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

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2-23-2018 Gospel MT 5:20-26

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022318.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples:  “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Do you go to receive the body of Christ at Mass and have a grudge against someone? Do you forgive as our Father forgives you? This is very clear and there is really no way around it. Loving and forgiving as God does is what we have to do. Do you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have forgiven me so much, I cannot withhold my forgiveness from those who hurt me. Thank you for the gift of love you have given to me and I praise you that I can offer it to others in return, Amen.

If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

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2-22-2018 Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle Gospel MT 16:13-19

Chair of Peter

Learn more about the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/chair-of-saint-peter/

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022218.cfm

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 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.”

Through the power of the Holy Spirit Peter knew who Jesus was. And Jesus built His Church on Peter. Not his confession, not his belief, but He gave Peter the keys of His Church and the authority to build it here on earth. This authority has come down through the centuries in an unbroken line of Popes. Just as Jesus decreed.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving your authority to Peter on earth. Because of that, we have your presence in the Mass, Eucharist, and Sacraments. In Jesus’ name, I give you praise and thanks for your blessings, Amen.

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

 

2-21-2018 Reading 1 JON 3:1-10

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022118.cfm

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”  So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.  Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

Maybe we need to do this now. A nationwide fast for repentance. But how many would believe that our Lord can and would destroy our nation? So many no longer believe in Him so they do not worry about destruction. What about you? What do you believe? Are you willing to fast to save our nation? Are you ready to repent? It may be our only hope.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I offer up the small things I do as repentance for our country. May we see our way out of this pit of destruction and return to you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

2-20-2018 Gospel MT 6:7-15

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022018.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

What a beautiful prayer Our Lord has given us. When we pray this sincerely and from our heart, it is such a freeing prayer. But, we have to remember that in order to be forgiven we MUST first forgive. Do you? Can you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the beautiful prayer you have given to us as a way to talk with our Father. It brings comfort and peace and reminds me to forgive those in my life. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

From all their distress God rescues the just.

2-19-2018 Gospel MT 25:31-46

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021918.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Jesus is very clear. We choose our own destiny. If we want eternal life, we love as He loved, and we take care of those who have less than we do, those who have a need. If we walk by and ignore those in front of us, we will not make it heaven. We need to see Jesus in all the people we encounter.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray I see you in those who need help, in those who have no one and those who are alone. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

2-18-2018 Gospel MK 1:12-15

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021818.cfm

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Now is the time for us to “go into the desert”, our time to reflect and learn what the Lord has for us. Our time to discover who we are and find Christ within us. Are you ready to find Him? He is there waiting for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know you are always there waiting for me to “go into the desert” and find you. I am searching Lord and open to your word.

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

2-17-2018 Gospel LK 5:27-32

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021718.cfm

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Do you think that the Lord will never accept you because of your sins? Do you think that you are so sinful that it would take years before you have redeemed yourself and you can come to the Lord? Take this reading for yourself. Jesus did not die for those who are perfect. He died for the biggest sinners who ever lived. That may be you, but if it is, all you have to do is come home to God, repent and be forgiven. Then you will be clean as snow.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you forgave me my sins and continue to do so. Thank you for being there and rescuing me when I was at my worst. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

 

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