospel, though the martyrs died various kinds of deaths, and not so easy and honourable as this, yet this is put for all the rest, Rev. 20:4, where we read of the souls of those that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus
The reasons for this barbaric action appear outlandish. John the Baptist disapproved of Herod’s divorce from his wife and unlawfully taking his brother’s wife. John the Baptist did not change his message to accommodate Herod, but rather he was willing to be imprisoned for being true to God’s word. A drunken Herod ordered to have John the Baptist beheaded because he promised to give Herodias’ daughter anything she wanted. Herod was weak. He succumbed to temptation. He became a vehicle for vengeance. His weaknesses led to the death of a pious and holy man.
May Lord grant us strenght to overcome all weakness and trials of life .
Saint John the Baptist pray for us ! Amen