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

st-polycarp

Learn more about St. Polycarp: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=99

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022317.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

“Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”

Stay salty!!! Stay salty and you will have a fire for God that cannot be quenched. Stay salty and you will have a love for God and others that knows no bounds. Are you willing?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I stay salty, on fire for you. I pray nothing ever quenches that fire and that it stays burning for you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Chair of St. Peter

Learn more about the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/chair-of-saint-peter/

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022217.cfm

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to recognize Jesus for who He is. He allowed himself to be open to the prompting of the Spirit. Are you open to what the Lord wants to do for you? Do you let Him into your heart and mind?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have free reign in my heart, mind and soul. Please help me to always be open to your promptings. In Jesus holy name, Amen.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022117.cfm

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

What love Jesus has for children. We are all children of God but the youngest accept Him so much better than we do. We have lost that awe and wonder that children have – we have lost our ability to see miracles. We have lost sight of the value of a child. If we had not, we would never have allowed the abortion of all those children over the years to occur. They belong to God, just as we do. They have rights, just as we do. But because we have lost our ability to see the miraculous we take away their lives. Where do you stand? With Jesus and the little children or with the world who thinks murdering them is okay?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your children are precious. One time I was blind, did not see them as you do, but because of your love, my vision has cleared and my heart embraces them as your miracles. In Jesus’ holy name I give you praise, Amen.

Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022017.cfm

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

“I do believe, help my unbelief!” This should be our cry today. If we truly believed that we can do what Jesus tells us we can do, we would move mountains. Our faith is weak, depending on signs and wonders before we can believe. But if we had the faith we needed we would be doing the sign and wonders! How is your faith? What mountains have you moved lately?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe, but do not have the faith to move mountains. I can only echo the father in the reading – “I do believe, help my unbelief!” In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021917.cfm

Brothers and sisters: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written: God catches the wise in their own ruses, and again: The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Do you believe what the Lord is telling you? You ARE holy. You are a temple of God with Him in you. We are all born with the knowledge and yearning for God. But as we grow and mature we allow that to be pushed down, hidden, but it is always there. YOU are holy, allow God to work in you and reap the rewards of a life in Christ.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe I am holy because of you. And, I know that I am a temple for you. There are times I mistreat that temple Lord, but in my heart you are there and always will be. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

The Lord is kind and merciful.

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021817.cfm

Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible. By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain’s. Through this, he was attested to be righteous, God bearing witness to his gifts, and through this, though dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was found no more because God had taken him. Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned about what was not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household. Through this, he condemned the world and inherited the righteousness that comes through faith.

These men were favored by God because they believed without seeing. They had a faith that told them to follow the way of the Lord, even when they did not know where it may lead or how much ridicule they would receive. We worry now about signs and wonders, about what God will do for us. We need to worry about what we can do for God. For all the wonders He has given us, He is due glory, honor and praise. How is your faith?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe without signs and wonders. I believe because I hear you speak and I know you are there. You are all I need in this world and I give you the glory, honor and praise that you are due. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021717.cfm

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”

Many today, do not think God’s word matters or is relevant any longer. What is going to happen when the Lord comes at the final judgement, when He looks at those people and says – you were ashamed of me and did not die to yourself for me? How will they answer Him? How will they answer for their selfishness? How will you answer?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am not ashamed of living for you. Without you, I have nothing, I am nothing, but with you I have peace, joy and happiness. You have given me so much Lord, I can never leave you. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen.

Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own

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