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Showing posts from July, 2017

Sunday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 13:44-46 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man finds and covers up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all he has and buys it”. REFLECTION: In life sometimes we find ourselves stumbling around aimlessly in search of something.  There could come a time where we find something of great value and this brings great joy to us and we feel good and complete.  When we find this “something” we want to protect it and not lose it.  This is like the kingdom of heaven.  In the case of the man that found the treasure, he could not afford the price of the treasure, but he could pay the price of the field.  God offers us His kingdom, a treasure beyond compare.  Jesus is the one that paid the price of the treasure and we can participate in that victory when we exchange our life style to a life style more …

Wednesday's Thought of the Day

Psalm 34:12-13, 23 “Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD.  Who is the man who delights in life, who loves to see the good days?  The LORD is the redeemer of the souls of his servants; and none are condemned who take refuge in them.” REFLECTION: When the psalmist speaks of “fear of the LORD” what exactly does he mean?  We have all heard this phrase and it is written many times in Sacred Scripture.  Are we to hide in fear of the LORD?  Do we tremble when we think of God?  Fear of the LORD is a good virtue to have.  Fear of the LORD will save us from falling into a sinful state.  I think if you interplay the word fear with reverence it may become more relevant today.  Our reverence for the LORD will keep us on the right path.  If we fear someone or something, do we feel free to approach in time of need?  Jesus constantly tells us to come to Him, not fear Him.  When we do not have “fear of the LORD, Romans 3:17-18 becomes reality: “The way of peace they know not.  …

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 20:26-28 “But it will not be so among you.  Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.  Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” REFLECTION: In our competitive world, we all want to be first, to be the best.  We want to rise above the competition, sometimes without thinking of the cost to ourselves or others.  Is this the Christian way of life?  The only time we should think about first, is when we think God is first in our life.  Does that mean we should not strive to do the best we can?  We should absolutely strive to use the talents that God gave us to do the best we can.  Remember the parable of the talents where the master entrusted three of his servants with his possessions (Matthew 25:14-30)?  He rewarded the servant that enriched his possessions and punished the one that did nothing.  Yes, God wants us to be successful, but n…

Sunday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 13:24-26, 28-30 “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat.  When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.  His slaves said to him, do you want us to go and pull [the weeds] up?  Let them grow together until the harvest, then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning, but gather the wheat into my barn”. REFLECTION: This parable is very similar to the parable from Matthew 13:1-9, except that this parable takes it further and shows what the consequences of not bearing good fruit will be.  God is our creator and thus sows the seeds of life.  All seeds are created equal, just as we are created equal in His image.  As the seeds begin to grow, God sheds the same sunlight on each.  The cooling rains fall equally on all the seeds.  Why do some bear fruit and others become weeds that try to c…

Friday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 11:28-30 “Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” REFLECTION: What is a yoke?  A literal yoke is typically tailor-made for an ox to assist in carrying a heavy load.  In a spiritual sense the yoke of Jesus liberates us from the burden of sin.  It truly lightens our burden.  The song, “He ain’t heavy, He’s my brother” immediately comes to my mind.  Jesus is our brother and as the song lyrics go, “the road is long with many of winding turns”.  For the Jews of the time of Jesus, a spiritual yoke was more of a burden.  The yoke of the law encompassed every facet of their lives, and it was burdensome.  The laws were meant to control their every action.  Jesus’ yoke lightened the onerous restrictions and gave the people more freedom to practice the spirit of the laws and not the lett…

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Psalm 86:1-2, 14, 35 “Incline your ear, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and oppressed.  I will sing of your mercy forever LORD, proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.  You have a mighty arm.  Your hand is strong, your right hand is ever exalted.  I will not violate my covenant, the promise of my lips I will not alter.” REFLECTION: When I look at the decline in religion and the slaughter of Christian morals in today’s world, I reflect on this psalm from King David.  I too feel poor and oppressed when I look at the decay.  I cry out to the LORD and seek His help and sometimes I feel helpless.  My thought goes to the statement Jesus made as He was experiencing death on the cross.  Jesus took on the form of man and took on the sins of man.  When Jesus cried out, “My God why hast thou forsaken me?”  did He really think God, His Father, abandoned Him?  Of course not.  At best,` He was crying out in human emotion.  When Jesus was incarnated, He became flesh, inside and out, yet still d…

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Psalm 69:2-3, 14, 32 “Save me, God, for the waters have reached my neck.  I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold.  I have gone down to the watery depths, the flood overwhelms me.  But I will pray to You, LORD, at a favorable time.  God in Your abundant kindness, answer me with Your sure deliverance.  I may praise God’s name in song and glorify it in thanksgiving.” REFLECTION: Have you ever been in a state of complete despair, when nothing seems to be going right for you?  The weight of the whole world seems to be on your shoulders.  When you get into this situation, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 12:28, 30 “Come to me all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light”.  Christ came to free us of sin and burdens, He wants us to be full of love and grace.  As Christians we have faith that God, through His Son, will provide for us what we need.  St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, “God is faithful and will …

Monday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 10:34-35 “Do not think I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother.” REFLECTION: This is not your typical view of Jesus.  We normally think of the love and mercy Jesus brings to the world.  Why a sword?  Jesus came to make changes and the sword is a symbol of battle.  Jesus came to battle Satan.  Remember when Jesus went into the desert for 40 days before He began His public ministry.  Satan tempted Him three times and He rebuked him each time, finally telling him, “Get away, Satan”. Jesus’ war was not to do physical battle, His battle was spiritual warfare.  It is a fight between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, evil.  It is a battle for our heart, mind and soul.  Sisters and brothers, make no mistake about it, the evil one exists.  The deeper you go into your faith, the harder the evil forces will work against you.  When Jesus says he will “se…

Sunday's Thought of the Day

“A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil.  It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered because it had no roots.  Some seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.  But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced good fruit”. REFLECTION: God is the great sower and the creator of each one of us.  Each one of is a seed come from the hand of God, and we all have the potential to bear good fruit.  If you are the seed that fell on the path, you had no interest in hearing the Word of God, you made up your mind that God was not a part of your life.  If you are the seed that fell on rocky ground you will lack depth in your roots.  You may initially sprout with wisdom and knowledge, but this will not last because you do not have depth in your faith.  If you are the seed that fell among the thorns…

Saturday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 10:26-28, 32-33 “Therefore do not be afraid of them.  Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, not secret that will not be known.  What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light, what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.  But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father”. REFLECTION: Fear can be powerful and it can be debilitating.  If you are overcome with fear and seek the Truth, it will embolden you.  Jesus emboldens each of us to go forward and preach the gospel and He will be with us.  This is why the Holy Spirit is with us always.  We always hear the term, “Fear of the LORD”.  Does this mean we should be afraid of God?  Certainly not.  We should greatly revere God with our whole heart, mind, body and soul.  God is the one that created us and God is merciful and full of the greatest and most perfect love for each of us.  His love was man…

Friday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 10:16, 20 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.  For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”. REFLECTION: In this passage, Jesus is warning the apostles of difficult times to come on the one hand, and on the other, He is reassuring them.  He knows very well that those who proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ will have a hard time. Jesus’ message is very different, and for many people it will be very threatening.  He knows they will have opposition and suffer hardships and even death.  But Christ tells them not to fear because the “Spirit of your Father [will be] speaking through you”.  He assures them with God all things will be possible. They must be on guard, but at the same time be humble if they are to be successful.  I find it interesting that Jesus says that the apostles will be like sheep in the midst of wolves.  As we know, sheep are not as strong as wolves and ca…

Thursday's Thought of the Day

John 17:11, 17-19 “Jesus raised His eyes toward heaven and prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in Your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.  Consecrate them in the truth.  Your word is truth.  As You sent me into the world, so I send them into the world.  And I consecrate for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth”. REFLECTION: These words were spoken by Jesus after they finished the Passover supper and before they crossed the Kidron valley to go to the Garden of Gethsemane.  He was not only preparing them for what was to come, He was bringing the blessing of God down upon them.  In today’s language we would call this succession planning.  After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, it was the apostles that would remain to carry out what Jesus started. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they would be Jesus’ representatives on earth.  To prepare them well, Jesus asks His Father to consecrate them in the truth. As with many words the…

Wednesday"s Thought of The Day

Matthew 1, 7-8 “Then He summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.  As you go, make this proclamation, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.” REFLECTION: Jesus spent His entire public life teaching and curing the ills of people.  He was also teaching and empowering His apostles to carry on the mission He began.  God sent His Son, Jesus, to free us of sin and bring a message of love.  Adam and Eve committed the first sin, the Original Sin, when they disobeyed the Word of God.  From Adam and Eve all human existence came.  As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we inherited their sin.  Jesus came to establish a new covenant for the descendants of our original parents, to wash clean the stain of sin.  This is accomplished when the cleansing waters of baptism form the new covenant that claims us as children of God.  Jesus was telling…

Tuesday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is abundant but the laborers few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest”. REFLECTION: I am sure we have all heard and read this passage from Matthew many times, but what does it really mean?  What does it mean to you personally and what is it saying to you?  Earlier in this chapter from Matthew, Jesus lamented to His disciples as He “went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.  At the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd”.  Jesus was deeply moved by this and His compassion overflowed for those in need.  His compassion for those in need compelled Him to reach out to them, to those that were abandoned and left to suffer in the peripheries of society.  Those that were scorned by society, He embraced.  He also embraced the lepers, he …

Sunday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 11:25-27 “At the time Jesus said in reply, “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.  Yes, Father, such has been Your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father.  No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him. REFLECTION: It is from God through Jesus that we get the Word and Wisdom of God.  Jesus is contrasting the merits of being childlike and the dangers of being “the wise and the learned”.  Jesus is not indicting the wise and the learned, rather He is warning us not to be prideful and arrogant, for this is a serious sin.  When we fall victim to our own pride and arrogance, we exaggerate our own importance at the expense of others, we feel we are superior.  With this kind of attitude, we shut our mind and soul to the Word of God, we become ind…

Saturday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 9:16-17 “People do not put new wine into old wine skins.  Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.  Rather, pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” Reflection: In the time of Jesus, wine was typically stored in animal skins that were fashioned to hold the wine; they were called wineskins.  When the wine was poured into the wineskin, it started the fermentation process.  This process created a gas that expanded.  The new wineskins were elastic enough to expand with the gas created during fermentation.  If you poured new, fermenting wine, in old skins, which were stiff, they would crack or burst them, sending the wine to the floor.  Jesus wants us to be open to new nourishment by the Holy Spirit; we cannot be hardened when new graces come our way.  We are not to reject the old, there is a time and place for both the old and the new.  Our religion and faith is strengthened by the rich knowledge we get from both the Old Testament …

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Matthew 9:2-6 “Take heart my son; your sins are forgiven.”  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  For what is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven, or to say, “Rise and walk?”  But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” - he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” REFLECTION: Jesus may be healing a crippled man, but I think we can take this parable to a much wider audience.  When we sin, we cripple our mind and soul.  We have damaged ourselves and become crippled.  We are human and by our nature, we are weak of heart and weak of flesh.  But just as Jesus healed the physical infirmities of the crippled man, He can heal our spiritual infirmities.  It is the devil, the evil one that wants to cripple us and draw us into the darkness; if we are weak, we become his victim.  We can begin the healing process,…