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

Archive for March, 2014

3-31-2014 Gospel Jn 4:43-54

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/033114.cfm

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast. 

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The royal official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.” The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea. 

Do you believe in the signs that get from the Lord? The healings and the miracles that occur every day in your life? Or do you keep asking for them because you do not have an exact time or place to associate it with? Do you still need signs to believe? Can you believe with the eyes of faith that does not depend on miracles? Can you believe because He said so? What will it take to convince you? Look to your heart to see the truth. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know I ask for signs but I believe even when I do not perceive them. Help me to believe with the eyes of faith that see you as you are, not as I think you should be. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

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3-30-2014 Gospel Jn 9:1-41

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/033014.cfm

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see. 

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is,“ but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” And they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” 

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 

Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.” 

So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner.” He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” he man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out. 

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains. 

Are you blind, even though you see? Blind to what is happening in the world? Blind to what the Lord is trying to tell you? Blind the people that the Lord sends into your life? Why remain that way? The Lord opens the eyes of all who come to Him and ask. What are you afraid of? The Lord who made the blind see is just waiting for you to come to Him to touch your heart so you may see. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, May I always be able to see in the darkness your light that shines for all. If I am blind to one of your needs, may my sight be restored and my heart opened to your love. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen. 

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

3-29-2014 Gospel Lk 18:9-14

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032914.cfm 

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Humility, a constant theme with our Lord. Do you think you are better than others? Do you think that because you do not do this or that it makes you a better person? Are you proud of your possessions? What you do? Your place in the Church or community? If you are, Jesus tells you that you will be humbled. Do not wait for His judgment, judge yourself so you too will be exalted. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for the gift of humility. I ask that I may always see myself as you do, my true self needing to be healed. In your mercy, I ask all this in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

 

 

3-28-2014 Gospel Mk 12:28-34

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032814.cfm

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your 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.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. 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.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. 

How far are you from the Kingdom of God? Do you have your priorities straight or does the world come first? What the world has to offer fades fast, what God has to offer is eternal. Look into your soul and see what you offer – love to God or burnt offerings to the world. Your eternal life depends upon your answer. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, more than anything I want to enter your Kingdom. Help me to stay on your path, not the one the world offers, which will lead me nowhere. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.

 

 

3-27-2014 Gospel Lk 11:14-23

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032714.cfm

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” 

Satan is not divided but he is trying to divide the house of God. Jesus drove out demons by the power given to Him by His Father. Do you believe He still can do it? Do you believe He does? If not, you are dividing His house, you must believe in the power of God or be against Him. You have the power that Jesus has, do you use it? Do you believe you can do all things in His name? Choose your answer wisely. Your place in the Kingdom of God depends upon it. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always believe in your power, exercise it and never be afraid to tell others of the wonders that you work. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

3-26-2014 Gospel Mt 5:17-19

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032614.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” 

Do you think Jesus changed the rules? That we do not have to abide by the Commandments that were laid down by the Lord? Do you think you are free to do as you please, whenever you please, to whoever you please? Do you think that God is such a merciful God that He will not “let” you go to hell? Yes He is merciful but He also expects us to obey His laws and listen to Him. The rules did not change, do you not believe what Jesus said? Do you want to be the least or the greatest? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, obeying your commandments are easy when I allow you to lead and guide me. Help me to always walk in the path of your light, so I may be accounted among the greatest. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

3-25-2014 Reading 1 Is 7:10-14; 8:10 Gospel Lk 1:26-38 Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Annunciation-Bouguereau

 Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032514.cfm

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said:  Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us!” 

The prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled with the New Testament. 

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. 

Mary was chosen by God to bear Jesus so He could become human and be with us here on earth. Where does Mary fit into your life? Have you given her the honor she deserves as the Mother of Our Lord? Do you honor the gift of her life that she willingly gave to God – to us? She fulfills the prophecies of the virgin birth. If you deny that it happened, you deny the truth of the Word of God. Give praise to God for this beautiful gift of a mother, not only for our Lord, but for us. Mary is waiting for you to come to her so she may lead you to Jesus and tell you as she told the servants at Cana – “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5) Why are you waiting? 

Prayer: Hail Mary, full of grace, the LORD is with you, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus, Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Mary, today I give you my heart to set on fire for the love of Jesus. Thank you Lord for your beautiful gift, Amen.

Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

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