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

Archive for January, 2017

1-31-2017 Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest Gospel Mk 5:21-43

St. John Bosco2

Learn more about St. John Bosco: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=63

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/013117.cfm

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, Who touched me?” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion,

people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

These are some of my favorite Scripture passages. They all talk about faith and what can happen when we truly believe. The bleeding woman speaks the most to me because of the courage it took her to touch His cloak. She was considered unclean, she could be ostracized and stoned for what she did. But she knew if she just touched His cloak she would be healed. I pray for that strong a faith. What about you? How much faith do you have in Jesus’ ability to heal you and make you whole? It takes a special faith and you can have it, just trust and believe.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust in your power and ability to heal, even those who do not have faith. My faith is strong, Lord, but sometimes I doubt. I thank you for not giving up on me and being with me, no matter what. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!

They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.

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1-30-2017 Gospel Mk 5:1-20

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/013017.cfm

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Demons knew Him. Today many people think that Jesus was just healing a mental illness, that demons do not exist. But demons know Him. Much more than many people who claim to follow Him. How well do you know Him?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want only to know you more and more. Help me to come close to you. I believe in you and praise you in all your glory, Amen!

Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

1-29-2017 Reading 2 1 Cor 1:26-31

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012917.cfm

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.”

The Lord does not call the prepared, He prepares those He calls. Those He calls are not necessarily the wealthiest, the smartest, or the most efficient. He calls those that He know will do His work effectively. So when you feel that the Lord is calling you, do not be afraid to say yes. Trust in the Lord and you will do His will.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you prepared me for the task you that you had chosen for me. When I said yes, you lead me to places I never expected to go and it has been a joyous ride. In Jesus’ holy name I thank you for choosing me and Holy Mother I thank you for giving me the courage and example to say Yes, Amen!

Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs! Alleluia!

1-28-2017 Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church Gospel Mk 4:35-41

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://usccb.org/bible/readings/012817.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?”

They did not have the faith to believe that Jesus could calm the raging sea. All they saw was high water and a small boat, they forgot who was also there. He could drive out demons and cure the sick, but they did not believe He would save them from the water. We sometimes think our God is very small. We forget that He is bigger than any problem that we may have. How much do you trust the Lord? A question you need to ask yourself and be sure you get the right answer.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are bigger than anything in this world and the next. You have powers that go beyond anything I can imagine. I took you out of my box once, Lord, and I pray I never again make the mistake of trying to put you back in it. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, honor and glory!

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

1-27-2017 Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012717.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.

A small seed of faith is all it takes to believe in God. That seed is planted in every one of us before we are born. We long to know Our Lord. But as we grow, we can lose that faith unless we nurture it. It is nurtured with love, kindness, joy and an open heart and mind. How is your seed doing? Have you covered it over or have you allowed it to blossom? The choice is yours and only you can accept or reject what comes from God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, the seed of faith you planted within my heart grew until I chose to ignore you. But it did not die, it laid there dormant waiting for me to start nurturing it again. Thank you Lord, that you did not give up on me and I give you all my praise, honor and glory, Amen!

The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

1-26-2017 Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops Gospel Mk 4:21-25

Sts. Timothy and Titus

Learn more about Sts. Timothy and Titus: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saints-timothy-and-titus/

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012617.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.”

Do you hide your light so others cannot see the Lord in you? That is not what He wants of us. He wants us to live our lives for Him, showing others how He gives to us. If you use your gifts wisely, He will give you more. If not, you will lose what you have. How do you live your life?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for the gifts I have received from you. You have made my life bright with a light that shines with your love. In Jesus’ holy name I will always give you praise, honor and glory, Amen!

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

1-25-2017 Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle Reading 1 Acts 22:3-16

St. Paul Conversion

Learn more about the Conversion of St. Paul: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-01-25

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012517.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.'”

Jesus had to knock Saul (Paul) down to get him to listen. Has the Lord ever had to knock you down so you would listen? Sometimes we are stubborn and want to do things our own way. We do not want to hear something that goes contrary to our beliefs. It is easier to listen when the Lord speaks. Open your ears and your heart, and like Paul finally did, listen!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have been knocked off my feet by you when I would not listen and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have learned to hear your voice and respond to you before so dramatic an event is again necessary! In Jesus’ holy name, I give you honor, praise and glory, Amen!

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

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