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

Archive for February, 2016

2-29-2016 Gospel Lk 4:24-30

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022916.cfm

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

How many times have you gotten mad at someone for trying to teach you the word of God because you “think” you know what type of person they are? You think you know them, so you assume they have nothing to teach you. You know where they came from, so how could they dare to teach you? We all have our prejudices about the people around us. The next time this happens, put those thoughts aside and listen objectively. Who knows, you just might hear Christ speaking to you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always be open to what those around me have to say. Help me to listen with an open heart and mind and ignore the prejudices of the world. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Athirst is my soul for the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?

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2-28-2016 Gospel Lk 13:1-9

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022816-third-sunday-lent.cfm

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them— do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener, For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”

The Word of God has been planted in you many times. Has it born fruit? Have you listened but not nurtured or fed it or has it lain in fallow ground? When you do not feed it the Word will not bear fruit. When it does not bear fruit, your soul is empty and dead. Are you willing to bear fruit or are you content to lie fallow?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your word is planted in my heart. Your love has nurtured and fed it until it has blossomed into the fruit of your work. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

The Lord is kind and merciful.

2-27-2016 Gospel Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022716.cfm

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable. “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

Who are you in this parable? If you are like me it can be different every time you read it. What is important to remember is what the father said to the older son , ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.’ God is always with us, no matter what we do, He is the Father waiting for us to come home so all in heaven may rejoice! Are you refusing to accept this gift? Why? All that you will have from it is unhappiness. Come into the joy of the Father.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for always being there for me, for allowing me to be myself even when I stray. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

The Lord is kind and merciful.

2-26-2016 Gospel Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022616.cfm

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

The Lord sent His only Son and this is what happened, he was crucified. He is the heir to the Kingdom of God but He passed His inheritance on to us. He was rejected, but He forgave them. He was crucified, but He forgave them. We did not lose our inheritance, He saved it for us. What have you done with your inheritance? Have you rejected it and Him or accepted Him?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your forgiveness and for the inheritance that you gave to me. In Jesus’ holy name, I offer you praise and thanksgiving for the gift of life, Amen.

Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

2-25-2016 Gospel Lk 16:19-31

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022516.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.’”

Once you die it is too late to make amends. If you do not listen now, there will be no other opportunities for you do the right thing. And there will be no chance for you to change your piece of the world. Instead of passing by the people that are undesirable, stop and help them, feed them give them a helping hand. Think about who you avoid in your life and why. Offer them a hand in love and see what happens to you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunities you have given to me to stretch myself and help those who need to see you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

2-24-2016 Gospel Mt 20:17-28

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022416.cfm

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Do you do this? Tell Jesus what you want instead of asking how you can be of service? We tend to do that, more often than we think. When we pray or talk to God we give Him His marching orders with our check list of what we need, want, desire, what He should do about this or that person. Sound familiar? Can you be what He desires? A servant, someone who serves others in His name? If you are not ready for that, you might want to sit down with Him and find out why you cannot humble yourself. Can you drink the cup that He drank?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have tried hard not to put you in my box. To let you do the things that need to be done, without my instructions. Help me when I fail and help me to recognize that only you know what is truly needed in any situation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

2-23-2016 Gospel Mt 23:1-12

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022316.cfm

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus does not want us following the false prophets of our times. Those preachers who drive expensive cars, have lavish homes and ask us to tithe or give out of the little we have. They tell you if you donate to them God will bless you abundantly, He will reward you many times over for your gifts. The only Gospel Our Lord wants you to follow is His. These promises are not His and they will only lead you away from the true word of God. Whose Gospel do you follow?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to always follow your path and not the path of the world. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

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