May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092616.cfm

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Just when we think we have it together and are doing a good job, Jesus throws us a curve. “For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” Does not sound like the gospel of today, does it? The gospel of today says we need to protect the most vulnerable by causing or allowing them to die. The children Jesus tells us to receive in His name, we are killing them to make our life easier. Is that what Jesus says here? No it is not. His Gospel is one of grace and mercy, the gospel of the world today tells us to eliminate the burden in the name of mercy. Do you listen to that nonsense?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to speak up against this gospel that the world teaches. Your mercy does not kill children and the most vulnerable. Your Gospel tells us to protect them and bring them to you. May I always listen to your words and follow your path. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092516.cfm

Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.

Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”

The moral of this parable is pretty straight forward. If we do not do unto the least of our brothers, we are not doing what the Lord has commanded us to do. If we do not help those who are in need, we will lose our eternal life with Him. What do you do for those in need, the sick, the people on the street, the elderly? Can you mow a lawn, wash some windows, sit and talk? Or it may not take more than a smile and an acknowledgment of their existence. If you do not do it, who will?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, doing for those who are in need is hard. It is hard to leave my comfort zone, to step out of my box and help the least of your children. Help me when I falter, when I try to ignore them and drive away. Show me the people I can help Lord and gently remind me that they are your beloved children too. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen

Praise the Lord, my soul! Alleluia!

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092416.cfm

While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Their understanding was clouded so they could not understand. Ever wonder why Jesus did this? Could He have wanted them to be more interested in learning from Him and not proclaiming who He was yet? Once they understood they proclaimed His word and told everyone what they had learned. Sometimes we do not understand what is happening but if we carry on in faith, we will eventually know the truth, just as they did. Do not be afraid as they were, trust as they did.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I do trust you even though sometimes I do not understand. Help me Father, to follow you through all the ups and downs of my life, knowing that it is not always for me to understand your ways. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Learn more about St. Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio): https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-pio-of-pietrelcina/

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092316.cfm

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Peter listened to the Holy Spirit when Jesus asked His question. He still did not see the whole picture, but he was open, at that moment, to the truth. How often do you have insights and glimpses like that? Does it mean anything to you or do you just pass it off? If you are open, you will have more and you will learn the truth, just as Peter eventually did. Are you ready for the Holy Spirit to work in your life always? Be open and receive the full grace and power of Our Lord, just as Peter eventually did.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know that I am not always open to what you try to tell me, but like Peter I keep trying. Help me Lord to be more open to your promptings, your words and your power so I may do your work. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092216.cfm

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going.  All speech is labored; there is nothing one can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.

“Nothing is new under the sun.”  We need to pay more attention to this phrase. We think we are so smart, so advanced, so sophisticated, but we are only fooling ourselves! If you read the word of God you see all the mistakes that we make today, you see the consequences, but we are foolish enough to think we can do it “better”! We cannot and one day we will learn this lesson. Are you smarter than God? If you answered yes, you need to go back to His word and learn His truth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I keep my eyes and ears focused on you and avoid the traps this world sets. There is nothing in this world that can be done that you have not seen before. Help me to remember that fact and seek you when I doubt. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!

In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Calling of St. Matthew

Learn more about St. Matthew: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092116.cfm

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.

He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

What joyous news! Christ came for you and me – sinners not those who think they do not need saving. If you are like me, you know that you need Christ in your life. I am not perfect and will not be perfected until I go through purgation prior to entering Heaven. What do you believe?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for coming to save me. I try very hard to follow your word, be merciful and forgiving to others. But, Lord, I know how often I fail. My belief tells me that you are always there, waiting for me to come to you, confess my sins and receive your mercy. I offer you praise through your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Their message goes out through all the earth.

sts-andrew-kim-and-companions

Learn more about Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon and Paul Chong Ha-sang: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=20

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092016.cfm

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

We are all the family of God – if we do His will. His will is set out in His word. If we pick and choose what to follow or decide He did not really mean this or that, or believe His word but not do anything, we are not part of His family. We cannot go against His word and still claim to follow Him. How about you? Are you a follower or not? His words are clear.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I choose to walk with you, living your word and being your word in the world. I know I am not perfect, Lord, so please lift me and guide me when I falter in doing your will. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

 Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

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