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

Archive for January, 2016

1-31-2016 Reading 2 1 Cor 12:31—13:13

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/013116.cfm

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. 

If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, It is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.n It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

We must be open to all the gifts that the Lord has for us. We must be ready to accept them and use them for His honor and glory. But if we do not have love, we have nothing. If you love someone, you treat them with kindness, respect and you honor them. If there is any type of abuse in a relationship, love is not present. Love gives unfailingly and is never harsh or brutal. If you love someone and always feel the need to put them down, or berate them or abuse them, that is not love. If you are in a relationship like that, you are not loved, you are abused. Find a love that is willing to give and not take and you have found Christ. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for leading me out of my abusive relationship. I have found peace, joy and happiness in my relationship with you. I know that there is nothing I can do that will send you away from me. You are always there waiting to forgive and forget. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen. 

I will sing of your salvation.

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1-30-2016 Gospel Mk 4:35-41

Link to today’s readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/013016.cfm

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” 

When we put our faith in the Lord, why do we fear? He can still the storm and quiet the wind. Why do we think He cannot hand the storms in our life? He is always with you. Trust in Him and only in Him. It is when we place our trust in the world that the storms come in that cannot be quieted. But call on the Lord, and He will bring you calm and quiet. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for quieting the storms in my life. You have brought me a peace I never knew could exist. May I never forget you are here. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Create a clean heart in me, O God.

1-29-2016 Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012916.cfm

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” 

He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private. 

Even the smallest seed of faith can blossom into a tremendous faith. All it needs is the thirst for knowledge and the food of the word of God. How do you water your faith? Do you nourish it and feed it and bring it into the light? If you want to know what the Kingdom of God is like, do these things and you will. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always have a thirst for your word to nourish and cultivate my faith. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

1-28-2016 Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church Gospel Mk 4:21-25

St. Thomas Aquinas

Learn more about St. Thomas Aquinas: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2530

 Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012816.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” 

There is nothing hidden from God. We think we sin in secret, but that is not possible. What we do in darkness shines brightly in God’s light. What do you want to shine before God? Your best or your worst? He gives us many graces and expects much from us in return. How much are you willing to give? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my light always burn brightly before you, giving you glory and honor. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.

1-27-2016 Gospel Mk 4:1-20

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012716.cfm

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on 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 for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” 

And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.” 

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no roots; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 

How deeply is your seed sown? Deeply enough that you are strong in the face of storms? Or so shallow that you allow the world to pull you away from the truth? Be sure your roots are deep and strong or you will be tossed away in the nearest storm. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your seed is planted deeply in my heart. In the name of Jesus I pray it may never be uprooted, Amen. 

For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

1-26-2016 Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops Gospel Mk 3:31-35

Sts. Timothy and Titus

Learn more about Sts. Timothy and Titus http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1272

 Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012616.cfm

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” 

Are you Jesus’ brother or sister? Whoever follows Him is His family. By being a follower of Christ you are part of a large family that is worldwide. Being part of the body of Christ means you have given up the world to follow Him. Are we brother and sister? I hope so. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for all the brothers and sisters you have brought into my life. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen. 

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

1-25-2016 Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle Reading 1 Acts 22:3-16

St. Paul Conversion

Learn more about St. Paul’s Conversion: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1271

 Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012516.cfm

Paul addressed the people in these words: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison. Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for punishment those there as well.

“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’ My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’ The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.’ Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus. 

“A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and stood there and said, ‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’ And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him.

Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.’”  

Paul conversion shows us how God pursues us and that He will even knock us down when we need it. Paul said “I persecuted this Way to death” because he did not believe what he heard. When Jesus touched him, he opened his heart and mind and received Christ. From a man who persecuted Christians, he became one of the greatest apostles, spreading the message of Christ. Still think God cannot use you? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for knocking me down and filling me with the Holy Spirit. I learned that you have a mission for me and I am glad I said yes. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News, Alleluia, alleluia!

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