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

Archive for August, 2017

8-31-2017 Mt 24:42-51

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/083117.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

Do not wait. We do not know when the Lord will come to take us home. If you are not ready, you may not go home with Him. Do not think you will have time to prepare or confess or make amends. Do it now, and live in Him, you must be ready for His time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I do not want to know the time or place when I will be called home. I want to live my life as if it is tomorrow, so I will be ready whenever it is. I pray the world turns their lives around and live for you alone. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

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8-30-2017 Reading 1 1 Thes 2:9-13

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/083017.cfm

You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.

Paul is recalling for them how they worked to proclaim the word of God and how receptive the people were, knowing it is the true word of God. I wonder what Paul would say today to us, we were taught the word, but no longer accept it for what it is – the true word of God. We think it is manmade and not worth being accepted but capable of being changed. Oh, how wrong we are.

Prayer, Heavenly Father, I hurt for the world that does not believe in your word. They try to change it to suit their sinful lifestyle. May their hearts turn to you and the truth, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

8-29-2017 Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist Gospel Mk 6:17-29

Passion of John the Baptist

Learn more about the Passion of St. John the Baptist: http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/passion-of-st-john-the-baptist/

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082917.cfm

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Herod allowed his lust to put him in a very difficult situation. When we let the world take over our passions, we no longer live with decency and constraint. John the Baptist was killed because he spoke the truth and the truth was painful for Herod and Herodias. When we speak the truth, we make enemies and many people will disagree with us. How deeply you are committed to the truth depends on whether you are willing to give your life for the truth. What are you willing to do for the truth?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I hope I will always stand for your truth and not what the world believes is true. Give me your courage and strength to always stand with you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

You have searched me and you know me, Lord.

 

8-28-2017 Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Gospel Mt 23:13-22

St. Augustine

Learn more about St. Augustine: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=418

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082817.cfm

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”

Where is your allegiance? Do you put your faith in money or Our Lord? Do you care more for appearances and what you appear to be doing than the reason for doing it? Does it matter to you what people think of you so much that you talk about what you do instead of doing it quietly so only Our Lord can see it? You should be more concerned about what Our Lord sees than what the world sees.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me always to keep you first in my life and not worry about what others think of me. You are the source and summit of my life. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you honor and praise, Amen!

The Lord takes delight in his people, Alleluia!

8-27-2017 Gospel Mt 16:13-20

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082717.cfm

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and 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.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

By giving Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, Jesus set him up to lead His Church, to do what Christ did while He was here. Evil will batter it, try to tear it down, spread false lies about it, but nothing will prevail against it. The Church that Christ established on Peter, the Catholic Church, will stand against the tyranny of the world. Who do you support? Are you home in the Church Christ built or in the world trying to tear it down?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I stand with your holy Catholic Church and with Christ. Thank you for the blessings and graces I receive from the sacraments and I am not ashamed of my faith in you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

8-26-2017 Gospel Mt 23:1-12

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082617.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.”

He is warning us against preachers who tell us to do things that they do not do. Those that gather riches from the poor and those who cannot afford it, so they can live in big houses, drive expensive cars, and live a lavish life style. Those who do not live what they preach, but ask you to give what you do not have. Humility is hard for them, they need to be the center of attention, constantly having people giving them praise and adoration. What are you being taught? Be careful of false teachers who place themselves over Our Lord.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of all, you do not lay burdens on us that you did not take up. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen.

See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

 

8-25-2017 Gospel Mt 22:34-40

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082517.cfm

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

If you live the commandments but do not have love, you have accomplished nothing. We can all do things just to do them, but it is the love of God that separates us from the world and brings God to those in need. Do you perform acts of love or just obey commandments?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your love showed me how to operate in your love when I do for others. I pray, Lord, that they see you, not me in all I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Praise the Lord, my soul!

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