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Showing posts from June, 2017

Friday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 3:16-17 “After Jesus was baptized, He came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him.  And a voice came from the heavens saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”. REFLETION: When we are baptized our sins are washed away and we are free.  Baptism is also a sign of the covenant we have with God.  Baptism brings us into the Church; we become a Christian.  When I think of the Baptism of Christ in the New Testament typologically, I reflect on a passage from Exodus 14:16, “Lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea, and split it in two, that the Israelites may pass through the sea on dry land”.  The Israelites were fleeing the bondage of captivity and they were delivered to freedom through the waters of the Red Sea.  When we are baptized, we are also delivered from the bondage of sin through water.  In 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, it is further reinforced when Paul …

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 16:13-16 “Who do men say the Son of man is?   And they said, some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.  He said to them, “But who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”   REFLECTION: Try to imagine yourself walking with Jesus and He turns to you and asks, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”  This seems to be a very unimposing question, one that is easy to understand.  You tell Jesus what other people have been saying.  Jesus was developing a following and was being recognized as a great man of God and so to be associated with one of the greatest prophets was no great revelation.  Then you walk a little farther and Jesus stops, looks directly in your eyes and asks another question.  This question is more personal and harder to answer.  Jesus asks you, “But who do you say I am?”  This is the kind of question that makes you contemplate your relationship with Jesus.  Jesus did not ju…

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” REFLECTION: Because we have free will there are many options in life we can choose.  The evil temptations are many and will constantly be pulling at us to go in that direction.  With Jesus there is but one way; Jesus is the Way.  Jesus’ Way is a narrow way but it is the way to God, it is a way of spiritual happiness and fulfillment.  It is not always an easy way and the way will have some hardships and persecution, but Jesus endured the Way of the Cross for all of us.  Jesus left us the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is our Protector and Compass to navigate the way and enter through the narrow gate to God, our Father.  In Jeremiah 21:8 we are told, “Behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death”. If we allow God's lov…

Friday's Thought of the Day

1 John 4:7-9, 11 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.  Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.  In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we might have life through Him.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another”. REFLECTION: John is basically summarizing the two great commandments: Love your God with your whole heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.  Abba Father sent His Son to be our brother in love.  This was a profound act of love on the part of God.  He was willing to sacrifice His Son, so that we may be free; so that we may experience His true love. Jesus’ death and resurrection sealed the New Covenant. God, through His Son, Jesus, set the covenant in place.  Our duty to maintain our part of the covenant is to love God, to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul.  When we do this, we are in a cove…

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Romans 8:15 “You have received the spirit of adoption as sons, through which we cry: Abba! Father!” REFLECTION: What a beautiful message Paul is giving to the Romans.  In John 14:18 Jesus tells His apostles when He leaves them and goes to His Father, our Father, “I will not leave you orphans”.  In verse 16 He assures them, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth”.  Jesus will be united with the Father in heaven, but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will be with us, we will not be alone.  What does Paul mean when he says we will cry, “Abba!  Father!?  Abba is an Aramaic word that means father, but it is a more childlike version of the name father.  Today we would say “dada” as a child does for its earthly father.  In Matthew 11:25 Jesus tells us, “I give praise to You Father, LORD of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, You have revealed them to the childlike”.  To become ch…

Wednesday's Thought of the Day

2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 11 “Brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God.” REFLECTION: We are all given talents from God and we are to use these talents to better ourselves and better the world He created.  When we do not measure up to our potential, we are not using God’s gift as He intended.  When we sow our God given graces with abundance, we are spreading His Word.  We were not created to sow sparingly, but when we do, we do not get the fullness of the graces God wants to give us, we are not all in. Sister and brothers, why wouldn’t we want all that God wants to give us? The only answer I can think of is that God is not the center of your life; He is not the most important aspect of your bei…

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy” but I say to you love you’re your enemies, and pray for those that persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for He makes the sun rise on the bad and good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust”. REFLECTION: In the Old Testament there were many rules about who the Jews could associate with and who they were forbidden to associate with.  In fact, the Mosaic Law controlled literally every part of their life.  Jesus came with a different message, a more free message.  Jesus came to embrace saints and sinners alike. Remember, we are all made in our Father’s image and likeness.  How is it possible for us to love our enemies?  With God all things are possible.  By hating our enemies does it make the situation better?  Should we isolate them and pretend they do not exist?  We all live in this world that was created for all of us by God, we all have the same G…

Monday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 5:38-42 “Jesus said to His disciples: “You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.  When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.  If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.  Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow”. REFLECTION: When someone does you wrong and you retaliate, what have you really accomplished?  Is revenge going to make the situation better?  Jesus’ message was not a message of retribution but a message of love and mercy.  Before the coming of Jesus, the Jewish people were under the Mosaic Law and in Exodus 21:23-25 it was stated, “But if an injury ensues, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, s…

Sunday's Thought of the Day

John 6:54-57 “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.” REFLECTION: Can you imagine what the Jews and even some of His disciples must have thought when Jesus spoke these words?  My guess is that they were horrified at the thought of eating someone’s flesh and drinking someone’s blood.  If we look at what Jesus said in John 6:32-35, “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 said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.””  The bread we consume is th…

Saturday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 5:37 “Let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No”.  Anything more is from the evil one.” REFLECTION: When I read this passage, there is a clear message.  There must be conviction in a person for what is important.  We must be steeped in our beliefs and be fervent in the practice of these beliefs.  We must feel confident and think in terms of action and strong direction in our life.  Conviction is the opposite of doubt.  If we live our life in doubt as to what is right or wrong, we are a rudderless ship and will certainly crash.  If on the other hand, we have firm conviction, we will lead a life that is guided by our internal compass called our values.  When we are dealing with people, we must have conviction.  As Matthew records, when we say yes or no, we mean exactly what we are saying.  If we do not mean what we are saying, it would be best to not say anything until we are convinced that what we are saying is what we believe.  The same conviction needs to be part of our s…

Friday's Thought of the Day

Luke 22:42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from me; still not my will but Yours be done.” REFLECTION: Jesus was praying to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest.  Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen.  He knew the suffering and passion He was going to go through very soon.  He knew He would be brought before the Sanhedrin with false charges.  He knew He would be paraded in front of the Roman authorities, Pilate and Herod.  He knew the Jewish people would ask for the release of Barabbas instead of Him, and He knew the Jewish people, the Chosen People, would shout out “Crucify Him”.  He knew He would suffer the pain and humiliation of crucifixion.  Jesus was asking for a reprieve from His Father, but if this was His Father’s will, He would accept it.  Every time we pray the LORD’s Prayer, the Our Father, we recite, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done” we are submitting ourselves to the will of God, our Father.  Sisters and brothers, are we mindless…

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother and then come and offer your gifts.” REFLECTION: Who is your brother?  Is it your blood brother, is it your fellow man?  Or is it Jesus?  It is all three.  We are all brothers in Christ.  We are all children of God and we are all the brothers and sisters of Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.  When we come to the altar to be in the presence of our brother Jesus, and receive Jesus, we should be clean and free of sin.  If we are sinful, we need to reconcile ourselves to be worthy of being in Our LORD’s presence.  Only when we are in communion with Jesus, is our gift complete.  Our true gift, our true sacrifice, should be the giving of our will to His will.  This is better than any burnt offering.  Total submission to our Creator, total obedience to our Creator and total love and praise o…

Wednesday's Thought of the Day

Psalm 26:1-2 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life: whom should I dread?  When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall.” REFLECTION: With God all things are possible, my friends.  When you are wearing the mantle of the LORD, you should not fear anything.  In your life there will be crosses to bear, some heavier than others.  As Christians, we need to pick up our cross and carry it.  The cross is a very strong symbol in our Christian faith, we should carry it with pride and as a constant reminder of the love Jesus has given us.  It is through the cross, the Cross of Christ, that we find redemption.  There is no resurrection without crucifixion.  Our crosses are heavier when we think we can carry them on our own.  But remember, the LORD is our light, and with Him, He can lighten your load.  When we face difficulties and trials in life, we need to take them as a learning experience, offer them up and ask for God’s help. …

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 5:13-16 “Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it give light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” REFLECTION: The use of salt and lamps in this parable had more significance in the time of Jesus than it does today, but the symbolism is not lost on us.  Before the days of refrigeration, salt was a very necessary commodity and was used in trade similarly as we use money today.   Salt was valuable and used in their daily life.  Salt was used to cure meats to preserve them for long term use.  It also enhanced the taste of the food they consumed.  Salt was …

Sunday's Thought of the Day

Exodus 34:9; John 3:16-18 “If I find favor with You, Lord, please Lord, come along in our company.  This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and claim us as your own.” “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” REFLECTION: In order to set the scene for what Moses said, we should go to Exodus 34;1 when the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two stone tablets like the former, that I may write on them the words which were on the former tablets that you broke”.  The first tablets that God wrote the Ten Commandments on were thrown down and broken by Moses as he descended from Mount Sinai (see Exodus 31:18) and saw his people worshiping a golden calf.  This enraged Moses and it was not pleasing to God either.  From the beginning of time, God created a covenant wit…

Friday's Thought of the Day

“As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David?  David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit said: “The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.”  David himself calls him “lord”; so how is he his son?”  The great crowd heard this with delight.” Reflection: The Holy Spirit declared to David, just as He declares to us, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The prophets foretold the Messiah would come from the house of David and many times they would make reference of the coming Messiah as the son of David.  It was nearly universally accepted within Judaism that the son of David, the coming Messiah, would be a military king like David.  But Jesus claimed to be more than son of David, He was Son of God.  As Son of God, He would be Lord over all men.  Jesus was Son of God and Son of man and Lord of all.  This is where it gets interesting when Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1“The …

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Mark 12:28-30, 33 “Which is the first of all commandments?  Jesus replied, You shall love the LORD God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.  And to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” REFLECTION: The Jewish leaders, especially the Pharisees, were well versed in the volumes and volumes of laws that were imposed on the Jewish people.  They had laws about proper worship, laws concerning what they can eat and what they cannot and how it is prepared, laws about who they can associate with and who they can’t. In short, there were laws that controlled every facet of their lives.  Jesus condensed all of these laws into two simple, but profound commandments.  Jesus was more concerned about the sp…