Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trust in God's promise

Today’s first reading, Heb 10: 19-25, reminds us that “…through the Blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh….”

You and I are destined to enter heaven “through the Blood of Jesus” and our acceptance of the free guift of eternal salvation.  Let us not bury that hope in hopelessness or fear or anxieties.  What God has promised, St. Paul reminds us, God will deliver (Heb. 10: 19-25).  Do I live in that hope? If so, how does my hope effect what I do or say or how does it effect what I hear and see in the world in which I live?  In everyday life, when my trust is shattered, do I not go to the person from whom the message originated, or to another person in whom I have confidence,  to discuss the issue and to restore my shaken confidence? What stops me from doing the same with the Lord?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God, the Sower and the Farmer

In today's Gospel, Mk 4: 1-20, Jesus tells the story of the sower who sowed seeds on rocky soil, the seed could not take root, on soil filled with thistles and weeds that choked off the seed and on good soil that yielded a rich harvest.

God is like no other farmer. A professional farmer makes sure that the soil is prepared to produce abundantly, that the rocks and weeds are cleared away before planting, that the season is the right time for planting. God pays no attention to any of that. He sows copiously, all year round, at any season, in all soils, rich and poor, rocky and weedy, moist and nutrient-laden.

No matter in what condition I am, no matter how hard my soul might have become or how resistant to grace, how weedy my interior is, God is always at work in my plot, cultivating, weeding, providing nutrients, "fertilizing," clearing "rocks" and planting seeds of holiness and healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, love and peace. He never grows weary and never gives up on my plot of land. He will work patiently, wait as long as need be, for me to cooperate with His efforts to make me one with the Father as He and the Father are one, to prepare me to receive the love God has for me and to be open to His power, the Spirit, at work within me as the Spirit worked in Jesus.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Behold, I come to do your will"

In today’s first reading, Heb. 10: 1-10, we read:  “First he [Jesus, Son of the Living God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity] says [to God the Father], Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in. These are offered according to the law. Then he [Jesus] says, Behold, I come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this “will,”  we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

In the Gospel, Jesus, indirectly,in stating that those who do the will of His Father are his mother, his brothers and sisters, praises his mother and brothers who are outside the house where Jesus is looking for him.

What an awesome God! What great love!  You and I, and all of creation, are consecrated to God once and for all by the sacrifice of Jesus, who offers His life and pours out His blood on the cross for our salvation.  Through Jesus’ obedience to the Father even onto death, we are placed on a path that leads to reconciliation with our God. We are on a course that leads to holiness, to oneness with the Father and the Son through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and the Son poured out upon us at the first Pentecost and all of the “Pentecosts” since that moment. God will allow nothing to throw us off course. His plan for our salvation will endure. “Heaven and earth will pass away but my word will not pass away” (Mk 13:31).

What a promise! I may stray, go off course, lose my way. Jesus doesn’t. He lives in me, having taken up His dwelling place in me when I was baptized and confirmed.  He continues to take up residence in me when I receive the Eucharist and “drink” at the Fountain of Living Waters, the Bible.  God is hidden in all of creation and in all of the events of my life and yours, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the orderly and the chaotic.  His presence is veiled from the naked eye. Only through faith do we recognize God shining through the darkness of this world and making all things right with the Father.

Praise God!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Praise God, the source of all goodness

The first reading of today Catholic liturgy opens with Heb. 9: 15, 24-28: "Christ [who] is mediator of a new covenant...did not enter a sanctuary made by [our] hands,...but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf....Christ [who] offered [a sacrifice] once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second salvation to those who eagerly await him" (Heb. 9: 15, 24-25).

No wonder, in the responsorial psalm of today's liturgy, we pray: "Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds" (Ps. 98). This awesome, caring, loving God has secured salvation for each of us by the death of His beloved Son, who now sits at His right hand interceding for each of us, eagerly waiting for the unfolding of the Father's plan when He will come a second time "to...bring salvation to those who eagerly await him" (Heb. 9: 28).  He waits for us to enter this Paradise more eagerly than we ourselves wait for eternal life.  He truly wants us by His side in heaven forever, where we will no longer suffer the atrocities that can happen to us here on this earth--atrocities of humankind's inhumane treatment of each other such as the Holocaust, which we remembered yesterday,or the Newtown massacre, the daily slaughter of infants in their mother's womb, the oppression of cultures or persons perceived as a threat to our power and control and convenience, the kidnapping of young girls and boys in the billion dollar industry of human trafficking  or drug trafficking and so many other forms of violence, including international war games. Jesus and Mary must be weeping as they intercede for the end to this madness and irrational behavior, as they, too, wait for the second coming.  Yes, Christ will come again to "bring salvation to those who eagerly await him" Heb. 9: 15, 24-25).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paul's Conversion to a Disciple of Christ

Today we celebrate the conversion of St. Pau1. Paul was persecuting Christians. Jesus confronts him on his way to Damascus, where he intended to put Christians in chains, “binding both men and women and delivering them to prison” (Acts. 22: 3-16).  A bright light from the heavens blinded him and he fell to the ground. A voice says to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Paul, startled by both the blinding light and the voice, asks:  “Who are you, sir?”  The response was: “I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.”
This passage has a lot in it for you and me to ponder. The first thought that comes to my mind is the one in Mt 25:45 where Jesus says: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me.”  Jesus says to you and me:  (insert your name),  “why are you so harsh with Me, critical of Me, frustrated with Me, abusive of Me? Whenever you do these things to yourself or others, you do them to Me.  Stop playing these games with Satan, serving his goal to create chaos, division, disunity in your life, between yourself and others.  When you complain about others, put others down, demean others or yourself, you are complaining about Me, putting Me down, demeaning Me!  Remember, when another person is difficult to deal with that that person is having difficulties within him/herself.  Be gentle and compassionate with that person as the Father is compassionate.  Do not exacerbate his/her pain.  Whenever you fall into that trap that Satan has set for you, step back, stop and allow me to transform those behaviors into acts of kindness and patience.  Remember that “chains” bring out “chains,” fear produces fear, hopelessness breeds hopelessness, rejection brings out defensiveness in the other and in yourself.  Put on love, show concern,  assume the role of a peace-maker; work at understanding the other and yourself; I will help you.   As my disciple I call you to be My servant, an instrument of My grace, My mercy and My love. You are to be My hands, My heart, My feet on a mission to promote unity, not division.”

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Intercessor at the Throne of God

In today’s first reading, Heb 7: 25-8:6, we are reminded that Jesus offered Himself, His will, His life, not according to a man-made law but in accord with God’s will, God’s infinite mercy, infinite love and infinite compassion toward humankind, who had severed its relationship with God through its disobedience.  Jesus’ sacrifice for sin, through His obedience to the Father even unto death on the cross,  is eternal, does not need to be repeated as were the  sacrifices offered according to the law of Moses, the Old Covenant.  No! In the New Covenant, Jesus, who interceded for us on the cross, continues His intercession for us at the right hand of God.  Yes, Jesus, like us in all things, sits at God’s right hand, in the majestic, transcendent Holy of Holies, interceding for us just as He interceded here on earth for all who pressed to touch Him and be healed of their diseases (cf. today’s Gospel, Mk 3: 7-12).

What in me is dis-eased, out of sync with God, paralyzed, broken, wounded, choosing my way and rejecting God's way,  that needs healing?  I have One in the Holy of Holies that is beyond the veil that separates us on earth from God, who is ready to heal me.  May I accept this reality and humbly bring myself to touch Jesus today. Only by this contact will I be able, in turn, to be a healing presence in this broken world, especially for those with whom I live and give service to others in my home, in my place of employment and other places to which I am called today. How have I taken time today to seek out the Lord as did the people in today’s Gospel?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Courage to Stand up to Opposition

In today’s Gospel, Mk 3: 1-6, the Pharisees “watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure…a man on the Sabbath so they might accuse him.”  When Jesus set the regulations aside and revealed God’s compassion and mercy, the Pharisees left his presence and “immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.”  In similar situations, do I stand aside looking for ways to denounce another;  and when I have identified what I consider a misdemeanor, a breaking of “the law”,  a tradition, a “we-don’t- do-things-that-way”, do I quickly consult with “Herodians” to further condemn/”kill”  the person who challenges my thinking, my behavior, my attitudes of superiority, my posturing for position, my pride?

Jesus looked at them “with anger” and was “grieved at their hardness of heart.” He called the man with the withered hand to the front of the synagogue and said to him: “Stretch out your hand”  and the hand was restored! Jesus did not back down when others opposed him, when others took Him to task, were determined to berate Him--yes, bent on destroying Him. What do I do when others oppose me when I know I am called to do what I am doing, to say what needs to be said, to act in accord with God’s will no matter how others react to me?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

The Church has set aside Jan. 22 as a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.
Every day in the U.S., 3000 children are murdered in the womb. That means that 1,095,000 children are executed in the womb every year.  Our legal system does not protect those children. We are putting forth significant effort to protect the 6- and 7-year child that goes to school—we do not want to see a repeat of the Newtown massacre, and rightly so. Why are we not fighting to stop the massacre of unborn children? Why does this country detest what happened in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012 and not detest  the murdering  of  3000 children every day, 150x’s more than at Newtown on that dreadful day?

May God stop the hand of the abortionist! May God stop the parents who are planning to kill the child they have conceived within the past 9 months.  May God open the minds and hearts of our president, vice-president and the members of Congress to reverse the Roe vs. Wade legislation that, 40 years ago today, made the murdering of unborn children a legal right of the mother/parents of that child. May God rise up persons in our presidency and congress, within our churches and society who have the strength to challenge the immorality that has allowed such an abominable sin against humanity. May we once again respect an unborn child’s right to life, trust God’s plan for that child: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jesus: Savior

Today’s first reading, Heb 2: 14-18, opens with the following statement:

                Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that
                through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is,
                the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery
                all their life.

We may think of the phrase “fear of death” to mean only our physical dying.  However, it means far more than that. It refers to fear of dying to selfishness and rising to the new life of generosity in giving one’s 100%, fear of dying to pride and rising to new life through humility, the fear of dying to anger and rising to new life through peaceful negotiation and compromises, the fear of dying to deceitfulness and rising to new life through honesty, the fear of dying to fear itself and rising through acts of courage and so on.

When I am afraid of something, my energy goes into protecting that of which I am afraid. I become a slave to the behavior I engage in to protect myself: a slave to hiding the truth, a slave to selfish behaviors, a slave to acts motivated by pride and so on.  Jesus came to set us free!

From what do I need to be set free today?


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

God's Plan of Salvation

Today's first reading, Hebrews 2: 5-12, speaks of God the Father's plan of salvation. He sent His only begotten Son, the Word of God, through whom all things came to be, to whom all things are made subject and through whom all persons are consecrated, to save us from the Evil One, the One who tempted Adam and Eve in Paradise to mistrust the Lord God and tempts us repeatedly today to question God.  The One who consecrates us and those being consecrated all come from one Source and are returning to that Source. 

Jesus, fully human, has already returned to the Father and sits at his right hand in the inherited royal Kingdom that lasts forever and that Jesus has secured for us by His life, death and resurrection. Jesus, who was like us in all things but sin, learned obedience to the Father from what He suffered in assuming human nature and all that being human entails.  Jesus trusted God even to the point of death on the cross, whereas the Israelites failed over and over again to trust the Lord on their way to the Promised Land, worshipping idols and becoming like the pagan nations around them.  Through his trusting obedience, however, Jesus reconciled us to God the Father, reopened the gates of heaven to us, and secured our salvation and sanctification. 

Like Jesus, we are here to learn to trust God versus putting our trust in this world's idols. We are here to learn obedience from what we suffer, as modeled by Jesus.  Many times when I face hardship, encounter the painful realities of this life and find myself frustrated by the limitations of human nature, I am rebellious, disobedient and mistrusting of God. At those times I need Jesus to mentor me, comfort me and restore me to right relationships with God, with others and with myself.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fishing according to God's plan

In Today’s Gospel,  Mk 1:14-20, the lives of Simon, Andrew, James and John were totally changed, turned upside down, if you will.  They are fishermen steeped in that way of making a livelihood, probably doing well from a business perspective.  They leave their families and their business and follow Jesus, who simply says to them:  “Come follow me. I will engage you in another form of fishing. Your bait: My Words, the Good News of salvation, the news of another Kingdom not of this world, the royal kingdom promised to your ancestors, a kingdom that will last forever.  And for whom will you be fishing? People of good will. People of faith, the faith of their Father Abraham, people wandering in “the wilderness” of their lives, hungering for the “Bread of Life” and Living Water.”

At our baptisms, each of us was also called to follow Jesus, to bring people to the “Bread of Life” and to Living Water, to bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people.  We were called to be heralds of the Good News that Jesus dwells among us in the Scriptures, in the Eucharist, comes down upon our altars in the sacrifice of the Mass every second of every day somewhere in the world.  We are called upon to teach our children that God is the true Treasure of our lives, that God is the one who empowers us to do good, that God is the One who saves us from this world’s idols and that what the world offers us as the answer to our unhappiness and lack of peace are false promises. Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life—that is why Simon, Andrew, James and John left everything to follow Him. 

“Come, I will make you a different kind of person, not one seeking “fish” or that which the world says you must have to be happy and powerful and above others  but persons seeking the Truth, the Way, the Life of the Kingdom that last forever!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Adopted by God

The entrance antiphon of today’s liturgy from Galatians 4: 4-5 reminds me that “God sent his Son, born of a woman, so that [I] might receive adoption as [God’s child]”.  By that adoption God has made of me a new creation for Himself (opening prayer of the liturgy).

Imagine being an adopted child. As such, one is especially chosen by one’s adoptive parents.  The adopted child is a full participant in all that constitute this adopted family. He/she is inundated in and taught the values of that family.  The faith of that family, the love of that family, the hopes and expectations of that family become part of the essence of this adopted child, if the child is open and receptive  to the family’s love.

Translate that to being God’s adopted child. Everything God offers is mine. As generous as adoptive parents are, God is more generous in sharing what is important to God: my happiness, my peace, my well- being, my growth and becoming the person God desires of me, wills for me, and fosters in me!  No effort to make that my reality is too much for God and nothing is impossible for God. He never gives up.

Wow!  How lucky can I be!  How about you?

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Incarnate Son of God

Today’s first reading, 1 John 5: 5-13, opens the liturgy with the statement: “Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   At the foot of the cross, after seeing Jesus die, the centurion professed this faith, saying:  ‘In truth this man was Son of God’” (Mk. 15: 39). 

  Just as Jesus was like us in all things, fully human, except sin, so, too, are we like Jesus except for the weakness in our wills whereby we have a tendency to rebel against God. For those who believe in Jesus, however, this tendency to choose one’s own will over God’s, this tendency to commit sin, loses its power in their lives. We become victors over the world of rebellion through Christ Jesus! And Jesus tells us that there is immense joy in heaven over one sinner who repents  and  chooses to bring his/her will in harmony with the will of God as modeled by Jesus, who was obedient to the Father even to the point of death, death on a cross.

Am I willing today to conform my life after the life of Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God,  who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross” (Phil 2: 7-8).  What am I willing to accept as I follow Jesus’ example today?  To what do I need to die in order to rise above sin and death today and give birth to Christ?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Led by the power of the Spirit

In today’s Gospel,   Lk 4: 14-22a,  we are told that “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit” (Lk 4: 14).  When Jesus was baptized, John “saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him” (Mt. 3:16).  Following His baptism, “…Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness” (Mt. 4:1).  In today’s Gospel, Jesus is “lector” at the synagogue service and opens the Scriptures to a verse from Isaiah: 61: 1-2: “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me….”  Again, In Mt. 12: 18 Jesus  asked those He healed not to make him known in order to fulfill the prophesy in Is 42:1: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, the favorite of my soul. I will endow him with my spirit,…”  (underscoring mine).

Jesus knows he is God’s servant sent here to fulfill God’s plan for our salvation.  Do I know who I am? Do I recognize that I, too, am a servant of God, upon whom, in Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, the Spirit of God descends, enters into my very being? Do I realize that I, too, have the choice of walking “in the power of the Spirit,” as Jesus did? Or is my heart hardened to the point that I do not recognize God’s Spirit directing me, inviting me to go here, go there, do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t go there or stay here, speak up, remain silent, etc? And if I am not following the Spirit's direction, whose direction am I following?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The challenge to activate love from within

God is love and God dwells in us, St. John tells us today in the first reading.  That means that love dwells within us.  God’s love is a creative energy at work in the world and in each one of us.  Our choice is to love others as God loves us. Through that choice love reaches perfection in us.  We see  love at work in many ways in our world today:  those reaching out to abused children, to the mentally ill, the physically challenged, to oppressed persons of all ages; those devoting their time and talent to educating our children,  meeting the healthcare needs of the sick, parents giving their all for the sake of their children’s welfare, public servants fighting for the rights of the unborn, the elderly, the poor, the oppressed, the needy; through the services of firemen/women, policemen/women, postal workers, plumbers, electricians, construction workers, judges, emergency medical personnel, and so, so many more giving their all to make the world a better place.

 Today each of us will have the opportunity to love others as God loves us.  A small child may burst into the home to share his/her excitement of what happened at school today. The parent drops what he/she is doing to listen to the child. Love is activated.  A spouse needs a shoulder to lean on and is comforted. Love grows! A person with dimentia tells a story that we heard 100x over. We listen patiently. Love is strengthened.  A car juts out in front of another driver and the driver responds with patience, not cursing  that person or getting even in some way. Love is perfected in that driver.

Will I activate God’s love within me today? Or will my heart remain hardened?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Compassionate Heart of our God

“His heart was moved with pity” (Mk 6:34) as Jesus looked upon a crowd of 5000+ people.
These people lived in a country occupied by a foreign power. They were oppressed, heavily taxed by the Romans. Their future looked bleak.  Women, in particular were treated poorly, discounted, controlled by male counterparts, a situation that continues in many parts of the world, and in all segments of society, to this very day. 

Jesus looks upon these persons with pity, concerned that they are like sheep without a shepherd (Mk 6:34), that it is getting late and they are hungry. He meets both their physical and spiritual needs.  Following  His teaching and guiding them spiritually, he takes the little they have in terms of food and meets their physical needs.  He does not allow them to go home hungry either spiritually or physically.   He teaches us that “Human beings live not on bread alone”  (Mt 4:4). He pays attention to the whole person. 

Jesus treats you and me the same way. He knows that we lack food spiritually; He knows our physical needs as well.  He takes the little we have to meet those needs. He expects the same of us in how we treat ourselves and others. The little we have, blessed by the Lord, is more than enough.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand

Jesus announces the Kingdom of God by both word and action. By word, He calls us to repentance. By action, He cures “every disease and illness among the people….[A]ll who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatic, and paralytics, …he cured”  (Jn  4: 12-17, 23-25).  All those whom His society rejected, scorned, declared unclean, Jesus touches, making Himself, according to the Mosaic Law, unclean.  Jesus has no boundaries. The Kingdom of God is an inclusive Kingdom.  Just as divisions existed in Jesus’ time, divisions He challenged by His word and actions, so, too, today there are divisions that are enforced in all segments of society and within every human heart. Jesus says: Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.  What divisions do I need to have removed within my being, my thinking, my acting? Whom do I exclude?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finding Jesus and Letting Jesus Find You

In today’s Gospel, John 1: 43-51, Jesus goes to Galilee and calls Philips to follow Him. Philip, who is from Bethsaida, invites Nathanael, telling him that they have found the “one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”  Tomorrow, in Trinidad and Tobago, Jesus’ invitation to two young women is being fulfilled as they enter the postulancy of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.  It is not uncommon, today, to hear people taunt those who have entered religious life or who are members of a religious congregation.  “Why throw your life away,” some people ask. Others dogmatically proclaim that religious life is dying.  If so, why would the Lord continue to call young men and women to enter religious life today? As of today, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother have 7 postulants, 3 novices and 9 young women in temporary vows!  We are not dying, just getting smaller and better! 

Just as Jesus saw Nathanael sitting under a fig tree (John 1 :49), so, too, Jesus sees young men and women sitting in libraries, living rooms, bedrooms, under shade trees, in classrooms and churches,or wherever.  He ponders their hearts.  Some hear his call and courageously answer.   Like Nathanael, who asked the Lord how He knew Him, Jesus says to those who follow Him, “Before so and so invited you to consider religious life, I saw you.”  Nathanael’s life is changed forever as He acknowledges that Jesus  is “the Son of God,…the King of Israel.”  And Jesus says to him:  Nathanael, “you will see greater things than this…Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of Man.” 

Women and men religious, priests of God, are being called to a deeply intimate relationship with the Lord—a relationship that grows with the passing of time, as these men and women devote time each day to personal  and communal  prayer, contemplation, silent retreat and a total giving of themselves to service in the Church.  It is an awesome vocation, a privileged one,  for the few who are chosen.  As a member of a religious community of women for 50+ years I know and am so grateful!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus' Invitation: Come and see

In the Gospel of today, John 1: 35-42), John is standing with two of his disciples and Jesus walks by. John says to the two disciples: “Behold, the Lamb of God.”  Immediately, the men leave John and follow Jesus.  Jesus turns and says to them: “What are you looking for?”  The two men do not really answer Jesus. They don’t know for what they are looking, so they change the subject and ask Jesus where is staying and Jesus says: “Come and see.”

Many times you and I do not know for what we are searching. We don’t have a clue!  Jesus is never far away, as He is always looking for us, inviting us to come and spend time with Him.  John’s two disciples spend a day with Him and are transformed.  Their life from that point on is never the same!

Is that, perhaps, the reason so many people avoid taking time to be alone with Jesus? Is the encounter too scary? What if Jesus changes my way of thinking and acting and being? What if I need to let go of something I cherish? A former way of life? A former way of being in this world?

When the two disciples ask Jesus where he hides out, He says to them: come and see!  He says the same to us: Come and See:

Come and see how much I love you.
Come see the plans I have for you, plans filled with hope,  not disaster (Jer 29:11).
Come and see my power to right your path when you’ve gone astray.
Come and be silent. You will know that I am God (cf. Psalm 46).
Come and rest awhile. I will refresh you (Mt. 11: 25-30).
Come and walk with me. I will lead you to green pastures (Psalm 23).
Come and know my power to remove scales from your eyes, deafness from your hearing (Mt. 11:5).
Come and see my power to cast Satan out of your life, to heal your diseases, and remove your paralyses [not just physical]  (Mt. 8:31).
Come and see how much I love you and cherish you and appreciate how I created you.
Come and see that I am God. There is no other(Is. 44:6).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Bestowal of Love

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are….Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is “ (1 John 2: 29-3:6).

It is like God, through St. John, is saying to me and to you: “I want you to be called, known as, and appreciated as a child of God, My child. For that reason, I am blessing you this day, protecting you from the Evil  One, showing you the way, removing obstacles along the way and giving you graces that you will need today to say “yes” or “no” appropriately in order to carry out my will.  I love you that much as my adopted daughter/son. I go before you and walk behind you and beside you for that reason.”

You and I are God’s child now!  What we shall be when we pass from this life back into eternal life we do not know, John tells us.  That is a bit mindboggling, a mystery, to say the least.  We do know, St. John says, that we shall be like God for we shall then see God as God is. “Only, Lord, because You made it so by reconciling us to Yourself in the shedding of your blood. May we know  salvation, today, Lord, by making right choices  whereby our actions proclaim that “Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father (Phil 2: 10-11).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff from a Faith Perspective

These past few days it looked as though  Congress was going to throw the American people over the fiscal cliff into a den of lions waiting to devour our trust in a nation whose idols are wealth, consumerism, materialism, unleashed freedom, modeled by a government that overspends and continues to allow corruption to erode our moral integrity by avoiding actions that need to be taken.

Perhaps what we need to reflect upon in light of the sensational drama played out in our
Capitol these past few days is the testing in the desert that Jesus endured before he began his public ministry. Following His baptism by his cousin John, Jesus  is led into the desert by the Spirit. Satan tempts Him there, seeing how weak he is after fasting forty days and forty nights:

“‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves’.  But  Jesus replied,

‘Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes

from the mouth of God.’“  (Mt. 4:3-4).

Every time Congress does not give us what we want, is God saying to us: “Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”?

Satan tempts Jesus further, taking Him to the holy city and setting him on the parapet of the Temple.

“‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says:  He

 has  given his angels orders about you, and they will carry you in their arms in case

 you trip over a stone.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Scripture also says: Do not put the Lord

your God the test’” (Mt. 4: 5-7).

Are we not constantly putting God to the test by engaging in immoral behaviors, closing our eyes to corruption, worshipping idols, chasing wealth as the god that saves, believing  that we have been
“given… angels…[who] will carry…[us] in their arms in case…[we] trip over a  stone”?

And finally, taking Jesus

“…to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world

and their splendor. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all these, if you fall at my

feet and do me homage.’ Then Jesus replied, ‘Away with you, Satan! For scripture

 says: ‘The Lord your God is the one to whom you must do homage, him alone

you must serve.’  The devil left him, and suddenly angels appeared and looked

after him” (Mt. 4: 8-11).

Are we ready to say to Satan: “Away with you!”  Is that the lesson of the fiscal cliff!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy those who believe in the good things to come for oneself, one’s family, the world.

And  peace to those who know, in faith, that God brings light into darkness,  creates order out of chaos,  and transforms evil into good in each of us.

Please, be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46).

Please, know that I am a God of compassion and love.

You will know that this is true, if you live in my love—loving yourself and loving others.


Never lose your hope in Me or in yourself or in others,

Especially when the going gets rough.

When the journey seems nothing but an uphill battle,


Yield to each other’s need to hear “I love you”; look for some good that each one has done each day; name it/affirm it

Even if all you can find in that person whom you have a difficult time  to love  is as simple  as  matching clothes and combing one’s hair.

Always find something to affirm no matter how small; do it every day.

Really,  good only needs to be sought, named, affirmed and appreciated daily and you will truly HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR one day at a time!